Getting Your Babycakes Sleeping 8 Hours by 8 Weeks!

Happy Saturday, friends! I’m laughing right now at the idea that I’m about to share my routine for how I’ve been able to get all 4 of my babies to sleep 8 hours by 8 weeks considering I’m 100% on survival mode from my baby’s growth spurt over the past 3 days. Y’all, growth spurts catch me off guard every time and they hit like a ton of bricks. The entire schedule gets tossed out and they feed all the time. At that point, I think the best thing to do is to go with the flow and ride it out with your baby since growth spurts come every 3-4 weeks.

SO, sleep training. I hate it. I don’t enjoy this part of rearing children. But looking back, reading On Becoming Babywise (a HUGE thanks to my sister-in-law Brittany) during my first pregnancy was the best thing I could have done. I also read through many, many articles on scheduling and I took everything I learned and adapted it to best fit each child and our family situation at the time. Some of my babies have been easier to adjust to a routine than others but the schedule has helped all of them become more predictable and happier while awake and eventually sleeping through the night. (I haven’t met a mom who’s read and fully implemented a schedule that has not had the exact same success! So no, I didn’t just get lucky with 4 great sleepers. Wouldn’t that have been dreamy 😉 )

But first, this blog post is NOT written to persuade anyone that this is what’s right for their family. I’ve seen tons of mom-shaming spewed at moms who think scheduling a baby means that you obviously don’t love your child. A few of the myths imply a baby being on a consistent routine means that the baby can’t be breastfed because you’ll lose your supply (totally bogus! It’s my saving grace for being able to nurse my twins + I’m exclusively breastfeeding Avery now). Or the myth that a routine requires you to make your baby Cry It Out (the whole point of scheduling is to recognize and respond to your child’s needs. It’s the only way I’ve known when something was truly wrong with my baby). Or the myth that scheduling requires you to make your baby go hungry (I mean, if we’re FB/Insta friends then you’ve seen Avery’s perfect double chin. Babywise literally states a grand total of ZERO times to not feed a hungry baby. However, it does state to feed a hungry baby at least 27 times.)  So again, this blog post was intended to share my story and for the mama who’s asked me where she can start with creating a consistent routine for herself and her new baby. This is not for the mama who’s decided schedules aren’t for her. You know your personality and what’s right for you and your baby. This has been my experience with what has worked for me! And just for the record, you can’t dip your toe into creating a schedule. You need to be all in because the key is CONSISTENCY. Which is why creating a schedule for my babies has worked the best for me since I can stay home when they’re fresh from heaven to devote the time to learning what type of schedule my baby is the happiest on. Moving on…

I like to start sleep training early because it seems unfair for me to teach my baby to fall asleep in a certain way (like rocking or nursing to sleep) only to then turn around a few weeks or months later and take that all away. The reasoning behind sleep training early that made the most sense to me is to “start as you mean to go on”. I wanted my kids to go to sleep in their beds when I needed them to. This topic can get incredibly lengthy since there are SO many situations and hierarchies of importance! I’ll start with the basic things I’ve done with my 3 older kiddos and Avery in her short 8 weeks of being with us. With that said, I’ve never sleep trained an older baby or child (but hopefully the principle of consistency will still apply). My experience with sleep training my first child was successful which encouraged me to do the same schedule with my twins and then on to this last baby of ours. It works! I will say, sleep training isn’t for everyone. I completely understand that! For my family, the sacrifice of sleep training and having a consistent routine created a much happier and predictable lifestyle for everyone.

(How cool is this triple bunkbed built by their Grandad?! My older 3 share a room. It’s a party ;-))

Here we go! There are 2 main things that I focused on for the first 2 months with having a newborn. The first and most important thing is to keep the baby up for a full feeding. The second is to have a consistent schedule of WAKE/EAT/PLAY/SLEEP.

Full Feedings. For the first 6 weeks, feeding time should be 20-40 minutes long. It takes SO long! Breastfed babies especially get sleepy after 10 minutes of feeding and this is the point that you either create a snacker or you can keep the baby awake enough to finish a full feeding. Believe me, it’s SO easy to fall asleep with the baby or want to let them go back to sleep so you can rest since these first 2 months are exhausting. We’re in straight up zombie mode and it doesn’t sound appealing to work on getting a sleepy baby to nurse for longer than 10 minutes. Spend only 10-15 minutes trying to re-wake the baby to finish the feed. But don’t let more than 3 feedings go by that aren’t full feedings. Your baby will get used to snacking and will be up within an hour or so because they are hungry. If the baby won’t even start the feed, let them sleep for another 30 minutes and then try again. If your baby is sucking for 4-5 times before swallowing then they are asleep which means it’s time to burp and switch sides. This was certainly the most time consuming thing but the pay-off is huge!

WAKE/EAT/PLAY/SLEEP. This will help create a healthy schedule for the entire day. Pick your feed times and BE CONSISTENT. Typically you will feed the baby every 2.5-3 hours. Pick a morning wake time and a bedtime. For example, I chose 7:00am to be the morning wake time and 7:00pm to be the “bedtime” (I mean, it’s not really a legit bedtime just yet since you’ll be seeing a lot more of them before the sun comes back up…). I noticed Avery did well eating every 3 hours and so I chose her feed times to be 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm, 1am, 4am. This was our schedule for the first month. At 6 weeks old I switched to 7pm, 9pm, 11pm to start seeing if we she was ready to drop the middle of the night feeding. I set my alarm and wrote everything down. First: wake them up. Hard to do especially if the baby may happen to want to sleep in in the morning or take a longer morning nap while mommy is taking a much deserved nap! Next: full feeding time. Remember to not let them fall asleep while feeding! Next: Play time unless it’s after “bedtime”. When they’re tiny, most of the “wake time” is spent feeding and you typically want the entire wake time to last 50-60minutes total. Finally: Sleep. This is tough, but the baby needs to be put to bed while they’re awake. I have the same routine of swaddling, singing, etc so Avery knows it’s time to settle down for naps. For the first couple of weeks she was pretty much sleeping when I put her down. I also had her fall asleep on me for at least 1 nap each day to soak up the sweetness and to help her to be flexible enough to fall asleep with different surroundings. (I didn’t do this with my first baby and she had a difficult time falling asleep anywhere except her crib.) After that, I put her down awake in her crib and she will either go right to sleep or will fuss for 5-12 minutes. If she cries longer than that, I’ll pick her up, check her diaper, make sure she’s comfortable, check for burps/gas then put her down and give her another 10 minutes. This hasn’t happened yet with Avery, but did with the other 3, if they’re still not going to sleep after the second 10 minutes, I would feed them again and put them right back down.

So a typical example. I’ll wake Avery up at 7am and settle in for a nursing session. For the first few weeks if she began to fall asleep after 10 minutes, I’d talk to her while wiggling her toes and holding her fingers. I’d take off her jammies or change her diaper to help wake her up. I did whatever it took to nurse her for 20-40 minutes. (It gets much easier as the weeks go on and they start “waking up”) After I feel that she has had a full feeding I’ll burp her and play with her for the rest of the hour wake time. About 7:50 I wrap her tightly in a swaddle and make sure all of her burps are out before I place her back down for bed (while she’s still awake) by 8am. And then start it all over again at 10:00! I’m flexible if she needs to sleep longer or feed earlier but try to get back on the consistent schedule by the afternoon. With my twins, Ethan wanted to feed every 2 hours while Charlotte was a sleepy little thing and would feed every 4 hours. I compromised by feeding them every 3 hours. I worked hard to give Ethan long and full feedings and worked hard to keep sleepy Charlotte awake for the feeding. Having them on the same schedule was the biggest blessing and is still my biggest advice for any twin mama.

Well, there you have it! A very basic guide to creating a consistent schedule for a baby! Avery is struggling with the dreaded “witching hour” and should be finishing a growth spurt fairly soon but last night she slept from 11pm-6am. Her ‘witching hour” lasts from 6-11pm every night and so I do lots of cuddling, cluster feeding (feeding her every 1-2 hours), and riding it out until it passes! I’m incredibly grateful for this little corner of the internet to express and share ideas for making motherhood a bit easier to enjoy. I would LOVE to hear any of your own experiences with helping babies adapt to a schedule and what that’s been like for your family!

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73 Comments

  1. Katie
    May 20, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    Just out of curiosity, how old were your babies when you started sleep training? I have a two week old who really only seems to fall asleep while nursing and then if I set him down after that he gets upset. Im thinking he may be a little too young to try the “cry it out” thing, but I would REALLY like to get him on a schedule sooner rather than later. I know everyone has a different opinion on this, just wanted to see what yours is. Thanks!

    • Janene
      Author
      May 20, 2017 / 2:51 pm

      Hey Katie! Congratulations on your newborn!! So tiny and sweet! With my 1st, started to follow a schedule when she was 2 weeks. With my twins I started when they were born because thats what the NICU does! The NICU had me feed the twins every 3 hours and so it was an easy transition home since I was used to doing a 3 hour schedule with my 1st child. With Avery, I started the 3 hour schedule when she was in the hospital since the hospital likes to see you feeding your baby every 3 hours. Are you feeding him every 2.5-3 hours? Are you feeding sessions 20-40 minutes long? As long as I’m doing those 2 things then my baby hasn’t needed to do any Crying It Out. If they’re crying, I know it’s from gas or being uncomfortable and not from being hungry since I helped the baby actively feed for 2-40 min. At 2 weeks old, my nursing sessions took about 40 minutes with lots of effort to keep baby awake! At 4 weeks, baby did a lot better by staying awake for a full feed. Does that make sense?

      • JKQ
        June 11, 2018 / 3:00 am

        Hi,

        Did you consistently put your babies down in their cribs for each nap or would you let them nap in other places (ex the rock n play)?

        Thanks!

        • Janene
          Author
          June 14, 2018 / 1:13 pm

          So I’ve evolved a little over time. With my first, I was really strict with always putting her in the crib. That helped her sleep really well at home, but made it tough when we were out and she needed to nap! So with my last, I have done the crib by far most of the time, but also occasionally let her fall asleep in her swing, in my arms. It’s worked out well for us so far.

      • Monica
        August 29, 2018 / 4:17 am

        You said that you will put your daughter on her crib, let her cry up to 12 minutes and then go check up on her and try again. But when I feed my baby and she falls asleep but then wake up when I put her down, I can’t bring myself to let my 8 week old cry that long! I can barely go 2 minutes hearing her cry, she cries like she’s dying and I end up wanting to cry with her 😭
        Yes I’m a first time mom.
        Should I really let her cry it out for 10 minutes long? Also I can’t make her eat for longer than 10-15 minutes, never! No matter what I do. She usually eats 7-10 minutes, falls asleep on the boob (even tho I try to keep her awake), I’ll burp her, try to feed her again but she’s to sleepy and won’t eat, I’ll put her down and she will wake up crying. What should I do then?? Help!!
        Thank you.

  2. Stephanie
    May 22, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Hi Janene,

    My baby is 8 weeks old and gives me a 7 hour spurt during the night. I put her down around 8:30/9:00 and she will sleep for seven hours. She will then wake up around 4am and I will feed her. She goes back to sleep until about 6:30/7:00. How do you have Avery sleeping 8 hours from midnight on? What do you do during those witching hours from 6-11? Does she nap at all then? How do you ensure she won’t start her 8 hours during that time?
    I’d like to transition her to start her long sleep at a later time so I can also sleep 7 hours! Any advice on how to transition this?

    • Janene
      Author
      May 24, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      Hi Stephanie!

      Congratulations on your new baby! So I always wake up my baby between 10 and 11 pm to feed her. It’s what’s called a “dream feed”. Keep things calm and quiet with lights turned dim, and feed the baby while their eyes stay closed. I usually change her diaper half way through the feeding, finish the feeding, burp, and then put her right back in her bed by 11. I’ll probably drop that dream feed in a month or so depending on how she’s doing.
      Witching hour hasn’t been very predictable. She will take cat naps during that time. We hop from nursing to swing to bouncer to nursing. I try to feed her a full feeding anytime she wakes up, which is every 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the night. I do whatever I can to keep her full and calm and sleeping if possible. Most nights she’ll give in between 9 and 10 so I do have to wake her up for the dream feed. Hope this helps! Witching hour sure can be draining 😉 I’m with you mama! Let me know how it goes!

      • Alex
        June 8, 2017 / 12:31 am

        Hi great blog I’m anew mum due in 5weeks and three days. I’m gpint to get the save our sleep app as I’ve heard great things about the book and app but this post has seriously helped. Few questions. What’s witching hour?? And if your baby is asleep you still wake them up to feed after three hours? At what age do their feeds generally drop by and frequency ? I am not sure what will work for my child but if I can get a routine in it will help or family so much

        • Janene
          Author
          June 11, 2017 / 5:05 pm

          Congratulations on your upcoming birth! I’m so glad that this post was helpful to you! So for your questions, witching hour is when your baby is extra fussy, hungry, and not napping well form the evening hours of 5-11pm. My other 3 babies experienced only short periods of witching hour, last 1-3 days at a time. Avery has been doing this for about 8 weeks now. And your other question, yes wake baby to feed when it’s been 3 hours. Eventually, your baby will move from feeding every 2.5-3 hours to every 4 hours. Right now my baby is almost 12 weeks and is sleeping through the night while feeding every 3 hours during the day. You can definitely create a routine and schedule if that’s what’s best for your family 🙂

  3. Leah
    May 23, 2017 / 11:24 am

    Hi Janene,

    Did you have any experience with acid reflux and gassy babies? If so can you share some things that worked for you?

    Are your kids always sleeping in their own room and crib? We have our girl in our room currently, looking to understand what works for your babes.

    • Janene
      Author
      May 24, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Hi Leah!

      I didn’t nurse my first child and she had issues with reflux. I used fennel seed water mixed with formula powder since that is easier on the tummy and helped her keep the milk down better. I’m also using Gripe Water with this last baby when she seems gassy. And it instantly gets rid of hiccups! That’s been amazing. Have you tried inclining the bassinet or crib a little? That might help. If all else fails reach out to your pediatrician for a prescription. I’ve had friends have success with that when nothing else worked.

      For the first month we’ve always had our babies sleep next to our bed. After that I’ve transitioned them to their cribs in their rooms. But I’ll also let them take occasional naps in my room to get them used to falling asleep in different surroundings.

      • Kathleen
        April 27, 2018 / 1:46 am

        Hello, I see that you mentioned using fennel water with powdered formula, I have been giving the baby some fennel water after formula. Could you please tell me how you mix them together, was it entirely and a water or just some mixed with the formula?

        • Janene
          Author
          April 30, 2018 / 10:18 pm

          Hi Kathleen! So I would make a tea with the fennel: boil it in water and then use that tea with formula to make bottles. The fennel tea completely replaces the water. Good luck!

  4. May 27, 2017 / 11:21 pm

    Hi Janene,

    I love your tips and advice for sleep training. I am a huge advocate for schedules because it keeps ME sane and my babies have thrived on it as well. My second is almost two weeks old and since day one, we’ve done feedings every 2.5-3 hours, cluster feedings in the evening if necessary, and she has two night time feedings, around 12:30 am and 4 am (with a 9 PM “bedtime” with feeding). She sleeps pretty well in between those two feedings and so far we’ve had to wake her for both on account of me being so full! I don’t imagine I’ll get to drop those mid-night feedings anytime soon, but for when I do, what’s your advice for adjusting your milk supply? I ache so badly even going 20 minutes over 3 hrs and I know I’ll suffer at night when we eventually drop a feeding. Sadly I can’t even remember what I did with my first ha. Any advice? Xoxo!

    • Janene
      Author
      May 29, 2017 / 7:05 pm

      Congratulations Danica on your newborn!! It sounds like you have a great schedule established, way to go! I think the best way to handle the night time tenderness is to be patient with it. Your body will adjust. But it’s totally not fun, ha! You can hand express into a burp cloth or pump for a 3-4 minutes. Then you can wean off by pumping only 2-3 minutes for a few nights. You’ll find relief the quickest if you stay on her schedule and as she stays consistent during the nights. I’m still sore if i wake early around 5am HA! 😉

  5. Charmaine
    May 28, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    Hi Janene,

    I wanted to clarify, if 7pm is designated the bedtime and feed time, do we nurse at 7pm and get the baby ready to be put to bed after which comes up to around 8pm or we are supposed start the bedtime routine way before and put him to bed at 7pm. I’m also concerned on how to manage engorgement when the baby starts sleeping 8 hours, do you let your body adjust or wake up to pump?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Janene
      Author
      May 29, 2017 / 7:13 pm

      Hey Charmaine! If 7pm is your set bedtime then wake baby at 7pm to feed/change diaper and then put baby right back down with no extra wake time. And the engorgement.. not fun! Since the baby slowly sleeps longer and longer your milk supply will slowly adjust as well. You can always hand express into a burp cloth if you wake and aren’t able to return back to sleep. Or you can pump for 3 minutes. Either way it is uncomfortable but it’ll regulate once your baby is consistently sleeping through. I’m still a little sore when baby wakes in the morning! Hope that helps 🙂

      • Charmaine
        July 26, 2017 / 9:23 pm

        Thank u for all the info! My baby boy is coming 3 mths and I see that he seems to need more wake time in order to fall asleep easily during naps. How does one adjust between feeding every 3 hrs and longer wake times?

  6. silvia
    May 30, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    My little man is 2m’s is it too late to start?
    I EBF as well and have always been a bit nervous to do a schedule so early on. For my first I always followed her cues and stayed on schedule by 6months we were pretty much on routine and then finally at 13m she started sleeping through the night without a feed. I know it was more my fault since she nursed for comfort, but thsi time around I would love to stick to a schedule early!! Big sis is 19m’s now so having him on a schedule will help with my sanity !! Lol. He has already given me 6/8 hour stretches! He is a big grazer during the day. Hence why he doesn’t always não great! How can I get him to stay home for longer than 10-15m?? He isn’t necessarily falling alseep at this point so not sure how to break the habit.

    Also, he is still sleeping in our room in a bassisnet or sometimes the rock and play. We are still in the process of transitioning our older one to a big girl room and out of a crib. Do you recommend swaddling? He loved it at first but then started hating it and breaking free. I definitely love all your tips so helpful! Thanks

    • Janene
      Author
      May 30, 2017 / 4:31 pm

      I’m SO glad that the blog post has been helpful to you! 2 months is a great time to start with a schedule! I do recommend swaddling. My 2 month babe fusses when i wrap her up but it certainly helps her not get woken up by her flailing arms and legs, haha! I would also help him get full feedings during the day so that he can nap more soundly. Offer both sides and then after he’s done feeding let him play for 40-ish minutes, then put him down for the nap. If he wakes, try a swing or bouncer to let him keep sleeping until it’s time to feed again. I’ve gone for walks with her in my sling wrap if she’d woken halfway through a nap. Hope that helps and congratulations on your babe!!

  7. Jana
    June 9, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    Our baby is 8 months old and still sleeps with us and strictly a breastfeed baby but she is a terrible sleeper and I’m exhausted !!! Naps are terrible too😂 Is there any help you can give us??

    • Janene
      Author
      June 11, 2017 / 5:11 pm

      Hey Jana! I’m so sorry! I haven’t sleep trained an older baby but I believe the same concepts apply where you create the schedule. Are you waking your baby up at the same time every morning to have breakfast? Are you feeding her at the same times every day? Are they full feedings and not short snacks. Is she having a long period of play time immediately following breastfeeding? Let me know how that goes!

  8. Sue
    July 4, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    Love your blog J. Iv just had my fourth little one 4weeks ago and still learn something new with each of your posts. I have also had 6 to 8hours in 8weeks with my three older kids and firmly believe it’s the evening cluster feeds which do the trick! Thank you for sharing your experience xx

    • Janene
      Author
      July 5, 2017 / 4:41 pm

      Awww, Congratulations Sue! And thanks so much for sharing your experience with cluster feeding! I love to hear that works for your family too! I’ve never known for it to not work for a baby if it’s worked on consistently 🙂 Enjoy those sweet newborn snuggles!! The sleep will come soon xo

  9. Cate
    July 24, 2017 / 1:14 am

    I have this post saved and I read it every night as a reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing. I first came across your article when I was 7 months pregnant with baby # 2 and determined to sleep train. He is now 6 days old and we’re already creating decent sleep patterns. I know there will be setbacks, cluster feeding, growth spurts, hard work etc, but I’m so thankful for your clear guidance and awesome reminder about the value of having a good schedule. You are such an amazing, balanced mama. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us tired mamas!

    • Janene
      Author
      July 26, 2017 / 10:20 am

      Wow, Cate! I’m teary-eyed after reading you comment. Thank you for sharing! I sometimes wonder if this space is helpful to anyone and it meant a lot to me to hear how helpful it is to you. Congratulations on your 6 day old! It flies by! Reach out if you have any questions navigating through set-backs xoxo

      • Cate
        August 4, 2017 / 3:49 pm

        Update for you mama: We’re 2.5 weeks in now and baby is doing great! He did have a rough 48-hour cluster feeding experience that wore me out, BUT, he naps in his crib, sleeps most of the night other than feedings, stays awake for his entire feeding…it’s pretty incredible! Hard work for sure, but so worth it.

        With my first baby, I did so many things wrong, just because I didn’t know any better. I wanted to keep my supply up so I pretty much just let her nurse/snack all day and night. She would only sleep on me, she would only fall asleep if she was nursing, I never got any real sleep, it was the hardest year of my life. Just as I started weaning her, we found out I was pregnant, and I secretly dreaded going through that difficult experience again.

        Your reminders really have saved my sanity, so if you ever wonder if you’re helping anyone, I’m here to tell you, you have certainly helped me and my family immensely. We’re pushing on, so thank you!

        • Janene
          Author
          August 8, 2017 / 9:52 am

          Stop it! WOW Cate. You message made me teary-eyed. First off, I’m SO glad you’re enjoying the newborn phase so much more this time. There’s nothing like it. And 2nd, thanks so much for your kind words. YES, I totally wonder if my posts are helpful to ANYone, haha! Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. It was great to hear from you!! Keep it up, xo

  10. Felicia
    July 25, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Hello! Love your blog and this post has been extremely relevant as I’m considering starting my 7w old on a schedule! But I am wondering – with your baby girl on a schedule, was it difficult to bring her out of the house this young, especially when it comes to having to put her down for naps so frequently?

    • Janene
      Author
      July 26, 2017 / 10:24 am

      Hi Felicia! Congratulations on your 7 week old baby! And yes, it’s difficult to bring a baby out while trying to keep to a schedule. Here’s what I did: When first establishing the schedule you might need to stay home for a few weeks. Once things are going well, I would feed the baby have a little wake time and then leave the house during baby’s nap time when they would sleep anyways. Keep in mind the baby’s next feeding time and make sure that happens whether you’re out or back home. Hope that helps! Keep in touch 🙂

  11. Asli önem
    July 25, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    Hi Janene
    I have a 3 months old baby am I too late for training? When did u stop dream feed?

    • Janene
      Author
      July 26, 2017 / 10:13 am

      Hi! It’s never too late to help your babies or kids get on a schedule! You’re in luck 🙂 I actually just stopped the dream feed at 4 months. I actually did a dream feed with her last night and she woke up early at 7:30 instead of 8am. That was interesting to see adding in a feed made her wake early. Hope that helps you!

      • Asli önem
        July 26, 2017 / 2:40 pm

        Thank you so much!

      • Janelle Marina
        September 4, 2017 / 12:27 pm

        Quick question 🙂 so waking up for a dream feed doesn’t count as your baby not sleeping through the night? Whats the difference? Im not really sure what a dream feed is 🙂 For these dream feeds do you wake your baby up to eat regardless of whether your baby is sound asleep, to stay on the every 3 hour schedule for the first 4 months? I know you mentioned for this feed you let them eat with their eyes closed, do you still try to keep them awake to feed for the full 20-40 minutes? Do you set a timer to keep you on track?

  12. Audrey
    August 1, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Hey Janene! My little boy is coming up on 4 months next week. We’ve been doing baby wise since he was 2 months old and it has helped out a lot but we are still struggling with a couple things and I was wondering if you had any advice. During the day he will only nap for about 40-50 minutes and never longer! We’ll try to get him back to sleep but he just gets mad and frustrated. So since his nap times are so
    Short his wake times are about 2 hours long. This seems to be fine for him, he never starts getting fussy or sleepy until 10 minutes before his next nap time again. So maybe he just doesn’t need the 1 1/2 – 2 hour naps like the book suggests? The real problem comes at night though. We do feed/wake/sleep and follow the schedule. He eats every 3 hours and gets a full feeding in. But he still won’t sleep through the night. Some nights he’ll sleep for 7 hours straight and other nights he’ll wake up every 3-4 hours to be fed. The book says he should be sleeping 10-12 hours straight by now. It’s so umpredictable and I’m not sure where I am going wrong with his bedtime and how to get him to drop those middle of the night feedings! Sorry I know that was a lot, any suggestions?

    • Janene
      Author
      August 10, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Hi Audrey! Happy 4 months to you guys!!! Yes, Babywise refers to that as the 45 minute intruder. Occasionally my baby will still do that. I do everything I can to help her fall back asleep. It’s very normal for baby to stir after 45 minutes of sleep. I let her fuss it out for 5-10 minutes. If she starts reeeeeeally screaming then i’ll quickly run into her room and place her into her swing to fall back asleep. That’s the key, getting them back to sleep. I used to put her into my wrap and go outside for a walk to help her fall back asleep until it was time to nurse. I would definitely do what you can to help baby fall back asleep. The less my baby sleeps during the day the less she sleeps at night. All of my babes experienced the “45 minute intruder” and if the baby gets used to always being picked up to play then that will be what they expect. And so I never give Avery any stimulation if it hasnt been at least 1.5 hours of sleep time. Once your baby starts getting used to falling back asleep during the day then he should start sleeping longer stretches at night! Right now my babe is sleeping from 9pm-8am. If she wakes up early at 6 or 6:30am then i’ll quickly put her in her swing and she falls back asleep until i wake her around 8am. I probably use the swing a little more than I should but keeping the baby sleeping when they should is first my in my hiearchy of baby rules lol! I apologize for the word vomit! Just spilled out my thoughts about what I would do if i were you :). Hope that helps mama!!

      • Janelle Marina
        September 4, 2017 / 12:20 pm

        Hello thank you to the moon and back for all your valuable insight! Just a few questions, where do you have your swing? Is it in her room so you can still monitor her or if it’s in the living room do you fall back to sleep on the couch to keep an ear out for her?

        • Amanda
          December 18, 2017 / 12:37 pm

          Oh…I would love to know this as well!! We use the swing a lot for my 7 week old because it really helps him get in good naps or finish or short ones. I too was wondering where it should be…in his room or in the main area where all the noise is?

  13. Kaitlyn
    August 7, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    Love following your journey & reading blog posts!
    Love from Australia xx

    • Janene
      Author
      August 8, 2017 / 9:48 am

      Awww! Thank you for that sweet compliment, Kaitlyn! Please keep in touch xo

  14. August 20, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    Hi I just want to say I love your blog and style! Gorgeous! Also, does your father in law have the instructions on how he built the bunk beds? I have 3 boys and a girl and my boys would just love that!

    • Janene
      Author
      August 24, 2017 / 11:35 am

      Thanks so much Amanda! And I wish!!! He didn’t use instructions, he’s just so good! I’d love to have him build another bed soon and I’ll ask that he writes down some of his measurements to help other mamas out. Thanks for stopping by!!

      • Janelle Marina
        September 4, 2017 / 12:32 pm

        Can you make a post of how you organize a room that has 3 kiddos in it? What does their closet and drawers look like, where do you keep their toys lol I have 2 boys in a room and the madness is real lol. Also when you have them nap in your room do you lay down with them until they fall asleep? I fear if my wildlings sleep with their new baby sister they would kick her off the bed!

  15. Shana
    September 3, 2017 / 2:15 am

    I’m so glad I came across your blog! My sweet baby girl is 3 weeks old and we are on day 2 of strict scheduling. It works fantastic during the day, however I’m a little unclear about nights- is it still wake/play/sleep for an hour total? Day one night was full of cluster feeding and fussiness I think she’s going through a growth spurt so I wasn’t able to do the schedule at all being that she was up all night feeding. It’s now day 2 night and she’s doing great with the schedule so far- just wasn’t sure if we’re still supposed to play or if she goes straight down after full feeding and burp. Thank you for the much needed guidance and support for a first time mama!

  16. Tara
    September 12, 2017 / 12:25 am

    Hey Janene! Love this post, love schedules! My baby is 8 weeks and I feel like I’m not even close to sleeping through the night. I have used the Babywise method with my other two kids, but I’ve never been able to get them to sleep 8+ hours without feeding until they were 10 or 11 months. I’m too tired to go through that again, so I’m hoping you can help!

    I dream feed my baby at 11pm, and without fail he will wake up once or maybe twice to eat before his “wake time” at 7am. (He gets full feedings, eats every three hours, does the eat/wake/sleep thing, and gets put to sleep awake and swaddled).

    Did your babies just stop waking up in the middle of the night around 8 weeks? Or did they still wake up but you let them cry? Maybe I need to move him out of my room because he can smell me? I just can’t figure out how to get these babies of mine to sleep longer than 4 hours without wanting food.

  17. Sarah
    October 11, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Hi Janene!

    Your blog is seriously so refreshing, helpful, and inspiring to me! I have 2 month old twins and am now ready to start a more routine schedule with them. My first set of twins are 22 months and so it’s been pretty hard to really even focus any time on my new little loves; my house is basically chaos all the time lol. My question for you is how you got your babies to sleep through the night? My girls are eating every 3-4 hours and are bottle fed. They are pretty good at putting themselves to sleep but still wake up twice a night to eat. If you can please offer advice as to how you dropped the night feeds and got them to sleep 8 hours that’s would be so appreciated!

    Thanks!

  18. Jahaira Luzzi
    October 18, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    Hi Janene. Your IG photos are simply amazing. Your entire family is extremely photogenic! Quick question. My sweet baby girl is 1 month old (also have a 2 year old son) and I’d like to start what you suggest here… so when does the bedtime routine come into play? Do you bathe your babe every night? What does your bedtime routine look like with 4 children? We usually do bath, short play, bottle, books, bed with our son. So…would the last cycle be at 4pm WAKE/EAT/BEDTIME ROUTINE**/SLEEP? or is the bedtime routine done after?
    Thanks in advance!

  19. Hebe
    October 26, 2017 / 5:39 am

    Hi Janene!
    My first baby is 8 weeks now, and I read your blog post when she was only 2 weeks old, it worked with only 2 or 3 days of training with me, and we’re both happy and getting enough sleep at night.
    I Stopped by to thank you!

    Love from Iran<3.

  20. Stephanie
    November 2, 2017 / 7:32 am

    Almost 9 week old. Start the whole babywise routine modified ! A week ago I feel like he is doing better during the day with his naps and schedule but at night he usually would go right back to sleep now he grunts and moves around for at least 30 plus minutes before falling asleep he is feeding every 3 hrs during the day and wakes at 12 and 4 am At night do they eventually just stop waking for those feedings?? And will he eventually just fall asleep faster??

  21. Heather
    November 10, 2017 / 2:23 am

    Hi there! Starting your sleep schedule with my 1 week old but the problem is we just can’t seem to get him over to sleep in the one hour window – it takes him two hours to settle in the mean time we end up feeding and changing and burping more than once. That only leaves him an hour before I would have to lift him for another feed! Should I be doing this anyway in the hope that he starts to settle more quickly over time? Have any of your babies just really struggled to settle for a sleep?

  22. Whitney Anderson
    January 2, 2018 / 9:21 pm

    Janene! I love this post so much! I find myself re-reading it about every week! My little one is now 8weeks and is still doing the witching hour between 6-10 like Avery was doing! Tell me! Is it better now? How long did that take? Hope you’re doing well! 😘

  23. Katrina Ann
    January 17, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    Hello! I’m a first time mom and our baby girl will be 8 weeks tomorrow and I’m worried it might be too late to get her on a sleep schedule. I’ve tried to start her on one at 6 weeks but she is IMPOSSIBLE to wake from naps. And she doesn’t sleep through out the night. I have yet to experience a 6-8 hour sleep. She has always woken up every few hours to nurse and she’ll eiteher stay asleep while nursing or wake up for just 45 minutes then go back to sleep for hours. That or she’ll stay up for hours at random times of the night or day. I really would like to get her on a schedule as I might be returning to work soon. Do you have any advice for me?

  24. January 28, 2018 / 2:27 pm

    Love this post! I was blessed with Babywise when my daughter was 5 weeks old (so we started a little late) but she began sleeping through the night at 11 weeks! It was a huge help and now we recommend it to everyone having a baby!

  25. February 2, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    I need help with nap time and night time! He’s eight months and I sleep but I’m ready to transition to his bed and sleep training, I need help in where to start! 🙂

    Thank you

  26. Stephanie
    February 19, 2018 / 7:31 pm

    Hello! Your post is amazing! I actually follow the same routine/schedule. My daughter is 8 weeks old and feeds every 3 hours during the daytime. She has a bedtime of 8pm. I never tried the dream feed. My first daughter started sleeping through the night (12 hours) at 2 months without a dream feed. I put my daughter to sleep at 8 with a bottle and she seems to be waking up every 3 hours to feed at night. Once 6am rolls around, it can be difficult to get her to go back to sleep until her 8 am wake time. Any advice to get her to sleep longer stretches??

  27. Amanda
    April 4, 2018 / 8:08 pm

    I really love this post. I have a 2 year old we didn’t have a great sleep schedule with, which was totally fine and understandable with the circumstances (all living in one room at my parents house with a LOUD barking dog while we searched for our own house) but now that we are having a second I want to be stricter about the structure for everyone’s sleep sanity. I tried reading the book you listed and it was SO shaming of other styles. I couldn’t get through it. It hurt to read. So I’m just going to stick to your blog post for guidance. It was very helpful and not at all shaming.

  28. April 12, 2018 / 5:48 pm

    Thanks for the tips for helping babies sleep through the night. We are hoping to get our son to start sleeping more because we need some sleep too! I’ll take your advice and try to make a more consistent schedule for him.

  29. Elizabeth
    May 2, 2018 / 8:27 am

    Hi! I really enjoyed your post and I’m hoping you can give me some advice or tell me what in the world I am doing wrong because my hubs and I are in desperate need of some sleep at night and honestly just at our wits end. My son is going to be 7 weeks tomorrow and we follow a pretty strict schedule and he’s been on a three hour feeding cycle since day one. Of course there are times where we have to feed at 2 or 2.5 hours depending on growth spurts or just schedules but for the most part it’s every 3 hours. And I do try to stick to the same times every day but once again just like above life happens.

    The first problem is I can’t get him to take good naps during the day. I follow the feed, wake, sleep cycle and he definitely gets a full feeding. We do the same routine every day for naps and i usually can’t get him to go down for 2 hours the first nap in the morning but after that I’m lucky if he goes down for 20-30 minutes maybe 45 minutes and then we play this game of waking up and crying (I let him cry it out for a little bit) and he may go back to sleep but it’s rare. If he does, it’s only for a few minutes. And he isn’t one to just sit there he cries. But I know nothing is wrong with him because he doesn’t have a messy diaper, he just fed and had a very full feeding and I’ll even try to burp him again but nothing seems to work. So that’s problem number one- I don’t know how to fix the nap issue as I’ve read every book and every post possible and nothing seems to work for him so I know he’s not getting the amount of sleep during the day that he needs.

    The second problem is at night time. The last scheduled feeding is at 10 PM if I’m lucky he may go to 3AM but it’s usually 2 AM he’s waking up. It seems as if everyone I’ve talked to that is following the strict schedule like myself, their babies are getting longer stretches in at night and some are even sleeping through the night. I know every baby is different but I’m so tired and really need some longer stretches at night. I just feel like a complete failure at this Mom thing when I hear so many people are having success. I know I’m not the only one having issues out there but it sure does feel like I am right now!

    Do you have any advice for me??

  30. Olivia Harvey
    May 6, 2018 / 6:51 am

    We have 6.30 for bedtime and still has one night feeding at month 4. But it’s waking her up for feeding, not the other way like it used to! I used the sleep training method my friend told me about. Yes – I used to be skeptical about this too but mama really could use some sleep. So we used the HWL method from Susan Urban’s book (this one: https://www.parental-love.com/shop/baby-sleep-training-pdf) and it worked perfectly! Some preparations and just 3 night of training. And almost no cry at all! It’s very brief so you can read this during 1-2 feedings I’d say. And when you apply it you can read something longer finally.
    But you – you’re some kind of a hero to think properly with your squad, and yet writing a blog! Wow!

  31. May 11, 2018 / 2:17 am

    thank you so much for this amazing post! I was blessed with Babywise when my daughter was 5 weeks old (so we started a little late) but she began sleeping through the night at 11 weeks! It was a huge help and now we recommend it to everyone having a baby!

  32. Lexi
    June 6, 2018 / 10:10 am

    My baby will be 7weeks tomorrow and is waking up anywhere from 2-4 times a night. I have to go back to work when he is almost 11weeks old. His naps are also really hit and miss. Some days he’ll take a couple 2.5 naps and other days he takes several 30-45 cat naps. Do you think 3 weeks of this schedule will help him get into a routine and sleep longer at night? I am so stressed about going back to work on such little sleep. Do you have any suggestions for us?
    Thanks!

    • Janene
      Author
      June 14, 2018 / 1:09 pm

      Hi Lexi! In my experience this scheduling always worked, even with my babies who weren’t naturally good sleepers. I would try to do it as consistently as you can and hopefully he’ll be sleeping more for you! I know how hard it is to work on no sleep! You can do this!

  33. AW
    June 18, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Hi! When you put your baby down for naps during the day, how long do they usually nap for? I am having trouble where my son only takes 30 minute naps in the crib but can sleep for much longer in the swing. He is 2 months old. I’m afraid to put him down too soon for a nap because otherwise he will be awake for awhile until his next feed. Thanks!

    • Laura
      September 4, 2018 / 1:45 pm

      Same problem/question!

  34. Michelle
    June 27, 2018 / 1:39 am

    My babe is 6 weeks and sleeping for 5 hours from 9pm-2 am but then after that only 60-90 min til morning. For the night feedings my babe only eats for 5 min especially if my breasts are engorged. Isn’t this a full feeding or should I especially do what I can go have her feed for 20-30 min???

    • Liv
      July 3, 2018 / 7:45 pm

      Mine does the same. She doesn’t nap a lot during the day ( only for short periods)

      10-3
      And then fall asleep for an hour every time after that. Also feed for 5-10 min. I try to strech it with changing her diaper, burp etc but still doesn’t help.

  35. Sarah McCoy
    July 31, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I’m looking forward to trying this method with my 8 week old. (Probably should have started sooner haha)
    He is formula-fed now and during the day eats every 3, sometimes 4, hours depending on how well he naps. Currently he has to be held and rocked to fall asleep and sleeps much better and longer if he’s held. I guess what i want to know is does having a formula-fed baby change this routine at all? Should I wake him to feed him at 3 hours to get him to eat at consistent times? (Right now times vary, even when we try to put him to bed at 7pm every night) Are you pro-wake-a-sleeping-baby if it’s to eat in order to get them on a schedule or sleep through the night?

    Thanks again!

  36. Bek
    August 3, 2018 / 11:52 pm

    Hi Janene,

    I have an 8 week old and I have tried to follow the Babywise approach basically since birth and he was going ok with feeds around 2.5-3 hours and napping well for the first few weeks but now he only naps 45mins in the day and he won’t go back to sleep and it’s such a long time until the next feed is ‘due’ that he has his wake time before his feed and he ends up too tired to take a full feed and he grizzles through it and then I have to put him to sleep again – so he’s basically doing a feed/sleep/wake and I can’t seem to get him out of this pattern which is very tiring for me. Any suggestions?

  37. Amanda
    August 11, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    Hi there! I have been somewhat successfully been implementing Babywise from the start with my little one. She is now 8 weeks old and is fairly good about being on a schedule (although we have some hiccups here and there). Just last night she slept through the night for the first time. However I had a really hard time getting her to go to bed so really it wasn’t a full night, but it was from 1am to 6:30, her longest stretch yet. She usually would wake around 3 ish to feed but didn’t last night. What I’m really needing help/guidance on is getting her to be put down drowsy but awake and be able to sleep on her own. She will be very drowsy, yawning and blinks long and slow when I put her down, but the second I put her down in the rock and play she not just fussy but full on screams and cries. I had a rough recovery from my c-section and she was extremely fussy (would scream/cry for the greater part of 8 hours a day for the first two weeks). Because I was struggling with my recovery and needed to sleep and help her sleep at any cost, I would let her suck my finger (because she refuses a pacifier) to fall asleep, and now that’s what it takes for her to go to sleep. I know it’s my own fault but in those first couple weeks it was purely out of survival and then the few weeks after it was because I still needed the sleep. Any tips or tricks on how to break this habit? I would love to see her not need to suck on my finger to sleep? Oh, and also her afternoon naps are terrible. Sometimes only lasting 30-40 minutes. When she wakes up early what should I be doing? Sometimes I will feed her if she seems hungry, but she doesn’t always want to eat.

  38. Charlotte conway
    September 13, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    Hi great post. My baby girl is 6 weeks old and I’m keen to get her ona schedule. Is it too late to start? Also at night time she still feeds a lot as she will feed for like 6-10 minutes then fall asleep. I have tried everything changing her wiggling feet hands, burning her etc to try get her to wake to take more but she has none of it. I then put her back down and an hour later or less she is awake needing feeding again this is what I am struggling with most any tips please? So I am going to try the schedule from the Sunday after tomorrow and hope she picks it up. Thanks

    • Janene
      Author
      September 13, 2018 / 9:18 pm

      Hi Charlotte! I don’t think it’s every too late to start. With our first, we didn’t stay consistent once she became a really good sleeper, and had to re-start a couple separate times, and it was tough, but always worked. And with keeping them awake, it sounds like you’re doing the best you can! We struggled sometimes to keep them awake, and sometimes weren’t successful, but as long as you’re doing all you can to keep them up for a full feeding, it’ll be helpful over time! Best of luck mama!

  39. Rachel Krieger
    September 14, 2018 / 10:21 am

    Hello!
    Great post. I apologize for the lengthy post but I’m struggling with all of this! First time mom here and I read some of babywise while pregnant. Before my son was born, I was adamant about implementing a schedule and now I’m more in survival mode. He’s 9 weeks now and I’m feeling slightly more human again and would love to start trying to get a schedule going.

    A few issues we are having:
    1- waking him up for the first morning feed. Ideally 8-8 or 7-7 would be great for us but I haven’t been able to figure out how to wake up up for his morning feed since he usually gets up any time from 4-6 for his second middle of the night feed. There’s absolutely no consistency to his middle
    Of the night wake ups. Do I just wake up him, and try and feed him? Also is it fine to change the diaper first since that always wakes him up right when I’m getting him to nap? And how do I get him to be more consistent?

    2- my son of made his own bedtime at 9 pm for the first 2 months and now all of a sudden it’s pushed back to 10:30. I’d love to push it back even further to that 8 Mark…how do I even begin to do this? I know babywise says to do it in small increments but that doesn’t seem to work for us. He just won’t go down until 1030 now.

    3- he’s a horrible horrible napper. No matter what I do, he won’t nap unless he’s on me. We swaddle, use white noise, rock. The last few mornings, after his 530 feed, I just plop him on me and he sleeps for another 3 hours. If I try to move him, he wakes up cranky and cries immediately. How do I get him to nap in his crib and this point? Am I too late??

    Anyway, these are just a few of our issues. Please help! I want a good sleeper haha!
    Thank you 🙂

  40. Jocelyn
    September 16, 2018 / 7:15 pm

    Hi Janene,

    My son is 7wks and has been doing pretty well sleeping and napping in his bassinet w/o a schedule so far. He would typically have at least 1 nap that was 2-3 hours and then smaller ones throughout the day. At night his first stretch would be anywhere from 3-6 hours, followed by another 3 hour stretch. He has now started only being able to sleep while on me and falls asleep while bouncing. He even will often wake after nursing angry, so I will nurse again. Typically during the day he’ll nap just for 20 mins on average. I know he is overtired but won’t stay asleep and the likelihood of him waking up if I put him down are very high. He hasn’t been able to stay asleep in his bassinet at night either. He also hates being swaddled but I will swaddle him once he’s asleep because his hands flail, but he easily breaks free.

    Help! I am having to constantly hold to comfort, to nurse, to bounce, and to sleep. You recommend trying to lay them down after every hour they’ve been awake? He will cry intensely when put down especially when overtired 🙁

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