Sleep Training: Q & A

Good morning, babes!! I’m so excited to start this series of Sleep Training posts right here on the blog. Leave your BABY SLEEP QUESTIONS on this post or on my Instagram post and you might just find it answered on my next post! If you haven’t read my first blog post chatting all things baby schedule related:  Getting Your Babycakes Sleeping 8 Hours By 8 Weeks then pop on over first! It’s a good one and is such a great place to start reading when you’re in the beginning or in the middle of trying to help your little one sleep. I wrote that post when Avery was 2 months old. I was exhausted. Just so, so tired. But that baby girl had started sleeping 8 solid hours every night. Any mama who’s sleep trained their babe knows how UH-MAZING it is telling yourself day in and day out to “trust the process. It’ll pay off?” and for it to finally PAY OFF! And not just one night of solid sleep, but every night after that. Until the next growth spurt comes 3 weeks later. 😉 And then every 3-4 weeks after that. I miss the tiny newborn phase but I also appreciate that we’re all sleeping through the night <can I get an amen?!>

SO, sleep training. It’s rough, right? It’s tiring. And most of the time I found myself doubting every single decision. With each new baby, I had to adapt to their little quirks. But with each new success, my confidence in trusting the sleep training process grew. I’m gonna snag a bunch of questions from THIS POST on Instagram.

Q1: “How did you sleep train your twins? I have identical twin girls, they’re 8 months old and they still wake 2-3x a night each and they usually take only 30 minute naps. I’m exhausted!” -@ericaellis26

A1: oh, mama. Sleep training twins is no joke. The best thing I did was put them on the same schedule. If one wakes up, I wake the other. If it’s time to feed one baby, I wake the other to feed as well. Same sleep/eat/play schedule around the clock! Yes, there’s a lot of little hurdles to get that to happen, but it will have the biggest payoff. And when we were in the beginning stages and having to let them cry a little to go to sleep, it was amazing to see one twin passed out in the same crib while the other one screamed for 5 minutes before falling asleep a few inches away. One twin would occasionally wake the other twin up but for the majority of the time they were comfortable with each other’s movements and interruptions.

Q2:  “How do you manage naps and school pickup? It’s at such an awkward time.”  -@lj_57

A2: That’s such a great question! Up until we moved 2 months ago I didn’t have to worry about this because the twins don’t go to school and I picked Savannah up from PreK at 10:50am. Since Savannah was in Kindergarten this year, the bus dropped her off from school in front of our house. I was spoiled! So, you can weigh out the pros and cons of waking your kids up earlier in the day to change their schedule to have them nap on an earlier schedule. With older kids in school, you really don’t have the option of having them nap at the usual time. So, you could wake baby earlier and they can nap from 9-11am and from 1-3pm (instead of 2-4pm). Or you can have your baby take 1.5 hour naps instead of 2 hour naps. Also, I think it all starts with their early morning wake time. That’s the great thing about a schedule, it’s supposed to serve you and your changing family. Hope this helps, Laura! xo

Q3: “I would love to know if she still wakes for a night feeding now. And also what your day nap schedule looks like as well. My fourth is 5 months now. I’m struggling to catch his day routine. It’s moving around on me. I follow Baby Wise pretty well, although I think his soother is becoming a problem. He fusses for it and I pop it back in…too. many. times.” -@littlezwick

A3: She doesn’t wake in the middle of the night. If she does, then I know something’s wrong and she might be sick or have an ear infection. At 8 weeks old she slept from 11-7am. My 3 other babes were on the same schedule by 8 weeks old. Some babies resisted the schedule more than other’s but by 8 weeks it all evened out. Avery is 10 months old and she is awake for 2 hours -then naps for 2 hours- awake for 2- and then naps for 2. Then she is awake for 3-4 hours until bedtime. Occasionally those times vary when we’re running errands or if dirty diapers interrupt life. But that’s her general schedule. And yes! Soothers are definitely a sleep prop. If you think he’ll sleep better if he learns to sleep without it then I think you might be right. Soothers are definitely convenient when you’re out running errands and you need a calm baby, I completely understand! We decided to quit the soothers at 2 months for that very reason of it interrupting sleep. Hope that helps!

Q4: “How did you get them all on the same nap schedule. I have a 2 year old and a 2 month old, trying to get them to nap at the same time is so hard.” -@kellysutliff

A4: So hard! I totally get it. I always had the twins on the same schedule from when they were babies and so I was used to shifting things around to make for 2 comfortable babies. As far as having the twins and my baby Avery on the same napping schedule, I arranged Avery 1st wake time of the day to be at a time allowing her 3rd nap to be at the same time as the twins afternoon nap. For example, if Avery’s afternoon nap was going to be around 1pm I would feed the twins lunch at 11:30am and have everyone ready to go down by 1pm. Also, I made sure to wake Avery up in the morning at THE SAME TIME every day. The days where I was not consistent about a morning wake time were the days everything seemed overly chaotic. My best piece of advice is to start the baby’s day at the same time. 7-7:15am was Avery’s milk time every day. This creates a consistent day schedule and allowed me to count on the afternoon naps all coordinating together. I hope that helps!

Q5: “Wow. My twins are 4 and haven’t napped in years! Years! No quiet time. Nothing. I drink a lot of coffee! Anywho they are boy/girl twins and have always shared a room. They are still in toddler beds. Their room is the perfect mix of Star Wars/Batman/Dinosaurs and Princess/My Little Pony/glitter.” -@2babies1mama

A5: Haha, I love the themed boy/girl twin bedroom! I completely understand when kids stop napping. It just happens! And to be honest, all of my kids did this as well. I remember when Savannah (my 6 year old) had tried dropping down from 2 to 1 naps per day when she was 12 months old. I was bummed. SUPER bummed. I continued with her regular schedule because I knew she was overly tired/emotional and would function better on 2 naps. It took 1 month but she picked up her 2nd nap again. Later on, when she was 2.5 years old she stopped napping completely. This lasted about 2 months!! During that time, I continued with the schedule. I still had her go into her room, lay down on her bed, and stay quiet. Previously, she had always napped 2+ hours. She threw fits and was way too tired when 5pm rolled around, so I knew she still needed naps. But she fought the naps and wanted to play while saying she wasn’t tired. But, the entire time I continued having her stay on her bed quietly. No toys, books, nothing to excite or stimulate her. She spontaneously started falling asleep again. I’m not sure if she just suddenly started having a difficult time shutting down her mind to rest or if she was just too bored to stay awake, but she picked it back up! The twins had similar experiences where they went through periods of not napping. I didn’t put toys/books in their room and they’re expected to stay on their beds. This is Savannah’s 1st year in school and she still naps on weekends if I have her lay down in bed. I’m convinced that it’s the routine. With the 4-year-old twins, hands down they’d love to never nap, ha! When I put them down for naps I’ll go back into the room every 3 minutes for the first 10 minutes to remind them to fall asleep or to get back into their beds. They’ll nap 1.5-2 hours. I hope this was helpful! I would definitely start a “quiet time” or “brain rest” if they’ll let ya 😉

Have a sleep and schedule related question?? Comment below OR comment on my latest instagram post!

Just a little note…. I added this to my first post and I’d love to include it in this post as well! 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.

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9 Comments

  1. Almira
    February 17, 2018 / 3:25 pm

    I have a 8 1/2 month old, she never slept trough the night, she hates to nap.
    I tried to figure out a schedule but so far it never worked.
    But most of the times, bath time around 6:30pm, ready for bed at 7pm, falls asleep while breastfeeding, if not she has to be rocked to sleep, wakes up around 7am BUT with 2-3 nighttime feedings.
    We tried to push bedtime a bit later to avoid rocking to sleep and to teach her to fall asleep on her own but nothing has worked so far…
    And nap time, she is tired usually around the same time each day but she refuses to sleep sometimes.
    I was hoping it will get easier with time but she seems to stick with the same “routine”.
    She has no soothers.
    I hope you ll have a suggestion I havent used so far. 🙂

  2. Melissa
    February 17, 2018 / 10:06 pm

    Thank you SO much for this post!! I have a 3 month old. I’m having a hard time putting her down for bed. It takes hours and hours for her to go down by herself. I have to rock her for hours. How did you put your babes to sleep in their cribs?

  3. Renai
    February 17, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    Hi there !
    My son will be 9 Months soon, he slept really well as a baby, waking up for feedings but would sleep without being nursed, rocked or anything like that, I would follow his schedule and put him down about 5-10 minutes before I knew he would be ready for a nap, he would self soothe by making sucking motions (Not with a soother or his thumb, just his mouth) and would go to sleep- from awake. He had a cold around 6 1/2 Months and from there it’s been a horrible struggle to get him to bed on his own, he won’t sleep in his crib anymore either 🙁

  4. Melania
    February 18, 2018 / 4:06 am

    My son was a terrible sleeper. My husband and I were exhausted until Susan Urban’s guide ‘how to teach a baby to fall asleep alone’ ( got it here: http://www.parental-love and I’m sure it’s also available on Amazon). The technique in this guide gave my family desperately needed sleep in just a few days without any drama. I’m not a person who response a lot on the internet but I know how difficult this subject is and I’m sure that this guide will help you guys as well. Good luck!

    • Molly
      April 27, 2018 / 12:58 pm

      I used the same guide! I found it great help, it worked in just 3 nights for my little pirate. And almost no tears happened (this was something I was most worried about). I highly recommend, it is just few pages to read and you life is fixed forever!

  5. Jessica
    February 23, 2018 / 11:55 am

    How do you adjust/deal with the schedule if you travel or go away for a weekend? How does it affect their sleep when you’re not home?

  6. Jessica
    February 25, 2018 / 6:22 pm

    Our son is 6 weeks old and we’re struggling with the routine sometimes he’s good sometimes not so much but still haven’t been able to consistently get a solid nights sleep more than a few hours at a time. We do a full 20-40min feeding and then we’ll change him, burp him, swaddle him, sing gently and lay him down. We’ve tried the 10min wait then pickup burp etc 10min more if he still cries then we’ll feed him and put him right back down but our problem is him getting to sleep but then waking 30min 45min to hour later and not being able to settle him back down…what would you try at that time?

    • Jessica
      February 25, 2018 / 8:37 pm

      Also, do you unswaddle them when you wake them up to feed? And do you unswaddle and change the diaper and play during the night time feeding as well? Or just the day time naps? Thank you!

  7. May 17, 2018 / 12:42 am

    The post is very useful, I learned a lot from it. Thanks for sharing!

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