With our first son, hubby and I were diligent about getting him on a sleep schedule because we had a second little guy coming and we had to move our first son out of our room and into his own. We wanted to make sure he slept through the night and could self-soothe if he did wake up.
Coming up on our second son's first year, we had a dilemma: He was sleeping in our room in his own crib and waking up throughout the night, driving us bonkers in the process. Since our home has three bedrooms on the second floor and two on the first, we would either have to move him to his own room on the second floor (not going to happen) or into his older brother's room. And hubby and I weren't ready for that either because our older son is on a great sleep schedule and we weren't sure what our little guy would do to his older brother's sleep routine. So what to do? Mama rolled up her sleeves and got to work.
4 Tips to Get Baby to Sleep
- Use blackout curtains and keep room as dark as possible. Though we have blackout curtains in our room, we weren't as diligant about making sure no light entered our room. And that was a problem. In the early morning and twilight hours, when light would enter our open bedroom door, it would wake the baby up periodically. Now we keep the door shut (thankfully we share a wall with our other son's bedroom, so we can hear him if need be).
- Incorporate a 5-minute “pause.” We got used to responding to each and every time our second little guy cried, and that meant he couldn't figure out how to self-soothe and put himself back to sleep. Not good. Now when we put him down for his naps or sleep, we let five minutes go by before daring to enter back into the room to comfort him or leaving our bed to soothe him. So far, he's never made it to five minutes!
- Ensure the white noise machine is loud enough. Although we have white noise machines near each of our boys' cribs, the one near our second baby was not nearly as loud as it should have been. Hence, he kept on waking up with the littlest disturbance. I turned the machine up (and we strictly use white noise, not lullabies, etc.) and place it just outside his crib near his head.
- Put baby down at early signs of sleepiness. Instead of waiting for the continual eye rubbing and freak-out crying, now we put our baby to nap/sleep, when he shows those first indications of being tired. If you wait too long and babies are in meltdown mode, they get so worked up (cortisol levels are high) that it's difficult to calm them down to the point where they can sleep. We were making that mistake over and over with our second guy.
Now that we have incorporated these 4 methods, our second son is nearly ready to room share with his older brother. I'll update you on when that happens!