How to train your baby to sleep through the night!

Sat, Aug 28, 2010



Probably the most frequent question a new mother is asked is: Is she sleeping through the night yet?  Having been asked this question literally hundreds of times over the last 10 years and 7 children, I have some tips for new mothers on how to train your baby to sleep through the night!

1. Nurse your baby but offer one bottle a day… the last feeding at around midnight.  For five of my children I have been blessed to be able to nurse them from anywhere from six to eleven months.  (For my twins I expressed the milk into bottles for 9 months as they were born premature and never could latch on.)  With all of them however I have used the Avent bottles from the very first week to supplement with one bottle feeding per day and maybe one more in emergencies when it was impossible or extremely inconvenient to nurse them.  The bottle feeding is saved for the very last feeding of the day usually between 10 pm and midnight.  Since the bottle is easier for a tired baby to suck on, they get a little more milk in their tummy than they would if they had been nursing.  The formula also fills them up a little more than mommy’s milk!  Usually this one trick will keep them full till about five am or six am!

2. Keep the lights out!  When those middle of the night feedings come, don’t turn the lights on or talk to your precious bundle.  A good idea is to have a nightlight or a lamp with different settings so you can have a low dim if needed.  After feeding your baby, only change the diaper if absolutely needed or change them before you nurse.  You want to have as little activity as possible during the night.  The goal is to train them to go back to sleep right away!

3. Have the baby in your room for the first six months.  Nurseries are nice but they are for later!  Having your baby at arms reach allows you to pick up your crying baby before they reach the desperate screaming stage!

And that’s it!  Sorry if you were expecting a secret formula!  That is all I have done with all of my children and all of them started sleeping through the night almost immediately.

If you have a baby with day and night switched, all I can say is ENJOY your baby!  Pretty soon they will learn to sleep through the night and it will all be a memory… and a sweet memory even if it does not feel like it at the time!


4 Responses to “How to train your baby to sleep through the night!”

  1. Kay Kalidja Says:

    I have nine children. All grown. I nursed them all. Their last feeding, was like 11 p.m.. The first couple of weeks, they woke up three a.m. or so. Then soon, it was six or seven a.m. I always talked to my babies. I would tell them at bout three months. Oh, I don’t pick up a baby when they are crying. Soon, they learned to say, ummmmm or Mom and then I would pick them up. What is so hard about that.

  2. Nicole Says:

    Wow… nine is a lot! That is an excellent idea to start to tell them you don’t pick up a crying baby! The tips in the blog are of course optional and just what we did. I am sure there are many ways and many opinions. The most important thing is to do what works for you and your family and to enjoy the time while they are a baby!

  3. Shinelle Says:

    This worked for all of mine except for the one with colic. And also I stress to new moms the 5 S’s from Dr. Harvey Karp’s “Happiest Baby on the Block”. Sucking, side-lying, swaddling, shooshing and swinging. To me rocking a healthy baby to sleep is an ABSOLUTE NO-NO. Amazing how many moms complain yet they pick the kid up at the first little whimper. I’m not yet 30 and about to have my 5th and the oldest is just now 6. I feel like an old hand at this baby thing already. Newborns are really not all that hard. They will eventually accept and adjust to whatever has to happen. The key is to know your baby.

  4. Nicole Says:

    Shinelle I agree! We made it a point to try to never rock the babies to sleep! We also made it a point to always try to get them to stop crying before picking them up.

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