Infant independent sleep, you got this!
Where to start on getting your baby to fall asleep on their own, with no tears!
Dearest full feedings family,
If you ever watch Ann's Instagram stories, you have heard her tell you to help your baby fall asleep. At Full Feedings, we want every parent to have a baby that falls asleep independently and stays asleep independently for every nap and 12 hours overnight. Yes, it's possible and yes, we can help! Sara wrote a great BLOG, about why we think you should hold your baby to help them sleep. So, how do you get your baby to fall asleep independently? You put your baby in a position where falling asleep independently is easy. Before you start working on independent sleep, we want to put your baby in the optimal position for success.
Think about it this way: Tomorrow at 7am you are running a 5k, tonight you will go to bed at 1am after not eating dinner and drinking no water all day. You haven't slept well in weeks and you have done zero training. How hard would that be?!?!?! Now, consider it if you, for the past two weeks, have been sleeping 8 hours a night, drinking 8 glasses of water and ran everyday. Much better! So, before you start trying for independent sleep, we want your baby to be ready for success. Here's where to start!
Independent Sleep Checklist:
- We want baby to be sleeping 12 hours overnight without a feed! (Dreamfeed doesn't count as a wake or MOTN feed!)
- Create a dark distraction free environment with loud white noise for all sleeps.
- Have a short nap time routine, that way your baby knows sleep is coming.
- Timing is everything! Make sure to follow the age appropriate OWT.
- Have your baby sleeping in their sleep space for at least one nap a day from birth, so they are used to their environment.
Once we have the above complete, here is our plan:
- We are going to start with the first nap of the day, once we have that nap as independent for a few days, work on the next one!
- Follow the same routine for every nap!
- Give your baby enough time to fall asleep BEFORE their OWT, we don't want to start to try to fall asleep after the age appropriate OWT.
- Do not be afraid to rescue the nap if it isn't going well. Try again at the next nap!
- The last nap of the day is usually the hardest to get, you are not failing if your baby needs help for this one. As we always say: The nap is more important than how your baby gets it.
I'm the type of person who loves a checklist and a plan, hopefully you do too. As with everything with infants, we can't try something once and say it doesn't work. Keep trying! As you continue to work on independent sleep, it should get easier. We just need to help things fall into place. It was very important to me that my daughter would be able to fall asleep independently, while I was at work, and someone else was watching her. Thanks to The Full Feedings Method, I was able to do just that while also helping her when she needed it! Take your time and stay the course! You got this fam!