baby sleeping under a pram cover

Sleep Training Preparation


Hi there, it's Eilidh - Coperi founder and mother of an almost non-newborn. We are now 11 weeks into Prince Seb's reign which means, for us, that we will be starting sleep training soon.

Obviously, everyone is different and how and when they choose to sleep train (if at all!) is a deeply personal choice. 

We haven't quite decided when to pull the trigger on sleep training this time around as Sebastian is our second child and we have all the added complications of fretting about where he will be sleeping, how (and if) his new nap schedule will coexist with his sister's (will we ever leave the house?), and the fear that any new grumblings that occur during this process will wake our daughter up (hell is two crying children at 3am?)

According to Brittany Sheehan  - our sleep guru, babies should be cool to sleep through the night once they are ten weeks old and over eleven pounds. Ten weeks and eleven pounds has come and gone for us, and we are moving at the pace of a reluctant sloth to start the process rolling.

However, with you, dear reader, as my witness, I've decided to start the initial preparations for sleep training.

1. Start to emotionally prepare

You need to be as well rested as possible before you start sleep training! You need to be emotionally prepared! You would not enter a marathon without training! Be. Prepared. 

I'd say that this also involves going through with your partner and figuring out what works for both of you given work and social engagements that require you to be 100% present. Once you have both committed to a date to start sleep training, it will help you to prepare accordingly.

2. Try to establish a daytime nap routine

I don't know about you guys but one of the things that I enjoy the most about having a newborn is the total lack of structure that this affords you. Not so much when it's your second, but your first one!!! I was napping whenever I wanted to and watching reruns of friends like I was a university student on a Saturday morning. 

With your second it's not anywhere near as indulgent as I found it was with my first, but I have still enjoyed the lack of structure with Seb as he just fits into my day and what I need to do.

But alas, we are now at the time when I need to start putting some kind of structure in place in order to help make the transition to sleep training a little bit easier for both of us.

I need to dust off the old nap schedule but I believe that for a three month old it consisted of four naps at 9am, 12pm, 3pm & 6pm. It can be hard to make a small child sleep or wake up on cue, but here are a few ways to help nudge them along:

To help sleep:

- take them for a walk in their pram with our sleep cover  

- pop them in a sling or baby carrier and do a little sway or dance (my eldest used to enjoy when I danced to disco music, she has niche tastes)

- rocking on a rocking chair in a dark room

To help awaken:

- change their nappy

- change their clothes (the next step if they remain resolutely asleep after a nappy change)

3. Start to establish an evening bedtime in their crib or bassinet

Some of you (the ones that I am jealous of) won't have a problem with getting their child to sleep in a bassinet. I am not one of these people.

While I love the newborn snuggles, a big part of having sebbo sleep independently is having him get more sleep in his bassinet, especially at night. As he currently goes to bed at the same time as us, one of the things I am going to work on in preparation for sleep training is putting him down in his bassinet earlier in the evening to help wind his bedtime back from 10:30pm to 7pm.

As this is just preparation I am going to be pretty go-with-the-flow about this, but if he can organically fall asleep in his bassinet slightly earlier than he is currently, then this will be of some help when we come to actually start the sleep training process.

If you too are about to go through the sleep training process then I feel you! Have a bath! Have a glass of wine! Get emotionally preparing! We will get through it together and the other side is much better, I promise!




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