Let me just preface this post by saying that ALL BABIES ARE DIFFERENT. Please do not think your baby will automatically start sleeping through the night just by implementing these tips and this schedule. Babies are good at different things and mine just happens to be really good at sleeping.
That being said, my hope is that this does help you tremendously and that you will get more sleep from it.
We started incorporating the Moms on Call schedule, but we don’t necessarily stick to it. Meaning I do not make sure Miller is awake at 7 am and we do NOT wake Miller up from each nap after an hour and a half. I think being on a schedule is great, but it doesn’t have to be the same one as in the book.
*The most important thing is that you put your baby down for bed by 7:30 PM.
Lately, Miller has been sleeping until 5 or 6, so after I feed her she usually goes back down until around 8:30 am.
If she wakes up at 8:30, this is what her schedule would look like *approximately*-
- 8:30-9:45 feed, then awake time
Daytime Routine: I feed her in my room or in the living room. Bright. When we put her down during the day we always use the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine and we open her shutters so that light pours in (not too bright though… just enough so that she knows it is daytime.) She is swaddled for EVERY NAP and at BEDTIME! This is super important.
- 9:45-11:15 sleep (if she goes over this that’s ok, we just don’t let her sleep longer than 2 hours)
- 11:15-12:45 feed, then awake time
- 12:45-2:00 sleep (she starts sleeping less as the day goes on)
- 2:00-3:15 feed, then awake time
- 3:15-4:15 sleep
- 4:15-5:30 feed, then awake time
and this is where it gets wonky
- 5:30-6:15 nap- if we are lucky…. sometimes it is shorter.
- 6:15-7 awake time (we usually cook during this time and put her in the bouncer in the kitchen so she can watch us. It distracts her from wanting to eat or sleep!) Find something that distracts your baby during this witching hour.
Sometimes we bathe her during this time but we definitely don’t bathe her every night like the Moms on Call book suggests. We probably bathe her 2-3 times a week. She does tend to sleep a little better after a bath I think, but we just don’t have time to do it every night.
7pm feed (This is her 6th feed of the day. I let her go to town as long as she wants/needs so that she is completely full for bed!) Milk supply goes down more and more throughout the day. Try pumping one night at 7pm to see what you are producing at that time. You may need to supplement with another ounce or two from reserves or with formula.
in bed by 7:30 *we started this at 8 weeks. I think before that it says ti put them down from 9-9:30. There are completely different schedules for different ages in the book!
Bedtime Routine: This is the only time I feed her in her room. The lights are always off and her Hatch Baby Rest sound machine and nightlight is on. I also rock her while I feed. Then I put her in the crib, change her diaper, put her Owlet sock on, and swaddle her. Then, I turn off the Hatch Baby Rest and turn on the Hushh Portable Sound Machine and put it in her crib with her. I think the change in noise also helps her recognize that it is bedtime.
Oh and we also always put her in a footie (these Magnetic Me footies are the best of the best) to sleep in. I can’t stand the thought of her little feet being cold! We also do not put her in fleece to sleep because we don’t want her getting too warm. Room temps should stay between 68-72. You could try 68 and see how she sleeps and then try 72 and see if she sleeps better. Some babies like it cool and some like it hot!
Please note that sometimes Miller wakes up around 7:30. When this happens we just add another 10 minutes here and there to her awake time and naps! Don’t stress if your baby gets off her schedule. They will have bad days, or you will be out running around town, or you may be traveling. The most important thing is to have your baby in bed NO LATER than 8:30 (but 7:30 is the goal!)
So weird, but the very first time we put Miller down by 7:30 she slept 11 hours! Early bedtime is key!
Taking Cara Babies vs Moms On Call
This is the big question, right? There are so many sleep training methods out there, but these seem to be the two most popular.
This may not be what you want to hear, but you really need to do BOTH.
Start with Taking Cara Babies. This is an $80 course and it is a MUST WATCH! I suggest watching it the last month of your pregnancy or right when you get home with your baby! They are short videos that you can watch while you are feeding.
There are videos, blog posts, printouts, etc all at your disposal for the $80. You can also call them at ANY TIME and they will help you with whatever you are struggling with. If your baby just won’t sleep they will ask you questions and try to figure out what you can do to get your baby to sleep.
We learned so much through this course.
Before the course, Miller would fuss and cry and we were SURE she was a colicky baby. We laugh about that now! After taking the course we QUICKLY realized nope, she was just tired!
We were letting her fall asleep whenever and wherever she wanted and she never really got good sleep that way. With her little baby reflexes, she would startle awake over and over again. This led her to be overtired and really hard to soothe.
The Taking Cara Babies course taught us how to recognize sleepy cues and taught us when to put her down! She was a completely different baby after that!
The course also taught us how to soothe her to get her to sleep, how to get her to put herself down for a nap, and how to prolong her sleep each night.
Doing these methods we had her sleeping longer and longer each night and napping so long and peacefully during the day! Those two things made life so easy for us and made us much more comfortable with her as new parents.
It really just helps you understand your baby more!
The Moms on Call book isn’t just a sleep training book. It starts with what you should stock your medicine cabinet with, then talks about rashes, colds, how to bathe them, breastfeeding, formula feeding, and so much more. The back of the book is all about the sleep training. They have different schedules for different ages.
I think just having a schedule to look at and go by helped us immensely. Plus, Taking Cara Babies never put emphasis on when to put the baby down. Putting Miller down at 7 changed everything for us.
The book helps you with what to do if your baby wakes or what to do if your baby takes longer than 15 minutes to go back to sleep after the night feed.
Lastly, the book taught us to let her cry it out. I don’t mean for an hour. I mean for 5 minutes. A lot of you don’t support this, and I thought it was crazy at first too. But it is crazy how much this has helped us. She will cry out in the night for about 3-31/3 minutes and put herself back to sleep for five more hours. Before reading the book I would have gotten up after a minute and soothed her.
Taking Cara Babies only says the let them cry for 20 seconds before intervening. This is a huge difference. The 20 seconds didn’t work (we would have to do it over and over again throughout the night), the five minutes do. And weirdly, when she does cry for five minutes I can still go in and soothe her and she will go back to sleep!
They talk about how to soothe her back to sleep after five minutes in the book as well!
The Moms on Call book is only $20, so also VERY WORTH IT!
Things That Helped Us
Learning how to swaddle correctly SAVED US! It is everything! A good swaddle changes everything. Your baby will immediately sleep longer if they are swaddled right.
What is the right way? Nice and tight with their arms BY THEIR SIDE! We tried swaddling her with her arms up for a while because she loved having her hands up (before Taking Cara Babies) and wondered why she wasn’t sleeping well. After we took the Taking Cara Babies course we realized it wasn’t working because her reflexes could still wake her with her arms up.
We started using the Halo Sleep Swaddle when she was a week old and she immediately started sleeping longer. At 10 weeks we had to start using the Ollie Swaddle because she was getting too strong for the Halo (she would get her hands out, which would wake her, and she would suck on them in the middle of the night.) The Ollie Swaddle is amazing and keeps those arms in tight! She hasn’t been able to get them out yet!! It is worth every penny! You can actually skip the Halo Swaddle (wish we had known) and use the Ollie from the beginning!
Night vs Day
Make sure your baby knows day naps vs night sleep. Create a bedtime routine whether it’s reading to them, singing to them, rocking them, etc. We also use different noise machines and I think that really helps too! Make it light in their room during the day and pitch black at night (no night lights!)
The Moms on Call book says to bathe them every night. Again, I do not think that is necessary (especially in the Winter!) You can find another way to create a night routine.
Transitioning her to her crib was a game changer as well. We already had her napping in there from a very early age (I think 2 weeks), so it was easy to have her start sleeping in there at night as well- especially with the Owlet sock! So much peace of mind with the sock.
I know it is hard to put your baby in the crib. But I highly recommend getting the Owlet Sock and making the transition. You will both sleep SOOOO MUCH BETTER. If you are having trouble doing it, try moving the bassinet further and further away from you in the room until they are basically outside the door. Then you will both be ready. Also- start having your baby take naps in their crib asap if you aren’t already! This will get them used to being in their own room.
She slept for 11 hours the first night we put her in her crib!!!!
So many people ask me if the Owlet Sock is worth the money. 100% YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! I don’t think I could do it without it. If I wake up in the middle of the night I usually just check her readings and it calms me! I sleep more soundly knowing it is on her for sure. I think the comfort of knowing it will alert you and the potential of it maybe saving your baby one day is worth everything.
Skipping the Night Feeds
My friend Ashlee told me that as long as I kept pumping in the middle of the night the longer I would have to. Meaning, as soon as I stopped pumping I would gradually be able to go longer without needing to. And she was right!
At first, it really hurt. I would feed her at 7pm, put her down, and pump before I went to bed around 10pm. Then my boobs would wake me up around 4am in pain! I would be awake from 4am until whenever she woke up. But after a couple of days it didn’t hurt so bad and now I can go until around 6 am before they wake me up or start hurting.
My milk supply did go down a little. I thought it went down a lot so I pumped and fed for an entire day a couple of days ago to see what I was producing and it was actually just fine! Just enough! SO WORTH THE SLEEP!
You should definitely try to stop pumping in the middle of the night and see what happens. If your supply drops too low you can pick up the pumping again. You can also try supplements or lactation cookies. I actually make sure I eat alllll the good foods that help with milk production (leafy greens, peas, broccoli, carrots, nuts, mushrooms, avocados, etc!)
I know this was a super long post, so if you have any questions or if something confused you please don’t hesitate to ask me about it! Leave a comment below!
Also, if you got your baby to sleep through the night early on please let us know how below! Every baby is different and what works for Miller may not work for someone else! We mamas need all the help we can get!
PS- If you try these methods above and it works, I would LOOVEEEEE to hear about it!
Love this community!