Teaching Your Newborn Sleep Skills

Baby Sleep_Story time

I don’t want to sleep like a baby, I just want to sleep like my husband.

One of my favourite memes, ever. If you’ve had a newborn and watched your husband sleep through those many night wakings, you know exactly what I’m talking about. As a Mom of three, I’ve been through the season of newborn sleep a few times. Our oldest daughter was an amazing sleeper– if you count sleeping only on people in two-hour chunks. We eventually turned to sleep “training” at four months old, and she truly did become an amazing sleeper. Since that experience, we have placed a high value on our family’s sleep.

Working with a Sleep Consultant

Fast forward to when our second daughter arrived. I was terrified of forming “bad habits.” As a result, I felt like we missed some of those early baby snuggles. So, when I was pregnant with our third baby, I wanted the best of both worlds. I shared my concerns with Lisa, Founder of Sweet Luallaby Sleep Consulting, who assured me that we could find a balance. And so, our third adventure with newborn sleep began. I’m excited to share my experience with you, in hopes of you finding the confidence to get good sleep, too.

Why a Sleep Consultant is Actually for You

From the beginning, Lisa took a thoughtful approach to me and my well-being. I was a bit caught off guard by this: aren’t we here to get the baby to sleep? But Lisa’s deep appreciation for care for Moms in those early days is something that stands out. She offered helpful advice and tips (beyond the token “sleep while the baby sleeps”) that helped me feel supported. Lisa quickly became our cheerleader and moral support.

During those long nights and early hours when nothing makes sense, or the baby won’t stop crying, the plan and the (external) person behind it is what keeps things on track. Sometimes it feels easier to rely on whatever works (i.e. sleep props) to just. make. it. through. And trust me, we had those moments. But with Lisa as an accountability partner, I was reminded of our commitment to this sleep learning process for Rowen. And, if we were to veer off the path or flip flop back and forth, ultimately it would be confusing and unfair for our little guy.

If there is one key takeaway, it is the incredible benefit of having a person beyond yourself and your partner to guide you and keep you on track.

Baby Sleep_Nursery

Newborn Sleep is Unpredictable

Even with a sleep consultant, newborn sleep isn’t a “snap your fingers, ta-da!” kind of process. (Disappointing, I know). I have had many people ask me if this is a cry-it-out process, and, it’s not. But, there were tears. We began with a “pick up and put down” process that Rowen was having none of. He protested loudly. Lisa offered us reassurance, support, insight, and options in those moments when I thought “is he ok?” “are we doing the right thing?” “is this normal?” As Lisa shared, “crying is your child’s protest against the changes that you are making, and we strive to help make those changes with the least amount of protest possible.”

Professional support is invaluable in a time where emotions and hormones are already running high, directly alongside your concerns for your little one.

Baby Sleep_Newborn

Building Healthy Sleep Foundations

Our Newborn Package with Lisa began with an initial consult, followed by scheduled check-in calls (3 x 20 minutes over the first 12 weeks). Each time we met with Lisa she evaluated our progress, listened to our concerns, and created a path forward. The knowledge a sleep consultant brings is immensely valuable. I love to research and learn the ins and outs of everything. Yet, the knowledge and experience of a sleep consultant is something that you simply cannot mimic yourself– it is deeper and wider, and that truly does matter when the possible scenarios are endless.

Lisa assessed how to best help Rowen at any given moment, something that is not always easy to see when you are in the thick of it. As Rowen grew, Lisa introduced a sleep log to track Rowen’s sleep and feedings. I’ll admit, I needed a little coaxing from Lisa to be diligent in filling out the log. But, once on track, I saw the immediate benefit: Lisa was able to quickly identify patterns and opportunities to help Rowen even more.

Baby Sleep _Safe sleeping

So, Does it Actually Work?

So, does my newborn sleep through the night? (I’m sure someone is wondering this!) Here’s how things unfolded for us…

I wildly underestimated the transition to three kids. With back to school, my husband working, and two busy older siblings, I struggled to keep things together. Consistency was our biggest challenge in our sleep journey. Lisa recognized the importance of only taking on what we can handle, or, as she called it “walking at our pace.” We took baby steps– starting with introducing a solid bedtime routine and getting Rowen to sleep on his own at bedtime.

Once we settled into a routine, things clicked for Rowen. We began our sleep log at 8 weeks old. We learned that Rowen was relying on us calming him down during the pick up/put down process, and we weren’t seeing improvements. He responded much better to being laid in his crib with a “leave and check” process, which he protested for one night. He went from 5-7 night wakings during weeks 8 & 9 to TWO night wakings in week 10!

Now, at 3.5 months old, Rowen wakes once in the night to feed. He is snuggled in his crib for a 7 hour stretch, having fallen asleep independently. Rowen wakes happy each morning, and he naps many times throughout the day independently. There is no bouncing, rocking, swinging or feeding our little guy to sleep. And now, I truly do want to “sleep like a baby,” because our little Rowen has the best sleep around!

Baby Sleep_Crib

The Benefits of Working with Sweet Lullaby Sleep Consulting

  • External support that will keep you on track
  • Vast expertise and knowledge of child sleep
  • Tried and true practice working with many families
  • A customized plan for your child & family’s needs

A well rested baby has made a world of difference for our family. If you are in need of better sleep, reach out! Sweet Lullaby Sleep offers a free, 15 minute Discovery Call.  This post is sponsored by Sweet Lullaby Sleep. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this space fun! xo

Mama Writes

13 comments

  1. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a sleep consultant for babies. I actually laughed when you first mentioned it. However, you’ve convinced me that it is giving you the sleep we all long for. High-five momma!

    1. Right? I think they are becoming more popular now.. it was definitely not common when I had my first. They make a world of difference helping everyone get sleep!

  2. A baby that’s a good sleeper is such a life saver! My sons were both great sleepers as babies but we had some rough patches as toddlers.

  3. We are on the cusp of hiring a sleep consultant so I’m glad to bump into this post. We’re so close to getting to good sleep with our 17 month old, but there are few hiccups. I love the saying about wanting to sleep like my husband not my baby! Hahah!

  4. OMG! What a wonderful program. I know foster moms could totally benefit from this as well. My FS has had a lot of rough patches sleeping through the night. I’m going to have to check this out! Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. I am so fortunate that both my kids have always been good sleepers. Some friends havent been so lucky though and have really struggled getting their baby to sleep and could really use a consultation or something more.

    1. It really does seem like luck of the draw doesn’t it! I think a sleep consultant is such a great option for those that need a little more help!

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