Right this second we have a 2 year old and 12 week old twins, all of which sleep through the night! Yeah you read that right!
What’s your secret? I hear you shout
Well there isn’t one, no complicated bedtime routine, no cry it out methods and no sleep training (<— why do we need this!)
Our 2 year old has slept through since about 2-3 months old, that being said I think you have to remember that babies do occasionally wake up if they’re teething, too cold, poorly, restless etc. No human sleeps through completely for 8 hours, you stir and go back to sleep throughout the night it’s how you deal with the stirring that determines wether you wake fully or drop back off to sleep.
Tiny people can find this more of an issue, so for us if they stir and then start to cry we pop a dummy in and gently shush them back to sleep, no picking up and no turning lights on etc. Eventually they learn to drop back off themselves naturally.
So what’s our routine?
We barely have one! Why? Because we like freedom to do things with our days, and occasionally that means being out late etc if you have an over complicated bedtime routine that is dictated to by time or not your little one is never going to settle until you have done the routine, this will be worse if you go via time! as at the time they’re used to bath time for instance and you’re still out they’re going to become fussy.
From day one we followed Little D’s lead if he was tired we put him down for a nap in the living room in a cot or his bouncer chair, he didn’t start going up to bed before us until 9 months old when he became really fussy and crying which turned out he wanted to go to bed as it was too bright and loud downstairs. Since then he goes to bed at 8pm (ish) with no problems.
Routine goes like this;
Pyjamas on, up to bed, book, cuddle, we come back downstairs, he goes to sleep.
He doesn’t always go to sleep straight away sometimes he plays with his toys, and that’s ok he’s in his room and I’d rather he decide when he’s tired to get in to bed than having to deal with a screaming fit whilst I force him to lie down and go to sleep, (as he isn’t going to sleep whilst so upset and it’s going to take longer to get him to sleep) you can guarantee after about 10 mins of playing he’ll be fast asleep in bed.
As for the twins we all go up to bed around 10pm do their last feed, change bottoms and put them down in their cribs, by 11pm they’re both fast asleep and usually wake up anywhere between 6:30am & 8am.
Over complicating routines is what I honestly believe is the main problem of children not sleeping through, also not getting them used to noise in the day will contribute to lack of sleep in the day, which in turn will lead to over tiredness. Our house is very busy and LOUD in the day so if you want to sleep you have to get used to it, hoover round your baby honestly they won’t even notice!
Biggest tip I have is Follow your babies lead, look at the cues and go with them. I’ve never put mine in bed for nap times as for me bed is for night sleeping not napping, we have a cot and bouncer chairs downstairs for the twins and Little D gets on the sofa to sleep if he’s tired, also we don’t wake for lunch / dinner etc or wake Little D after 20 minutes or so, he sleeps for as long as he needs even if it’s close to bed time (yes he still goes to bed at 8pm but he will fall asleep when he’s ready <— this is self settling) trust your instincts and ignore all these articles on how to sleep train your baby, they are not a dog that requires obedience training! they are tiny human beings that require a lot of love and sometimes need to be cuddled to sleep. Don’t you sometimes?