How I Changed My Baby’s Sleep Schedule

(Updated 12/26/2018)

One thing I learned about being a first-time Mom is that sleep training a newborn is challenging – especially when your little one doesn’t sleep at night!

The routine was making me exhausted and I was operating on 3 hours of sleep. Talking about some Sleeping Beauty here. In fact, I was turning into a zombie at 4 a.m, when most people are still dreaming in wonderland.

Now I’m a work-Mom, which means that I’m on maternity leave and will eventually return to my 8-5 work schedule. If I didn’t fix this schedule fast, I knew I’d be in deep trouble!

So I did the only thing I can think of – and that is to change her sleep schedule.

I tried a few methods – and trust me, it was rough in the beginning – but all I had to do was invest time, effort, and consistency.

One of the most important things about setting a routine is to be consistent. You can’t expect your little one to follow your schedule only because you invested one day. You have to do it for one week. Two weeks. And three weeks! Do it repetitively until he or she can understand that this is a “routine” and not a “one-night” thing.

Thankfully, mine took a little less than a week to change.

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How I Changed My Baby’s Sleep Schedule

I was able to change my little one’s sleep routine by changing two things: noise and light.

I needed to reverse her nighttime and daytime and set the perfect sleep environment. The main issue with my little one’s sleep schedule was that she was sleeping long hours during the day and staying awake throughout the night. This schedule was going on for a good week or two and I was done with it. With a few goals in mind, I came up with a game plan.

Goal #1: Shorten her midday naps

Game plan:

  • Talk to her in her sleep
  • Touch her cheeks
  • “Attempt” to play with her
  • Keep the bedroom door open during nap time so that she can hear any background noise going on outside the room
  • Have her sleep in a room where there was a lot of light, whether it was using a lamp or window, I wanted to my little one to differentiate the brightness between nighttime and daytime.

Unfortunately, for the first two days, my little one didn’t give in. No matter how many times and methods I tried to wake her up with, she’d go back to sleep as if she didn’t hear her Mama!

So I came up with another goal.

Goal #2:  Have her sleep around 9 p.m – 10 p.m. 

The previous goal focused on daytime activity. This time, this goal will focus on nighttime activity. Although I failed with my first attempt, I wanted to try changing her nighttime activity by having her sleep no later than 10 p.m!

Of course, I still needed to keep her daytime activity under control so I maintained Goal #1 in addition to trying Goal #2.

Game Plan:

  • Change her bath time
  • Feed my little one right after her bath
  • Set the bedroom environment

The first thing I did was change her bath time.

I normally give my little one a bath around 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. but I realized that if I try to change her bath time to one certain time, it may help her feel fresh and clean.

Her new bath time was now 9 p.m.

The second thing I did was immediately feed my little one right after her bath.

This will help her understand that once she is done bathing, it is time to eat and sleep! By swaddling her with a receiving blanket AND loosely wrapping her in this super soft blanket I use, I figured she’ll be able to sleep better.

The third thing I did was set the bedroom environment.

I made sure there was dim lighting by using this amazing Himalayan lamp I purchased. I also tried to keep the noise to a minimum. By doing this, I wanted my little one to understand that dark time means sleeping time.

Day 3 is when I implemented this plan. And I tell ya what – she was sleep trained by Day 5! Say good-bye to bloodshot eyes, Mama.

I was able to get my 8-hour sleep and I was waking up happier. My little one has been keeping up with this routine every day since I changed it and I was able to return to work with a good sleep routine.

Occasionally, my baby’s sleep routine would be interrupted by late family nights or gatherings but resuming to the same routine the next day helped her understand that we are back to consistency.

I hope this post helps you come up with a game plan for your baby’s sleep schedule, regardless of whether it works or not. If it does work, congratulations to you Mama – you’re a champ!

Oh, and one more thing.

If you enjoyed this post, please share? I even have two pretty pins for ya!

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