A couple of weeks ago I shared how we finally managed to get the bichin to sleep by himself. And seriously, it has been a bliss. During bad nights he still wakes up a couple of times (especially when he has a cold or something, this can turn into a lot of times) but he goes to bed without any complaint or a single tear. Hallelujah!
However, after all your reactions to that post, I also realized that it was not just a soft version of sleep training, there were other factors that contributed to the sleep success.
So here are our 4 ways that made our little guy sleep easier:
Making the crib a nice place to be
I read many horror stories about babies who hated their crib or were completely traumatized by their crib because of sleep training or because they were only there alone, in the dark, during night. So from a very young age we tried to make the bichin comfy in his crib by also making it a fun place. We made sure that he had some playtime in his crib every day or was just chilling there with some music when we were doing stuff in his room. Thanks to this he has never had this crib trauma that many babies seem to have had, the crib has always been his little, peaceful place in the house.
This one is well known but we swear by our bedtime routine. We start about one hour before it´s bedtime and, unless we´re traveling or something unexpected happens, we have the same set of activities every evening:
- Little massage with his cream + put PJs on
- Dinner in the kitchen
- Bottle with milk on the couch
- Put sleeping bag on
- Read some stories
- Brush teeth
If we´re in a hurry or get home late, the bath sometimes gets skipped but in general not much can mess with our bedtime routine.
Get a lovey
From when he was born we always put a little lovey with the bichin when he was sleeping. Soon he needed that thing for sleeping and he associated it with sleeping. (We quickly got some equal reserve loveys because we would have a serious problem when this one got lost) These days when he is tired, sick or hurt himself, he asks for his lovey. (His daycare teacher mentioned last week it´s almost like he is using drugs, he keeps sniffing the lovey and everything is fine again) Also when he starts rubbing his face with it, we know he´s tired. The lovey is essential for the bichin to be calm and he needs it for falling asleep.
Going to bed early
Although this one is very hard to maintain in Spain, we put the bichin to bed really early. Here kids go to bed very late, but we stick with the more northern European practices, so at 7pm it´s bedtime. Many people seem to think when there are difficulties with going to bed, that it´s better to keep their kids up so they are really tired and will fall asleep easier. However, we have found with the bichin that if he gets overtired (because it´s too late!) he will have more trouble sleeping. In Spain people might think we´re crazy, but we´re going with it! They tend to tell us that if he goes to bed that early obviously he will also wake up early but we have found that even if he goes to bed later (for example, when traveling) he will wake up always around the same time.
What are your tricks for getting your baby to sleep easily?
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