The well rested baby


One of the best parts of navigating this parenting thing is having someone who is a little ahead to guide you, and someone who is a little behind you to impart your wisdom on. For me these were a great work colleague living just down the alley and the other is my sister in law, and after talking for hours with both of them we have all come to the same conclusion…

A well resrted baby sleeps best!

Now I know this goes against all the advice you were probably given when your baby first came home… At least it did for us. We had a ton of the “just keep them awake for as long as you can and then they will sleep through the night”, “don’t let them nurse to sleep you will never be able to transition them to day care”, “when my little first came home…..”. Thankfully Michael and I always responded to these comments with “Monkey was premature and has different needs than your child, but thank you for the thoughts”. 

And boy am I thankful we listen to our instincts on that one! At nearly 15 months old our little Monkey still sleeps about 4.5 hours during the day and 11 at night, and what I have discovered is when those naps in the day time don’t go so well, we find ourselves up a few times through the night and it can be a week or so to get us back on track. Leaving this Mama exhausted by the end of the turn around and usually a new tooth on its way to throw a wrench in the routine.

The key to our success was consulting with a sleep trainer in our area and choosing a plan that worked for us, because Monkey was not always a great sleeper. In the beginning he was a I will sleep well if we co sleep kind of sleeper, and this was not conducive to our family unit! In consultation with this amazing support we chose our method and stick to nap routine: 

  • Up at 6:30am
  • Nap 8:30am-11am (max)
  • Nap at 1pm until at least 2:30 but as late as he wants

Rules:

  1. Never wake baby unless it’s past 11am 
  2. Never vary from the routine during the training time

And I’ll tell you after about a week of this we were napping amazingly and only getting up once for a feed at night. Now that night feeds are no longer necessary we have a little who sleeps all night, the majority of nights!

In the beginning all this time sleeping had me worried that something was not quite right but my doctor reassured me that he is fine and to be thankful I have such a wonderful sleeper. What really made me confident about the well rested baby is when we get all our naps and uninterrupted nighttime sleep in we have a little who is happy the majority of the day (no high chair or car seat tantrums), who eats his meals and seams to learn so much so quickly. 

I know every parent needs to do what’s best for their family, but I challenge you to give it a try. Good long naps in the day time, for a few days and hopefully your little will be sleeping through the night too. I know the rule around our house is “never mess with the nap schedule” for a reason… a well rested Monkey means a well rested Mama! 


What are your tricks for a well rested baby? How did you get your little to sleep through the night? Let me know in the comments below!

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19 thoughts on “The well rested baby

  1. Nicole says:

    Consistency and listening to baby’s body is key! I can always get kids to nap and sleep at night. Never listen to others. Get to know your child. We have 5 and some needed more and some needed less and some did better with am naps and some with pm naps. All in all for al 5 keeping it at regular times once you learned when their body naturally needs it is key.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I was concerned about my son’s sleeping habits from the beginning (although there’s very little to do in those first few blurry months but survive) and wanted him to be well rested and happy. Admittedly, I am also a routine type of person and needed some structure to my days so I stayed sane. We started with putting some good habits into place (dark room, white noise, give him 5 minutes of fussing before responding) after 2 months. Then, once he was 4 months old, we worked with a sleep consultant (can’t thank you enough for the referral sister-in-law!) and she was amazing. We now have a great little napper and sleeper at 4.5 months old. No 4 month sleep regression here – yay!
    The one drawback to having a good sleeper is that it makes you housebound, which is rather lonely. This is something I was not prepared for. I imagined myself out and about during my mat leave doing all sorts of fun mommy/baby stuff, but that doesn’t happen when you have a child who loves (and needs) his naps in his crib. I realized I had to adjust my expectations of him and what we can and cannot do each day.

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    • The McGills says:

      It can be so hard at first with the napping, and I really had to morn the idea of mommy and me life I had in my mind. But I found a lot of relief in the quiet and built a new idea of what day to day would look like. I promise you will leave the house in the next 7.5 months.

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  3. The Sprouting Minds says:

    This post is great and so motivating! I struggle with getting my 10 month old to nap food during the day and sleep all night. She is so dependent on cosleeping. In the process of trying to get out of this slump! Going to take all this advice and see if I can get mine little one to take hold ❤️

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  4. chewoutloud says:

    For us, scheduling was really important. That being said, one thing I’ve learned after 13 years of parenting several kiddos… they’re all so different, and there’s not 1 formula (at least for me!) that works for all. Somehow, we made it through all those baby years of naps/sleeping through the night training, etc. And now? It’s a whole new beast – the teen years 😉

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  5. ejnosillA says:

    I love this blog post! I am trying my hardest to get my godson on a sleep schedule, but his mom keeps breaking his routine. I babysit him and it seems when she drops him back from visiting various family members and friends… I have to start all over! I am going to share this blog post with her ASAP!

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    • The McGills says:

      That can be so difficult, I know I am lucky that my day home lady, family and I are all on the same page and follow the routine no matter who is caring for him

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  6. Nati says:

    yes and YES! I agree 100% with this idea. People who tell you to “keep him awake” are sadics. If you want to sleep and our body asks you to sleep, the keeping you awake only upsets you more! I always make my babies nap at regular times and they did pretty well sleeping at night. My second one had a reflux problem that bothered her and woke her up at night, but that’s another story.

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  7. Tiffany Yong says:

    Yes, a baby not well rested will make a big fuss and tire out both himself and the family! I think this is definitely something I will have to take note when I have a baby in future~

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