Home Parenting Tips 5 Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night + Giveaway

5 Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night + Giveaway

February 3, 2017

5 tips to help your baby sleep through the night | Happy Grey Lucky

Baby sleep: probably the most talked about, confusing, troubling, and tiresome (wink wink) aspect of parenting a baby. With Isabelle we had a pretty rough first year and half with regards to her sleep. From about 4 months until 8 months she went from waking only a few times a night to waking up every 45 minutes. Every 45 minutes. For four long and painful months. (Hello zombie parents.) Then she started sleeping through the night for a few months. Following by lots of travelling and moving back to Canada which put us back to square one. At about 1 1/2 she started sleeping through the night again and, at 2, was able to put herself to sleep on her own.

With Nicolas we had an entirely different experience. We had a couple of months of sleep trouble past the newborn days but from about 5-6 months onwards (travelling aside), he’s been able to put himself to sleep on his own and has been sleeping through the night from 6:30pm until about 6:30am every night with only a handful of exceptions.

With our very different sleep experiences (and very different babies), there are a few things that have worked well for both and things I wish I started earlier with Isabelle. We might have been able to avoid (or at least ease) some of the difficult months in retrospect. Below are my top 5 tips for helping your older babies and toddlers sleep through the night. Including the amazing Tealbee Dream Suit that Nicky is wearing in these photos.

Note: These tips work for both co-sleeping and crib sleeping babies. Isabelle co-slept with us until only a couple of months ago (at age 3) and even now still sleeps with us on occasion. Nicolas, on the other hand, has been in a crib since about 5 months. This is what worked best for us and our very different babies and their needs and preferences. I’m a big proponent for doing whatever it takes to get mom and dad (and baby) some quality sleep, so if that’s co-sleeping or crib sleeping, it’s all good as long as everyone involved is sleeping well.

5 tips to help your baby sleep through the night | Happy Grey Lucky

[ 1 ] Set an early bedtime . If your baby wakes up super early in the morning, it’s easy to think that pushing bedtime later will help solve the problem. But you don’t want baby to be overtired when going to bed, otherwise they will resist sleep (and not just when going to bed, but all night long). For both of my babies, moving bedtime earlier helped them sleep longer (for us the golden time is 6:30pm).

[ 2 ] Set a simple and consistent bedtime routine . Babies love predictability and the same applies to sleep. If your baby knows exactly what’s coming next (aka sleep), they will be less inclined to fight it. Nothing fancy or complicated. Diaper change, PJs, teeth brushing, good night story, and then to bed. I know a lot of people suggest baths but I find it too time consuming to do every night. Our bedtime routine with Nicky is under 10 minutes and works great.

5 tips to help your baby sleep through the night | Happy Grey Lucky

5 tips to help your baby sleep through the night | Happy Grey Lucky

[ 3 ] Use a swaddle, sleep sack or sleep suit . I’m a big proponent of swaddles and sleep sacks to keep baby warm all night long without the risk of getting tangled up in a blanket. We’ve used swaddles for both of our babies since day one, transitioning to sleep sacks within the first year (later for Isabelle, earlier for Nicolas), and then keeping them in some form of wearable blanket until 3. I’m currently loving the Tealbee Dream Suit for Nicolas. He’s a crib walker when he wakes up and this sleep suit prevents him from stepping on the sleeping bag and falling (which has happened multiple times). I also love that they’re made of naturally thermal regulating bamboo, so baby stays warm in winter and cool in summer. For younger babies (or toddlers who aren’t quite so active in bed and love the cozy feel of a sleeping bag), Tealbee also has a bamboo Sleepsack. Love the neutral grey and sweet little details on both of these wearable blankets.

[ 4 ] Put on some white noise . When we first discovered white noise with Isabelle, it was like a lightbulb went off for us. It made such a huge difference! It’s actually pretty loud in the womb – baby is cozied up next to mom’s heart after all. White noise mimics the constant repetitive noises baby experienced during pregnancy (mom’s heart beat, breathing, blood flow, etc.) and is therefore comforting. It also helps drown out other noises, so baby is less likely to wake up from sporadic noises like the doorbell, dishes clattering, or a 3-year-old throwing a tantrum next door.

5 tips to help your baby sleep through the night | Happy Grey Lucky

[ 5 ] Give your baby a chance to fall asleep on their own . Baby sleep is cyclical. They constantly cycle from deep sleep to light sleep and, at the end of each cycle (for younger babies about every 45 minutes in my experience), they’ll briefly wake up. This is when you want them to fall back asleep on their own! If baby only ever falls asleep with your help (rocking, nursing, etc.), then they will need that help after each sleep cycle (or two, or three) as well. The only way your baby will learn to fall asleep on their own, is if you let them. I know, easier said than done. With Isabelle, we were still helping her fall asleep at age 2. But with Nicolas, purely out of necessity (older child who needed to be put down to bed as well) did we put him down awake. And he learned relatively quickly how to put himself to sleep. I think this has been the absolute biggest differentiator on our very different baby sleep experiences.

5 tips to help your baby sleep through the night | Happy Grey Lucky

THE GIVEAWAY!!

Tealbee has very generously offered to gift one of my readers with a sleep sack or sleep suit of their choice. We absolute love ours and know you will love it too!

How to enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling me your #1 baby sleep tip.
  2. For extra entries, head on over to my Instagram.
  3. That’s it!

Giveaway is open to residents of Canada and USA. Must be 19 years or older to enter. Giveaway ends Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 11:59 EST. Winner will be e-mailed or sent an Instagram DM. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tealbee. All opinions are my own.

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27 comments

Colleen February 3, 2017 at 12:03 pm

A routine is certainly the best tip I have. Even my older children look forward to the bedtime story as part of our family nighttime routine.

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Routine is so, so important! Isabelle is also always so excited about the story-time aspect. And Nicky gets excited that he gets to brush his teeth 🙂

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Craig B. February 3, 2017 at 12:13 pm

My sleep tip is to establish a routine early – the earlier the better! It is also important for both parents to be on the same page when it comes to establishing a routine so that there is no confusion. My wife loves your blog – I would love to surprise her with a sleep suit or sleep sack to help us establish a better bedtime routine.

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Hi Craig, thank you for your sweet words! I couldn’t agree with you more about starting the routine early. I think that’s been the biggest differentiator with our two kids.

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Iristangcake February 3, 2017 at 12:30 pm

I try to have a routine but it gets difficult when we move back and forth between places or certains nights when she doesnt sleep well she makes up for it the next day which then push her bedtime later. But having a routine or brushing her teeth definitely helps and turning off the lights to let her know its bed time. That works 7 out of 10 times. Nothing is forever so i hope her sleeps improve with time. Shes currently 17 months old.

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Hang in there, hopefully her sleep will improve soon. It’s hard with travelling and being away for sure. Travel always messed / messes up my babies’ sleep. And also: you’re the giveaway winner! Congrats! Send me an e-mail at sina [at] happygreylucky [dot] com and I’ll let you know how you can get your sleepsack / sleep suit 🙂

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Jessica February 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm

We have 21 month old twins who still don’t sleep through the night, so I’m not sure any tips I have are worth anything 😉 We do always try to let them put themselves back to sleep if they do wake up before we intervene. Sometimes it works….

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Haha hey, I’m providing tips and Isabelle didn’t sleep through the night for the longest time either :P. Hopefully your two will let you get some proper sleep soon!

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Crystal M. February 3, 2017 at 1:56 pm

I agree routine is the best and my baby loves lotion before pjs …but i will say i struggle with letting him fall asleep on his own,more often than not i nurse him to sleep but Im working on it 😊 these sleep suits are adorable love that they come in larger sizes i notice a lot of stores seem to only carry up to nine months unless u order online.

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Hi Crystal, I definitely struggled with that a lot with Isabelle as well. I would do anything to help her fall asleep. With Nicolas it was purely out of necessity at first but then I realized how much it was actually helping his sleep in the end so the mom guilt for not holding / nursing him to sleep went away. I do miss the cuddles though.

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Betsy February 3, 2017 at 3:37 pm

My 18 month old daughter was a good sleeper (7pm – 530ish) and now wakes up for HOURS in the middle of the night and I can’t figure out why. I’m afraid to put her down earlier than 7 but maybe 630pm will work for us too? From a very early age I gave her a lovey, or a small blanket with an animal on it. She got attached through it for feedings, and eventually for sleep. Until our recent fight against sleep, she could wake up at night, find her lovey and get herself back down. If she’s upset during the day, she calms down quickly once she sees her lovey. It’s been so great to have something like that I can depend on. We also used swaddles and sleep sacks for her, I think she’d like the suit or sleep sack from Tealbee.

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Hi Betsy, if it makes you feel any better, Isabelle went through a HUGE sleep regression around 18-months. It took I think a month or so and then she went to sleeping through the night. She also has a teddy that she sleeps with every night and cuddles when she’s sick or upset. Lovies are definitely so helpful!

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Esther Lee February 3, 2017 at 7:48 pm

The book good night moon? Living it out in real life. We say “good night kitchen” (turn off lights), “good night bathroom” (turn off lights), good night living room, etc. I’ve now been adding objects- “good night piano” and letting her touch objects with me on our way to her bedroom. Her bedroom is the furthest away down our hall from all the common living spaces so it’s a nice way to let her know where we end up every night. Paige’s (my daughter’s) 4 month birthday is on February 5th. I’m really hoping that this routine still works with the notorious four month regression! 🙂

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm

What a sweet routine! Nicky has a mobile with animals so we say goodnight to those but that’s the extent of our goodnighting. Love that you do that, I’m sure it will help her through the 4-month regression.

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Emily February 4, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Hi therr! I found your awesome blog through Instagram! These are such great tips! Thank you!!!!! I love the white noise tip…. and all of them really hehe! What is better then a precious, sleeping babe? The site is so heart warming, hehe! have a toddler that finally sleeps through the night now but I have a new baby on the way very soon and will certainly be revisiting ALL these tips then! For an older baby/toddler around 1.5 on it seems to help to put them to bed with a comforting item, such as a special blanket or stuffed animal. My son has a stuffed animal sheep that he holds in his arms while he sleeps. 😍 Also diffusing some relaxing essential oils into the air such as lavender or tangerine really helped him as well. ❤Thank you again for this great post!

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Hi Emily, thank you so much for your sweet words! Happy that you’re here! White noise is pure magic with newborns, definitely try that one out! And I totally agree with the comfort item for older babies / toddlers. Isabelle has her stuffed teddy that she sleeps with every single night. I have yet to try the diffusing essential oils but I really want to give that a go!

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Dagmar February 4, 2017 at 10:25 pm

Sticking to the plan! well as best you can anyways lol, we have a bedtime routine that we follow almost every night and I feel like it really helps!

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:09 pm

“as best as you can” is definitely the way all aspects of parenting work haha. We don’t stick to our routine 100% of the time, sometimes we speed through it a bit when it’s super late, but I think if you have a routine most of the time, then even a shortened one will work well enough.

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Natalye February 6, 2017 at 8:40 am

We also use a routine and it helps that baby knows the drill. Regardless of whether or not we give him a bath, we like to put lotion or melted coconut oil on our son before he gets in his PJs. We turn on the heater above the changing table and then massage the oil/lotion and it totally relaxes him… sometimes he even falls asleep on the changing pad. And of course now that he’s a bit older, daddy puts him to bed so he’s not needing to be fed to fall asleep… since we started doing that, he’s definitely slept longer stretches.

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:13 pm

I’ve heard so many good things about baby massage – that’s so great that it helps your son! 🙂

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Meghan February 6, 2017 at 6:06 pm

I always loved white noise, so soothing.

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Sina February 8, 2017 at 2:10 pm

It sure is 🙂

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Ammara February 11, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Great read! Honestly as a new parent of a 9 month old who continues to wake multiple times during the night not sure if I even have any tips to offer! But I would say creating a calm, warm cozy environment has helped us settle him. And I suppose being consistent with your routine but at the same time being flexible and kind to yourself, as we have learned some nights it’s completely futile and we co sleep or feed or cuddle or walk it off. Cheers!

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Sina February 11, 2017 at 11:20 pm

Hi Ammara, 9 months is still young in terms of sleeping through the night. Every baby is different 🙂 I think the #1 best thing to do is what is best for you and your baby so you are absolutely right about being flexible and knowing what everyone needs in that moment. We still cosleep when needed with Isabelle (Nicolas is sooo against it even though I want him to come cuddle with me all night :P) – whatever gets everyone the most sleep in that moment.

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Shannon Stewart March 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Thanks for your tips! We do all of this, but my one question is HOW do you teach them how to fall asleep on their own? My little guy likes to hold my hand, or pat his bum…. but when I stop and walk out of the room he tends to wake up and sometimes this can go on and on and on….. he’s sooo tired, but just won’t sleep. Any tips?

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Sina March 14, 2017 at 12:35 am

Hi Shannon, with Isabelle (who also liked to be touching us when falling asleep), we made very gradual changes. So the first night we would have the hand on her back/bum as always, the next night having it right next to her but not touching, the next night a couple inches further away, and so forth. We would then sit in the room first right next to her bed and then every night move a bit further away until we were able to leave more or less right away. It took quite a while but she got used to it that way. With Nicolas on the other hand, when we moved him to a crib (at 5 months), we just put him in the crib and left. Surprisingly it went just fine and we’ve been doing it ever since! Nicolas has always been a good sleeper though and less of a cuddler, so I’m sure he just didn’t need that touch as much as Isabelle did. Hope that helps! xo

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Kenneth Cohen April 24, 2017 at 8:13 am

Excellent tips. Babies are the most beautiful creature on the earth. Babies are happy and healthy if they get proper food and sleep. If your baby can’t sleep at night, it makes your baby unhealthy. Thanks for sharing tips.

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