Teach a Baby to Sleep Through the Night in 5 Weeks

Christmas time always brings back the memory of my baby Elijah being born at home on Christmas Day! So while I’m in this reminiscent mood, I thought I’d write about how to teach a baby to sleep through the night. I was only 18 when I was pregnant with my first baby! I was winging it with Ash and she didn’t sleep through until she was one. After that difficult year I was hesitant to have another child, but I really wanted my baby to have a sibling!

I was terrified at the thought of being sleep deprived for a year with two kids, but my playgroup friend Sarah told me her babies were sleeping through in eight weeks! She told me to read ‘On Becoming Babywise’ by Gary Ezzo. The theory is if you give your baby enough calories during the day, by the time they are five to eight weeks they will initiate sleeping through the night. My second baby, Kale, was 10 weeks before I heard about Babywise and I was determined to try it! Kale slept through at 12 weeks. Looking after a baby and toddler was hard but manageable after I’d had a six to eight hour block of sleep!

With my third baby, Jewel, I started the Babywise method immediately. The challenging part was waking baby up to feed every two and a half hours. It takes an hour to feed so I was basically breastfeeding all day! I had to wake baby up by changing her nappy, putting a wet flannel on her forehead, etc. I remember her even sleeping through a bath! I persisted and Jewel was sleeping through at five weeks! All of a sudden looking after a baby, toddler and pre-schooler seemed doable!

With my fourth baby, Elijah, we were building and living with someone else so it was difficult to maintain a routine and as soon as he made a peep at night I’d feed him so others in the house wouldn’t wake up. If I had been in my own house I would have waited to see if he’d go back to sleep and I’d have just given him water in the middle of the night after eight weeks. I did my best and in time he was sleeping through.

Other things I did:

-Before the birth I freezed enough meals for 6 weeks (make the same things for every week).

-I sent out a message that we’d had our baby, and that people wanting to visit could text us to arrange a time after a couple of weeks. I had the same message on my front door.

-I only spoke about Babywise with supportive friends. Most people don’t get it and think you’re starving your baby when you’re giving your baby the gift of sleep by giving them calories they need during the day. If your baby wakes up at night and wants a feed, you feed them! But if they get enough calories during the day, chances are by the time they are between five to eight weeks they will stop waking up and initiate sleeping through the night on their own!!

-Watched hilarious DVDs like Flight of the Conchords.

-I kept my mind occupied during the middle of night feeds, by looking up articles on my phone that I’d never normally have time for.

-Weighed babies regularly. Jewel was underweight and I didn’t notice because I was busy looking after two other kids! She also didn’t cry when she was hungry! I increased her feeds and fattened her up!

-Reminded myself it is temporary hard work for a big payoff of SLEEP!

-Reminded myself I’m here to look after my family as best as I can and that I’m not here to please or justify myself to others.

-Reminded myself I was made to do this.

-ALWAYS burped the baby. Otherwise they’d wake up with trapped wind.

-Reminded myself that housework is not a priority. Housework is NOT a priority! HOUSEWORK IS NOT A PRIORITY!!!!!!!!!!

You've got to do the best you can in your individual situation. I've heard Save Our Sleep is a good read too. Do you have any tips for teaching babies to sleep through the night?