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I Trained My Baby to Fall Asleep Independently in 48 Hours

I Trained My Baby to Fall Asleep Independently in 48 Hours

I trained my baby to fall asleep independently in 48 hours. I couldn’t take the endless rocking anymore. My back was hurting, and I was missing out on hours of sleep trying to get him to sleep. He was a few days shy of 6 months old and I decided to train him to fall asleep independently. I committed to no more rocking. To do that, I created a consistent routine to signal it’s time for bed.

How I Trained My Baby to Fall Asleep Independently

The Baby Sleep Routine

I committed to a quick but consistent routine before naps and bed. The routine included these steps in this exact order:

  1. Changing his diaper
  2. Putting him in a sleep sack
  3. Shutting the blinds
  4. Reading him 1-2 books
  5. Turning on the sound machine and placing him in his bed awake
sound machine used on How I Trained My Baby to Fall Asleep Independently

If it was a bedtime routine, I would follow those exact steps but also needed to manage the lights. I kept two lights on while reading a book: his room light and a small light on his sound machine. After I turned the sound machine’s white noise on, I would turn off the main light, place him in his bed, and then turn off the sound machine night light before leaving the room. I needed a small light to see where I was going.

Tips for Baby Sleep Training

Feed 30 minutes before bed

I stopped nursing him right before bed because he would fall asleep in my arms. I wanted him to learn to sleep on his own so I moved his feeding schedule up a bit. If I absolutely needed to give him something right before bed, I would do so in a noisy or bright environment to keep him awake.

Keep Wake Windows in Mind

I kept wake windows in mind as I was training my baby to sleep independently. I started the routine 15 minutes before I wanted him to be sleeping to ensure he didn’t get overtired.

Start Sleep Training During the Day

I don’t know why I didn’t start sleep training my first child during the day but it’s so much easier. First, babies are generally more well-rested and have an easier time going down for their first nap of the day. Then you have 2-3 times during the day to practice before bedtime.

Secondly, If you have multiple kids, you don’t have to stress as much about them waking up the older ones when you practice during the day. Hopefully, by nighttime, they will start to learn the drill and the crying will lessen.

Allow for Self-Soothing

Training them to sleep independently does require some tears but, taking this approach did help me to significantly reduce crying. He only cried for 10-15 minutes the first time I placed him down. That continuously got better with each sleep cycle. I committed to giving him 20 min before I went in to console him but I never had to do that. By 48 hours, he was no longer crying and putting himself to sleep in 5-10 minutes. It was truly a miracle. I couldn’t believe how quickly he learned to self-soothe.

Does sleep training increase their sleep duration?

Overall, it did help him to sleep longer stretches but it did not eliminate the night feedings. He still wakes up 1-3 times a night over 12 hours. The positive is that he goes right back down without rocking. I went from spending up to 1 hour with him at each feed to 10-15 minutes. Less rocking equals more rest for me.

What if my baby is uncomfortable?

If your baby is having trouble going to sleep because of gas, colic, or other related ailments, I would highly recommend doing a Tiny Health culture. It is personalized to your baby and they can recommend specific probiotic strains and other supplements to support your child’s needs. The probiotic strains recommended for my son were a lifesaver. I was able to stop giving him gas drops and gripe water after each feed once we got his gut on the right track. Use discount code: shetakesfive for $20 off.

Overall, I am significantly less tired after I trained my baby to fall asleep independently. It has been a game-changer. While he still gets up a few times to eat, he can put himself back to sleep on his own eliminating the endless rocking. Everyone is happier and more rested.