FAQ Parenting

How I Got My Baby to Sleep Through the Night (Without Crying)

I get a shower each morning too. Now, let me preface this entire post by saying that I think temperament has a lot to do with it. And before you hate me too much for having such an ‘easy’ baby, just know that she barely sleeps during the day and she doesn’t appreciate me trying to do crazy things like oh, sitting down.

Our Bedtime Routine

I don’t keep Eleanor on a strict schedule during the day. I pretty much parent on demand (though a natural schedule is starting to emerge), but I’ve followed the same bedtime routine each night since she was two weeks old.

Eleanor, Not Sleeping

At first Eleanor didn’t show signs of being sleepy at the same time every night, but she did show hunger cues every two hours or so. In those early weeks, I’d bring her upstairs for the night as soon as she was hungry anytime after 9:00. Our routine is simple: I pull the window shade down, Brandon says goodnight to her, I change Eleanor’s diaper, put her in pajamas, nurse her, and rock her to sleep. She didn’t always fall asleep though, and there were many nights spent rocking her or walking around the room with her for hours. When I say I got her to sleep through the night without crying, I mean without ‘crying it out’ (the Ferber method). She did cry sometimes, but I (or sometimes Brandon) was holding her and trying to soothe her the whole time. I did NOT bring Eleanor back downstairs though, even on the particularly difficult nights. I wanted to make sure that I was setting up a clear difference between night and day. Sometimes I’d have to nurse her again if a lot of time had passed, but eventually she would fall asleep. Brandon and I did the same thing every night and soon we noticed that Eleanor would act sleepy around 9:00. It became MUCH easier to get her to sleep, and she no longer cried! Now, instead of hours our routine takes only 30 minutes, and her bedtime has been pushed up (by her cues) to 7:30.

Sleeping Through the Night

Eleanor sleeps at night in a cradle in our bedroom, and for a long time I rushed to scoop her up and feed her the second she made any noise. The biggest turning point came when I realized that she wasn’t necessarily waking up each time because she was hungry. Sometimes she was of course, but sometimes she was just stretching or making a little noise. I started waiting just a minute and to my surprise she often went back to sleep on her own. YES! Letting her learn to settle herself back down led to longer and longer stretches of sleep, up to five hours by the time she was four weeks old.

I already mentioned my insistence on establishing a clear difference between night and day for getting Eleanor to sleep, and I think that was a big part of getting her to sleep through the night as well. I interact and play with Eleanor all day, and I narrate my actions and sing to her. In the middle of the night though it’s all business. When she wakes up, I quietly pick her up and bring her over to the changing table. I turn on the lamp at it’s dimmest setting, change her diaper, and then nurse her in the rocker. She usually falls asleep after nursing, but if she not then I rock her until she does and we’re both back in our beds within about fifteen minutes.

At two months old, Eleanor goes to sleep at 7:30 and sleeps for eight hours. She wakes briefly around 3:30 and then sleeps again until 7:30 am for a grand total of 12 glorious hours.

Now about that daily shower…

I’ve gotten that since she was about three weeks old. I noticed that Eleanor was always in a good mood when she woke up, so one day I decided to try and shower while she sat in her bouncy chair. I think that was the fastest shower I’d ever taken because I was convinced she’d start crying at any moment. She lasted about 15 minutes. I tried it again the next day, and the day after that, and she lasted longer and longer each day. Now I have a nice morning routine with her.


I tell her “good morning” when I go to pick her up, and she usually gives me a nice big smile. We have a little one-sided conversation (although she coos back now) before I change her diaper and nurse her. Then I bring her bouncy chair into the bathroom and set her there while I shower, dry off, get dressed, dry my hair, and put on makeup. Once I’ve finished getting ready, I get Eleanor dressed and we go downstairs. I quickly eat breakfast before feeding Eleanor again, and then she takes her first nap of the day about two hours after she woke up. It doesn’t matter what time she wakes, she’s always ready for a little (20-minute) nap after two hours.

Every Baby is Different

I know that, and I know that I’m very lucky with Eleanor. My mom says I was the same way, but that all three of my younger siblings were very different. Many of you had written to me though, asking if I had any tips to share. I hope that this helps some of you. Good luck!

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  • justem
    July 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    We use the bouncy chair/shower method as well!! My baby is almost 4 months and she was doing pretty well with the sleeping until we transitioned her to her crib in her room this week. Now thing are back to being a little crazy. She wakes up a lot. But I’m hoping once it becomes familiar, things will go back to normal! :)

  • Tammy
    July 22, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    This post is so encouraging. Mine is now 4 weeks and we don’t have any routine, but now I’m going to stick to business. (I’ll try at least, we’ll see.) Yay for the bouncy seat! I just had my first triumphant morning yesterday with him sitting quietly in his seat while I took a wonderful shower. No more asking people over just so I can get clean! Thanks for posting this, Eleanor is so cute!

  • Rosie
    July 22, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    I think it’s great to establish a routine (not necessarily schedule) that is predictable. I think babies and kids do really well when they can anticipate what’s going to happen. For my baby (10 months tomorrow!), she began sleeping longer when she got over a 12 lbs. My feeling is that it’s temperment + having a big enough tummy to get filled up with food. Also, I found that my really good sleeper regressed once she started hitting developmental milestones (like rolling, crawling, etc) so you may experience something similar too. :)

  • calimama @ compactbydesign.com
    July 22, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    I am holding a 2-week old and his 22 month old brother is asleep in the other room. Very soon after my first was born I found myself adopting a saying from my grandmother, “this too shall pass”. Whether it was something good or bad, the only thing I knew for sure was that it wouldn’t last forever!

    With both of my babies I’ve had lactation consultants tell me they can go through the night without a diaper change. Unless Eleanor has an issue with diaper rash maybe you could consider this to simplify the nighttime feeding. Just a thought.

  • Kristen
    July 22, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Temperament. I think it’s all about the temperament. My daughter is high maintenance in every aspect of life and didn’t fall asleep on her own until 20 months or so. My 9 month old son on the other hand is the happiest baby on the block . . . when awake. But he’s just not into sleeping. He’s still insists on waking 3-4 times a night, so I see a stubborn streak in him. Maybe baby number 3 will be my sleeper?

    Anyway, Eleanor is adorable and I LOVE her name. I’m sort of a baby name nerd and love a great classic, underused name.


  • LauraC
    July 22, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Wow, does this bring back memories! My “baby” will turn 2 in about 10 days! So yes, she’s a toddler now. But I do remember all the stress and difficulties of the early months. My husband was deployed, so I was first-time mom figuring it out by myself (which I realize is nothing special as thousands others have done the same; can’t say I recommend it though!) The hardest thing for me was Sophia also slept through the night early – 7 weeks for 5 months, then just stopped (for no reason I could ever discover), and the next 5 months were pretty rough. They wouldn’t have been if I didn’t already know that she could sleep through the night and have that expectation. But thankfully, that’s all past now. Sounds like you are doing really well!

  • LauraC
    July 22, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    I just re-read my post and it wasn’t clear: At 7 weeks she began to sleep through the night, and continued to do so for five months. Sorry for the double comment.

  • Kara Spencer
    July 22, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Routine is crucial, I did a similar routine to yourself, but because Grayson is porrly he still had to be force fed every 3 hours until he was 4 months, then he could go longer and he would sleep from 9pm till 5am which was amazing, Grayson now at 6 1/2 months old has decided he will not sleep during the night so I am tired all over again. He still naps during the day alot but he is poorly so I have to allow a certain amount.
    I am hoping that this is just a phase and pass, but I aplaud your method.
    kisses to eleanor

  • mrs.lee
    July 23, 2009 at 12:01 am

    my daughter (6 months) was sleeping like your daughter is for awhile…she’d go down at 7-8 pm but always wake up at 3-4 am for a feeding and then go straight back down until 6-7 am. it went on for awhile and i had to gradually wean her off the night time feeding that she no longer really needed, but just got accustomed to. let me know if you have any questions about how i did that! :)

  • robin
    July 23, 2009 at 12:32 am

    this is a wonderful post. you sound like such a good and dedicated mother :O)

  • Katie
    July 23, 2009 at 12:40 am

    I wish I’d have been better about establishing a routine with my little one, but having only six weeks of maternity leave and sheer exhaustion made that difficult. She was over a year old before she began regularly sleeping through the night (she wasn’t particularly fussy during the night, just woke up to eat or find her blankie often). After a few glorius months of sleep we’re back to mid-night awakenings. Teething can be super-difficult! Kudos to you for finding the pattern that works for you and Eleanor!

  • Kristy
    July 23, 2009 at 12:47 am

    I just wanted to delurk and tell you that my son is now 16 and I had a very similiar experience with him. I established that at night it was nighttime and we were all meant to be sleeping. I did not speak aloud to him, I did not say a word to him. Nothing. I was merely the “adequate provider” for his night time needs. Since there was no “fun” involved he quickly learned that sleep was his best option. I did that same method for taking a shower. I found that if he murmered and I just kept up a one sided conversation but stuck to my morning routine he also got the message that this was routine.

    Babies surprising love routine. It is the adult that often can’t stick to one or establish one. It’s refreshing for me to read a blogpost by a Mommy who isn’t complaining but rather setting a routine. Babies love routine, it gives them a sense of safety because they know what to expect.

    One piece of advice, though I think you need none. I took my son’s bottle away from him on his first birthday. He cried about 15 minutes the first night, 10 the next. His routine was abruptly changed. But he never cried again as his new routine was quickly established. He didn’t get mixed messages. I think you have no mixed messages and this is aiding your sweet little baby greatly. Good parenting pays off and consistency works!!

  • Brenda
    July 23, 2009 at 1:23 am

    You’re such a sweet mommy already! I also just wanted to say that she is such a cutie, I love to see the new pictures as she changes.

  • Rebecka
    July 23, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I completely agree what what you’re writing and I have a very similar experience with my daughter that’s now 5 months old and I’ve done almost exactly as you.

    The only thing is that now that the really hot summer temperatures have arrived with over 30 degrees celsius every night and no air condition because we live in an old, rented flat, she’s started to wake up demanding to eat 2 or 3 times a night while before it was only one time… I hope she’ll get back to her old routine in september or so but until then, I guess I’ll just have to live with it.

  • Danielle
    July 23, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I don’t have kids, but I have babysat in the past quite a bit. I started nanning for a family when the youngest was 10 months old. She was 4 when I stopped. In all that time, I noticed that her routine really never changed. The only problem I had is her mom didn’t always follow what I did. But up to 4, she would walk herself up to bed at the same time without me telling her! A lot of times what helped was letting her pick out a book to read before bed…even at the age of 2.

    I am so happy that you have established a routine with her. It can get frustrating and tiring, but it should start to ease a little for you now…well, it will never ease. lol…your a mom!

  • Rebecca
    July 23, 2009 at 6:44 am

    I don’t have kids (yet), we are adopting, but wanted to say Thanks! These are some great tips and very nice insight. I too, love to shower.

    Your daughter is a beauty!

  • CJ
    July 23, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Eleanor sounds just like my oldest son who is starting Pre-K this fall…makes me miss those early months. However, my second son was another story! :) by the way, I love that shower curtain! Where can I find it?

  • Pink Wallpaper
    July 23, 2009 at 7:06 am

    adorable baby, socks, and bumper!

  • Ameya
    July 23, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Ahh.. it’s nice to hear a happy story!! I have a baby due in November and it’s goode to know that there is some possibility of getting some sleep. It’s a goode idea to keep her in the bedroom like that.. we’ll have to try and see if you baby wants to be kind to us as well ;)

  • Lori
    July 23, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Wow! Two very timely posts for me. I am having my second child (a girl) in two months and am looking for pink paint colors and reading a lot about sleep, as it took 9 months for me to help my son sleep through the night. (He is now 3 and a great sleeper but you showed it doesn’t have to be as painful as it was for us!) Thank you!

  • Jamie
    July 23, 2009 at 7:39 am

    It’s so nice to read that you’re a confidant, determined, mama, with the patience to maintain a routine. No matter what happens, as her sleeping patterns will shift with milestones, teething, weaning, and pure toddler-will, I can tell you will be nurturing and consistant with the routine. Next you’ll apply your dilligence to a nap routine, which will become increasingly impotant. My friends thought I was crazy for staying home for two weeks straight so I could establish a nap schedule for my babe when she was 4 months old (she’s 17 months now). That time well spent really paid off (I have an excellent napper). Anyway, good luck and keep it up!

  • Jess
    July 23, 2009 at 7:50 am

    “Parenting on demand” is the key here, I think! Temperament is such a big part of the equation, and honing in on what your baby’s own pattern is (which does take a couple of months to emerge, and continues to change) and working with that, rather than swimming upstream against it, makes life so much easier.

    I’m also a devoted every day shower girl! Our secret: a combo of the bouncy seat for tiny babies and working with my husband on figuring out a morning routine that gets all of us dressed and fed before he’s out the door. He’s a really involved dad, and I credit him with establishing betime routines for all of our boys, too. (Although none of them slept much until 18 mos or so, why couldn’t I give birth to heavy sleepers?)

  • Sarah M.
    July 23, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Hi Nicole,

    Congratulations on getting the baby to sleep! Mine is just about to turn one, and I’ll tell you, it’s been an exhausting 12 months…

    My bit of advice is that if you find that Eleanor is responding to a bedtime routine, you could put routine into practice for daily sleep. What we do with our baby is to take her to her room at exactly the same time every day, and leave her to it. Now, without a shout, she goes down for an hour at 9 AM, and then 2 hours from 1-3 PM, and then she’s awake until bedtime at 7PM (she sleeps from 7-7). Without that strict routine, she *would not sleep at all* in the day, which meant she was often hysterical, and so were my husband and I. It did take a (long, tearful) week to establish, but it’s been plain sailing since then.

    I know she’s very controversial, but the routines recommended by Gina Ford in her “Contented Little Baby Book” saved our lives. Please do have a look!

    Good luck!
    Sarah xo

  • Jen
    July 23, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Ah, if only I had 10 minutes of sleep for everyone who told me that I just needed a good routine and consistency … some kids sleep. Some don’t. I have one who doesn’t – won’t nap without a fight either, and I was the same way. Over 2 years without sleep now …

    I ran into a mother at the playground recently, and she was talking about her 2nd child’s bad sleep. She told me that, with #1, she had a baby with a great temperment who was an easy sleeper, and she acknowledged that she had NO IDEA that it could be so bad if you had a child who was a bad sleeper. And now she does. I appreciated her honesty … that she had questioned the parenting of those of us with bad sleepers, thinking it was just a matter of routine. Then she had #2 …

    Yes, routine is important and it is great great great that your child sleeps. But I think the baby’s temperment is far more indicative of whether they will sleep or not.

    Apparently, I didn’t sleep through the night for 1 1/2 years … so I just got it back at me and then some :)

    My son is so persisent with his ‘no need for sleep’ attitude that, at 12 months old, after crying for less than 3 minutes, he jumped out of the crib (at the lowest height too). I had to put him on a mattress on the floor right after that, and he’s been in a low platform twin bed since 14 months old.

    no sleep and stubborn … what a combo! :)

  • teresa
    July 23, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Ah, I love the baby posts and pics! I too think I have an “easy” baby (thank goodness!)…sleeping through the night (10 hours!) at 7 weeks. Does that mean, if I’m fortunate enough to have a second that he/she is going to be difficult? Ugh.

    Funny, we do the same shower routine! He LOVES his bouncy chair.

  • Amber
    July 23, 2009 at 8:18 am

    We’re not ready for kids yet but I find baby info fascinating! Eleanor seems awesome and you seem like you have it down to a science!

  • Katie Middlebrook
    July 23, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I have an eight month old and we had a very similar experience. We moved her to her nursery somewhere between 2 and 3 months old. Thanks to some helpful advice it was a smooth transition- we placed her bassinet basket in the crib so she didn’t have to get used to sleeping in a new place and in a different bed all at once. After a week we removed the basket as well. You’re daughter is precious!

  • Angie McGovern
    July 23, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Thank you for this. My first baby is due in 2 weeks and though I have a lot of experience with babies, the overnight portion is very limited. It is so helpful to read about systems that work for people with new babies. Thanks again!

  • LizzieBeth
    July 23, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I don’t have children (yet) but I feel like this was so informative. I think establishing the difference between day and night is brilliant. I will remember this when I start my own brood.


  • My First Kitchen
    July 23, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I love that striped outfit. She’s so cute. I’m due with my first in November, and I’m definitely filing away the shower-bouncy-seat thing. Now I’m off to check out any posts you have about her nursery since we’re about to embark on that ourselves. Even though our first one is a boy, I still love getting inspiration from you. Congratulations!!

  • andrea
    July 23, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Congrats! What a beautiful baby you have! You’ve found that sweet spot where baby’s temperament and your routine come together to work beautifully. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.

    Personally, I did everything you just described and my baby was still a bad sleeper until I eventually was desperate enough to let her cry it out and now she sleeps just as well as your little one (and she naps well during the day too). It took a lot of heartache to get us there, but now that we are I appreciate it so much.

  • Rebekah
    July 23, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Your routine is very similar to the one that I fell into with my daughter when she was born. Things are a little different now that she is older (She’ll be 3 in November.) but we still maintain a pretty steady routine. I don’t know how parents who don’t establish a routine do it. I would lose my mind!

    So much of your success can be attributed to you being intentional about learning to recognize Eleanor’s cues- a lesson that I think many new moms take much, MUCH longer to learn. In other words, “Good work!” :)

  • Mim
    July 23, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Yay for you! I too would shower while my little ones hung out in their bouncy seats. I think it is a great way to do things.

  • Cara
    July 23, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I hate unsolicited advice, so I’m sorry in advance for opening my big mouth, but I just *had* to say this…lol…

    Sleep has a lot to do with temperament, IMO, so for any new parents of non-sleepers out there, please do not read this and blame yourself if your baby still wakes up a lot. Yes, a routine goes a very long way towards helping with this, but some babies, especially breastfed babies (in my experience), don’t sleep through the night for awhile, and this is normal behavior!

    My 15-month old woke every 1-2 hrs. when he was a couple months old, despite routines and dim lights at night. I wouldn’t call him colicky, but it was very close to that…the one thing that helped the most was to swaddle him tightly at night until he was around 5 months old. However, now that he is older, the established routines help a great deal, and he sleeps very well, so there IS hope! ;-) If you have a good sleeper, GREAT…but if not, hang in there and realize it’s normal and not your fault. (And maybe also check out the Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp and No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.)

    P.S. Eleanor is GORGEOUS, and I’m so glad you were blessed with a good sleeper…it makes all the difference!

  • Desiree
    July 23, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Great post!

    Your routine is very similar to what our routine was with my first daughter. The only difference is that for a couple of months, every so often, she would wake up right after I fed her (or not go back to sleep) and just cry and cry and cry for no reason. She wasn’t collicy, maybe gassy is all. We would give her mylecon drops and who knows if it helped. The other thing that would make her cry is if my husband tried to give me a break by rocking her to sleep. She would bang her head on his shoulder and cry at the top of her lungs. We called him “Not the mama” (from the tv show dinosaurs) for the longest time!


  • nicole
    July 23, 2009 at 10:33 am

    what a blessing.

  • blissfully caffeinated
    July 23, 2009 at 10:57 am

    It’s awesome that you are so dedicated to a routine and getting your child to sleep on a schedule so early, and you are doing absoluteley everything right, but I have to say, luck and your baby’s temperment also have a lot to do with it. They are not all this easy.

  • Lindsay
    July 23, 2009 at 11:15 am

    This is a great post! I’m expecting my first in November and love to hear what new moms are doing to get their little ones to sleep. I’m all about the routine so it’s nice to know it works for some babies.

    Now to the most important question I have– where did you get that adorable bouncy chair?! I love it.

  • anne
    July 23, 2009 at 11:20 am

    thanks for sharing all of your great tips!

  • Tracie
    July 23, 2009 at 11:43 am

    You did exactly what I did for my daughter, Madeline who is 3, when she was a baby. Our second pick for a name was Eleanor :) I’m not exactly a “morning” person, so when she woke up, I wasn’t exactly happy. So I would wait till she was actually wide awake before I would pick her up and then I would feed her. That was it. No smiles, no happy faces, not a whole lot of talking…and she was sleeping through the night by seven weeks.

    I agree though, I think temperament played a huge part and I just nurtured that temperament (that’s me giving myself some credit!).

  • jbhat
    July 23, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Loved hearing your story and technique,and I applaud your efforts. We too were big on routine and consistency, and I totally remember taking my showers under our kiddo’s watchful eyes…our shower curtain at the time was clear!

  • Melissa Mae
    July 23, 2009 at 11:54 am

    My daughter loved sitting in her bouncy while I showered. It was so nice! Now she is 2 1/2 and I just have to keep the bathroom door open to make sure she’s not getting into trouble :)
    I didn’t sleep through the night until I was about four. Bad dreams! My poor mom and dad. I ended up sleeping in their room almost every night until I was about 10.

  • Trina
    July 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I’m having a heck of a time trying to get my 3 1/2 week old to sleep at ALL during the night. I’m on the hunt for a rocking chair as walking/rocking her around our apartment for 3 hours every night is killing my back, especially since having a c-section.

    Today, I am going to start a consistent bedtime routine…she usually gets hungry every 3 hours, noon, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm and so on…so her bedtime routing starting at 9pm sounds good to me!

    Another problem i’m having is hiccups…she gets them after almost every feeding, which wakes her right up, and then takes forever for her to wind back down again to sleep. It seems the only time she’ll sleep is when she doesn’t get the hiccups!

    Nicole, do you find that nighttime baths help to soothe her to sleep? My little one’e belly-button is still healing, so she’s still in spongebath-mode which seem to wake her up, so i’ve been giving her those during the day…but I hear a real bath will help get her to sleep if I do that at night once her bellybutton heals properly.

    Nicole, thank you so much for your advice…i’ll take any I can get!

    Trina :-)

  • kristin
    July 23, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    so great! i did the same thing with the bumbo for a while (a bit older than your cutie) and one day i thought that there was a wee bit more ruckus going on. turns out- the babe sneaked out of the bumbo. i hopped out of that shower w/o finishing and didn’t bother to finish. so funny. i’m glad that you showed her the night/day difference and that she understood fairly early. yay!

  • Miss B.
    July 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Of course you would have a perfect baby, you are a perfect girl! :)

  • Me? A Mom?
    July 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Beware of the perfect first child (and enjoy it while you can!). I too had a good sleeper. Baby #2 had other ideas despite the same routines as the first. So you are right that temperament has a lot to do with it. Glad you’re getting sleep!

  • Jan
    July 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    This photo is so cute. I love the tiny argyle socks. You sound like you are enjoying your routine with your new little best friend.

  • Jen
    July 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I love reading your posts, esp. the mom ones, my son is now just over a year and this really takes me back– the bouncy seat while I showered, and the nighttime routine too, good luck, and remember it just gets easier and better! Enjoy every last minute!

  • Christina
    July 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    This is so wonderful! Truly. I think it’s as much you as it is her. Being calm and taking her cues make her confident and easy going. (or we are similar in personality and so are our kids?) While my son didnt give up that 1:30 nursing until 5 months he is an amazing sleeper and will be 2 in October. I used the 2-3-4 for napping and bed time and it was exactly what he needed. My ped warns me with a giggle that you only get one good sleeper- I really hope she’s wrong!

  • Gwendolyn
    July 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    My son started sleeping through the night on his own at two months.

    I woke up at 7:30 AM and about had a heart attack when I realized that he hadn’t woken for a couple of feedings during the night.

    I rushed to his room and he was sound asleep in his crib!

  • Rachel
    July 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    She is SO BEAUTIFUL! :)

  • Urbanfarmwife
    July 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Its so wonderful having a good sleeper. My little girl has slept through the night since she was about 1 month old…from 8-8 (she’s 6 months old now! Its glorious! I swear by the Baby Whisperer! She was a life saver. We learned how to read her queues, understand her cries, and make bed-time all about business.

  • Beth
    July 23, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Baths! I love the bedtime bath! I fully acknowledge that my sweet, mellow baby is easier than most – she has been sleeping from 8pm -7am with only one, very short, feeding at 4am since she was about 1.5 months old (she’s now 3 months)

    But, that said, I love the bath as a way to really conk her out for bed. Around 7:30 she starts her bath and I let her splash and play until I see signs she’s tired or hungry (rubbing her eyes, sucking her fingers, etc) Out of the tub, into jammies, lights off, big bottle and out like a light before I even finish burping her!

    We also practice the dim lights, quiet and no real interaction during nighttime. We also try not to be too quiet during her daytime naps to further emphasize the difference between night and day. (i.e. if she falls asleep int he afternoon I don’t turn off the music or creep around)

    I expect things will change over time with teething, etc but for now I am thoroughly enjoying the 11 or 12 hours of almost uninterrupted sleep she gets!!!

    Also wanted to ask about that bouncy chair! I didn’t get one because most offended my good taste ;)

  • Renae
    July 23, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I’m on baby number two (8 months old) with the same method. Her brother slept through at 3 weeks of age and she did it from about 4 weeks. Sleep all night, but not much during the day. You hit the nail on the head, daytime is exciting in our house and night time is well….night…can be a bit boring! Best of luck.

  • Nikki
    July 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My son is now 3 months old, and we’ve been able to establish routines like you and Eleanor have (which was totally our name of choice if we’d had a she instead of a he). But things were much tougher with our older daughter, Rosemary. She had reflux and was/is a much more spirited/sensitive little person. But you’re totally right about allowing yourself to listen for a few minutes before rushing in to nurse again. I wish I had learned that as quickly as you did – it took a 2nd child to figure it out. Enjoy that lovely girl and congrats on finding such wonderful ways to take care of yourself!

  • becoming-mom
    July 23, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Yes, it sounds like you do have an easy baby! But I think ALL babies are easy compared to Jasper.. case in point he always HATED his bouncy chair. In fact he hated all chairs and even sitting in general, car seats even MORE. But I’m really really happy for you that you’ve found a groove so early on.. it gives me hope that god willing if we ever have another that it won’t be as rocky as the first months with Jasper! Glad to see you thriving on motherhood :)

  • Tina
    July 23, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    ohh brings back many memories, my children are 10 & 12 now but I do remember using the rocker in the bathroom so I could shower :)

  • bekah
    July 23, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    thank you so much for sharing! although my husband & i do not have children (yet!) alot of my friends back home are & i can’t help but to wonder what it is like. so its great to read things like this, get tips & tid bits before i’m pregnant & then everyone is telling me what to do! haha but thanks you again :)
    eleanor is beautiful! what a great name too!

  • Becky
    July 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I agree that routine is crucial, especially at night – our 9 month old still doesn’t sleep as wonderfully as Eleanor, but it’s not bad (he gets up 1-2x a night for a nurse).

    Also, we have the same bouncy chair – – we never buckled our kid in either! ;-) Of course, I’m sure you just placed her there unbuckled for the picture. :)

  • Hilary
    July 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    My only thought is that once you think you have them figured out, they change.
    And NEVER say that they’re doing something
    “he’s pretty well potty trained”
    “she sleeps through the night”
    I never make statements like that. I always regret them, usually the very next day, courtesy of my children. :)
    Good luck!

  • desiree fawn
    July 23, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I love putting Gretchen in her bouncy while I shower — she is guaranteed to stay there for 20 minutes while I soak up some heat & get clean!
    She just plays with her toys & listens to the water :)

  • Kenziepoo
    July 24, 2009 at 1:03 am

    The bouncy chair is amazing and it was so helpful with Kenzie my little girl. :)

  • Melissa
    July 24, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Eleanor sounds like a great baby!

    My husband and I don’t have kids yet but it’s great to read little tips that have worked for others before we do have kids, thanks for the advice!

  • Sherry @ Young House Love
    July 24, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Wow, you’re like the baby whisperer! I already sent the link to my BFF who has a three week old baby girl name Elsa who’s quite the night owl. Here’s hoping it helps…


  • Mama in the City
    July 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Interesting post and very thoughtful. I 100% agree with the part on the baby’s own temperment. That plays a HUGE part in infant sleep and is a big reason why 1 book or 1 way of doing things will never work for all babies. So true.

    We had a baby who was a terrible sleeper but also had P.U.R.P.L.E Cry (the new thing instead of calling it colic). So, it was more about survival at the time.

    Good job to your baby on sleeping through the night. Wonderful for everyone in the family I am sure!

  • Dewi
    July 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Children love routines.
    When parents live a routine life it all gels nicely as you see.

    There really is no trick, you are consistent and created a gentle routine, it’s pretty standard way to take care of children. It will serve you well as she gets older.

    Adults that do not live a routine daily life frequently have a much harder time parenting babies.

  • MaNailah
    July 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Whats the make of the bouncer chair and where did you get it?

  • A Merry Mishap
    July 24, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    My first baby is due in about 7 weeks and this was VERY helpful! I’ve been reading about different nursing and sleeping methods but it’s really great to hear it in real terms from someone who is experiencing these routines now!!

  • wanderluster
    July 25, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    That’s wonderful that Eleanor is sleeping very well, and at such an early age too. I too have discovered the magic of the bouncy chair while showering :) And thank goodness for baby-wearing… without my baby hawk or moby wrap I would get nothing done during the day!

    Its nice to read posts like yours, some ‘tried and true’ advice from the trenches. I know a lot of women who read your blog admire the way you are able to balance work, home, and baby seemlessly… these baby-related posts are a nice addition to the blog. I hope to read more in future.

  • Jasileet
    July 25, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Awesome job, Momma. Congratulations in succeeding where I could not- incorperating intuitive parenting with real life. We’re still working against real life in the strict AP vein. No advice for toddlers yet, eh?

  • erin
    July 25, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Good job!! Isn’t a full night’s sleep blissful? We do basically the same thing with our Hannah (2 weeks younger than Eleanor) except our bedtime routine includes a bath. Also, I’ve kept her swaddled at night since she was about 2 weeks old; she has been sleeping through the ight (8+ hours) since she was 6 weeks. She does not nap well during the day and I am convinced it is because I leave her unswaddled during the day so she can “exercise.”

    I also use the swing so I can get a shower, and she has a vibrating rocker that she LOVES that I can rock with my foot when I need to eat lunch. How did my mom do it without these things?

  • Amanda
    July 26, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Thanks for this post…I am a new mama to Eliza who is 9 weeks and although she sleeps through the night we still struggle with the getting her to fall asleep part. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes, sometimes it takes an hour…just depends. It was comforting for me to read that your daughter cried while being put down, but that you or your husband were there comforting her the whole time. This happens to us and I was worrying about it….too much! I don’t know what it is about parenthood, but I find I am constantly wondering, ‘does any other baby do this?’ Of course they do! I guess it is just so hard to know as a first time parent.

  • Agnes
    July 26, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    She is so cute in her chair, what a lovely thing to have such a warm and simple routine for her, and especially lovely that you breastfeed her. I love love your blog even more now that the baby has been born. Also, where did you get those cute sock? :)



  • Monday best of last week: link style « The Misadventures of Kelly and Kelly
    July 27, 2009 at 8:03 am

    […] great tips at making it lovely on getting baby to sleep through the night. maybe something like that will work for us in the future? […]

  • Janaan
    July 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing! And I love E’s striped pajamas. Where did you find them?

  • Erin
    July 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Baby posts are so fun! With my son, he was and still is the happiest of babies- and slept like a little doll through the night, only waking a few times to nurse for the first couple months. Then he slept like a real champ. Around 9 months when he started walking, that all went downhill and ever since our little happy baby has woken up at least every 2 hours. Everyone was jealous of me for the first 9 months but at 16 months old now he has not slept through the night since! He’s getting better, but because we don’t do any cry-it-out method at all, our progress has been slow. Our baby girl is due in a month and I’m just crossing my fingers that eventually I have a full night’s sleep again!
    Your routine is great- I hope your sweet girl keeps it up and remains a wonderful sleeper!!

  • Fiona
    July 28, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Congrats! That is great! My daughter had acid reflux, so we really struggled, but this gives me hope that a second child (if we go that route) might be easier.

  • Christa
    July 29, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Hi Nicole,
    Do you have any baby/parenting books that you’ve read that you’d recommend?

  • Auburn
    July 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    She’s adorable!

    I feel like such a bitch writing this but I’m still kicking myself for telling all my relatives my son was sleeping through the night at 3 months. I was a little (unintentionally) smug about it at the time I think. Cause yeah…that didn’t last. Once they start working on gross motor skills like rolling and crawling, look out. It all changes at the drop of a hat! Some people just get lucky and have great sleepers from day one (like my, still smug SIL thanks very much) and I really, really hope for your sake you are one of them. Just be prepared for periodic sleep regressions. The one at 4 months was absolutely brutal for us becuase I was totally convinced I had somehow broken our previously wonderfully sleeping through the night at six weeks baby.

    Okay, I’ll stop being a bitch now. I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself. But she’s lovely. Congratulations. Enjoy every second of that precious, precious sleep!!!! (says the bleary eyed mother of the 18 month old who woke up 3 times last night…)

  • nina
    July 31, 2009 at 10:42 am

    After reading through the comments…I agree with Hilary & Auburn…things change daily…take one day at a time!

    The best advice is from experience with my 1st born “easy” baby:

    Expect the Unexpected…it’s less stressful :-)

  • down pillow
    August 4, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    That onsie is adorable, where did it come from?? I must have it for my new neice!!

  • lauren
    August 5, 2009 at 1:02 am

    As a full time nanny for a reflux/colic baby who when I started with him at 4 months was on no schedule whatsoever and didn’t sleep longer than 20 minutes during the day, and a few hours at night, I highly, highly, highly recommend the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.”

    The things that stuck out to me about the book are the fact that it addresses how to respond to babies with different temperaments, it walks you through the changes they go through at different ages/stages, it helps you really understand why your baby needs so much sleep and how the lack of sleep in infancy contributes in drastic ways to adult sleeping problems (even ones we would call “normal”), and it gives an overabundance of testimonials from all kinds of parents with all different kinds of babies and specifically what methods they used to correct their baby’s sleeping habits.

  • Jena Murray
    August 21, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I love the bouncy Eleanor is photographed in… would you mind sharing where you purchased it or what brand it is? I tried looking online but did not see that model. Thanks!! (we’ve got a little one joining the family in 4 months)


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  • Crystal
    April 22, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Very interesting info. I’m expecting my first child and hoping that I’ll be able to easily get my baby on a good sleeping schedule. I’m a full-time working mom, so hopefully all goes well :)

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