How to Have a Happy Baby That Sleeps | Your Home For God

A Baby That Sleeps Is A Dream Come True

A baby that sleeps is a dream come true for new parents! The moms of the babies I have cared for as a nanny over the years are always amazed at how long their babies sleep while in my care. My own first-born slept through the night when he was only four days old. My second-born took much longer, so I know the frustration of not being able to unlock the secret to a baby that sleeps! I’d like to share what I’ve learned.

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When I nanny, I keep records of when the child goes down for a nap and when they wake up, when and how much they eat, and other important information, for the parents, and give updates during the day, with pictures and videos. Consistently, the parents are amazed at how long their babies sleep for me. “She never sleeps that long for me!” I’ve heard on more than one occasion.

How To Get Baby To Sleep

How To Get Baby To Sleep

I mentioned this to two young couples recently, parents of small children, as we talked about children and parenting, and it made me realize there are some things I can share that may help you.

These couples, you can imagine, are very interested in the subject of having a baby that sleeps, as together they have 3 children under 2-1/2 years of age. When I laughed and said, “I guess that’s my gift,” one of the young dads remarked, “It’s a good gift to have!”

A Baby that Sleeps Is The Top Goal for New Parents

I think getting your baby or toddler to sleep is pretty close to the top of the list of goals and desires for all young parents!

So, today I thought I’d share with you some of the tips I shared with them. Before I do, I think it’s good to remember: babies are people, and every person has their own personality, special sleep patterns, and likes and dislikes. Sometimes we forget that.

Some adults love to sleep, and some never sleep well, no matter what age they are.

How to Have a Happy Baby That Sleeps!

How to Have a Happy Baby That Sleeps!

Helpful Tips For A Baby That Sleeps

Having said that, though, I can give you suggestions based on what has worked for me with every baby that I have cared for, and that may work with your child. It’s not rocket science, and you probably already know this, but let me remind you.

Having a baby that sleeps makes for a happy baby, and a happy family.

6 Suggestions To Help You Have A Baby That Sleeps

  • Keep a routine in your days – – don’t skip naps some days and expect your child to sleep on others, or drastically change the time of naps.
  • Put your baby down for her naps at approximately the same time every day. (90 minutes after waking, if following the system below.) 
  • Do the same set of steps, in the same order, each time you prepare your child for her nap and bedtime.
  • Keep the set of steps short.
  • Be calm, soothing, and keep things lowkey for the 20-30 minutes prior to naptime (you want your baby to begin to wind down)–this is not the time for tickling, peek-a-boo, expressive faces, exciting music, loud voices, or active play. Finish those 30 minutes before naptime.
  • Be aware of the time – – know what time you’re planning to put your child down for a nap, and be working towards that, not just beginning an activity, or planning to eat immediately before naptime, when your child will presumably be tired.

Have A Baby That Sleeps When You Want Them To

Children are flexible! If you need more sleep in the morning, or want your child to go to bed earlier in the evening, you can adjust your child’s pattern of sleep, often, with just a little work.

You can adjust your child’s sleep schedule, I say, but, it works best to make adjustments in their schedule in small increments, such as in 15-minute increment adjustments. There may be some bumps in the road, and a few sleepless nights, but expect success.


A sleep system that results in a baby that sleeps!

A System That Works For A Baby that Sleeps

I shared with the two couples a sleep system I’d learned of from a family when I began caring for their baby. The parents had learned of a system “for every parent who struggles with their baby’s sleep (and for every parent who wishes their toddler had better sleep habits)” that uses the natural rhythms in the baby. 

They wanted me to work with them on implementing this system with their baby girl. And, though I don’t struggle getting babies to sleep, I have to say that this system worked like a charm! I took care of their baby, who was born premie, from the age of 5 weeks to 13 months old, and she slept beautifully for me.

My System Works For A Baby that Sleeps Most of The Time

With almost every baby I’ve ever cared for, this is exactly the routine that I’ve used. The only difference with this system is that there is a 90-minute schedule we’re on. I have always trained babies to be put down for their naps awake.

There will always be exceptions, and not every baby sleeps beautifully. You know your baby best. Please be aware and check with your pediatrician, if your baby is not sleeping, or cries more than normal, or you have concerns.

In those ten minutes before naptime, I move slowly and quietly, don’t talk animatedly or make sudden movements, and I act soothing and calm.

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The 90-minute Baby Sleep Program Book

Are you wondering about this system I’ve been raving about? Let me tell you, then, how it worked, with “my” baby. Disclaimer: results may vary. I make no promises or guarantees that you will receive the same results that I did.

The 90-minute System That Worked For A Baby that Sleeps

Whatever time the baby wakes up in the morning or from a nap, look at the time and figure out what time it will be in 90 minutes. That is the time you will put your baby down for her next nap. (Of course, this is adjusted as the baby ages and requires less sleep – – for their recommendations, read the whole book.)

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In “my” baby’s case, I would get her up, change her diaper, get her dressed, and interact with her on the changing table, talk to her, and love on her for awhile. Then I’d take her downstairs and give her her bottle, when she was an infant, and, later, when she was eating solids, feed her solids in her highchair. (I prepared these ahead, knowing approximately when she was expected to wake up.)

How To Get Baby To Sleep

How To Get Baby To Sleep

After breakfast, we would “play” and sing songs and later, when she was able to sit up by herself, I’d sit with her on a blanket on the floor and we’d play with toys, and talk. I’d talk about colors and numbers and describe things around her. We did educational activities. Quietly playing. About 20-30 minutes before the next naptime is scheduled to occur, if you’ve been doing more active play, begin to quiet things down.

Ten minutes before naptime, begin the “routine” that is your pre-naptime routine. In our case, I would change her diaper, swaddle her in her special blanket, and lay her down with her pacifier. When she was older, I would hold her, standing and walking and rocking. As she got older, I held her facing out, away from me, which she liked, and swayed. I didn’t put her to sleep in my arms, though. I didn’t engage with her, smile at her, or move quickly.

I would then put her down in her bassinet, crib, or place of sleep, awake exactly 90 minutes after she had woken up. If the child uses a pacifier, you can put that in her mouth, and turn on the music or noise machine. Whatever environmental things need to be put in place, such as closing the curtains, or blinds, etc., do the same each time. The child will be put down for a nap awake, but very relaxed, and ready to sleep.


A sleep system that results in a baby that sleeps!

A Baby That Sleeps Without Crying

Almost always, the child will fall asleep within 5 minutes, and not cry. Most of the time it took a maximum of 10 minutes for the baby to fall asleep, and the goal of my actions was just to prepare her to sleep. When on a 90-minute cycle, the baby was ready to go to sleep almost on the dot at 90 minutes. If I was too far off of this 90 minutes deadline, (late, which didn’t happen very often, because I paid for it when I did this!) it was difficult for her to fall asleep, and she would cry much more.

If, in this process, the baby cries as you leave the room, don’t be alarmed. If you start this system for the first time, sometimes babies will cry at the beginning of learning this system and later on, they won’t anymore.

How to Have a Happy Baby That Sleeps!

How to Have a Happy Baby That Sleeps!

If You Want A Baby That Sleeps, Don’t Pick Her Up

I never, or almost never, pick up the baby if they’re whimpering when I leave the room. If the baby is semi – awake, and looking at me as I leave the room, I just say, “You’re OK (nodding affirmatively). Goodnight. I love you.”

If the baby continues to cry, and I need to go in again, I simply go in the room as quietly as possible, replace the pacifier in the baby’s mouth, if they use one, pat them gently and perhaps, say soothing words, but oftentimes, I don’t say a word. I want to avoid engaging with the baby! I won’t meet their eyes, or do anything to make them alert again. This is NOT the time to smile at the baby! I approach from behind, don’t meet the baby’s eyes and try not to be “seen,” or, at least, noticed.

Sometimes babies will cry loudly after I’ve left the room. It’s almost like a last ditch effort to stay awake. A defiant last protest against sleep. I do not rush in when a baby cries after I’ve left the room. I wait for up to 10 minutes. Often the baby will stop crying after 7-10 minutes. Of course, this depends on the day and the child. It’s not a hard and fast rule. You know the child, their needs and their different cries! But, as a rule, I don’t go rushing back in, because often a baby is crying as part of their going-to-sleep-ritual, especially if they’re getting used to this new system.

“It rarely takes more than ten minutes for a baby to fall asleep, after I put them down for a nap, and I don’t usually have to go back in the room, using my system.”

How To Get Baby To Sleep

How To Get Baby To Sleep

Crying May Be A Sign The Baby Is About To Sleep

In my experience, it is rare that crying will last more than 10 minutes, and most of the time, it either gets quieter, little by little, or there will be sudden loud outbursts, and then the baby will fall asleep.

If I have to go in the room again, I go in just to settle the baby again, but I do not pick up the baby. Almost never do I need to pick up a baby after putting them down for a nap. But, occasionally, quite rarely, though, for reasons of sickness or teething, or other reasons, I need to start over soothing and quieting them.

I don’t rush in the minute I hear them stir…

If I do need to go in and do a second, or even a third, quieting, patting them (not picking them up), I go in quietly and stay only a brief moment–the littlest amount of time possible. Most days, the baby will go to sleep right away, and don’t need me to go back in at all. Especially after they’ve learned the routine.

After the baby has been sleeping for awhile, I use the same rationale when I hear them stirring, or they whimper a little, but they haven’t slept as long as I would have liked them to. 

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If You Want a Baby That Sleeps, Don’t Rush In At Every Sound You Hear

After the baby has been sleeping for awhile, I don’t rush in the minute I hear them stir. I usually have a baby monitor that I can check to make sure they’re fine. Then I wait, listening carefully, to see if this is a temporary wake-up or the real thing. Often, the child will fall back asleep, and get half an hour, forty-five minutes or an hour more sleep.

All babies go to sleep easily for me and take surprisingly long naps in my care, according to their mothers. I hope these tips will help you have more restful days and nights with your happy baby that sleeps!

Have a Great Week Making Your Home For God!

Christian Blogger, Wendy Gunn,

I help moms with the overwhelm. To grow spiritually with joy in who God uniquely created you and your family to be, not comparing, raising Godly children, and getting your body, home and life in order for the glory of God, through Ebooks, courses, and group and individual coaching.

P.S. Click to Share this on FacebookPinterestInstagramTwitter. You will also like my Facebook live videos. Follow all my Pinterest Boards: you’ll especially like my Spiritual Life, Encouraging Words, Homemaking, Parenting and Homeschooling Boards on Pinterest, where you’ll find tons of helpful information for your home and family. Let me know what you’re struggling with, and how I can help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. I consider it a privilege to pray for you! Let me know if you have specific prayer requests.

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