Baby Sleep Log
It’s time to sleep train your little one, but you want to do it as smoothly as possible. A sleep log is KEY!
Here’s how to use it.
- Grab some colored pencils, your sleep log and start paying way more attention to the clock!
- I recommend filling out the sleep log for a week before you start really sleep training. This can give you an idea of your current patterns so you’ll be able to have a rough idea of your baby’s ideal schedule.
- Use the key listed to color code the hours of the day based on baby’s activity. The biggest benefit of this comes from:
1) quickly identifying an optimal schedule for baby and
2) recognizing progress and patterns when crying it out.
Here’s my sleep log from when I sleep-trained Maddie, my oldest. Keep in mind, this was my first child and my first experience ever sleep training so I was a total rookie. I share this with you simply so you can see what a filled out sleep log actually looks like. I definitely made mistakes.
A couple things you can see:
The crying it out got SO much better almost immediately. Really it was just the first 2-3 days that she had to cry it out before bed, and it wasn’t even for that long.
You can also see how over those first 2 weeks her nap times started to solidify. After using this data, I created a pretty set schedule that worked very well for her.
The last major thing to note is that day 13 saw a MAJOR hiccup. If it hadn’t been for this log, we would have thrown in the towel and sworn that crying it out sucks and doesn’t work. Except it totally had been working, we just forgot because we had a crappy night. BUT look at how long she’d been awake before that… homegirl was totally over-tired and that’s why she was having such a hard time falling asleep!
I definitely made mistakes here that I can only see now that I have more experience and expertise.
- The time between initial wake up and her first nap of the day was too long. Most babies are happier with about 90 minutes of wake time first thing in the morning.
- It looks like she was waking up fairly regularly at around 10pm, which I had her cry though. In hindsight, I could have used that as a dream feed. I general, don’t recommend crying it out in the middle of the night. When their sleep needs are met during the day they’ll drop night feedings on their own. I just didn’t know that then.
- Most of those days, she didn’t have as many naps as she needed. Again, I just didn’t know what the ideal schedule was. Until 9 months, babies usually do best with 3 naps per day
- Bedtime was way too late on day 1 and I shouldn’t have done any CIO for naps. On day 1, I recommend doing everything you can to get them to nap well so that when bedtime rolls around (6:30pm) they’re not over-tired. This will set you up to be successful for night 1, and then you can CIO for naps on day 2.
I love looking back at this chart and remembering myself then. It’s crazy how much we learn and grow when we have kids. We’re all kind of winging it, and especially with our first kids, we just don’t know what we don’t know!
Hopefully this breakdown helps YOU in your journey of sleep training so it’s as smooth and painless as possible!