Baby Sleep Training: Becoming a parent is a stupendous milestone in one’s life. Although, it’s cherishing experience as it brings with itself lot of liability. One such liability is staying awake till the little head honcho is still looking at the ceiling.
Although there’s no sure short guide or method to make your little one fall asleep, there are certainly some pacifying and soothing ways which help in baby sleep training over a period of time. If you are a working mom you should be educating yourself before baby’s arrival and learn these ways to raise a more disciplined kid as early as 6 weeks.
- Why Baby Crying At Night Most of the Time?– Know the Reasons
- How to get a baby to sleep – An for Art to Be Learned for New Mothers
- How can you get your baby to sleep through the night?
- How to Ensure Comfortable Baby Sleep
As a new parent, people are often excited to be available to serve never-ending demands on their little ones. It feels alright during the first few weeks until the routine becomes boring and over-demanding. It is good to inculcate good sleeping habits during early weeks of baby’s life.
It is a good practice for you, baby and whole family. Parents unknowingly incorporate bad sleeping habits in their kids which go on for years. It’s never too early for baby sleep training. Here’s our guide to teach you variety of ways to achieve this goal
The idea behind baby sleep training is learning the technique of assisting a baby to learn good sleeping patterns such as little naps during the day and complete and sound sleep throughout the night. At the same time, early awakenings in the morning are the part of training.
Sleeping habits are different for different babies: some tend to get to a regular sleep routine earlier and without much effort but, many others are fussy in terms of sleeping when their mums really need few hours of rest.
Here, you will find most soothing ways followed by methods which help babies to learn to sleep on their own as they grow.
Table of Contents
- 1 Discipline is the Key to Baby Sleep Training
- 2 Baby Sleep Training: Don’t Wait Too Long Till Baby Herself Becomes Drowsy
- 3 Baby Sleep Training: Be Patient, Flexible and Induce Change Steadily
- 4 Understand Your Baby Sleep Training Requirements
- 5 Make Him Stay Independent While He is on Baby Sleep Training
- 6 Baby Sleep Training: Provide Some Space for Baby and Respect Her Needs
- 7 The Slow and Soothing Way of Baby Sleep Training
- 8 Finally, the Baby Falls Asleep
Discipline is the Key to Baby Sleep Training
Please don’t expect to induce baby sleep training very early i.e. during first few weeks. This is the time when a baby will need you most. You need to be available for him/her 24*7 and expected to respond to his/her needs immediately.
This is the time when these tiny bees will have short cycles of nursing and sleeping, which is quite natural and healthy. During these initial days, baby just needs to be held tightly. Try to wrap him/her up in a soothing blanket or keep some pillow close to support him/her tight. This way they tend to sleep longer
When your baby is about 6 weeks older, you can gradually work on the daily schedule and slowly establish a regular sleeping pattern. The babies prosper and develop well if you stick to the same routine daily for all their needs.
You will have to make certain adjustments but, this will help you in the long run. Be it bath, feeding or daytime naps, everything should be done at the same time daily.
So, for a fruitful baby sleep training, day naps should follow same time daily that must be coupled with soothing ways like giving a warm bath and then feeding before bedtime for better night’s sleep. Similarly, a baby should be awakening at the same time each morning.
Your baby might take time to follow this routine and you might be required to make more changes in your schedule but slowly your baby will get used to it and develop better sleep cycles as he/she grows.
Baby Sleep Training: Don’t Wait Too Long Till Baby Herself Becomes Drowsy
Experts say that babies set to bed earlier tend to sleep longer which helps in baby sleep training. Crying is a very late sign for the need to sleep. It will be difficult for you to handle an overtired baby. So, put your baby to bed early and slowly understand his exact sleeping time and stick to it. Paying an attention to understand exact sleeping time is the foremost requirement for moving ahead in baby sleep training
Baby Sleep Training: Be Patient, Flexible and Induce Change Steadily
If it is not helping you much, don’t lose hope. Try not to induce sudden and abrupt changes just for baby sleep training which might irritate the baby and waste your time and effort. Your baby might develop a kind of fear as the night falls if you are too strict to induce certain kind of method.
Set a timeframe for bedtime close to already followed the routine and slowly change it to suit your needs. Keep a check on changing moods of a baby, if he seems to be more cranky or annoyed, understand that your baby doesn’t like the change. Stop for a while and then start again after few days.
Understand Your Baby Sleep Training Requirements
What works for others might not work for your baby. There is always some trick to help baby sleep. First, feed the baby and make him sleep in your arms, then slowly put him on vibrating pad. Let him cry for a while till he’s tired and sleeps gradually.
Wrap him tight when he’s slept so that he sleeps longer or play some lullaby or read some book or repeat some phrase daily during bedtime which signals him that it’s time to sleep. Choose a method which works for you no matter what proven guides say
Baby sleep training should not include anything that can make him experience some medical problem. Be sure, this is not the reason for him to adopt difficult behavior.
Also, don’t be too strict to use the same method and watch how the baby responds to it. If baby is impervious to change or seems to have an overall bad reaction, stop for few days and then try again with some other method
Make Him Stay Independent While He is on Baby Sleep Training
This method is better known as a cry-it-out method. This is assumed that it is perfectly fine to let a baby cry for a while. Also, that sleeping is just a habit like any other which babies should be able to do on their own. The simple logic is that if a baby sleeps only while nursing or when you are around to help him sleep, he won’t learn to sleep on his own.
This technique says that crying is an inevitable part of child’s nature while they adjust to baby sleep training. It’s a temporary pain which will help in long run. Babies will develop and learn the art of sleeping on their own while their parents can enjoy a good night’s sleep too.
Try not to put the baby in the crib when he’s already asleep and encourage him to be an independent while it is bedtime, so he goes to bed with open eyes and realizes his own body needs.
Get over the feeling that you are ignoring the baby if he cries or that it will do any emotional harm to the baby. The younger the baby, the favorable will be the returns. After all, it’s a technique which will serve whole family needs.
As you are already meeting other demands of a baby, letting him do this alone will not shake his sense of safety.
“After doing daily chores and working hard with right in-time baby activities – playing, nursing, bath, lullaby or bedtime story-We slowly started to put our baby down into the crib and sat beside him, just watching him and not to speak or make any sound. We continued this for few days until we could move a little farther and this practice helped him a lot in baby sleep training. Within 7-14 days our little hero started to sleep on his own and I finally started enjoying my own time in other fruitful activities”, Said by a mother of two.
Initially, you can go and keep a check periodically and assure him your support. But, slowly if its okay to leave him unattended and baby looks fine, do it.
Maybe check him by not letting him know, peep inside through a window or open the door a little. When it seems perfectly alright to leave him behind, you are almost done and assure yourself that baby sleep training is going in right direction.
Baby Sleep Training: Provide Some Space for Baby and Respect Her Needs
“We used to co-sleep with our daughter for first 6 months so I could assist and address her needs easily. But providing her another room did wonder. I didn’t answer all of her cries, she understood that crying is not helping much so, became quieter and not asking much help during nights. It obviously takes a while for baby to adjust to new room but, steadily baby appreciates her privacy and starts to enjoy longer sleeps with fading middle- in- the- night awakenings”, Anonymous
Co-sleeping can be uncomfortable for other members of a family and the mother herself as we are expected to maintain a quiet environment in order not to disturb the baby’s sleep.
Also, as baby grows and remains in the habit of sleeping with parents, he becomes over demanding. Such babies may not leave the tendency of middle-night nursing which should gradually stop after 6 months of age.
The Slow and Soothing Way of Baby Sleep Training
Contrary to above theory some say that leaving a baby totally unattended while he is crying out loud may develop a feeling of insecurity or may agitate him more. Sometimes when babies cry, all they need is just a cuddle or your presence around. So, try other ways if this doesn’t work for you.
Maybe the baby is yet not ready to sleep and wants some playtime. Let it be! Keeping him up more than normal will make him drowsy and tired. Singing him baby rhyme or lullaby at this time will induce sleep. During next few days try to shift baby sleep time earlier to 15-20 minutes until you gradually reach the time you wish him to sleep
Another helpful tip here will be to awaken the baby before usual time each morning. This way the middle-night awakenings tend to get lesser and steadily vanish. For the first year of baby’s life, it’s okay to sleep with a baby. Your baby might need it if he’s too sensitive
Finally, the Baby Falls Asleep
It’s a blessing to have a baby who starts to enjoy the sound and long sleep in his own space. You might still be wondering how he feels, wants to keep a check on him in case it’s too cold or too hot.
Try to dress him up in comfortable clothing so that you don’t have to worry about his health during nights. Instead of staying awake and checking him regularly use the baby monitor so, that you too can enjoy a much-needed dozing. And you can proudly say:
“Tonight I fall asleep with you in my heart”
All above methods are often compared to each other and each one is a proven way and has advantages over another in “baby sleep training”.
But, you need to choose the right way for your child. If your kid has a calm temperament and doesn’t bother you much during the day, he might be a stronger candidate for independent sleep. He might not cry when left to sleep on his own and it may turn out to be a cake walk for you and baby.
For some babies, you might need to try out all methods until you find the best one to suit their night needs. It also depends on how you adapt to each method and which one you personally like.
For over-caring parents for whom sleepless nights are fine and sleep deprivation seems to be a small cost, it’s good to choose most soothing way first and extend this training over a period of months
But, if you are raising a full-time attention seeker you might have a hard time during baby sleep training. Here, you will be required to start with the most soothing way and steadily hope to move ahead in baby sleep training. If you can match a method with your child’s personality, you can get quicker results.