Newborn babies commonly have turbulent sleep patterns in their first weeks. One of the first challenges new parents face is training their baby to fall asleep all by themselves. Sleep training can seem like a daunting experience at first, but with patience and perseverance you can train your baby to become a super sleeper. To ensure more restful nights for your baby and yourself, read our 10 tips for baby sleep training.
Create a sleep routine
It’s important to get the baby ready for sleep with a soothing and enjoyable routine such as a bath, feeding and story. This will help the baby to learn to relax and switch into a bedtime mode. Ideally, this routine should last less than 45 minutes.
Offer baby a suitable sleeping environment
A dark room at about 65° is ideal for your baby’s sleep. For a more relaxing and soothing atmosphere, the room should be tidy and clutter-free. And naturally, a comfortable and attractive crib is a must for a good night’s sleep.
Know your baby
Learn to read the signs that your baby is tired or sleepy. These signs may consist in yawning, rubbing the eyes or crankiness. However, don’t wait until your baby gets too tired as this can possibly disturb his or her sleep.
Choose a sleep training method
There are several sleep training methods to choose from. Some are gentler than others. The most well-known method is the Cry-it-out method which basically consists of letting the baby cry him or herself to sleep. The Ferber method and the fading method are also possible alternatives. The main thing is to choose a method that’s right for you and your baby.
Choose the right time
You need to find the right time to begin sleep training. Most pediatricians agree that sleep training should begin between 4 and 6 months. However, you should avoid beginning sleep training during periods of change for your baby such as a new babysitter or a move to a new home. Likewise, it’s not a good idea to start sleep training when your baby is sick or not feeling well.
Put baby to bed while awake
Sleep training is all about teaching a baby to fall asleep all by him or herself. Therefore, it is suggested not to hold and rock the baby to sleep at night. On the contrary, get in the habit of putting the baby in his or her crib while awake. That way, he or she can learn to wind down and fall asleep without any assistance.
Don’t constantly hover over baby
It’s normal for new parents to want to go and confort their baby when he or she cries. However, if you rush over at every little cry or sound he or she makes, this might actually prevent them from calming down and falling asleep.
Consistency is key
Sleep training can seem hard and requires a lot of patience. It will also most likely involve some crying. However, once you have chosen your routine and method, you have to stick with it and remain consistent in order for the sleep training to be successful.
Keep a sleep log
Keeping a sleep log will allow you to make sure your baby is getting enough sleep. It will also allow you to discover your baby’s sleep patterns and trends. In a sleep log you can keep track of things such as put down times, asleep times and awake times for both naps and nighttime.
Momma knows best
Remember, only you know what’s best for your baby. No matter what method you choose, confidence is key for successful sleep training. Your baby will pick up on your confidence and this will help make the sleep training a more positive experience for him or her.