Sleep training is teaching your child how to fall asleep independently. Sleep for babies is a skill that has to be learned. You need to sleep train your baby for them to learn when to fall asleep. You are already helping your baby learn this skill by soothing them before they go to bed or when they wake up at night. Sleep training will help them fall asleep without any assistance from you.
When should I start sleep training?
This is not a one size fits all answer. It is different for every parent and every baby. Consider first if you are ready to sleep train your child because it will take a lot of hard work and commitment. Do a lot of research beforehand and be acquainted with different options. You should also free up your schedule so that you are ready to train your baby without interruptions.
Do not forget to consider if your baby is ready for sleep training. Most babies will be ready at around 4 -5 months but you can start encouraging healthy sleeping habits from birth.
Tips on how to sleep train your baby
- Have a routine
As your child grows and gets to about 4-6 weeks, you will start noticing a sleep pattern. They will start to sleep at certain times. During this time, you can establish a routine by either swaddling, rocking, bathing, or shushing. If you keep this routine, your baby will know it’s time to sleep when you follow it. This way they will fall into the routine.
- Learn their sleep ques
Babies will let you know when they are tired and ready to sleep. Whether its by crying, yawning, rubbing their eyes, or fussing. When they are tired, you can use this opportunity to put them to sleep by comforting them.
Many babies wake up shortly after they fall asleep or as soon as you put them down even before they are fully rested. Swaddling is a great way to keep your baby asleep for long. This is because it keeps their arms and legs tucked in place and gives them a sense of security. It keeps your baby from being startled as they sleep. Additionally, it makes them feel comforted as if they are still in your arms. You can swaddle your baby in one of our swaddle blankets.
- Pick up – Put down method
This method involves putting your baby down in bed when they are awake and checking up on them at intervals. If they become fussy, you can pick them up and comfort them for a few minutes then put them right back till they fall asleep.
- Cry it out method
While there is controversy around this method, some parents have admitted that it worked for them. It involves letting the baby cry it out at night until they finally fall asleep. After a few days, they will be sleeping on their own.
sleep training will be different for every parent. Trying out different methods and learning what works for your baby will help the process go faster. It will also keep both you and your baby happy.
By Beth Mugo