Are you tired of rocking your baby to sleep? Do you wish that your baby sleeps throughout the night? Then sleep training is the solution to your problem. Sleep training a baby will make your life easier but the process is quite difficult and exhausting. If you are ready to take the challenge and sleep train your baby, then stay tuned.
What does sleep training a baby mean?
Sleep training a baby means teaching him the art of going to sleep. When a baby is capable of going to sleep without the help of parents he is said to be sleep trained. The baby would go back to sleep if he wakes up in the middle of the night by self-soothing.
The right time to start sleep training a baby:
Sleep training a baby can start as soon as you feel that your baby is ready to put himself to sleep. The recommended age for sleep training is from 4 to 6 months. However, if your baby is older than the recommended age do not worry he can still get sleep trained.
Best sleep training methods for a baby:
Here is a list of the best sleep training methods for a baby that you can try:
- Fading method: This method allows the baby to decide his bedtime. Your job is to put your baby to sleep when you see some clues of the baby being sleepy. It is a gentle method that does not involve a lot of crying.
- Cry it out method: It involves a lot of crying and fussiness which is why it is a difficult method for parents as well as for babies. In this method, you will let the baby cry until he gets tired and goes to sleep.
- Ferber method: It allows the parents to go into the baby’s room after set intervals i.e. 5,10, or 15 minutes and verbally console the baby without touching them.
Tips for sleep training a baby:
Here are few tips to follow while sleep training a baby:
- Put baby to bed drowsy but awake: It is a popular opinion to put the baby in his crib when he gets drowsy but he is still awake. This way babies easily get sleep trained.
- Have a schedule for daytime naps: Naps during the day should be at fixed times. Having too many naps can affect a baby’s nighttime sleep and having less or no naps during the day can make a baby overtired. In either case, the baby will have a hard time falling asleep at night.
- Swaddle the baby: Swaddling helps the baby to feel secure and it controls the limb movements of the baby which helps them to sleep.
- Let them cry a little: Crying is not harmful to the baby. You can let them cry a little until they get tired and go to sleep.
- Lots of playtime during the day: Keep the daytime for playtime. Let your baby explore the world, go out for a walk to give them fresh air. Perform various activities according to the baby’s age to keep them busy throughout the day. This way the baby will get tired and sleep easily at night.
- Bedtime routine: Have a bedtime ritual and perform it every night before putting the baby to bed. Having a fixed routine will give a signal to the baby that it’s time to sleep.
- Be consistent: Stay consistent when you are trying to sleep train your baby. If the baby gave you a hard time on the 1st day of training do not think that you have failed. It will get better with every passing night and ultimately your baby will get sleep trained in few days.
Sleep training a baby is an exhausting process but in the end, it is worth it. With a little patience and consistency, your baby sleeps peacefully throughout the night and that is your biggest achievement.