Sleep Training Baby
Life as you know it changes when you have a baby. While you spiritually become more connected to the world because of the blessings of creation, you become more tired physically. It is during the first year of your baby that your life turns upside down.
Apparently, you have to put down everything you did for yourself and turn to everything you do just for your baby. Babies are fragile and adorable. This is why you love them more and want to protect them and give them everything they need.
However, this can be quite demanding and that is where the parental struggle begins. Managing work and a newborn is tough, especially when you do not get enough sleep. And, are we not all familiar with tales of how the parents of newborns barely get sleep?
Luckily, there are ways in which you can make your baby’s routine more comfortable and convenient for you. In fact, you can make your future days better by working hard just for one to two weeks. The process through which can make your parenthood easier is – sleep training baby.
The greatest adversity that comes with newborns is their sleep routine. It rarely matches with the parent’s one. You may just be planning to get some sleep for the night after a tiring day and your baby might just be waking up and being the most cheerful baby on earth to rob you of your sleep.
This is when you want your baby to fall asleep without any kind of assistance from you. Furthermore, you want the baby to fall asleep and wake up at the right times. This way not only will your baby get proper sleep but so will you.
Apparently, there are many ways you can sleep train a baby. However, not all are equally effective and some even have debates against them. Since sleep is a crucial part of a baby’s healthy life, you have to be very careful about how you manipulate it.
So, let us find out everything you should know about sleep training baby so that you can do it in the best and harmless way.
Sleep Training Baby: What exactly is it?
Tired of endless cuddles, rocking, and feeding throughout the night because your baby just won’t fall asleep? Well, sleep training is the cure to this problem. Apparently, sleep training baby is the process of making your baby get used to sleeping by himself without constant assistance.
It is rightly termed as ‘training’ as it is not easy and it is a gradual process. In fact, all the family members must contribute to make it a success. Furthermore, it is not just one way you can do this. You can follow many different techniques and even create your own.
Sleep Training Baby: When Do Babies Sleep Through The Night
Some training like potty and sleep training are hard processes but they are beneficial for the future. This is why you have to get through them to enjoy a relaxing and better time later on. However, you should never be too harsh on your newborn.
There is a right time for everything and sleep training has its right time as well. So, the question is when do babies sleep through the night? When are they ready for sleep training? When can you be sure that the process will cause them no harm?
Here are some key things you better remember for your newborn’s wellbeing:
- Each baby has its own right time.
If you talk to other parents, you will realize that each parent will talk about a different time when their babies responded to sleep training best. Apparently, some babies do not even need sleep training. Their natural routines and body’s needs make them fall asleep and wake up at just the right time.
Therefore, the time you start sleep training if you ever do depends mostly on your baby’s routine and development. Some babies are ready for sleep training at just three months old or even earlier and some not at six months.
2. Too young is not the right time.
A baby has a lot going on inside his body. In fact, all his organs are in the development process and so his body is in need of energy and rest. This is why newborns spend most of the day fast asleep.
This crucial development stage where all the energy is mostly focused on the insides is usually from four to six months. During the first months, it is best to leave the baby to his own comfort. You should force nothing on him.
This will help his normal growth process. In fact, disturbing the necessary sleep pattern will hamper his growth and health. So, it is best to leave two to three-month-old babies alone with their own sleep cycle.
3. But, too late is not the right time either.
If you want to delay the sleep training process too much because of the uncertainty of when to start, you cannot. This is because the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to sleep train the baby. Apparently, your baby begins to get comfortable in his routine as his brain starts recognizing what is routine and what is not.
As a result, the longer you wait, the greater the irregularity that your baby’s brain faces. The highest you can do is start sleep training baby at nine months. However, the average age for sleep training is from four to six months.
This is the time when your baby is not too immature or in need of feeding during the night. He can handle long sleeps at night with maybe one feed in the middle. Furthermore, he is not too old to change his routine either.
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Sleep Training Baby: The methods
When you were not a parent, you had the impression that all babies do is sleep, right? And, now as a parent, you feel that babies never sleep enough. So, as unblievable, as it may sound, there are actual sleep training methods that even child doctors study.
Furthermore, there are pros and cons of all of them too. And, risks too, of course. So, here are some of the methods you can check to see if they are suitable for your child.
- Cry it out- Probably will break your heart but effective.
As cruel as it may sound, the Cry-it-out method is the most prevalent and effective method when sleep training baby. This is the method where you leave the baby on his crib when you want him to sleep and just leave him alone for a while. Most likely your baby will cry to get soothed.
However, this is where the hard phase begins. You have to let your baby cry for a while without soothing him. But, make sure you do not leave him uncomforted for long.
Increase the interval between soothing the baby gradually. First, leave the room and let your baby cry for one minute. You can go to fifteen minutes maximum without soothing the baby.
Moreover, when you soothe the baby, just pat or be present. Do not cuddle or take him out of the crib. When the baby calms down, repeat the process.
The baby will fall into a routine within a week or two. He will know when he needs to soothe himself and fall asleep without aid. This hard process will become a normal one and the baby will get used to not being soothed during this time.
Apparently, many are not in support of the act of letting the baby cry and feel unloved. However, this is a temporary process as the baby will sleep by himself later on without the crying part. So, if this temporary cruelty leads to something good why not try it?
2. Periodic Consolation Method- A bit less heartless.
This is a more systematic approach to sleep training. Apparently, you develop a sleep routine and determine the time you want the baby to sleep. Then you leave the baby alone in the crib after the sleep routine.
With pre-determined time intervals, you check on the baby to console him with your presence. However, you do not use the previous tricks you used to like rocking or feeding the baby to make him sleep. You just assure him that he is safe and you love him and then let him figure his own way to sleep.
While this is a more soothing technique, sometimes seeing the parent reminds the baby more of his needs for comfort and makes him more agitated. You get the point- not all babies will respond well to this method. So, figure out if it will work for you and do not let the checking intervals go over 15 minutes.
3. The chair method- Be the assuring figure in the room.
If you do not want to let your eyes off your child then this is a soothing method- for both you and the child. Apparently, it involves you sitting on a chair right beside the crib at first. Then, you have to increase your distance from the crib each night.
Finally, you just go out of the room, out of view of your baby. Well, it may look like a comic scene at one point but it is quite soothing and works often. However, make sure you remain sitting without taking your baby on your lap.
He will learn to keep calm by just seeing you and later on, with your absence.
4. Calm and Let Learn.
This is a method where you just let the baby be most of the time. You stay in the same room but do not interact much with your baby. Apparently, you let the baby keep an eye on you and let yourself keep your protection over him.
When he begs for your attention by crying you can pick him up, massage him or do something briefly to soothe him. But, the trick is to reduce this as you keep progressing in the process. In time, your baby will learn to mind his own business and fall asleep without causing trouble.
4. Bedtime Routine Fading- Just the opposite of the previous method.
While you continue the bedtime routine in the previous method, in this routine fading process you gradually stop the interactive needs your baby has during bedtime. For example, if you rocked or fed your baby before to get him to sleep, you will slowly decrease the time doing it and then eventually stop doing it.
Sleep Training Baby: Some tips to keep in mind
Develop and maintain a routine: When you are sleep training your baby, it will never work out if you do not maintain a routine. If you change the sleeping time and other methods used from day to day then your baby will be even more irritated and the sleeping pattern will be irregular. You need to dedicate yourself to a routine to make the sleep training work.
Stir the sleeping nerves with activities: It may be just reading a bedtime story sitting on the bed or a warm bath or a lullaby, you can create the mood for sleeping daily at night before you put your baby to sleep. This is will not only create a strong bond but it will automatically stir up nervous response in the form of sleep to the activities.
Study your baby: Before or while trying out any sleep training method, make sure you study your baby’s moves. In fact, you have to check if he actually needs sleep training or not. And, if he does, which method will he respond to and which method is a perfect no for him.
In conclusion, babies are all parents care about. Being harsh with them or leaving them unattended when they cry is tough but at the time necessary. Sleep training requires you to do this and it is actually for the better if it works.
This one week of tears can turn the future tear-free. However, also be aware of conditions like sleep apnea and be very careful when using any technique. It is through sleep training baby that your parenting years get easier with more daytime cuddles and nighttime sleep. So, do it well and do it like a wise parent.