Helpful Baby Sleep Training Tips and Advice for New Parents

Sleep training is the process of teaching a newborn baby to take a nap and stay asleep during the night. As new parents, you might find out that your baby is not that comfortable while sleeping. If your baby awakens during the night or doesn’t get to sleep at all, then it is time to seek some help. There are many experts, schools, courses, books, and apps that can help provide proper baby sleep training. Here, we will talk about some of the most fruitful ways and advices for sleep training.

Basics of Baby Sleep Training

Here are some important points you need to know and understand before starting with the process

  • Baby sleep training process is usually started when the baby is between 4 and 6 months of age.
  • The staging for the actual process should begin earlier, around 6 weeks before the training. It may include processes like setting a bedtime routine, etc.
  • There are multiple methods for baby sleep training, and at least one should definitely work for your baby. A research also found that almost all sleep training techniques are effective if applied carefully and consistently.
  • The baby sleep durations also change with his age, so you should keep adjusting your training schedule accordingly.

How to Lay the Groundwork?

As mentioned above, the staging process should be started around 6 weeks before the actual training process. It may include following things and steps.

You should start setting a regular bedtime routine for the child. Put your baby to bed at the same time every night and try to wake him up at around the same time daily in the morning. Before putting the baby to bed, give him a nice cozy bath, read a story or book, and feed him.

Most of the babies are ready to embrace a regular sleep by the age around 3 months. Before you start baby sleep training process, make sure that the baby is not experiencing any health issues that might have been affecting his sleep. If so, take consultation of a baby specialist.

Once you start applying the process, keep it slow and observe baby’s reactions to the program. If he is nice with the program, you can continue it otherwise, you might need to wait for a few weeks more.

Baby Sleep Training Methods

There are multiple methods when it comes to baby sleep training. One such method is “cry it out (CIO)” in which you leave your baby to cry alone for a few minutes. This method is effective in some situations, but not in all. If you do not like the idea of leaving your baby alone to cry out, you might want to consider the “No tears method”.

The “cry-it out” approach involves putting baby to bed and allowing short regular periods of crying followed by soothing (but not picking up the child). Richard Ferber, one of developers of the approach believes that babies must learn to comfort themselves if they expect to fall and stay asleep on their own during the night.

The “no tears” approach involves sleep training methods that are exactly opposite to the “cry-it out” approach. The process is based on the concept that the baby must be comforted right away when he cries. Some parents as well as experts believe that by offering instant comfort and by responding to your baby’s needs, you can easily connect with your child giving him a sense of safety and care.

There are some other baby sleep training approaches as well that usually fall in between above two methods. One such method is “the five S’s” approach by pediatrician Harvey Karp that involves swaddling, the side or stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking.

Whatever baby sleep training approach you use, just make sure that your baby is responding positively to it.

Tips to Teach Baby to Sleep

Here are some other tips that can help teaching your baby to sleep

  • Make a baby sleep routine and follow it as strictly as possible.
  • Teach your baby the difference between daylight and nighttime, so that he knows when to get up and when to get to sleep.
  • Let your baby cry for some time if necessary, and keep soothing him at regular intervals until he goes back to sleep.
  • You also take regular and sound sleep to make sure you are always in good health.
  • You might also sometimes try napping with your baby. It gives him the feeling of comfort and safety.
  • Humming a tone or reading a story to baby also works many times and for many babies.
  • Do not interfere with your child’s sleep if not necessary or unless he has been sleeping for several hours in a row.
  • Keep a notebook and note down your baby’s sleep patterns to understand them better.

Good luck!

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