Sleep training the baby
Sleeping is something that adds a lot to the development of a baby. When the baby sleeps, the new mother gets some personal time. In the first few weeks after the birth of your baby, the schedule needs to be adjusted as per their convenience, but this cannot be followed forever. You need to set a routine and put things back on a schedule once and for all.
Also, there might be times when you're not around or are not able to soothe your baby to sleep. At such times, the baby needs to know how to soothe himself/ herself to sleep. Sleep training is something that can help achieve this.
So, here's all you need to know about sleep training your baby.
What is Sleep Training?
Sleep training, as the name suggests, involves some methods opted by parents to adjust the infants' sleeping practices. It is a set of rules or any one of them followed to achieve a desired sleeping schedule for the baby. This helps make your child sleep at the time you do, especially during the night. It also includes training your baby to fall asleep without your help and to fall back to sleep if they wake up in between. Various methods can be followed to train your baby to achieve sound sleep for him/ her.
Methods of Sleep Training for Your Baby
Only the parents can sleep train their child. So, if you're a new parent or soon-to-be one, do read these methods. You can try any of them for your baby, but don't expect your baby to learn it overnight. You need to be patient.
- Cry it out method
This method might not sound that great, but it is one effective method to make your baby fall asleep independently.
In this method, you put the baby in the cradle and let them cry until they soothe themselves to sleep. You need to make sure you put the baby in a cradle with a full tummy and a safe environment.
- Ferber method
If you find the cry-it-out method and letting the baby cry too difficult for yourself, the Ferber method is the alternative you can opt for!
In this method, you should allow the baby to cry for some time and then go and check on them. Every time you go to check on your baby, make sure you increase the time interval in between.
This is a gradual method, and over the night you'll keep on increasing the time interval. The baby will learn to soothe himself/ herself without your presence.
- Bedtime fading method
Does your newborn take a lot of time falling asleep? This might be because of the difference in your sleep schedules. A Baby's body might not be ready for sleep at your scheduled time because of their circadian rhythm.
This method is all about synchronizing the baby's circadian rhythm with your sleeping schedule over some time.
In this method, you've got to notice your baby's actions and put them to sleep whenever they feel sleepy. Then you need to put your baby down 15 minutes early or after their normal routine, and this way you can make them sleep at the desired time.
- Chair method
This is one method you might find the best if your heart just doesn't agree with leaving the baby crying. In this method, you should just sit in a chair near your baby's cradle until they fall asleep. You don't have to pick the baby up anytime and need to move your chair away from the cradle every successive night and eventually move out of the room.
This way, you'll train your baby to fall asleep without you comforting them.
- Pick-up put down method
In this method, you need to follow your baby's normal bedtime routine. You should put the baby down drowsy, but not asleep. If the baby cries, wait for the baby to settle on its own. If they continue to cry, pick them up, soothe them, and put them back. You don't need to soothe them to sleep.
When to start sleep training?
When you know the methods of sleep training your baby, you should also know when to start following them to achieve good results. So, the baby's circadian rhythm, i.e. the feeling or understanding of day and night, begins to develop 4-6 months after birth. This is the best time to start sleep training your baby and synchronize their sleeping schedule with yours. Also, it is at this age that you can leave your baby alone for 7-8 hours while sleeping.
It is good that you're there to comfort your baby, but it is even more important to make them learn to sleep by themselves. Sleep training is one of the best options to do that, and there are even professionals for this.