One of the most difficult adjustments to parenthood starts soon after you bring your bundle of joy home from the hospital. Sleep deprivation kicks in with the around-the-clock, two-hour feedings. This is certainly to be expected but most parents anticipate that their baby will begin to develop good sleep habits within a reasonable period of time. Most babies are emotionally and physically ready to sleep through the night between 4 to 6 months of age.
Unfortunately for many, the sleepness nights stretch on for many months and even, for some, beyond one year. These constant nighttime disruptions affect the well-being of the entire family and can be very disheartening for exhausted and sleep deprived moms.
Once your baby reaches their birth weight you will want to start getting them on a regular sleeping schedule. We realize that not all babies are the same and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all when it comes to sleep strategies and techniques; however, there are some incredibly simple and effective methods that you can use to help your baby sleep through the night. Once the pediatrician gives you the okay, here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help with the sleep training of your baby.
Start A Bedtime Routine
Getting your baby into a routine is probably one of the best ways to sleep train them. Doing things such as reading a book, singing a lullaby, and giving them a calming bath is a great way to signal to the baby that it’s time to go to bed. By establishing bedtime routines, you help your baby to feel safe and secure because they learn what to expect next.
As Soon As Your Baby Gets Tired Place Them In Their Bed
If your baby starts to whine or rub their eyes that’s a sign they might be getting sleepy. As soon as you notice your baby getting tired, go lay them down in their bed, turn off the lights and leave the room. You don’t want to wait until your baby is asleep before you put them in their bed. You want them to master how to fall asleep on their own by putting them down while they are drowsy but still awake. You should not rock your baby to sleep or allow them to fall asleep while feeding as this inhibits them from learning to fall asleep on their own.
Never Let Your Baby Fall Asleep In Your Bed
The moment your baby gets used to sleeping with you it will be very difficult to break that habit. When your baby gets sleepy, go put them in their own bed. You can sit by the crib until they go to sleep but do your best not to take them to bed with you. The longer you allow then to sleep with you, the harder it will be to get them to sleep independently. Of course, there are those times when your baby is having difficulty settling down or is ill, in which case you should give him all the comfort and attention he needs.
Get Your Baby On A Sleeping Schedule
Try to put your baby to bed at the same time every night. This will help them establish a consistent sleeping pattern. It may not be easy to get your baby on a regular sleeping schedule. But stick with it and, after a few weeks, your baby should have adjusted to the bedtime and be ready to go fall sleep on his own.
Don’t Run To Your Baby The Moment You Hear Them Cry
It’s okay to go check on your baby if you hear them crying, but don’t immediately run in the room and pick him up. Give him a little time to see if he settles back down on his own before you race to his side. You should be prepared for a few nights of fussing while your baby is learning how to fall asleep on his own. Unless your child is ill, it’s perfectly okay to let them tough it out sometimes. If, however, they continue to toss and turn for several minutes, go in and gently pat them on their back. Refrain from turning on the lights or picking him up so that you don’t disrupt the sleep training methods you’ve begun.
Stick With One Method
There are different methods you can use to sleep train your baby. For the best results you should stick with one method. Give it at least a month to see if it works. Don’t jump around from method to method. If you do, it will be much harder for you to sleep train your baby. The key is to choose the method that will work best for you and your baby.
With a little care, attention and consistency, you can find an effective solution for getting your baby (and yourself) to sleep through the night. Above all else, don’t be too hard on yourself. The sleepness nights won’t last forever and there are plenty of helpful resources available that will assist you in helping your baby learn to sleep better.
Do you have any tips that have worked for you in getting your baby to sleep through the night? We invite you to share them in the comments.
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