How to sleep train your baby

Read on to find out how sleep training can help your baby fall asleep or return to sleep on their own through self-soothing.

How to sleep train your baby
 If your baby is at least four months old and still keeping you awake all night long, it may be appropriate to begin sleep training.

While it may cause some tears, sleep training is not detrimental to babies, and many fussy sleepers become excellent sleepers in just a few nights. 

Here’s when and how to begin sleep training your infant to ensure everyone gets a decent night’s sleep.

What exactly is sleep training?

Sleep training is the process of teaching your infant to fall asleep without your assistance. That implies the baby is placed to bed tired but awake, and she falls asleep without being rocked, swayed, hugged, nursed, or shushed.

Sleep training also teaches your baby how to go back to sleep when she wakes up throughout the night (since night waking is a normal part of the sleep cycle, even for adults).

It’s important to understand that sleep training and night weaning do not always go hand in hand. Depending on your baby’s age and stage, you can still feed your baby once or twice during the night. Consult your paediatrician about whether it’s safe to discontinue your baby’s overnight feedings altogether.

While some parents are concerned that certain approaches would impair a baby’s health or cause attachment problems later in life, research suggests that sleep training does not increase the risk of behavioural or emotional disorders later in childhood. Many specialists believe that sleep training is harmless and beneficial to newborns’ development.

When should you begin sleep training?

According to experts, sleep training should begin between 4 and 6 months. This age range is ideal since newborns are physically capable of sleeping for six to eight hours without eating but aren’t yet at the point where the consoling you provide has developed a sleep association.

Methods of sleep training

There is no one way to sleep train, but many parents find that one or a combination of strategies work well for their families.

Create a bedtime routine

Maintain a consistent 30- to 45-minute baby sleep schedule to help your child transition from awake to sleeping time. 

Get the timing correct

When there has been a recent disruption in your baby’s life, it is not the time to meddle with their sleep (a move, new nanny, ear infection, travel). Before beginning sleep training, wait until things have calmed down.

Recognise when your baby is tired

Keep an eye out for sleep signs such as yawning, eye rubbing, or crankiness. It’s critical to put your baby to bed when she’s weary but not overtired because overtired babies have a more difficult time falling asleep.

Lay your baby down awake

Sleep training entails teaching your baby to fall asleep on her own, something she will not learn if you rock her to sleep in your arms before moving her to the crib.

Postpone your reaction time

Don’t rush into your baby’s room at the first cry. Instead, give your baby the opportunity to self-soothe. 

Keep evening interactions brief

To avoid overstimulating your baby, perform any checkups, feeding, or nappy changes calmly but swiftly.

When to consult a doctor

Consult with your child’s paediatrician if you want to know when and how to start sleep training with your baby.

Initially, sleep training may cause both you and your baby to cry. With patience, consistency, and a little luck, you’ll soon be sleeping soundly, and your baby will have acquired the valuable life skill of falling and staying asleep on her own.