Sleep training is the process a parent must go through in order to get them to sleep, and also stay asleep throughout the night. There are some babies that develop a regular sleep schedule right off the bat, and then some babies need a little extra help. Sleep training your child needs to be done at a specific time, because there are periods of time when it will be less likely to work. Here is a breakdown and basics of training your child to sleep:
Newborn to Three Months
The day you bring home baby should not be the time you start your sleep training. During this time, it’s important to wake up every time your baby needs you whether they need to be fed, changed or merely comforted. After six weeks, it’s time to reinforce both daytime and bedtime routines. In the evening, initiate bedtime by giving a bath first, then feed them their last bottle or breast followed with a good night book. Establishing a good routine will get your little one equipped for sleep-training.
Four To Six Months
Now that your little one has developed more of a sleep cycle, they should also drop most of their feedings in the evening. Typically between four and six months, most babies are capable of sleeping throughout the night. It’s recommended to start sleep training if your child isn’t already sleeping throughout the night.
Sleep Training Options
There are plenty of ways to train your child to maintain healthy sleep habits. Choosing a technique depends on what you feel comfortable with and which strategy you feel your child will respond best to.
Experts are consistently debating on the various types of sleep training options, but consistency in general is the best method. Studies published in the journal of Sleep, reviewed 52 different sleep studies using various methods and found all techniques to work, as long as they were applied consistently.
All sleep train methods say it’s okay to let your little one cry, but they don’t advocate on letting a baby cry endlessly. Having your little one cry for periods of time is a huge part of teaching them to self-soothe. Once your little one understands how to self-soothe themselves, this will be a huge part of them falling asleep, and staying to sleep.
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