Sleep training will help your baby learn how to fall and stay asleep independently. Sounds simple, right? However, many parents are still wondering when the best time to start, or even thinking whether their methods are correct or not.
We’ve rounded up all the sleep training facts from professionals and experienced parents, let’s get into it!
What is sleep training?
The theory behind it is simple: Children fall asleep more easily if they are led through a series of pleasant, predictable, and quiet bedtime rituals. Although babies spend a lot of time sleeping, they need to learn when to sleep and how to sleep. There’s no one right way to get a child to sleep through the night - there are a lot of different ways.
When is the best time to start sleep training?
Ages and Stages of Sleep Training
0-6 weeks: Sleep Surviving
Newborns can’t tell the difference between night and day because they don’t produce enough melatonin. Parents should hold off on sleep training for this period.
2-3 months: Sleep Learning
By this time, babies are forming a nighttime sleep cycle. However, most of them aren’t developmentally ready to self-soothe. Start from something small like incorporating a set bedtime routine (feed, bath, massage, storytelling, etc).
4-6 months: Sleep Training
You may now introduce formal sleep training. Most experts recommend sleep training around this time when babies can make it 6 to 8 hours without feeding overnight.
What are Sleep Training Methods?
Cry It Out Method
This is undoubtedly the most controversial sleep-training method. Some experts suggest leaving babies by themselves until the morning. Although the first few days can be rough, parents need to be fully determined.
After finished the bedtime routines, put babies in their crib, and leave the room. Parents can continue to check on babies through the night but never feed or rock them to sleep.
Bedtime Routine Fading Method
Continue with whatever method you were using to help your baby fall asleep, such as rocking or nursing, but decrease the amount of time you spend doing it until you don’t have to do it at all.
After prep babies for sleep, don’t leave the room just yet but sit in a chair next to the crib. When they fall asleep, leave the room, but every time they wake up, sit back down in the chair until they fall back asleep. Every few nights, move the chair further and further away until you’re out of the room.
Pick Up/Put Down Method
Parents stay in the room, stand over their crib and shush babies, pat their rummy or apply pressure to calm and reassure them until they fall asleep. This method can work well for babies younger than seven months.
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