Holding your child in your arms, playing with his little hands, and watching him look at you is sheer joy.
However, parenting is a long and tiresome journey. The happiness along the way comes with responsibilities and challenges too. One of which is to put your baby to sleep.
Sleep is essential for everyone, including babies. Infants who sleep soundly grow healthy and happy. However, they don’t sleep long or continuously.
Does that sound like your little munchkin? Don’t worry; he isn’t the only one who does that.
Infants wake up multiple times during the night. And, more often than not, they wake up crying.
Putting a crying baby back to sleep is one of the biggest challenges that parents face early on. So, what do they do, or what should you do?
Train your baby to fall asleep on his own. Yes, he is too young for any sort of learning, but he is a baby, and babies develop habits. Anyone capable of forming habits can be trained for such things as falling asleep on their own.
Right through this guide, we will help you to learn all the essential elements and factors related to baby sleep training. So, read on!
What is meant by sleep training?
Before we head towards the guide of sleep training for babies, it is essential to know what sleep training is all about!
The concept of sleep training is about teaching your baby how to fall asleep without any help. It means you don’t need to cuddle with your baby to make them fall asleep.
Plus, this baby sleep training method will also teach you how to make your baby fall asleep if they wake up at midnight
When should you start sleep training?
Knowing about the right time to start sleep training is always a common question among parents. According to experts, any baby aged 5-6 months is the best time to start this training procedure.
In this age group, a baby is generally in the sweet spot. They are physically healthy to sleep at least 8 hours or even overnight.
Everything You Need to Know About Baby Sleeping Patterns
For all the new parents, this portion of our guide is significant and valuable to check out. Here we will be explaining all about baby sleeping patterns in different age groups. This sleeping pattern will assist you in identifying the level of your sleep training a baby.
Your baby will start to take more naps once they reach the age of 1 month. Let them take as many naps as they want to for preventing overtiredness.
Your baby will also require some periodic daytime naps for at least 7 hours. They may sleep for a more extended period at night routine for a maximum of 9 hours. They will wake up frequently after finishing their 2 hours of sleep.
The arrival of 3 months will bring specific changes in the sleeping pattern of a baby. This is because, at this age, he can quickly identify between day and night time.
Once your baby reaches in the age group of 3 months, they will require a maximum of 15 hours of sleep. They will wake up frequently after finishing their 2.5 hours of sleep.
They have a different number of naps in which some babies will take just two naps per day, and some will demand three naps.
At the age of 6 months, the sleeping pattern of your baby is left with two options! They will either sleep throughout the whole night or make their way back to the old sleeping routine.
At this age, your baby will experience the condition of a growth spurt. It is a body development phase in which a baby will gain length and weight.
The newborn will ask for more hours of sleep during this age group. Overall they will demand to sleep for a maximum of 15 hours. They will wake up frequently after finishing their 2 hours of sleep.
Plus, they will take around two naps with a time difference of 3 hours long.
A nine-month-old baby needs a consistent routine of bedtime.
During this period, your baby does need a sleeping routine of 14 hours. Long hours of sleep will let your baby stay active for at least 5 hours. They will take two naps per day with a time difference of 3 hours.
As your baby reaches the age of 12 months, they will have a sleeping pattern that is similar to adults. They will sleep throughout the whole night, but at the same time, they will require a few naps.
Twelve months old baby means a 1-year-old baby. And a one-year-old baby will sleep for a maximum of 13 hours. During this stage, a baby naturally loves to play around and explore their surroundings. This means they will stay awake for almost 6 hours.
They have different naps levels in which some babies will take just one nap per day, and some will demand two naps.
During the age of 18 months, your toddler is now capable enough to sleep on their own. Even if they wake at midnight, they can easily sleep back on their own.
Eighteen months old baby will demand for 14 hours of sleep. Based on their daily activities, they can awake for a maximum of 6-7 hours. They need only one nap per day, which will stay for at least 2 hours.
Important Dos & Don’ts to Follow During Baby Sleep Training
Here are major do’s and don’ts you need to follow as you train a baby to sleep through the night. A newborn baby will never establish their sleeping and wake cycle on their own.
As a parent, you need to create a proper bedtime schedule for your baby to give them a comfortable sleep. Right
below, we have necessary do’s and don’ts to follow for sleep training your baby:
- You should always put the baby at sleep on his/her back. Babies sleeping on their stomachs can cause specific breathing or lungs issue. Sleeping on his back can reduce the risk of infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Avoid letting your baby fall asleep in your arms. This is a bad habit. This will let your baby show clingy behavior every night to sleep in your arms.
- Make sure you set-up a comfortable crib for the baby. And for that sake, you have to create a comfortable environment for your baby during sleep. Add the bed with some soft pillows and s snug blanket.
- Besides, you should avoid using the crib for the playtime. This will help you establish your baby with the feeling that his crib is the place to sleep.
- If your baby is in the developing stages, then avoid turning off the lights. Turning off the lights can affect the sleeping cycle of your baby. Instead, you can keep a dim light in your room or turn it off when they fall asleep.
- Never put any distractions in his/her room. These distractions can be either TV or PC. Such distractions will prevent your baby from falling asleep in a relaxed way. This is an essential tip for 4-month-old baby sleep training.
- You should mentally and physically prepare yourself to be ready to wake up at night. Your baby will wake up in the middle of the night. It would be best if you showed high patience and stay calm.
- Lastly, do not panic when your baby starts crying for no reason. It’s an ordinary parent instinct that you will rush to your baby once you hear their crying sound. Allow them to sleep on their own so that they can develop a particular habit of it.
Overview of 5 Different Types of Sleep Training Methods
Although there is no specific way to sleep train, you can learn the techniques through different strategies.
Let’s discuss five different types of sleep training methods for parents:
1. Cry it out (CIO)
This method is also known as the extinction method. In this method, you have to put your baby on the bed and let them cry for a long. This will make them sleep on their own without any help.
Using the CIO method is a little harsh thing for the new parents. No parent can see their newborn baby crying all the time. But with this method, your baby will develop a habit to sleep on their own after 3-4 nights.
Ferber method is also known as check and console or graduated extinction method. In this method, you will allow your baby to cry for a specific period. They will cry until and unless you will check on them.
Sometimes this whole time interval will get so long that they will fall asleep on their own in exhaustion. With every single night, you can increase this time interval. It would help if you stopped checking them for long hours.
Next, we have a chair method! This is an extremely comfortable method for old babies. In this method, you have to sit down on a baby crib until the baby falls asleep. The best thing about this method is that you don’t have to pick your baby up.
You can move the chair farther each night until you do not reach closer to the door. In this way, the baby will develop a habit in which they will sleep on their own.
For all those new parents who don’t want their baby to cry out all the time for them, this is an effective method.
4. Bedtime fading
Do you sometimes feel that your infant is wailing over an extended period before sleeping? This is because their body is not ready for sleep!
The bedtime fading technique will eventually modify the circadian rhythm to get the bedtime to the place where it should be. It is essential to deal with it on an early basis for your infant comfort.
You should pay attention to your baby sleeping cues. This will include rubbing eyes or yawning. Once you feel that now your baby is tired, you should instantly put them to bed. This will make them fall asleep fast and in less time.
If she cries, do not panic. It is quite common. Just take her out of the crib and repeat the whole sleeping cycle. After a few nights, you will notice that your baby can now sleep on its own.
5. Pick up, put down
The last and most crucial sleeping training method is about to pick up, pick down method! You can follow this method during the regular bedtime routine of your baby.
But it can be a little daunting for you because you have to pick up and pick down your baby until they do not sleep comfortably. As soon as you put them down, they will awake with tears in their eyes.
Once they wake up, you should never put them back to sleep all of a sudden. Wait for some time and repeat the whole process all over again.
When should you consult a doctor?
You should never hesitate to consult your baby doctor to know more about the tried and tested sleep training techniques for your baby.
It is possible that you will not be able to get the required results of the sleep training method even after two weeks. This is the moment when consulting a doctor will bring excellent outcomes for you.
Plus, it is a common health concern that your baby will vomit out instantly when they start crying. But if this health condition persists for more than three weeks, then do consult a health pediatrician to rule out the rest of the medical concerns.
Possibly the whole process of sleep training will make you exhausted and tiring. But you have to stay consistent and motivated. Don’t lose hope. A time will come when both you and baby will sleep peacefully throughout the whole night.
Using the Best Baby Crib to Help Improve Sleep
With a restless baby, parents may never seem to get a good night’s sleep. They always worry about their baby’s safety. After reading this about this product, you will no longer have to deal with this difficulty.
Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
The Babyletto Hudson sets the vibe for a modern, sleek nursery. It supports a lower height than other cribs, which petite parents love the most. Better yet, this superb-quality crib will last for years – all thanks to the included toddler bed assembly kit that easily transitions from crib to a toddler bed to a daybed. Moreover, it comes in a variety of woods and washes.
There’s no need to worry about the safety of Babyletto’s materials, as the Hudson crib is Greenguard Gold certified (which means it has been screened for over 10,000 chemicals and 360 VOCs). It is made from sustainable New Zealand pine wood and boasts a non-toxic coating, plus it is phthalate and lead-free.
Lastly, this is a versatile baby crib that allows you to adjust the height with 3-in-1 convertibility. The low profile structure and four adjustable mattress positions make it easy to put a newborn to sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions-FAQs
The best time to start sleep training your baby is when they can be put down in their cot or sleeper. The majority of the babies are ready for sleep training during the 4-9 months of age.
1. How can you identify if the baby is ready for sleep training?
There are basic signs to identify whether your baby is ready for sleep training or not. This can include sleeping for more than 6 hours. They might wake up frequently in the middle of the night.
2. Is three months old the right age for sleep training a baby?
Well, probably not! Experts will recommend you to wait until the time when your baby turns into four months old. At this age, you can experiment with some sleep training techniques on your baby.
3. Why does your baby cry when you put him down to sleep?
As your baby reaches the age group of 7 months or one year, they will experience a state of separation anxiety. But don’t worry; this is the developmental phase of your baby growth. This phase is quite common during the baby’s physiological development.
Babies look adorable when they sleep. But it can be troublesome to put them back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night. It affects their own routine and their parent’s sleep cycle, too. That’s why baby sleep training should be considered as early as possible.
It might be difficult for new parents to balance their sleeping hours with the baby’s sleep cycle.
But what else you wish for when your baby is happy and relaxed throughout the whole day. Consult your doctor to know more about baby sleep training methods and techniques.
If you have an experience that you would like to share or any other question or comment please leave your comment below I will reply and try to help you in any way I can. Thank you for reading my article I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this subject.