Many people shudder at the thought of having to implement sleep training. Why?
Does the thought of their baby crying make them feel like bad parents?
Do they feel like they have failed as parents because their baby isn’t sleeping?
Would their family/friends criticize them if they knew they were considering sleep training?
Do they feel their baby wont trust them if they don’t comfort the baby right away?
Every time I bring up sleep training many people either think that I am trying to make my baby sleep through the night or nap on my time and not theirs. This isn’t true at all!! For me I think of sleep training as giving my baby the tools to fall asleep independency. This gives my baby the ability to fall asleep when she is tried without the use of “props” (I define props as things like nursing, swinging, rocking, stroller and car seat.)
There are various sleep-training methods available to parents, but what you need to know is that they all involve some degree of crying. Why? Because your baby will object to the new routine you are implementing and the only way they’ll be able to communicate his objection is through crying.
The Sleep schedule that worked for me and my baby was:
Baby goes back down for a nap after being up for 1.5 hrs. Ideal nap times where 9am, 12pm and 3pm. Before each nape had a schedule of things we did like diaper change, sleep sac, story and song.
We made a bedtime routine to signal to baby that we were getting ready for the long sleep. Our schedule was: Bath, Massage, Feed, Sleep Sac, Book, Song and Bed. Our bedtime routine is about 45-50mins. After a couple days of following our bed time schedule, I noticed that Aria ate more right before as if she realized that this was her long sleep time.
Bedtime routines don’t have to be as long as ours. Professionals do suggest that you have a “fun” element like a story after feeds so that when you take out the feeds when they are older they don’t notice the elimination as much. If you child likes bath time it is also suggested that you include a bath into the nighttime routine to help then realize that this is the long sleep.
We started sleep training Aria at 3 months old and within 10 days we didn’t have an fussing and she can fall asleep almost anywhere on her own.