How to sleep train your baby – a quick and easy guide to better sleep

A happy and healthy parent never equals an exhausted parent, and the reason for exhaustion almost always have to do with your baby’s sleep schedule. Sure, our little bundles of joy are always worth it, but wouldn’t it be nice if your baby could sleep fall asleep with ease, without tears, and generally at the same time intervals?

Even though it probably sounds like a myth, a legend, something that’s too good to be true, sleep training your baby is actually doable. Now, nobody said that it would be easy – it all depends on your baby after all, but just imagine all those restful hours filled with peaceful slumber… If we piqued your interest, keep reading to learn more about different baby sleep training methods.

Cry it out routine

This method is as old as time, and probably one used by our mothers and grandmothers. Basically, you are supposed to let your baby cry herself / himself to sleep. Some think that this method is too aggressive, and that it’s absolutely counter-productive, because your baby should connect sleeping with positive feelings, and not have negative emotions whenever the drowsiness hits. But, it’s always helpful to bear in mind that what works for one baby, might not work for another, so testing couple of methods for sleep training is the best thing you can do. Then, just stick to whatever works.

No-tear methods

No-tear sleep training methods range from affectionate attachment parenting, to the ones that are somewhere in between. Choosing the right method also depends on your general parenting approach. If you are an overly-attached parent (and you will know if you are), it’s perfectly normal that you feel a strong inclination to run whenever your baby cries and you want to soothe him / her.

There is a sleep training method that isn’t CIO (cry it out), that promotes attachment and soothing your crying baby, but then you’re supposed to put the baby down once he / she is settled and let him / her fall asleep. If you have strong will to be there, or to pick up your baby every time he / she cries – then put him / her down immediately, and repeat the process numerous times if needed until your baby falls asleep. This way you are letting your baby know that you will be there when he / she needs you, but also that your baby should also rely on himself / herself. And, the more you try, the less repeats it will take.

Whatever method you choose, there are several tips and tricks that will help you with sleep training your baby:

  • Stick to a routine. Set the napping and sleeping schedule so that you try to soothe your baby to sleep at the same time every day.
  • Baby sleep experts have noted that setting the bed time early, around 7 PM, leads to longer sleeping.
  • If you do want to change the bed time, make sure you do it gradually – if you do it abruptly, you will disturb baby’s sleep cycle. Put your baby to sleep half an hour earlier until you reach the most optimal time for napping.
  • Some paediatricians claim that you can use certain “activation“ words, that could be as simple as saying “ssssshhhh,” “sleep,” or a sentence like “let’s go to sleep now.” The theory is that your baby can associate trigger words with bedtime.
  • Test different sleeping environments that will work for your baby. Some babies prefer more darkness, some prefer white noise, sounds of nature, or complete silence.
  • Try swaddling your baby. A snug environment will remind your baby about his / her time in your womb and can calm him / her down. Many parents say that they observe prolonged sleep in their babies when they are swaddled. This is proven by science because swaddled babies don’t startle and wake themselves up in the middle of sleeping. If you want to stock up on swaddle blankets, check out Mooiste’s 3-pack here.
  • Use very soft and snuggly bedding.
  • Use a baby monitor to check on your baby without entering the room. Nowadays, baby monitors can provide video feedback, and two-way audio so that you can hear and see what’s happening even in the dark.

 

Do you have any tips for soothing your baby and getting him / her in a sleeping routine? Feel free to share your comments below – we’d love to hear from you!