Sleeping like a baby! Does that mean babies sleep? Yes, they do. But the truth is, most of them don’t sleep long until you help them learn it. Otherwise, you will have many sleepless nights. But not to worry, this article contains 10 sleep training tips that will help you.
Sleep is not a want, but a necessity. It is important to our survival as humans. You need to train your child to sleep well so you can be well-rested and groom a happy and well-rested child too.
But the question is: Do you need to sleep train your baby?
Do I need to sleep train my baby?
The answer is: You don’t “need” to sleep train your baby. However, you need to make decisions that will better improve the health of you and your baby. If you know you can’t function well at work or in the house without uninterrupted sleep, then you need gentle ways to sleep train your baby. On the other hand, if you are satisfied with the little sleep you get in the night, then you don’t need to sleep train your baby. They will develop the skill by themselves when they are ready.
Also, some babies are naturally good sleepers and they easily fall into a sleep pattern that you want. Children are not also the same, some find it easy to sleep while others take their time to learn.
When do you sleep train your baby?
Sleep experts recommend that moms can sleep train their babies between 4 and 6 months of age. When your baby is 4 months old, they have developed a regular sleep cycle and reduce night feedings. Also, they can sleep for a long time at night. However, this is not applicable to all babies. Some may take longer to be ready to sleep train.
Below are 10 sleep training tips to help your baby sleep longer.
10 Sleep training tips to help your newborn baby sleep longer
1. Create the right sleeping environment for the baby
The first thing you want to ensure is a good sleeping environment to make it easy for you to sleep training your baby. The first is the crib. The crib is very important for a good night’s rest. Therefore, you must do all you can to make it comfortable for your baby. Second, a soft baby crib mattress. You need a soft mattress that will give your baby a restful night’s sleep. A soft mattress helps support the baby’s growing bones and keeps them safe while sleeping. Possibly, if you can get a good one that comes with a waterproof cover that is soft and washable. Third, you need a crib bumper. When babies are old enough to roll over, they sometimes bump their heads on the crib. They can also get their arms and legs stuck in the crib bars. A crib bumper protects their heads, arms, and legs from getting hurt. It can also serve as a pillow for babies because it is soft. They come in different sizes for a mini crib and full-size cribs.
2. Create a day time schedule
The first thing you need to do is to create a daytime schedule. Have a specific time for feeding your baby and feed them very well. It can be every 2 or 3 hours. Create a time for them to nap constantly during the day. This helps them to sleep better in the day and at night.
3. Create a bedtime routine
Introduce a bedtime routine for your baby when they are still very young – say around 6 weeks. But you can still do it even if your baby is older, only it will be harder. A routine will help them know what to expect when it is time to sleep. You can start with a warm bath, followed by a massage, swaddling or dressing them in a sleepsuit, gentle rocking, a book reading time, and a lullaby before putting them to bed.
4. Choose an early bedtime
Set a time for your baby to sleep. It can be between 7 pm and 8 o’clock. This prevents your baby from getting too tired and fighting sleep. When they are overtired, they find it difficult to fall asleep for long.
5. Help your baby to understand the difference between night and day
Babies confuse the two together. So, create an environment that will help to differentiate the day and night. During the day, open the windows and the blinds to allow rays of light into the house. In the night, let the environment be dark and quiet. For this, you can get a good white noise machine, to help get him to sleep longer.
6. Know how much sleep your baby needs
This will help you give your baby enough sleep. Naps should be at least 30-45 minutes but not more than 2 hours. Your baby needs to get enough sleep required for their age or else they can become too tired, fussy and have difficulty sleeping in the night. Below is a table showing the length of sleep and naps your baby needs according to their age.
7. Keep a log of your baby’s sleep
To help you know how long your baby sleeps, keep a log. It will help you to monitor their sleep patterns. A good way to track this is to get the Motorola crib baby video monitor. It has a light show projector, night light with 7 different colors, lullabies and bedtime stories, great image during the day and night. It can help to keep track of your baby’s sleep at night and during the day.
8. Put the baby into the crib while still awake
Sleep experts recommend putting your baby into the crib while they are drowsy. When you put them down while they are sleeping, the baby can wake up crying again. But if they are aware of their environment before sleeping, it will be much easier to sleep and get used to the environment.
9. Use the Baby shusher to soothe the baby to sleep
Get a baby shusher that uses a human voice to lull your baby to sleep such as the sleep miracle soother sound machine. It is a lifesaver for moms. You can use it in the house, hang it over the car seats on road trips, in the shopping mall, etc. It helps you to free up your time for other things, while your baby sleeps peacefully.
10. Be consistent
One mistake moms make with sleep training is being consistent. When you start it, stick with it no matter what, until you get desired results. This is the way to get results and faster too. Don’t start and quit along the line. If by any means you have to stop, restart it again and stick with it.
Use the sleep training tips to create a healthy sleep routine for your baby
Whether you are first time mom or an experienced mom, sleep training a baby is a great way to develop a consistent and healthy sleep habit. Above are 10 sleep training tips you can use to get started. It is time to choose a start date. Choose a time you will be less busy such as vacation time or a weekend.