It’s hard to remember everything during motherhood. There’s a lot to learn during those nine months of pregnancy. Any woman who’s on the path to become a Mom may think she can handle different situations in her baby’s life. But they realize that it is not so, when they fail to put it to sleep. Thankfully, newborns sleep on their own. But they need sleep training as well. Sleep training means preparing your child to sleep in the right way at the right time. While it is not mandatory, it does come across as a helpful tool, especially for the new parents –
1. Following A Routine Is Important
If you think babies cannot be trained according to a schedule, think again. Babies love a healthy routine because it keeps their bodies on track. The only way they can communicate is through crying. As parents, it’s easier to decipher what they want, if they are trained according to a system of routines. And training does not stick to sleep only, you can prepare a baby for other things also.
2. Both Mom And Baby Need To Be Prepared For Sleep Training
Mom and dad may be prepared for sleep training when the baby is a month old, but that doesn’t mean the baby is ready as well. Before beginning sleep training, it’s better to consult the baby’s pediatrician. Then start the routine to get a baby used to what’s called a bedtime. If your baby is around 15 lbs and is growing steadily at a healthy rate, then he/she is medically fit and your sleep training is actually working.
3. The Baby Should Be Awake When They Are Being Put To Sleep
The babies should be a little drowsy, but awake, when you are putting them to sleep. Most of the Moms sing a lullaby and rock them to sleep, then carefully place them on their cots. According to a popular parenting magazine, Parents, initially the baby might cry. But, eventually he/she may get used to it.
4. Start Keeping Track Of Your Baby’s Progress
It may sound a bit awkward, but believe us, it is not. There’s nothing wrong if the parents start taking notes of their baby’s progress. When you are sleep training your baby, note at what time they usually fall asleep. Also note the time when they wake up. How many hours are they actually clocking each day. Do they make a fuss at time? At what times are they cranky. These could give you a lot of signals.
5. Are They Old Enough To Be Trained?
If your baby is growing up healthily without any medical problems, then next thing moms and dads need to see how are they growing. Is there anything that is a bit uncommon? Or are they facing difficulty due to any particular problem? According to the the parenting blog, Nested Bean, sleep training can be started around the 4-5 month mark.
6. There Is More Than One Way To Train Your Child To Sleep
There’s more than one method to put your child to sleep, and you should be thankful for that. There’s nothing of the type one size fits all. Every baby is different, with different day-to-day routines. Some sleep training procedures are need the baby to “cry it out”. Many experts are against it. The Ferber Method is the correct way for a child to soothe themselves when they uncomfortable. In this method, you put a child to sleep by allowing them to slowly fade out and doze off to sleep.
7. Prioritize Your Child’s Sleep Over Everything Else
According to The American Academy of Pediatricians, without the proper amount of sleep, the way a baby functions, learns, and grows could be erratic. Sleep training is not limited to getting the mom or dad a few more hours of sleep, it’s about incorporating healthy habits for baby. In the longer run, it could affect the baby’s mental and physical health.
8. But How Much Sleep Does Your Child Need?
How much sleep is enough for the baby? Luckily, we have a table of reference for this. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine explains that 12-16 hours of sleep is perfect for a baby within the age range 4-12 months. This time is inclusive of the naps it takes. When a child is in the age range of 1-2 years, 11-14 hours of sleep is considered normal.
9. Beware Of The Sleep Support Props
We all have something which we rely upon entirely. There are some props which you use for making your baby sleep, like singing, rocking, or humming. All are fantastic ways, but there may come a time when your baby is fully dependent on them to fall asleep. Don’t let the baby use this as a sleep-crutch. While these methods are harmless, but imagine if your child woke up at midnight, would you be able to sing a lullaby for it?
10. Consistency Will Lead You To Success
Like everything else in life, regularity is key. Whether we are learning a new skill, persistence will lead to success. For sleep training also, you have to apply the same mantra. It is never going to be easy. There may be times when you or your husband might want to give up. But if you want the well-being of your child, it is important that you do not throw in the towel. Your baby wants to sleep just as much as you want to. All they need is the right guidance for a proper sleep.
11. Is The Baby Sensitive To Anything?
Just like the adults, babies need to have a lot of factors in their favor, if they need to sleep peacefully. Does the baby sleep in the dark, or does it have problems with the light? Is the room cold or warm? As a parent, you need to focus on these things also. If overlooked, it could affect it’s sleeping pattern thereby altering the circadian clock of the baby.
12. Does Your Baby Need To Be Fed Before Being Put To Sleep?
Does the baby take feed at night. It is extremely important that the baby has its stomach full when being put to sleep. Some like to eat during the day, while others eat during the night. Remember it is the baby’s or mother’s personal choice and it rectifies itself with age. Don’t try to alter the baby’s ways in any manner.