Sleep training is a popular method used by parents to help their babies develop healthy sleep habits. It involves teaching your baby to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own, without the need for external assistance like rocking or nursing. There are several benefits to sleep training, both for the baby and for the parents.
I remember what it was like getting Luca to sleep when he was still a tiny little baby. It wasn’t easy to hear him cry and to recognize his different cry patterns. Yet, little by little, he got more comfortable with self-soothing and used to falling asleep on his own. Here are a few tips that can help you with your baby as well.
Better sleep for the whole family
One of the main benefits of sleep training is that it can lead to better sleep for both the baby and the parents. When a baby learns to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own, they are less likely to wake up during the night and require assistance. This means that parents can get more restful sleep, which is crucial for their own health and well-being. A well-rested baby is also more likely to be in a better mood during the day, which can improve their overall development.
Develop a healthy routine
Another benefit of sleep training is that it can help babies develop a more consistent sleep schedule. When a baby knows what to expect and when to expect it, they are more likely to fall asleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. This consistency can help regulate their circadian rhythm and lead to more restful sleep overall.
Sleep training methods
The Ferber method
There are several techniques that can be used when sleep training a baby. One popular method is the “Ferber method,” which involves gradually increasing the amount of time you leave your baby to self-soothe before going in to comfort them. This can help them learn to fall asleep on their own without feeling abandoned or neglected.
Another technique is the “pick-up-put-down” method, which involves picking your baby up when they start to cry and putting them back down when they calm down. This can help them learn to self-soothe without feeling alone.
The “cry it out” method
One of the most common techniques is the “cry it out” method, where parents gradually increase the amount of time between soothing their child during the night. This can help the baby learn to fall asleep on their own, without relying on their parents for comfort.
How early can you start sleep training?
Sleep training may not work for every baby, and it is important to be flexible and adjust techniques as needed.
It is important to note that sleep training should only be used for babies who are at least four months old and in good health. It is also important to consult with a pediatrician before starting any sleep training program to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your baby.
Should you feel bad about sleep training your child?
Some parents may feel guilty or anxious about sleep training their baby, but it is important to remember that learning to self-soothe is a crucial developmental milestone. Babies who are able to fall asleep on their own are more likely to develop healthy sleep habits as they grow older, which can improve their overall health and well-being. Sleep training can also be a positive experience for parents, as it can lead to more restful nights and a happier, healthier baby.
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Until next time, Tania xx