Sleep Training Your Baby: 4 Helpful Tips For New Parents
You’ve heard the rumors about sleep training your child. Don’t worry! With these tips, you and your baby will be dreaming through the night in no time.
Your baby is ticking off new milestones daily, but some of them might be the kind you weren’t looking forward to –– like the infamous four-month sleep regression. Sleep training may be just what you need to help you and your little one sleep through the night.
Although it might sound militant, sleep training isn’t baby boot camp. It’s about teaching your little one how to put themselves to sleep without relying on cuddles, rocking, or the mighty milk supply.
Additionally, sleep training your baby is a marathon, not a sprint. After deciding which sleep training method is best for your family, follow these four tips to navigate the rewarding world of sleep training!
Expert Sleep Training Tips
1) Set The Tone For Sleep
Sleeping in a bright, noisy room doesn’t make for good rest. Your baby is only human, after all.
Making sure they feel safe and comfortable is one of the most important steps to creating the right sleep schedule. Your infant’s bedroom should reflect the type of sleep you want them to have.
Investing in blackout curtains will help create an atmosphere that encourages drowsiness, while a good white noise machine can help drown out any noisy distractions that come naturally with a busy house (which, these days, we all have!).
A high-quality mattress is also key. Prioritizing not only the comfort but also the breathability of your baby’s mattress is an important step in encouraging healthy, long periods of sleep.
Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress helps regulate your little one’s temperature through the night (no more sweaty swaddles and backs!) and is completely breathable, which reduces suffocation risks for your baby and helps you rest easier, too.
2) Avoid Negative Sleep Associations
The end goal of sleep training is for your baby to soothe themselves back to sleep as they wake up throughout the night.
Your little one might hum, suck on their fingers, or cuddle a lovey (only if they’re over one year old!). These are the sort of positive sleep associations that sleep training encourages. Negative sleep associations, on the other hand, are actions that involve both you and your baby.
Any time you have to interact with your baby in order to help them sleep counts as a negative association. The most common culprits are nighttime nursing or feeding and rocking.
To avoid creating a negative sleep association, don’t make feeding your baby the last step in their bedtime routine. Instead, try feeding your little one before their bath, then placing them in their crib while they’re drowsy but still awake.
Leaving your baby in their crib while they’re drowsy will gradually allow them to soothe themselves to sleep. Whether or not (or how often) you intervene should your little one start to fuss depends on your preferred sleep training method.
But try to avoid interfering too much –– remember it’s a process!
3) Keep A Journal Of Your Baby’s Progress
How often is your baby napping during the day? Are they sleeping longer than they should for naps (most experts recommend capping daytime naps to two hours maximum) or not enough?
Answers to these questions can help ensure your baby is not over or under-rested, both things that can contribute to increased fussiness at bedtime.
By logging the length and frequency of your little one’s naps, you can keep track of how many hours your baby needs to sleep during the day to strike the right balance.
If there are inconsistencies, you can spot the issue before it spills over into your new attempt at sleep training. If your little one only fusses for a few minutes at a time before falling asleep again, this is usually a positive sign that sleep training is working!
4) Create A Routine And Stick To It
Sleep training offers you and your baby a reliable routine, but in order to receive, you must first give –– lots of patience, that is!
Allow you and your little one time to adjust, and keep at it. By establishing a routine and sticking to your guns, you’ll see the benefits begin to pay off as early as one or two weeks.
If your baby is going through new changes that may be interrupting your routine, don’t fret. Stick as close to it as you can, and trust in your baby’s ability to readjust. The more you stay true to the routine the more likely your sleep training will pay off in the long run.
Sleep Training Success
Remember: your baby can learn how to soothe themselves to sleep!
You simply need to set them up for success by ensuring they don’t rely on you to go to sleep, keeping track of their progress, practicing patience as they adjust, and investing in high-quality, safe sleep accessories (such as a Newton Baby Crib Mattresses).
Sweet dreams, little one!
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.