If you’re a mom, chances are you've experienced sleepless nights because baby doesn’t want to sleep. We know, the struggle is real. Here are some tips to help you get through the sleep training stage!
How in the world do you do that? Babies are tricky because each one is different. Allowing your baby to learn how to self-soothe means that you will have to let them learn by themselves. It is hard, as a parent, to let your baby cry longer than you would like, but it helps your baby develop their self-soothing skills. Even a few minutes of crying before picking them up can help! Some babies use favorite blankets or stuffed animals, thumb sucking, or pacifiers to help soothe themselves. Find a tool that works for your baby.When they are able to stop crying on their own, they’ve developed some self-soothing skills!
Overnight diapers have been saving parents during the night for a while! If your little one is waking up because they are wet, get overnights! They absorb A LOT and help your baby stay comfortable throughout the night. If your baby is still waking up wet with their overnights, try going up a size, giving it more absorbency to solve the problem.
For babies it can be scary to lay in a dark room alone. Investing in a dimmly lit nightlight can help them feel more secure. Make sure that it is nursery safe and preferably cordless. LumiPets are a great option! Plus, they’re portable, too!
If your baby is not sleepy, they will not sleep. Consider attaching an activity to their crib, like an ocean scene that plays music or a light machine, so that baby can tire themselves out when they are old enough to use it.
There are so many methods of sleep training today to choose from. Do your research and select one that you think will fit your baby best! Make sure that your baby is old enough for sleep training and can actually make it all night without a feeding. Most techniques suggest implementing sleep training between 4-6 months old.
Make sure that baby is tired when you put them down for bed. Develop a nightly routine to help baby know when it is bedtime and to begin getting sleepy. You could read a story while rocking, bath time, or any other routine that can be done on a nightly basis. Make sure that you baby is drowsy when you put them down in their bed, not asleep. This is one of the most important steps for allowing baby to develop their self-soothing skills.
If your baby is still crying every time you put them in their crib, try implementing a 15 minute rule. If you are comfortable with waiting, a period of wait time could be beneficial in teaching babies how to sleep. Wait for 15 minutes before reentering the room, then comfort baby by patting them or singing to them but DO NOT pick them up. It is hard to do, especially with our precious littles, but if all their needs have been met, try to refrain. Picking them up reinforces to babies that crying=being picked up. It will essentially put you back at square one.
Being predictable with baby’s bottle feedings can help them adjust easier to missing the middle of the night feedings. If they go to bed on a full stomach, they are more likely to sleep better and if you feed them when they wake up, they know they will be getting another one at that time too.
Make sure that nap times and bed times are at the same time everyday. Allowing your schedule to be predictable will let baby know what they are doing during the day. Eventually, their bodies will adjust to the scheduled sleep times and there will be much more cooperation to go to sleep.
If one sleep technique doesn’t work, try another one but make sure that you give the first one the chance to work. Some babies can take a week, or even two, to adjust to their new schedule and to develop the soothing skills that they need.
Sleep training gives your babies the tools that they need to learn to go to sleep. Babies are still new here and simply don’t know how to go to sleep on their own. It is a lifelong skill that they will need to have! Sleep training can be tough, especially with more stubborn babies, but hang in there! With practice, your babies will be sleeping through the night in no time!