Whether your baby is waking frequently at night or has difficulties to fall asleep, sleep training is a key to change the sleeping habits. Sleep training helps to teach a new way to fall asleep.
There are many different sleep training methods. We have gathered here the most common tips for sleep training which you can try with your child.
Sleep training – how to start?
To begin with it’s important to notice that sleep training is intended for babies over six months old. A prerequisite for the sleep training is that your baby doesn’t need night feeding anymore. There is no reason to start sleep training with too young child.
4 tips for successful sleep training
Nobody can be sure that the sleep training method you chose works for your children, but there are a few important things to consider. A clear plan, sharing responsibility, patience, and a regular daily routine.
A clear plan means that when you decide to start the sleep training, you will stick to that decision. You will create a plan that works for you: discuss the different sleep training options and if necessary write the ideas and decisions on paper. Writing things down helps to recall the ideas later on.
Sharing responsibility is one of the most important reason for success in sleep training. Parents must be committed, and it’s good to take turns who gets the “night shift”. The sleep training insists both mental and physical strength from parents. The better the parents work together for a common goal the more likely the sleep training will be successful.
Parent’s patience will be tested during the sleep training. There happens progress making but also returning back to square one. Therefore, it is very important to be patient and keep pushing forward.
A regular daily routine is part of the sleep training. You may think that the sleep training is all about the things related to the bedtime or nigh-time activities. The basis for successful sleep training is already created during the day. Young children need to have a regular daily routine.
Sleep training methods
There are many different sleep training methods for you. We gathered a few popular “no tears” sleep training approaches. Choose the method you and your child feel comfortable doing. You can also try another sleep training method if the current one isn’t the right one for your family.
The Fading -method
The main idea is to increase the time between the visits when the baby is crying and the parent comes to soothe him/her. When the parent comes to soothe the crying baby, you should soothe the baby by talking (for example saying that everything is fine, now it’s time to sleep). Never pick the baby up.
Pick up, put down -method
This is a no tears method, in which the parent soothes a crying baby by putting his/her hand on the baby’s back. If the baby won’t calm down, gently pat on the back and shoulders. If that won’t help either, you can pick the baby from the crib. When the baby has calmed down, put him/her back to the crib immediately.
The Disappearing Chair -method
The aim of this method is to make the baby used to that the parent is in the same room and gradually increase the distance between the baby’s crib and the parent.
The first night when the baby is put to sleep, the parent will sit right next to the crib. If the baby cries, the parent will try to soothe him/her only by shushing. The next night the parent is next to the baby’s crib and little by little you will move the chair farther and farther away from the crib.
How do you lull your baby to sleep? Have you tried sleep training? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below!
We wish you and your baby happier bedtimes!