Every parent looks forward to the night their baby will finally sleep through the night. Not only is it reassuring to know an infant is getting the rest they need for proper development, but it usually means parents can sleep through the night, too. Every infant is different, though. Some sleep through the night naturally, while others need a little help to stay asleep. Some little night owls stay restless for months while others are ready for sleep training at four months or so.
When your baby doesn't need as much feeding in the night and starts developing a sleep-awake routine, they may be ready for sleep training. If you’re not sure whether your infant is ready, talk to your doctor.
Sleep Training Tips
Once you’re ready for sleep training, here are a few tips:
1. Create a Bedtime Routine
If possible, start early — well before actual sleep training. A relaxing routine, such as feeding, bath time and a lullaby, signal to baby that it’s time for sleep.
2. Choose the Right Bedtime
For babies, choose a bedtime between 7-8 p.m. This is not so early that the baby will feel awake and not so late that they will be cranky and overtired. Keep the bedtime consistent to get your child used to the sleep routine.
3. Consider the Cry It out Routine
One option for sleep training is to go through the bedtime routine and allow your baby to rest. If the baby cries, allow them to cry for a set time. You can soothe the baby after this period, but do not pick the infant up.
4. Think About the No-Cry Approach
The no-cry approach involves putting down baby at the same time each day but picking them up and beginning to soothe at the first sign of fretting. The idea is to get the infant ready for bedtime without the distress of crying.
5. Discuss the Fading Approach
The fading approach involves sitting by your baby’s bed at night until they fall asleep, offering soothing as needed. Over time, the idea is to move further from the bed, allowing baby the security of having a parent nearby while also allowing the child to develop their own self-soothing methods.
6. Stick With One Approach
While there are three main approaches and many other training methods out there, it’s best to give each method a chance to work before you switch. Trying a different approach each week will confuse the baby.
7. Adjust to Your Baby’s Needs
Try not to compare your progress to that of other babies. Your baby’s needs may change if they get unwell or start teething while you’re adjusting to a new nighttime routine. If you have trouble developing a night routine or your baby does not sleep through the night, consider a visit to the doctor to rule out sleep apnea or other conditions that may require treatment.
Create Night Routines With Nookums
Nookums® Paci-Plushies can help your child with their bedtime routine. These stuffed toys attach to your favorite pacifier, giving children a favorite and comforting toy to hold onto. You can swap out the pacifiers, but the plush toy stays a constant, helping you establish a feeling of peace.
Nookums also offers Paci-Plushies Chillies™ with tactile ridges for teething babies. Chillies are attached to the plush toy your child loves and can be chilled to calm aching gums. Shakies™ come with a rattle for auditory development and fun.
Browse the Nookums selection of products and contact us with any questions.