Are you interested in sleep training your baby? Although, it seems like a daunting task many moms feel that once it’s done, sleep training is worth it. You are probably feeling like you are being pulled in a million directions when figuring out where to start. A good place to start is to figure out when to start sleep training. We will get to the “how to sleep train” part of the question a little later.
Keep in mind, sleep training is a personal choice and it is different for every family! Always be sure to consult with your pediatrician when it comes to your baby’s sleep habits to keep them safe and healthy. Things are constantly changing in the medical world and you will want to stay up to date with their latest recommendations.
When to Start Sleep Training- Baby Sleep Tips for New Moms
What Even is Sleep Training?
The first thing we have got to clarify is what sleep training really is. Some babies pick up on the concept of putting themselves to sleep pretty quickly, others might need a little help with this, and thus comes the idea of sleep training.
There are a few different techniques out there, and you will want to do some research to find the perfect fit for your family. It is important to keep in mind that sleep training does NOT necessarily mean having your baby self soothe or cry it out. The methods vary from self-soothing to putting very specific bedtime routines in place and even no-tears methods. What these methods all have in common is that they help your baby learn a nighttime routine.
When to Start Sleep Training
Signs to Look For
Here are some signs that you can look for to see if your baby is ready for sleep training:
- Your baby has been sleeping for longer stretches at night.
- Random wake-up times. This could mean your baby isn’t actually hungry or needing something from you they just do not know how to soothe themselves back to sleep.
- Nighttime feedings are no longer necessary. Keep in mind, you CAN sleep train while still nursing your baby 1 or 2 times at night. You should discuss with your pediatrician before completely dropping night feedings.
While there really is no set date for when to start sleep training, 4-6 months is usually when babies are developmentally ready. This timeline is mostly about it being the right time for the baby developmentally because they should begin to self-soothe sometime in these months.
Your baby will probably also begin to eat less at night around this time meaning they should be sleeping longer stretches. It’s important to keep in mind that your baby might be using eating to self-soothe, so watch out for this. Remember, there is no time limit on this whole sleep training thing though! The only issue you may run into is your toddler being a bit more defiant than a baby would be. It’s never really too late to sleep train though and you should do it when you and your little one feel ready.
Part of being ready is introducing this idea to your baby gradually. One thing we make a really big deal of in our family is the bedtime routine. Even with my big kids nowadays, we still follow this method to keep us all on schedule. A bedtime routine will probably include a bath, getting pajamas on, and a bedtime story around the same time every night. This will help your little one’s body wind down and when it becomes routine it will trigger their body to get ready for sleep. Once you and your baby have this routine down, the sleep training should begin to happen pretty naturally and that’s how you will know you’re both ready.