Ah, sleep training. When your baby is first born nothing sounds better than getting to the point where they can finally sleep through the night. Then you begin to look into how to actually achieve this and you’ll probably run into one hundred different methods of sleep training that all sound pretty torturous for you and your little one. I am here to promise you that it is all so worth it once it’s done, and it actually not as hard as it seems. Your baby and you will be happier getting a good night’s rest in your own beds. Your first question is probably when to start sleep training. We will get to the “how to sleep train” part of the question a little later.
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. It might seem a little odd, but humans actually have to learn to fall asleep and stay asleep. While some babies pick up on this concept pretty quickly, others might need your help with this and thus comes the idea of sleep training. There are a few different techniques out there, and you will have to find the perfect fit for your family. They vary from methods of crying it out, to very specific bedtime routines, to a no tears training. What they all share in common is helping your baby learn a nighttime routine and how to soothe themselves. It’s important that your little one learns these things so that they
Just a side note you need to listen to your doctor about all things related 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.
Signs to Look For
When to start sleep training is unfortunately not a set date. Thus, there are signs for us new mamas to 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 means your baby probably 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
- Your baby has begun to eat a lot of solid foods, which digest slower and keep your baby full through the night
When to Start Sleep Training
My true answer to this is to just do it when you are ready. That being said you might take a little reassurance in having an actual timeline around when being ready might be. It is most commonly recommended to begin sleep training between 4-6 months old. This 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.
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