Baby sleep training
Getting your baby sleeping and sleeping through the night is something that all parents want and as soon as possible.
Understanding baby sleep patterns is the first process and you can learn how many hours your baby should be sleeping here
When I start a new maternity nurse job, the main things the parents want from me is Baby sleep training, to help their baby sleep through the night, and get their baby in a good routine. Thankfully the two work together well and the babies that are in a more structured day are usually the ones that sleep better and go through earlier.
This is because they are fed regularly throughout the day and are never left to go for hours without food or sleep. This means they tend to do the same things at about the same times each day and this is a great help for Baby sleep training. This also means they get the food they need in the daytime so they don’t spend the night time playing catch up to take on board enough calories to help them grow.
Sleep deprivation is the worst part of parenting but thankfully it shouldn’t last forever. In my Baby sleep training pages I will cover most sleep problems that occur and various ways to help your baby get to sleep on his own.
Baby sleep training, how do I get my baby to sleep
Setting the scene for sleep is very important part of Baby sleep training. Make sure his rooms lighting is low and that bedtime is at about the same time every night. This will happen naturally if you have decided to set up a daytime routine.
Take him to his bedroom, close his curtains to make it darker, swaddle him and after a quick cuddle put him into his Moses basket when he is looking sleepy but before he goes to sleep. You can tell your baby that its sleep time now, and that you will see him in a little while.
It is your choice as too whether you stay with him in his room while he drifts of to sleep or leave his room and let him do it on his own. Either way is fine as long as you do the same thing each night.
Many babies do need a little grumble to get themselves to sleep. This grumble can vary from grunts and whines to full on crying. This going to sleep cry will be different for each baby and you will soon learn what is your baby’s going to sleep cry and when you need to go back to reassure him.
Its worth letting your baby try to settle himself for a few minutes. But I would not leave a young baby under 6 months old to cry it out or longer than 10 minutes.
Allowing your baby to self soothe is a great life skill that he should be allowed to learn, so don’t feel guilty about allowing your baby to cry for a few minutes. As long as you don’t leave him for a long time and if his cry becomes desperate even after 1 or 2 minutes you go to him, then you are giving him the best chance to learn how to go to sleep.
Once I have put baby to bed I give him 5 minutes to self soothe and then gauge his cry as to whether I give him a few minutes longer or go to him and reassure him that its ok. If he is still crying but it is getting calmer and the crying is less I leave him for a few minutes more. If his cry is getting louder and more desperate then I go to him after the 5 minutes.
If I have to go back to reassure him, then it does depend on the baby as to what I do next.
Some less sensitive babies just need a little pat on the shoulder during Baby sleep training , and I also make a shushing noise while patting. This is often enough to give them the reassurance needed to drift of to sleep.
Some more sensitive babies need to be picked up to be calmed down and once they are calm and sleepy again but still awake, I put them back to bed. You may need to stay with your baby to help them get to sleep and its worth giving them a gentle pat and shush to get a lovely evening with your partner and to give baby and yourselves a well deserved rest.
This reaction to going to sleep is like our reading a book, plumping our pillows and getting comfortable for the night ahead. I’m sure if they could lay and read a book they would much prefer to, but babies do get quite scared at the point of drifting off to sleep and some need more help to do this than others.
Baby sleep training, be consistent.
However you choose to get your baby to sleep the best thing to be is consistent with your Baby sleep training and what you choose to do. Once you have decided on the way in which you are going to get your baby to sleep, then stick with it for at least 1 week.
Many Baby sleep training bedtime routines will take a week to have an affect, especially in an older baby where bad habits have formed. Having a bedtime routine of bath, massage, milk and bed is often what happens naturally with my families and will help your baby learn that bedtime and sleep are not far away.
Baby sleep training. Teach him the difference between night and day.
When your baby is born, he is born nocturnal. This means that he slept in the day and woke at night. When you where moving around in the day he slept as your movement in the daytime kept him sleepy. When you stopped for the evening and put your feet up for a rest he then woke up.
I have many of my mums say that over the last few weeks of pregnancy they noticed baby was very active in the evenings and overnight and quiet in the day time.
When he is born, he has the same sleep cycle and we then need to switch him round so that most of his sleep is in the night and he has more awake time in the day.
Putting him into a routine is a great way to start this process and it often doesn’t take long for more sleep to be in the night.
There are many things you can do to help teach your baby the difference between night and day.
Baby sleep training In the daytime
Baby sleep training Tips
- Talk to your baby when your feeding him
- Change his clothes when he gets up in the morning
- Make sure the house has noise in the day, put the t.v or radio on
- Keep rooms bright
- Play with him when he is awake and alert
Baby sleep training In the evening and night
Baby sleep training tips
- Keep feeds quiet and calm
- Give baby a bath or top and tail, massage and put into bedtime clothes
- Make the evenings quieter, you may wish to give your baby his evening feed in his room, away from stimulation
- Lower the lights in his room
- Keep the night time feed as quiet as possible with lights as low as possible and try not to talk to him too much
All these things should help your baby over his first few weeks to slowly learn the difference between day and night.
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