So you decided that enough is enough! Your baby will not sleep. You need your sleep and sanity back! And the only way to do that is by creating some structure in your baby's sleep routine. Well sleep training will do just that. You don't have to think of sleep training as some harsh method of getting your baby to sleep. And you certainly don't have to hear your baby cry all night. In fact, there doesn't have to be much crying at all. There are many things you can do to help your baby get to sleep, and stay asleep. There are also many no tears, no cry sleep training methods.
Here are some of my best sleep training tips:
- The best place to start is a solid, and consistent bedtime routine, at a decent hour. This will help teach your baby predictability. The more your baby knows what's coming, the more likely she will accept it. You can start with something simple like a bath and reading a book. It doesn't have to be anything complex. As long as it is the same routine, every night, at the same time. Eventually your baby will get use to this routine and know it's time to go to bed.
- Create a good sleep environment. This may include things such as: room darkening shades, swaddling (if your baby is young), comfortable jammies, proper room temperature. Anything that helps make your baby as comfortable as can be, to promote a restful night's sleep.
- The next thing is a biggie. What I always teach parents is to put your baby down to sleep "drowsy but awake". This may be a little difficult, but it is essential to getting your baby sleeping through the night. Your baby has to learn the skills to fall asleep independently, so that she may do the same when she wakes in the middle of the night. A baby that falls asleep by rocking or nursing, will expect the same thing when she wakes at night. Since babies have many short sleep cycles, they wake a lot. So I'm pretty sure you don't want to keep running in your baby's room to rock or nurse her back to sleep all night. Maybe an occasional wake up, and there's no problem with this. But if you are up all night, helping your baby get back to sleep, then neither of you are getting any good sleep. You will be doing yourself and your baby a favor, by putting her down to sleep awake.
- The next important step, is to find a sleep training method or program that works for you and your family. Sleep training is not easy, and neither is teaching a baby to fall asleep on her own. It's going to take some work and sometimes you are going to need help and guidance, there's nothing wrong with that! There are many different programs and guides available to choose from, I know because I have read them all! Some involve letting your baby cry, others involve little or no tears. To make a decision on which one is best for you and your baby, ask yourself these questions? Are you comfortable with letting your child cry it out? Or would you be more comfortable with going in to comfort your baby? Think about how you want to approach sleep training, because if you want quick results with the least amount of disruption in everyone's sleep, it's best that you stay consistent. Trial and error only prolongs the process. Have a set plan, and just go for it. If you are looking for a guide, my top pick is the Sleep Sense Program. It's the only program the fits the style of every parent. There are different options, and you can pick which one works best for you. I also offer personalized sleep plans and consultation packages. I can help you through the entire process. View package options here.
- The last, and most important piece of advice I can offer, is to be consistent and don't give up! Whichever program or method you choose, no matter how hard it gets, and how badly you want to give up, stick to it! If your baby takes and hour to fall asleep the first night and 50 minutes the next, that's progress. Take every day at a time, don't look too far ahead and hope your baby is going to be sleeping through the night within a couple nights. Sleep training takes time, patience, and commitment. And think about what your poor baby is going through, this isn't easy for her either. Your baby wants to be able to just fall asleep and stay asleep just as much as you want her to. It's a process, you have to go through together. If your lucky, you can sleep train your baby in less than a week, but for most, it's going to take a bit longer. It's not easy, but I promise you the uninterrupted and blissful night's sleep, makes it all worth it in the end. Good luck, happy sleep training!
For more help and information on sleep training and how to get your baby to sleep through the night, please take a look at my Personal Consultation Packages. I would be glad to help your little one sleep through the night!