When a baby is born, it means the birth of a mother too. When you become a mother for the first time, you go through a lot of confusions. Especially with the sleeping schedule of your baby. How and when to settle down your baby to sleep? When to wake it up for feeding? How many naps are normal in a day? Your baby may keep awake at the time you go to sleep or your work time. Habituate them in a schedule is therefore necessary both for you and your baby’s health.
When to start sleep training
According to the experts’ recommendation, start training in between 4 to 6 months. By this time most of the babies are ready for a sleep-wake cycle.
Below is a ballpark estimate of age by age sleeping schedule.
Newborn to 4 months:
Nighttime sleep- 8-9 hours
Naps: 3-5 times
Nighttime sleep: 9-10 hours
Naps: 2 times (4-5 hours)
Nighttime sleep: 11 hours
Naps: 2 times (2-3 hours)
Nighttime sleep: 10-13 hours
Naps: 1 hour
Stages of sleep training
A bedtime routine:
You can start it when your baby reaches at six weeks. This routine may include a storybook, a warm bath and maybe a lullaby before putting it in bed.
A consistent bedtime:
Don’t make it too late. Follow a consistent schedule.
A predictable daytime schedule:
This includes a fixed time of getting your baby up, feeding and napping.
Related Post: Spend Quality Time With Child
Cry it out:
This method suggests, put your baby to the bed when it’s still awake instead of immersed in a deep sleep. Allow it to cry for a short period and try to comfort it without picking it up in your crib. Pediatricians say, letting them sleep on their own helps them to soothe themselves.
This involves, soothing the baby and offering comfort right at the moment when it cries.
In this method, parents sit beside the baby until it falls asleep. And gradually move farther away from the bed each night. The purpose is to let the baby figure out how to sooth himself.
Training: age by age recommendations
Newborn to 2 months:
They usually fall asleep 2 to 4 hours interval. They can’t differentiate between day and night. Even they don’t know how to sooth themselves. So help her to doze off with tricks like swaddling, rocking or breastfeeding.
They are developing a night sleep cycle. Therefore, you can start pre-bedtime sleep routine which may include bath, feeding. This will result in sleeping throughout the night for longer stretches. During day time, expose her to the sunlight and play with her.
They have already learned to nod off on their own. They are ready to sleep through the night, 6-12 hours stretches. Besides, they also start quitting nighttime feeding and May woke up during the night.
The anxiety of separation starts during this period. Your baby expects you to be around while it’s sleeping. So it starts crying when it find you not there as it wakes up. So keep checking it. Rush there when it cries but don’t pick it up or feed. Instead, sing a lullaby and duck out after some time.
During this period toddlers face trouble in relaxing resulting in bedtime battles. By this time they learn to climb out of bed. As it’s hard to break, let her be in her room to avoid co-sleeping situation. Also, maintain a calm situation from the evening and stick to soothing activities.
Preschoolers have problems in sleep including procrastinating. Resisting bedtime, walking in sleep and developing night fear is very common at this age. But stick to the routine and enforce them to follow it. Use nightlight to comfort them from getting scared.
Maximum growth of your baby occurs during sleeping time. Therefore, ensuring a sound sleep to your baby is obvious. Thus, a sleep training schedule comes in handy. As you have gone through the article now, establish a training schedule for your one.