Friday, October 5, 2012

Change Up Sleep Training Your Baby

While watching the movie Change Up Batemans character talked about sleep training his twins. What is sleep training and does it work? Many parents struggle to get their babies to sleep. Sleep training is developing a sleep routine that helps the baby learn how to fall asleep on their own and stay asleep all night. Some babies fall into this habit easily while others have difficulty settling down to sleep even if they wake up during the night.

Around 6 weeks of age you can start a sleep routine by establishing a set time for them to go to bed each night (this also will work for nap time) then add calming methods that help the child to become sleepy like; a warm bath, reading, listening to soothing music then give them their bottle before putting them to bed.

If you are planning on trying sleep training and your child has difficulty falling asleep due to parental separation anxiety don’t let them get into the habit of falling asleep in your arms/lap. It is very important when feeding your baby his last bottle of the day that you put them in bed still awake. This is why when they wake up during the night and discover that you are not there they won’t be able to fall back to sleep without you. You need sleep too and many mothers suffer from depression due to lack of sleep.

According to a new study letting the infant cry it out using two methods won’t cause any lasting psychological harm to the child or your relationship with them. In fact, at the end of the study they found that the methods of “controlled comforting” and “camping out” improved the children’s sleep problems while helping mothers with depression from lack of sleep.

Controlled comforting is when a parent gradually takes longer to respond to their child’s cries and camping out is when a parent gradually eases out of the child’s room, which eventually teaches the child to fall asleep without the parent there. I used this method and in three months my daughter could fall asleep without me in her room. Establishing a sleep routine can last a lifetime because these habits become the norm. The children in the study, now 6 years old, not only benefited from using one of these methods to help with sleep problems it helped with their stress levels and their relationship with their parents.

Of course there may be other reasons your child could be crying; stomach ache, too hot/too cold, needs a diaper change. Some mother’s know the meaning of their child’s cries. If your child is crying because he is overtired or because you just left their bedroom remember that they slept 9 months in your womb listening to the beat of your heart, which is why they probably fall fast to sleep laying on your chest. Like a beating heart that is a repetitive sound, try other sounds that cause the same calming effect such as white noise, a fan or there are CD’s that mimic the sounds in the womb.



Some parents find it hard to sleep train especially if their children have trouble falling asleep. According to doctors infants can tell the difference between night and day by the age of 4 to 6 months and their sleep/wake cycle is developing. The length of these sleep cycles depends on your baby. She will probably sleep for blocks of about two hours in the day, and four hours to six hours at night. Some babies sleep through the night within weeks, while others take a year or more to achieve this. Their crying phase will eventually pass and as your baby grows they will learn new ways of communicating their needs to you. When this happens the crying will stop. Sleeping through the night starts with a good sleep routine. Your baby will eventually understand taking a bath, reading a book or listening to the sounds of the womb will mean bedtime. And by the time they are 1 they should be sleeping 12 hours straight. Hallelujah!

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