Planning to have a baby is just the starting of a string of events, which leaves the parents exhausted and disoriented at times. Agreed that nurturing a baby is one of the greatest gifts of life a person can expect to have, all is not rosy for there are many cons attached to the newly attained parenthood. The biggest turndown when a baby is born can be the sleepless nights for the parents, as for a newborn, it is difficult to differentiate between days and nights. Due to this, it keeps on waking up a number of times during day and night, leaving the parents virtually clueless. This is the reason as to why most parents tend to think that they have 'the sleepless baby' of the universe. However, parents should understand that this isn't the fault of the baby as well, for it needs time to adjust to the sleep schedule that his parents follow. But if the baby has been continuing with the same even after six months, there is something definitely wrong. After the third month, babies are ready to be sleep trained and are capable of sleeping through the night. For the same, there are a number of methods available, which are devised by expert pediatricians. Sleep training a baby is a trial and error process. What worked for your first baby may not work for the second baby too. Note that every baby is an individual and has different patterns of sleep and different routine. As such, it is through experience and attention that you will be able to decide about the kind of training you will be imparting to your young one. Commonly, it takes a baby 12 weeks from birth to adapt a regular sleep pattern. In the following lines, we have mentioned how to sleep train your baby.
Sleep Training Baby
Is It About Time?
It is important to understand when to start the sleep training programme. The time to start the programme should be such that you should not be imposing the baby with the schedule as well as it should be before you go all yoo-hooed and sleep deprived. In the initial six weeks, it is absolutely healthy and normal for your baby to sleep just for few hours at a time. As such, during this period adjust yourself according to its routine and promptly feed it and address to all its needs. Generally, the right time to start the sleep training is after the third month and by the sixth month it would be on its own.
Which One Is For My Baby?
With so many options and approaches to sleep train a baby, it becomes confusing for the parents to choose a particular approach. You should choose the approach which is easier for you to follow so that you can follow it consistently, because it is not the approach which is important but how consistently you follow the regimen and how well the baby responds to it. On the basis of approaches, sleep training methods can be categorized into two broad categories:
Cry It Out
First is the most popular the "cry it out" approach. According to this approach, it is okay to leave your baby crying for a while so that it can learn a method to soothe itself. Though a number of people think that this approach means letting the baby cry till it exhausts itself to sleep, but the approach says that one should let the infant cry for short period, punctuated by comforting it but without picking it up. For this, put your baby in the crib until it is sleepy but still awake. Bid good night to the little one and leave the room. If the baby starts crying, go in to the room but after an interval of three minutes, comfort the baby for not more than two minutes (without picking it up) and then move out of the room. Do this until the baby sleeps on its own. Increase the interval time gradually. Though the method makes the baby learn to sleep by itself, there is a risk of the baby losing trust in its parents and parents becoming less sensitive towards the baby's cries.
The second approach is considered a more humane one as according to it the parents should comfort the child as soon as he starts crying. Routine plays an important role in this method. Parents should follow a typical routine wherein a baby is bathed, fresh clothes are put on, a lullaby is sung and the baby is put to sleep. This, when followed on an every day basis, will induce the baby to make it the part of the routine. As such, the moment it would be taken for a bath it would know what would be followed next and as such would fall asleep instantly. Though a baby learns a healthy sleep attitude and creates fond memories about being parented to sleep, it relies on the outside prop to get to sleep. As such, if the baby awakens in the middle of the night, it would expect the entire routine to be followed to get back to sleep, which might be exhausting for the parents.
You have to choose on your own which kind of sleep training suits you and your baby. Don't expect the sleep schedule to form in a day or two. You just need to have some patience, care and lot of love for your baby.