This is a guest post from Saima, aka blogger ‘A Super Tired Mom‘. She shares with us some tips for stress-free sleep training your baby for those parents who choose this for their little ones. Getting your child to sleep at night is tricky, as you well know. Here’s a viewpoint of another mum on how best to achieve the goal.
Sleep training is one of the hardest phases of motherhood. Sleepless nights, dark circles around your eyes, and a constantly irritated mood surely defines this stage perfectly.
On top of all this, the varied information available on the internet about how to sleep train the right way would overwhelm you furthermore. In this situation, you need to pull the reigns and take things under your control.
The first thing that you need to do is to avoid stress. It is quite evident that your failure to sleep train your baby may end up with you being frustrated.
This will make things even harder for you. When you are frustrated, you would try to do everything you can to sleep train your baby. However, when this is all in vain, you get confused as to what you should be doing to make things better and to sleep train as stress-free as possible.
Here are 8 ideas that will aid you in taking things under your control and sleep train your baby, without you going INSANE over it.
Understand the basics of sleep-training
Sleep training involves making your baby learn how to sleep without you being around all the time. It is a tough thing to be around every time your baby needs to sleep. This is especially true for working mothers. This means that your kid would be able to sleep all by himself, without you singing his favourite lullaby to him. Alongside this, he would not need your long, warm hug anymore.
However, sleep training doesn’t involve JUST THIS. It also includes that whenever you feel that your baby feels a bit sleepy, you put him into the cot, and he dozes off immediately. While your baby is still a bit awake, you put him into the cot, see him asleep, and it would prove that you have achieved your goal.
Your training is successful when you don’t need to stay with him for long hours before he goes to a peaceful slumber. No matter which method do you use for this purpose, as long as it works, it is good enough for you.
Try to get rid of dummies as soon as possible
Many babies have sleep associations and using a dummy is one of them. It gives them a sense of security, a relief that someone is there to watch them, while they are fast asleep. Your baby may need your hug, hold your hand or just need a dummy to sleep. With time, he may get habituated to it, and leaving him would result in tantrums.
While sleep training your baby, you need to, slowly but steadily, remove the dummy. While he is asleep, take your hand off his, so that he gets used to sleeping without it. Giving up the dummy is the first thing that you need to do in the process of sleep training him. This step will make him independent, and you will be able to leave him in the crib to sleep alone.
Solve the medical issues of your child first
While sleep training your baby, it is necessary to ensure that he doesn’t have any kind of medical issues. Such issues may restrain the process of his sleep practice and may make the process longer. Numerous health issues including asthma, a restless leg, coughing, or colic may hinder the process of his sound sleep. During that period, avoid training him to sleep along, or else it would irritate him and lead to long crying sessions.
If you feel, as a parent, that your baby is dealing with some health issue, it is always advised to visit a doctor first. Once you are through the entire medical consultation and your child recovers completely, you can surely continue your sleep training yet again.
Create a proper bedtime and sleep time routine
While sleep training your baby, you need to set an environment that would create a set routine for him. Habitually, he would fall asleep when the sleep time arrives. Alongside this, the sleeping environment needs to be as peaceful as it gets. A dark room, appropriate temperature, and noise relief will be an indication to your kid that it is the time to sleep. The same environment, at the same time every day, will give the right signals to your child to doze off.
Reduce or drop the night time feeds
Now that your baby is growing up, he doesn’t need his night time feed. Slowly and steadily, start skipping the night feed, till he is regular at it. Keep feeding him through the day so that he doesn’t have to wake up during the night, owing to getting hungry.
Take your partner onboard with you
Sleep training your child may make you go crazy! Your partner needs to know what is happening in the house. Bringing your spouse in trust and telling him everything will make the situation much better.
Support from your partner is really important. For a super tired parent, his or her husband/wife or partner could turn out to be the best support there ever is.
Don’t give up and stay consistent
Irritated and tired parents tend to give up after some time and consider it hard to continue with the process. If you are on the verge of giving up, remember that you have come a long way. It would be imprudent to give up at this point. Your consistency will aid you, and ultimately, you will succeed in sleep training your kid.
Leaving the sleep training midway would be unwise, which would destroy all your previous efforts as well. While sleep training your child, always remember that consistency is the key.
Choose a right time to sleep train your child
Now, this is super important! Choose the right time to sleep train your baby. This means that neither should your child be too young for it nor should he be too old for it. At six months of age, you should start sleep training him/her, or else it would get too late to catch the bus.
Well, these are the 8 ways to a successful stress-free sleep training experience. Do you have any ideas in your mind? Please let us know in the comments below!
About the author:
Saima is a mum of two cute boys. She blogs full time at A Supertired Mom and shares relatable experiences, tips and tricks to joys and challenges of pregnancy, motherhood and raising kids. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. When not writing, she is eating pizza and sipping strong tea. She loves glitters and celebrations and beaches.
Thanks to Saima for guest posting on Happy Family Hub! What are your tips for sleep training your child? Let us know by using the comments box below or by joining the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.