If your child is struggling to develop good sleeping habits (1) or is consistently waking you up in the middle of the night, then it is high time that you consider adopting an effective sleep training method. If you are ready to sleep coach your infant, sleep needs to become your priority for a little while. I promise you that if you focus on your child’s sleep for a few days, it will pay off! The more a baby sleeps, the more they will need to sleep! I know it sounds funny, but it is true!
First, I suggest you need to learn to put your baby down awake but drowsy so that they learn how to fall asleep without being assisted. It’s even more important to do it at a tender age, as this is the perfect age to teach them how to fall asleep independently. Keep in mind that this will happen if the parent is 100% consistent with their sleeping plan.
Create a consistent and predictable bedtime routine (2). Your baby needs to know that it’s time to sleep and that it’s night night!!! As adults, we need the same thing. We often need a consistent bedtime routine that helps us wind down to get a good night of sleep. We brush our teeth, we read, fix our pillows…whatever we do, it is pretty much the same thing night after night. It’s the same for infants and toddlers. They also need their bedtime routine.
There are several approaches that parents who want to learn how to train infant to sleep at night can use. These approaches may vary, and some of them may entail the baby crying while others are very gentle and involves little or no tears. Different online platforms propose different techniques on how to train infant to sleep at night, and this can be very confusing especially when you are on the verge of figuring out the best approach to start with. It is also very difficult to find the right sleep training method when you are sleep deprived and need a solution now! I suggest to reach out for professional help and get support to help you find what is best for your child and our family dynamic.
If the mother is breastfeeding (3), it is very important to consider this when sleep training an infant. We, as sleep coaches, need to honor the wish of the mom to nurse their baby. If that is the case, we have to create a sleeping plan that allows the mom to do so. If the plan is to wean the feeds at night, it won’t be honoring her breastfeeding goals. That’s why hiring a sleep coach that supports breastfeeding is important. If that is the mother’s goal obviously!
Each baby is unique, and that’s why I recommend taking the time on how to train infant to sleep at night and to choose a method that fits best your baby’s temperament and needs.
Sleep training methods
The fading method is very gentle approach and requires time and commitment from the parents of the caretakers. With this approach, you offer support and comfort to your baby and as time goes by, you will decrease your soothing support so that he/she learns to fall asleep without your help. For example, if you are used to rocking your baby for more than an hour before she/he can sleep, you may need to reduce this duration to 45 minutes or less with time. Shorten the period for rocking until you are in a position to rock the baby for less than 10 minutes before it falls asleep. This technique is for families who prefer sleep training techniques that do not involve their babies crying.
Controlled Crying method
This technique involves allowing your child to cry out as you make frequent checks on him or her throughout the night. Its primary objective is to try to show your baby that you are always there for him or her. You can pat or rub your baby’s back for two to three minutes to reassure her/him that you are still there with them. Increase the time intervals for checking your baby as it starts to get the hang of sleeping on its own.
Just as it sounds, the pick- up- put- down methods is a gentle technique which involves picking your baby up and then soothing him/her until she/he is quiet and drowsy. Repeat the up and down until the baby is calm and make sure she/he is not falling asleep in your arms. It is unfortunate that this technique does not work for every child; other babies will sometime feel frustrated in the end rather than being relaxed. They will be overstimulated and remain awake throughout the night. The pick-up-put-down technique is good for babies who are above six to eight weeks old. As your baby gets older, they get more bigger, and it becomes a harder to pick them up.
The Chair Training Approach
In this approach, you will use a chair when done with the bedtime routine. The idea behind this approach is to put a chair next to the crib and support the baby to drift into the dream world. The chair reassures your child that you are in the room with them. You move the chair position every few nights. Move the chair away until it is no longer in the baby’s room. This method is a very gentle approach, created by Kim West, The Sleep Lady. I highly recommend this method and I know for a fact that a lot of families achieve their goals using it.
Create a consistent bedtime routine for your baby and then put him/her down in his bed. The goal of this technique is to teach the baby to fall asleep on their own without any intervention from you. The idea is that the infant will eventually get tired and fall asleep on his/her own. This technique works for some people, but you have to be ok with hearing some tears from your child.
One more tip
Write a log! That way, you can compare and see your progress when you are in the middle of the sleep training! Some parents get disappointed when they are not getting the results they want in 2-3 days. By looking at the sleep log, you may actually see that in fact, your baby has slept longer than previously. A sleep log is a potent tool to track what is happening in your baby’s sleep. I always ask my families to share it with me so I can assess and support them better. If you have questions and would like to reach me, please visit my website at: https://lullabysleepconsultant.com/ and give me a call or send me an email.
Lullaby Sleep Consultant is a sleep coaching business that helps babies and toddlers sleep through the night and take blissful naps. However, babies are not born with the capacity to fall asleep on their own, it’s a skill they must learn. And that’s exactly what we do. As sleep consultants, we support parents and give them tools, to help their children master the ability to become independent sleepers.
We have a professional, non-judgmental and breastfeeding-friendly approach, to support all types of parenting styles. Because each child is different and all parents have their own expectations, each case is unique. We use a wide range of coaching methods to fit the child’s age, temperament, and the family’s goals. We will tailor a personalized plan that is special and unique to each situation. We guide parents while their little one is learning this vital and lifelong skill: how to fall asleep on their own. Our step by step sleeping plans are designed to help the children sleep through the night and help parents stay consistent during the program, ensuring that the family is confident with the plan we create together. Lullaby Sleep Consultant is a successful sleep coaching business with a caring, attentive and gentle touch that produces results. Sleeping babies = Happy families. Schedule your FREE 15 mins consultation here: https://lullabysleepconsultant.com/contact/ We ❤️ helping families.