The Ultimate Sleep Training Guide For (Tired) Parents
After months of soothing your baby to sleep in your arms, it's time to start sleep training. This is a big leap for your baby who will soon be able to self-soothe...and a step closer to you sleeping through the night! You might be wondering when to start sleep training and how to get baby to sleep through the night once you do.
There are a number of ways to sleep train your baby, and no one way is right or wrong. Try out each method for at least two weeks, until you find what works best for you and baby.
Pick Up, Put Down Method
This sleep training method is a great place to start if you're worried about having to listen to your baby cry. In this method, you put your baby down to sleep in their bassinet or crib while they are still awake and leave the room.. Every time your baby cries, pick them up until they are calm, then lay them back down. Make sure baby is still awake when you put them back down, so they learn to fall asleep on their own!
Cry It Out Method
It's exactly what it sounds like -- in this baby sleep training method, you will let your baby fall asleep on their own without consoling them when they cry. Hearing those tears may be difficult at first, but try to relax! Eventually your baby will calm down and fall asleep.
The Ferber Method has been around for decades. Instead of letting your baby cry for an indeterminate amount of time, this sleep training method involves letting them cry for a set amount of time and then consoling them. As the nights continue in this sleep trainig method, increase the amount of time in which your baby cries without comforting until eventually they stop crying on their own.
Sometimes the reason your baby is crying is because they are not tired. To get them into a bedtime routine, start by putting them to bed when they actually are tired. Spot the signs that baby is tired, such as yawning and rubbing their eyes, and log them in a baby sleep training schedule to keep track. Baby's bedtime might be later or earlier than you would like when using the fading method, but that's okay. Each night, shift their bedtime 15 minutes from the night before until you eventually reach the desired bedtime.
In the chair sleep training method, you will sit next to your baby without consoling them. Each night, move the chair a little further away from your baby until you are no longer in the room and baby is self-soothing on their own.
It's important to be consistent and don't give up on your sleep training journey. You and baby will get through this and will be so relieved once you both are getting the sleep you need!