The objective of sleep training is for your kid to be able to sleep for several hours on their own during the night. If they awaken, they will learn to self-soothe and fall back asleep. Parents can choose from a variety of sleep training techniques developed by physicians and sleep specialists.
Sleep training teaches your child how to fall and remain asleep on his or her own. There is a lot of material about sleep training out there, which leaves most parents confused, upset, and still asking what sleep training is and how to accomplish it. In this article, we've gathered all the information from actual parents and expert sleep consultants on what sleep training is, how to do it, and how to decide if it's suitable for you.

When is the right time to begin sleep training?

Most experts advocate starting between the ages of 4 and 6 months. By 4 months, most newborns have developed a regular sleep-wake pattern and have stopped most of their night feedings. These are indicators that they may be ready to begin sleep training. After all, each baby is unique, and some may not be prepared for sleep training until they are a little older. Some newborns sleep for seven hours or more at a young age, while others do not until they are much older. If you're not sure if your kid is ready for sleep training, consult with a doctor.

Steps of sleep training

Set the groundwork for successful sleep training by implementing the following suggestions:

Create a bedtime routine

You may begin as early as 6 weeks old, but don't worry if your kid is older — it's never too late. Before placing her to bed, a routine may include a warm bath, a story, and a lullaby.

Set a regular bedtime

Experts recommend putting your infant to bed between 7 and 8 p.m. to avoid overtiredness and sleep deprivation.

Maintain a consistent daily regimen

Try to get your baby up at the same time every morning, feed and put him down for napping around the same time every day. This regularity allows him to relax and feel safe, and a calm baby sleeps more readily.

Check to see whether your baby has a medical problem that might interfere with her sleep

Before you choose a sleep training method, your baby's doctor should treat any underlying medical conditions, such as sleep apnea.

Sleep training methods

There is no one technique to sleep train, however many parents find that one or a combination of the following sleep training methods works for their families:

Cry it out (CIO)

The cry it out technique of sleep training, sometimes known as the "extinction" approach, is putting your baby to bed and allowing her to cry until she falls asleep without any comfort or assistance from you. That is, as long as you've placed your baby to bed with a full belly and in safe sleep surroundings, you won't go back into her bedroom until it's time for her to wake up the next morning or until the baby needs food again.

The Ferber technique

The Ferber technique, a sort of "graduated extinction" or "check-and-console," entails letting your baby to wail for a certain amount of time before checking on her. Each scheduled phase of sobbing lasts a few minutes longer than the previous one, until she falls asleep. Over the period of many nights, you'll progressively lengthen these intervals, diminishing your presence in baby's room to let your infant to undertake more of the effort of calming down.

Chair method

The chair approach may be more appropriate for older babies and may be more pleasant for you than cry it out or Ferber. Sit in a recliner next to your baby's crib and wait for her to fall asleep without taking her up. Move the chair closer to the door each evening until you're out of the room. Your infant should be able to fall asleep without your presence at that moment. This strategy, however, will not work for babies who can't put you out of their minds until you're out of sight. While this strategy may be appropriate for certain families, be aware that it may result in greater tears for some newborns.

Bedtime fading method

Fading, also referred as adult fading or sleeping out, is a sleep training technique that lies in the center of the continuum. In fading, parents progressively reduce their participation at bedtime by remaining near your kid until she falls asleep and slowly drifting the chair further from the crib each night. Another fading method is to check on your baby every five minutes and comfort her till she falls asleep.

Method of picking up and putting

This best sleep training technique entails going through your baby's typical bedtime routine and then putting her to bed fatigued but awake. If she cries, wait for some minutes to see if she calms down on her own. If not, go in to take her up and comfort her. Put her back in the cradle or bassinet once she's calmed down. Repeat the method until your baby falls asleep. Just keep in mind that this sleep training method might take a long time and takes a lot of patience.

Summary

Whatever sleeps training method you adopt, a consistent bedtime routine is an excellent way to prepare newborns for sleep. It's also critical to get your baby's daytime naps and feeding in order so that they can sleep through the night like a champ. Finally, having faith in your infant is an important component of sleep training, as is getting the entire family on board and dedicated to one strategy. Lastly, keep in mind that sleep training requires a lot of patience.

Note: The article is meant for general awareness of the readers. The information can’t be used as a substitute to a professional recommendation. In case you are facing issues with sleep training your baby, kindly consult your pediatrician.

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Methods of sleep training