Sleep Training: Methods, Tips and When to Try It

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Sleep Training: Methods, Tips and When to Try It

Sleep training is teaching your child to fall asleep without your help. This means that the baby goes to bed fully awake and falls asleep without needing to be rocked, cuddled or held. 

In the end, this training will help them to adapt their sleep routine so should they wake up they can go back to sleep without any problems. 

Have you ever heard the adage sleep like a baby? Here we go!

When to start sleep training 

The recommended age for sleep training varies and can range from three months to over a year. This age range is perfect because babies can sleep longer, on average sleeping six to eight hours without needing to eat. Although each case is different, there is usually a sleep time guideline depending on how old they are. At the end of the post you will see some tips in reference to this. But first it is important to find out what sleep training options are possible.

Sleep Training Methods 

There are quite a lot of methods out there. Which will help your child get a healthy amount of sleep and in turn help you sleep better. The method you choose will depend on different factors, such as an individual child’s routine, age and your beliefs. 

  • Cry it out: This is a method that has parents go through a bedtime routine and after putting the baby down for the night. Not responding to cries, the baby eventually gets tired from crying and eventually soothes themselves back to sleep. This method is the most difficult for parents, as a lot of parents feel that it is simply too painful to listen to their child cry.

  • Check and Console: This can also be known as the Feber method. It involves letting your baby cry but only for a specific amount of time before you go and check on them. Gradually increase the time before you go and check on your baby. Keep the time you check on them to last less than a minute and you should try not to pick up your baby.

  • Pick up, put down and shush-pat: This is a gentle method. Which is as simple as the name implies. You put your baby in the crib and if they wake-up crying or fussing, pick them up and hold them for a while to calm them before putting them back into the crib. You repeat these steps as needed until the baby is asleep.

  • Chair method: This involves staying in the baby’s room with them. Usually having a chair or mattress next to your baby while they sleep. Then you gradually move your chair or mattress away from the crib and eventually out of the baby’s room.

  • Routine fading: With this method you train your child to associate bedtime routine with feeling sleepy. You do this by noting your baby’s sleeping patterns eg(what time does your baby normally fall asleep?). With that noted you then establish that as your baby’s new bedtime. You then start a soothing routine that leads up to it each night. You then gradually start moving the soothing routine up every few nights by 10 to 15 minutes until you get to your desired bedtime.

Other tips to help you

Newborns usually sleep between 9 to 20 hours in a 24 hour timeframe

3 to 6 months sleep between 8 to 17 hours a day 

6 to 9 months sleep an average of 14 to 15 hours a day 

9 to 12 months sleep an average of 13 to 14 hours

12 months sleep an average of 12 to 15 hour including a nap or two during the day

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