Before I became a mom, I did not know that one had to learn how to fall asleep. I thought one could just sleep, especially when there is no pressure on waking up!! But unfortunately, babies cannot fall asleep just by themselves always (if you got one that naturally does this, you are very lucky and do not need to read further!).
So for all of us moms who love multitasking and want to organize our new lives, at some point in time, we all gonna ask ourselves how to get the little one to fall asleep on his/her own. That is when you want to start sleep training.
What is sleep training?
Sleep training a newborn is all about establishing a good routine and developing the sleep habits that will become an important part of their lives
When should we start?
This is completely up to the parents and the babies too. Some parents practice sleeping for their baby from the first days after birth. Many parents wait until their baby has serious sleep problems before thinking about sleeping training for their baby. Sleep training for babies never comes too late. It can be from the first days after birth, maybe 4 months, 8 months, 15 months, or even 2 years old.
For me, I started to sleep train my baby, when she was 10 weeks old, when I had time to recover and the first 10 weeks were a blissful "honeymoon period" for many babies.
What should parents prepare?
1/ Most important and hardest thing to practice ourselves is to recognize when your baby is tired and wants to sleep:
- pulling at ears
- closing fists
- fluttering eyelids or difficulty focusing – your baby might even go - cross-eyed or seem to be staring into space
- making jerky arm and leg movements, or arching backward
- frowning or looking worried
- sucking on fingers – this could be a good sign and might mean that your baby is trying to find ways to settle to sleep.
2/ Set up a daily routine:
It is important to get your infant on a schedule so that they have a predictable day and routine. This will lead to less irritability and a more pleasant baby. Being on a consistent daily schedule and routine will help their nighttime sleeping habits.
3/ Choose a good timing to start sleep training
- Do not start when the baby is sick or is going to have the injection.
- Allow at least 1 - 2 weeks for the sleep training
- Be patient and stop feeling guilty.
4/ Prepare a safe sleep environment for your baby
- Share a room, not a bed. No co-sleeping. A baby cot/ bed can be put next to your bed so you can watch your baby.
- Sleep surface should be flat, firm, and bare
- The room temperature should be 20 - 24 degree Celsius