Babies are cute, cuddly, and so adorable, but they can also be a bit of a handful when it comes to getting them to sleep. Sleep is crucial for babies because during this time they grow and develop. When trying baby sleep training, a good sleep schedule not only ensures that your baby gets enough rest but also helps you, as a mom, get some much-needed sleep. A study on the relationship between infant sleep and cognition has also shown “a positive association between sleep, memory, language, executive function, and overall cognitive development in typically developing infants and young children.
However, getting your baby on a sleep schedule can be a bit tricky, especially for first-time moms. Here are some tips and tricks for baby sleep training that can help you get your baby on a sleep schedule.
Establish a bedtime routine
Establishing a bedtime routine is crucial to helping your baby get into a sleep schedule. A bedtime routine can include things like a warm bath, a story, a lullaby, or some cuddle time. The routine should be consistent and predictable so your baby knows it’s time for sleep.
Make sure your baby is comfortable
A comfortable baby is more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep. Make sure that your baby is dressed in comfortable clothing and that the room is neither too hot nor too cold. You can also use a sleep sack or swaddle to help your baby feel secure.
Create a sleep-conducive environment
Create a sleep-conducive environment by keeping the room quiet, dark, and free from distractions. You can use blackout curtains, white noise machines, or a baby monitor to create a calming atmosphere.
Consistency is key in getting your baby into a sleep schedule. Try to stick to the same bedtime routine every night, and put your baby to bed at the same time each night. The nighttime schedule, known as the seven-to-seven (where the baby sleeps from 7 pm to 7 am), is considered the gold standard by countless baby sleep experts and trainers. This helps your baby’s body clock adjust, making it easier for them to fall asleep.
Naps are just as important as nighttime sleep when it comes to helping your baby get into a sleep schedule. Encourage your baby to take naps during the day by establishing a nap routine and making sure that your baby is well-rested before nap time.
Watch for sleepy cues
During baby sleep training, watch for signs that your baby is getting sleepy, such as rubbing their eyes, yawning, or fussing. Put your baby to bed as soon as you notice these cues to avoid overtiredness, which can make it harder for your baby to fall asleep.
READ MORE: The Number 1 Postpartum Guide For New Moms
Baby sleep training can take time, so be patient. Don’t get discouraged if your baby doesn’t fall asleep immediately or wakes up in the middle of the night. Keep following your routine and your baby will eventually learn to associate it with sleep.