Did you know that independent sleep is when a baby soothes himself back to sleep after waking up at night? In fact, independent sleep has been scientifically proven to encourage a baby’s cognitive development.

Wouldn’t you be relieved if your baby slept through the night without wailing through a sheet of tears?

The good news is that, by using a trick or two, you can teach your baby how to sleep independently.

Here’s everything you should know in order to teach your little one how to soothe himself back to sleep:

Laying the foundation

You cannot, of course, expect your baby to learn independent sleep from day 1. You will have to be a patient parent for at least ten good weeks to start laying the foundation. 

For that reason, it’s crucial that you begin gently sleep training your child at a period when you and your partner are available. Make sure you can find the time to dedicate several weeks to teaching independent sleep. 

Bloom and thrive

As a newbie mom, you are hard-wired to rush even at your baby’s slightest grunt. However, you need to hold yourself back so the baby can learn to lull himself to sleep after frequent night awakenings. 

If you run to his rescue every time, he will only get used to your presence for sleep. From getting gently rocked to receiving a light rub on the back, he will rely on you to fall asleep.

By always rushing to him when he makes a sound, your baby might never learn the key to sleeping and thriving on his own. To teach him an invaluable life lesson of being self-dependent and confident, you should let him learn how to self-soothe. 

P.S. Independent baby sleepers are happier and less cranky than the dependent toddlers. 

Self-soothing skills

Babies quickly learn to fall asleep if you do not run to provide immediate assistance. When they are in their safe and non-distracting sleep sanctuary, they get drowsy and enter the state of deep sleep. 

Being a parent, it gets very tempting to rock your baby to sleep to make sure they’re doing okay. But doing the same for 4 to 6 times a night is going to be hard on you. You may end up being a walking zombie because of sleep deprivation.

He may still continue awakening at night but eventually, he’ll learn to lull himself back to sweet and deep sleep. 

Time is the best teacher

You may love to promote independence in your little one at a very early age. However, you should be well-informed about the fact that age plays a significant role in determining the baby’s independent sleep. 

If your baby does not get into the habit of independent sleeping soon, you have nothing to worry about. Give him some time to soak in the life lesson that will promote his health and confidence. After all, good habits take time to form!

A problem-solving baby

At the beginning of the independent sleep phase, your baby is only getting started to learn all the ways of sleeping without his parent in the room. So, when he wakes up in the middle of the night, let him be.

If you manage not to interfere, you’ll get to witness the magic: your baby discovering his self-soothing skills! He may whine for some time until he changes the sleeping position or sucks his finger until he finally falls asleep. 

P.S. You can also set your baby’s biological clock by keeping the nights cool, quiet, and dark. Make the days bright and happy to encourage the development of your baby’s internal clock.

Cognitive development

Independent sleep training from an early age is going to develop a baby’s mind to discover sleep associations that do not have parental involvement. According to a study, there is a positive relationship between sleep and cognitive development. 

In fact, losing a few hours of sound sleep can have detrimental effects on a plethora of cognitive performances like reasoning, attention, learning, and memory. 

Sleep ensures healthy cognitive development as it facilitates the amalgamation of memories learned during the day and night.

Additionally, a sleep-deprived baby is more prone to tantrums. But, he will not face any adverse effect he learns to go back to sleep all by himself.

The bottom line

Being a new parent, you will want to be around to make your baby’s life a piece of cake. To promote a healthy physical and cognitive development of your baby, you should hold your horses and find a solution to the problem. The act of not rushing to provide immediate assistance contributes to the baby’s growth into an independent and confident adult.