Sleep training a newborn baby can be a daunting task for new parents. They want to do it right, but they don’t know where to start.
This blog post is the perfect place to learn about sleep training a newborn baby and how you can get the best results with as little fuss as possible!
We will cover all of the most important topics including when you should start sleep training a newborn baby and how to make sure that your child falls asleep easily each night.
Can you sleep train a newborn?
Of course! Sleep training isn’t just for babies who are older than four months. In fact, sleep training is often recommended to start at an earlier age because it can help set a schedule more quickly and easily, leading to happier babies (and parents!).
It’s important to keep in mind that sleep will naturally regress as they get closer to two years old so the sooner you sleep train the more effective it will be.
Although most parents wait until their child is at least four months of age, expert pediatricians recommend teaching infants to sleep through the night at ever younger ages. Sleep training may work better when your child is 2 months of age than 4 months.
The reason for this is simple: the more soothing the baby is used to, the tougher it gets to teach him how to self-soothe at night.
Many newborns will cry for 30 to 40 minutes, sleep for a couple of hours, then wake up and cry again. Sleep training a newborn baby is most successful when the parents don’t give in.
However, sleep training from a very young age doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps in the road. Developmental milestones, such as learning to walk or stand up, can cause disturbances in your child’s sleep. Teething, sleep regressions, and bed transitions can also disrupt a baby’s sleep – so be ready.
When should I start sleep training a newborn baby?
Whenever you think you are ready! If you want to sleep train your baby from an earlier age, you can start as soon as you and your partner feel certain that you want to start teaching your little one how to self-soothe.
If you prefer waiting until your baby is a bit older, that’s fine, too!
Remember: Sleep training can be done at any age but the earlier you start the more effective it will be.
How do you get a newborn to sleep at night?
Here are a few tips for teaching your little one to sleep at night:
- A soothing bedtime routine: It’s important to establish a sleep routine for your baby so that he has an understanding of when it is time to sleep and what this means. A good way to do this is by doing things like putting him down at the same time each evening, turning off any bright lights, getting his diaper and clothes ready beforehand, and singing a lullaby.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment: consider using a white noise machine to cover any outside disturbances like traffic. The quality of sleep is much higher in a room that is dark. Consider getting blackout curtains if your nursery gets plenty of light during the daytime.
- Swaddle your baby: Swaddling is often used to calm and snuggle a baby, which will help him sleep. Infants who are swaddled have been shown to be able to sleep for longer periods of time with fewer awakenings than infants not being swaddled.
- Drowsy but awake: put your baby in his crib once he becomes drowsy but not fully asleep. If he’s older than four months, then he has to be put to sleep awake and not drowsy.
- Resisting the temptation: the hardest part of sleep training a newborn baby is listening to your child cry in the middle of the night and resisting the temptation to pick him up. If you find yourself in this situation, remember that a disciplined parent is key to teaching your baby to sleep through the night.
- Hire a sleep trainer: Sleep training newborns is a difficult process, and you may need help from an expert to get it done right. An experienced sleep trainer can make the process easier for both parent and child.
Should you let newborns cry it out?
How long you will let your child to cry it out depends on your threshold. Letting your baby cry it out for more than an hour isn’t harmful, if you do it for a few days to teach him how to self-soothe.
However, most babies don’t cry that long. In many cases, a child will cry because he needs a diaper change or something else is keeping him awake.
If your baby’s crying doesn’t reduce within a week, make sure you get in touch with your pediatrician.
How to deal with baby sleep until you can sleep train your baby?
Let’s imagine that you have decided to hold off on sleep training until your baby is 4 months old.
What will you do until then?
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
When your baby is taking his nap, try to make good use of those 30 minutes by catching a nap yourself. Instead of being super productive while your baby is sleeping, try taking a short afternoon nap. It can feel refreshing and recharge your batteries.
Rotate nights with your partner.
This method will allow the other parent to get sleep and also help with bonding. You can use this time as a break from being up all night if you are struggling in those early days of parenting.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Being a mom doesn’t mean that you have to do everything by yourself. Asking and accepting help can do an amazing job of keeping you and your baby healthy and well. There will be people who will offer you help. Accept their help. Have them watch your baby while you shower, or cook for you while you care for your child.