Updated: May 31, 2020
One of the most challenging aspects of being a new parent to a newborn can be sleep deprivation. When you’re completely exhausted, everything feels overwhelming, so the thought of teaching your infant to have healthier sleep habits as they grow and develop, can feel out of reach. The thing to remember is the importance of healthy sleep habits for everyone, you and baby alike! It is possible. As baby matures and is between the ages of 4-6 months, she is ready to begin finding a sleep rhythm and daily routine that promotes good sleep hygiene. Taking on sleep training is a commitment and takes a few days of hard work, but once successful, it will be empowering and everyone will thrive!
To get started, you’ll want to establish a bedtime routine. Maybe it includes a warm bath, getting into comfortable, cozy pajamas in a dim lit room, reading a story or two and a final feed. You’ll want to put baby down drowsy, but not completely asleep. Even wake slightly if necessary as you put baby into bed. Now, if baby fusses, give it a minute or two and then go in, not engaging or stimulating, but a gentle rub or rhythmic patting and a shhhhhhhh. Then walk out of room. Again, continue this method of gentle soothing if baby continues to fuss, but extend your times in between going back in by two to three minutes each time. Stay strong, this will work! Now that baby has drifted off to dreamland, take a deep breathe and slow exhale, you’ve taken the first step to better sleep. You’re about three nights away from more solid sleep for yourself. Did I mention this is a committment? Yes! Just stick to it! It’s worth it! Now, if baby wakes through the night, you’ll need to repeat the process of soothing without much stimulation.