Nothing is more exciting than looking forward to the arrival of your little one. All the fun plans to make, nursery to design, gifts to select, clothes to pick out. As much fun as it is, there is one thing most expectant parents fear and it looms over this amazing experience like a dark cloud: once the baby comes, our time of peaceful sleep is OVER! Sleep deprivation really is the major thing that puts a damper on the excitement of becoming parents. The more you love sleep, the more you dread this aspect, which leads you to wonder, can a baby really be put on a sleep schedule? Can you really implement a routine so your baby will be sleeping through the night, at least at some point?
Consistency is the key to making things run well and babies are no different. We, as adults, function well on a schedule, why would a baby be any different? How do you possibly begin to get your baby on a sleep schedule? You do normal, routine activities and you do them consistently:
As much as you are eager to start a sleep schedule and routine, don't expect to arrive home from the hospital with your newborn and roll right into sleep training. They need time to adjust to life outside the womb and you need time to adjust to their little personality to know what will work best for both of you. So, when is a good time?
Realize though, that every baby is unique, different, one of a kind. If all other methods have been exhausted (pun intended) they might just be hungry! Only a parent knows their child and their child's specific needs. That's why they call these "suggestions." In the end, YOU are the one who knows your little one best and what works best for them.
Before you choose a sleep method, like we said earlier, make sure you are laying the groundwork by helping your baby with a schedule. Help them see the differences in night and day, keep night time calm and quiet, and make sure they aren't sleeping too much during the day. This builds a great foundation on which to build good sleep patterns and habits that build on a successful sleep schedule
What "sleep training" style should you choose? Yes, they really call it that, and there are more ways, styles, and methods than you could possibly have time to explore each and every one. Know how to optimize your search as you research best ways of sleep training a baby. Key words and phrases that are important to you and that you believe in will guide you toward the type of help and direction you are looking for. And if the first one you try doesn't succeed, try again. In other words, have plans A,B, C and D ready. Babies can be quite unpredictable, sometimes trial and error is the only way to find what works best for your child. Baby sleep schedules should depend on your schedule and your baby's sleep patterns, what works best for BOTH of you!
There are an endless amount of sleep training methods out there. Read them, think on them, then narrow down a few and see which works best for your baby. Sleep training is really defined as teaching your baby how to sleep independently. Here are a few of the more popular methods out there right now:
What if I try ALL 5 of these methods, and some others, and none of them work? Welcome to the club! These are tested methods that worked for SOME people, not necessarily ALL people that tried them found success. That's the beauty of parenthood, we are all learning as we go. One method may work for you but you will find you have to tweak it a little bit to fit your child's needs and personality. Some babies are just hungry, they have bigger appetites than other babies. One child can sleep through having a wet diaper, another child cannot. Some babies will face a pattern of sleep regression at one time or another, some babies will not. One thing is certain, your baby WILL be sleeping through the night at some point, so don't lose hope! When they hit 12 months old you will look back at your journey through the first year and feel a sense of accomplishment. And don't feel like a failure if these methods don't work for you. You may find a completely new method, tailored just for your child that you can use, publish and get your own copyright 2020 to share with the world! There's nothing more beautiful, or peaceful, than seeing babies asleep. You will get there, I promise!
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