There’s simply no better feeling than putting your newborn soundly to sleep in your arms. It’s a beautiful thing, really. But, as most parents soon come to realize, this joy is short-lived. Come three months in, when your baby has gained some extra pounds, and you still have to rock them to sleep four to five times a night, then it’s not so fun anymore, is it?
Luckily, there is an alternative. Drawing insight from tired moms everywhere, we’ve compiled for you a few simple steps that will have your child sleeping soundly alone in no time.
Get them into comfortable sleepwear
Even as a grownup, you’ll agree that sleeping in those same sweaty clothes you wore all day can be a bit uncomfortable. Well, the same applies to babies. Therefore, start by taking off all those adorable baby girl clothes you played dress-up with during the daytime, and get your baby into some comfortable overalls or sleepwear.
Make The Crib Feel More Like Mummy
One of the major things that get babies upset during the transition is the sudden change in environment and temperature. Since the baby is already used to the warmth of your body, they’ll likely be uncomfortable once you place them in a relatively cold bed.
Therefore, make sure that the bed is preheated with some bed warmers or put them in a sleep sack. The baby needs to feel like they are still lying on your arms. You are advised to avoid placing pillows, blankets, or loveys inside the crib as they may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Hold Your Baby before Putting Them Down
Contrary to common belief, holding your baby before putting them down is actually a good move! A little warm cuddle before laying them down can go a long way in making the baby feel safe enough to sleep. Ideally, this should also leave those baby girl clothes with your scent and trick them into thinking you are there with them.
Therefore, begin by swaddling your baby and feed them before easing them into the crib. The main thing you need to avoid is rocking the baby in swift motions. If you do this, the baby will associate all the rocking movements with sleep. They will then rely on these physical actions every time before sleeping. Instead, you can hold your baby closely with a gentle soothe ever so often.
Lay the Baby Down Before They Sleep
This next step is critical in determining your baby’s future sleeping patterns. Remember, when sleep training your baby, your primary mission should be that they eventually learn to fall asleep entirely by themselves. For this reason, you don’t want them falling asleep as you hold them.
Instead, after cuddling them lay them down into the crib while they are awake. You want them relaxed and calm or a little drowsy, but not entirely asleep. However, this can be up for debate. For some, it works if the baby is drowsy eyed, but others encourage that you lay them down when their eyes are still wide open.
Establish A Consistent Bedtime Routine
Finally, the last step is to establish the routine. You see, humans are creatures of habit. The more we repeat something, the more natural it becomes. Therefore, you’ll need to do the previous steps over and over again for a month or two until the baby is fully independent. For best results, you should practice them at the same time each day for every sleep period, whether it’s nighttime sleep or a simple day nap.
Also, try and be firm in your training. Once you place the baby down, don’t be in a hurry to comfort them the very instant they make a sound.
Studies show that it is in the crib that little ones get the slumber they need for proper development and growth. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t encourage your baby to sleep alone from a young age, you might have to deal with the little siren for a longer time is necessary. No matter how cute the little one is, this is not good for anybody. Hopefully, with a few of those steps, both you and your baby will be sleeping like … well, babies.0