Sleep is essential for babies’ growth and development, and it’s no secret that new parents often struggle with getting their little ones to sleep. Sleep training is all about helping babies learn healthy sleep habits. In this blog, we will be discussing sleep training for kiddos between 0 and 4 months old. The main goal of sleep training at this stage is to help babies learn their days and their nights. Days are for playing, and nights are for snoozing!
Newborn Day Time Training
As you are trying to help your baby learn their days and nights the two should look and feel different. Here are some ways to do that:
Less Sleep During The Day: Try not to let your baby nap for more than 3 hours at a time during the day. This can help your baby develop a more consistent sleep pattern and avoid sleeping too much during the day, which can lead to less sleep at night. So if your baby’s nap is coming up on 3 hours go ahead and gently wake them up.
More Eating During The Day: Increase your baby’s feeding frequency during the day. Try to feed your baby every 2 hours. This will help them get the calories they need during the day and reduce their need to feed at night. If they are always hungry at night they will struggle to stay asleep. During the day if your baby falls asleep during a feeding, it’s okay to wake them up and encourage them to finish eating.
Stay Active: Be active with your baby during the day! Tummy time is an important part of your baby’s development, but it can also help them stay awake during the day. By placing your baby on their tummy and interacting with them, you can help them strengthen their neck and back muscles and stay alert. Baby play can also help your baby stay awake and engaged during the day. You can use toys, books, or other objects to stimulate your baby’s senses and encourage them to interact with the world around them.
Bright and Loud: It is okay for daytime to be bright and noisy. Don’t worry about noise during the day, as it can help your baby learn the difference between day and night. It can actually help your baby learn to sleep through noise and avoid being woken up by every little sound.
Newborn Night Time Training
To establish a consistent sleep pattern, it’s important to create a calming and consistent environment for your baby at night. Here are some tips:
Dark and Quiet: Remember that the key is to differentiate between Day and Night. Daytime is bright and loud. Nighttime should be kept dark and quiet. Reduce the amount of stimulation your baby experiences at night by creating a calm and soothing environment. Use blackout curtains to keep the room dark and a sound machine to keep unwanted noise out. Avoid any stimulating activities or bright lights that might make it difficult for your baby to settle down and fall asleep.
Swaddle Your Baby: Swaddling can help your baby feel secure and calm, and prevent them from waking up due to startle reflex. Babies have a natural startle reflex that can cause them to wake up. Swaddling helps reduce this. Swaddling also helps a baby feel like they were in the womb, snug and warm.
Feed Less Frequently at Night: Reduce the amount your baby feeds at night to promote longer periods of sleep. If possible avoid feeding babies multiple times a night. The key to this is making sure they get enough to eat during the day.
Establish Nighttime Routine: A consistent and calming routine can help signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep. This can include a bath, a story, or some calming music. Establishing this routine can also help your baby feel more secure and confident in their environment.
Avoid Co-Sleeping: It’s important to avoid co-sleeping with your baby, as it can be dangerous. Your baby should sleep in their own crib or bassinet. They can be right next to you in your bedroom or in another room with a monitor.
Snuggles: Cuddle your baby as much as possible. Cuddling your baby can help them feel safe and secure, and promote bonding between you and your baby. Don’t worry about spoiling your baby by cuddling them too much. The more the better! You can also use skin-to-skin contact to promote bonding and relaxation, especially during nighttime feedings.
Dream Feed: A dream feed can help your baby sleep longer stretches at night. A dream feed involves feeding your baby one or two hours after they’ve gone down for the night, without fully waking them up. This can help them sleep longer stretches and reduce their need for nighttime feedings. To dream feed, pick up your baby and offer them feeding while they’re still drowsy. Keep the feeding lowkey and avoid stimulating.
While sleep training is for the baby it is also for the parents. The more your baby sleeps the more you get to sleep! If you follow these tips you and your baby will be on their way to getting more sleep.