Sleep-training-tips

I know how tough it is when our little ones don’t sleep well. It can be like solving a tricky puzzle. But I’ve found some special tricks that made a big difference for me, and I want to share them with you.

When my first baby came along, I learned that there’s no one right way to make them sleep. It’s more like figuring out a secret code. But these tricks I’ve learned over time have been a real help, both for my baby and for me.

So, if you’re tired of endless rocking and wondering when you’ll catch some sleep, this article is for you. I’m a mom just like you, and I’ve got some unique sleep training tips to share. These tips are different from the usual advice, and they’ve worked for me and many other moms. Let’s dive in and help our little ones sleep soundly.

sleepy baby

Look for the sleep cues:

When your baby or young child gets sleepy, they show signs like rubbing their eyes, getting a bit fussy, or yawning. These are their signals that they need to sleep soon.

The important part is not waiting until they’re extremely tired. If they get too, too tired, it can be really hard for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Plus, they might get grumpy, and that’s not fun for anyone.

So, here’s the deal: Pay attention to their signs, and when you notice them getting tired, start their bedtime routine. Get them to bed before they’re super exhausted. This way, they’re more likely to have a good night’s sleep, and you get some rest too.

Every kid is different, so watch for the signals your child gives you. It’s like understanding their secret language to help them sleep better.

Try a sleep sack:

Sleep sacks, think of them as cozy sleeping bags for babies, play a crucial role in sleep training. They keep your little one warm and snug without the need for regular blankets, making it safer for them to sleep in their crib. This helps your baby get used to their sleep environment and develop a healthy sleep routine.

What’s even more helpful is that sleep sacks create a comforting sensation, like a warm hug, which can relax your baby and improve their sleep quality. Over time, your baby may start to associate the sleep sack with going to sleep. When they’re tucked into their sleep sack, it signals that it’s time for bedtime, and they feel secure and ready to rest.

Take advantage of visual cues:

Visual cues are like friendly hints for our little ones to understand when it’s time to sleep. They play a big role in sleep training. Here’s how they work:

In the daytime, we fill the room with lots of bright light, and we play and chat to show it’s time to be awake and lively. This helps babies realize that daytime is for being alert.

At night, we do the opposite. We make things darker and quieter. This tells our babies that it’s time to unwind and sleep. This way, they can learn the difference between day and night.

You can set up a bedtime routine with visual cues. For example, using a nightlight projector can be part of it. A nightlight projector can create gentle images on the ceiling, like stars or soft colors, which signals to your baby that it’s time to sleep.

baby light projector

You can use more visual cues to sleep-train your babies as well. Here are good examples. 

  • Close the curtains in the evening to make the room dim.
  • Use soft, calming music during the bedtime routine.
  • Swap bright, colorful toys for calm and cozy ones before bedtime.
  • Speak in a softer voice and use hushed tones at night.
  • Dress your baby in comfy sleepwear when it’s time to sleep.

By using these visual cues consistently, you can make sleep training a lot easier. It’s like teaching your baby when it’s okay to be awake and when it’s time to rest. Visual cues act like friendly guides to help your baby get into a healthy sleep routine.

Offer dream feed:

Picture this: You give your baby a small nighttime snack, like a secret midnight meal. It’s called a “dream feed,” and here’s how it’s done:

You gently pick up your baby when they’re half-asleep, without fully waking them. Then, you offer a quiet, small feeding, like a sip to last until morning.

The idea with the dream feed is to help your baby sleep longer at night. It’s like giving them a little extra in their tummy without fully waking them. They get more food, and you both get more sleep.

Usually, the dream feed happens before you go to bed, around 10 or 11 PM. But keep in mind, not all babies need it, and it may not work for everyone. It’s like a little nighttime snack to help everyone sleep better.

Warm the bed before you put down the baby:

If you live in a cold place, it’s a good idea to warm up your baby’s bed before putting them in it. Think of it as making their bed all toasty and comfy.

It will help a lot in your baby’s sleep training. Babies like sleeping in a warm and cozy bed. When their bed is nice and warm, they’re more likely to sleep peacefully. If it’s too cold, they might wake up and get upset.

feeding baby

Ensure the baby is well-fed:

Make sure your baby gets plenty to eat during the day. It’s like making sure they have enough food to keep them going.

When your baby eats well during the day, they’re less likely to get hungry at night. It’s like filling up their tummy during the daytime so they don’t wake up wanting food when it’s time to sleep.

Sleep training is usually for babies above 6 months old who have already started eating solids. So ensure to feed them well with solids during the day so they sleep better at night.

Adjust room temperature:

You must adjust the room temperature to help your baby sleep better. It’s like making the room not too hot and not too cold, just perfect for them.

The ideal room temperature for your baby is around 64-72°F (18-22°C). This temperature range helps your baby sleep comfortably. When the room is just right, it’s easier for them to get a good night’s sleep and for you to teach them healthy sleep habits. It’s like creating a cozy space for restful sleep.

According to ncbi, “We found that ambient temperature averaged 18.4 degrees C when infants were put down, but fell by an average of 4.4 degrees C during the night.”

Foot massage:

A gentle foot massage can relax your baby. It’s like telling them it’s time to sleep. The soothing touch can make them feel cozy and calm. It’s a nice way to help your baby get ready for sleep and sleep training. It’s like a little bedtime ritual that can make them fall asleep more easily.

You can also give baby reflexology a shot. Locate the solar plexus pressure point on your baby’s feet, which is just below the ball of the foot, right in the center. Give this point a gentle press and make small, circular movements while massaging it.

Use scents (aromatherapy):

You can use nice smells to help your baby sleep better. It’s like giving them a cozy feeling.

Aromatherapy means using special scents that make the air smell good. Some of these scents can help your baby relax and get ready to sleep. When you use these nice smells, it’s like telling your baby it’s time to go to sleep.

Some good smells for your baby’s sleep are:

  • Lavender: It helps with sleep and makes your baby feel calm.
  • Chamomile: It’s gentle and soothing.
  • Eucalyptus: It can help your baby breathe better, especially when they have a stuffy nose.
  • Mandarin: It’s a sweet, gentle smell that helps your baby relax.

Try Dr Teal’s Sleep Spray, Sleep Blend with Melatonin, Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oils. It may work like magic to help your baby fall asleep faster. 

sleep spray for babies and adults

sleepy phrase:

You can say a special phrase when it’s your baby’s bedtime. It’s like a secret bedtime message.

When you use the same phrase every night, your baby learns that it means it’s time to sleep. It’s like a secret code that your baby understands.

Just like how visual cues work, this special bedtime phrase helps your baby know it’s bedtime.

Baby yoga:

Baby yoga means doing slow and gentle stretches with your baby, almost like a mini-massage. It helps your baby feel relaxed and get ready for a good night’s sleep.

It’s best to do baby yoga during the daytime, not right before bedtime. It’s like a daytime activity that helps your baby stay calm and sleep well at night. So, doing baby yoga during the day can be a helpful part of your sleep training routine.

Try Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger

itsy bitsy yoga

Many parents start using these yoga instructions for a their young babies (as little as 2 to 3 months old) and they see great difference in their baby’s sleeping habits and their digestion. 

Creating a difference between “awake” and “sleepy” place:

To help your baby know when it’s time to be awake and when it’s time to sleep, you can change their surroundings. During the day, let them see natural daylight by placing them near a window where they can look outside and experience the sunshine.

According to a study, “Daylight exposure is linked to circadian rhythm regulation, which can have significant impacts on sleep quality and cognitive function. Views of nature have also been shown to impact emotional affect and performance.”

When your baby sees daylight during the day, it helps them understand it’s daytime, meant for being awake and active. So, when nighttime comes, they’ll recognize it’s time to sleep.

Getting daylight during the day is a good thing because it helps your baby sleep better at night. It’s like nature’s way of telling their body when to be awake and when to rest. By making a difference between their daytime space and their nighttime sleep place, you’re helping them establish a good sleep routine.

child sitting next to the window

Accept the reality (Babies dont sleep through the night):

It’s important to understand and accept the reality that babies don’t sleep through the night. This means knowing that it’s normal for babies to wake up during the night, and it’s not a problem.

When you have realistic expectations, you won’t feel overly stressed when your baby wakes up at night. You won’t worry that something is wrong or that your baby isn’t doing well. Instead, you’ll know that it’s part of the normal baby sleep pattern.

With this knowledge, you can follow the right approach in sleep training, which can be a more gradual process. It helps you stay calm and patient, which is essential when teaching your baby good sleep habits. So, accepting the reality that babies don’t sleep through the night is the first step in making sleep training less stressful and more effective.

Understand sleep regression:

Sleep regression in babies is when a baby who used to sleep well suddenly has trouble sleeping. This happens at certain stages, like around 4 months, 8-10 months, and 18 months. During these times, babies might wake up more at night, find it hard to fall asleep or take shorter naps. It can be challenging, but it’s a normal part of their development.

When you understand sleep regression in babies, it will be easier for you to sleep-train your baby. You will be able to identify the phase and adjust your technique according to that.

Stay consistent with your sleep training method:

Wherever sleep training method you are using, you must stay consistent with it. For example, if you are using the ferber method, stick with it until you see your baby sleeping on their own. 

Changing your strategy again and again will lead you to stress out your baby and yourself. Many people try one technique for a few days and then change their approach. It will do more harm than good. Sticking with the plan is the only way to success. 

Stay consistent with the routine during weekends:

Whatever sleep routine and schedule you are following, make sure to stick with it during the weekends as well. If your routine is changed, it doesn’t mean you can change your baby’s routine too. 

Many parents make this mistake which prohibits them from seeing success with their sleep training. 

Read more: 8 Must-Have Things to Help Your Baby Sleep Peacefully

Conclusion:

To sum it up, these tips can help you teach your baby how to sleep better. But remember, each baby is different, so what works for one might not work for another. Be patient and willing to change things as needed. Sleep training can take time. By paying attention to your baby’s signals, making their sleep space cozy, and sticking to a routine, you can help them sleep better. Also, keep in mind that babies might not sleep through the night, and that’s okay. Stay flexible and understanding as you work on improving their sleep. Here’s to more peaceful nights for you and your little one.

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