Newborn babies sleep throughout the day and night, but it is helpful to put them into a sleeping routine. You can adapt this to suit your needs. By sleep training your baby, you are teaching her how to sleep without any help from you.
Remember that sleep training is very beneficial for both, the parent and the baby.
When should I start sleep training?
What’s the right age to start?
|0 - 6 Weeks
|As a newborn, the most important thing is getting enough sleep. No need to stress over schedules, routines, or training here.
|2 - 3 Months
|Although it's still a bit early for formal training, your baby is old enough to start learning routines and schedules. Start incorporating a set bedtime routine and healthy sleep habits.
|4 - 6 Months
|Now you can introduce some "formal" sleep training. Your baby's sleep cycle changes around this age, which means they can start to learn how to fall asleep and self-soothe.
Know how much sleep baby needs
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine2 recommends babies aged 4–12 months get 12–16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. We’ve written an entire article on how much sleep babies should get at different ages.
Is it ever too late to sleep train?
Steps to create a sleeping routine for baby
When starting to sleep train, your baby may initially be insecure and need you to be right with her to fall asleep. Gradually you can reduce your presence by not patting her down or sitting on a chair in the same room.
1. Set the scene
2. Choose the correct sleep time
3. Put the baby down while still awake
Place your baby while she is still drowsy and awake in her crib. Initially, she may resist going to sleep all alone, especially if she has been in the habit of falling asleep in your arms. But this is an important step in establishing sleep independence.
4. Have your child sleep in the same place
5. Reassure her of your presence
6. Allow her to self soothe
7. Go back to bed
8. Be Consistent
It’s really important to know your baby’s tolerance level and if the sleeping routine sounds extreme to you and your partner, then don’t do it. It’s best to start it slowly and gently and see if you’re comfortable with it and if it’s going to work for you and your family.
As you can see, establishing a sleeping routine for your baby is quite demanding and requires you to be consistent. We know it isn’t easy seeing your baby cry, which might happen for the first few days.
1. Sleep Training Guide: How to sleep train & when to start sleep training: Nested Bean