Baby Sleep Problems: Methods To Getting Your Baby To Sleep
Getting your baby to sleep can be one of the most frustrating and exhausting tasks of parenthood. Most moms and dads look forward to the night they can lay their baby down and get some uninterrupted sleep for themselves. Unfortunately, the reality is that getting your baby to sleep is not usually easy and some baby sleep training is required. Here are some of the most popular sleep training methods.
1. Getting Baby to Sleep: The Gradual Parent Removal Method. Parents who don't want to leave their baby while she is still awake may opt for the gradual removal method. According to this sleep aid technique, sit in a chair next to your baby's bed and wait there until she falls asleep. Do this for two nights. Then move your chair two feet away on the third and fourth nights and five feet away from the bed on the fifth and sixth nights. By the seventh night, sit in the doorway, and on the ninth night, stay in the hallway. Shortly after this, by the 10th night or by the end of the second week, the baby should be able to fall asleep by himself.
2. Getting Baby to Sleep: The "Cry It Out" Method. This sleep aid method is simple. Put the baby down and let her cry herself to sleep without any additional comforting. Experts caution, though, that parents using this sleep aid method might ignore their crying baby when she has some other real, not sleep-related, problem. This method can also be a great test of parents' will. It is difficult to do nothing while your baby wails away. But by giving in after fifteen minutes, a half-hour, or even more, the baby learns that her parents will come and get her if she persists, making sleep training more difficult.
3. Getting Baby to Sleep: The Scheduled Awakenings Method. This method asks a parent to do something that seems contradictory and, on the face of it, counterproductive: waking up a sleeping baby. With the scheduled awakenings method, observe and record your baby's natural waking times during the night for a week. A pattern of regular waking times should emerge. Then, following this schedule, wake the baby 15 minutes before each of those natural awakening times and soothe the baby back to sleep each time. The baby's "unscheduled" awakenings, those that do not follow the regular pattern, should gradually stop. At that point, over a period of weeks, cut back gradually on the number of times you wake your baby before his "scheduled" awakenings until he is able to sleep through the night.
4. Getting Baby to Sleep: Some Things That Won't Help Your Baby Sleep. Desperate times can call for desperate measures, but do not even bother with some popular but ineffective ways to get your baby to sleep through the night. And these include:
* Giving your baby solid foods at an early age in the belief that she is waking during the night because she is hungry. There is no research to support this, and you will just condition her to want to eat during the night.
* Eliminating naps during the daytime. Do not do it. This risks making your baby overtired, which will make it harder for her to fall and stay asleep.
* Putting your baby to bed later. Like eliminating naps, this will likely make your baby overly tired, making it harder for her to fall asleep.
5. Getting Baby to Sleep: Which Method Works Best? A recent study in the journal Sleep said that most behavioral intervention techniques work, but there is not enough information to recommend one over the other. What you decide will most likely come down to personal preference.