Carefree sleep little baby with a soft toy on the bed

Children have varying sleep patterns and it often takes a while before parents learn their child’s sleep patterns. The primary goal of sleep training is to help your infant develop a sleep schedule that allows them maximum rest. When done properly, sleep training can also help a child to fall asleep independently thus giving his or her parents a reprieve from having to soothe the child to sleep. Many parents typically start to sleep train their children when they are between four and seven months. By the time a child is one year old, they usually have an established sleep routine although this can be affected by the child’s day-time schedule. Here is what you need to know about sleep training your child.

Preparing for Sleep Training

If you are thinking of sleep training your child, there are some basics that you should cover first. One of those is to ensure that you introduce a bedtime routine for your child. In most cases, this means establishing a sequence of events that lead up to bedtime. Such events could include a bath, a lullaby or reading to them from a storybook. These help to make bedtime predictable and therefore a routine thing that the toddler expects every day. To prepare for sleep training, you might also need to have a consistent bedtime for your child. Most parents prefer to pick a time period between seven pm and eight pm which is optimal because the child will not be too drowsy.

Experts also recommend ensuring that your child has a predictable day time schedule. This is because a predictable daytime schedule helps the child to feel secure and therefore likely to sleep better. Finally, you should ensure that your baby does not have any sleeping disorders which could affect his or her sleep.

Approaches to Sleep Training

There are a number of ways in which you can sleep training your child and the choice of the approach you use depends on a number of factors. You need to be comfortable with whatever method you use and you should not panic if one method does not work. Here are some of the most common approaches to sleep training.

Cry It Out Method

When it comes to this approach, parents are encouraged to put the child to bed and allowed to self soothe until they fall asleep. This means that even if the child cries, the parents are not allowed to pick him or her up. They may however comfort them at intervals. As one can imagine, this is not a method that is very popular with many parents. However, there are many other approaches to sleep training if this one does not work for you.

No Cry Method

This is the opposite of the cry it out method and children here are soothed until they fall asleep. If a child wakes up from sleep and starts crying, the parent is encouraged to soothe them back to sleep. The approach is based on the assumption that after a while, the child will develop a sleep routine and thus be able to fall asleep independently.

Fading Method

In this approach, parents gradually move further and further away from their child’s crib until they are finally out of his or her room. The idea here is to gradually encourage the child to fall asleep even when his or her parents are not physically there.

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