Baby Sleep Training and baby sleep schedule – all the does and don’ts you need to know from now.
A guide for healthy sleeping habits, training and schedule for babies and toddlers.
This guide will help imparting quality sleep in your baby, independence and security for you parents.
Thanks to parent’s awareness regarding sleeping habits and schedule, every parent can enjoy from now on a quiet night and continuous sleep for himself and his children.
Many parents asked us questions like:
- I do everything, but my baby does not sleep, why?
- My child wakes up 3 times a night and I cannot seem to get him back to sleep, what to do?
- Our baby is not willing to sleep in his bed, he constantly asks us to be swaddle and we are forced to put him to sleep with us, how can we change that?
- How much sleep does my baby needs?
- When does my child sleep a continuous night without waking up?
- We are really lost and desperate ... The boy is crying all the time, what are we doing wrong?
- My child is too hyperactive, he just does not get tired and it is hard tout him to sleep, how do we deal with him?
There are many more questions that parents ask and all have one common denominator - What should be done in order for a baby to sleep a continuous night sleep without waking up in the middle?
In our experience, one of the most important elements in educating children is to instill healthy and correct sleeping habits. With proper sleeping habits it is possible to overcome many obstacles, to develop independence in your baby and of course security for you the parents.
You have finished with your family bedtime ritual – bath then a massage, pyjamas, a short story and your little one is already yawning and rubbing their eyes, but you see that they are not ready to go to sleep. They want to play again, or maybe they are afraid to stay alone or prefer to fall asleep only on your arms. Why is it so hard for them to fall asleep?
When I'm asked what is the most lovely moment on my agenda with the children, I always get confused. Sometimes it seems to me that the most charming moment is when they open their eyes in the morning, warm and juicy like a fresh bun, and at other moments I think it is when they enter kindergarten and school and let me go for a few hours or the pleasure of taking them back to my lap in the afternoon. But, honestly, the moment they are the sweetest, and I hope you will not say a bad word about my motherhood, is when they fall asleep at night. How relaxing. How idyllic. And in order to reach the desired moment, in which they are covered in their beds and immersed in a sweet dream, I am willing to do everything.
JUST GO TO SLEEP… Please.
Why is it really hard for babies and children to fall asleep? Michel Dowson, a clinical and medical psychologist and chief psychologist at the ST Children's Development Center, has three main reasons: The biological cause – When a baby is born he/she still does not distinguish between day and night and we as parents need to help them acquire regular sleeping habits; The emotional reason - children suffer from fear and anxiety and therefore have trouble falling asleep and reject sleep as much as possible, and the developmental reason that characterises some of the older children, for whom sleep is an expression of power struggles with parents.
So how do you overcome the difficulties of falling asleep? Dowson explains that most babies feel the atmosphere at home and get used to it. In the same way, the baby feels that the whole family is preparing for sleep, that the night is coming down and that it is time to sleep. By the end of their first year of life, most babies acquire the biological tendency and understand sleep time. Of course there are babies who need more time to understand the differences between day and night, so we do not expect the same behaviour from all.
"The sleep cycle is indeed a biological thing," says Dowson, "but it was also acquired and studied. It is very important to help the baby adjust to family sleeping habits and, more importantly, to let him learn to fall asleep alone with as little intervention as possible by parents. We do it naturally; in the day we act with the baby alertly - provoking him with games, talking loudly, arousing his attention, and conversely in the evening we lower our voices, speak calmly and darken the room. The baby, on the other hand, picks up these messages, thus acquiring the distinction between day and night.
"In time, the baby should be accustomed to regular sleeping rituals that bring him even more into the atmosphere of sleep and to absorb the message - go to bed," notes Dowson. The "ritual" accepted by most families is: eating because it is known that those who are full sleep better, bathing - no matter whether it is a bath or a partial wash of the face and hands only and brushing teeth - a sleeping environment such as turning off lights, lowering sound (in speech and on television) Which helps to make the difference between day and night. For toddlers and children, reading a story will also be appropriate for this stage.
The sleep ceremony varies from family to family, but its components are more or less common to all families with children of different ages. But what about bedtime? It is changing from child to child and from parent to parent. There are parents that are very strict with evening hours and they are very important to them and they want more free, quite time for themselves, while there are others who needs more time with their babies at night.
"It's important to be realistic," stresses Dowson. "If a year ago your seven-year-old son fell asleep at 8 PM and today he cannot fall asleep before nine - consider that. The younger siblings should also realise that the older one needs less sleep. In addition, if the child sleeps an afternoon and at night is having trouble sleeping, you may want to consider giving up the afternoon nap. In any case, it is important to remember that there are no clear rules on this issue, and that the hours vary between families and children."
How do you help your baby fall asleep on his own?
Dowson: "First of all, you identify your baby's first signs of fatigue and put them in their bed. Maybe it will just work sometimes. If a baby or toddler is having a hard time falling asleep on his own, the problem may be the parent's desires – they enjoy singing, swaddling, falling asleep with their baby, and thinking that it is easier for their baby to fall asleep.
"Some parents have gotten used to putting the children to sleep while driving around the block or in the hustle of the living room when the television is on, and some parents go too far and operate a vacuum cleaner or a hair dryer to create monotonous mechanical noise that will help their babies fall asleep. When the difficulty of falling asleep is great, it is impossible to rule out the different ways in which the parents think they can help their babies, but it is clear that they should be avoided and that the baby (and later the child) should learn to fall asleep without any help and on their own."
There are a few methods to improve your baby ability to fall asleep and sleep through movement. Most babies find it difficult to fall asleep because they do not get the right conditions for sleep. Conditions include physical ease, security, movement, closeness to parents, some of the basic conditions known to parents. Also, some babies have different problems that affect sleep: breathing problems, high muscle tone, torticollis, cervical and so on.
When you try to put your baby to sleep, take several steps:
Movement – try moving your baby monotonous rhythms and gradually reduce the rate of movement to total relaxation. Your baby needs a movement to which he has become accustomed in the womb.
Voice - parallel to movement, we use voice. We start out louder when the child is not relaxed, and then we tone down. Many parents fear that their child will become accustomed to falling asleep on their hands and thus they will have to calm him regularly, this claim is not correct when the above conditions are met, and after falling asleep you should place your baby immediately in his/her bed."
In the first three months of your baby's life, your baby must be swaddle, because it is the safest condition.
After the age of three or four months, and after your baby has received his/her first dose of safety, start offering your baby the ability to sleep separately. This process is not simple and must be done gradually, not to forget that this is a learning process of adapting to a new life.
What to do when independent sleeping fails and it is accompanied by weeping and crying?
First, crying does not have to be an alarm clock for parents and you should not be alarmed by any whimpering. It is very important to acknowledge your baby when he or she cries, but do not jump up and make him/her stop crying immediately. A parent should also know how to contain a baby’s crying. This is part of parenting.
In that case, you can come to the room and calm your baby down. This means literally or actually your presence, 'It's okay, we're here,' 'You're going to sleep and we're here for you.' It is important to make this mission without noise and mess but quietly and in as short a time as possible. They do not turn on light and are not tempted to take it out of bed and wake it up again."
Even if you have not given your baby independent sleep habits from infancy, it's never too late. The larger the task, the harder and more complex the task, but the key to success is consistency and persistence.
So how do you get your baby to fall asleep on their own?
We all know that the ideal situation is independent sleep habits of the baby. It's easy to say, difficult to perform, but there are those who will say that with a little knowledge this is definitely possible. Here are some known methods:
The five-minute method - according to the method, which is appropriate from the first few months of your baby's life, you should allow your baby to fall asleep on their own. Leave the room, quietly swallow the crying and the supplications, and return three to five minutes later to show your baby that you are there for them. After several cycles of exit and entering the room pass your baby picks up the principle and then falls asleep on their own.
The pros of the five-minute method: you can find many parents in around the world who will say that it worked for them and for their baby.
The cons of the five-minute method: many psychologists and parents can be found to say that this is abuse for its own sake, and that a baby needs a lot of warmth and closeness, especially in the first months of his/her life.
The whispering method for infants - the principle is this: trying to put the baby in his bed so that he falls asleep on his own. When he does not show enthusiasm, what usually happens, and lack of enthusiasm leads to crying, holding him on your hands and swaddling until he calms down and then lay him back down again in bed. The baby cries again? Do not give up, lift him back up and swaddle, hold him until he comes down and leave. It can repeat itself many times in the first night and in the following nights, but according to the Methodist Tracy Hogg, parents should see results even as early as the second night.
The pros of the whispering method for infants: because if it works it's great, for us we are covered: we calmed, held, did not abandon, so that when the baby did relax and fell asleep, we had a good outcome.
The cons of the whispering method for infants: Because you can quickly get to a frustrating and discouraging situation and not really enjoy the screams rising in the air. The method mainly engages the mother to start breastfeeding. According to the principles of the method, when the mother is breastfeeding, the father should take control of the process in this method, because it may make it easier for all the parties. If so, then maybe dear mother, tell your husband only the "pros" ...
The sleeping like a baby method – A method from a doctor who deals with sleeping disorders in infants and children, and the author of "Sleeping Like a Baby" book, parents should create regular rituals and patterns to help their baby acquire good sleeping habits. The important principle is to create clear boundaries between the atmosphere of the day and the atmosphere of the night at home.
The pros of the sleeping like a baby method: Because it makes sense, human and even achievable.
The cons of the sleeping like a baby method: Because not all of us are built for this ritualism that somewhere stops the entire order of the house – make everything dark, quiet, change your patterns and behaviour ... But maybe there is simply no choice.
The stay with your baby method - Staying with the baby is the soft version of the five-minute method. We do not touch, we do not talk, we do not interfere, but we are there, we stay in our baby’s room until he/she falls asleep.
The pros of the stay with your baby method: Because there is no abandonment of the baby who signals that he needs us.
The cons of the stay with your baby method: You can break down quickly when you see your baby crying, or your toddler reaching for a hug.
Using a transitional object – your baby gets used to a doll, an old teddy bear, or a ragged, torn diaper, and falls asleep with it until dawn.
The pros of using a transitional object: Because it is a great solution, effective, does not require a lot of energy and creates an atmosphere of relaxation at home. Today, psychologists find many benefits in the transitional objects.
The cons of the using a transitional object: because after you have solved the problem of sleep you will have to give your child a long and exhausting rehabilitation program. it's worth?