Strategies For Helping Your Baby Sleep

Strategies For Helping Your Baby Sleep

Most parents of newborns realize they’re in for plenty of slumber-deprived nights. While every new mom and dad hopes their little one will sleep peacefully from the first night onward, it rarely happens. In most cases, four or five months will pass before a baby will begin sleeping “normal” hours.

There are as many strategies for encouraging your little one to sleep as there are baby books. No strategy is completely foolproof. Having said that, we’ll provide an overview of three popular methods that many parents have found to be effective. Whether they work for your little one remains to be seen.

The Holistic Approach

Many pediatricians feel that babies are more likely to develop natural sleeping habits more quickly if they are allowed to do so near their moms and dads. Parents are encouraged to lie next to their little ones because doing so is natural and a part of our biology. Pediatricians make an addendum to this approach in saying that parents sleeping next to their babies does not preclude sleep-related problems. It merely dovetails with a process that is natural.

The Gradual Delay Approach

With this strategy, moms and dads are encouraged to create a calm atmosphere before their baby’s bedtime. After they lay their infant in her crib, they are supposed to leave the room. When their little one begins crying, a timer is started which counts down from five minutes. If her crying persists for longer than that period, they should check in on her, but not hold her. The parents are then encouraged to leave the room again.

If their infant resumes her crying, they should set the timer for ten minutes. After that period has passed, mom and dad should check in again with their little one. This should continue while adding 5-minute increments until their baby falls asleep on her own.

The Self-Settle Approach

This technique is designed to encourage babies to develop their own means of settling themselves to sleep. Proponents of this strategy recommend moms and dads establish a routine that prepares their babies for sleep. That might include reading a short story to them, giving them a warm bath, and turning off the television.

Once their infant has been put to bed, parents are encouraged to leave the room. If their baby begins to cry, they should wait before responding to her. The idea is not to let their babies cry themselves to sleep, but rather to allow them to develop ways to soothe themselves. Parents will often respond to cries and whimpers immediately, which prevents their little ones from learning to settle down and fall asleep on their own.

As noted, there are many strategies that pediatricians and other expects recommend in order to help babies sleep. Whether the three methods above are effective will depend largely on your baby. Experiment with all three approaches. After a little effort (and a few sleepless nights), you may find that one of them helps your infant develop healthy sleeping patterns more quickly.

Author: ParentingMaven

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