Having a baby takes away hours of sleep. The Daily Mail UK suggests that new parents loose around 44 days of sleep during the first year of the baby.
My goodness, that sounds so exhausting! But now that I have passed that phase, with frankly not much lost sleep, I thought of sharing my experience of how you can sleep-train your baby. This would not only help your baby, but you as well as you would not have to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night multiple times to soothe a crying baby.
Develop a schedule for the day
Having a schedule for your baby is the most important factor that contributes to him/her having a good night sleep. Have a fixed time of waking the baby up and then space out the feedings everyday according to the schedule. Also, have a fixed time for putting your baby to sleep(at least to start trying to put them to sleep). The setting up of schedule can be tough in the beginning as baby might tend to be distressed, but frankly, if you overcome that phase, you will have a much more peaceful parenthood which you would actually be able to enjoy without feeling like a Zombie! My daughter(who is a Toddler now) wakes up 7:00 am every morning and goes to sleep by 8:30 pm. This has been her schedule since she was 6 months.
Involve your baby in activities
The most common reason that babies do not sleep through the night is that they do not get tired! Babies are a storehouse of energy and they would not fall asleep until they have drained out all their energy. To be able to do that, they have to be involved in activities through the day. This was easy for me as my daughter goes to daycare and they have a really good curriculum that they follow-full of activities like going to the play gym, arts classes, story time, and much more. But, if your child stays at home with you, try and get your baby involved in some activities that would exhaust them. this would be a big savior for you.
Follow the same nightly routine
Most of the times, babies do not go to sleep easily because they find something new every night – and circling back, they do not have a routine. If you bathe your baby and put to sleep one day and then sing/read to them the next day, the baby is bound to get confused and would not understand that it is time to sleep. In order for them to sleep fast, what is important is that you follow the same set of routine every day. What I do is bathe my daughter, feed her and then lie her on the bed with a lullaby in the background, she dozes off within minutes without much hassle.
Feed your baby more before sleep
Another common reason for the babies to wake up in the middle of the night is that they get hungry/ are habitual to night time feeding (which you should start weaning your baby off somewhere between 4 to 6 months) – both of these situations can be handled by feeding your baby more in the evening so that they do not feel hungry while sleeping. Also try to avoid a lot of sugars in the evening feeds as they might cause the baby to become hyperactive, contrary to what you want at that point in time
Have a comfort toy/pillow/pacifier
The last advice would be to have a comfort object for your baby. This would be the object that your baby loves the most and that calms your baby. It is easy to figure out what can serve as the comfort object by observing what the baby cuddles the most with – if she/she likes soft toys, try getting them a teddy bear; if they like soft blankets, try having a soft cute cuddly blanket for them; if nothing works, and it suits you, try giving them a pacifier – that is what I give to my daughter. You can read about it here.
I hope this article helps you in sleep-training your baby and getting some sleep for yourself.
If you have any other such tips and tricks that you followed, please share with us in the comments below.