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As a new parent, you’ve probably heard—on several occasions—about sleep training. If you have no idea about it, sleep training is all about teaching your baby how to sleep independently. It is a solution that can help you get past through this challenging phase of parenting.
However, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding this notion that may keep you from trying it. For one, you might have heard that there’s only one way to do baby sleep training. Or maybe you have gathered the complete opposite—that there are countless methods out there—which leaves you confused and overwhelmed.
The truth is that there are indeed several ways to introduce healthy sleeping habits to your baby. But fret not as most are straightforward enough! To help you out, here are the most effective baby sleep training methods and how they work.
5 Tried and Tested Baby Sleep Training Methods That Exhausted Parents Can Use
1. Holistic Method
The holistic approach to baby sleep training is very important. As a parent, you always have to remember that there’s no one specific answer to baby sleep problems. You need to look at things holistically.
For instance, you need to analyze your baby’s feeding habits, nutrition levels, and developmental skills as they all play a part in the amount of sleep he’s getting. You also have to consider your little one’s sleeping environment. You have to make sure it’s comfortable enough for him or her to be able to sleep.
Once you take into account all these aspects, you’ll start seeing effective results in baby sleep training. This is due to the fact that your baby would respond so much better if he or she feels understood and loved.
2. Chair Method
The Chair baby sleep method involves prepping your baby to sleep and putting him or her to the crib. Then, you put up a chair in the room and sit next to his or her crib.
You may only leave the room once your baby falls asleep. If they ever wake up in the middle of the night, come back to the room and sit down in the chair again until they doze off. Continue doing this but move the chair further and further away from the crib every night until you’re out of the room.
The goal of this sleeping method is that you’re reassuring your baby that you’re present and have not left them alone.
Tip: The Chair method is a very gradual sleeping technique—it may take weeks to see results—so it’s important to be patient. If it’s hard for you to not respond to your baby, you may try a variation of the Chair method called Sleep Lady Shuffle. It involves periodically tending to your baby then going back to the chair.
3. Pick-Up and Put Down Method (PUPD)
The Pick-Up and Put Down is a straightforward sleep training method. When your baby wakes up from his or her sleep, you simply pick him up and comfort him until he’s calm and drowsy. By this time, you can now put your baby back to the crib to sleep, repeating the cycle until he finally dozes off.
TIp: The PUPD sleep training method is ideal for babies six-to-eight weeks old. However, this method can upset older babies and even find your presence overstimulating.
4. Fading Method
Unlike other sleep training methods, the Fading technique is a little less specific and more flexible.
You can choose any sleep association or bedtime habit that you can introduce to your baby then gradually phase it out. For instance, you may completely rock your baby to sleep but slowly decrease the amount of time you do so until you’re no longer doing it.
You may also want to try the Bedtime-Hour Fading method in which you put your baby to his crib at their usual bedtime and then slowly move it earlier after several nights.
With these gradual reductions in parental intervention, you can minimise the amount of crying your child experiences while allowing him to learn how to sleep independently.
5. No-Cry, Personalised Method
You may find that no-cry methods often take more time to work, but they tend to be gentler on your baby. This results in less fussiness and crying at night which eventually leads to a peaceful sleep.
Having said that, when it comes to sleep training, you should know that every baby is unique and has very distinct needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for teaching your baby how to self-settle. Finding what works best for you and your child is the key to enjoying longer and uninterrupted sleep at night.
Baby sleep training can benefit parents in many ways. For instance, teaching healthy sleeping habits to your child can minimise the amount of discomfort he experiences and would help him fall asleep easily on his own. There are various methods you can try but no matter which one you choose, stick with it for at least two weeks before you decide it’s not working and give up.
Nurture Parenting, a company in Australia that offers a holistic approach to baby sleep through The Nurture Sleep Program that is designed to take babies from sleepless to slumber.
Nurture Parenting is recognised as Australia’s baby sleep expert. Headed by Karen Faulkner, a Baby and Toddler Sleep Consultant, the company offers The Nurture Sleep Program that helps babies and children on sleep training. This is a tried and tested approach that has already transformed the lives of families through its exclusive baby sleep methods that help baby self-settle and promote blissful sleep.