Sleep is one of the most important practices as it helps our brain function properly. This is especially true for babies as they require a lot of sleep on a daily basis. Without proper sleep, a baby can get timid, cranky, and down the line experience stagnation in terms of development.
However, babies tend to face a lot of challenges sleeping because they’re easily distracted by the world. Also, they aren’t biologically trained to have a proper sleep routine. This is why, one of the first projects parents should undertake is getting the infant under a proper sleep routine.
If you’re interested in learning how a proper baby sleep program can help you and how to get your baby under a sleep routine, stay with us till the end.
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How to Execute a Successful Baby Sleep Program?
Here’s a step to step guide that will help you bring your baby under a proper sleep routine.
Study the Existing Sleep Pattern of Your Infant
When starting off, it’s best to analyze the natural sleep pattern of your infant before taking further decisions. Needless to say, the sleep pattern will be very chaotic unless you’re super lucky. Remembering all these won’t be easy.
So, you can start off by keeping notes of the sleep pattern. Start tracking when your baby is falling asleep and when it’s waking up and do this for a week. Within that period, you’re likely to get a solid idea about how your baby behaves at different times.
Now, use this data to figure out how you can create a sleep routine for your baby. For example, if you find that your baby gets very cranky around 11 at night, then it’s safe to assume that he’s irritated due to the lack of rest. You can try to put your baby to sleep around 10 or 9 to avoid this altogether.
Create A Routine
You can’t expect to put your baby to sleep every day with a lullaby, or any single activity. Rather, you will have to mix things up and engage your baby in different activities every day. Make sure to figure out what your baby likes beforehand.
You can try bathing your baby, playing, reading, etc. Electronic media can also be used. However, these are highly addictive and will definitely affect your baby’s development in the long run. So, it’s important that you use these in moderation.
Whatever activity you go for, it’s important to maintain the timing. Give your baby the impression that he needs to fall asleep at a specific time every day. This will not only train him psychologically, but it’ll also help create a biological clock, which is of absolute necessity.
Pick an Appropriate Start Date
Don’t rush things and start this routine at times you can’t be consistent. For example, if you’re not staying at your place for a while, or if there’s a change in babysitter. In such cases, it’s difficult to build up a steady routine as you might miss a day or two in between. This will not help create a rigid sleep schedule. In fact, it may botch future endeavors too.
Prepare the Room
It’s important to keep the room’s ambiance perfect for the baby’s sleep. As discussed earlier, babies face a lot of challenges in sleeping. You should start off by fixing the room temperature. It shouldn’t be too hot or cold. We believe 70 degrees Fahrenheit to be the sweet spot.
Work on the lighting. When you’re preparing your baby for sleep, the room should be dimly lit. Harsh lighting can snap the baby out of sleep.
Another important factor to consider is the sound. If distracting sounds such as dog barking or traffic sounds can be heard from the room, you need to find a way to drown them. You could noise-isolate the baby’s room using boards, but that can get very expensive.
Instead, we recommend using white noise or natural sounds. You just need small speakers to facilitate this. Not only does this help drown the distracting noises, but it can also have a positive impact on the brain waves that can help put your baby to sleep fast.
Choose an Appropriate Sleep Training Method
Here are some of the methods you can pick for the baby sleep program:
If your baby is crying before sleep or breaks out in a cry during sleep, you need to check up on your child at regular intervals, but you need to decrease the frequency of visits with the passing of time.
This not only helps soothe the baby, but also trains him to be independent so he can sleep without parental intervention.
The chair method is very effective as it helps your baby fall asleep independently over time. For this to work, a parent has to stay near the crib. However, you can’t soothe the baby if it cries. You just have to let your presence be known.
Every night, you need to take your chair a step back, till you’re completely out of sight and out of mind.
The fading method requires you to engage in certain activities with your baby during bedtime. This helps create a strong bond between you and your baby so it’s a very healthy practice.
Over time, you have to reduce the time spent so your baby can grow independent and sleep at will.
Consistency is the most important thing to consider while undertaking a sleep program for your baby. Babies can be very sensitive and while missing a day won’t hurt, a gap of two to three days can certainly botch the entire program.
Executing a perfect baby sleep program won’t be easy, but it’s completely worth taking the toll for as it can reap great benefits for both the child and the parents. So, we recommend you undertake this with proper planning and a great deal of patience so you can maintain the routine consistently.