As the parents of a newborn, you're probably learning now that the jokes made about lost sleep aren't entirely jokes after all. After you transition out of the newborn stage and your baby is a few months old, it's time to start thinking about sleep training to ease that fatigue factor and get him or her on a normal routine. Whether this is your first or your fifth, you'll find that every child is different in how they train, so here are a few different methods to consider:
Under the self-soothed approach, sometimes called the "cry it out" approach, you'll place your baby in bed and then let them fuss and cry until they fall asleep. You don't go in and soothe or offer comfort because the goal is for your baby to soothe themselves and learn to fall asleep on their own without any intervention from you.
Fans of this method say that it is the fastest of the options because it only takes a couple of days at the most in many situations. However, some parents aren't comfortable with letting their baby cry without intervention. If that's you, there are other options.
The soothed crying method is an adaptation of the self-soothed approach. Instead of letting your baby cry without any response from you, this method allows for you to go in and offer comfort, but with a catch.
After the baby starts to cry, go in and speak in a soothing tone, rub his or her tummy, and offer some comfort. Do not pick the baby up. Stay for a few minutes, then leave the room again. If the baby starts to cry again, wait longer before you go back in. And, each time you go in, stay in there for shorter periods of time.
The goal of this method is to show your baby that you'll respond when he or she cries, but that when there's no threat, and it's bedtime, it's time to sleep. It usually takes several days for your child to learn to fall asleep on their own this way.
During the slow weaning process, you'll soothe or rock your baby to sleep, but you will gradually start laying them down sooner in the process. This is often the slowest of the methods, but it does allow for more bonding time. For parents who are concerned about the limited comforting of other methods, this is often the popular choice. It can, however, take weeks or more to complete sleep training this way.
Contact a company like Sleepless Solutions LLC for more information and assistance.