Sleep Regression and Baby Sleep Training
Having your first baby can be exciting. However, most first-time parents learn to value sleep very fast. A good night’s sleep becomes precious to new parents as the baby’s sleep patterns disrupt their sleep. They have to adjust to accommodate the baby. Sleep disruptions at night become a part of parenthood for new parents. During the first months after birth, a baby may enjoy longer periods of sleep. However, from around the third month, their sleep patterns start to change, causing nighttime disruptions.
It can be very frustrating when you have to wake up several times at night to attend to the baby. Babies often go through sleep regression, which can last a few weeks. During this period, the baby’s sleep pattern will change and he/she has trouble settling down. The baby tends to wake up at night with a fuss. Sleep regression can be a result of several factors such as a growth spurt making the baby extra-hungry, disruptions in routines, reaching new milestones in their development, teething pain, as well as an illness. For first time parents, this can be a very frustrating period, as they may have no clue how to handle the baby during this period.
Sleep Train Your Baby
If you are going through frustration due to your baby’s sleep patterns, there is a solution to your problem. All you need to do is to sleep train the baby. Sleep training involves teaching the baby to fall asleep without rocking or nursing them. It helps the infant sleep for longer at night without waking up multiple times. There are different methods of sleep training, which could be as simple as changing the baby’s routines.
Whichever method you choose to use when training your baby, it is important to maintain consistency. The first method to consider is the check and console method. It involves checking on the baby at preset intervals after putting them to bed. Over time, increase the intervals between the checks. The consistent checks by the parent help reassure the baby so that they are able to fall asleep without needing to be rocked.
Parents can opt for the chair method where they put the baby down to sleep but remain seated next to them until they fall asleep. Once they are asleep, you leave the room and come back when they wake up. The parent’s presence reassures the baby and allows them to fall asleep on their own. The parents move the chair away from the baby each passing day until the baby gets used to falling asleep without their presence.
A change in routines could also help train an infant to sleep. A consistent chain of events may help the baby know that after a certain activity they need to sleep. For example, the baby may learn that after feeding, they are cleaned before they go to sleep. Thus, they would fall asleep every time after cleaning.
A consistent approach to training would help overcome the sleep challenge.