As a parent, you have to bear the responsibility of teaching your baby the things he or she needs to learn in life. At a young age, newborns are not yet taught how to read and write. This should be common sense! Nonetheless, there are things that you have to teach your baby from early on, and one of the perfect examples of such would be sleeping.
One of the first things that you should know is that sleep training is not something that can be forced into a newborn. It will also take patience on your end. According to experts, the best time to teach babies to sleep on their own would be when they reach three months. Teaching them to sleep at an age that is earlier than such can only lead to frustration.
The 5 S
One of the most popular methods by which you can teach your baby how to sleep in known as the 5 S, which has been developed by Harvey Karp. The latter is the author of the book The Happiest Baby on the Block, which has been a helpful resource for many parents. Under the method that has been introduced by Karp, the following things will prove to be important:
- Swaddling: This will involve wrapping your baby in your arms or a comfy blanket. It can provide them with a feeling of security, which, in return, will teach them how to sleep quicker. Also, it will help them respond better to the other components of the 5 S.
- Side or Stomach Position: After swaddling your baby, the next thing that you have to do is have him placed in a side or stomach position. This is a great position for babies because it is going to make them feel more secure.
- Shushing: This would refer to making a sound that will be calming and soothing for the baby, and hence, making it easier to fall asleep. This is based on the assertion that babies can sleep quicker in an environment with the subtle sound compared to a surrounding that is completely silent.
- Swinging: More than sound, babies also need a motion to train them how to sleep. This can be done by simply making small but rapid movements. This can give the babies a familiar feeling as such is what they usually feel when they are inside the womb of their mother.
- Sucking: Giving your baby a pacifier or a thumb to suck will be helpful for sleep. They find it comforting and relaxing, and hence, instrumental into putting them into sleep.
Cry It Out Approach
This may seem a bit morbid, but it is one thing that can prove to be effective, at least based on the experiences of other parents and based on scientific studies. Richard Ferber is one of the experts who has studied this approach. According to the method, to train the baby to sleep, you just have to leave him or her crying. Of course, this should not be endless crying. At some point, the babies will stop crying, and they will learn self-soothing. Once they stop crying, they will find it easier to sleep without your help. This method, however, may be ineffective for other parents as they can instantly panic once the baby starts to cry.
No Tears Approach
This is a method that is the complete opposite of the latter. This means that you should not let your baby cry. From the first sign of crying, you must already be doing something to calm the baby. William Sears is one of the many who advocates this method compared to other things that can be done to teach your baby how to sleep. As part of the no tears approach, Sears recommended that it should be complemented with other strategies, such as in the case of co-sleeping and rocking. Elizabeth Pantley, on the other hand, another advocate of the no tears approach, believes that it will be best to keep the baby in motion and you should also be feeding your baby until he or she starts to feel sleepy. This is a gradual process, but in the end, can yield favorable outcomes.