How do you teach your baby to fall asleep since you and your husband are sleep deprived wondering how long it will take before your little darling is sleeping through the night? Will it be 3 months, 5 months, 8 months, longer …. Well, I’m here to tell you that the sooner you teach your baby how to fall asleep on their own, the better off the whole family will be.
You can start as soon as week six or seven. Of course we can start off with the obvious reason. Mom and Dad get more sleep and the family is less cranky but teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own gives them so many benefits. First of all, they actually sleep better and longer because babies actually go through sleep cycles quicker than adults which they wake up many times through the night and in most cases when a baby knows where they are they are less likely to come to a complete waken state. Babies can sooth themselves back to sleep with a pacifier or the thumb. Mine were both thumb suckers. Second, I found by teaching them to fall asleep at their nap times through the day, they actually slept longer through the night. This gives them a more restful sleep and your baby is happier and more likely to eat better too. Third, and more importantly, it is so much healthier for your baby. We all know that babies grow while they sleep, plus it teaches them independence.
I know what your thinking, how do I teach my baby how to fall asleep on their own? I always started teaching my babies during their naps through the day. I used the three hour rule; when they wake up feed them, play with them and keep them up from the time they got up to their next scheduled nap for three hours. It might be challenging for babies six or seven weeks old, so try keeping them up for 2 1/2 hours. When the time is up and it’s nap time, place them in their crib or cradle (on their backs) and gently talk in a soothing voice, stay with them for a couple seconds and walk away. Don’t walk too far because you will need to walk in every couple minutes to let them know that your there but it is nap time so do not pick them up. Eventually they will cry themselves to sleep because we all know crying can be exhausting. Stick to this routine day by day and you will see your baby falling a sleep by themselves within a week. If you stick to this eventually your baby won’t cry at nap time. They will know it’s nap time and go to sleep. Another thing that I mentioned is your baby will be sleeping through the night sooner than later too. I know that this will tug on your heart strings and you absolutely need a good dose of patience but you will find that your baby will be on a great schedule which will allow you to work your business during naps and give you more free time to do the things you enjoy. It will truly be a win win for the entire family!