When you have a baby it can be a challenge realizing that they aren’t about to sleep stretches longer than 4 hours any time soon. Some babies are such tough sleepers that they wake up as often as every 30 minutes, leaving their parents absolutely exhausted.
Even though it may just be a matter of waiting it out until they’re older, there are certain methods which can help you get them there faster. Since no one method works for every child, there are several available to choose from which may work for yours.
Here are three of the most common and effective methods that you will want to take a look at before making a decision.
Gentle “No Cry” Method
A gentle approach is something that a lot of parents choose to give a try to first. Since it’s worth a try before trying out more intense methods, many new parents want to see if it’s effective.
The idea is helping your child associate bedtime cues. Starting a bedtime ritual which sends a message to their brain that this means it’s almost time to start getting sleepy. After the ritual which can include everything from singing a song, taking a bath, or reading a story, the idea is to put the child into the bed while drowsy but still awake.
Try to reassure them if they start to get upset, but not taking them out of the crib. The idea is that they will learn to get themselves to sleep by putting them in their bed completely awake. Otherwise, if you put them in their crib asleep, they may wake up confused and disoriented about where they are and how to get themselves back to sleep without your assistance.
Cry It Out
Many babies don’t respond to the gentle method. The ones who are more stubborn will resist the training altogether despite their parents best efforts.
A cry it out method is something that may be controversial since it involves leaving your child to cry for periods of up to 20 minutes before returning to the room. Although it may seem cruel, it’s often very effective after only several nights of putting it to effect.
Many parents opt to sleep with their babies in order to avoid them waking up in the middle of the night crying for them. Many babies are so comforted by their parent’s’ bodies sleeping next to them that they hardly wake at all when co-sleeping.
They may wake up a bit for feedings then drift back off into a peaceful sleep. This is something which may not work for everyone depending on your sleeping arrangements, however, many parents find it to be their ideal method.