Looking for Regional Information?

Key Steps in Training Your Baby to Sleep

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/24/2006 | Parenting
When there is a new baby in the house, it is common to hear the parents complain about the lack of sleep. During the first few months, babies go through erratic and interrupted sleep patterns. It is during this time that parents can put forth a considerable amount of effort to put baby to sleep. Usually, baby ends up sleeping in the parent's arms as they rock or breastfeed baby to sleep. This, however, leads to more trouble as baby begins to anticipate falling asleep in the parent's arms.

Don't allow your baby to fall asleep in your arms. This is the first step in training your baby to sleep independently. The babys bed is the best place for your baby to fall asleep. This gives the baby an opportunity to fall asleep without unnecessary fuss. Also, remember to put your baby down awake, but sleepy.

The second step is to make sure that your baby goes to sleep at the same time every night. Be consistent and soon baby will establish a sleeping schedule. Be persistent in this method and your baby will soon learn how to fall asleep independently. After 2 months of age, you may start to encourage baby to fall asleep without your help.

As much as possible, don't allow your baby to sleep in your bed. Babies who become accustomed to sleeping with their parents will not want to sleep in their own beds. If you choose to sleep in the same bed with your baby, care should be taken to avoid using soft sleep surfaces.

One factor to be wary of when training your baby to sleep on his own is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is the leading cause of death among infants under one year. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is an unforeseen and unexpected death of even a healthy baby. It is also known as cot or crib death. It is recommended that you always use the back sleep position instead of a side sleep when you put your baby to bed. It provides the best safeguard against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. However if your baby has reflux, have your physician recommend the best sleeping posture for your baby.

Also, use a firm sleep surface such as a safety-approved crib mattress covered by a fitted bed sheet. Clear any blankets, soft toys and other soft items. Keep your baby's sleeping area close to you but separate from where you and other family members sleep.

By engaging in this technique, parents can slowly teach babies to sleep on their own. Babies will cultivate good sleeping habits and parents will eventually welcome back a good night's rest.
function SubmitRating(btn) { ratingchecked = false; if (btn.form.aRating0.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating1.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating2.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating3.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating4.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (ratingchecked) { btn.form.btnRating.value=btn.value; btn.form.submit(); } else { alert("Be sure a rating value has been selected to continue."); } }