So you’re a new mama and you’re here to find the best way to get your baby sleeping…in their own bed AND all night long, right?
Or, maybe you’re a new mom again and you just didn’t feel like you were rocking the sleep training thing last time and you’re just looking for advice for this time around.
Well, you found the right place! I’m going to tell you the best way to sleep train that sweet baby!
First, take a deep breath! I know you’re exhausted and this all seems so overwhelming. But you know what? You got this!!!
So let’s start with, when is the right time to sleep train?
“Experts” recommend anywhere from the day you bring them home till about 4-6 months of age. I’ll answer this further in just a minute.
I’m sure you’ve gotten a ton of advice on sleep training, amongst a lot of other advice on every other parenting topic imaginable! The baby experts come out of the woodworks once you’ve had a baby regardless of how long ago they had their babies or if they even have babies!
Come on, I know you know this oh so well by now! I’m sure you’ve heard to let them cry-it-out or hold them until your hearts content or check on them on and off until they fall asleep, sit in a chair and slowly move out of the room, or wait till they fall asleep and then army crawl out of there without making a peep!
Have you ever wondered why in the world there are so many ways to sleep train? Of course you have! That’s why you’re here and you want to know what the best way is! You only want to do this part of parenting once!
So let’s dive into some of these techniques. (Also, this is not by any means an exhaustive list, just some of the more popular ones.)
Cry-it-out is probably the most well known.
This is where you have a specific bedtime routine that you follow each night and say your goodnights and put them in bed wide awake to self soothe until they fall asleep. You don’t go in at all.
Another less strict variation of cry-it-out is essentially the same steps but going in to check on baby every five minutes or so to reassure them you’re still there.
Another method is to sit in a chair next to baby until they fall asleep and every couple of nights move the chair closer and closer to the door and eventually just outside the door and then not at all.
And for the last couple self explanatory methods, hold them until you’re ready to put them down even if you wait till they’re dead asleep and then ever so carefully put them down without moving a muscle because if you do, you might not set them down the exact same way you were holding them and then they might wake up and you’ll have to start all over again! And then make sure that once you have successfully gotten them in their bed and staying asleep, drop to the floor disappearing like the greatest magician ever without making the slightest sound and then army crawl your way out! Whew! You made it! Hallelujah!
After having three kids, and having tried all these methods and more, I can tell you what the best way is!
Cue the parenting expert now!
The best way to sleep train YOUR baby is what is most comfortable for YOU and what YOU think the right way is!
God chose YOU to be that sweet baby’s mom.
YOU are exactly what and who that baby needs to grow into who they need to be in this world! Have confidence in that my sweet friend!
YOU know YOUR baby! No one else knows that baby the way you do. And never underestimate the power of a mother’s intuition; it’s an amazing gift!
There are all these techniques and ideas to try because they all work on some level. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be methods that have been around for like ever. And what works for one baby wont always work for another. And it may not even work for another baby even if they are siblings made from the same DNA.
Kids are so incredibly different from each other and need different things, yes even in the same family with the same parents, and only YOU know what is best for each and every one of them!
I know this may not seem helpful, but it should be. I think as new mama’s it’s hard to know what the right way to do anything for your baby is. So many opinions and advice coming your way it’s hard to filter through it all.
So take heart and remember that THAT baby, the one you are probably holding while you read this, was given as a gift to you because YOU are the mom that baby needs! YOU know what is best.
Ignore all the parenting advice (smile and nod) and then do what YOUR intuition is telling you to do. That may take some trial and error too, and that’s ok!
Give something a shot for a few weeks and if you don’t see any improvements or positive changes, give something else a try. It’s ok, and it doesn’t make you a failure!
Even the fact that you are looking these kinds of things up, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have your baby’s best interest at heart!
You love your baby! And you are not going to “mess them up” by not picking what everyone else believes is the best way to sleep train!
I have literally sleep trained all three of my kids differently and you know what? They all sleep!
And no matter how I sleep trained them, they all come into my room in the middle of the night like little ninjas! (Seriously, I never know they’re there until morning. How they even do that is beyond me!)
Anyhow, they sleep. And as they grow they stay in their bed longer and more often. And pretty soon, sooner than I’d like I’m afraid, they wont even want to be in the same room with me.
So cherish the time, ignore (politely, of course) the advice that makes you weary, love that baby, and trust yourself!