5 no-tears ways to sleep-train your baby

Dying to get bubba to sleep without any waterworks? One of these methods might just do the trick!

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To most parents, just hearing the phrase sleep training often conjures up an image of a tearful — and pitiful — infant who is left to cry himself to sleep on his own in a dark and cold nursery.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, some sleep-training techniques are aimed at helping baby get to sleep with as few tears as possible.

While these may sound like a more pleasant alternative to “cry-it-out” techniques, don’t assume that it’ll will work from the get-go. It will still take some trial and error — and time — to nail these techniques. Most sleep experts will encourage you to stick to a chosen method for at least two weeks before trying another. Follow these steps to ensure greater success at sleep training your sweetie…

* Stick to a bedtime routine This schedule can consist of calming activities like reading a story, singing lullabies or just feeding your little one before putting him in the crib. More importantly, you should be consistent in sticking to the order of activities — for instance, bathing him, singing and settling him down in the crib. Keeping to a routine makes bedtime predictable, so baby is less likely to fuss when he knows what’s going to happen next.

* Introduce a sleep schedule As babies thrive on routines, it’s essential to put bubba on a sleep schedule as early as possible. This means sticking to the same time for his naps and bedtime at the same time every day. Having a timetable in place can also help you plan your activities around your child’s sleep needs.

 

Most sleep experts will encourage you to stick to a chosen method for at least two weeks before trying another.

 

*Take note of your baby’s sleep cues So that you’ll know when’s the right time to put him in the crib to sleep. Most tears-free techniques require you to put your cherub into the crib while he’s drowsy but still awake — so it’s important you know the signs. Look out for changes in behaviour like becoming less active, slower movements, yawning, rubbing his eyes and getting cranky or fussy with his food.

* Create a calming environment A dimly lit room with the curtains drawn will definitely turn the nursery into a more conducive sleeping environment. If you plan to play soft music or calming white noise, make sure it’s the right volume. 

* Know your child’s sleep needs Your munchkin’s sleep patterns will change as he grows. For instance, a 1- to 2-month-old baby will need four to five naps daily, each lasting about 45 minutes to two hours. On the other hand, a 12-to 18-month-old baby takes only one to two naps daily, each lasting about one to three hours long.