Nothing feels refreshing like waking up from a deep and satisfying sleep of about 7 – 8 hours. However, this is not a luxury many parents to newborns enjoy. Babies come with an erratic sleeping pattern and will keep you awake a big part of the night.
Despite their chaotic sleeping patterns, babies need ample sleep for proper development of the brain and the CNS (central nervous system). Here are the reasons why sufficient sleep is critical to your baby’s development:
- It’s essential for psychological development
- Promotes the health of the baby’s endocrine system
- Great for memory development
- Important for informational and situational retention
- Builds and restores muscles
- Promotes noticeable mood stability
- Promotes general happiness
- Essential to creativity
- Encourages muscle advancement
Myths and Truths About Sleep Training
Through sleep training, science can solve most of the sleeping problems your infant may have. However, the line between what science can do and what it can’t is somewhat blurred. Training entails conditioning your baby to adhere to a specific sleeping routine although it may not 100% effective. Let’s begin by separating facts and fiction.
Legend #1: Sleep Training Always Goes Together with The Infamous “Cry-It-Out” Technique
Truth: Sleep researchers are testing a wide variety of gentle and less cruel training methods away from the “cry-it-out” method, which can be friendly and more effective.
Sleep training was almost always associated with the “cry-it-out” technique which entails leaving the baby on the bed or cot to cry until they tire up and sleep from exhaustion. The cruel nature of this method ended up giving a bad name to the whole idea of sleep training. Today, however, less cruel methods such as lying close to the baby to lull them into sleep are becoming common in sleep training programs.
Legend #2: You Still Can Leave Your Baby to Cry for A “Right” Period of Time When Sleep Training
Truth: There has never been a formula or a specific number of minutes after which you would be certain the baby will sleep.
It all boils down to what you consider to be comfortable as a parent, not a magical number of minutes that would work for every situation. However, there exists the “magic moment” or the time when your child will fall asleep without your presence in the room. The magic moment varies from one child to another. For example, there are children who will doze off if you make frequent check-ins or soothe them more; then there are those that require less soothing and lee check-ins before sleeping.
You need to find out what works best for your baby – a baby may let out a cry for one thing and another different cry for something else. Sometimes maintaining a healthy bedtime routine can go a long way to make a difference. Studies continue to show that babies whose parents learn and understand their sleeping habits early enough tend to turn into early sleepers by the time they turn 2 or six months.
Legend #3: It Is Not True Sleep Training If You Don’t Hear Numerous Crying
Truth: Gentler approaches sometimes do work perfectly as well. Sometimes nothing at all works
You really don’t need to endure all that howling if you don’t want to.
Today’s scientific literature suggests mostly gentler approaches to sleep training. These approaches include parental education and camping out, all of which can help both the parents and the baby have longer satisfying sleep. However, their effectiveness is only limited to a few months beyond which you’ll need to employ a new approach.
Legend #4: It Takes a Single Successful Sleep Training Program to Help Your Baby Sleeps Better Every Day
Truth: Sleep training techniques are helpful to some parents at times, but they are never predictable. Also, most of them never stick.
No baby sleeping training, no matter how intricate it may be, will provide a permanent solution to your child’s sleeping problems. Most of the studies that have been conducted don’t even make an effort to determine the length of time the baby would spend sleeping or awake. Even if the effects seem to stick at first, they will only wear off with a time of sustained use of the baby sleep method – you might find yourself in square one starting all over again. Therefore, do not hope for a miracle if you are looking for long-term results.
Legend #5: Babies Could End Up Getting Harmed If They Are Enrolled/Not Enrolled for Sleep Training
Truth: There is no data showing that babies can be exposed to harm by being subjected to a baby sleep program or not being subjected to one.
Some parents fear that sleep training or the absence of one can have negative effects on the baby’s wellbeing. However, no empirical data shows the likelihood of grave effects of sleep training or not sleep training to a baby.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Question About Sleep in Babies
Q: At What Age Should I Start Sleep Training My Baby?
A: Most babies aren’t ready for sleep training until they’re 4 – 5 months old. However, introducing healthy sleep practices and habits can start immediately after birth.
Q: Do Babies Need to Be Sleep Trained?
A: Yes. While it takes time for the circadian cycle of a newborn to stabilize and start adhering to the normal sleeping cycle, there is a need to nudge infants into sleeping at the right time so that they can have the right amount of sleep and grow with a healthy brain and CNS.
Q: Will Sleep Training Harm My Baby?
A: No. There is absolutely no negative impact of sleep training on a baby.
Q: Do Babies Need a Sleep Schedule?
A: Yes, but only at 2 months old or more. That’s the time when her internal clock starts to be predictable. You want your baby at the correct time so that you can free time for yourself and also ensure the mental growth of the baby is not hampered.
Q: How Can I Help My Baby Sleep Through the Night?
A: The best way to nudge your baby to sleep at night is to employ any of the proven sleep training methods. You can try out one of our analyzed different baby sleep programs.
Sleep deprivation in babies and small children within the first two years of development can result in serious mental issues later in life. Infants should sleep for about 9 to 10 hours every day albeit not in one session. However, that’s not how most infants sleep after birth, most of them would remain awake during the wrong hours especially at a time when you need to rest or perform other duties. You can make them adhere to a proper sleeping schedule by training them using one of our proven sleep training methods.