POV: You’re ready to stop rocking or feeding to sleep but have no idea HOW! Read on for some tips and if you’re ready to get cracking, grab one of our sleep programmes:
Are you ready, ready?
Sleep training doesn’t take too long generally but it is a tough few days when you’re introducing change to little one’s sleep. Your baby’s used to being rocked or fed and we are getting them used to falling asleep independently instead. One of the biggest keys to success with this is you, as the parents or caregivers, feeling properly ready for a few tough days where there will be crying.
Is your little one in a routine?
To have success it’s essential to know that we’re getting timings right and actually putting our babies down at a time when they are tired and ready to sleep. Whether you prefer a routine with set timings (all of our sleep programmes have routines with set timings) or going by awake windows and watching sleepy cues, this is step one.
Have a wind-down routine
As babies get older and their play becomes more active, a 5-10 minute wind-down taking them from “play mode” to “sleepy mode” works well. Read a short story with your little one on your lap which will give similar feelings of calm and closeness that doing a milk feed or rocking does. Followed by cuddles and kisses – but no rocking!
Putting them down
Have the sleeping bag laid out in the cot and sing a lullaby to them as you put them down into the cot and zip them into their sleeping bag. The same lullaby every time you put your baby down is a great final cue for your little one that it is time to sleep for naps and at night. Say “goodnight” and turn any lights off, and switch white noise on if you’re using.
When you’re first getting your baby used to them falling asleep by themselves it’s likely you’ll need to do some settling. For younger babies, we recommend controlled comforting which is where you’ll stay in the room doing shh-ing with hand support. For older babies and toddlers, coming in and out of the room at short intervals to give reassurance tends to work better.
Re-train your brain!
There is a mindset shift though in terms of getting used to seeing your little one fully awake in their cot spending some time getting themselves sleepy, rather than you doing that bit for them. Around 15-20 minutes from when you put your little one down and say goodnight to when they are actually asleep is totally normal.