Monday, September 2, 2013
Baby Sleep Tips - Developing Sleep Associations
Everyone who has had the experience of being a parent knows all too well the difficulties of
getting your baby to sleep soundly throughout the night. The dark circles around the eyes of
new parents are usually familiar to all those that have been around them. In terms of baby sleep
tips, one of the most important things you must try and establish as a parent is getting your baby
to learn to fall asleep on his own. The process by which your child begins to fall asleep on his
own is one that involves a natural transition from falling asleep with the mother to falling asleep
in an independent fashion. One of the best ways in which you can speed up this transition is to
encourage your child to develop sleep associations that he or she can recreate independently.
Naturally, everyone - and babies in particular - will develop sleep associations. These are the
things that you associate with bedtime, and allow you to create an environment in which it is
easy to fall asleep. When your baby is at an extremely young age, he will naturally develop
sleep associations involving the mother, as he will often fall asleep in her arms. As you attempt
to get your baby to sleep in his own, however, it is crucial that you work to change these
If you always put your child to sleep by holding him, or allowing him to use a pacifier, you create
a sleep association with these things. Then, when your child wakes up in the middle of then
night, he can't go back to sleep on his own because he is unable to recreate his sleeping
environment without you: he needs you to feed him or rock him in order to sleep.
As you begin to try and get your child to sleep on his own, you should introduce items into his
sleeping routine that he can sleep with, such as a particular blanket or a stuffed animal. What
this will do is create associations for your child with these items for sleep. Then, when he
awakes in the middle of the night, he will be able to recreate a sleeping environment without
your assistance by grabbing his stuffed animal, etc. It can also be beneficial to introduce
"transitional items" into your baby's bedtime routine: Allow him to have his stuffed animal or
blanket with him during a final feeding and before-bedtime activities, and allow him to take these
things with him to bed.
No matter what you do, your child is going to be creating his or her own sleep associations.
Your job is to try and create associations with items that are under his or her control. By giving
your child as much control over his sleeping environment as possible, you allow him to begin to
achieve sleep independently. The most difficult transition in early parenting is the one towards
independent sleep for your child, and if you introduce new items into your child's sleeping place,
you will hasten this transition, which will soon allow both you and your child to get a good night's
Baby Sleep Tips - The Ferber Method
One of the most important things in getting you baby to sleep properly is for your baby to learn
to sleep on his or her own. The reason it is so difficult for many parents - why parents of a
newborn suffer from so many sleepless nights - is because your baby, at first, isn't used to
sleeping on his own, and when he wakes up in the night he cries for his mother: being in the
presence of his mother is only way he knows how to get to sleep. It is natural that this transition
from sleeping with the mother, to sleeping on his own, will take some time for your baby. Many
baby sleep tips involve setting up a strict nighttime routine, and introducing objects - such as
stuffed animals - into the bed that your baby can associate with sleep. If you find after some
months that your baby is still not able to sleep on his own, you can try what is known as the
Invented by Dr. Richard Ferber, the Ferber method is the most common way of weaning your
child away from the mother, in terms of his sleep habits. It is usually successful within a couple
of weeks. Nevertheless, it is important that you choose a week where you can afford to lose
some sleep to begin the Ferber method. Especially at the beginning of the process, the Ferber
method does require that you spend a lot of time listening to your baby crying, and if you
attempt it at a time when you are desperate to sleep, you run the risk of breaking down and
allowing your child to sleep with you, or sleeping in the room with him. If you do so you risk
undoing a lot of work that you will have put into the method.
The first night you attempt the Ferber method, put your child to bed as you normally do. Your
baby should be tired but still awake when you put him to bed, so that he is left to fall asleep on
his own. After you leave the room, the baby will inevitably start crying. Allow him to cry for about
5 minutes, then re-enter the room to console him. It's important that you stay in the room for
only a short time - even if he is still crying - and that you don't pick him up or rock him. This
second time you leave the room, wait 10 minutes before returning in the same manner. The
third time wait 15 minutes, and set this as a maximum wait time for the rest of the night.
Every time thereafter, enter the room briefly and then allow your child to cry for 15 minutes.
Eventually, he will fall asleep on his own during one of the 15 minute intervals in which you are
out of the room. The second night, you should begin with a 10 minute wait before re-entering
the room, followed by 15 and then 20 minutes. In a similar fashion, increase your initial and
subsequent wait times by 5 minutes each night.
Using this method your child will soon learn to go to sleep on his own. Although it can be difficult
to listen to your baby cry, understand that the Ferber method is a safe and effective way of
getting your baby to learn to sleep on his own.
Baby Sleep Tips - Create A Familiar Environment
All newborns are, of course, different. Some sleep better than others at a young age, which
prompts many parents to trade stories of how "lucky" or "unlucky" they were with a given child.
There is, no doubt, a certain amount of mystery to getting a child to sleep well and through the
night on his own. Nevertheless, a plethora of baby sleep tips exist intended to speed up the
process which your child goes through before sleeping on his own.
Getting your child to sleep on his own in a timely fashion involves speeding up a natural
transition: the one from sleeping with his mother to sleeping on his own. At first, when your baby
wakes up in the middle of the night, he will cry for his mother, as this is the only way he knows
how to fall asleep. One of the things you must do as a parent is help create the best
environment for your baby to fall asleep on his own.
Many people naturally assume that the best environment for sleep is one of total silence: most
of us are familiar with having to tiptoe around a sleeping baby's room. Although a quiet
environment is the best one for most adults, you'd be well advised to remember where your
newborn baby has been sleeping for the past nine months: in his mother's womb. In the womb,
of course, your newborn slept in many situations that were far from quiet - when the mother was
out in public, or socializing with other people. For this reason a newborn baby will often sleep
better by being exposed to some quiet background noise.
You should be trying to allow some ambient "white noise" to be around your baby when he goes
to sleep. Sudden loud noises will, of course, rouse him, but in most cases some background
chatter and other soothing noises will help the sleep process: most adults, I'm sure, can likely
remember falling asleep to the sounds of their parents and their friends having a conversation.
There are products marketed to new parents to create these ambient noises - most notably
audio CDs containing tracks of soothing noise. It usually isn't necessary to buy these, however -
in most cases simply leaving the door to the baby's nursery ajar will do the trick. In a similar
vein, if your baby falls asleep around company, allow him to stay there rather than moving him
to a quiet room.
By helping to create the best possible environment for your baby's sleep, you help him learn to
fall asleep in his own. Often a humming noise can help - we all know how easy it can be to fall
asleep in a moving car - so having a humidifier or fan in the baby's room can often do wonders.
Whatever solution you choose, remember that it needn't be overly complicated. Simply leave
the door ajar, or let your baby sleep in the company of others. Contrary to what many people
intuitively think, if you keep your baby from sleeping in total silence, he'll often sleep much
Baby Sleep Tips - Develop A Reasonable Attitude
It's impossible to list all the different skills you need, and decisions that you have to make, as a
new parent. Although you should try to educate yourself and talk to other parents, in most cases
the best solution for any questions you may have is to follow your instincts. Parenting is, after
all, one of the most natural things in the world. One of the most common and difficult things
you'll deal with as the parent of a newborn is in getting your child to sleep well and throughout
the night. Often, the process of achieving this seems to be a combination of science, art, and
just plain luck. There are many baby sleep tips out there, and many of them are useful, but
before you begin researching and applying them, you should develop a realistic and healthy
attitude towards sleep. If you don't do this, you risk applying tips in a rigid and scattershot
manner, which isn't likely to work.
One of the keys to this is understanding that you should be developing a long term goal, in
terms of your baby's sleep habits. As much as any parent's short term goal is simply to get their
child to go to sleep, so that she can get some sleep herself, you should be thinking of the long
term goal of instilling healthy sleep habits in your child. A successful way to implement this goal
is to be realistic and flexible. Your child is not going to sleep the same way or in the same
manner every night. What you should be trying to do, therefore, is creating an environment that
is conducive to sleep, so that your child can slowly learn to fall asleep on his own.
The best thing you can do is help your child develop an attitude in which sleep is both an
enjoyable and secure state. Your child should think of sleep as a comforting thing that comes
naturally. One way you can help foster this idea is by avoiding too much interference with your
child's sleeping habits. Although it can be tempting to follow guides and implement rigid rules
regarding your child's sleep, in many cases this can cause problems down the road.
If you rouse or put your child to bed at set hours, you may achieve a short term goal of getting
some rest, but you may also be altering your child's attitudes towards sleep. Instead of thinking
of sleep as an enjoyable activity, he will begin to think of it as something he "has to do" like
eating his dinner. By altering your child's attitude towards sleep in this way - by making him think
of it as a task rather than an enjoyable activity - you risk problems developing later.
In older children and adults who have sleeping problems, doctors can often trace the source of
the problem back to sleeping habits enforced at an extremely young age. If as a baby the
subject was put to bed at a set hour, for example, regardless of weather he was tired or not. By
trying to stay more in tune with how your baby is feeling and what he wants, you will encourage
a healthier attitude towards sleep, which will benefit both you and your child in the future.
Keeping Your Baby Relaxed Throughout The Day
One of the greatest challenges for any new parent is getting their child to sleep throughout the
night. This is very difficult at first, as the child has to make a transition from sleeping with his
mother to sleeping on his own. Like anything else in life, this isn't something that happens
instantly - it takes time for your child to learn how to do this. There are some things you can do,
however, that will create a better environment for your baby to fall asleep in. While you
ultimately can't control when or how your baby sleeps, you can, in many ways, stack the deck in
your favor. In terms of baby sleep tips, a good one is making sure that your baby spends his
daytime hours in a relaxed and peaceful state.
Going from a state of being awake to one of sleep is a big transition, and one that requires
some time. Most of us are probably familiar with the fact that the more "awake" you are when
you try to go to bed the longer it will take to fall asleep - that is, the wider the gap in the
transition between being awake and asleep, the longer it will take to achieve sleep. The same is
true, of course, for your baby.
It is important, therefore, to encourage restful and peaceful days for your child. Particularly in
the time leading up to bed, you want create an extremely relaxed and stress-free environment
for your baby. By doing so you will be helping to create a situation for your baby where the
transition from wakefulness to sleep is as easy as possible. If your baby spends much of his day
being held and rocked and kept otherwise peaceful, it's likely that this will carry though into the
night, and he will fall asleep easily. If, on the other hand, your baby spends his day in stressful
situations - if he is on his own a lot, for example, and has to cry for a while to be tended to - it's
likely that this will carry over into the night as well, making it difficult for him to fall asleep.
Although it may seem a little strange, babies are like adults in that a stressful day will make it
difficult for them to sleep - just keep in mind that your baby's stresses are very different than
yours, though no less valid in terms of a good night's rest. Another thing that sometimes helps
to keep your baby in a restful state is the use of a baby sling. Babies who spend a large part of
their day being carried in a sling often sleep better then those who don't. Whether you use a
sling or not, the general rule you should be trying to employ is to be with your baby throughout
the day. Babies that spend a lot of time in the arms of their mothers are generally more relaxed
and sleep better. Remember that when your baby is left on his own in his crib, it is often very
stressful for him, and babies that spend their days like this often don't sleep well.
Baby Sleep Tips - Making Your Baby Comfortable
Often, it seems fairly random whether or not babies sleep well. New parents will often discuss
how they were simply "lucky" with one child as opposed to another. While it is true that in many
cases how your child sleeps is largely out of your control, there remains many baby sleep tips
you can employ to encourage better sleeping habits. One of the most important is to ensure that
your baby is comfortable when he goes to sleep.
Bedtime is a transitional period for your child, and your efforts to make him sleep better should
revolve around getting him to learn to sleep on his own. One of the most important elements of
achieving this is to create an environment where your baby is as comfortable as possible. For
this reason, the before-bed routine should always consist of changing and feedings - the worst
thing for a baby, in terms of sleeping well, is to be in want of something when he is put to bed.
You should also be trying to make your baby as physically comfortable as possible when putting
him to sleep. One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of this is allowing your baby to
breathe easily through the nose. Most people, but especially babies, depend on clear nasal
passages for a good night's sleep. It's important to remove all airborne allergens in the baby's
nursery: everything should be well dusted, and you should keep dust collecting items - like fuzzy
blankets and stuffed animals - to a minimum. When your baby is very young it takes time for him
to learn to breathe through his mouth, so you must carefully pay attention to his nasal breathing
when putting him to sleep. If you notice the problem is persistent, you may benefit from installing
an air filter in the room that is designed to remove dust particles and allergens - this also has the
added bonus of creating a soothing hum that will help many babies sleep better.
You should also pay particular attention to your baby's clothing. All babies are different in terms
of their preferences, and you have to watch them closely. In many cases, things that look
comfortable to you - very snug outfits, for example - may not be comfortable for your particular
baby. Try both tight and loose fitting clothes and see which ones your baby seems to prefer.
Finally, consider how well your baby sleeps with wet diapers. Most babies will sleep well
through the night with a wet diaper, but some will not. If this is the case, you can often solve
your baby's sleeping difficulties by giving him a change in the night.
The main thing to keep in mind in terms of your babies comfort is to pay close attention, and to
trust your instincts. Although it is tempting to follow guides and stick to hard and fast rules,
remember that the adage "mother knows best" is generally true. So if your baby seems
uncomfortable in his clothes, don't hesitate to change him into something that doesn't "look" as
comfortable. If you trust your own judgments over those of guides in terms of your baby's
comfort, it's likely that he will sleep much better.
Setting A Bedtime Ritual
Any casual glance at child rearing guides will reveal that particular attention is paid to baby
sleep habits. The reason is fairly obvious: one of the most difficult things for a new parent to get
used to is dealing with constantly being awoken in the night by a newborn. There are no hard
and fast rules to getting your baby to sleep well, as all newborns are different. There are,
however, some baby sleep tips you can employ that will help. The important thing is to
understand that your judgment as a parent is paramount: don't get stubborn with tips that don't
seem to work, and try a wide variety and things to find out what works best for you and your
A good place to start, in terms of baby sleep tips, is to establish a bedtime ritual for your baby.
The reason that your newborn doesn't sleep well through the night at first is because he is used
to falling asleep with his mother. When he awakes in the night he naturally cries for his mother -
the only way he knows how to go back to sleep. As your newborn grows older a slow transition
will occur whereby he learns to go to sleep on his own, and - more importantly - when he wakes
in the night he can learn to fall back asleep on his own. Your goal as a parent is to try and
speed up this transition as much as possible, the result will not only be a good night's rest for
you, but a development of better sleeping habits for your child in the long term.
To get your child to sleep well on his own, focus on a consistent bedtime routine. Babies are
very dependant on routines - their world is so narrow that they generally focus on only a few
things throughout the day - the way to create transitions in their day, therefore, is to change how
these things are presented to them.
For example, your bedtime routine may consist of a warm bath, a feeding and changing, and
some rocking before bed. If you repeat this every night your baby will slowly begin to associate
these things with sleep. Every night, then, your child will naturally start to fall into a "sleeping
mode" when you do these things. If you are inconsistent, however - if, say, you only bathe him
on odd nights, or change the order of bedtime events - you will confuse the child and he will be
unsure of what happens next: he won't know whether he's going to sleep after his bath, or being
read a story.
A bedtime routine should also employ spending a good amount of time with your baby. Even
from a very young age, babies will learn to manipulate their parents, and if you don't spend
enough time with your baby before he falls asleep, he will start to stretch out the bedtime ritual
in order to spend more time with you.
In establishing a bedtime ritual for your child, you primary concerns should be to make it
consistent. To ensure better sleeping habits for your baby, don't focus so much on what you do
before bed, rather, pay attention to doing the same things in the same order every night.