The world today is busy than ever. With so many obligations, it is easy to get distracted and end up too tired function. You have to balance obligations like work, leisure, family, and sleep. And you think, one way to achieve a life balance is to rest your infant on a crib. But your baby won’t sleep in the crib.
You nurse your infant every two to three hours, and you know it is well health-wise. You then place it on a crib, but before you leave, it laments. Your infant never gives you a chance to breathe, maybe because it feels unsafe whenever not in its mother’s hands.
Maybe you are doing it all wrong. Lucky you, this article will show you how to sleep train your toddler to sleep in a crib. But before that, let us look at what sleep training is, what it isn’t, and when to start sleep training your infant.
What Is Sleep Training?
Sleep training is training your infant to sleep without your help. That is, you put the infant in a crib, and it sleeps without being swayed, cuddled, nursed, rocked, or shushed. The best time to start sleep training your toddler is when it is around three months old, but no age limit from that point. On the same note, once they are trained, your kid will be able to sleep back after waking up in the middle of the night or during the day.
When Can You Start Sleep Training?
Your baby won’t sleep in a crib if you sleep train it too early. For instance, at around two months, the infant produces less melatonin, which regulates sleep. It also needs multiple feeding, hence not the right time to sleep-train it at this age; it is not ready to self soothe. Neither can it survive several hours without food.
At around three to nine months, your infant can survive up to six to eight hours without feeding overnight. And according to experts, sleep training should start at this age. If your toddler is a slow learner, lucky you; there is no age limit for sleep training.
What Isn’t Sleep Training?
Night weaning is not part of sleep training. Night weaning involves nursing your infant in the middle of the night in sessions. On the other hand, sleep training your baby does not involve nursing since the infant survives up to eight hours without feeding.
Knowing what sleep training is, what it isn’t, and when to start the training, it is time to learn how to get your baby to sleep in a crib in five easy techniques. Let’s begin.
1. Bed Time Fading Routine
With this sleep training technique, you transition it from the technique you have been using to soothe your baby to sleep, such as rocking or nursing. Gradually, reduce the times you do it. The infant will cry until it sleeps, but reduce the cry each day. However, your baby won’t sleep in a crib by itself in the first few nights, but the toddler will still self soothe after several cries. That is why the process is also known as minimizing crying.
The bedtime fading routine method challenges most parents because they cannot watch their infants cry, hence lack inconsistency. If you are one of them, you can still try other methods until you find the one that works best for your child.
2. Bed Time Hour Fading
If the bed time fading routine fails to work for your infant, try bedtime hour fading as it works wonders to some.
Talking of bed time hour fading, you time when your toddler starts dozing and put it on the crib. Then leave your infant sleep by itself. You repeat the process for several nights. In the end, this acts as the sleeping time for your toddler.
Your baby might still cry in the first few days of the training when it wakes up and finds it is alone.
3. Extinction or Cry It Out Technique
The extinction technique involves putting your toddler on the crib, wishing it good night, and then walking away. However, using the technique depends on your toddler’s development stage, plus what works best for you.
The first night of the cry, it out technique will be rough; your baby won’t sleep in a crib. For the technique to work, you will have to ignore your toddler’s cry, but after several nights, your toddler will develop a sleeping schedule, and it will be able to sleep by itself.
You have to distinguish the extinction technique, which happens abruptly, from the bedtime fading routine, which happens gradually.
4. Ferber Technique
You find it hard letting your toddler cry without giving it your attention, or maybe your baby won’t sleep after trying other sleep training techniques that involve no attention? The Ferber technique is for you if you find other methods like the extinction technique rough for your kid.
Ferber technique is more like a graduated extinction sleep training technique. It involves placing your toddler on the crib, then leaving it to cry, but then, you keep checking and consoling it at different intervals, probably after every few minutes. You gradually increase the checking intervals until it sleeps. If you maintain consistency, your infant will be in a position to self soothe within days.
5. Chair Technique
If you wish to use a sleep training technique better than extinction and Ferber techniques, you should try the chair technique.
On chair technique, you place your toddler on the crib and then sit on a chair just next to it. Once it falls asleep, silently leave the room. Next time, place the chair a little further but make sure your infant can feel your presence. The third time to the chair technique, place the chair next to the door, sit until your sweet toddler sleeps.
After a few days of practicing the chair technique, your infant will be able to self soothe with just a good night and leaving the room.
That is it. You now know how to get your baby to sleep in a crib. The ball is now in your hands. But before you pick a strategy, let’s have a quick summary of the things you must do before you attempt to sleep train your little one.
Quick Sleep Training Tips for successful crib sleeping
Before you start any of the above sleep training techniques, you need to:
- Feed your infant before it sleeps.
- Set a calming and consistent sleep time routine; ensure you set a sleeping time early, typically 7 or 8 pm.
- Have a plan that will help you maintain consistency.
So, how do you set a sleeping time?
Does your baby wake up for lack of sleep, especially when placed in a crib? Does it extend the drama during the day, even after a sleepless night? Is your kid around four months old? If you answered yes to any of these questions, It is time you start sleep training. For a good sleep training experience, you need to learn how to get your baby to sleep in a crib.
To learn how to get your baby to sleep in a crib, start by setting sleep time. Then, observe your infant’s sleeping cues like rubbing its eyes, fussiness, avoiding lights or sounds, and or yawning a lot at night. If you observe any of these, put your infant in the crib. In case it resists, take it out and soothe it for about half an hour, then put it back in the crib. Repeat this for several nights, consistently at a specific time, let’s say at 8 pm.
Gradually, adjust the sleep time to maybe 20 minutes earlier. Keep adjusting it until you achieve the desired sleep time for your kiddo. This plus either bedtime fading, bedtime hour fading, extinction, Ferber or chair sleep training technique, your infant will become a pro crib sleeper. And then you will have enough sleep and a peaceful night. Obviously, you will wake up re-energized ready to meet your obligations. To sum it all, your toddler will grow healthy and happy after a balmy and sweet sleep.