'Wake & Sleep': Teaching Babies to Sleep on Their Own
All parents want to know, “When will my baby start to sleep through the night?”
And, that reveals one of the top myths about infant sleep! Because no baby…no child…no adult EVER sleeps through the night!
Yup! You heard me right! Three to four times a night, we all rouse at least a tiny bit. So your goal is not to really to get your baby sleeping through the night, but to help her learn how to self soothe when she – inevitably – begins to wake up in the middle of the night.
As tempting as it is to rock your baby to sleep and then gently slide her into bed, doing that every night makes your little one more reliant on your help during those little middle of the night wakings. Of course, you can enjoy letting your baby sleep in your arms, but I suggest you also help her develop the skill to fall asleep on her own – and she can!
This technique is called “wake and sleep” because when you gently place your sleeping baby down for naps or at night you need to wake her up…just a little. You can start training your baby in this way from day one.
Here’s what you do: Every evening at bedtime, swaddle your little one, turn on rough white noise as loud as a shower, feed and burp her, let her fall asleep in your arms and then lay her down. BUT, right after you slide your munchkin into bed, rouse her until her eyes open (tickle her neck, scratch her feet, etc). After a few seconds she will close her eyes again and she’ll slide back into slumberland.
If she fusses, she may be hungry or uncomfortable, so pick her up to feed and calm her, but be sure to wake her again when you put her back down.
I know it sounds crazy, but those few seconds of drowsy waking are the first baby steps to helping your infant learn how to sleep through the night!
Did you know? Happiest Baby’s SNOO Smart Sleeper was actually developed using the same scientific principals from the wake and sleep method. Between 4-6 months, the smart sleeper gradually weans your baby off noise and motion, training her to sleep independently and make an easy transfer to a crib. Learn more.