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 them learn how to self soothe when they—inevitably—begins to wake up in the middle of the night.

Infant Sleep Training 

What is sleep training? Sleep training is often used synonymously with the “cry it out” method but refers mainly to teaching your baby that they’re capable of falling asleep independently. In fact, all of us have been sleep trained in one way or another Learning to self-soothe in the middle of the night will not only help your little one get more sleep, but you as well. 

What’s the right age for sleep training?

Sleep training should start based on your baby’s development. This is usually between 4 and 6 months of age before your newborn has had time to get too used to rocking or nursing to sleep.

Getting a Baby to Sleep Through 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!

Sleep Training Techniques

A Gentle Method: “Wake and Sleep” Sleep Training

So...how do I sleep train my baby? Training your baby to self-soothe and sleep through the night is made possible through a technique called “wake and sleep.”

The idea is to wean your little one off of being held or rocked to fall asleep every time. The goal is to teach your baby to sleep through the night. and develop self soothing techniques to fall back asleep. Here’s how to sleep train your infant with this method:

  • 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! This method is a great complement to dream feeding

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.

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