What Is Sleep training? Sleep training is more than just a nice way of saying “cry-it-out”. Sleep training is a method by which the parent creates an environment for an infant to learn how to maintain sleep.
Why do I have to do this? For some infants, sleep comes easily and quickly. As soon as the body no longer needs nutrition in the night, the baby sleeps through without any perceived awakenings. Unfortunately, most babies (and some adults) need to be taught to maintain sleep. We all wake up in the middle of the night. Most of us will look at the clock, roll into another position, find the cold side of the pillow and will go back to sleep. The reason we do this is that we have trained ourselves to fall asleep without sleep props and we have trained ourselves to not be alarmed by these awakenings. Many infants need to be taught this skill.
Unfortunately, many infants think that they need to eat in the middle of the night. They think that because we have taught them to think that. As newborns, they needed to eat in the middle of the night. But around 3 months of age, they no longer needed to eat but the habit of waking up continued. Your job now is to teach your baby that it is not necessary to eat in the middle of the night and when he/she comes to wakefulness to go back to sleep without the assistance of a parent.
So what do I do?
First night: your baby will cry for 45 min to 90 min before falling asleep and will wake twice in the night and cry for 45-90 min each time
Second night: same as the first night
Third night: will cry for 20 min before falling asleep and will sleep through the night until 5:00 am. Stay out of the room. Allow your baby the opportunity to learn to fall asleep and to maintain sleep without your assistance.
This is hard to do since your instinct is to jump in and stop the frustration by feeding or rocking your baby. The problem is that you are not helping the situation, rather you are communicating to the baby that you don’t believe that they can do this. Trust that your baby can learn this skill and that you have done your part to ensure success.
A video on successful sleep training by Dr. Glassman is available on our Facebook page. Just click this link – Sleep Training by Dr. Glassman and go to the videos tab on our page.