1. No external props:
Babies need to learn to fall asleep independently without external props. An external prop is anything that the child needs to fall asleep; pacifier, rocking, feeding (when not hungry), etc.
2. Set an early bedtime:
The best bedtime is anywhere between 6-8pm. Children are early risers and we need to ensure that they get their full 12 hours of rest at night, so that’s the reason for the early bedtimes. Putting your child to bed late will NOT result in a later wake-up, it will actually encourage an earlier wake up (5am or earlier). You don’t want that!!
If your child is overtired, it could be due to the fact that the bedtime is too late in the evening and the child is waking up earlier than the 12 hour stretch to start their day.
3. Don’t skip naps:
If you skip naps, sleep debt will follow you for the next 24 hours. If noises are contributing to shorter than normal nap lengths, incorporate a white noise machine to help drown out sounds from inside and/or outside the home.
4. Set a routine:
Routines are the heavily researched and are highly recommended by healthcare professionals for children AND adults when it comes to healthy sleep patterns. As a matter of fact, routines can help the body produce more melatonin, the “sleepy” hormone. Bedtime routines should not be more than 30 minutes and nap time routines no more than 10 minutes. You can incorporate any wind down activity into the routine; story, songs, bathtime, etc.
5. Stay consistent:
If you are seeing desired results in your child’s sleep progress, that’s great, but it’s important to remain consistent. Sleep training takes some time and you are likely not going to see instant overnight results. It takes a few days to get your child on their healthy sleep journey, sometimes even a week. Don’t give up!