One of the burning questions for new parents is how to teach them to fall asleep on their own. If the baby is constantly with his mother at night, asks for pens, he quickly gets used to it. To wean him is an almost impossible task. Many mothers give up in the first week, unable to endure sleepless nights. In this article, we will tell you how to fall asleep quickly and environmentally, while preserving the nervous system of the child and his parents.
What is falling asleep on its own
Falling asleep on its own is when a baby falls asleep without any help, without motion sickness and mother’s breast, in his crib. At the same time, he is not capricious, he rarely wakes up at night, sleeps soundly and gets enough sleep. The habit persists in the future: the parents put the child to bed, say good night and leave the room. He falls asleep himself and sleeps all night.
When a baby constantly needs someone to be around, he cannot fall asleep without the help of his mother or father – this is not only a habit. There are many aspects:
- The crumb does not get enough sleep on its own. If he accidentally wakes up during the day or night, he will start to worry instead of falling asleep again. Wrong associations are forming in him;
- Tired parents. Mom is constantly with a baby in her arms, she practically does not rest. Even when a son or daughter is sleeping, she should always be with them. In addition, some people can only get enough sleep in silence. And what silence can be when you have a crumb at your side, and you are half asleep all night, afraid to wake up the little one or accidentally crush something on him. Thus, the mother may lose milk and develop depression.
Sleep Teaching Methods
Of course, the most effective method is not to teach the child to sleep in his mother’s arms on the very first day after birth. But it is not always possible to achieve this: he can cry, he can be ill, there are colic. Mom out of pity will take him to her. A couple of nights like this, and falling asleep in your arms or next to your mom becomes a habit.
There are various techniques for teaching yourself to fall asleep. Their basis is that sleep is the same need as, for example, the need for food and drink. That is, sooner or later, the baby should be so tired that there will be no strength to be capricious and he will fall asleep. You just need to give him this opportunity. But the approach of different methods is slightly different: some imply a complete disregard for crying, some advocate a more gentle approach.
Let’s consider each type of falling asleep and their varieties in more detail so that you can choose the one that suits you and your baby.
Let cry sleep methods
“Let cry” allows crying, that is, this technique can be called “fall asleep at any cost.” It is considered a more strict, harsh, even soulless approach by some parents, which forms distrust of the world and loved ones. Experts say that it is possible to teach kids to fall asleep in this way from the age of 4 months.
They also advise using this learning method only when absolutely necessary, when further inactivity is more dangerous than let cry. These include the mother’s fatigue, when she practically “falls off her feet”, cannot take care of her son or daughter, and even herself. In such situations, there is a risk of serious psychological problems and somatic diseases: arterial hypertension, arrhythmias, increased intracranial pressure.
Falling asleep technique “Cry it out”
It literally means “cry before falling asleep.” It uses the ability to fall asleep, which the child can learn if the parents do not interfere with him. And actions such as motion sickness, the availability of mother’s milk are referred to as distractions. In the future, if the baby wakes up at night, and this is one of the elements of the physiological sleep cycle, will not be around, the baby will not be able to fall asleep.
Plus, if a baby learns to soothe himself before bed, he can use this skill when he wakes up at night.
Cry it out advocates, or CIO for short, believe that moms need to understand that crying is not a sleep training tool. However, crying is a side effect of learning to fall asleep on its own. At the same time, short crying and anxiety are a small price to pay for your and his future peace of mind.
Imagine how you calmly go to sleep in your bed. And your son or daughter falls asleep easily on their own. At the same time, everyone is happy: the parents do not feel guilty, and the child does not feel abandoned and alone.
The technique is as follows. The parents put the baby to bed and leave the room. Again, crying is ignored. The child will eventually get tired and fall asleep. Usually, the result can be expected for 3-4 days.
It is important that parents are determined. But at the same time, they gave an account of the complexity of the method, showed their care, gave love the rest of the time, so that the baby would not feel abandoned and unloved.
Time checks (Ferber method)
This is the Periodic Testing Technique, or Ferber. ” It can also be used from 4 months of age. A more gentle way compared to the first.
The actions of the parents are as follows: they put their child to bed and leave. If he starts crying, you will need to go back and calm him down. And so every time, but the intervals need to be increased. If you first go to the bed after 5 minutes, then increase this figure to 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes, and so on. Gradually, the baby will get used to it and will fall asleep on its own: about 3 – 5 days.
Techniques for falling asleep no cry
These methods provide a transition to self-sleep in a more gentle mode. “No cry” methods are a more respectful attitude towards the baby, in which crying is not ignored by the parents. They are used in children from six months. Mom develops the baby’s bedtime rituals, organizes the daily routine in such a way that the training is as comfortable and easy as possible.
Falling asleep according to the method “Put up, put down”
Hug-and-Put Technique by Tracey Hogg. It implies the development of rituals such as patting, hissing. If the child does not calm down, you can pick him up. But as soon as he stops crying, put him in the crib. And so to continue until he falls asleep.
The effect of this method will not be as quick. But it is perfect for parents who cannot leave the crying baby alone in the room, but want to teach him how to fall asleep on his own.
The fading technique by Elizabeth Paintley implies a gradual and gradual reduction in the contact of the baby with the mother.
- Stage 1. Parents are nearby or hold him in their arms until the moment when the baby begins to fall asleep.
- Stage 2 – waiting for a sleepy state, but not waiting for the baby to fall asleep.
- Stage 3 – they calm him down, but they do not take him in his arms
- Stage 4 – soothe with light touches.
- Stage 5 – do not touch in any way, but calm down with words
- 6, the final stage of training – they calm the baby at a distance.
The effect will not be immediate, but the process takes place without childish tantrums, tears and a nervous breakdown in the mother.
Slow distance technique by Kim West. Parents lay the child down, while they themselves are nearby, talking quietly to him, stroking or patting. Gradually, they move away from the bed, reducing the distance once every 3 to 4 days. The result will be the crumbs falling asleep on their own, but not immediately, but after a few weeks.
How to choose a method of falling asleep
Before choosing a specific technique, consider whether the transition to a new regime is appropriate at this time. Make sure you have no contraindications:
- the child is not sick with anything, his teeth do not climb and there is no colic;
- a crumb of sufficient age to teach him how to fall asleep on his own;
- you are not planning a trip or relocation – it will be additional stress for your whole family;
- you are ready to live for some time in almost extreme conditions, but despite this you agree to go towards the goal;
- all family members, including grandmothers, know about your approach to baby sleep, support you, or at least do not climb on their own principles – for a quick result, it is important that everyone acts in the same direction.
Look again at all the listed techniques. You probably noticed: the faster the result, the tougher the methods. This is stressful for the baby as well as for you. But this does not mean that in the future the child will have problems with communication, trust in the world. It all depends on the general situation in the house. But still, we would advise you to choose them only when timing is important in your situation.
Each parent himself chooses and answers the question himself, which is more important now: a restful sleep or for the child to smile? And will the sleeping parent be pleased with himself if the baby is harassed in a scream at this time? Or it is better to suffer for a couple of days, and then enjoy a restful sleep all night with a baby.
It is also important to take into account the characteristics of the kids. Someone can be quickly taught new rules of sleep and regimen, and easily accepts innovations. For some, everything is new – a lot of stress, akin to extreme. With such children, a special approach is needed. Perhaps you will find your own individual solution to the issue.
When developing your sleeping habits, do everything with childcare, but don’t forget about yourself. This will help you achieve your goal in sustainable ways.