Baby Boot Camp Sleep Training

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 29,433
    Baby Expert Suzy Giordano discusses baby boot camp sleep training.

    Suzy Giordano Baxter: Hi! I'm Suzy Giordano Baxter also known as the Baby Coach. I'm here to guide you into teaching your baby how to sleep through the night. Baby Boot Camp, this is where sleep training actually begins. You are going to set good sleeping habits, you are going to assist your baby, help your baby to develop skills that will last a lifetime. First, we are going to set a ritual, a night time routine that you are going to repeat again, and again, and again until it comes natural to you and your baby. There are some basic tools that will assist you to create the right environment for your baby to sleep. Remember, you cannot make your baby sleep; all you can do is create that right environment, put your baby under the right circumstances. But ultimately, the baby will do the job to fall asleep and stay asleep. The baby will develop his own self-soothing tools. Therefore he will never need an assistant throughout his life. Your baby will benefit from these two folds. Number one, he will get great sleep, develop a great sleeping habits and he will have rested parents. Remember, rested parents are better parents. Sleeping up is the primary need for every human being. So don't feel bad when you feel overwhelmed and think that you cannot follow through with all the guidelines. Remember, every morning you get a chance to start all over again. We are going to teach your baby how to sleep through the night because as a species, human beings sleep at night. So that's actually going to be much easier to develop than the naps which is day sleep. Once he has the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep for 12 hours, that will change the pattern of behavior during the day. Get a pen and paper and write down what your goals are going to be. Number one goal should be eliminate the feedings. Number two goal is to set up a night time routine where your baby's fall asleep on his own. That will give him the skills necessary to soothe himself back to sleep in the middle of the night and then the early morning. How to set up your baby to succeed? Number one, make sure your baby is healthy, by that I mean no physical pain, no colds, no running nose, no ear infection. Make sure your baby has eaten enough during the day. Number two, make sure your baby is tired enough to fall asleep and stay asleep. Make sure the environment is right, darken, soothing music, cool temperatures. Do talk to your baby in a soothing voice. You want to transition your baby from a bright active environment to a soothing calm environment. That is conducive to sleep. Make sure the transition time is at least 15 to 20 minutes. So if you decide to feed your baby in the family room, make sure you have a transition time where you can rock your baby, or soothe your baby, or sing, or read books in his nursery before you actually place the baby in the crib. Also, keep in mind that you want your baby in a very calm stage. Not in a full sleep stage. So your baby should be soothe and calm but not asleep. You want to make sure you place your baby awake in the crib. So the baby has an understanding that he did all the work of going asleep. Once the baby is placed in the crib, walk out of the room, wait a few minutes. If the baby starts crying, wait until he reaches the hysterical point. That's when you start your clock. You will give the baby the opportunity to try to calm himself or herself on their own. Give the baby three to five minutes. Make sure you restart your clock if the baby during those times stop at any point. For example, your baby starts crying at 7:01. You start your clock. 7:02, your baby stops for a couple of minutes. You restart your clock. You don't want to leave your baby at the hysterical point too long, but you don't want to jump in too soon either. So take into consideration your baby's personality. If you have a baby who tends to resist and cry a little bit louder, go towards the five minutes. If you have a calm baby that seldom them cry then go more towards the three minutes. What you are trying to do is stopping yourself from going in too soon. But you don't want to leave your baby unassisted too long either because that might increase the amount of time he is going to need to actually fall asleep. Once your baby fell asleep if or when he cries in the middle of the night, make sure to use the same three to five minutes rule. Morning awake, now unlike the evening where the baby was in a favorable time for sleep, your baby now has slept 10 to 11 hours. But it's still five o'clock in the morning. How do you stretch that five o'clock awaking to the early morning? At this point you use the 15-minute rule which is you will not assist your baby before 15 minutes. Why? Because at this point, you have a rested baby that will cry much louder and he will be much more determined into getting out of his crib. So give the baby 15 minutes of opportunity to try to self soothe. Remember to keep the room dark, no night lights if your baby is a new born, to four months of age. A little night light after that. Now you have the basic rules for sleep training. Place your baby awake, use the three to five minute rule for the early evening, the middle of the night and the 15-minute rule early in the morning. Coming up next, how to deal with crying when you are sleep training.