Look, before you read ahead, please note: THIS IS BY NO MEANS A METHOD THAT IS NEGLIGENT OR THE “CRY IT OUT” METHOD. Yes, newborns wake up a lot and need to eat a lot. Please follow the advice of your child’s pediatrician. This post is simply about a particular sleep training method called Baby Wise.
We respect many parenting styles and methods. Do what is best for your baby. This may not work for every baby, family, or situation. Our pediatrician gave us the go ahead to let our kids sleep as long as they wanted at night as soon as they were back to their birth weight. Sleep is really the end goal, right?
I will be highlighting the Baby Wise method for sleep training. It is said to work in as little as 8 weeks! I must warn you, this book is quite controversial, but I personally love it! You can find it here:
Here’s the deal, babies are not born with the skill to sleep through the night. They need help learning that skill and that is what sleep training is all about. Uninterrupted sleep is important for our health. As long a your baby is fed the recommended amount within 24 hours and your pediatrician supports this method, it is definitely worth a try.
The Baby Wise method recommends that you start sleep training your baby at 2 weeks of age. For the first week, there is no structure or schedule. Starting the second week, create a schedule which revolved around the Baby Wise pattern of- wake time, feeding time, play time, sleep. In addition to this pattern, Baby Wise follows these steps below:
Full feedings are extremely important for successful sleep training. To ensure your baby does not continually snack and want to be fed constantly, you need to try to keep your baby awake during feedings and to have full feedings. Providing full feedings less often does not mean they are eating any less in a day.
They should still get the recommended ounces/day. If your baby falls asleep during feedings, try changing your baby’s diaper or outfit to stimulate them.
Distinguishing day and night is also important to get your baby to sleep through the night. I have never been that parent who tells people to “sh” when my baby is sleeping or fear that someone may ring the door bell and wake my sleeping baby. Day time background noises help babies distinguish day versus night. Day time sleep can be interrupted, whereas night time sleep should not be.
Avoid the use of sleep props. In the book, this includes pacifiers, swaddle blankets, etc. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or can’t swaddle your baby, but I do believe it helped me with sleep training by not swaddling.
My second baby was a pacifier addict. It was also the only thing that soothed her, as she was colic-y for an entire year! Needless to say, this sleep training method can be adjusted to fit your needs.
Let your baby fall asleep on their own. This is one of the most challenging of them all. It is best to put them in their bed while drowsy but still awake. I constantly see this written all over my kids’ well baby check-up paperwork. Their doctor also asks “Does he/she put him/herself to sleep?” and “How long does he/she sleep at night?” Pediatricians wouldn’t ask if this wasn’t a concern, right?
The only exception to this are middle of the night feedings. The best way to handle middle of the night feedings is to feed your baby without turning lights on, talking to or over-stimulating, playing, etc. Quietly feeding then changing your baby’s diaper is all that should be done.
Lastly, put your baby down to sleep only in an approved infant bed. This includes bassinets, cribs and pack n plays.
Again, these are just the basics that are discussed in Baby Wise. For more detailed information and individualized situations, I highly recommend reading the Baby Wise book.