Sleep deprivation is the only downside to having a newborn in the house. Even so, just the thought of sleep training is good enough reason for anxiety for most parents. The reason for this anxiety lies in the fact that as a mother you have to listen to your child cry for hours without your intervention.
As bad as it may sound, this is what many sleep consultants and baby books recommend. What you are not told is the psychological effects this has on the baby and your bond with the infant. This crying only raises your baby’s levels of stress hormones, which in turn directly impacts how they turn out socially, emotionally and educationally.
The truth is there are better warm and kind ways to get your little one to fall asleep in their sleeping quarters. Think of it like this, when you were expectant, there were nights when you visited the bathroom three or so times. And found yourself hungry at 3 am. Worse is that, even after resolving all these issues, you kept turning from one position to another not knowing what to do, but eventually found a way to soothe yourself to sleep. Now, your baby relies on you to help them in the same manner, only that they are helpless and cannot do it themselves.
Steps for sleep nudging
- Unlike what you may have heard, cutting the communication from the baby is not right. Before you start nudging the infant, ensure that you allow and respond to the baby. This is the only way you will be able to gauge what their comfort baseline is.
- Always note what makes your child comfortable enough to sleep. To have the great sleep you need, you and your baby have to work together. Meaning, you have to attend effectively to the baby’s needs both at day time and in the night. Establish trust and security, so that the baby is comfortable.
- After your baby is secure enough, start adjusting things gradually as you study the baby’s reaction. Be ready to try again and again and until the baby gets used to the new routine. But be patient, considering greatly that babies below 6months have their brains still developing and motherly care and bond are necessary for healthy growth.
- Get more rest during the daytime, so that your nights are better even if you sleep for an hour.
- Create an environment that is good for successful sleep. This includes the deco, the paint in the sleeping quarters and even the room temperature.
- Learn to nurse lying down and not on the sofa but the intended bed. This ensures you are resting and will probably fall asleep at the same time with the baby.
- Take advantage of evening walks to calm both you and baby before bedtime.
- Hold your little one with their front resting on your chest. The calming hormones you both produce will aid sleep.
The most important thing to note is the fact that everything will be determined by your baby’s medical history, age, temperament and more. One baby is not the same as the other, therefore don’t generalize things. Sleep nudging or sleep training is not advisable in babies that are under six months old, or those that have any condition. And don’t forget that a relationship attachment is what the baby needs to have a healthy mental development.