Sleep training encourages your baby to be on a schedule which will maximize cognitive development. It all starts with a daytime sleep training schedule which greatly impacts their nighttime sleep training outcomes. Neurons grow and brain development increases at an accelerated pace at night. Therefore the quality and duration of a baby’s nighttime sleep have a greater impact on overall growth and development than their daytime sleep. However, nighttime sleep is dependent upon the quality of daytime sleep. This is because babies develop specific, organized thoughts that permit them to learn and unlearn all the sensory input they experienced during the day.
Therefore a good night’s rest means more than just a peaceful night for the family. The actually quality of your baby’s sleep allows her to form memories and start emotionally bonding with those they interact with during the day. Hence, the earlier sleep training begins, the earlier they have this cognitive development tool to help them bond with you, and the sooner she can start forming memories about her family!
When sleep training, Newborn Care Specialists feed, diaper, and care for infants much differently during the night than we do during the day. At night, it’s tough love – all business. You do not want your baby to enjoy getting up at night!
- We give your baby a 5 minute relaxing, warm bath.
- We give your baby a 2-minute oil massage: downward strokes on limbs, clockwise circles on the tummy, outward sweeps on the chest, small circles on head and face, and sweep downward strokes on back and feet.
- We put your baby to bed as soon as they get sleepy but are still awake. This teaches them to self-soothe and shows your baby they are capable to put themselves back to sleep when they wake during the night.
Our sleep training methods at night involve no lights (as we feed in the dark or with a small light on), no talking to them, no singing, no eye contact, no TV, no music, no mobiles, no rocking, no singing, and no diaper changes unless they have dirty diapers.
We do not wake a sleeping baby. Only if the baby is premature and/or the pediatrician instructs do we awaken the baby every 3 hours to eat. When the baby is gaining a ½ pound a week, we allow them to sleep. If the baby stirs, we do not pick them up. We wait until they are at a full cry before attending to them because many times they will go back to sleep. We prefer gentle sleep shaping or gentle sleep conditioning to help soothe them as they physiologically cannot self-soothe on their own.
First, we change the baby’s diaper and re-swaddle. If you are breastfeeding, we bring your baby to you for nursing. If the baby is bottle-fed and a one-ounce drinker and goes back to sleep, we unswaddle and feed more, and if they continue to sleep through, we change them using cool baby wipes on their bottom to wake them up to continue to feed and ensure they eat or they will be waking up again soon wanting to eat. We take care of overnights for you so that you can rest. This includes helping you learn to store your breastmilk and then feeding your baby at night, along with properly sterilizing your bottles.
As your baby grows, then during the daytime our goal is to encourage your baby to consume more so they receive the nutrition they’d usually get at one of the nighttime feedings, so eventually, the baby is getting their adequate amount of nutrition for their weight. Nighttime feedings move to their daytime feedings and they eventually sleep through the night, allowing mom and dad a peaceful and full nights rest as well.
If you need help sleep training your newborn or infant or toddler, I can help you. I do not allow babies to sleep with the bottle as they age. Sleeping with the bottle can lead to serious tooth decay as well as cause ear infections. Fluid from the bottle and germs from saliva drain into your baby’s Eustachian tubes at the back of their throat, leading to their middle ear. I’ve taken over jobs where children have not been sleep-trained properly, waking up to twelve times a night because they were given a bottle to sleep and they couldn’t sleep unless it was in their mouth. They’d wake every time it fell out of their mouth. It is a vicious cycle to break but it can be done.
I’ve also trained children who scream to get out of their crib or bed at 4am or 5am, training them to stay in bed until 7am or when parents deem it to be an appropriate time to start the day. Children need boundaries and structure to feel safe and secure. They want these boundaries and it can be a nurturing experience for them to receive them. It is also exciting for them as they recognize self-accomplishment when they meet your goals; and feel better about themselves and the little human beings they’re becoming.