One of the reasons why many parents start to sleep training 5-month-old babies from a young age is for them to gain decent bedtime habits. We all know that having a proper sleep and feeding schedule is necessary for young babies. This piece will let you know all the basic knowledge about how to sleep train a 5-month-old. Then you will get better at parenting by helping your babies to sleep on their own.
HOW TO SLEEP TRAIN A 5-MONTH-OLD?
What to know about the sleep train method
Sleep training for 5-month-old is for parents who wonder if the phrase “You’ll never sleep again” is true or not when they start their parenthood. First few months of parenting, you might experience many challenging new things in raising your little angels. They may cry anytime, and need to be fed every 3-4 hours,...
Especially when it comes to sleep, you will need to rock your babies to sleep and cuddle them the whole night. And sometimes, they wake up at midnight demanding a breast or bottle or a good amount of time for cuddling to get back to sleep. If your babies are at their 5-month-old, it could be high time to start sleep training your babies.
Here is all about sleep training knowledge you need to know before starting to sleep training 5 month old.
1. What is sleep training?
Definitions of sleep training
According to the Lexi.com definition, sleep training is “The process of training young children to fall asleep on their own, typically by means of techniques in which the child is left to cry without being comforted, either for gradually increasing periods of time or until they fall asleep.”
Sleep training 5-month-old is basically the process of training 5-month-old babies. By learning how to sleep train a 5-month-old, you will be able to get your babies to sleep by themselves.
Baby sleep training includes nap training where you help your children to get better energy levels and improve their mood after a 30-1 hour length of sleep. Nap training baby could be slightly different from bedtime training but you will only need the same methods, similar plans, and tips.
Benefits of applying sleep training
Sleep training is a good idea for parents to get enough sleep themselves and have free time to do chores, self-care, and invest in love life when their babies are sleeping peacefully.
There is no evidence that sleep training can harm your babies. Meanwhile, it’s obvious that lack of sleep can cause many negative consequences for both parents and their babies.
Sleep training 5 months old means giving your 5-month-old babies good bedtime routines which is a nice way for your babies to grow healthily. And every family member will get a good rest when the babies have good sleep and don’t wake up in the middle of their sleep crying.
The controversy centers around that some methods are too cruel for the babies, letting them cry to sleep without parents comforting them. Truth is, there are risks in every method of sleep training. So it really depends on how parents handle certain situations. For example, babies start to grow teeth at 5 or 6 months of age and usually cry a lot so it’s not a good idea for parents to let the baby cry to sleep. Then you will want to adjust the current sleep training method to your kid’s development milestones such as teething.
3. When to start sleep training for your babies?
“Most infants are ready for some sort of sleep training at 4 to 6 months,” says Lauren Kupersmith, MD, a clinical instructor at the department of pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center. However, it’s totally fine when you start to sleep train your babies at 10 months old or even 1-year-old. That might be better since your child would have more time to get developed enough for any kind of training methods mentally and physically.
4. How long will sleep training take to start working?
Depending on ages and other factors, some methods might take longer to get to work. The result could be different for each case when you apply sleep training 5-month-old methods. You shouldn’t expect overnight miracles where your babies are able to sleep through the night from day one. Like one of your friends’ babies getting to sleep peacefully on the first night doesn’t mean your method is not working. Things are different from family to family.
Experts say that most of the methods take at least a week to implement so patience is the key. For example, some babies would take longer to get used to their sleep routines and being on their own. Hence, it’s normal to have one or two bad nights of crying in the first weeks.
Also, the effects of sleep training are short-lived so you need to stick with whatever methods you are using to make them work.
The common sleep training method
Cry it out (CIO) is a method where you let your babies cry out to sleep. Basically, this method will let the babies be on their own, eventually stop crying and soothe themselves to sleep
The Ferber method is a form of cry-it-out sleep training (also known as "graduated extinction") developed by pediatric sleep expert Dr. Richard Ferber. Also known as extinction sleep training. Parents will leave babies to fall asleep on their own and then check on the babies occasionally.
Weissbluth method is a method in which you set a routine to put your babies to sleep and leave them on their own until the morning.
The chair method (known as the sleep lady shuffle or gradual withdrawal) was popularized by Kim West, author of “Good Night, Sleep Tight”. This method starts with you sitting in a chair next to the baby's crib. Each night, you move the chair further away from the crib. That will help the baby to understand parents are not far from them, maybe just a door away.
The pick-up-put-down method is another way for you to know how to sleep train a 5-month-old. This one is pretty similar to the Ferber method but you can pick your babies up and comfort them for about 4-5 minutes and then put them back in their cribs when they get drowsy.
Tips to sleep training 5-month-old at night and daytime
There are many efficient methods to sleep train your baby. But to make sure it is worth your efforts, here are some baby sleep tips you might want to know:
Tip 1: Nap training schedules combined with bedtime schedules
According to Stanford Children’s Health: Total sleep time for 3-6 months: 9-10 hours of night sleep; 4-5 hours of the day napping. By this, your baby will need to nap at least twice a day. This is also a nice solution for your child to get all the sleep they need. Thanks to nap training babies, babies could stay energetic during the day. As a result, they won’t be overtired at night.
Tip 2: Establish a bedtime routine
When practicing infant sleep training, it’s very common for babies to have a food coma that causes them to fall asleep by the breast or bottle. That is when you want to change feed before sleep training so when you put them to sleep, they are still awake. Little changes like this will build up a proper bedtime routine for babies.
Tip 3: Appropriate time for sleep training
If your babies are going through their big events in life (year infections, having a new nanny,...), don’t start sleep training them since they would need time to get used to the new norms before learning about going to sleep on their own.
Tip 4: Create a comfortable sleep environment
Since babies are sensitive to sounds, lights, and even temperatures, having a cozy “nest” will get them to sleep easily. Ideal sleep environment for babies is warm and cozy, quiet, and dim light.
Tip 5: Know when the baby's tired
Watch for sleep cues like yawning, eye rubbing, or crankiness,... and then put your babies to sleep before they’re getting too tired. Because overtired babies may have a hard time falling asleep even though they are hardly awake and may even wake up too early.
Tip 6: Put the baby down awake
Sleep training for 5-month-old babies is based on teaching your babies to go to sleep by themselves which means if you rock them, or sing for them lullaby,.. is not the case. You should just put them down in their cribs and then leave them eventually to fall asleep.
Tip 7: Delay your response time
Don’t rush into the baby's room at the first whimper since babies can make lots of noises while they’re asleep. Responding to every little noise or cry may wake a nodding-off baby or derail her efforts to self-soothe. Instead, you can put cameras in your children's room and watch them from a distance.
So these are what to know about sleep training, how to sleep train a 5-month-old with some tips that will help you to prepare for getting your babies trained to sleep by themselves and improve baby sleep. We hope you got your ideas of getting ready to learn more about sleep training and start sleep training a 5-month-old.
However, getting help from a specialist is important whenever you find any serious difficulties while practicing sleep training for your babies. With patience and consistency, your babies will learn to sleep on their own and you will have peaceful sleep again.