Baby sleep training- Bedtime Fading method
Say the word “ sleep training cry it out routine” and be ready for deathly stares and judgmental comments, but a lot of parents swear by this method and say it’s the only thing that worked to get their baby sleep better. But if you are someone who is not comfortable with the idea of letting your baby cry themselves to sleep, but also do not want to co-sleep, there are gentle methods other than the cry it out method for sleep-deprived parents. One such method is called fading or camping out, which is a gentle version of cry it out.
What is the bedtime fading method exactly? And how do you know this approach is the right one for you?
In bedtime fading sleep training, parents gradually reduce their role in making their baby drift off to sleep, giving her some time to learn how to self-soothe. Parents should be a coach, not a crutch to make this method work for babies as young as 4 months, and the techniques can be used for toddlers and school-going kids, too with no to very minimal tears (hoorah!).
Wait, a sleep training method with minimal tears, how does that work?
With bedtime fading, parents use the same method they have been using to put their baby to bed like nursing, singing, rocking, etc but they gradually cut down the time they spend doing it until, ultimately, they don’t have to do it at all. This is a flexible sleep training method that helps parents decide the pace.
How to get the most out of bedtime fading?
Consistency is the key and so is your child’s temperament ( hey, kids are unpredictable) but take things slowly at first, let fading truly be a fade, and give your baby some time to get used to it. Here is how to start with the process:
Keep track: know your baby’s sleep times, when she usually goes down for her regular nap and settles at night. Initially, use the time your baby normally falls asleep as night.
Learn the signs of a tired baby: overtired babies have a harder time going to sleep, look for signs like eye rubbing, ear pulling, fussing, yawning, and turning her head are all signs that your baby is feeling tired and needs to hit the bed.
Stick to a consistent bedtime routine: Once you know she s ready to sleep, begin the bedtime routine ahead of time such as a warm bath, singing a lullaby, reading a book, one more feeding, and tucking her in a blanket.
Pause and offer comfort: if she cries, give her room to get comfortable on her own and rest the urge to run to her if she is fussing. If she cries, pause, and take a deep breath to see if she can pipe down on her own.
A little crying is okay: babies don’t accept change right away, and crying is how they let you know. But they can quickly adapt to new routines so the crying will eventually stop.
Offer a comfort object: giving your baby something that gives her comfort, like a small Minky blanket, or her favorite stuffed animal can ease the transition to sleep.
The fading sleep training strategy teaches your child to self-soothe. Give it a try and your baby will become the solid sleeper you always dreamed of with little to no fussing.