How to make baby sleep?
Develop a realistic attitude about night time parenting
Sleeping, like eating, is not a state you can force a baby into. Best you can do is to create a secure environment that allows sleep to overtake your baby. A realistic long- term goal is to help your baby develop a healthy attitude about sleep.
That sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a secure state to remain in. Many sleep problems in older children and adults stem from children growing up with an unhealthy attitude about sleep. That sleep was not a pleasant state to enter and was a fearful state to remain in.
Just as daytime parenting is a long-term investment, so is night-time parenting. Teach your baby a restful attitude about sleep when they are young and both you and your children will sleep better when they are older.
If your current daytime or night time routine is not working for you, think about what changes you can make in yourself and your lifestyle that will make it easier for you to meet your baby’s needs.
This is a better approach than immediately trying to change your baby. After all, you can control your own reactions to a situation. You can’t control how your baby reacts.
On the surface, baby training sounds so liberating, but it’s a short-term gain for a long-term loss. You lose the opportunity to get to know and become an expert in your baby. Baby loses the opportunity to build trust in his care-giving environment. You cease to value your own biological cues, your judgement, and instead follow the message of someone who has no biological attachment, nor investment, in your infant.
Especially in the first six months, avoid sleep trainers who advise you to let your baby “cry-it-out.” Only you can know what “it” is and how to respond appropriately to your baby.
Using the rigid, insensitive “let-him-cry-it-out” method has several problems. First, it will undermine the trust your baby has for night time comfort. Second, it will prevent you from working at a style of night time parenting until you find the one that works best for you and your family and third, it may keep you and your doctor from uncovering hidden medical causes of night waking. Night feeding are normal; frequent, painful night waking is not.
Stay flexible when putting baby to sleep
No single approach will work with all babies all the time or even all the time with the same baby. Don’t persist with a failing experiment.
If the “sleep program” isn’t working for your family, drop it. Develop a night time parenting style that works for you. Babies have different night time temperaments and families have varied lifestyles.
Keep working at a style of night time parenting that fits the temperament of your baby and your own lifestyle. If it’s working, stick with it. If it’s not, be open to trying other night time parenting styles.
And, be prepared for one style of night time parenting to work at one stage of an infant’s life, yet need a change as she enters another stage. Be open to trying different night time approaches.
Follow your heart rather than some stranger’s sleep-training advice, and you and your baby will eventually work out the right night time parenting style for your family.