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You Can Sleep Train Your Baby

Posted Jun 03 2009 11:05am

Getting a newborn to sleep is really not a difficult job.  Most newborns sleep on average about *sixteen to seventeen hours a day.   The bigger problem is getting them to sleep when you want them to sleep.  Most babies come into the world with their days and nights mixed up.  They are used to feeding and sleeping in the womb on their own personal schedule.  Teaching them how to adjust to their new day and night environment is the beginning of training your baby to sleep through the night.

Sleep training your baby should begin at eight weeks and continue until they are twelve months of age.  Getting your child to develop a healthy sleep pattern will score big benefits in the long run.  The National Sleep Foundation states “children who get enough sleep are more likely to function better and are less prone to behavioral problems and moodiness.”  *Sleep training your baby during their first year of life can help in preventing sleep problems:

Nightmares:  All children have nightmares and it usually caused by a disruption in their normal routine.  Establishing a regular consistent bed time routine early in life will help your child develop healthy sleep habits and cut down on the night terrors.

Separation Anxiety:  This often occurs at four to twelve months of age.  If it is not nipped in the bud, your child could develop an over dependent nature.  Young babies will also require a great deal of time and attention, but by 2-4 years, a healthy consistent sleep pattern should be in place.  Teaching your child at the infant stage how to self-soothe themselves back to sleep is one of the best parenting gifts you can give them.

Sleep Walking and Talking:   *Sleep walking occurs in older children often during times of stress and fatigue.  Sleep training your child at the baby stage will teach them when to sleep (night) and how to get enough sleep.  As your baby grows from toddler to child, teach them how to listen to their body so that they will learn to determine how much sleep they need to maintain a healthy sleep pattern.

When you start sleep training your baby, keep in mind that every baby, toddler and child is different.  The technique that works for one may not work for another.  For great beddie bye suggestions and sleep training techniques, check out our article “Getting a Good Night’s Sleep with Baby.” Soon you and your little one will find the wonderful path to sleepy time land.

*Baby sleep statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics      *Information on childhood sleep disorders from the National Sleep Foundation

By:  Debby Hoffer

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