How to start SLEEP TRAINING | Infant Sleep Tips for Beginners

hey mamas sleep is crucial for you your

partner and your baby and without

adequate sleep it's hard to be a

physically emotionally and mentally

present parent spouse employee you name

it lack of sleep can feed heavily into

postpartum depression and parental

burnout and can just make it hard to

function with everyday activities so I

put out a poll asking about what you

guys want to know about sleep training

and got so many questions back from


about how sleep training works and so

we're going to answer as many of them as

I can in this video right now I'm

Bridget and I'm a birth doula in the San

Francisco Bay Area and a mom of a

toddler and I love helping other moms

navigate and find joy in all of the ups

and downs of motherhood città keep

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motherhood make sure you're subscribed

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so I know that sleep training is a topic

that can be a bit polarizing cuz some

people love it and some people hate it

but either way I'm all about educating

parents and supporting what is best for

each individual family I will say that I

have never met a family who has sleep

trained their children and regretted

doing so but I also know that the

thought of sleep training can feel

really overwhelming if you don't know

where to start

so to help you start I'm answering the

top questions that mamma's have asked me

and offering some wise words for mamas

who have walked this road before also

make sure you stay till the end of the

video because I'm going to be sharing

with you my absolute must-have most

favorite wouldn't go anywhere without

product to help babies sleep so before

we hop into questions let me define what

sleep training is so sleep training is

the process of teaching your baby how to

independently sleep for some babies it's

easier and others more tricky but there

are some key elements of sleep training

that are going to help you get the

results that you're looking for and

we're going to talk about them right now

in our questions question number one

that so many moms were asking is when is

the best time to start sleep training so

formal sleep training usually is

recommended to begin no earlier than

four months usually around that four

month mark your baby has gained

sufficient weight and is able to sleep

for longer stretches at night and is

able to self-soothe more easily but

before you decide to sleep trained

you'll want to make sure that your baby

is healthy and isn't a good weight range

otherwise you might need to keep those

night feeds for a little bit longer the

second part of that answer is to start

sleep training when you are ready to do

it one mom's advice is to sleep train

only when you're 100% ready because

confidence is key so if you're not

feeling the need to change what you've

already got going on if that's feeding

baby around the clock and not

necessarily having them on a schedule

then don't change it but if you're

feeling like waking up through the night

is making you exhausted and keeping you

from being the mom that you want to be

then perhaps it's time to think about

sleep training whatever decision you


let it be from a place of confidence

because being confident in your choice

will help you be consistent as you sleep

train your baby

the last thing that I want to say about

this question is that while you

and start sleep training at 4 months

that doesn't mean that if you don't

start by then it's too late and you miss

the boat and you can't ever do it you

can sleep train your baby at practically

every age but it does get a bit harder

the older that they get the next

question is how can I get my baby to

sleep on our own and the most basic

answer for that is to make sure that

they are falling asleep independently

because the way that you're putting your

baby to sleep is the same way you're

going to need to resettle them when they

wake up so if you're rocking or nursing

your baby to sleep that's how they're

going to expect to be put back down to

sleep when they wake up in the middle of

the night now while they're still

newborns there are several ways that you

can help your baby learn to sleep

independently without making them cry it

out which is a method that I don't

support when they're still so little so

one thing that you can do is just to lay

them down in their own bed for some of

their naps if they want to fall asleep

on you that's totally fine but instead

of holding them for the whole time

during every single nap just lay them

down in their crib or their bassinet

just so that they get a taste of what's

sleeping on their own is like letting

them nap on you is not gonna ruin

anything so if you are craving those

baby snuggles snuggle or baby mama or if

you put them in the swing and they're

dozing off or have already fallen asleep

try stopping the swing so they can start

learning how to sleep without that

constant movement and when it's

nighttime try not to stimulate them too

much let them know that it's sleep time

by keeping it nice and dark and quiet

even during those middle-of-the-night

diaper changes and feedings so you'll

just feed them you'll change your diaper

and then put them back down then during

the day after they've eaten you can play

with them interact with them let them

know daytime is for playing and

nighttime is for sleep now keep in mind

that most newborns are going to have a

wake time threshold of about 20 to 40

minutes before they're ready for another

snooze so during that wake time you hold

them you do tummy time you sing and you

just engage with your baby so setting a

very non regimented but stable

foundation while babies are little can

really help them ease into that process

of sleep training when they get older

now babies are often going to cry when

you put them down and when they're

newborns it's not the best idea to let

them cry it out it stresses baby out it

usually stresses the parents out too and

I truly feel that within newborn you

can't spoil them enough or set bad

habits when they're so fresh and little

you just sort of need to cater to their

needs at the beginning to show them that

they are Ennis they're safe in this new

environment however as they reach that

four month mark a crying baby is totally

okay like I said earlier to get your

baby to sleep on their own they're going

to need to fall asleep independently

which means you need to put them in your

in their bed when they are a week so

when you first start off you can help

them get into that really like drowsy

half-asleep state where their eyes are

like barely open they're almost rolling

to the back of their head and then

before they've totally fallen asleep you

put them in their bed so they're still

awake but they're just on the verge of

falling asleep and that usually makes it

a lot easier for them to fall asleep and

then eventually what you're going to

want to do is to be able to put them in

their crib wide-awake and have them be

able to fall asleep all by themselves

now in the beginning there are likely to

be some tears but that's okay in fact

most pediatricians agree that letting

your baby cry for like 30 minutes or

even an hour is not going to hurt them

but as a mom who has Sleep Train I know

the pain of hearing my baby cry so there

are ways to help you and your baby learn

how to do this but a little less

painstakingly basically what you do when

you put them down and they start crying

is leave the room and set the timer for

five minutes then after those five

minutes are up if they aren't settling

down you go in you pat their back you

give them their pacifier you help them

calm down and then guess what you leave

the room and then you set your timer for

10 minutes so during these 10 minutes

that you're out of baby's room you're

taking a shower you're washing the

dishes you're doing something that's

distracting you from babies crying

because I know how hard it is to just

listen to babies cry

and then after those 10 minutes are up

if baby's still not settled you go back

in and you resettle them you help them

calm down and then put them back in

their crib or you just pack their back

give them the pacifier and then you

repeat that process and keep extending

the time that you wait before going in

to comfort your baby so doing this less

your baby know I love you I'm making

sure you're safe you need to learn how

to do this on your own but I'm gonna

hold your hand and help you while we

learn together now there are other ways

out there to get your baby to sleep

independently without crying but they

usually take much longer and I

personally don't have experience doing

it so I can't really give any

information on that method I can

guarantee you though that your baby is

not waking up in the morning mad at you

for letting them cry as long as you are

actively showing them how much you love


throughout the day so you show them how

much you love them of course through you

know talking to them telling them I love

you giving them kisses touching them

talking to them singing all of the ways

that you can engage with your babies

show them hey I love you so much and so

you don't have to worry at night when

they're crying because like I said it is

okay for babies to cry so that is the

most basic premise of sleep training is

having your baby fall asleep

independently now some Mama's asked if

sleep training is necessary in order to

get your baby sleeping better and the

answer to that is not necessarily a

little bit of wisdom from a mama in our

community with grown-up kids now is to

just be flexible because life isn't a

straight path and you're going to get to

your final destination

mama eventually your kid will sleep

through the night but it could take a

while or it might not if you're fine

with waiting till your child is ready to

sleep through the night on their own tie

in line that is totally fine if your

system of parenting isn't broken don't

fix it so I mentioned that four months

is about the earliest that you want to

start formal sleep training and that's

just a rough timeline but what are

things to consider when you're trying to

find a specific time to sleep train your

baby so the first thing is to make sure

that your baby is ready for it

especially that they're not sick or

teething because if that's the case

it'll probably be better to wait until

baby isn't

condition and then the next thing I

recommend is to find a week in your

calendar that you can devote to a

consistent schedule for your baby so

maybe a week where you know you're not

going to have to be out late at night

with your baby and if you're trying to

nap train them as well a week where your

days are fairly flexible and you can put

them down for their naps in their bed

and then once you find a time that works

for you and your family it all comes

down to consistency really quickly I

want to mention that while you are sleep

training consistency is your best friend

with helping your baby learn to get on a

schedule and sleep independently so for

that week that you've chosen to sleep

train you might need to say hey I can't

do lunch out with my friends because

it's going to interfere with nap time

but once you have successfully

sleep-trained your baby bumps in the

schedule are going to happen where

bedtimes are pushed later and nap times

are skipped and it's not going to

completely throw everything out the

window the rule of thumb that I go by is

try to make sure that that they aren't

that babies aren't off their schedule

for more than three days in a row so

maybe one night was a party that push

bedtime to later

and the next day you had lunch out with

the family and nap was on the go or it

was missed completely and the next night

was another night out then I would

really try on that fourth day to have as

consistent of a schedule as possible so

that they're taking naps when they're

supposed to be and they're going to bed

when they're supposed to be and that way

that idea of consistency and rhythm and

routine sticks with them because usually

three days of doing something is going

to start to set habits for babies now

I've been talking a lot about schedules

which is the second biggest thing when

it comes to sleep training so the first

is helping them fall asleep on their own

and now it's about getting them on an

age-appropriate schedule and these two

things really go hand-in-hand and really

affect each other so typically a basic

format that if schedule has follows an

eighth wake sleep cycle and each wake

time is going to be determined by the

age of your baby so for example a five

month old might wake up in the morning

have their feeding and then be awake for

like two hours before going down for

another nap whereas a nine-month-old

night wake

eeeh and be awake for three or four

hours before taking a nap and the reason

why these wake windows vary is that at

different ages your baby is able to

handle a different threshold of activity

and wake time and finding that sweet

spot is going to help your baby sleep

better also knowing the amount of time

your baby should be awake in the day is

going to help you know what time you

should be putting them to bed and a good

place to look to find out what your

baby's weight window is for their age is

baby sleep science calm and I will link

the website down below and i also

recommend following taking care of

babies on Instagram and I'll link her

Instagram handle in the description

below as well so moving on to another

question that I got from a mama that a

lot of parents actually struggle with is

why their baby wakes up soon after

putting them down for bedtime or a nap

and the main reason for that is due to

the wake windows that we just talked

about so typically a baby who wakes up

soon after being put down is either over

or under tired so this is why

understanding wake windows are so

important and then creating that eat

weight sleep cycle schedule to suit your

baby is really going to help them sleep

for those longer stretches so to wrap up

the basics of sleep training the two

most important things to help your baby

get more sleep and you two are to help

them 1 learn how to fall asleep

independently and to build a schedule

that provides the right amount of wake

time to help them sleep better for naps

and at night time as I said consistency

is going to be your best friend as you

sleep train your baby so letting them

know each night I'm gonna put you in

your bed while you're awake you're gonna

fall asleep on your own if you don't and

you're crying I'm gonna give you five

minutes to resettle and then I'll come

in and I'll help you relax or I'll give

you 10 minutes or 15 20 however long it

is but keep that consistent routine so

that they know what to expect for those

naps or those night times and as you are

very consistent your baby is going to

adjust to that consistency and learn how

to sleep on their own but while

consistency is your best friend remember

to give yourself and your baby grace and

room for mistakes because they're going

to happen as both

you are trying to figure out how this

whole thing works when momma's advice is

not to put so much pressure on yourself

and your baby to sleep perfectly all the

time because mama they're just not going

to do it they're human even as adults we

have nights that are harder to sleep so

it's totally fine to experience days and

nights where your baby needs you more

than usual I know I wasn't able to get

to every single question that was sent

to me but I hope the answers that I gave

you help you have a basic understanding

of how its sleep training works if you

have more questions please ask them down

below and I will do my best to answer

them or point

some experts sleep training mamas in

your direction to help answer them and

last but not least as I promised my

must-haves favorite sleep training

product is a white noise sound machine

for nine months babies have spent time

in your room that has never been silent

so silence doesn't actually suit infants

sleep Plus in a very quiet environment

very little sound can seem like super

loud and it can cause baby to

unnecessarily wake up so I highly

recommend every parent to get a sound

machine and my personal favorite one is

the hatch baby sound machine because it

has several white noise options for you

it has lullabies it has a built-in

nightlight it has a time to rise option

and my personal favorite is that it's

able to be controlled from your phone so

it makes it really convenient for you

another sound machine option is the ROM

and it's chargeable and portable and is

a cheaper option over the hatch baby

sound machine it doesn't have as many

like white noise options as the hatch

and it's battery obviously like you have

to charge it so you know that might be

inconvenient for you guys but it's a

really great option as well so I'm gonna

link both of those options in the

description below and I really think

it's going to help make your sleep

training journey a little bit easier so

I hope answering those questions helped

I hope you take me up on my advice to

get a sound machine thanks for being

with me in this video you guys and I

will see you in the next one