5 Sleep Strategies for Your Baby
Since your baby was born, you've collected information on baby's sleeping strategies. However, every baby has a different personality; thus, a different sleeping style. Find what sleeping style is best suited for your baby below:
1. The independent-baby approach:
Both you and your baby are take-charge types who prefer order and predictability. Bedtime becomes "effortless" with your baby if you establish a routine that lets your baby know bedtime is near. Synchronize your soothing efforts with bedtime, such as a bath or massage, and your baby over time will sleep soundly and longer.
2. The he'll-get-it-when-he's-ready approach
You're the patient sort that always puts your baby first, and you understand your baby's needs easily. You've heard of the baby that poops and sleeps on schedule but yours is not one of them. With your baby, everything is out of your hands. You do as your baby tells you; if your baby prefers rocking, you rock. Tomorrow he might prefer something else. This type of habitat is very hard to break and the best thing you can do is to slowly incorporate a routine while still respecting your child's individuality.
3. The all-together-now approach
Hum hum hum....parenting to you is like one great big bear hug, with lots of holding, love, rocking, and nursing. You value your baby's emotional security and any baby would love this close connection, unless your child is very active. The best sleeping technique for the baby-mommy connection is co-sleeping. This can work tremendously, but remember that your baby's sleeping time comes before yours. Therefore, lie down with your baby until she falls asleep. Then, transfer her to a crib or bassinet next to your bed for safety. When co-sleeping, parents must be aware to keep babies away from comforters and pillows; don't sleep on a water bed; maintain a smoke-free home; never take drowsy medicines that will make you unaware of your baby next to you; and put her on her back to prevent SIDS.
4. The long-goodbye approach
If you like to investigate all the options before deciding on what's best for your baby, then this is your best approach. You listen to everyone and perhaps your baby is shy or clingy, sensitive, intense or overstimulated. The best thing is to very slowly "decondition" your baby from requiring you as a sleep crutch. Begin by putting her to bed in her crib, while you sit nearby. If she fusses, soothe her by gentle touches, but do not remove her from the crib. Once she is asleep, and only when she is, leave the room. Repeat this process if you baby wakes at night, and make this pattern a routine at nap- and bedtime.
5. The get-with-the-program approach
You understand that your baby needs immediate gratification when it comes to discomfort or hunger. But you recognize the importance of routine in his life and independence. One of the best ways to break your baby from this is by putting your baby down when he's drowsy, but still awake. Console him by talking softly and rubbing his back; then leave the room briefly for 5 minutes. Don't take him out of the crib before you leave again. Repeat this process until your baby is sound asleep. Each consecutive night, lengthen the time you let him fuss by a few more minutes until it's no longer necessary. This process can last from days to weeks depending on your baby's character. So be patient and remember to use this only after 4 months and before 8 months. Never leave a newborn baby unattended. You should always respond quickly to newborns!
So there you have it, 5 sleep strategies for different personalities. What's your baby's best sleeping style?