Frustrated when your baby doesn’t fall asleep on his own? Learn how to teach self soothing techniques for babies to sleep with these effective tips.
My six-month-old was fast outgrowing many of the sleep gear my husband and I had been relying on to help him sleep. The swaddle—even in extra-large—wouldn’t stay on all night. He looked squished in the swing and was getting too heavy for me to rock in my arms, even while bouncing him on a yoga ball.
This didn’t even include the exhaustion of nursing him throughout the night—the one surefire way he’d fall asleep. I had an inkling that at this age, he was waking to nurse more out of habit (and as a way to fall asleep) than actual hunger.
One thing was clear: he was well past the newborn stage and had outgrown all the ways that used to help him sleep.
You’re not stuck with sleep deprivation
It’s hard to find joy when you feel sleep-deprived, frustrated, even resentful. That’s why I wrote How to Teach Your Baby to Self Soothe, a guide to help you get the sleep you need to enjoy parenthood the way you always imagined.
If you’re reading this, I’m sure you can relate to many of the struggles I faced with putting my baby to sleep.
Perhaps your baby isn’t self soothing in a way that allows him to consistently fall and stay asleep on his own. He needs the pacifier and wakes up crying for you to put it back in his mouth. He won’t sleep in the crib, and instead prefers the bassinet, swing, or even you.
And you have a feeling he’s not really waking up to feed because he’s hungry, but because he’s grown used to nursing or sucking.
Rest assured that life doesn’t have to be this way. As farfetched as it may seem, your baby can sleep through the night.
In fact, I encourage you to make a “wish list” for your ideal sleep situation. Don’t edit things out as “unrealistic” or doubt whether it’s possible. Simply make a list of your ideal sleep situation, the way you’d love for your baby to fall asleep.
For instance, despite my biggest hesitations, this is what I wrote for my son. I wanted him to sleep:
- 12 hours without waking up once
- without relying on rocking or nursing
- without a swaddle
- in his crib
Considering that my son was doing pretty much the opposite, it seemed like an impossible dream.
But after a few nights of teaching him to self soothe, he followed everything on that list. No more swaddling, rocking, nursing, and waking up at least twice a night. Now I could put him down unswaddled, awake, and in his crib—where he’d sleep for a solid 11-12 hours straight.
And guess what? The same can happen for you. As one mom wrote to tell me:
“You ebook really helped my son—he’s sleeping so well in his crib now and falls asleep within 20 minutes. And your method was so easy to use with the explanations. So thanks a lot, Nina. My husband and I are very grateful to you!!” -Huda Deen
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When to start teaching your baby self soothing techniques
You’ve heard it so many times before: “Every baby is unique.” You hear it about milestones and temperaments, and I’ll say the same about when a baby can start sleep training and falling asleep on his own.
Each baby is different, and the best way to know whether yours is ready to sleep through the night is to ask his pediatrician. She can let you know, based on your baby’s unique circumstances, whether he’s ready to start self soothing.
But generally, the younger the baby, the more dependent he is on you for everything… including falling asleep.
Because of that, How to Teach your Baby to Self Soothe is catered to parents of older infants. Your baby should be past the newborn stage and can physically sleep through the night without waking up to feed.
Again, the best way to know he doesn’t need middle-of-the-night feedings and can start self soothing is to double-check with his pediatrician.
I applied the bulk of these self soothing methods when my eldest was six months old and when my twins were four months old. These ages were unique to them, and many factors led to that decision. If your baby is still too young, hold off for now and apply these methods when he’s a little older.
From sleepless nights to a full night of sleep
Take a look at how the guide changed this mom’s nights:
“THANKS SOOO MUCH! Before reading your book, I was rubbing my daughter’s back for an hour until she was completely asleep. But then she’d wake up in another 2-3 hours, and I’d have to rub her back again or nurse. She’d do this 3-4 times a night! I was so sleep deprived, I thought I’d just have to get used to it, that my baby will never be a good sleeper. I even hired a sleep consultant—money wasted! The process with the sleep consultant discouraged me even more.
I found your book and liked the part about the mindset and that my baby won’t hate me the next day. She cried the 1st night, on the 2nd night she cried two minutes, but by the 3rd night, she didn’t cry at all! It’s been 2 weeks since applying your book, and she goes to sleep without any tears and wakes up happy, I can’t believe it!
Your book encouraged me to deal with a little crying and know that my baby can do it, and she does! It teaches you how to help your baby sleep in a kind way. Thanks a lot sincerely.” -Diana D.
Ready to get the sleep you and your baby need?
I’ve been blogging about parenting for over 10 years and have helped thousands of parents, and this is what I can tell you: Getting your baby to sleep through the night is a game-changer, the turning point to get life back to normal again.
If you’re ready to help your baby with self soothing, this ebook will show you how: