Train Your Baby To Sleep Independently
Getting your baby to sleep can be one of the most challenging parts of parenthood. In their first few months, they may be great sleepers as they nap several times a day and sleep undisturbed throughout the night. But as they grow older, it can become a little more challenging to get them to sleep independently. This is where sleep training comes into place.
There are many different forms and techniques in sleep training, but the soothing ladder baby sleep method is one of the most effective.
The Soothing Ladder Baby Sleep Method
The soothing ladder is a great method to avoid over helping your baby to sleep. This method is a gentle way of releasing support to your baby while they learn self-soothing to sleep. You can start using this method for your baby at 4-5 months. You can also start earlier if your baby is developmentally ready for sleep training.
If your little one wakes up in the middle of the night, think of the least intrusive thing you can do to get them back to sleep without over helping. By doing this, you get to help your baby get themself back to sleep without over helping to encourage sleep independence at an early age.
In the soothing ladder baby sleep method, you use a ladder concept and start at the bottom. For example, you spend roughly 30 seconds to soothe your baby and then move up the ladder if it doesn’t work. Your baby may need minutes of patting or rubbing on their back one night and then only need a soft shushing or song another night. The point of the soothing ladder baby sleep method is to start from the bottom with the least intrusive help you can give and then take small steps up the ladder only if the previous steps didn’t work.
When using this method, it’s not advisable to use the ‘big guns’ such as feeding right away. If your baby wakes up and you immediately assume they need feeding, you’ll end up going up the steps of the ladder quickly. Although this is not a bad thing, it’s healthy to allow your baby to grow when they’re ready to drop the feeding step.
Soothing Ladder Baby Sleep Steps
Every baby is different, so you’ll need to create your own ladder, especially for your baby and their soothing needs. A typical soothing sleep ladder includes these steps:
- Feed them
- Pick them up gently
- Jiggle them in the bed
- Pat their back, rub their head or tummy or provide other forms of touch
- Replace the pacifier or lovey
- Let them hear your voice while talking, signing, or shushing
- Be present in the room
Understanding What Your Baby Needs
As a parent, it’s essential for you actually to listen when your baby makes a sound. Babies continually make sounds, but they are not actually telling you exactly what they need. Determine the kind of sound or cry your baby is making, and then apply the first step at the bottom of the ladder. You may feel compelled to go up the ladder right away, but start with the first steps and then take one action up if necessary. You can then stop when you notice your minor one settling.