For most parents, sleep training is one obstacle that they’re both excited and terrified to tackle. While getting more sleep for you and your little ones will make everyone in your home happier, if you’ve created some bad sleep habits leading up to your decision to sleep train, you could be in for some hard days and nights before things start clicking.
Regardless of what sleep training routine you choose to go with, there are a few things you should do before you start sleep training to ensure that your baby will be safe throughout the process. To help you with this, here are three safety tips for sleep training children.
If your child is older when you’re sleep training, you likely don’t still swaddle them anyway. But when you’re sleep training a younger baby, you’re going to want to stop swaddling them before you plan to leave them in their bed unattended.
According to Marygrace Taylor, a contributor to WhatToExpect.com, most babies start rolling over between three and four months. Once your baby starts rolling over, you want to stop with the swaddling so that, if they were to roll onto their bellies, they could have a much better chance of rolling themselves back over to their back. Especially if you’re planning to leave your baby to self-soothe, you’ll want to ensure that he or she has the ability to move themselves into a safe or more comfortable position, and swaddling likely won’t allow for this.
Keep An Eye On Things
When sleep training a child, it’s only natural as a parent to want to check in on them to see how things are going.
To do this discreetly, you’ll want to install a baby monitor close to your child so you can see if they’re sleeping or discern if there’s something causing them to cry that you need to take care of. This way, Cara Birnbaum, a contributor to Parents.com, shares that you can comfortably try a sleep training method that only has you entering your child’s room occasionally to offer comfort rather than having to peek your head in constantly to see what’s going on.
Prepare Their Sleeping Environment
Before you lay your baby down to sleep train for the first time, it’s vital that you’ve made a safe sleeping environment for them.
Ideally, Dr. Craig Canapari, a contributor to the New York Times, shares that your child shouldn’t be co-sleeping with you when sleep training. Also, you’ll want to have your baby on a flat, firm surface or mattress. And although you might think having pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals will be comforting, you’ll want to keep these things to a minimum to reduce the chance of suffocation.
If you’re going to be trying to sleep train your child soon, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you through this process.