News and Articles

Letting Your Baby Learn to Sleep

It may be hard to get some infants to go to sleep when you want them to.  They cry and squirm and eventually get the mother or father to come back and rock them to sleep.

This can occur every one to two hours during the night for some infants.  So how do you train a baby to go to sleep?

One of the major lessons a small infant has to learn is how to comfort himself and fall asleep.  Yes, it is a learned process.

Your child needs to be given time to learn this skill.  Parents should let their infant cry for a period of time before checking on him and comforting him.  The child must eventually learn to make himself comfortable to prepare for sleep.  Of course, if it is time for a feeding or he needs a diaper change, there is no reason to delay.

One of the important reasons for learning this skill well is that the sleep cycle of an infant is only an hour long, so he will arouse every 60 minutes.  If he is unable to comfort himself and go back to sleep, he will cry until a parent comes to rock him back to sleep.

Parents should not feel guilty over rocking their baby to sleep, but by returning too soon, they do not allow an infant the time needed to learn to comfort himself for sleep.  Returning too soon can train the infant to cry until he gets the parents’ attention.

But a parent should also not feel guilty about giving an infant time to fall asleep on his own.  After 20-30 minutes of crying, however, it is wise to check on your baby, change diapers if necessary, try feeding the baby, and if everything is well, settle him down and put him back in the crib to go to sleep.