In this post, we will share with you how to prepare and train your baby to sleep alone successfully! You can start training your baby to sleep alone as early as 2 months of age.
Preparing For Baby To Sleep Alone
Prepare The Crib: You may have heard about the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) [source], that is why preparing a safe place for your baby to sleep is vital. To avoid suffocation, remove any unnecessary fabrics or toys from the crib. We only had a water-resistant fabric to handle any possible urine leak, a napkin for saliva, and a blanket for him. All those are tucked nicely so it won’t cover his face. If you swaddle your baby, make sure the swaddling is secure. You can get swaddles that use velcros if it helps.
Get Baby Monitors: You’ll most likely be worried about how your baby is doing. Get baby monitors to help you. There’s quite a lot of options in the market today, ranging from monitors that you can view from your phone to more advanced monitors like the AngelCare Baby Monitor that will give you warnings. I did a review on the AngelCare Baby Monitor here, check and see if it’ll be a good fit for you.
Standing Firm: Stand firm on your decision to let him sleep alone. Your baby will cry, and you will have to go over to his room to check him out, comfort him. Crying is normal, expect to walk over, and don’t give up because it is troublesome. The point here is for him to be able to sleep alone, not sleep through the night without crying.
Training Baby To Sleep Alone
Get Him Familiarised With His Room: Get him familiarised with his room by bringing him there to play often, and you can also start with naps. Some babies don’t like unfamiliar places and may cry and refuse to sleep without company, so helping them to get familiar with their room will help a lot.
Establish A Routine For Sleep: First, set a time to sleep and as much as possible, set your baby to sleep at that hour. For us, by 8PM we will bring him to his room and prepare him for sleep.
Second, have an activity that you will always do before he sleeps. For us, it is feeding him with the bottle. We do not breastfeed before bedtime because we do not want him to be reliant on the breast to sleep, all he needs is the bottle, and then he can sleep even when mom is not around. On some rare occasions, he sleeps in his grandparent’s house, and there are no problems because all he needs is the bottle. Some parents have storytelling time before sleep, some bathe their baby before sleep, and it all works. Your baby will be looking out for these routines and they know it is time to sleep when it’s done, so establish a routine with your baby. Try not to create a routine based on specific people though, like breastfeeding before sleep. You want your baby to sleep based on a routine that can be carried out by anyone.
Preparing For Sleep: Lastly, don’t do any exciting activities 30 minutes before sleep. Calm your baby down. You can sing a lullaby or read a story to him, though that is just a suggestion. Do something that will calm your baby before sleep. If he is excited it will be harder to put him to bed. I don’t even read the bible to him 30 minutes before bedtime as that will create excitement for him.
Benefits For Letting Baby To Sleep Alone
Baby Can Sleep Independently: Your baby will eventually have to sleep alone when he grows up, and if sleeping with you has become normal for him, he will very likely keep crying and refuse to sleep when you move him out to his own room. Our baby has been sleeping by himself since he was 3 months of age, and this freed us up. My niece slept alone since she was 2 months of age!
Less Stressful For You: It is very likely that everything you do have to be quiet because going to the toilet, walking around, opening the door can wake him up! We don’t even dare to on the lights in the middle of the night because it will hurt his eyes. Fathers, if your wife is the one that puts your baby to sleep, be prepared if she gets agitated if you make noise because if your baby wakes up, she’s the one that’s going to suffer. For me, this was pretty stressful because everything I did had to be quiet, now that he sleeps by himself, I’m free!
Privacy: Privacy? Yes! I’m going to deviate and touch on toddlers here. I’ve seen children that act or do things that show that they must have seen their parent’s intimate moments. Some parents have no choice, but if it’s possible, avoid having those moments while your kid is around. Besides, don’t sacrifice intimacy with your spouse for the sake of your baby. Putting your spouse ahead of your baby builds happiness between you 2 and that in turn, creates a happy family for your baby to live in.
I encourage you to take this step to let your baby sleep alone so that he can build some independence, and you don’t have to face the headache of him crying when he starts to sleep alone at an older age. If you have any questions or concerns, post it below, we’re here to help 🙂