He does, however, recommend that parents begin consistent bedtime rituals with newborns as young as 5 to 6 weeks of age, allowing them to wail for 10 to 20 minutes before going to sleep. He says this will help your infant develop a healthy sense of urgency about sleeping and reduce the number of night feeds required.
If you are working long hours or have another busy schedule, it may not be possible to put your child down to sleep every day. In fact, studies show that children who get less than eight hours of sleep a night grow up to be adults who suffer from anxiety, depression, and addiction problems. This is why it's important to establish a bedtime routine for your child as early as possible; this will help him learn how to relax and sleep better when you can't be around.
Many parents wonder whether they should "let their babies cry it out" in order to save time and energy. The practice involves putting infants to sleep without feeding them for a period of time until they fall asleep on their own. Some believe this method helps build self-reliance and independence in children, while others claim it is harmful because it can lead to sleep deprivation.
The science on this topic is still emerging, but there are some studies that suggest that letting babies cry it out may interfere with their emotional development.
When is it OK to let the infant cry it out? Babies are often developmentally ready to sleep train between the ages of 4 and 6 months. They can sleep through the night without needing to feed at approximately 5 to 6 months, giving it an excellent time to begin the CIO approach. If you start when they are really young, they will learn that sleeping is important and should not be taken for granted.
The CIO method allows babies to sleep without a parent's help by using only "cry it out" techniques. These methods include leaving the baby in his or her crib with nothing but a plastic bag over the head and a radio playing softly in the background. Most children will eventually fall asleep without feeding or being held during their first few cries of the day. This process is repeated until the child does not need to be cried out any longer.
Some parents worry that if they don't intervene when their baby starts crying it will cause problems later. But research shows that these "cry it out" methods are effective even for very young infants and that there is no link between using them and future behavioral issues. In fact, studies have shown that children who were cry-trained before they reached 12 months old had better bedtime behaviors and scored higher on tests measuring cognitive ability than children who were traditionalized.
The main advantage of the CIO method is that it helps reduce the amount of time that parents are spending awake with their babies.
According to Charles Schaefer, Ph. D., author of Winning Bedtime Battles: Getting Your Child to Sleep, most newborns start sleeping through the night between 3 and 4 months of age if you let them. Some babies may not fall asleep until they are 5 or 6 months old, but they usually get their nights up soon after that.
Around 1 year old, your child's body starts producing more sleep hormones such as Melatonin and Cortisol which help them get better-quality sleep. By 2 years old, most children are ready to go to bed around 7 p.m. and wake up by 3 a.m. They will now be able to sleep all night long without waking up.
Some children may still need a little help putting themselves to sleep at these ages. If this is the case for you and your child, follow these tips:
Start by reading books or singing songs together before bedtime. This will help calm your child down and get them ready for sleep.
Keep room temperatures comfortable. Not only does cold weather make going to sleep difficult, but it can also cause nightmares and insomnia.
Avoid caffeine in the afternoon, right before bedtime. Caffeine can cause restlessness and anxiety-type feelings, making it harder to sleep.
Put your baby in her cot, drowsy but alert, after your normal bedtime ritual. Give her a kiss and tell her, "It's time to go to bed. Good evening "before exiting the room If your baby cries for you, doctors recommend that you let her cry for two to ten minutes before trying to console her. This is important so that she does not become dependent on your comfortableness.
When you visit her in the night, she will most likely be wet or dirty from the crying process. It is important that you do not scold her for being wet or dirty; this will only make things worse. Instead, change her clothes immediately so that she is not cold or hot when she falls asleep again.
Finally, put her back in her cot and wait until she wakes up in the morning to check on her. If she is still crying, then something must be wrong. Call a doctor immediately so that he can take care of your little one.
Infants should sleep in their parents' bedroom until their first birthday, according to experts. It is ideal for parents to wait until their child is at least 6 months old before moving the infant to another bedroom. Separating infants from their parents will help them develop healthy attachments later in life.
Young children should never be allowed to sleep in a room by themselves. Even if they are able to stand up until they are 3 years old, put them in a toddler bed so that they are not exposed to risk of falling over in the night. They should also never be left alone in a crib, although they may sometimes do this when you go out to work or take a shower.
Old children should never be left alone in a room because they might try to climb out of windows or doors. If your child complains that they are too hot or cold in their room, install a fan or heat lamp to provide more comfortable sleeping conditions.
Children should always have a safe place to sleep. This could be in their own room, but it could also be in a dormitory room with other children. Make sure that there are no stairs in the room, and that the floor is not made of wood which may cause fire damage if chewed by young children who have had some milk.