Does your baby keep calling you out in the night, playing the delay tactics, and before daybreak, she ends up in the middle of your bed, wanting to cuddle to sleep? Sounds familiar? If you’re not happy with this current arrangement you are going through, then probably it is time for some sleep training. Find out how to sleep train a 12 month old.
It is never too late to sleep train your baby, yes this also includes toddlers. There are methods you can use to get your baby to sleep through the night, and good thing it is never too late or too early to adopt some of the techniques.
Did you know?
Most families go through the 18-month sleep regression; this is where children between one and three years still wake up in the middle of the night.
It is important to note that sleep training methods will vary from family to family or even your baby. Some have used the crying out method and worked. But for some babies, this will still get them up in the middle of the night. There are many more options you can explore. Just be sure there will be some fussing you will experience; this is expected for any new thing you want to incorporate into your baby’s life. But give these steps a try to better snoozing in a couple of weeks.
How to get a toddler to sleep in 10 easy steps
1. You need to ensure you are making sleep a priority.
Your brain runs on quality of sleep; when you sleep, it allows your brain to reboot. And research has been found, babies who don’t get quality sleep tend to have a shorter attention span. This means they don’t learn as well as other children. Additionally, babies who don’t have sufficient sleep release a stress hormone referred to as cortisol, which sets them up for frequent night wakening’s.
2. All parties need to be on board.
Before you decide to get into the sleep training methods, you need to ensure all parties in your household are on board. Discuss the sleep training method you would like to adopt with your partner and how you will both handle the night wakening’s. You could even go a step further by talking to your pediatrician to ensure she has ruled out any underlining medical issues, like allergies, sleep apnea, or reflux that might be keeping your child awake.
3. Get to know how much sleep your baby needs.
It is recommended that 4-12-month-old babies get 12 – 16 hours of sleep; this is including their naps. Children between the ages of 1 – 2 years need 11-14 hours’ sleep, and 3 – 4 years need 10 – 13 hours. Once you get a clear picture of how much your child should sleep will help in planning your sleep training toddler method.
4. It would help if you established a routine
Babies love routine, and to get your baby in the proper mood for sleep needs 15minutes. Within this soothing bedtime ritual, it will help prepare your baby’s mind for sleep. Ensure you are near her crib as you perform your calming activities; this could be reading a book or singing her a song. At this moment, you should not have anything stimulating like the t.v on or tickling your baby. If your baby is above 6months, you could incorporate her favorite sleeping blanket or stuffed animal to get her in the mood.
5. Pick an appropriate start date.
Once you have decided it is about time you sleep train your baby, you must pick a start date. Ensure for the next three weeks, there are no interruptions, no changes in your baby’s crib, bedroom, or even time zone. This is a crucial step, especially if you have a sensitive baby. And with a proper routine in place, your baby should be sleeping through the night very soon.
6. Ensure you have set the scene
When it comes to successful sleep training, the environment means everything; the room needs to be calm and comfortable at about 65 degrees. If there is too much light into your baby’s room and she has trouble with naps, it is a good idea to get darkened shades.
7. Put her down when she is awake.
Once the room is nice and comfortable, ensure you run your bedtime routine when the lights are still on when you notice she is getting a little drowsy but awake place her in her crib. For the first try expect to see some tears, this is something new to her, especially if she falls asleep next to you. To calm her pull a chair and offer gentle touches, just reassure her you are still in the room. But if she pulls a tantrum, pick her up, when she is calm and ready to sleep, put her down again. It will get easier, so don’t give up; you will need to respond to the night wakening’s the same way.
8. Slowly move the chair away from the crib
As days pass by with your sleep training, you can try to move the chair further from the crib, but you need to do this progressively. By the third or fourth night, you should have the chair by the door, you need to keep moving to avoid your baby being accustomed to you being there when she is falling asleep.
9. Try and ditch the sleep crutches.
When your baby is about 3 – 4 months you need to reduce on habits like singing or rocking her to sleep. These are referred to as sleep crutches. They are not bad habits, but when your baby associates them with sleeping, it could make sleep training toddler a little complicated. When you continue with these sleep crutches, it merely means each time your baby wakes up at night; she will need you to either rock or singing her to sleep. The goal is for her to self soothe and quickly put herself back to sleep.
10. Consistency is key
With consistency and a proper routine put in place, your baby should be able to sleep through the night. In a few weeks, you should be able to put your baby down to sleep with no fuss, watch her soothe herself to sleep, and during the night wakening’s, she should be able to get back to sleep.
It would help if you stayed consistent with whichever sleep training method you decide to use. This is the most common mistake parents tend to make. There is no perfect method to sleep train your baby, at some point after weeks of training she might wake up at night crying out for you. Check-in on her to see if everything is okay, just ensure you don’t start a new sleep crutch at this point. If she looks okay, try to comfort her from outside the door, remember you want her to get herself back to sleep.