How difficult can it be for a baby to learn how to sleep in his crib, right?
Then you look down in your arms, where this darling teeny little face looks up at you, and you realize how much they need you.
Give them a break and be patient. What seems easy to us, is a brand new experience to them. Learning something new for a baby involves many steps and they are minuscule, microscopic even!
Of course, there’s always the one giant step of going cold-turkey, also known as crying-it-out. I don’t like this method at all. But I can’t blame parents who are at their wits end. Still, make it a last resort, when nothing else has worked, or if something urgent pushes you to use this sleep plan.
For breastfed babies, the steps of “sleep independence” include:
- Removing your nipple when they are not eating, just before they nod off to sleep in your arms.
- Transferring them from your arms into the crib.
- Doing the transfer when they are still awake, but sleepy with droopy eyes.
- Then going back to sleep on their own if they wake up, without breastfeeding.
Keep in mind the age of your baby. You might not be able to get them to sleep on their own right away if they still need to be breastfed throughout the night. It’s natural. They have very small stomachs and need to wake up often. But you can start off by getting them used to the nipple being removed from their mouth if they are not eating.
Basically, have a goal, make a plan, and break it down into the teeniest details. Then arm yourself with patience to gradually achieve every baby step.