From birth to around four to six months, sleep training a baby is not possible or advised, says Cheryl, The Sleep Coach. Very young babies just aren’t developmentally ready for it. However, this is the perfect time to build healthy future sleep habits with what Cheryl calls “gentle sleep shaping”. Get this right and you may never need to sleep train your little one because they’ll have already learnt the basics!
The good news is, you can start “sleep shaping” from two weeks old. When a baby is born, they don’t know day from night and their sleep is very light. But after the first two weeks, Cheryl explains that it’s possible to start helping your baby learn good sleep habits with five basic tips.
- During the daytime, let plenty of natural light into your home.
- Go outside every day – babies sleep better after being exposed to daylight.
- Feed regularly. As often as he needs but if it’s been longer than three hours, consider waking your baby for a feed during the day.
- In the evening, make the atmosphere quieter and calmer. Make your baby’s sleep environment peaceful. Turn the lights down, start implementing a bedtime routine: a bath, massage, a feed, a soft lullaby or read a book. Then say, “night, night, time for sleep,” as you put him in his cot.
- Keep night-time feeds as quick as possible, without much stimulus.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be off to a great start.