Newborns don't seem to know, or particularly care, about the differences between night and day. They just respond to hunger or diaper change needs at any time, especially in the wee hours of the morning. When you're in the throes of this phase, it helps to think of all the sleep training milestones you'll soon reach. Because at some point, your baby (and, by default, you) will sleep through the night.
Even if it seems like a distant possibility now, your baby will one day sleep through the night in a separate bed. No whimpers for food. No random bouts of crying. Your kid will legit be out for the night.
There are, however, several steps in between. Learning what sleep training technique (if any) is right for your family is a big moment. Hey, even just weaning your kid off night feedings means you have one less thing to do in the super-early hours. It's a process. Celebrate the successes and brace yourself for the challenges that you and your baby will face along the way. And even if you face a long night of wailing here and there, remember that you will, one day, get some real sleep again.
1. The Decision To Start Sleep Training
According to the Baby Sleep Site, most children are likely capable of learning how to self-soothe around 6 months, but this does not mean it's necessarily the right time for your family. In some instances, waiting until your baby is a bit older may be helpful. It all depends on your family's needs and your baby's general temperament.
2. The Dropped Naps
At some point, your little one won't be as reliant on nap time. According to The Baby Sleep Site, infants will go from about four naps per day to three, between the ages of 5 to 8 months. A lessened need for naps may indicate your baby is ready to rest more seriously through the night.
3. The End Of Night Feedings
Night weaning is a magical time for many parents. By the age of 6 months, your baby can go for 12 hours without feeling hungry, according to the website for Parents. When your little one stirs at night, it's more about needing comfort instead of food.
4. The Moment They Learn To Self-Sooth
At some point, your baby will begin to fall asleep with greater ease. As noted by the website for Parenting, most babies are able to learn some self-soothing techniques around 6 to 9 months of age. A little thumb-sucking, for instance, might be all your little one needs to doze off.
5. The Moment They Hit The "Awake But Drowsy" Sweet Spot
How often have you heard this phrase? Well, as explained in The Bump, putting your baby down drowsy but still awake is one way to promote self-soothing sleep techniques. Hopefully, the need for sleep will overpower your baby's desire to create any fuss. Catching that perfect in-between state can be difficult, though.
6. The Moment They Sleep Through The Night
The first time your baby sleeps through the night is a major deal. As noted by Baby Center, most infants will sleep through the night by the age of 6 months, although it may take more or less time for other children. Whenever this magical day arrives, you'll wake up in the morning feeling super rested.
7. The Moment They Move To A Big Kid Bed
This is huge, especially if your family has used the co-sleeping technique. Take some time to pat yourself on the back for this one.