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How to Train Your Baby to Sleep

Learn how to train your baby to sleep on a schedule from pediatrician Dyan Hes, M.D. in this Howcast video about newborn and baby development.

Transcript

Parents want to know how to get their infant sleep trained. This is a very controversial topic. I really don't like this topic, to be honest, because I don't think every baby is the same.

Some babies are great sleepers, and some aren't great sleepers. I think parents have unrealistic expectations of what their babies should be doing.

If a book tells you that you can sleep train your baby by four months of age, but you're breast feeding, and your baby needs to be fed two times a night, but you're not feeding that baby, because the book said to sleep train. I don't think that's healthy for the baby.

I think there are some techniques to put your baby down easier and to get your baby to sleep well. One being, swaddle your newborn. Newborns love to be swaddled. There is no rule of when you have to stop the swaddle. If babies like being swaddled until four or five months, swaddle them.

Babies always have to sleep on their back. They should not sleep on their side, and they cannot sleep on their stomach, until they roll over.

Once your baby is rolling over, it's very important that you take any loose blankets or bedding. No bumpers from the beginning, but especially when they're rolling over, because they push their face into them.

I don't recommend always napping your baby in the stroller or in a car seat, because then, the baby doesn't learn how to fall asleep in the bassinet, or in the crib on their own.

You want to put the baby into the crib or bassinet, laying on their back. The baby should be able to soothe themselves when they go to sleep.

If you always lay down with your baby, to put your baby to sleep, when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, and you're not there, your baby is going to cry.

Your baby is not going to learn how to go back to sleep on their own because, wait a second, when I went to sleep at seven o'clock at night, I had a grownup here with me.

Now it's two o'clock in the morning and there's nobody here with me. I'm going to wail my head off, because this isn't how I should be sleeping.

You really need to teach your baby to go to sleep on their own without devices like going for a walk, or putting them into the car.

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