For the first few weeks, there is little reason to a newborn’s sleep patterns. Still, start putting together a simple bedtime routine as soon as you are settled at home.

But when you and baby are ready here are way you can start the sleep training schedule

What is sleep training?

Sleep training is teaching your baby to fall asleep without help from you. This means baby is put down for bed fully awake and then they drifts off by themselves without being rocked, swayed, cuddled, breastfed or shushed.

Sleep training also teaches baby to fall back to sleep by themselves when they wake up at night.

Weaning and sleep training don’t necessarily go hand in hand. So even a sleep trained baby may wake up for their night time feeds. But speak to your paediatrician about when you can safely be able to drop baby’s night-time feeds. 

I personally recommend establishing a good night time routine where your baby can mentally prepare for being put down for bedtime, and then start a sleep training at around 4-6 months. 

Here’s how you can get started: 

Days 1–3: 

Instead of rocking, you stand by his crib and rub his back.

Days 4–6: 

You sit by your child’s bedside but do not touch him.

Days 7-9: 

You move your chair to midway between your child’s bedside and the door.

Days 10–12: 

You sit in your chair by the door to the room.

Days 13–15: 

You sit outside the door but where your child can still see you.

Days 16–18: 

You sit out of sight but provide verbal reassurance, either by sitting outside the room or via a two-way monitor.

It is also important to develop the following habits along with your sleep training routine: 

  1. Establish a bedtime routine
  2. Get the timing right. Establishing a bedtime routine when you are unable to be consistent and there may be disruptions, such as a new nanny or a move or big changes in yours or baby’s life, is not recommended. 
  3. Monitor and know when baby’s sleep cues are
  4. Put baby down whilst they are awake
  5. Don’t respond to baby immediately when they cry or are fussing. Allow yourself time to see if they are self-soothing or are crying out for you. But don’t let the crying go on for long. Babies need to be assured that you are there for them.