When to Start Sleep Training: 2024 Update

Pregnancy and Postpartum Care for Everyone

The decision of when to start sleep training for a baby depends on various factors, including the child's age, developmental readiness, and the preferences of the parents. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Age: Pediatricians often recommend waiting until a baby is at least 4 to 6 months old before starting any formal sleep training. Before this age, babies may still need frequent nighttime feedings, and their sleep patterns are less predictable.
  2. Weight and Growth: Ensure that your baby is gaining weight appropriately and is in good overall health before considering sleep training. Consult with your pediatrician to get personalized advice based on your baby's specific needs.
  3. Feeding Schedule: If your baby is still relying on nighttime feedings for nutrition, it might be too early to start sleep training. Once your pediatrician gives the green light to reduce or eliminate nighttime feedings, you can consider sleep training.
  4. Developmental Milestones: Some parents wait until their baby can roll over or sit up independently before starting sleep training. This is because babies who can roll over have more control over their bodies and may find it easier to self-soothe.
  5. Consistency: Choose a time when you and your partner can commit to a consistent sleep training routine. Consistency is crucial for the success of sleep training, so make sure you have the time and energy to follow through with the plan.
  6. Parental Readiness: Ensure that you are emotionally ready for sleep training. It can be challenging to hear your baby cry, even if only for a short period. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page and are prepared for the potential challenges that may arise.

Remember that every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It's important to approach sleep training with patience, understanding, and flexibility. If you have concerns or questions, it's always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician for guidance tailored to your baby's specific needs.

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