Author of "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer," Tracy Hogg, was a registered nurse and nanny until her death in 2004. Hogg, known as the baby whisperer,wrote several books to help parents learn how to calm and communicate with babies and older children. Sleep training is generally a process that involves teaching your baby how to fall asleep and go back to sleep independently at both naptime and bedtime. By following the Baby Whisperer’s methods, you can help your baby sleep better without causing undue stress for your little one. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against trying to get an infant to sleep at certain times; the baby whispering method doesn't involve changing a baby's sleep patterns -- it's all about observing your little one and establishing routines are her needs.
Implement the EASY routine as described in "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer," throughout your baby’s day to create some stability. EASY represents eating, activity, sleep and your time. Start with feeding your baby and encouraging him to remain awake for some play or other activity after eating instead of drifting right off into sleep. Even diaper or clothes changes can count as activity for young babies. When baby shows signs of becoming tired, it may be time for sleep. During your baby’s sleep time, take some time for yourself to recharge and relax. With repetition, your baby should adapt to the routine and days will become more structured. With structure and consistency, sleep routines should improve. The baby whisperer's methods do not advocate setting a strict routine for a baby. Instead, by observing your little one's cues, you can learn how to meet her needs before they become overwhelming for her.
Watch your baby for signs of sleepiness to enable you to move from activity to sleep before your little one becomes overtired. Signs of tiredness include yawning, rubbing eyes, inability to focus and beginning to fuss.
Move into a routine to prepare your baby for sleep when you see signs of sleepiness. Create the routine carefully because you will need to repeat it every time to provide a consistent routine for your baby. Your routine might include closing curtains, turning on soft music, snuggling for a few minutes in a rocking chair and then transferring your baby to her crib to go to sleep. Performing the sleep routine helps your baby understand that it’s almost time to go to sleep.
Place your baby into his crib after finishing the sleep routine and when he appears drowsy. Your baby may fuss when you place him in bed. If this occurs, attempt to console him by rubbing his tummy and making shushing sounds. If your baby calms down, stop interacting with him and watch to see if he drifts off to sleep independently. If your baby continues crying, pick him up to soothe him. When your little one stops crying, return him to his crib and wait to see if he falls asleep. Repeat the “pick up put down” method as many times as necessary until your baby falls asleep.
Use the same comforting method to help your baby go back to sleep if she wakes during the middle of the night. After feeding your little one, if necessary, institute the same sleep routine to get your baby to go back to sleep independently.