Sleep training is the process of teaching your baby that they can fall asleep on their own, without a parent’s intervention (nursing, rocking, etc). Sleep training can be controversial, because the phrase is often associated with the practice of letting a baby “cry themselves out,” but that’s not the full extent of what sleep training is. There are several different methods for sleep training, and some appear to show improved sleep in babies without increasing cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Sleep training typically is done around ages 4 to 6 months, but it’s never too late to help your baby develop good sleep habits.
Pacifiers are often thought of as a necessary evil, but engaging the suckling reflex in an effort to help your child sleep actually isn’t a bad thing. The sucking reflex in babies is present even in the womb, and it is a strong self-soothing reflex. Providing a pacifier at bedtime can help your baby learn to soothe themselves independently and promote good sleep. Our pacifiers are dishwasher safe, BPA free, and double as a teething toy!
Also check out our Silly Buddies pacifier holders, sweet lovies that help keep baby’s pacifier close at hand.
Swaddling is the practice of tightly wrapping your baby with a blanket or special piece of clothing. Swaddling mimics the feeling of being in the womb, or of being snuggled closely, and helps calm and comfort babies. Swaddling also prevents the baby’s Moro reflex from waking them up while sleeping, promoting longer and better sleep. Our receiving blankets are soft and an appropriate size for blanket swaddling, and can help baby sleep better.
Remember, a swaddled baby should always be put to sleep on their back, and after the baby is able to roll over, they should either not be swaddled, or should be swaddled with their arms free. A baby should never be left to sleep with a loose blanket until they’re at least a year old.
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While your baby may not understand the words that you’re saying, they find the sound of your voice comforting. Adding story time to your bedtime routine gives your baby more practice in listening to language while calming them and preparing them for sleep at the same time! It’s never too early to start a tradition of books and reading with your child. We have sweet storybooks for children that are perfect for bedtime. You can even get a book with a coordinating plush friend!
Lovies, also known as comfort objects, are things that your baby attaches to and uses to soothe and comfort themselves. This soothing and comforting is vital to a baby learning to get to sleep on their own, and having a special lovey for bedtime can help your baby build associations with sleep and bedtime. Introducing a lovey before sleep regression periods can give parents a tool in helping their babies get to sleep on their own during these difficult times.
Babies should not be left unattended with a lovey or loose blanket in the crib until they’re at least 12 months old. Learn more about using loveys here!
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Similar to dedicated loveys, stuffed animals can also make a fantastic bedtime companion! Babies recognize faces as early as just after birth, and can recognize familiar faces by around two months. Stuffed animals’ soft, cuddly bodies and friendly faces can help babies soothe themselves to sleep as well. Our stuffed animals are all safe for babies to play with, but our tiny stuffed animals are perfect for tiny hands!
Babies should not be left unattended with a stuffed animal in the crib until they are 12 months old.
Sleep Training Gifts
No matter what sleep training method you choose, we have delightful toys and tools that can help you get your baby to sleep independently. Good sleep means a happier, healthier baby, and happier and healthier parents. What a beautiful way to give glad dreams!