7 Sleep Training Ideas for Your Five-month-old baby
Being a parent of a 5-month-old baby can be a lot of things going around, probably filled with really cute things like laughing, curling over, and babbling. But 5 months can be an exhausting time too. Maybe some of your friends have told you that your five-month-old should be sleeping through the night. The truth is, some five-month-old babies do naturally start sleeping through the night but I found that many others need to be taught. So if your little one doesn't look like she's on the way to naturally sleeping through the night, these 7 steps will get her there.
Step 1: Have realistic expectations.
We can’t really make a plan to get our baby sleeping better until we know what we can realistically expect. Your five-month-old should naturally have a bedtime between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. She should sleep anywhere from 9 to 11 hours-overnight and that's going to include one or two (sometimes three) night feeds. A good way to judge if your baby's ready to be night weaned is to talk to your paediatrician. If your paediatrician says your baby can go six hours between feeds overnight then you know you can wean down to 1-night feed. If your paediatrician refers 4 to 5 hours between feeds overnight then you'll wean down to 2 night feeds. You can check out Weaning Night Feeding guidelines right here for step-by-step instructions on how you can reduce or eliminate your baby's night feeds.
Step 2: Start a calming bedtime routine.
When starting sleep training we always begin at bedtime. The best way to set your baby up to sleep long stretches at night is to introduce a calming bedtime routine. What you do at bedtime really does matter. When you do certain activities in a specific order at the same time every night it really does help your baby fall asleep easier and sleep better at night.
You can get my step-by-step instructions on crafting the perfect peaceful bedtime routine for your baby right here.
Step 3: Set manage-appropriate bedtime.
For your five-month-old to fall asleep easily and sleep better at night, bedtime must be both age-appropriate and consistent. Late bedtimes do not get baby sleeping really hard at night and waking up later. It’s completely crazy but it's true. Baby sleep is really counterintuitive. Most five-month olds are naturally programmed to have bedtime between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. Now that's a pretty wide range and if you really want to increase your baby's chances of sleeping amazingly at night then you want to keep your baby's specific bedtime within only a 20-minute range. So if your baby's natural bedtime is 7:30 p.m. then you want your baby always falling asleep between 7:20 and 7:40 p.m. every night. It really does make a difference.
Step 4: Play white noise during naps and at night.
White noise has been proven to help people of all ages sleep better and yes it's completely safe for your baby. The way that white noise works are it prevents sudden noises from waking your baby while she's sleeping like a barking dog or a loud neighbour, an older sibling, maybe the garbage truck at 5 a.m. And for that reason, you need to play white noise all night long.
Some of the really popular white noise machines that you can use.
Step 5: Blackout your baby's bedroom.
Light plays a really strong role in setting our body clocks. When our eyes sense light it sends a signal to our brain to be awake and when our eyes sense darkness the sleep hormone melatonin is produced which makes us sleepy. So, for this reason, you need to doa blackout of your baby's bedroom. Trust me on this one! You don't want an early sunrise waking your baby at 5 a.m. every day.
We have listed some very popular and effective blackout curtains that you can find in the Indian market.
Step 6: Help your baby nap frequently
it's important to keep your five-month-old well-rested during the day. A well-rested baby during the day sleeps great at night and vice-versa, so for this reason you want to make sure your baby naps often. Short napping can be common at this age so try not to worry about it too much. If your five-month-old is caught in a napping pattern of only sleeping for 40 minutes at a time what's more important is that he naps frequently. Specifically, awake times for your 5-month-old should be 1.5 - 2.5 hours. Remember awake times are more important than the number of naps right now. So as long as your baby is napping often during the day you' redoing great.
An article that gives you more specific details about naps for your five-month-old. Click here.
Step 7: Teach your baby to fall asleep on his own.
The way that your baby falls asleep at bedtime is the way that he will need to fall back to sleep each time he wakes during the night. So if your baby is fed to sleep at bedtime then he's going to need you to feed him or help him fall back to sleep every single time he wakes during the night, which you probably already know because he's waking several times at night. But if instead your baby goes into his crib awake at bedtime and falls asleep on his own he'll be able to resettle himself every time he stirs during the night.
This is the basis of sleep training. It sounds simple enough, right? But you may be wondering ‘How do I do it?’ The truth is there are many effective sleep training methods for five-month olds and the best method for your baby will depend on your baby's age, your baby's temperament, and also your parenting style.
Just remember that it is it's okay if you're feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with your baby's sleep. It's completely normal to feel this way. Life with a new baby is so exhausting but please remember there's always hope! Once you start doing these 7 sleep training tips for your five-month-old every single day and you do them consistently, your baby will start sleeping a lot better. If you have any questions then you can ask me in the comments below.