Interval Baby Sleep Training

Interval Baby Sleep Training

Timed Checks Sleep Training

Many parents are ready to begin sleep training as soon as the fourth trimester has ended. That is until they become overwhelmed trying to choose a sleep training method. Before we dive in, we want to remind parents that babies are all unique - and this is what makes human nature so beautiful. As we grow into adults, our bodies and minds go through so many changes. With that being said, one method may help your baby sleep for a period of time but they may outgrow that method. As parents we must be adaptable, flexible, and supportive. As you read this today, we will help you better understand timed checks, sleep interval training as well as other sleep training methods. 

Regardless of the method you choose, order Dreamland Weighted Sleep Sacks, Swaddles, and Blankets to go along with your routine. While they are proven to help babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, we want you to experience the proof firsthand. 

Tired? Let’s help you and your baby get some rest

What are timed checks in baby sleep training?

Timed checks are a key element to a sleep training method, often called interval checks or gradual extinction, in which you would pop in and out of the room at timed intervals when your baby is struggling to fall asleep. 

This middle-of-the-road approach is an effective blend of both allowing your child to learn to self soothe, without letting them cry for extended periods. To execute this model, you would lay your baby in the crib and leave the room, following your usual bedtime routine. If and when your baby begins to cry, start a timer. 

When beginning the sleep training process, you may opt for much shorter intervals, say two to five minutes. When that time is up, go into your baby’s room and briefly comfort them. As your sleep training journey progresses, you would gradually extend those intervals. The goal of timed checks is to provide comfort and reassurance to your baby without interrupting the process of learning to fall asleep independently.

What makes timed checks effective for sleep training?

Aside from being easier on your heart (and ears) than letting your baby cry for extended periods, timed checks can be an extremely effective sleep training method for most babies. 

Let’s talk about why that is. 

  • Gradual reduction of dependency. Timed checks can help gradually reduce your baby’s dependency on your presence to fall asleep. By gradually increasing the time between checks, he or she learns to soothe themselves and fall asleep independently.
  • Reassurance. Timed checks can provide reassurance to your baby that they are not alone and that you are close by. This can help reduce any anxiety and promote feelings of safety and security.
  • Consistency. Timed checks can help establish a consistent bedtime routine, which is so important for developing healthy sleep habits.
  • Reduced crying. Timed checks can also help reduce crying and distress during the sleep training process.
  • To set yourselves up for success, practice a consistent bedtime routine so that your baby knows what to look for when the time for sleep is approaching. Whether you always give your baby a bath, read books, or put on their Dreamland Weighted Sleep Sack, your baby will know “okay, it’s bedtime.” 

    Dream Weighted Sleep Swaddle, 0-6 months

    It’s important to keep in mind that all babies are different. Some babies can get extremely overstimulated by their parent’s presence, which would make this method of sleep training ineffective. 

    What do you do at sleep training check-ins?

    Speaking of overstimulation, there are things you’ll want to avoid to limit stimulation when you do your check-ins. You’re not going to want to walk in singing their favorite song or shaking their crinkly toys. You might be surprised to learn that you actually do not want to make eye contact either. Eye contact is very stimulating for babies and this may backtrack any progress that has been made. Here are some things you do want to do during check ins:

  • Gentle pats. It’s okay to gently pat your baby’s back or belly for no more than a minute or two. This is often relaxing and helps baby wind down. 
  • Hum. We know it’s hard to not break out into song. Go ahead and hum a gentle tune instead. A classic “shhh” works well, too. 
  • Be close. You can sit down next to your baby’s crib or stand over it, but use that minute or two to be close to your baby so they feel the comfort of your presence. Not only can they feel your presence, but babies have an extraordinary sense of smell. The sweet scent of mom or dad can be super relaxing for your baby. 
  • It is important to note that if your baby has been crying during an interval while laying on their back, it’s possible they have swallowed air and may need a burp. In this case, it’s okay to pick your baby up and burp them. 

    When should you check in with your baby during sleep training? 

    Remember to begin your interval timer only when your baby begins crying. If they’re only stirring slightly, this may be part of their self soothing process and starting your timer isn’t needed just yet. Once your baby has begun to cry, you’ll want to set a timer for however long you’ve decided your intervals will be. Whether you increase the length of time each interval, or by a set amount each day - is up to you. 

    How often should you check your baby during sleep training?

    Ensuring your baby’s safety is important. Video monitors are recommended for any sleep training  method in which you are physically leaving your baby’s presence. This way, you can check on them as often as you’d like without interfering with their self soothing. 

    What is the 5-10-15 method for baby sleep training?

    A commonly followed interval pattern is the 5, 10, 15 method. In this routine, you’d start your first interval at 5 minutes and each timed check is extended by an additional 5 minutes. Once you’ve reached 15 minutes between each check, continue at that interval for any remaining periods if necessary. 

    It’s important to remember that the frequency of check-ins can be tailored to your baby based on their age and temperament. There is no right or wrong when it comes to sleep training, only whatever works

    You can count on Dreamland Baby to help in your baby’s independent sleep journey. Our gently weighted swaddles, transition swaddles and sleep sacks feature exclusive CoverCalm® technology that evenly distributes weight from your baby’s shoulders to their toes - naturally reducing stress and increasing relaxation.

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