Starting Sleep Training
You must start teaching your baby to sleep as soon as he comes home from the hospital, except that there is no way to teach a baby how to sleep before 8 weeks, 4 months, or 6 months. Learning good sleep habits starts as early as possible and there is definitely no way to spoil a baby, except for when you’re spoiling your baby by responding to him at every noise. Never pick the baby up until you have paused the baby so he learns how to soothe himself back to sleep, except when you should pick the baby up immediately because something is definitely wrong and he can’t learn how to soothe himself back to sleep yet.
Day/night confusion doesn’t exist, so you shouldn’t worry about it until your baby confuses daytime and nighttime. Make sure to wake your baby up if he’s sleeping too long during the day so he learns the difference between daytime and nighttime, but never wake a sleeping baby up because it will only frustrate you both and won’t actually help him figure out the difference between daytime and nighttime. The baby will eventually figure out the difference between day and night on his own, but definitely do help him figure out the difference by keeping the rooms bright during the day and making sure to put the baby in a very dark place for naps.
Remember that no baby has ever needed to nurse himself to sleep in his college dorm room so don’t worry about nursing your baby to sleep, but be aware that if you nurse your baby to sleep now they will become overindulged babies, children, adolescents and adults who can never truly sleep well. However, nursing your baby to sleep is natural and shouldn’t be ignored and if you don’t nurse the baby to sleep he will become afraid of abandonment his whole life and will never trust, love, or feel like anything is actually ever right in his life.
Never change a baby in the night unless he has a poopy diaper, but definitely change him whenever he’s upset so that way you’re setting yourself up for successful potty training later. Don’t buy overnight diapers because they lead to diaper rash; but definitely buy the overnight diapers so that way the baby will be able to stay asleep even if he has a wet diaper in the night. Only ever use cloth diapers at night. Only ever use disposable diapers at night. A wipes heater is a waste of money, but it’s the only thing that will help keep your baby semi-sleeping while you change him. Never talk to the baby when you’re changing him in the night so he knows that it’s not a time for play, but definitely talk and soothe him so he’s not confused and scared during the changing time.
Put your baby to bed as early as humanly possible, but be sure to keep them up late enough so they can sleep until you want them to sleep in their crib to avoid a too early wakeup. Don’t keep them awake in the evenings, but listen to their cues if they’re tired and let them sleep whenever they’re exhausted no matter what time of day it is.
Never keep the baby in an artificially and abnormally quiet place to sleep, but make sure the room is noiseless and pitch black every time the baby is sleeping so he can learn to sleep. Definitely don’t use a noise machine or lullaby player, but those contraptions certainly help with routine and can be a trigger to help the baby sleep.
Putting the baby in the crib
You should definitely have the baby sleep in the crib from the first day home from the hospital, from 2 weeks on, from 8 weeks on, and from 6 months on, but never sooner. Putting a baby in the crib is cruel and he feels abandoned, but don’t worry about putting your baby in the crib because it is a good habit early that you will never have to break later. Never cosleep with your baby because it fosters too much dependence, but cosleeping allows for unparalleled bonding with your child and babies will eventually sleep in their own bed when they’re ready. Never have your baby in your room because that is your space and place except for the first two weeks, month, or 12 weeks when the baby is in the bassinet next to your bed.
Be sure to put the baby in the crib while he’s still drowsy but awake so he learns how to fall asleep on his own. Never rock him to sleep, but definitely be sure to rock him to sleep so he feels secure and loved. If the baby falls asleep in your arms don’t worry about waking him up to fall asleep, but definitely wake him up before you put him down so he can put himself to sleep.
Your baby will never sleep well during the night unless he naps during the day, but don’t worry about naps; they will fall into place once the nighttime sleep comes together. Only allow the baby to nap in the crib. Only allow the baby to nap while not moving; it doesn’t matter where the baby sleeps during naps. Never allow the baby to be put to sleep by a stroller, swing, vibrating chair, or car, but you can definitely use a stroller, swing, vibrating chair, or car to get the baby to sleep if that’s what works. A nap only counts if it is taken while stationary. A nap is a nap, no matter where and how the baby gets to sleep. Be sure to only have the baby nap in a dark, quiet room, but be sure to keep the baby napping in brightness without making it too quiet in the house so he doesn’t confuse day and night.
You should absolutely swaddle your baby to help him feel like he’s back in the womb, but swaddling your baby might kill him, so definitely don’t do that. Swaddle the baby with his arms out in case he rolls over and needs to reposition. Swaddle the baby with his arms in so he feels more secure and wrapped up, like he was in the womb. Only use a specific swaddle blanket in case it comes undone. Don’t bother with the specially made swaddle blankets and use blankets like they do in the hospital. Never swaddle the baby because he already does know that he’s no longer in the womb since that’s the point of birth and existence. If your baby hates being swaddled swaddle him anyway. If your baby hates being swaddled never swaddle him.
A bath is the only thing that will help start your bedtime routine correctly, so make sure to start every bedtime routine with a bath. Only bathe the baby every few days so he doesn’t get dry skin. Babies don’t get dirty so you just need to use warm water. Babies get dirty, so definitely use baby soap.
Crying it out
Never, ever, ever let the baby cry it out because it’s cruel and ineffective, and crying it out is the only thing that actually finally works. Your baby can learn to fall asleep without crying, but will never learn to fall asleep without some amount of fussiness because crying is his only form of expression and learning new things like sleeping on his own is difficult. Your baby can self soothe in some way at birth, at 2 weeks, at 8 weeks, at 4 months, at 6 months, but never sooner. The baby can’t learn anything if he’s crying after 5 minutes, but make sure to give him up to 15 minutes to see if he’ll fall asleep on his own. Never go in to soothe the baby during your cry it out training, but go in to soothe at set intervals to make sure he knows you’re still there. Offer the baby a pacifier and make quieting noises only and never pick the baby up, but don’t go in at all and definitely go pick the baby up if he’s upset.
When people ask you about how you’re sleeping
Do not tell them truth because caring friends and relatives might worry about you when you start sobbing uncontrollably, but definitely make sure to have some people with whom you can confide how exhausted you are. Smile politely and say in an unnaturally high-pitched voice, “we’re working on it!” while on the inside think, “my soul is being crushed in the middle of the night by a 12-pound miniature human being,” but don’t actually think that because that makes you an ungrateful person and because it’s not actually true.
Sleep problems will eventually all sort themselves out, except for the ones that never sort themselves out without intervention, which is all of them.