What should you do when your baby starts to cry? Simply let them cry it out, or nurse them until they fall back to sleep? This has been an ongoing debate for decades, yet, but is there a correct strategy as to how to go about the bedtime routine?
Gina Ford argues that new parents should follow a strict routine to get their babies to sleep. She suggests that there are nine different routines to follow, that match your baby’s rhythms, which could prevent tears when they are hungry or tired.
Ford added that your baby should be woken at approximately 7am to be fed – which should always take place in the nursery and in no other room of the home. Feeding should occur every four hours, with the last feed taking place at around 6.15pm. Ford states that during feeds, no eye contact should be given to prevent exciting them before sleep; nor should too much affection be shown – only when the baby needs it. She also claims that babies can become exhausted if there is too much interaction, as they need to keep up their energy levels during the growing stage.
It can be difficult to reach your baby each time they cry, but Ford recommends that leaving the baby to cry would be a good idea for around 1 hour per day. She states that doing so should train your little one to sleep through the night in around an 8-10 weeks period. This method is also put in place, so parents have some structure back into their day; knowing the exact time feed and naps are set to occur.
Within this routine, Ford states that babies should be put to sleep in their own bedroom as soon as possible, which is both dark and quiet for optimum relaxation. She also adds that just one parent should be doing the bedroom routine and once a baby is put down to sleep, they should stay there for the duration of the night, rather than alternating between a pram and their cot for example.