How to teach a child to fall asleep independently

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 07.06.2019

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Very often, parents do not know how to teach a child to fall asleep on their own. Attempts to rectify the situation end in stress for the child and parents. In the end, they give up... But! If the parents knew that the ability to sleep and sleep a baby in the interval from 5-6 months to 2-3 years depends on his ability to get enough sleep and relieve stress throughout life... So, a few simple but effective tips about how to teach your baby to fall asleep himself.


At what age is it necessary to teach a child to fall asleep by himself?

Starting to relocate the child in your own bed from the parent can be from six months to 2-3 years. It is precisely in six months that the number of feedings is reduced, at night the child no longer needs to get up in order to suck on the breast, and the mother can fall asleep earlier. Therefore, you can begin to shift the child in his bed and teach them to fall asleep on their own.

The easier and more painless this procedure takes, the calmer and stronger the nerves of the baby will be. This will affect his whole future life.

Important Tips for Laying the Baby

The most important thing in the ritual of laying is that all actions of the parents begin and end at the same time every day. This disciplines the child, teaches his body to the same mode.

And even more important advice: putting the child down should be accompanied by pleasant rituals for him. For example, warming the bed, massage, bathing, playing with your favorite toy, reading your favorite fairy tale, putting on your favorite pajamas, turning on your favorite night lamp. Putting the baby in his bed should not be accompanied by stress, negative emotions. Otherwise, in the subconscious, the child will associate all his life with a dream with something unpleasant, restless, unprotected.

It is necessary to put the child to sleep no longer than 10 minutes. A longer process is difficult to read. Ideally, the light should be turned off, but if the child is afraid to sleep in complete darkness, leave him a nightlight.


Technique laying baby

You thought that as soon as you left the child’s room, he would calmly fall asleep? No matter how wrong! In 90% of cases, the child will cry, will begin to call Mom and Dad, can throw a tantrum, beat and kick the bed and choke on sobs. What kind of stone heart will it endure? Therefore, parents often wait about 10 minutes, do not stand up and rush to their baby. This is a key moment in the struggle of the child for his own comfort. The kid immediately realizes that the manipulation was a success and he won, and not the parents. Now he will use this simple technique all the time, rather than failing all parents' attempts to put him in a separate bed. What to do?

Apply the stopwatch method. He will help you and the child gently but effectively to teach him to sleep without parents. Look at the clock and note three minutes from the moment you leave the room. If during this period the child does not calm down, go to his room, but do not take the baby in your arms and do not take it away from the bed. Just talk to the baby, say that everything is fine, wipe him of tears, turn on his right side and wish good night. Then log out. Now you need to endure 4 minutes.

If the baby has not calmed down - repeat the previous method: go into the room, calm the baby and exit. So each of your arrival lengthen for 1 minute. When you calm the baby, your voice should be quiet, soft, gentle, and most importantly - calm. So the child understands that all is well, and mom and dad are near.

How many days will take the process of laying the baby?

Yes, the first or second day will be difficult for parents, the process of laying can take up to two hours. But who said that raising children is easy? But then the child will fall asleep himself. And parents will not have to suffer with him for months or even years to be alone in their own bedroom.

Statistics show that on the first day, up to 12 sets of children with a final break of 15 minutes can be spent on laying the baby. But the main thing is not to deviate from the methodology, and the parents will succeed. The most important - the first day. If on this day the parents do not stand up and take the baby to themselves, further laying up can take several months, because the child will understand that he is stronger than mom and dad.

The second day of laying the baby will also be difficult. But now you have to make the first break longer - start your return to the children's bedroom not from three, but from five minutes. Then add to each break not for the first, but for 2 minutes. The child will understand that your actions are orderly and rigorous, and your will is strong.

On the third day, it will be easier, and you can start your break from 7 minutes, adding to them not 2 but 4-5 minutes each (be guided by the reaction of your baby).

If the child is still not falling asleep on his own, on the seventh day you take an even longer break - from 15 minutes, adding 5 minutes to each of your arrivals. This eventually gives its fruits: with a systematic everyday approach of the parents, after a week the children fall asleep on their own after 2 approaches.

Yes, a week both parents and children will not have to sleep normally, especially starting from 21-22.00. But patience and constancy will still be rewarded: a week of nightly torment will pay off for long months and years of quiet independent sleep of the child and the freedom of parents, and you will finally forget about this question: "How to teach a child to fall asleep by himself?".

If a child wakes up and cries at night or your efforts to pack him are not crowned with success for more than a week, show the child to the doctor. Perhaps the reasons for his night crying are not loneliness and anxiety due to insecurity, but serious health problems. Understand these reasons, and let your baby sleep well.


It is important to know!

On average, a person spends a third of his life in a dream. Sleep (or, at least, the alternation of periods of activity and rest) is an integral mechanism of physiological adaptation in all living beings. This confirms the theory that sleep performs important functions to maintain life activity at the optimal level. Read more..

You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.