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Having and raising babies can be easy if you learn to positively condition them to not control you, and you set forth the boundaries. Babies sleep 16 to 17 hours a day, but most do not sleep for more than two hours at a time. This means that if you would like to keep yourself sane and maintain your relationship with your spouse or significant other and family members then you will have to teach your baby a few tricks to get them to allow your sanity while still creating a loving bond. Below I describe three easy tips to positively conditioning your bundle of joy.
1. Condition Your Baby To Sleep Through Noises
One of the best ways to get your baby to sleep anywhere and get sound sleep is to have them sleep in an environment that is noisy so they do not wake up at the drop of a pin. If your baby wakes up at every little sound, you will never get any rest and neither will your little one. I recommend putting your baby in a papoose at first then run the vacuum (loudest appliance) so you can baby step them into the noise conditioning. You will hold them close for comfort to the loud noise in case they feel scared and then also talk on the phone with them right next to you. This conditioning only needs to last a few days until they get used to the loud noises with your close comfort. After 4-5 days or even up to a week try laying your baby in their crib or co-sleeper and run the vacuum and talk on the phone. This will also be helpful for your older children when you decide to throw a holiday party and your children go to bed earlier then when the party ends.
2. Crying Conditioning — Don’t Pick Up Your Baby Every Time They Cry
Babies are brilliant and you have to outsmart them with learning ways of conditioning their cry responses. When a baby wants to be held it will cry and when a baby cries it knows it will be held. If you want your baby to sleep for longer periods of time then feed them until their stomachs are full and lay them down and let them cry until they sleep. Over a short period of time they will eventually sleep on their own and learn ways to soothe themselves into good sleep habits. One way I found super helpful for my children was to allow them to use me as a pacifier and sleep soundly for extended periods of time. I created the most loving bonds with my babies by not allowing them to cry much at all because I held them all the time. For most people, this type of conditioning becomes too tiresome and they don’t have the time to spend holding their babies at every little cry. Do what method works for you and your baby.
3. Conditioning Your Baby To Be On A Schedule
Babies learn quickly of what to expect when they are on a schedule. For instance, you put them to bed every night at the same time and they wake up at the same times each night throughout the night. When your baby wakes up you feed them, give them a bath and play with them before sleep again. It is a good condition to teach your baby because you have a life to maintain and a household to keep up with or a career to go back to and babies are much happier when they are on good schedules and so are you.
The best way to keep your family happy is to make their life as simple as it can be and it all starts in infancy. From the few steps above you can see how easy it is to classically condition (Ivan Pavlov pioneered the study of classical conditioning) your babies to do what you want them to do that will benefit your whole family. I encourage you to not wait to begin the conditioning because the longer you wait the harder it is to conditioner babies. I believe in you and your parenting skills!