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Helping babies and toddlers develop good sleep habits

Sarah Branion shares tips from her website, "Through the Night Method."

Schedules and routines have changed dramatically for many people during the coronavirus pandemic, but getting enough sleep is essential for staying healthy and dealing with stress. That's true for adults, but also your children.

Baby and toddler sleep strategist Sarah Branion says there are ways to start or preserve good sleep habits for babies and toddlers, even now.

"The two things parents can do today to improve their child’s sleep is have them on a set daily schedule and help them learn to fall asleep at the beginning of the night independently," Branion said.

Branion has been helping families reclaim their dream of parenthood since 2014, and runs a website called Through the Night Method which helps parents with sleep strategies. 

She suggests setting a sleep schedule is especially important for babies 3 months of age and older.

"There are evidence-based, developmentally normal ranges for all matters of sleep," Branion said. "I have created an easy Baby Sleep Cheatsheet that they can use to see if what their child is experiencing is within normal ranges for their age or not."

Branion also suggests that the "crying it out" method isn't necessary for sleep training.

"Teaching your child to sleep through the night can be done gently, over about two weeks, with whole-hearted, empathetic, science-backed strategies," Branion said. "Be easy on yourselves and your children.  There are so many changes and a lot of stress right now. Play, connection and a simple sleep routine can be an anchor for your family at this time."

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