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Secrets to sleep training success explained

From routines to what should be in your child's bed, what you may not know

HOUSTON – It's the obsession of parents with newborns - how to get your baby to sleep so you can rest!

“I was just always so tired and I thought to myself ‘oh my gosh when is this going to end? When am I going to be able to function again?’” KPRC anchor/reporter Sofia Ojeda said. “I was so worried about that but you know the early days, the first couple months are the hardest!”

Ojeda has her two-month-old in the master bedroom for the “no tears approach” to sleeping. That means she comforts and feeds the baby each time she cries. As her second child, she says this is her preferred method.

“She's going to be in our room with us probably for a year.”

By four-months-old, some experts encourage eliminating night-time feedings to teach babies to fall and stay asleep.

“After about six months, if they're crying but they don't seem hungry but they just want you around, they want to know that you're there, you're fine to go in the room and let them know that you’re there but don't pick them up and play with them,” Dr. Donald Schaffer, Texas Woman’s Hospital pediatrician, said. This is often referred to as the “cry-it-out” method.

Moms like Suzie Gaiser prefer the cry-it-out method.

"I had the monitor with the volume turned down and I just sat there and watched him cry,” Gaiser said.

It wasn't easy, but by day four her son, Greyson, was sleeping like a baby.

However, experts like Tracy Lehman from the Nick Finnegan Counseling Center says there’s no definite rules on sleep training.

“Really I think whatever fits into your life because really the worst thing for baby is probably witnessing the conflict and the stress that you and your spouse are dealing with or for you to just not be able to manage your patience or your own frustrations because you're at your limits trying to do everything the research says instead of what works for you,” Lehman said.

Ojeda said that’s why she plans to pursue the method that keeps both of them as well rested as possible.

“Some friends of mine will say you have to do it, you just have to do it, the first night is hard just let her cry it out and then she'll be sleeping in her crib every night after that and we found that it didn't necessarily work that way and some kids are really strong, some kids will cry for like half an hour to 45 minutes and I’m not a fan of it,” Ojeda said.

Experts say consistency is the key to getting kids to sleep. First, pick a consistent bedtime. Between 7 and 8 p.m. is recommended. Then, follow a consistent daytime schedule.

Pediatric sleep experts say, by four or five-months-old, babies should be sleeping 12 hours a night.