As a new parent, waking every few hours to tend to your newborn can become tiring. And you\u2019re probably wondering what tips and techniques you can employ to help your baby rest longer through the night.\n\u201cSleep training\u201d is the term often used to describe the ways parents ease their newborn into achieving a full night\u2019s sleep. It\u2019s not a linear process, but it provides a formula to help you know when 3 a.m. crying should be soothed, and when your baby is ready to do it his or herself.\nThere are a few methods associated with sleep training. Different approaches may work with different babies.\n\u201cIt\u2019s really a hot-button issue in pediatrics,\u201d said Patrick Tate, MD, a pediatrician at South Hills Pediatrics Associates of UPMC, of sleep training.\n\u201cBut there\u2019s really no right or wrong or long-term effects, no matter how you do it.\u201d\n\nPreparing for Sleep Training Babies\nDr. Tate said consistency is key when it comes to helping your child rest through the night. Parents should first establish a sound bedtime routine and ensure their child\u2019s crib meets recommended safety standards for babies:\n\n\n\nParents should not co-sleep with a baby younger than 1-year-old. And while sleeping alongside your older children isn\u2019t as much of a safety risk, it makes the development of a regular sleep schedule all the more challenging.\nThey should ensure the baby\u2019s crib is outfitted with a tight, fitted sheet and free of toys, pillows, and loose blankets. Babies should be placed on their backs wearing pajamas that fit snuggly.\nFollow a bedroom routine that begins \u2014 and never ends \u2014 with a feeding. \u201cBegin by feeding, end with your bath time, your song, your cuddle, your kiss,\u201d Dr. Tate said. \u201cSo the baby is drowsy but not quite asleep as you lay them down.\u201d\n\n\n\nSleep-Training Methods\nMethod One: Self-Soothing\nWith this approach, you refrain from nighttime soothing and allow the infant to cry alone until he or she goes back to sleep.\nYou should not begin a \u201ccry-it-out\u201d method of sleep training until a baby is at least 4 months old and has already demonstrated the ability to sleep through the night.\n\u201cAnd I really wouldn\u2019t advise it until a baby is at least 6 months of age,\u201d Dr. Tate said.\nAfter a few days, you should notice your baby crying fewer times and for shorter lengths during the night. If you\u2019re concerned, talk to your pediatrician about an appropriate length of time your child can go without comfort. You should not allow your infant to cry indefinitely.\nMethod Two: Parental Soothing\nThis method is the opposite of self-soothing. It advocates a slower approach to nighttime independence. With Parental Soothing, you comfort the baby each time he or she cries, allowing your baby to adjust to a full night\u2019s sleep at their own pace.\nThis may not be a good method if you\u2019ve been regularly soothing your child up to this point and are becoming frustrated with a lack of progress.\nMethod Three: Adult Fading Method\nThis method is a blend of the two above \u2014 it involves slowly weaning your baby from the nighttime soothing he or she has become accustomed to. This can be done by slowly lessening your nighttime involvement over the course of a few weeks.\nSome people try soothing their infant with diminishing attention and touch each night, lengthening the span of time between crying and reassurance. Others sit by the crib while the infant is going to sleep \u2014 then move their spot farther away each night.\n\n\nExpert Tips and Tricks to Help with Sleep Training Your Baby\nWhen you\u2019re beginning a method, it\u2019s important to remember that progress will not always seem linear. Here are extra tips to streamline the process:\n\nIf any, all nighttime interactions should be soothing \u2014 dim the lights, speak in low voices, and keep stimulation low\nDistinguish between daytime and nighttime feedings by making daytime feeding playful and nighttime feeding calm\nRemember, crying always seems longer to a parent\u2014 fifteen to twenty minutes is the average time for an infant under 5 months of age\n\n \nYou don\u2019t have to follow a specific method if you find that your own approach is working better \u2014 you know your baby best. If you are struggling, talk to your pediatrician. They will be able to answer any concerns about the best method for you and your baby.\n\u201cThere is no one best practice,\u201d Dr. Tate said. \u201cBut knowing that they\u2019ll eventually get there is the bottom line.\u201d\nFind more information by speaking to the experts at Children\u2019s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. To make an appointment, call 412-692-PEDS (7337).