Step-by-step method to help your 1-year-old baby sleep through
When it comes to sleep training, the options are endless – and confusing. Here we take a look at one gentle method and break it down to make it easier for you and your partner.
Initially, your baby won't sleep through the night. But eventually that will take quite the toll on you. Here's how you can slowly rid both you and baby of those sleepless nights. (iStock)

The key to getting a child over one year to sleep well and through the night is to teach her how to self-soothe back to sleep when she wakes up.

Doing so takes lots of patience, as you have to basically change her associations with sleep. For example, she may be used to feeding just before bedtime, or she may be used to getting rocked to sleep. Here’s how you can get your baby to fall asleep – and stay asleep – on her own:

1. Get her to sleep without feeding

If your baby is used to being put to sleep with a feed or by rocking, your goal is to get her to go down without these props. This means putting her to bed while she's still awake so that she learns to fall asleep by herself.

2. Change your feeding habit

The easiest way to break the association with feeding and sleep is to feed baby in another room, like the living room, before bed.

3. Get dad to help

Once she's fed and feeling full, dad can help you out by putting her to bed to further break any sleep associations she has. Dad can still rock her to sleep at this stage to help her get to sleep.

4. Stop the rocking

The next stage is to break the association between rocking and sleeping. To start doing this you can rock your baby until she's drowsy but not yet asleep and put her in her bed in this state. Gradually cut down the amount of time spent rocking until you no longer need to do it at all.

5. Keep things calm

Once you've reached this stage, it's time to tackle those night-time wakings. When your baby wakes up during the night, do not pick her up to soothe her, simply rub her back gently and make very soft comforting sounds. Don't put on a bright light either as this will really wake her up. She'll eventually learn to soothe herself back to sleep. 

When and how did you get your little one to sleep through the night? Share your tips with us by commenting below or emailing

Read more:

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox.

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.

Jobs - Find your dream job

Financial Manager

Cape Town
Finovate People
R40 000.00 - R50 000.00 Per Month

Admin Officer - Montague Gardens

Finovate People
R8 500.00 Per Month

Branch Manager (Insurance)

National Risk Managers ( Affinity Health)
R10 000.00 - R50 000.00 Per Month

Property - Find a new home