During the early days of life with a newborn, you're focused on what's best for the baby, so sleepless nights seem like a small price to pay. Until about week six, that is, when waking up every few hours starts to wear you down. By 3 months, you're pretending to be asleep, hoping that your partner will get up first and fetch a bottle. You can't remember what it feels like not to be tired.

The good news is that most babies do begin to sleep through the night between 3 and 4 months of age if you let them. Here's a plan to try with your baby.

Day 1
Babies tend to get their days and nights mixed up - especially if they sleep a lot during the day. Luckily it's easy to fix this. Get your baby in touch with its natural circadian rhythms. Place their cot by the window and don't pull the blinds / curtains down in order to try and teach them to wake with the light. At night time, begin the relaxation / wind-down time at the same time every night: dress your little one in their PJs, maybe read them a bedtime story so they come to associate the soothing sound of your voice with sleep.

Day 2
Make sure you rise at the same time every morning with your baby. If your child still requires nighttime feedings, that can be a good time to accentuate the difference between day and night. Keep night feedings very relaxing, with the lights low. Do everything you can to avoid stimulating your baby. During the day, make feedings a time of high activity, when you tickle her feet or sing songs, so she begins to perceive the difference. Pay attention to what soothes your baby - try a warm bath or maybe some soothing music. However, be mindful that what works for one baby may not work for another so keep trying different things until you eventually find the thing that relaxes your baby.

Day 3
Place your baby in the crib while he / she is still awake. Your baby will cry - probably a lot. However, it will be tougher on you than on your baby. Parents naturally find crying agonizing to listen to, but just keep reminding yourself that the end result - sleep! - will be good for the whole family. Get over the worry that ignoring your baby while he cries will do psychological harm. If you've been meeting his every need in other ways, this situation certainly won't lessen his sense of security.

Babies older than 5 or 6 months are naturally going to be more upset because you've changed the rules. However, A 3-month-old, on the other hand, knows only the routine that you create so you should find that they take to this new routine more easily.

Day 4
Tough it out: Your baby will remember a little sooner that crying doesn't produce results. When she protests, lengthen your response time to every ten minutes. And whatever happens, don't give in and be consistent so that your little one learns to associate your response with their own behaviour.

Day 5
Most babies adjust to the new sleep routine in 3-5 days. If your baby isn't quite adapting - lengthen your response time to 15 minutes. You'll soon learn that some babies genuinelly need the reassurance that you will come and check on them while others might find the process a tease.

Cuddle your baby but don't sing to her, keep the lights out even during nappy changes, and settle her in the crib as soon as she's done. Babies (especially heavier babies) don't always wake because they are hungry so pay attention to when they were fed last. Bigger babies tend to wake up more often because they may be overfed, which makes their nappy changes more frequent.

Day 6
Your baby should begin to be self-settling more by this stage. If you can resist the urge to rush in to check on them. Instead if you need reassurance, just peek through the doorway instead.

Day 7
Congratulations! You and your baby should both be sleeping through more soundly than before. You've given them a huge gift - establishing good sleep patterns early on is just as important as other important life skills you can give them.

Have you tried any sleep training methods that have worked for you? Or maybe you tried something that didn't work for you? We'd love to hear about your experiences!