Many parents worry about whether they should sleep train their child or baby. Whether it is the right decision to make. I’m here to cover some of the most common sleep training questions I hear from parents that contact me. So that you too, can feel comfortable in making a decision to address any sleep challenges you are dealing with.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to sleep train.
I see lots of articles, Facebook posts and comments and opinions shared from mom to mom that it is wrong to want to sleep train. Parents can feel like it is selfish or harmful to make the decision to address the sleep challenges they are experiencing. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t. Teaching self-soothing skills is good for your little one. A child or baby that is waking up many times a night for help or taking short naps is not getting the sleep their little body needs. Improving their sleep will help them get the sleep they need to learn, grow and thrive. Not only that, but when sleep deprived parents improve their child or baby’s sleep they then get the sleep they so desperately need. It is hard to be the parent you want to be when you are exhausted or function well at work. Sleep is so very essential.
And sleep training will not harm them. Your baby (or child) knows how much you love them because of all the love and attention you show them throughout the day. Some nights of upset will not change that. sleep training questions
Sleeping through the night doesn’t mean zero wakings.
Adults, children and babies all wake at night. As adults, we wake and adjust our pillow, pull up a blanket or roll over. Babies though will wake up and cry. This doesn’t always mean they need help to return back to sleep. Sometimes a short cry is just a burst of noise before they return back to sleep. sleep training questions
Babies, or children, that don’t have self-soothing skills can wake up more at night and signal their parents for help getting back to sleep, instead of just re-positioning and getting back to sleep on their own. If this is happening, you might need to work on teaching self-soothing skills by yourself or you might want a sleep consultant to help.
Sleep training doesn’t have to mean giving up night feedings.
A baby over 4 months old is considered developmentally ready to start sleep training if parents are experiencing sleep challenges. Not all babies this age, however, are developmentally ready to go 12 hours without feeding overnight. 2 night feedings are still considered perfectly normal. On average, most babies will be able to sleep without a night feeding somewhere between 6 to 9 months. Though this doesn’t mean your baby won’t be earlier.
Once a parent is ready to start sleep training it is important to consult with their pediatrician to determine how many night feedings are appropriate for their baby and whether their baby can go a full night without feeding. If a parent is not ready to completely night wean or the pediatrician has advised keeping a feeding or two, a sleep training plan can be developed that keeps them in place. This will not disrupt teaching a baby self-soothing skills. Many babies I have worked with have kept at least 1 night feeding and still had amazing progress. sleep training questions
Sleep training doesn’t mean crying all night.
It is not unusual for a baby to protest, through crying, during sleep training. This can happen no matter whether you use a gentle sleep training method or a more direct one (like CIO). Babies will protest because they are used to their previous way of falling asleep. The thing parents need to remember is they can choose a sleep training method that provides their baby support during this process. There are many different sleep training methods to suit a family’s unique needs and comfort levels when it comes to crying. A good sleep consultant will not push a particular sleep training method but instead work with a family to chose the right method for them and their little one.
If your baby is crying overnight, and you feel like it isn’t improving as the nights progress, it could be that there is something missing. It could be in the application o the sleep training method, the sleep environment or sleep schedule. It may be time to hop on a sleep strategy session so we can work out what piece of the puzzle is missing and help you reach sleep training success. sleep training questions
It is never to late to make sleep changes.
Although it can often be easier to make sleep changes when a baby is younger, it doesn’t mean that you can’t decide at any age to make some improvements in your child or baby’s sleep. I have worked with many toddlers, as an example, and have had amazing success. Sleep is such an important part of our lives, so if you feel your baby or toddler isn’t getting the sleep they need, and you as well by association, definitely work on fixing it! sleep training questions
If parents have the right tools, they can have sleep success no matter their little one’s age. The main thing to note is that as a sleep consultant, we tend to address baby sleep challenges differently than we do toddler ones. For toddlers aged 2 and up it is incredibly important to get them invested in the process. As you know, toddlers have a mind of their own. If we get toddlers on board, then sleep improvements happen so much quicker! sleep training questions
If you decide to take the plunge to address your little one’s sleep challenges, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I offer packages to suit all needs and budgets, including my group sleep training program called the Sleep Club (for ages 6-12 months). sleep training questions