It’s the middle of the day, and you’re already yawning. Your eyes burn from the lack of sleep because your little one decided last night’s sleep was not in the cards (and the night before and the night before that). Maybe it’s time to start thinking about sleep training, but you have so many questions, right???? Here are some of the most common that parents may ask before embarking on sleep training. The word training sounds hard, doesn't it? Try to think of it, more as; you supporting your child as they learn how to sleep better.
What is a Sleep Training Method?
Sleep training refers to supporting your infant in learning how to fall asleep on their own. As a parent, it's not your job to put them to sleep - it's your job to create a safe sleep conducive environment. If you are a first-time parent, it may be difficult to envision your baby ever doing that, but babies have to learn how to sleep independently - this means, going into their crib awake and putting themselves to sleep. This is essentially what sleep training does, you are the teacher, offering guidance and support during the sleep training process.
How do I mentally prepare for sleep training?
Sleep training takes mental and emotional preparation for the parents, and for the baby, you need a safe sleep environment. Make note of your concerns and make a checklist so you can cross them off before heading into the process, here are a few tips that may make you feel better before you embark on this process.
Get confirmation from your pediatrician first
Before you begin sleep training, speak with your Doctor or Pediatrician about any other issues you may be having that is worrying you. It's hard to make changes if you have other variables such as reflux, feeding issues, pooping issues or GI issues.
Get a confirmation that any medications your baby is on, are not affecting their sleep, including over-the-counter medications if you offer them.
Create an evening routine
Creating a routine can definitely help your baby to get used to a pattern when it’s time for bed. But don’t get stuck on a set bedtime; this is a common misconception - your babies' bedtime will be like a moving goalpost in the beginning, remember that your baby can not tell the time; your baby can however get used to the flow of our routine and start to understand that after a bath, they get clean pj’s on, have a feeding and then go to bed.
Create a feeding and sleeping schedule
It can be really overwhelming to figure out a sleeping and feeding routine that works for you - if you would like some ideas by age, you can download the routine guide; this shows you the most ideal nap and feeding placement from the age of 4 months to the age of 3.
Sleep Training Methods
The best method for your family is the one that you can stick to, however, no sleep training method will work if you do not identify the root cause of your issue - you can see more about sleep associations here: link to other blog posts on motion and sucking associations.
Why Dawn Whittaker's Sleeping Training Method is right for your baby
Dawn has over 25 years of experience in the childcare industry and has a wide range of experience in all child-rearing-related issues - ranging from ages 0 to 5. She also has her own personal experience with her three wonderful children! Book a consultation with her today to start you and your baby’s sleep training journey!