Am I ready to sleep train my child?

Make sure you have read Part 1 of this post to make sure your child is ready for sleep training.

So many of you reading this are probably thinking “Of course I am!!!” but I did want to go over a couple things that I think are important to think about before sleep training.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

It will probably get worse before it gets better

I know, you want sleep now and this is not something you necessarily want to hear.  But here it is – if you start sleep training, you may get less sleep in the beginning that you are getting now!  If you currently nurse, bottle feed, or rock your child back to sleep in the middle of the night, you will stop doing that.  It was a pain to get up, but it may have been relatively quick to get your child back to sleep.  If we stop using those crutches, we have to be there to help your child figure out how to fall back asleep and this may take you and your child being awake for longer intervals in the middle of the night.

Are you ready to give up that special time in the middle of the night?

Sometimes those quiet times in the middle of the night while rocking your child can be special.  I know they are not all special, but there are some times when you may look down at your child peacefully eating while everyone else is asleep and actually enjoy it!  Of course you can add in special bonding time during the day to replace these times.

Are you ready to be consistent?

In 2006 the New York Times did an article comparing different sleep methods.  Their conclusion was: “After years of colicky debate over which method is best for getting babies to fall asleep by themselves, experts have a soothing new message: just about all the techniques work, so pick one you are comfortable with and stick with it.”  http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/12/health/12sleep.html?_r=0.  Chances are that your child will cry and you need to be prepared to stay consistent even if they are crying.  If you start a program and then stop in the middle, you will end up confusing your child and making harder on them (and you) next time you try.

Have you chosen a method you feel comfortable with?

Going along with being consistent is choosing a sleep training method you feel comfortable with.  If you are not comfortable with the particular method, you will be less likely to follow through with it.  There are many different methods out there.  If you need help choosing one, a sleep coach may be perfect for you!

So, are you ready?  Is your child ready?  Good luck if you decide to begin!

 

by Michelle Winters
SleepWell Sleep Solutions

9 Thoughts on “Am I ready to sleep train my child?

  1. I read this post by alternative mama she lists 8 reasons why not to sleep train, I think she s confusing sleep training with CIO though, but reading it did break my heart. here it is: http://www.alternative-mama.com/8-reasons-to-avoid-sleep-training-your-baby

    • I agree Starla, I think she is assuming all sleep training is CIO. Although she interestingly has ads placed through the article for a sleep training consultant who has a one size fits all approach, which seems to contradict a lot of what she is saying in her article. I usually start working with the most gentlest approaches, sometimes just changing timing and some other things can help sleep immensely without even doing any sort of “training”.

  2. This is great! 🙂 Thank you so much!

  3. Wow, incredible blog structure! How long have you ever been blogging for? you made running a blog glance easy. The total look of your site is wonderful, let alone the content material!

  4. This is very good advice. Thanks, Michelle. Some of my family mediation clients may benefit from this.

    • sleepwell on August 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm said:

      Thanks Virginia, I’d love it if you’d share it with anyone you think could benefit. Maybe I’ll do a post about sleeping in two different homes.

  5. Recently the issue of sleep training came up on an e-group I belong to on a night when Oliver was having a particularly difficult time falling asleep. I took my book to his room and climbed into his bed, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the e-group discussion about sleep training. I decided to tell him about it. I explained about how babies slept differently to adults and children because of their need to be fed often, and then explained that there was this thing called sleep training where you leave the baby in the cot and don’t go back to it, even if it cries. His head flicked up from my shoulder where it was resting and he was clearly shocked.

  6. I wish they had those message techniques when my babies were little. I remember lightly brushing my finger across my youngest’s forehead and down the bridge of her nose. I think it used to relax her and helped her to stop crying and fall asleep.

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