You are ready to sleep train, but the information out there can be overwhelming and discouraging. Sleep training doesn’t need to be so hard!
Often when we think of sleep training we think we need to choose the method and that’s the only thing we tend to focus on within our sleep plan. I look at the steps of sleep training as sleep tools within your sleep tool kit, and the method you choose is only one of the tools.
A consistent and safe sleep environment, regular sleep schedule, and proper bedtime routine should also be included in your sleep tool box, and while choosing the method is a small part in the overall sleep training process, if you are focused on getting your baby to sleep through the night and take longer naps here are some methods you need to know:
The most controversial method, this method may produce more short term tears; it is the one to choose for quick results. After his soothing bedtime routine you would place your baby in his crib awake and you would not go back into the room until your scheduled feed or the morning. Provided you are also focusing on the other sleep tools, your baby may respond better than you would imagine and I promise he will still love you in the morning.
Often confused with CIO this method is the middle of the road method. Following that same consistent bedtime routine, you would place your baby in his crib awake and leave the room. If baby starts crying you would enter the room through timed intervals to soothe and comfort. Each time the intervals get longer and every day the intervals get longer. The pro of this method, otherwise known as the Ferber Method, is that parents are able to reassure themselves by going in to check on their baby but they are also allowing him the opportunity to practice the skill of self-soothing on his own.
This is a gradual method where once you have placed your child in his crib awake, you would sit in a chair next to his crib until he falls asleep. If he wakes throughout the night you would sit back in the chair. The more gradual the method the longer it takes and every few days you would move the chair further out of the room until you are out completely, gradually fading out your presence.
If what you are doing with your family; co-sleeping, nursing to sleep, rocking to sleep, or bouncing on a ball to sleep, works for you then who am I to tell you to stop? It’s when you are doing these things and you and your family aren’t getting the sleep you need to function as a well-rested and happy unit, change needs to be made and you may need to switch to one of the above methods.
When trying to find the best method for your family you need to consider the following:
You need to sit down with one another and choose a method that you both agree on. You will need the support of one another at certain times throughout the process. There is a better chance of success if you are on the same page.
Patience everyone! Some kids can take longer than others. No plan is set in stone. It takes at least 18 days to change a habit so give yourself 3 weeks of working on things consistently before tweaking, if need be.
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