If sleep is a struggle in your home and the idea of sleep training has peaked your interest, here are
4 reasons to tell if sleep training is for you.
You consider your child’s sleep a problem. With this I mean that you are unhappy with the current sleep arrangement. Whatever it may be. I will never tell you to change something that is working for you. You can read countless articles on what constitutes a ‘good sleep habit’ but if rocking or feeding your baby to sleep is working for your family, great! However, if what is happening is not working, that’s ok. It just means, it’s time for a change.
It’s the appropriate time. Is your child over 4 months, ideally 6+ months? A baby of this age is able to grasp self-soothing more easily, their sleep is more organized and can more simply take to the training, and the requirement for night feeds have decreased. It’s important to also note the corrected age if a preemie, and to take weight into account if decreasing the number of feeds. Check with your doctor first that developmentally your baby is ready.
Independent sleep seems to be the issue. The way our children fall asleep is the only way (at the time) they know how to fall asleep. So, if they are always rocked to sleep or fed to sleep, this is the sleep environment they understand. These are called a sleep props - objects or actions/behaviours that are needed to fall asleep. Learning to fall asleep in the absence of a sleep association, in a new comforting environment, establishes independent sleep - if practiced, it will be the new way your child understands how to fall asleep. Sleep training is a great way to help break sleep prop patterns and support your child falling asleep and getting back to sleep on their own.
Sleep training is a comfortable option for you. You have looked into the methods and feel that it’s the right parenting choice for your family. Sleep training does not inherently mean Cry-it-out (which is called Extinction, and is a method that some feel comfortable with). Sleep training (beyond just the methods) can be many things, from working through sleep routines and schedules, making changes to sleep habits and environment, implementing a strategy around sleep with a focus on consistency and behaviour, and deciding on a more gradual or hands-on approach to your baby/child sleeping on their own through the night. Reach out if you would like to discuss how I work with families. There is a ton of data to support sleep training in regards to efficacy and safety.
Essentially the decision is yours. I hope this helps you make the choice that is right for you and your family.
If you find yourself struggling with your little ones sleep and you not only want it solved (I can definitely do that for you), but you want to adopt a clear schedule that works AND you want to understand how to make better decisions around sleep once your child is sleeping well, we must chat! Book a free 15-minute sleep assessment call to share where you are at with sleep and see how I can help you achieve the above.