Do you feel like you are ready to start working on sleep but the phrase Sleep Training scares you?
I will talk in detail about what sleep training is and what you can expect from this process.
Sleep training is a way of teaching your baby to fall asleep independently (also knows as self-settling). it is a very valuable skill to have and your baby will need it in the future. Some babies naturally learn it on their own and do not require any assistance in order to fall asleep and stay asleep. While others might struggle with it a bit more, resulting in poor sleep habits.
Getting enough sleep is essential for baby's brain development, while it also impacts their energy and mood levels. Not being able to fall asleep on their own usually leads to frequent might wakes and short naps, not allowing them to get enough rest and energy for the day.
But positive impacts don't stop there. Most of my clients set their own goals to achieve, which include being able to go out with their partner, or just have an evening to themselves and watch a film or cook dinner. Poor sleep for parents also means more irritability and low energy levels, which make it more difficult to find enough energy to interact with your baby.
Although sleep training on its own might not resolve all the sleep problems and it can be made quite hard if you do not have proper guidance and plan in place.
This is why I have created my Online Sleep Courses, which cover all the theory you will need to succeed in this process.
While your baby being able to self-settle is important, you also need to follow age appropriate wake windows and a routine. Without the routine it will be harder to your baby to fall asleep with or without assistance.
Wake windows play a very big role, as if you try and put your baby down too soon they will simply not be tired enough to fall asleep. If you put them down too late, they will be overtired and will struggle to settle due to high cortisol levels.
Sleepy cues usually can help you establish you baby's wake window, but they can be hard to figure out and quite often the baby is overtired by the time their caretaker takes them to bed. If they are crying and rubbing their eyes, those would be clear signs that their wake window was too long.
Having a clear guide on wake windows also helps you to plan your own day and help you stop guessing when their next nap should be. If you want to get a clear guide on Wake Windows my Online Courses will provide you with exactly that. Find out more here.
So does sleep training look like?
Sleep training doesn't mean cry it out method, and in fact parents use this method less often nowadays. Modern sleep training ways try to ensure that your baby doesn't feel left alone, while also figuring out how to sleep independently.
Gentle methods tend to take a bit longer to work (you will start seeing results from day 3) and this is why it is important to be confident in the method you are using and to ensure that you have the whole sleep plan covered a don't just focus on their night settling.
Not having a clear guide in place can result in unnecessary stress for you and your baby and make the whole process lengthy and inconsistent. If you feel like you need extra support, I offer Bespoke Sleep Plans which include 3 week WhatsApp support to help you achieve all of your sleep goals. You find out more here.
What if you your baby is teething or going through a sleep regression?
If your baby has already learnt the valuable skill of falling asleep and they require more support from you when not feeling well, it shouldn't take you too long to get your sleep back on track when they are feeling better.
My top tip is to go back to your usual sleep pattern/routine as soon as your baby or toddler is feeling better. But it doesn't mean you can't comfort them in their time of need.
Teething, in fact, tends to disrupt sleep for only 1 or 2 days, while the tooth is cutting through an actual gum. And even though it s a very popular excuse among parents, poor sleep is quite often a result of other factors.
If your baby has not been sleeping well for a while, most likely it has nothing to do with teething. If they have been a good sleeper and then have poor sleep for a couple of days, it might as well be from teething.
With teething babies usually tend to have shorter wake windows and be more tired and sleepy in general. So it is possible for some babies to sleep even more when teething and not the opposite.
If your baby is going through a sleep regression is also can hinder their sleep. Check my sleep regressions blog post for more information about that. Same as with teething, going back to your usual schedule would help you avoid having to go through the sleep training process again.
Do you feel like you are ready for a change? Check my Services and Courses here.