How do I Choose a Sleep Training Method?
If you've researched sleep training already, you know there is multiple ways to teach your little one to fall asleep independently.
If this is your first time looking into sleep training, then I'd like to tell you there are multiple ways you can teach your little one to sleep independently. There are a few things to consider when before you choose a method.
When you work with me, I send out an assessment form that asks you several questions. I then choose a method based on you answers. Some of these questions are: How do you deal with crying? How do you deal with being in a room with baby when they are crying? How much time do you have to commit to sleep training? What's your baby's personality
Why are certain things important to consider when choosing a sleep training method?
Let's take a look at a few things:
Parenting style - Some parents are very hands off and some are very hands on.
Some parents are ok with crying. Some parents are ok with crying but need to be right beside them. Some parents are ok with crying but need to be busy doing something so that they don't become stressed out by the crying. I can't change a parenting style, and it's not ok for me to ask you to. This needs to be considered when I choose a method for you.
Baby's personality and temperament - does your baby have severe separation anxiety? Does your baby not respond well to touch such as patting or shushing? Your baby will have a say in what method we choose. Sometimes we may not know what is exactly the right one until we give a method a try for a few days. Does the method make your baby more upset or does your baby settle easily?
Baby's age - You may be familiar with the pick-up/put-down method. This will not work, majority of the time, with a baby older than 6 months. An older baby will get more irritated by that method and it's more exhausting for Mom and Dad.
A parent's cry tolerance - How long of crying are you ok with? 2 mins, 5 mins, etc.? Remember you baby will fuss, it's their way of communicating. But also let's do this as gently as possible with as few tears as possible even if you can handle lots of tears.
If after a few days a method doesn't seem to be working, we need to ask why? Is your baby over stimulated from you coming in and out of the room? Is your baby picking up on you being stressed out? There can be multiple reasons why a method isn't working. This doesn't happen very often but if you've attempted doing sleep training on your own, don't completely give up, just try a different method. Or maybe you just need to do a slight change to a "by the book" method.
There are so many methods, so many variations of methods. This is what I break down in my sleep plans.
Most of you know that I often will choose more of a gentle approach. That is my preference but if I know a baby isn't accepting that method, we will move onto something different.
As you can see there are a lot of questions to ask yourself and things to consider prior to choosing a sleep training method. Don't get overwhelmed and don't think you are going to mess things up by choosing the wrong method. Start with what you feel might work best and go from there. If you are still struggling to have success on your own, you can book a call with me and we will chat about what you tried and where to go from there.