Is it worth sleep training if you can’t get a perfect sleeper?
So many times have I had parents come to me and say “I’m just going to stick it out.” They feel like they can’t go on, but because of their situation, (a new sibling, sharing a room, or work schedules, single parent, etc.) they will just continue to drink multiple cups of caffeine, be miserable and resentful towards everyone around them.
It truly doesn’t have to be that way, I promise! When you are looking at sleep training your little one there are a lot of methods, thoughts and grey areas. There is no one size fits all for every family, baby or situation. When deciding you want to teach your baby to sleep differently than they had in the past, you want to look at their needs and your goals. Look at the big picture and see what can be worked on taking everyone’s needs into account. Then, see what can be done in baby steps if that seems more do-able than a gigantic leap (hint: baby steps are easier for for the majority of people out there!). You may realize that “better” is good enough for you family.
You might be wondering, “What would be the point then? Why would you go through the trouble of getting baby on a routine, looking at wake times if you aren’t going to aim for perfection?” Well, first, perfection is a pretty tough goal when you have a baby or toddler. It’s actually a touch goal in general! Secondly, when things are really tough and a family is barely functioning because of lack of sleep, or struggling to juggle a new addition postpartum, sometimes we just need “better”! An overtired baby and mama, can’t just suddenly sleep 12 hours at night .You need to be able to get to a better place THEN you can find the energy and courage to go the extra mile and aim for perfection.
In the end, regardless of your goal, what you want to keep in mind is Progress over Perfection. Pick your method, find your support, and stick to it. It can be done, and most of the time parents are amazed at how much better they (and their baby!) are sleeping even if they didn’t set their goal on perfection. Once you see progress and realize that there isn’t a cookie cutter plan that YOU need to fit into, but rather a plan that you can stick with and will work with your family, you can keep working toward your goal and it feels real and attainable.