Why Does Sleep Training Get Such a Bad Wrap?
“Sleep Training” (sometimes referred to as “Sleep Coaching”) is such a buzz word! And a lot of people think of it negatively, at that! WHY?! People have visions of cherub babies crying themselves to sleep and being left alone in their rooms for hours on end. I promise, that’s not what I do! I LOVE babies! And sleep too, but mostly babies! So, what does it mean?
Different people discuss the subject without realizing they have completely different definitions of the same words. Even sleep consultants can have slightly different definitions of they mean when they say “sleep training”. Since you are on my site, I want to give you clear answer to the question, “What is sleep training?”
When I use the term sleep training I mean “a number of different methods parents use to adjust their child’s sleep behaviors”. When I ask is your child “sleep trained?” I mean is “have you adjusted your child’s sleep to where he or she is sleeping through the night and able to fall back asleep unassisted (without the use of sleep props)?”
Sleeping Through The Night is defined as approximately 10 hours from bed time to wake up time.
Falling asleep unassisted means putting baby down in the crib or bassinet awake and letting him/her sooth them self to sleep, without any sleep props
Sleep Props This is anything baby is dependent on to fall asleep (pacifier, feeding, rocking, patting, etc.) Are pacifier’s always bad? NO. Can you never rock your baby again if you sleep train? NO. When are sleep props a problem?
· When someone needs to wake up to reinsert a pacifier to get baby back to sleep
· When baby needs to be fed to sleep
· When baby needs to be lulled (rocked, patted, swayed, held) to sleep
These props are only an issue if your baby expects them to fall back asleep. If your baby is sleep trained they should be able to sleep through the night, get themselves back to sleep if they wake unassisted and should be on an age-appropriate nap schedule and feeding schedule.
Does Everyone Need to Sleep Train Their Baby? Nope, not at all! That being said, if you are struggling, exhausted or at all unhappy at all with your baby (4 months or older) or toddler’s sleep, you really should consider it. Everyone needs sleep. It’s not a “cop out” for parents. Children need to be rested to be healthy and happy. A family short on sleep, struggles a lot more than a well rested one.
DON’T let the words “sleep training” scare you! Remember the definition? “A number of different regimens parents use to adjust their child’s sleep behaviors”. Meaning, there is not one way to help you and your little one get the sleep you need. It doesn’t mean that you need to sign up for hours of crying.
Do your research! Look at do it yourself packages. Look at one on one packages. Lastly, make sure you can commit to making a healthy change for you and your family.
And when you're ready, I'm here for you to support you in anyway that you need it.
If you are struggling with your little one's sleep and can't if sleep training is right for your family you can schedule a FREE Consultation Call and we will dive into what you've tried and what it would be like to work together!
Would you like to learn more about your little one's sleep?
If so, come join us in my Facebook Group "Baby & Toddler Sleep Support for Tired Moms" where you'll gain tips and support from me and many other moms!