Sleep training is no easy feat. It can be exhausting, and you are most likely already sleep-deprived when you start.
It’s not just that though. If you could count on restful slumber after a few tough nights, you could probably give yourself a pep talk and push through. But there’s something else that tempts parents to throw in the towel: doubt.
Will this really work? Did I choose the right method for my baby? What if I am damaging my baby’s emotional health? With so many different opinions floating around in cyberspace, turning to Google for answers just makes parents feel even more lost.
Here’s the truth: for sleep training to work, you have to feel both confident and comfortable with what you are doing. You have to be able to trust the method. Consistency is key when it comes to sleep training, but if you don’t have faith in it, it’s going to be hard to be consistent.
Think about this: If you’re worried that you’ll damage your relationship with your baby, when you hear your little one cry, that worry will be magnified into anxiety and you may give up. But that lack of consistency is not great for your baby. If mom sometimes comes and sometimes doesn’t, that’s confusing. Or if mom comes after I cry long enough and hard enough, that sets up a worse pattern that you already had in place.
Remaining consistent with sleep training is all about:
- Educating yourself on the importance of sleep
- Understanding that babies will cry to protest change
- Choosing a method that you know you can stick with (and no, you don’t have to let your baby cry alone to sleep train).
Why Is Sleep So Important for Babies?
Good sleep is essential for babies’ development. Although it’s completely normal for newborns to have erratic sleep patterns, most babies can and should sleep through the night by the time they reach 6 months or 12-15 pounds.
Babies do better when they get the sleep they need. Well-rested babies learn better and form better memories. They are also happier during the day and don’t have as many behavior problems.
When babies sleep well, they are happier and healthier. And a well-rested baby makes for a well-rested mama too. Don’t underestimate the importance of your own sleep! When you get the rest you need, you can be more present with you baby during the day, and you can enjoy motherhood to the fullest.
Will My Baby Cry?
It is not necessary to let your baby cry for an extended time or to ignore them when they’re truly frightened or in need of your care. However, it is normal and natural for babies to cry when you change up your routine–and that is exactly what you do when you sleep train.
If you react strongly to your baby’s cries of protest, or you just don’t feel comfortable with much crying, you can select a sleep training method with less crying or with more hands on soothing. The most important thing to keep in mind is that we want to always put your baby back down while she is still awake.
How To Choose a Sleep Training Method That’s Right for You
Consistency is key when it comes to sleep training. There are a variety of different methods out there that you can tailor to your family’s own needs, but all of them require consistency in order to be effective. For this reason, it’s important to choose a method that you know you can commit to.
If you’re the type that can’t stand listening to your baby cry, start with shorter intervals or choose a method where you can stay in the room and soothe your baby. On the other hand, if you’re the type that would rather pull the bandaid off and prevent sleep training from dragging out, select a method that gets right to it.
Our consultants will help you create a sleep training plan that works best for your family’s unique needs, and we will be with you every step of the way, encouraging you to stay on track until your baby is sleeping through the night!
Book your free 15-minute evaluation here.