Why Sleep Training?
It’s 3 am and this is the 4th time your baby has woken up and needs YOU to put them back to sleep….
It used to take only 15-minutes to get your baby to sleep now it takes 45… and you have had to add new techniques!
Your toddler started waking at night and is climbing out of their crib or bed and coming to your room…
By morning time there is only one parent, two kids and a dog all sleeping in your bed, the other parent resorted to sleeping on the couch… but no one wakes up rested…
You dread the evening hours and prepare your mind for whatever battles your kid(s) might wage….
Lastly, and most importantly, ….YOU ARE EXHASUTED and so is your family!!!
These are just some reasons a parent might choose to “sleep train” their baby, toddler, or child.
Now here are some questions you might be asking yourself….
“What is sleep training?” Sleep training is teaching your child to fall asleep independently, and successfully sleep through the night.
“At what age can I start?” Depending on the source, book, or expert you are reading, this answer may vary. However, as a Gentle Sleep Coach trained by Kim West, LCSW-C aka “The Sleep Lady®” the sleep science shows that true sleep training shouldn’t be started until 6-months (adjusted age) or older.
“Why?” Well, because a baby’s nighttime sleep, as well as daytime sleep, does not fully develop until around this age. Also, by 6-months babies are generally able to self-soothe much better than in earlier months.
“So, what about my 0-5 Month baby?” No fear! There is pre-work that can be done! Some refer to this as “sleep shaping.” Think of it as laying a foundation for healthy sleep habits that may integrate quickly for some, and for others the results will show up when they are a tad older.
“Do I have to let my baby cry it out by themselves in the room?” This is what parents often think about when they hear the words sleep training. However, it does not have to be this way. There are a few methods with many ways to adapt them to your family situation. Nevertheless, there will be some type of crying, as your baby or child will be experiencing a change in their little worlds and crying is often the only way they can express their frustrations with those changes. Unless, they are a very verbal toddler, or older child, in which then their response will be a mix of crying and possibly choice words.
*For parents who are very sensitive to their child’s tears then keep reading as the resources below will point you towards a method that can be catered to a very gentle process.
“How do I know where to start?” It depends on your personality and values. There are numerous authors who have written books and promoted their programs. All you have to do is research the words “sleep training _____” and a ton of websites are at your fingertips!
Naturally, I am going to steer you in the direction of Kim West and her well trained Gentle Sleep Coaches. I’ll tell you why; simply put, her 20 + years of work is backed by factual research and evidence-based techniques to cater to the developmental needs of your child. You will see many in the field “boast” that sleep training your baby can be done before 6-months, but the research is not there to back that up. Kim West has developed a sleep training method that is attachment-friendly and is more like a coaching process, in which your role is to coach your child to learn how to sleep, just as you will one day be coaching your child to ride a bike without training wheels.
With this concept in mind let’s change the wording from “sleep training” to “sleep coaching”. I don’t know about you, but as a mom of two, that brings my blood pressure down just a tad when looking at embarking on this journey.
“Now really…where do I start?”
Book Format: The Sleep Lady’s®: Good Night Sleep Tight Revised Edition by Kim West, LCSW-C
*can be found on Amazon
E-Course: Gentle Sleep Solutions which can be found at https://fdv89870.isrefer.com/go/gss/Cdbowes/
*this is an affiliate link
Certified Gentle Sleep Coach: That’s Me!!! See my services page
“Why hire a coach…that just seems silly….” It might be for people who are in a decent enough place to read through a book or watch an e-course, put a plan together and follow it through all the way with little need for extra support.
But, just like many things in life, one size does not fit all! Some situations are more complicated. For some parents reading, watching, and putting it all together seems overwhelming, especially since sleep deprivation has probably hit hard. Others, may want to make sure that they put the right plan together. Some parents are apprehensive about their child’s response and worry about following through. The biggest thing I have heard from my families is that having the one-on-one guidance put their minds at ease, kept them moving forward, and allowed an outlet for their worries, struggles and experience (which boosted their confidence in the process).
So, if you are exhausted from the different scenarios I ran through at the beginning of this post, then give sleep coaching some serious thought…, as well as giving me a call! A Cherished Night of Sleep is possible for you and your family!