Why sleep train my baby?
Often the need for sleep training comes about when your child has developed bad sleeping habits such as needing a dummy or being rocked to sleep. Sleep training is essentially a way of rewiring your baby's mind in how they handle themselves to either get to sleep or when to do so.
What method do you use to sleep train?
I have trained in 7 different techniques of sleep training with no real right or wrong choice, it's more about having options to suit your parenting style.
If sleep training is something that you are thinking about and having read lots of different things you now feel confused about which approach to take I would like to say from my experience the two most favourable methods are the 'reassurance' technique and 'comforted' technique.
The reassurance technique involves leaving your baby on their own for a set amount of time but comforting them at set intervals for a short period of time. Giving the reassurance to both you and your baby. Many feel it's a softer approach than the most talked about 'cry it out' method where you leave your baby to cry on their own until they fall asleep.
Doing it this way it makes your child feel more secure in the situation and you feel better that you're not 'abandoning' your baby.
The comforted technique will involve you staying with your baby throughout the whole process until they fall asleep. This usually means either sitting next to them by the cot or leaning over them, both ways giving a chance for you to comfort through words and shushing.
Whilst these have been the most common methods chosen if neither sound right for you then please feel free to get in contact where I can discuss the other options and find what suits you best.
During the process
Whilst carrying out the sleep training I provide a tracker to log how long it takes for your baby to get to sleep and the sleep times they have had alongside any relevant notes. There are many signs that the sleep training is working during the process and one of these is called 'pausing'.
You will learn this vital part of sleep training in the plan.
When can I start sleep training my baby?
Government guidelines suggest sleep training can take place around 5 months. These are however are only guidelines so if you felt you needed to do it sooner I would do it at an earliest of 4 months.
I have carried out sleep training with a variety of ages including 4 month old & twins. Yes it is possible to do with multiple babies in the same room at the same time.
There are 4 options I can provide with sleep training
Option 1- is a personalised step by step plan which I put together following an hours phone consultation where we discuss your baby's current situation and how you carry out the method. For the following week you then proceed to carry out the method provided with a daily support message where you'd send me a snap of the days tracker. At the end of the week we'd then have a sign off phone call where we go over how it's been and any further advice.
The tracker is a really great way to see that the process is working and what progress your baby can make in such a short amount of time
Option 2- is option 1 but I come to your house for a 2 hour home consultation where we go through the plan and carry out the first sleep training session together. It's a great way to receive the emotional support but also the reassurance that you're carrying out the process correctly.
Option 3- Overnight stay for 3 nights at 13 hours per night, I would arrive before bathtime which the parent would carry out as normal and then we start the sleep training method for bedtime. You will still get the plan so you understand what we are doing and how but also to ensure we are managing the training effectively.
Option 4- Bespoke in house sleep training of 24 hour periods. We would start with the same process as option 1 but I will then come stay at your house and carry out the sleep training for you.
This can be booked for a maximum of 1 week but would recommend a minimum of 2 x 24 hours.
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One of the things I have found that prevents parents carrying out sleep training or start but then give up is the emotional toll it has. It can be very distressing for you to listen to your baby crying even if only for a few minutes. So the in house sleep training options are definitely the most popular.
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Another is that with all the options 2 days and nights of pure consistency and following the plans is enough to get your baby's habits broken and sleeping by themselves. You can see what parents have said about their experiences on the testimonial page.
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Factors to consider before carrying out sleep training:
- Is your baby in a routine?
A lot of parents reach out for sleep training when their baby isn't sleeping through the night but sometimes especially in the earlier months babies don't sleep through because they aren't in an age appropriate routine.
So you may want to consider this first, you can see more about this in the routine setting section of my services.