So most of us moms have at some time or another done something to improve our baby’s sleep (unless we had that annoyingly easy-going child that everyone was jealous of). Maybe you’ve even done crazy, nonsensical things out of sleep deprivation just to try and get some shut eye. Like hanging the crib from the ceiling to rock baby to sleep, because it was the only thing you hadn’t tried yet, so what the heck, why not?! (I’m not joking, this was one of my clients…) Instead, try my 7 secrets to successfully sleep training your baby! It’ll help you avoid any more futile and frustrating attempts and get you that restful sleep you desperately need.
7 Secrets to Successfully Sleep Training Your Child
Secret #1: Think big picture!
To be honest, in my experience, if things don’t go right it’s not because parents didn’t try hard enough! Usually, it’s because one or more factors that affect sleep have not been optimised.
It’s hard as a parent who’s sleep deprived and surviving on coffee, it’s hard to keep everything in mind. Maybe you focused on settling baby to sleep in the evenings but didn’t change the day routine, sleep environment, and/or nutrition side of things. Or maybe, the developmental phase of your child just wasn’t conducive to sleep training at that moment.
Optimising all the necessary factors for sleep is an almost guaranteed way of ensuring long-term improvement and more shut-eye for everyone.
Secret #2: Get your partner on board
If you have a spouse or partner, being on the same page is crucial for sleep training success! If mama does one thing and daddy does it completely differently, baby is going to have a rough ride of figuring out what on earth he’s supposed to do. So make it easier on your baby AND yourself, and make a plan together.
Secret #3: Choose a method that feels right for YOU
There are a ton of various sleep training methods out there, right? How to know which one will work the best? My rule of thumb – choose what feels right for your family situation, your parenting style and the temperament of your baby.
Nothing is worse than trying to implement something that you don’t feel good about. Not only will your baby feel your inner stress (making easy sleep even more elusive!) but you won’t be as likely to stick with it.
Feeling undecided about which method to use? Let me help you put together an individualised plan that fits you and your little one to minimise those tears and make peaceful sleep your reality! Book a free 15-minute sleep consult to get started!
Secret #4: Be consistent
Once you’ve got your plan in place, the next step is to stay consistent! This isn’t to say that you don’t keep some flexibility – as I am all for responsivity and adaption if the situation requires, especially if your little one is sick or going through a developmental leap.
That being said, if you don’t see change within the first night, don’t give up! This is normal and to be expected. Psychological studies have shown that it takes 3 weeks for our brains to create new bathways and form new habits. This isn’t any different for babies!
When making changes, keeping things consistent over a longer period rather than changing up your technique multiple times a night will definitely help baby learn the fastest and make the entire process easier on both of you.
Secret #5: Prepare for tears and setbacks
If baby is used to nursing every hour in the night and you’re wanting to move towards more consolidated night sleep, that’s not going to happen overnight!
Taking care to observe the secrets listed here WILL make the process much easier, but there may still be some tears and protest. After all, change isn’t always that easy, even for us as adults right?! Knowing that there may be some tears and even regression of sleep before it gets better is helpful, and can help you to react more sensitively and empathetically to your little one’s frustration.
Secret #6: Get support
While you’re doing sleep training with your baby I recommend that you get another mom or close friend to support you (not in a “let me tell you what to do” or “here’s how I did it” way, but in a “hey, here’s my shoulder to lean on and cry on” and “let me make you another cup of coffee” way). Maybe you just need a listening ear, a cooked meal, or someone to help with bedtime if you have multiple kiddos.
Choosing someone you trust and telling them exactly what you need is going to help you give you the support you need during this process.
Working with a sleep coach like me is another great way to get some much needed support. Having someone neutral who looks at the situation objectively, cheers you on and encourages you while you’re tired and ready to give up. That kind of support is one of the things my clients love most about working with me.
On top of that, I create individualised sleep training plans for my clients that suit their parenting style and provide them with all the information they need to deal with setbacks and future sleep problems, too. So don’t be afraid to ask for help and support during this time. You can start by booking a complimentary sleep consult and talking through the options.
And last but definitely not least…
Secret #7: Keep an activity log
This is one of the secrets to success behind my 1:1 sleep coaching! All my clients fill out an activity log every day during our week of coaching together, which not only enables me to be able to see exactly what’s happening every day, but also gives them a visual record of their progress!!
It can help pinpoint problem areas that still need some work while at the same time providing the much-needed motivation and encouragement to keep going!
Once you have all these steps in place, I am confident that sleep training your baby will be a success!
Ready to get started! If you’re interest in working with me, book your free sleep consult today!
Not quite ready yet, but would love some more tips for helping your baby sleep better? Here’s my free guide!