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You are probably tired of getting up in the middle of the night to comfort a baby who can’t fall asleep alone. You may be wondering if you should pursue solutions beyond the typical methods. Maybe people have been pressuring you to do it. I won’t judge — parenting is overwhelming. So many parents think that sleep training means leaving your baby to cry, but this isn’t how it works! It is more than that. Don’t think twice about hiring a sleep consultant to get baby sleep consultations; it’s a responsible parenting decision. Don’t let your inner critic convince you otherwise.
What Is Sleep Training, And What Are Its Benefits?
Sleep training is about teaching your baby how to become an independent sleeper rather than relying on you as their primary source of comfort. When you’re considering how to improve your child’s sleep, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Every baby is different.
1. Become An Independent Sleeper
Becoming an independent sleeper means your baby will no longer rely on sleep props to fall asleep.
What are sleep props?
A sleep prop is any object or activity your baby or child needs to sleep. These are examples of “negative sleep props” that a baby feels the need to fall asleep but cannot control quietly on their own.
- nursing/bottle feeding
- contact (holding/co-sleeping)
For example, if a baby is dependent on being nursed to sleep, he/she may wake up more frequently than necessary to be nursed back to sleep. If you’re reading this list and thinking, “I use one or more than one of these methods. I don’t know how I’ll ever get my child to sleep if I don’t.” Then you have to read on.
The truth is sleep props come in all forms, and not all are bad! Examples of “positive sleep props” would be white noise, black-out curtains, and a cool room that helps a baby fall asleep independently. You will be surprised at the difference positive sleep props make and how much more restful sleep you will get when your baby learns to fall asleep independently.
2. Lesser Night Feeds (Does That Mean I Have To Night-Wean My Baby?)
Waking up in the night to feed your new baby is part of parenthood, and those quiet snuggly feedings in the night can be some of the most peaceful and wonderful ones. Yet, the time will come when the importance of a baby’s consolidated sleep will take priority over all those nighttime feedings. If your baby is 4-6 months old, many, though not all, babies can make it through the night without food at 4 months. Cutting night feeds doesn’t mean leaving your baby hungry at night; The key is ensuring your baby gets enough calories during the day and before bedtime. Your baby might be frustrated at the change in routine when you stop feeding them at night. They might cry or fuss as they learn how to sleep without a feed. Give your baby time to adjust to the new routine. Establishing a rhythm may take a while, but you’ll eventually get into a groove. Your baby will likely sleep longer stretches and through the night.
3. Beneficial For Your Whole Family Too!
It is not only beneficial for your baby but also for the whole family too. Chances are, if your baby isn’t sleeping, neither are you! I know many parents have difficulty sleeping after the baby is here. You think they are doing the best for your baby, but it’s important to remember that you have needs too. Lack of sleep can cause chaos and destruction in the functionality of your family unit. I’ve been there. Not to mention that sleep deprivation can cause a person to lapse in attention while doing something else. Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do to be a good parent.
Sleep training isn’t easy, but once you and your baby get it, you’ll enjoy the following perks:
- A full night’s sleep: Sleep-coached babies sleep more deeply and wake less at night, which means their parents get more rest.
- Be a more present and engaged parent: When you are not a sleep-deprived zombie, you’ll be more present and engaged when you are with your baby. Think quality time!
- Be more focused at work: If you are full-time working parents, you can’t afford to be nodding off at work, can you? When you get enough sleep, you will be able to focus better and complete your work faster. Then, you will be able to spend more time with your baby!
- Time with your partner: When you’re well rested, in a good mood, and stress-free, you’ll find it easier to reconnect with people you care about.
- Even a Vacation!: Well-rested kids are also better travellers. They’re more likely to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings and adjust better to environmental changes.
That’s something to smile about! It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Ignore the guilt trips, and do what works best for you and your family.
4. Lots Of Reasons More To Sleep Train Your Baby
Studies have shown that behavioural interventions such as sleep training are effective in helping babies get more sleep. Did you know sleep promotes babies’ physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development? Babies need sleep to grow. They use sleep to regulate their moods and emotions. When babies get enough sleep, they are happier and more playful, and their caregivers are more engaged with them. Children who get enough sleep learn faster, learn better, and have fewer problems with ADHD and learning difficulties.
Here’s a quick rundown for those wondering about the training process. I will observe your child’s sleeping patterns and routines and create a personalised baby sleep training plan that fits your family’s needs. At the beginning of the training, most babies will protest—but that doesn’t mean they’ll cry themselves to sleep. It’s about tuning in to not only your baby but to yourself. Be assured that I’ll be there to guide you and support you every step.
You Got This!
It’s no easy feat to juggle work, family, and personal time while ensuring your child is healthy, well-rested and happy. When you’re ready to sleep train your baby, don’t waste time reading lengthy books or googling “baby sleep trainer near me.” With Sleepy Bubba, we simplify the process and get your baby (and you) to sleep better. Give yourself peace of mind that you are doing what is best for your family. Schedule a free 15-min Discovery Call now!