Sleep training can have a huge, positive impact on your family. When the baby sleeps better, EVERYONE sleeps better. But, the process of sleep training can be a little stressful and exhausting. There are a few things you can do, however, to make the process as smooth as possible. Check out our list of 10 things to do to help you prepare for sleep training to help make sure everyone in your family gets the sleep they need!
1. Talk to Your Partner
It’s of vital importance that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to sleep training; it can be stressful, so in order to reduce conflict, decide what you both are comfortable with regarding sleep training methods.
2. Choose a Method
There are quite a few sleep training styles out there. Do your research (we suggest starting here) and pick one that fits your baby’s age and temperament. For example, if you’ve been co-sleeping with your six-month old from her birth, we don’t recommend choosing cry it out, but instead think a more gentle method – like the Sleep Lady Shuffle - might be best for her.
3. Keep a Record
About a week before you decide to sleep train, jot down your baby’s sleep patterns, such as when she seems sleepy, when you put her down for naps and bedtime, when she falls asleep, and when she wakes up. This will give you a baseline to start from and help you create a routine that will optimize your sleep training efforts.
4. Schedule Wisely
Don’t begin sleep training during a busy time, like holidays or vacations. We encourage our clients to be super consistent for two weeks after sleep training begins, and being away from home overnight or out and about for multiple days in a row makes it hard to stay consistent.
Also, try not to begin sleep training when your baby is teething or beginning a developmental leap, as those periods might exacerbate any sleep issues he might have.
5. Talk to Your Pediatrician
Before you begin sleep training, head to your pediatrician to make sure your baby’s sleep problems are not health related. Conditions like acid reflux, ear infections and eczema can make your baby uncomfortable and can disrupt sleep.
6. Get Help
Sleep training can be challenging and tiring. Consider having a supportive friend or family member help you with household chores and caring for an older child while you sleep train your baby. But be sure this person is supportive of your decision to sleep train!
7. Plan Ahead and Stay Organized
Try to stay as organized as possible during the weeks that you sleep train, because when you’re in the thick of it, the last thing you need is more stress! Take a look at your calendar, meal plan and set reminders on your phone to help you stay on track.
8. Schedule “me time”
The Cradle Coach team is a big fan of “me time,” – especially during sleep training. Having some time to yourself can help curb exhaustion and short tempers and give you a chance to reload for another night of sleep training.
9. Talk to Other Moms
Other moms can offer of a world of support during sleep training, especially if they have been there, done that! But be sure to choose your support group wisely!
10. Call us!
If you’re still unsure about the sleep training process, or if you’ve tried before with little success, give us a call! We’d love to help you create a sleep plan that works for you, your baby and your family.