How To… know whether your baby is ready for sleep training

 

Lisa Gargaro Sleep Co is creating new personalised Sleep programs every week for families out there who are struggling to get enough sleep. However, the truth is that even if she can create the best laid plan for you, your baby and family, it will not be effective if you as parents are not ready for your child to do this.

So for Lisa, as a sleep consultant, the first big question she asks is: Are YOU ready to make this change and to undertake sleep training with your child?

If you don’t know or are a little unsure, take a look at this 10-step checklist that she has created, to help you make that decision and determine if you and your baby/toddler are ready for sleep training!

Lisa’s 10 Point Checklist: IS IT TIME TO SLEEP TRAIN?

1. Need over Want?

Babies learn early on what feels good (e.g. being in mummy’s or daddy’s arms) and what doesn’t (i.e. dirty, wet nappies). This leads to an instinctive reaction to cry. They learn that when they cry, they will get a clean diaper or will be held and comforted. A new-born baby has limited self-soothing abilities and if these are not developed, over time they will learn that a need can become a want.

Your previously great-sleeper may also suddenly develop ‘sleep regression’ at around 4 months old, with frequent sleep problems occurring. You may convince yourself that your every-two-hour-eater is genuinely hungry or needs comfort. But eventually, once you have started to run up a sleep debt yourself, you’ll find yourself asking and wondering whether they really need it as much as they want it. Is the only reason they “need” it because that’s all they’ve ever known, or because they can’t sleep without it?

2. Do you believe your baby is ready to self soothe?

Your baby does have the ability to learn new ways and methods to sleep. Far and wide across the world experts discuss the ‘right’ age to try new methods, however, each family is different and setting an exact age may not be helpful. There are two key elements to finding the right age to start. Firstly; whether you believe that your baby has the ability to learn a new skill and form a new method of putting themselves to sleep, and secondly and more importantly; do you wish to help them learn this new skill for themselves so that they can self-soothe independently, ensuring they are well rested to give them the best possible chance to grow and develop?

3. The timing is right for you AND for your baby.

The timing has to be right for both you and your baby. Many experts would agree that a 3-6 month old can learn to self-soothe, but it may be right for YOUR family to wait until baby is 12 months’ old. This can depend on your baby’s temperament and a whole host of other factors. Nobody knows your baby better than you and only you can figure out the right time to do this for them. Keep in mind that you can always try, take a break and try again a bit later on if you doubt your timing at any point after you have begun.

4. You are ready for it to get worse before it gets better!

You decide the timing that is right for you. The difference between hearing your 16-week old or 6-month old fussing or crying, versus hearing your 11-month old is very obvious. Whether you decide to use a no-cry method or a crying one, there is always going to be some difficult and uncomfortable moments to deal with. So ask yourself: are YOU ready for some rough days and/or nights? Are you able to deal with it when it may get harder, for a few days once you start, before it gets easier?

5. Your baby has a sleep problem.

Sometimes, it is our own expectations that are to blame for our baby’s perceived ‘sleep problem’. Ask yourself: “Is your 8-month old breastfed baby still waking up once a night to eat?” For many, that is A-OK and age-appropriate while for others, this is not acceptable nor wished for. We know all babies are different and sometimes you just have to adjust your expectations of them. Once the expectations are lowered and you stop comparing between your baby and your neighbour’s, you will find this does wonders to your outlook and your family.

6. You are getting desperate!

You know that you NEED to sleep train your baby, when the thought of having to wake up every hour to put a pacifier in the baby’s mouth cannot go on any longer.  Or for those of you who do have appropriate expectations and don’t feel you have a true ‘baby sleep problem’, only you can decide whether you need to sleep train. Some families say that even getting up once a night is just brutal months and months later, so maybe your sleep training is about getting a full night’s sleep. Similarly, others have experienced increasingly severe side-effects to sleep deprivation such as suffering with various health problems, daily difficulties in functioning, or even depression. One client told me recently that she never understood how sleep deprivation could be used as a form of torture until she had a baby. This is something that I can totally relate to!

7. You can and want to commit!

You are able and willing to commit to the time needed to undertake sleep training. One of the most important aspects of my support as your consultant is setting appropriate expectations about how long sleep training will take. Some people get frustrated three days into the training when changes are not happening fast enough for them. I would ask you to first consider how long your child has had the current sleeping habits. For some toddlers, sleep training means you are changing habits which they have had for as long as two or three years! To be clear, results come rarely overnight (though sometimes they are!). However, most people will have at least some success within one week and for older children, approximately two weeks. These changes will help give you the boost you need for the long haul!

8. Sleep training is NOT a crash diet!

You are ready to be 100% consistent and patient with the program and with your child. Changing strategies daily or even hourly can lead to more crying and frustration for both you and your baby. Consistency is necessary as this will create the security needed for your child to change their learnt sleeping behaviours. I like to use the analogy that this is similar to yoyo dieting versus a more sustainable and effective “lifestyle change”. Therefore, sleep training should not be seen as a crash diet. You need to be consistent both in the short- and the long-term.

So, are you truly ready? A key part of success of the program is patience. Even more so if you are using a no-cry sleep training method, you need to be prepared to be patient. You would never expect your baby to learn to walk or talk in a day, so you can’t expect him to learn new sleeping skills so quickly.

9. What are your goals and how do you want to achieve them?

You are ready to invest in your family by asking me to be your family’s sleep consultant. I will create your personal family plan. We will decide what your goals are and the steps you need to take to achieve them. By investing in my support as your sleep consultant, it helps ensure results are achieved and maintained. I can help you adapt the program, keep you motivated and stay on track throughout.

What I have found from speaking to my clients is that my guidance during the program is invaluable to helping them see a clear path ahead through the ‘brain fog’ they have due to their lack of sleep. The added support from myself also helps keep them focused and motivated, with the knowledge that I care deeply about their family’s progress in achieving independent sleep for their child.

No major changes occur in one day, they take planning and dedication. Life has a habit of throwing curve balls at us that we don’t anticipate, which is why my experience and training as a sleep consultant means we can work together to make changes to your plan, and work through it together until we have achieved your goals.

10. You have support

You need support to help you through this process. Sleep training can be very emotional and draining and without the confidence needed, the best of plans can fail. It is helpful to have support whether it’s in the form of your spouse, a friend, or myself. Success happens when you have someone you feel accountable to “check in” with and they can help keep you going. Some of my clients have lacked the support at home but were still able to succeed due to the support that I happily offer.

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I hope you find this article helpful in making the decision of whether you are ready to tackle the emotional task of sleep training. Alternatively it may have given you the answer that it is okay to wait until the time is right. The only person who knows what you live with day-in and day-out is yourself. I believe that by listening and trusting your own instincts, they will take you far and where you need to be.

If you are ready to sleep train, let the expert Lisa Gargaro from Lisa Gargaro Sleep Co help!

If you’ve tried sleep training on your own without success, you are not alone; many, many parents struggle to get their babies and toddlers sleeping well. What you may need at this point is an expert to help you through the sleep training process. By contacting myself today, we can start creating a personalised sleep plan for you, your baby and your unique parenting style. The plan will take you through every step of the process, detailing the schedule for you to follow, with myself available at any time to answer your most pressing sleep questions.

Once you have made your decision and wish to start your sleep consulting package simply contact me via your preferred method and I will be in touch to start the process.

e: lisa@lisagargarosleep.co

t: 00357 99260557

Skype name: dream.sleep.club

I am Lisa Gargaro, an expert sleep consultant and I can produce a personally tailored individual sleep program for your baby which details exactly how and what you will need to do to help your baby or child to sleep independently for 10-12 hours each night. With good sleep, the behaviour of your child will be dramatically improved as a result. Please contact me directly to chat about how I can help you, making sleepless nights a thing of the past and every night a great one from now.

If you are an adult who suffers from insomnia I am also able to help you sleep. With a personally tailored sleep program and with the use of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), we can train you to sleep so you don’t view bedtime as the enemy anymore.

Being a mother of 4 children I understand & relate to how important it is for the whole family to sleep, this is my passion & goal to help other families achieve this by helping them gain the knowledge & support they may need.

website: www.lisagargarosleep.co/

facebook: @LisaGargaroSleep.co

 

 

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