Sleep Training

Unlocking the Skill of Self-Soothing: A Guide to Sleep Training

Unlocking the Skill of Self-Soothing: A Guide to Sleep Training

As parents, we yearn for those precious moments of rest and personal time amidst the demands of parenthood. An essential aspect of achieving this balance is ensuring your baby learns the invaluable skill of falling asleep independently. Let's explore the concept of self-soothing and delve into four main sleep training methods.

What does it mean to fall asleep independently?

Imagine a scenario where your baby peacefully drifts off to sleep within 10-15 minutes, without the need for rocking, breastfeeding or even sitting next to the crib. You just put your little one in bed, gie a good night kiss, leave the room and there is no protest and crying coming from the baby. This skill, known as self-soothing, not only grants parents some well-deserved "me-time" but also enhances the overall quality of the child's sleep, making awakenings smoother and less reliant on parental assistance. So let’s have a look at the 4 main scientific sleep training methods:

1. “Controlled Crying“or also called “Ferber” Method:

Suitable For: Babies over 4 months.
Advantages: Effective with an average training period of 1-2 weeks. Possibility to come in the room from time to time to check on your little one.
Difficulties: Requires consistency as there's a chance of making mistakes.

2. "Chair" Method:

Suitable For: Babies over 4 months.
Advantages: Effective with coordinated parental actions.
Difficulties: Sitting in the room can be challenging; your presence may stimulate excessive activity of the baby.

3. "Fading" or also called “pick up put down”Method:

Suitable For: Babies over 4 months.
Advantages: Ideal for transitioning from co-sleeping, allows parental comforting.
Difficulties: Initial frequent interactions; training may take a month or more.

4. "Cry It Out" Method:

Suitable For: Parents with limited time seeking quicker results.
Advantages: Easy to stay consistent with a simple action plan.
Difficulties: Tolerance for prolonged crying may be challenging; misinformation about the method may cause confusion.

Choosing the Right Method for Your Family: Each method caters to different parental capabilities, preferences, and circumstances. Whether you opt for the "Interval," "Chair," or "Fading" method, the key lies in your commitment to the process. The ultimate goal is to provide your baby with quality sleep and carve out a bit of free time for yourself.

Optimal Age for Sleep Training

The question of when to commence sleep training lacks a one-size-fits-all answer, as there isn't a designated "perfect" age for this practice. Babies may display developmental readiness for sleep training as early as 4 months, and the window for sleep training extends until the child reaches 5 years. Ultimately, the best age for sleep training aligns with when you feel it's suitable for your family.

Typically, developmental milestones, leaps, or sleep regressions in babies older than 4 months don't necessitate a delay in sleep training. In fact, the consistency introduced by sleep training can actively contribute to promoting healthy sleep patterns and overall development. External factors like illness, significant transitions, or travel might influence the decision to initiate sleep training. Ultimately, the opportune moment for sleep training is when you, as a parent, feel ready.

Ensuring your little one is in good health is a priority before embarking on any sleep training regimen. It's advisable to consult with your pediatrician if you harbor any concerns regarding your baby or toddler's health.
I am here to support your family and ensure your little one gets better sleep with or without sleep training. During our consultation and pre-analysis of your current sleep situation, we will together build a step-by-step sleep plan that will not only fit your child according to age, but will meet their individual needs and be beneficial for the whole family. Check out my 1on1 support packages available and that best fits your needs.