The joys of sleep training!
If your little angel isn’t sleeping that means your not sleeping. I’m sure it can be irritating when
those who have good sleepers try to give you hints and tips without thinking that you might have
tried all of those already.
Sleep training is difficult and depending on what method you choose can be tough not to mention
emotional especially when you are sleep deprived. The most important thing is to choose a method
that you are comfortable with and to stick to it, perseverance is key!
There are a variety of methods and depending on which one you choose will determine how long it
is likely to take.
There is a list of do’s and dont’s for a good bedtime which are:
Avoid too much stimulation 20 minutes before bed.
Set clear boundaries.
Put them in their cot when they are drowsy or awake.
Make sure you have a consistent daytime routine.
Comfortable room temperature.
No naps after 3:30pm (9 months onwards).
No sugary drinks.
No hungry children.
Try your hardest not to stay in their bedroom.
Once you’ve read the above list you can then have a look at some of the methods below. There
are lots of processes out there and remember every child is different.
For a baby 6 months and over and sleeps in a cot
You can try the gradual process, this is where you can stroke either your baby’s back or tummy to
soothe them, you can then also hold their feet as this provides a sense of security. Stay with your
baby until they are calmed. This could take up to 45 minutes a night over 5 nights. Remember
though not to pick them up or make eye contact (easier said than done).
If you are strong willed you can try controlled crying this where you put your baby down their cot
making sure they are properly fed, warm, dry and comfortable and then leave only returning if your
baby is in danger. The thinking of this process is that your baby will learn to go to sleep on their
own and stay asleep.
For a baby 6 months and over and sleeps in a bed
You can go for the elastic band approach. This is where you sit in a chair until your child falls
asleep. When they wake you will need to move the chair a little further away, keep repeating this
until you and the chair end up outside the room.
You can also try the rapid return approach. With this process you will need to sit outside the child’s
room and when they venture outside you are on hand to very quickly turn them around and put
them straight back in to bed, again try not to make eye contact and no talking.
As I said at the start no one said it would be easy and for those of us with good sleepers we are
always quick to offer tips and advice even though it’s not always welcomed.
You will find that you’ll just get the hang of it and it’s all going swimmingly and then suddenly they
are ill or teething and it’s back to square one. Don’t lose hope just go back to the method you used
Our children are amazing beautiful little creations and just because they don’t sleep well doesn’t
make them any less mischievous or hilariously funny. It also does not mean you are failing as a
parent! Some children are destined to be great sleepers and others not so, so whatever kind of
sleeper you have embrace it and enjoy the fun and laughter they bring to you during the day.
Written by Victoria Cookadvice, Parenting, sleep training, sleeping
This post was written by Natalie Weller