There are two things I can pretty much guarantee you when it comes to teaching your baby to sleep through the night.
I’ve also never worked with a family who didn’t feel like they had made a tremendous decision once their baby had learned to sleep through the night. The benefits to the whole family are almost indescribable.
Like many big decisions though, there are times that are ideal and times that are less so. Today, I’d like to offer some tips for deciding whether or not it’s the right time to take this challenging, but oh-so-rewarding journey.
I usually recommend that at least one parent is home for two weeks while you’re sleep training, so this might be a great opportunity to take the plunge.
I don’t advise parents to start sleep training within two weeks of traveling, but I’m guessing that’s not a concern for most of us at the moment since we’re all sticking pretty close to our home base.
Is the time right for baby?
The best chance for a quick and effective solution to your baby’s sleep issues is to implement the changes when they’re healthy and thriving. If baby’s dealing with reflux or colic, you’ll want to get that remedied before you start sleep training. There’s going to be some fussing and protest in the first few nights, and we want to make sure it’s only due to the change in their routine, not because of actual discomfort, and if they’re healthy, it’s much easier to pinpoint the reasons for their fussing.
So before you get started, make sure you and your partner have both signed on and can rely on one another for support.
Can you stand a couple of nights without a lot of sleep?
I won’t sugar-coat it. Changing up someone’s sleep habits is almost never met with a lot of enthusiasm for the first night or two, so nobody’s likely to get a lot of rest for the first 48 hours. If you have an important meeting or a major event coming up in the next few days that you need to be in peak condition for, you might want to wait until next weekend to get things underway.
These are all symptoms of sleep deprivation and they’re no laughing matter. Society tends to make light of the whole, “exhausted new parent” persona, but the more we learn about the health effects of sleep deprivation, the less of a joke it becomes. If you’re sleep-deprived or feel like you’re on the verge, now’s the time to take some action.
Put up some blackout blinds like SleepOut BlackOut Curtains (use the Discount Code: TOTHEMOONSLEEP10). Or, barring that, tape up some garbage bags over the windows. It’s not pretty but 100% darkness will really help with daytime naps.
Get rid of any mobiles, crib aquariums, or light-emitting devices that claim to help baby sleep. (I can assure you, they don’t.) An ideal nursery is flat-out boring. Baby should recognize it as a place to do nothing but sleep, so keep their toys and stuffies in another room.
Don’t wait for the “perfect” moment
Like I said earlier, now might not be the ideal time to take the initiative to help your baby sleep through the night. Getting started and having to stop because of some bad planning is likely going to cause some confusion and minimize your chances for success. But remember, there’s always going to be something that isn’t exactly ideal.
Teething, crawling, rolling over, and other developmental milestones, shouldn’t impede baby’s ability to sleep through the night, and they’re not going to stop popping up until your little one’s about ready to graduate from high school.
So now that you know all that, if you feel like the time is right and you’re ready to get started, let’s get going! Get in touch and we can start putting together a plan for your baby right away I know it’s a big decision, (It certainly was for me when I first made it with my little one) but the outcome is almost indescribably wonderful for the whole family. I’m ready when you are.
Erin Neri - Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Owner of To The Moon and Back Sleep Consulting since 2016.
To The Moon and Back Sleep Consulting
Providing families the tools & support they need to get their little ones sleeping through the night and napping like champs! Everyone has more fun when they are well rested!
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