Updated: Aug 16, 2022
The term “sleep training” can be met with some pretty heavily judged responses.
“Oh, I could never do that to my baby!”
“I would never leave my baby to cry-it-out.”
There’s also the parent that is sensitive to crying…(we’re actually programmed to be attuned to it, so yeah…)
“I want to help my baby sleep, but I just hate to hear him/her cry.”
I GET IT.
So let’s talk about what sleep training actually is.
In a nutshell, it’s helping your baby sleep better by making some behavioral changes.
At Lake Country Sleep, this looks like A LOT of different things.
You see, we take a holistic approach to your child’s sleep.
Here’s a quick list of everything that we include in our work with clients to complete the sleep training process:
Getting a complete picture of what’s currently going on with your child’s sleep with our client questionnaire
Setting the stage for sleep with the appropriate foundational pieces such as scheduling or following awake windows and using bedtime routines and daily routines as a cue that sleep is what happens after you complete a certain set of activities
Setting the stage for sleep with the optimal sleep environment
Development of a sleep plan specifically for your child based on their current age/development that includes strategies you can use to help your child learn to sleep in a new (and better!) way
The method (the actual sleep training strategy) → if there was a hard and fast definition of the term “sleep training”, the method used is what I would argue to be considered sleep training; however, our process is holistic in nature to make sure we are setting your child up for success
Support, guidance, recommendations, accountability, and encouragement from a sleep consultant
And really, if you do any of these things, you’re training your child in one way or another.
Honestly, some babies and children only need a few of these pieces in place to be a great little sleeper, for example, 2-4. You don’t need us to tell you about that. That information is readily available in parenting books and across the internet.
My first child was one of those kids. I was able to “figure him out” and he’s been a great little sleeper ever since he was 5-months old.
My youngest, however, is a different story. He is a great little sleeper, for the most part, but is way more sensitive to development and we see more regressions with him. Sometimes he even acts like a toddler and gives us a hard time at bedtime! Shocker! He is one who needed a little more help…a little more intervention, like steps 5 & 6 above.
For some children, breastfeeding comes easily. For others, there’s more of a learning curve. It’s the same with speech. And sleep!
We think all of these things are very “natural” for a human being to know how to do, when in reality, that’s not the case for everyone.
The good news is, though, that we have specialists who can help us, no matter what our struggles are - we can see lactation consultants for feeding issues, speech and language pathologists for speech delays, and sleep consultants for any loose ends with sleep.
So, you can “sleep train” your baby without actually sleep training your baby. But if you find you need or want more help, don’t be afraid to reach out for help from a sleep consultant.
And if we are your people, we’d love to chat with you. Set up a free discovery call to learn more about what it’s like working with us.