3 Keys to successful sleep training

All parents out there would agree with me about the large amount of differing and often confusing opinions, techniques and ideas when it comes to ‘advice’ on sleep & settling associated with babies.

Why is there so much conflicting advice when it comes to sleep training?

I am sure many of you have heard of at least one of these methods and you may have even tried a few:

The fading method, the pick-up-put-down method, the chair method, the disappearing chair, the check-and-console, the Ferber method, the extinction, crying it out, the gradual retreat, controlled crying, pick up, put down and the ‘no cry’ approach … just to name a few! Oh … and then we have the online ‘sleep training downloads’ that are now available (don’t get me started on these) and let’s not forget all of the published books by authors/experts on sleep training … you know who they are!
I am sure on the parenting forums when you ask about sleep training, you have found all of these mentioned with differing opinions on what works ‘better’!

These methods work in their own independent right. Yes, you read that correctly. ALL of these methods work IF FOLLOWED THROUGH FROM BEGINNING TO END! You have to remember; these methods would not have become well known if they did not work.

A common scenario found when ‘sleep training’ is parents chose a little bit from each method (=multiple methods in play) and then try and fit them all together. These self-constructed sleep training methods usually do not end well with parents subsequently resorting back to rocking, feeding their baby back to sleep and end up back where they started.

Why don’t they work? There are multiple reasons: As with ALL sleep training methods – they take time and some baby’s need more time than others (this is also dependent on what method you chose); Parents are unable to follow through with the settling techniques because the technique is not based on their family or their baby; There is no support or guidelines on how to modify the technique as your baby adjusts; and there is no consistency!

I have had parents look at me in the ‘are you serious’ kind of way because I have gone against what they have read and/or heard …… and yet by working together, we have solved their baby’s sleep issues.

Parents 2 B supports the parents as the parents support their baby. Parents 2 B sleep training techniques come from years of working with families. The basic principles always remain the same but are adapted to suit the family.

All sleep issues can be resolved.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that when embarking on sleep training my 3 Keys to successful sleep training are:

1. Parents need to understand that teaching their baby to self-settle will NOT happen overnight. This needs to be stressed. It takes commitment, consistency and support. Your baby has been assisted to sleep for 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, 12 months….. They will not learn to fall asleep on their own in one sleep cycle. Imagine if I took your bed away tonight and made you sleep on the floor. You wouldn’t sleep well and you too would protest until I either gave you your bed back OR you learnt to sleep on the floor. Your baby is no different. It takes time to learn a new skill.

2. You need to work within your comfort zone …. There is no point engaging the services of someone to help you with your baby’s sleep unless you are comfortable with the method. If you can’t follow through with the techniques there is no point! It is also helpful to have an open mind as to the techniques on offer.

3. CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY. Decide on a method you are happy with and stick to it.