Is Sleep Training Selfish? Well, Yes…And No

 
Is Sleep Training Selfish?

Okay, parents, let’s just get it right out in the open. It’s the elephant in the room for many of our consultation clients, but we think it’s high time we addressed it here on the blog, and talked about it openly.

We’re talking about sleep training guilt.

Have you felt this? Does the idea of sleep training in order to achieve hours of glorious, uninterrupted night sleep and long, peaceful naps sound wonderful to you? But maybe it’s also tainted by a weird, lingering feeling of guilt, that somehow even wanting to sleep train (much less actually doing it) is somehow selfish?

If so – you’re not alone. MANY of the families with whom we’ve worked have said this very thing as they’ve started their consultations – “I’m so excited to be doing this finally, but I also feel super guilty. I feel selfish for wanting to fix my child’s sleep!”

Well, readers, this is the question we’re answering in today’s post: Is sleep training selfish? We say yes AND no – read on to find out why!

Sleep Training “Selfishness”: Why The Guilt In The First Place?

Why does sleep training feel selfish in the first place? Well, most of us end up sleep training out of our own crippling exhaustion. While some parents do sleep train solely based on their baby’s needs, for most of us, it’s a combination of “my baby isn’t getting enough sleep, and NEITHER AM I!!” Because, if we’re honest with ourselves, we need sleep, too. We need adequate sleep in order to have healthy relationships with our partners, to enjoy our daily lives and activities, and to be the best parents we can be.

I also think that sleep training guilt over “being selfish” has a lot to do with the pervasive myth of The Super-Mom. What is the super-mom? Well, super-moms…

  • breastfeed with ease (no latching problems, nipple soreness, or supply issues, thankyouverymuch) and do it exclusively for years.
  • …make ALL baby and toddler food from scratch, using only organic, locally-grown ingredients.
  • …can churn out ALL the crafts on Pinterest – and theirs always look just like the pictures. (Meanwhile, mine end up looking a whole lot more like this…anyone else??)
  • …retain their girlish figures indefinitely (because why let a little thing like multiple pregnancies be an excuse for saggy tummies and less-than-lovely breasts?)
  • …have 18 month olds who are potty-trained AND reading independently.
  • …are unfazed by their toddlers’ monster-sized tantrums and NEVER resort to raising their voices or losing their cool.
  • …can happily subsist on just a few hours of sleep per night, and still be patient moms and loving spouses all day long.

Now, not all of these are unachievable dreams — some of these bullet points may describe you, actually! (Although if the bit about the girlish figure fits you, I have to ask — what’s your secret???! ;) And that one about never raising your voice — could someone please tell me how to manage that on a daily basis??) But the point is that there is NO mom out there who fully fits this profile – because it’s not realistic. A mom who could pull all that off would be more robot than human. Especially that last one — while a small percentage of you may be able to function long-term on very little sleep, I’ll be you’re doing just that – functioning. Not living life to the fullest, not enjoying your family and your life – just functioning. And I’ll bet that most of you (me included) can’t even function on just a few hours of sleep for very long.

You know, I used to wish SO HARD that I was the kind of mom who could be up with the baby all night long and then be sweet and calm and happy the next day — but I’m not. Not by a long shot, actually! I need a minimum of 6 hours at night to function well the next day, and if I have a few nights in a row of getting less than 8 hours of sleep, I need to make up for it with one or two nights of getting 9 or 9.5 hours. I used to feel bad about this – can you believe that? I used to feel guilty for needing to get the recommended amount of sleep each night. But it’s true – and I’ll bet most of you can relate. Because that’s not what super-mom is supposed to do; she’s not supposed to let a little thing like constant sleep deprivation slow her down!

Is Sleep Training Selfish? For Some Of Us…Technically Yes!

You know, the word “selfish” is a pretty loaded one – it has a ton of negative connotations. Lots of dictionary definitions define selfish as being supremely concerned with oneself, and not caring about the needs or interests of others. In short – selfishness is bad, by standard definitions!

But do you know what selfishness technically means? Break the word down, and it simply means ‘concern for one’s self.’ By this definition, then, sleep training can be selfish, if you do it out of a concern that you might literally DIE if you don’t start getting enough sleep! Or if you do it for fear that your marriage might fall apart if you and your spouse don’t start getting enough sleep, and you don’t want your partner to leave you. Or if you do it because you feel yourself sinking into a deep depression that you know is brought on by sleep deprivation.

Technically speaking, those are all “selfish” acts – they’re done out of concern for yourself.

But…

Is Sleep Training Selfish? Ultimately, No.

I think we’d all agree that our reasons for sleep training involve more than just our own wellbeing. Most of us sleep train for our spouses and partners, too – we recognize the toll that sleep deprivation is taking on them. And, of course, we do it for our children, because we know that as long as they are waking too often at night, or taking too-short naps, they are not getting the rest they need for healthy development. And many of us know firsthand that our overly-tired children are simply too tired and cranky to enjoy each day – and that’s something that no parent wants for their child!

So, even if some of your motives for sleep training are technically “selfish”, in that they are focused on your needs, it’s likely you have other reasons for sleep training, too.

And what about those “selfish” motives? Should you feel bad about them? In a word – NO. Taking care of yourself, while it may not be part of the “super-mom” myth, is in reality a very, very healthy practice. If you are so busy taking care of everyone else in your family that you completely ignore your own needs, it won’t be long before you are too burnt out to be much use to anyone. Better to pay attention to yourself AND to your children and your partner – better to focus on meeting your own sleep needs AND on making sure that the other members of your family are rested.

You Don’t Have To Feel Selfish For Reclaiming Your Sleep — Let Us Help!

If you feel desperate to solve your baby or toddler’s sleep problems, and to reclaim your own sleep, don’t let yourself be bogged down by guilt! Sleep training may be one of the best decisions you ever make for yourself and for your family – so why not start today? Our trained sleep consultants are standing by, ready to help you get started. Your consultant will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for you and your family, and walk you through every step of implementation.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 

How about you – have you struggled with sleep training guilt? Do you think sleep training is selfish? Share your opinions with us!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

 
*******************************************************************************************
bss_ebook_freeguide_leftWant FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
 
 
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.

A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
*******************************************************************************************
 

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Baby Feeding Schedule: Rigid, Flexible, or On-Demand?

 
Baby FeedingSchedule

Figuring out your baby’s sleep schedule can be tough – very tough! – but you know what can be just as challenging? Figuring out your baby’s feeding schedule! While it’s true that a small percentage of families will struggle with sleep while not having any issues with feeding, we’ve found that sleep and feeding are so closely connected that families usually have trouble with both. (That’s just one of the reasons we created our sister site, Your Baby’s Start To Solid Food.)

Sleep and feeding problems usually become cyclical. Here’s an example: an over-tired 3 month old may start to routinely take short, incomplete feedings, simply because he can’t stay awake long enough to get a full feed. Then, he may wake too early from a nap, or wake too often at night, because he’s hungry (he didn’t get that full feeding in earlier, after all), so he needs to eat again – only he can’t take a full feeding, because he’s so tired, so he falls asleep after just fa few minutes of eating, but then he wakes too early from his next nap, too, because he’s hungry…..

You get the idea. :)

So, along with sleep schedule help, our consultants often offer feeding schedule help, too, in cases where feeding schedules may be problematic. You just can’t separate out feeding and sleep – they’re so connected!

That’s why we’re talking about feeding schedules today on the blog. Specifically, we’re looking at different kinds of feeding schedules, to help you determine which is best for you. When it comes to baby feeding schedules, is it best to go with a more rigid schedule? A more flexible schedule? Or should you throw out the schedule altogether and feed on demand?

Let’s take a look!

Baby Feeding Schedule: A Rigid Schedule

Rigid schedules are generally clock-based – parents set times for feedings and then stick to those times, even if baby wakes early from a nap or at night. Some parents will even wake their child from a nap in order to stick to the schedule!

I’ll say right now that if you try to implement a rigid schedule with a newborn, or a young baby, you’re likely wasting your time – most newborns and young babies just aren’t ready for a rigid baby feeding schedule. True, some very consistent babies may have no trouble sticking to a clock-based schedule, it’s rare that a very young baby can do that. In fact, in our experience, most babies aren’t ready for a rigid schedule until they’re at least 6 months old. And a rigid schedule can be downright dangerous for young babies, since it may not allow for enough feeding to accommodate their growing bodies and brains.

Even past 6 months, whether or not a rigid schedule will work depends a lot on your baby’s temperament. Consistent, predictable babies will likely do better with a rigid schedule than will inconsistent, unpredictable babies. Of course, what kind of schedule works best will depend at least in part on YOUR temperament, too! Type-A parents will likely do great with a rigid schedule, but if you’re parent who prefers to go with the flow, and loves it when each day is different, a rigid schedule may not work well (even if it works for your baby). It’s all about finding balance, and working out an arrangement that suits both of you. ;-)

A final word about rigid schedules – remember that if you’re using a rigid schedule to try and promote more sleep at night (for example, by only “allowing” a set number of night wakings), it may not work out as you plan. Some babies (especially newborns) actually need to eat more frequently during the day in order to get that long stretch of sleep in at night, but if you have carefully timed the day feedings, they may not get enough calories during daylight hours to get the long stretch at night.

Baby Feeding Schedule: A Flexible Schedule

79079804 A flexible schedule allow you to be just that – flexible. With a flexible schedule, you have general times in mind for feedings, but they may not be clock-based. Instead, you may focus more on the timing between feedings. With a flexible schedule, you may strive to feed at roughly the same time each day, but then you would also allow for interruptions – if baby sleeps through a feeding time, then you adjust the schedule. Or, if baby wakes too early for a nighttime feed, then you offer it but adjust the timing of the next day.

Flexible schedules work well at just about any age (although you may want to “tighten the reins” on flexible schedules once you reach the toddler stage; by the time your baby is a year old, she’s ready to organize her feedings into meals and snacks). Flexible schedules are great during the newborn and young baby stages – they help build in a measure of predictability and routine, but they also for baby to get in all the feedings she needs. They also allow for the unexpected things in life – last-minute errands, visitors who just pop-in unannounced, etc.

Flexible schedules can help promote sleeping through the night, in that they can help to gently space out feedings that are too close together. And if your schedule allows for plenty of daytime feedings, then your baby may have a better chance of getting that long, nighttime stretch of sleep. However, flexibility is a balance – schedules that are VERY flexible may cease to look like schedules at all, and you may be more in the territory of feeding on demand.

And speaking of feeding on demand…

Baby Feeding Schedule: Feeding On Demand

When you feed your baby on demand, you basically forget about trying to establish a predictable schedule and instead use your baby as your guide. You feed whenever your baby seems hungry, and the feeding is over when the baby seems done. While on demand feeding is a hallmark of attachment parenting, you certainly don’t have to be an attachment parenting to try feeding on demand.

Feeding on demand is probably the best approach to feeding during the very early newborn stage – in the first few weeks after birth. It ensures that your baby gets enough nourishment, and can provide a period of transition time before you move towards a more predictable schedule. On demand feeding is also great in those early days because it allows for the extra nourishment needed during growth spurts.

Of course, on demand feeding can become exhausting for YOU as your baby grows, and if your a parent who likes predictability, the lack of schedule may begin to wear on you if you feed on demand for more than a few months. And while on demand feeding may actually help promote longer stretches of sleep for young babies (since they will be able to cluster-feed in the evening), it may create sleep issues, too. If a baby gets into the habit of “snacking”, for example, and taking in many, many short feedings, it can actually sustain a night-waking problem, or a short-nap problem.

Baby Feeding Schedule: Our Recommendations

First, let me be clear – the decision about which feeding schedule to use is best left up to you. :-) Second, I want to point out that while we have taken each one of these types of schedules separately, you don’t have to view them that way. You can use these schedules in combination. You can also use different schedules at different points in your baby’s development.

For example, if you have a 4 month old, you may choose to feed on demand during the day, so as to encourage plenty of daytime calorie intake, but then use a flexible schedule at night, and pay attention to the gaps between your baby’s feeds, trying to encourage gaps of at least 2.5 hours. Or, you may use demand feeding with your baby when he is sick, or going through a growth spurt, but then return to a more fixed schedule after that. Perhaps you try to implement a flexible schedule if your baby is waking too much at night, or waking too early from naps — the schedule may help you lengthen those sleep times. Or maybe you use a flexible schedule until your baby is 9 or 10 months old, at which point you make an attempt at night weaning and then move to a more rigid schedule. The point here is that you don’t have to pick one and use it forever – you can change it up as you see fit, and to fit your baby’s needs at various stages.

Baby Feeding Schedule (and Baby Sleep Schedule) Help That Works – We’ve Got It!

Easy to talk about what kind of feeding schedule to use with your baby – harder to make the schedule happen! If you need baby feeding schedule help – or baby sleep schedule help – we are here for you! Our consultants are standing by, ready to offer their expertise, and to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for you, that will contain important feeding and schedule information. Simply browse our list of consultation packages and choose the one that you like best.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftYou may also be interested in purchasing a copy of our e-Book, Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

Which type of feeding schedule do you prefer? Share your scheduling tips with us – we love hearing from you!

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Do Babies Dream? What Do Babies Dream About?

 
Do Babies Dream?

Ever held a newborn or young baby in your arms and watched him sleep? Many babies are pretty “expressive” sleepers – during deep sleep, they twitch and jerk, they grunt and grimace, they make faces, they smile. All of that expression can make parents wonder, “Is my baby dreaming?”

And it’s a valid question! You dream, after all – why not your baby?

In today’s post, we’ll take a look at just this question: do babies dream? We’ll hear from some of the experts, and then open it up to you, to share your thoughts and experiences!

Baby Dreams: A Background Lesson On Sleep Cycles

First, though, let’s go over a little background info. In order to understand dreams, you first have to understand how sleep cycles work. Human sleep is divided up into 2 cycles – REM (which stands for rapid-eye movement) and Non-REM. Throughout the night, you and I cycle through Non-REM and REM sleep. We have a period (usually 90 minutes) of Non-REM sleep (this tends to be deep sleep, and our body uses it to rebuild and repair tissue, to strengthen our immune systems, etc.), followed by a short period of REM sleep, in which our sleep is more restless. Our REM cycles lengthen as the night goes on – our last REM cycle is up to an hour.

Why all this talk about REM vs. Non-REM? Because we dream during REM sleep. What does this have to do with our babies? Well, simply put, your baby spends a lot more time in REM sleep than you do – her sleep cycles are a lot different than yours! While you spend about 20% of your night in REM sleep, your baby will spend up to 50% (maybe even more, in the newborn stage) of sleep in REM sleep.

(Side note: REM sleep tends to be lighter, more active sleep than non-REM sleep. We wake more easily in REM sleep, as well as in the first two stages of non-REM sleep. This is one answer to why your baby wakes frequently at night, and has naps that are too short!)

So, based on this – it’s certainly possible for our babies to dream. Goodness knows they have enough REM sleep for it!!

Do Babies Dream?

Of course, no one can answer this question with absolute certainty, because…well, because babies can’t talk! However, experts have suggested theories as to whether or not babies dream. On the one hand, some experts point out that babies must dream, given how much time they spend in REM sleep. Because the capacity for dreaming is there, these experts say that it’s logical to assume that babies likely do dream – and that just because our babies can’t tell us about their dreams, that doesn’t mean that the dreams aren’t happening!

On the other hand, other experts are quick to point out that babies probably don’t dream – at least, they don’t dream in the way we do. If you think about your dreams, they are most likely dramas or stories, that involve a chain of events (either past events from your life, or events you’ve read about or heard about), and that involve you, or people in your life. These dreams have settings, they have a storyline, they contains dialogue….but some experts are quick to point out that babies don’t have the mental skills necessary to construct such dreams. Babies don’t have language skills, for one thing; babies also don’t have a strong sense of themselves, of other people, or of objects around them. So how, these experts ask, could babies dream?

Another point these experts point out is that it’s not really fair to compare a baby’s REM totals to an adult’s, because what’s happening during those REM cycles is so different. A baby experiences a truly vast amount of growth and development during the first few years of life – and much of it happens during sleep. During REM sleep, a baby’s brain is busy developing new neural pathways, and all that learning and growing and developing leaves very little brainpower left over for dreaming. (It also disrupts sleep in a big way, and can cause sleep regressions – but that’s another topic for another article! ;) )

What Do Babies Dream About?

So, if you’re one who believes that babies do, in fact, dream, what might they be dreaming about? Well, most of us would probably agree that we dream about those things with which we’ve had experience – either events we’ve experienced, or events that we have read about, or heard about.

So, if we apply that logic to babies, baby dreams probably include a lot of pooping, sucking, and crying – at least at first! As a baby grows, however, and becomes more aware of her surroundings, who knows? Maybe the mom and dad show up in her dreams – maybe the dog does, too! ;)

What do you think, parents? Do you believe your baby dreams? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with us!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Baby_On_Computer_RESIZEDIf you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

 
*******************************************************************************************
bss_ebook_freeguide_leftWant FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
 
 
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.

A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
*******************************************************************************************
 

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Sophie’s Baby Sleep Story [VIDEO]

Readers, meet Sophie! Fashion stylist, mommy-extraordinare, and blogger at Eenie Meenie Bambini, Sophie is also a former client of The Baby Sleep Site® Recently, Sophie took the time to sit down and write out her sleep story – and she also took the time to film a short video for us!

Read on, and hear Sophie’s compelling sleep story. Hear about her harrowing struggles to help her daughter Coco sleep. Hear about the toll that sleep deprivation took on her life. But not only that – learn how she got help. Learn the steps she took to reclaim her sleep (and her sanity!). And watch Sophie herself tell you about her experiences working with The Baby Sleep Site®!

Don’t forget to scroll to the end of the excerpt, to watch the video and hear from Sophie herself!

From Total Sleep Deprivation To Peaceful Nights – An Excerpt Of Sophie’s Sleep Story

“By the time Coco was about 6/7 months, my world was upside down. I was fighting Sophie's Baby Sleep Storycrushing exhaustion on the inside, but having the “mother’s energy” to still keep going strong with a smile on my face 80% of the time. However, my patience level was ice-thin, I was becoming increasingly emotionally vulnerable, and if you were to make me angry for any reason, I’d probably cry, while if you woke my sleeping baby, I was a ball of fury. I became very controlling about everything around Coco’s sleep. I put so much effort intro trying to make her sleep that I began to feel convinced that no one else could do it right, and if they did try to put her to sleep, they would do it differently than the book I was following at the time – and somehow that would mean taking a giant step backwards in her sleep training. We literally had a “no go zone” once she was asleep, because the lightest footstep would wake her up, and I’d lose my mind. As you can image in, my relationship with my husband was not the easiest at this time, either.

I felt so alone in dealing with this – like no one quite understood the suffering I was experiencing. I kept saying to people, “You have no idea what happens when you have not slept more than 3 hours in a row for over a year; you really start to lose it slowly!” On top of all this, I was supposed to be running a household and having some semblance of a career. My husband was always supportive of my efforts; he never expected anything of me during this time, as he knew I had nothing left to give -no was was I putting dinner on the table!

One day, out of sheer desperation, my mother and I stayed up late scouring the internet for more sleep answers. By some miracle, we came across The Baby Sleep Site®…”

Read the rest of Sophie’s sleep story here.

Need Baby Sleep Help Yourself? We Helped Sophie, And We Can Help You!

Whatever your unique situation, if you are struggling with your baby’s sleep, know that we can help you with your particular sleep challenge. We are committed to customizing our methods to match you parenting style and goals. If you are ready to work on your little one’s sleep, and to get a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that will work for your family, the first step is to browse our extensive list of package options and select the one that looks best for your situation.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

 
*******************************************************************************************
bss_ebook_freeguide_leftWant FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
 
 
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.

A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
*******************************************************************************************
 

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Sleep Training Boot Camp, Part Seven: Celebrate Success (No Matter How Small!)

 
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New to Sleep Training Bootcamp? Check out our overview page to find out what Sleep Training Boot Camp is all about, and to catch up on past Boot Camp articles.

 

BOOT CAMP, PART SEVEN: Celebrate Success (No Matter How Small!)

 
BootCamp7

Boot Campers – YOU DID IT. You made it to the end! And what does that mean? It means – it’s time to celebrate your success! Even small successes get celebrated today :-).

Sweet and awesome Vikki, your resident boot camp encourager, is back today, and she’s bringing us one last boot camp article. Let the celebration begin!

Celebrating A Successful Sleep Training Boot Camp

The Meldrums 2013_4-29My fellow sleep warriors, YOU DID IT. You made it through Sleep Training Boot Camp! Go you! Whether your baby is sleeping through the night like an angel, you just started your sleep training journey, or you’re somewhere in between, CONGRATULATIONS. Every sleep success, no matter how small, is cause for celebration!

Sometimes the hardest part of training is getting started. Even though we struggled with Lyla’s sleep for many months, I just kept hoping it would get better. I had gotten used to our nightly battles and just thought this is what life was like with a struggled sleeper. I wanted a more peaceful situation for Lyla. I wanted to feel rested so I could be a more patient mom. I wanted a happier, less tired household, but I didn’t know if or how any of it was possible. Deciding to try sleep training made it happen. So if you’re just starting out, look for small victories. Did you shave off even a few minutes from bedtime? SUCCESS! Has baby been more open to a change in routine that will lead to better sleep? TRIUMPH! Did baby nap for even five minutes longer than the day before? YOU DID THAT!

It can be so hard to stay consistent during sleep training, but hopefully Sleep Training Boot Camp helped keep you on the road to sleep street! There were so many times while training Lyla I wanted to just give up. Some nights it seemed like it didn’t matter what I did, the kid was not going to sleep. But I found inspiration in the fact that not knowing how to sleep is temporary and teaching her the tools to hang out in happy snoozeland would last her a lifetime. Did you push through when you wanted to give up? GO YOU!

The Meldrums 2013_4-13Did you attack naps during Sleep Training Boot Camp? HECK YES! Naps can be a constant source of stress, especially if baby refuses them. Remember, your baby or toddler needs that sleep, and you need that time in the day to recharge your batteries. Working towards better naps skills with your child is a win, even if it’s just adding a few minutes to sleepy time. There is happy on the other side of that successful nap – AND YOU MADE IT HAPPEN!

If sleep setbacks, like teething or sleep regressions, got the best of you, no worries! The tools are still here for you. Whether your baby is a good sleeper that just needs some fine-tuning, or is a chronically awake human like my little Lyla bean, there will be setbacks. But remember: SETBACKS DON’T MEAN FAILURE. Even after you’ve found the sleep training approach that works for you and baby, stuff comes up. YOU CAN AND WILL GET AND KEEP YOUR BABY SLEEPING PEACEFULLY. You can do it!

My fellow sleep conquerors, we came into this Boot Camp searching for a solution. Needing a break. Wanting desperately for our babies to find peaceful, happy slumber. Whether you just took the first step or have worked through a Personalized Sleep Plan™ and are watching baby drool happily in dreamland right now, YOU DID IT! You made progress in helping baby learn to sleep! Remember: no matter where you are in the sleep training journey, keep going. Your baby or toddler will get there, and you’ll be right beside him or her every step of the way.

Congratulations on a successful Sleep Training Boot Camp!!!

Not Quite Where You Want To Be, Sleep-Wise? We Can Help!

I feel like we can’t emphasize this enough: ANY success is worth celebrating, when it comes to sleep training. But even if you’ve had small successes, you may still not be quite where you want to be, sleep-wise. That’s okay – there is plenty of time to keep working on sleep. And don’t forget that we’re here to help you! For TODAY ONLY, you can grab any of our sleep consultation packages, or any of our e-Book titles, at a 15% discount! These boot camp essentials are the tools you need to help get you where you want to be, and to end your journey to better sleep.

Grab a consultation package or e-Book at 15% off – SALE ENDS TUESDAY!

So remember, boot campers – as we say goodbye to Sleep Training Boot Camp, celebrate your successes, even if they’re small. And if you aren’t quite where you want to be, don’t worry! We can help!

What are your sleep training successes? Share them – we want to celebrate with you! Have questions about sleep challenges that remain? Ask, and we’ll answer!

 
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<--Boot Camp Part Six: Handling Sleep Setbacks

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Sleep Training Boot Camp, Part Six: Handling Sleep Setbacks

 
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New to Sleep Training Bootcamp? Check out our overview page to find out what Sleep Training Boot Camp is all about, and to catch up on past Boot Camp articles.

 

BOOT CAMP, PART SIX: Handling Sleep Setbacks

 
Handling Sleep Setbacks

Boot Campers, you have come SO FAR! Can you believe we’re already at part six of our seven-part series?! For those of you who have been sticking with us this month, and doing the hard work of sleep training – keep it up! You’re almost there! And don’t forget, if you’re feeling discouraged, or if you had to give up because your sleep coaching plans just weren’t working, don’t despair – we can help!

We hope that, at this point, that you are starting to see some improvements in sleep. Sure, things may not be perfect yet – in fact, you may still be a long way from perfect! But ALL progress is good progress. :-)

Today, we’re taking a look at some of the most common sleep setbacks that parents face. Don’t forget that, even when sleep coaching is done, and when your baby or toddler’s sleep is exactly where you want it to be, there will still be setbacks you have to contend with. Specifically, the most common sleep setbacks we see parents struggling with include…

These are all things that can disrupt sleep in a big way – and the disruption can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. So, how can you cope with these setbacks?

Vikki is back to share some tips with us, and to tell us a little bit about the sleep setbacks she’s faced, and how she’s coped. Let’s hear more!

Handling Sleep Setbacks: Vikki’s Sleep Training Story

The Meldrums 2013_4-3My little Lyla Kathleen is not a good sleeper. While today she is a dramatically better snooze artist than she was before I started working with The Baby Sleep Site®, there are still struggles. I think there always will be. I have come to terms with the fact that she’s just never going to be a kid that chooses to go to sleep when she’s tired. Throw in a growth spurt, getting sick, or some teething, and the baby food really hits the fan!

After about eight weeks of following my Personalized Sleep Plan™ and working with Jen, our sleep consultant, little Lyla Kat was falling asleep on her own for naps and at bedtime, and was sleeping through the night about five days a week. This was a dramatic improvement from the previous ten months of nightly tear-streaked faces (hers and mine) and intense whisper fights with my husband about what to do with our exhausted child. I was overjoyed. Jubilant. Euphoric. My baby had peace. I got sleep. Life had reached a new normal that included gobs of glorious slumber. It was amazing. Until it wasn’t.

After weeks of going to sleep so well and sleeping through the night most of the time, at 2 a.m. one morning, I heard a little cry. Then I heard a big scream. I went through the checklist: diaper was fine; temperature in the room was fine; no apparent injuries or indications of being sick or having teeth pain. We had recently weaned from nursing, and I thought maybe she was experiencing some separation anxiety. Maybe she just needed momma. It was kind of sweet. It took an hour to get her back to sleep. I decided it was a hiccup and laid down with a smile, happy I got a little extra time with my girl.

I was not smiling the next night when 2 a.m. rolled around and it happened again. And again the next two nights. Was this separation anxiety or “I just don’t want to sleep”-iety? Was there a lurking tooth? I had no idea, and Lyla wasn’t talking.

I had this horrifying fear that her newfound ability to sleep was only temporary. Or worse, that my child was untrainable and she would be awake the rest of her life. Please note I was very tired. While I was being slightly dramatic, the feeling of failure was very real. She had been doing so well. We’d worked so hard and come so far. Where did we go wrong? I had a pit in my stomach, and I kept thinking, now that sleep training is a failure, where do we go from here?

Sleep Setbacks Do Not Equal Sleep Failure

The Meldrums 2013_4-29After my initial freak about those middle of the night wake-ups, I took three deep breaths, and realized that Lyla’s waking up didn’t mean all our work was lost. It meant something was hindering her from utilizing the tools we taught her, and my job was to get her back on track.

Here’s what I’ve learned since then: when Lyla has “sleep weirdness” as a result of teeth, growth, general fickleness, etc., her disrupted sleep usually lasts about a week. It took a few episodes for my husband and I to realize this pattern. Once we did, though, it helped us stick to our sleep rules, because we knew it was temporary. And after she worked through whatever was causing the disruption, if we stuck to the training, her improved sleep habits returned.

I realized through this process that setbacks are temporary, but sleep training is for life. I didn’t need to make any huge changes or come up with a new strategy. I just had to comfort my baby and reinforce our training. I went back to the plan and the sleep rules, and Lyla, thankfully, went back to sleep. The “fix” for these setbacks was to stay consistent. Remind baby and yourself of the sleep rules. If they aren’t working, like we talked about with naps in the last post, find what works. Update the rules to reflect what your baby needs long-term, but don’t make hasty changes that only solve for the short-term.

Whether your baby is a good sleeper that just needs some fine-tuning, or is a chronically awake little person, like my little bean, there will be setbacks. But remember: SETBACKS DON’T MEAN FAILURE. Even after you’ve found the sleep training approach that works for you and baby, stuff comes up. For us, since training, there have been litanies of slumber-altering situations, including never-ending teething (her pediatrician calls her “Jaws”), the end of the binky era (RIP Pinky the Binky) and, of course, when I stopped nursing.

Sometimes you know or can guess what causes the disruption. Or, especially when they’re too young to talk, it’s a total mystery. But work the steps. Stick to your rules. Keep your sleep routine as normal as possible. If there is a temporary cause to the disruption, no need for a wholesale change in approach. With sleep training, it’s not about big huge flailing moves to get the desired result. It’s about small, specific choices to help direct baby back to the path to sleep.

So, my fellow sleep-seeking parents, please know that even the best sleeper (born or taught) will have times when they struggle to siesta. But a setback does not mean sleep training failure. It means helping baby use the sleep tools even when his/her baby mouth hurts or their internal sleep clock is a little off. Get back to our routine when you can, and baby will, too!

Help For Handling Sleep Setbacks

Isn’t Vikki full of good advice? It’s key to keep her main point in mind when sleep training: sleep setbacks don’t mean sleep training failure! It’s best to stick to your plan, to try and continue fostering good sleep habits, and to just get through the rough patch as best you can.

Of course, that’s sometimes easier said than done, right? Some “rough patches” can be particularly rough! If you find that you need help navigating sleep setbacks (or if you just need help with sleep coaching, period!), I hope you’ll consider a sleep consultation with one of our expert sleep consultants.

Browse our list of sleep consultation packages here.

Once you purchase a package, you will immediately receive access to our Sleep Helpdesk, where you can upload your family sleep history form, connect with your consultant, and get started on your journey to better sleep!

What’s your plan for handling setbacks, boot campers? To those of you who’ve dealt with setbacks before – any advice to offer? Share with us – we want to hear from you!

 
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<--Boot Camp Part Five: What You Need To Know About Nap Training

Boot Camp Part Seven: Celebrate Success, No Matter How Small! –>

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Sleep Training Boot Camp, Part Five: What You Need To Know About Nap Training

 
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New to Sleep Training Bootcamp? Check out our overview page to find out what Sleep Training Boot Camp is all about, and to catch up on past Boot Camp articles.

 

BOOT CAMP, PART FIVE: What You Need To Know About Nap Training

 
What You Need To Know About Nap Training

Boot campers, if you are hanging in there and sticking with Sleep Training Boot Camp, then I have just one thing to say to you – YOU ROCK! I know it probably hasn’t always been easy, and that the last few weeks have likely been at least a little tiring and tough. Remember, you can always ask your consultant (aka your boot camp coach!) for follow-up help. You can also just vent via e-mail, if that helps – clients do it all the time, and our consultants don’t mind it a bit! They’re happy to provide a listening and sympathetic ear. ;-)

Today, we’re changing tacks a little, and focusing on a specific component of your child’s sleep: naps. Why, you ask? Because naps are a different animal, in many ways – and for many parents, sleep coaching for naps proves to be different (and sometimes tougher) than sleep coaching for nights.

So, today, we’re looking at what you need to know about nap training. As usual, we’ll hear from Vikki about what nap training was like for her, and hear her tips for how to stay the course with naps. Read on, boot campers!

A Personal Account of Nap Training – Vikki’s Nap Coaching Story

The Meldrums 2013_4-4My daughter Lyla never went down easy at bedtime, but naps were another story. Lyla loved her crib. She was a superstar napper! Best in town! We’d read a book and she’d fall asleep on me in minutes. I’d put her chubby baby body in her crib and have an hour or so to do what I wanted. It was heaven. Bliss. Nirvana. Especially because, as you may remember from my last post about sticking with sleep training, Lyla brawled with sleep like a prizefighter, so we were getting no sleep overnight.

As Lyla got older and her objections to bedtime got worse and worse, her naps went to the dark side. By ten months, we were aiming for two 60-minute naps a day. I was spending hours trying to get her to sleep FOR EACH HOUR-LONG NAP. The effort did not match the outcome. Lyla wanted nothing to do with sleep, day or night.

By the time I contacted The Baby Sleep Site®, Lyla was beyond exhausted all the time. I was frustrated that I couldn’t help my baby sleep. And I was tired. So very, very tired. No one in my house was happy.

My consultant Jen suggested we work on bedtime and overnights first, and then work on naps, as overnight sleep and nap sleep are controlled by different parts of the brain. Made sense to me! I just wanted to get Lyla some peaceful rest at SOME point in a 24-hour period! As I mentioned last time, it took about a week to see progress at bedtime, and a little longer on overnights, but things did start to get better. What was crazy, though, was that naps were getting worse. Lyla’s objection to naptime was so severe that we’d skip naps because she fought so hard for so long at each one. As you’ve probably experienced, skipping naps can lead to an overtired baby and really tough bedtimes. At least it did for us. We were getting to a really good place at bedtime and Lyla even started sleeping through the night a few nights a week. I didn’t want to risk losing the progress we made at night so I knew I had to make a change at naptime.

Even though we were only about halfway through the nighttime part of the Personalized Sleep Plan™, I started working on naps. I incorporated what my consultant outlined for an approach and actually utilized some of the overnight tactics for naps. And, eureka! We had daytime sleep. Because we were getting into a rhythm at night, Lyla understood better what we were asking her to do during the day. She would still object a bit, but understand that she had to go to sleep.

Nap Training: Get Support, and Find What Works For You

The Meldrums 2013_4-18I think the key for naps is finding what works for you AND your baby. Your sleep training solution needs to be fluid enough that you can augment it when necessary, and supported enough that when you do, you have help and feedback. I knew I needed to make a change, and my consultant Jen worked with me to figure out how to implement it. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help – you don’t have to be alone on this sleep mission.

I know at times it seems like nothing is going to help baby sleep at naptime. But it will. Today, Lyla is fifteen months old, and I have a (still) chubby baby girl who has retuned to her previous title as the best napper in town. It didn’t happen overnight, and we still have hiccups, but I try to find what works.

We still have sleep struggles, and I think we always will, as sleep is not high on Lyla’s list of priorities. But when I think of how we went from a baby who couldn’t calm down enough to sleep day or night to a little lady who lies down and goes right to sleep most of the time, I get teary (read: I sob with joy).

To all you sleepless mamas out there: this sleep thing is hard. Hard on them. Hard on you. But believe, my fellow sleepy mommies, that there is a solution to helping your baby sleep during naps. Develop a game plan, but don’t be afraid to make changes while you’re on the field. Oh – and get help from a consultant! And don’t forget – you can do this! Naps will happen! You just have to find what works for you and baby. And you will.

Nap Training Resources That You Need To Succeed

Now, in the interest of helping you along in your nap coaching, we wanted to give you all the information we could about baby and toddler naps. Knowledge is power, after all! So if nap training is proving difficult, and you feel like you need additional help, we invite you to check out these resources:

bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftOf course, you may not relish the idea of reading a whole lot of nap articles right now – especially considering that sleep training may be leaving you pretty wiped out! If you’d rather have all the nap info you need condensed into one easy-to-read, instantly-downloadable resource, you may want to check out Mastering Naps and Schedules. With over 45 sample schedules, along with a wealth of napping tips and techniques, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a fantastic resource for parents who want to continue working on naps themselves, but want an abundance of information to help them along the way. And don’t forget that right now, for a limited time, Mastering Naps and Schedules is 15% off!

Finally, don’t forget – you don’t have to do this alone. You don’t! We are here to help! Our team of kind, compassionate, expert sleep consultants is ready and waiting to help you and your child get the sleep you need. With the help of one of our sweet and supportive “drill sergeants”, You CAN conquer sleep training boot camp! ;)

First, check out our sleep consulting packages and see which one looks like a good fit for you.

Browse the list of sleep consulting packages here.

Then, create your Helpdesk account, fill out and upload your Family Sleep History Form, connect with your consultant, and that’s it! You’ll have the expert help and caring support you need to conquer sleep training boot camp once and for all!

Naps are tough – but we’re here to help! Have questions about nap training? Ask then, and we’ll answer! Any nap coaching tips to offer? We LOVE hearing from you – share your wisdom with us!

 
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<--Boot Camp Part Four: Staying Consistent During Sleep Training

Boot Camp Part Six: Handling Sleep Setbacks –>

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Sleep Training Boot Camp, Part Four: Staying Consistent During Sleep Training

 
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New to Sleep Training Bootcamp? Check out our overview page to find out what Sleep Training Boot Camp is all about, and to catch up on past Boot Camp articles.

 

BOOT CAMP, PART FOUR: Staying Consistent During Sleep Training

 
Staying Consistent With Sleep Training

Welcome back, boot campers! Well, here we are, halfway through sleep training boot camp. How are you doing? Are you sticking with it? I know that, at this point, after a week of sleep training and using your sleep training plan, you may be starting to feel worn out. Exhausted. Maybe discouraged. In fact, some of you may feel like giving up completely (or at least making massive changes to your sleep plan!)

Vikki and I knew that many of you would be feeling this way right around now, and as we discussed it, Vikki mentioned that she remembered feeling this way herself, when she was working on sleep training her daughter Lyla. And given that Vikki knows exactly how it feels to be discouraged in sleep training, and to want to give up, I thought it would be best if she talked to you today about staying consistent. Vikki also let me know that she had a little secret – the key to consistency, for her, was finding her inspiration.

What is ‘find your inspiration’ all about? Read on and find out how finding your inspiration can help you stay focused and committed.

Take it away, Vikki!

Staying Consistent With Sleep Training – Vikki’s Sleep Coaching Story

The Meldrums 2013_4-9It’s 9:30p. I have been trying to get my ten-month old, Lyla, to sleep for more than two hours. These hours, added to the time it took to get her down for her two naps today, means I have been in her room working on sleep for more total hours than I had slept the night before. Boo. Hiss.

I consulted my Personalized Sleep Plan™ before starting bedtime to give me some support. I knew what to do. But here I was again – night 20 million of Lyla not sleeping. I was seconds from offering her the breast just to get her go to sleep.

I was frustrated. I was impatient. I was exhausted.

I was on day four of the Personalized Sleep Plan™. The details were all there. What was not there, yet, was my baby’s understanding of what I was asking her to do. What I was always asking her to do. SLEEP!

My husband always says to take three deep breaths when I feel overwhelmed. Somewhere between breaths two and three, I had an epiphany. I have to give Lyla better than this version of me. I was not being the gentle, loving mom I know I am. Lack of sleep and the inability to get my child to sleep had started to change the way I was responding to this beautiful little nugget. I am human. I was at my breaking point.

One of the things my consultant, Jen, helped me realize is that my baby doesn’t know how to sleep on her own. Others may. Mine, not so much. Much like working with her on walking or using a spoon, I had to teach Lyla about sleep. I had to help her learn to sleep on her own.

My Lyla is what The Baby Sleep Site® calls “persistent”. That’s the polite word for extremely strong willed. Although, I think every baby that can’t or doesn’t want to sleep seems to have the will of Superman.

So, I finished my breaths. I worked through the steps of the Plan. I got Lyla to sleep. It took three hours that night. But it was a few minutes less than the night before and I gobbled that small victory up like a hunk of cake. But it wasn’t enough to make me feel like there was progress. I collapsed into a messy heap of tears and asked God, the dog, the lamp – anything that would listen – that she find peace so that she might start to see sleep as something to look forward to and not something that made her scream and scream. And scream.

Defining Your Goals, and Finding Your Inspiration

The next morning, I walked into Lyla’s room to check on her and just watched her sleep for a minute. It was beautiful. That vision was my goal. I was going to help my baby always find this snuggle of serenity.

As bedtime rolled around on day five of my Personalized Sleep Plan™, I felt like a cliff diver. I was full of adrenalin. Excited. Nervous. Ready. I was going to work the steps and get my baby to sleep. As she reared up for a big cry when I put her into bed, I stood at the side of her crib and realized something. This crib would eventually convert into her toddler bed, then to her full-sized bed. This crib side I’ve stood at for hours wooing her to sleep was the same place I would stand years from now begging my child, my pre-teen, my teenager to get up. And all at once, I knew that this was JUST FOR RIGHT NOW. These fits about sleep, these sleepless nights, the tears she and I both cried from exhaustion, was so just right now. This, too, shall pass.

I was committed to figuring out how to give her better tools to sleep and I had help in the consultants. We could do this. WE WOULD DO THIS.

And we did. It took a few nights, but Lyla started doing better. She still objected vocally and loudly to having to go to bed, but she found peace much more quickly. As I followed the plan’s goals for each night, Lyla found more and more peace. I watched her learn. It was amazing.

Jen advised that we stick to our plan for at least a week (if not two) before making any changes, because it usually takes at least that long to start seeing the effects of recommended changes. I am so glad we did.

The Meldrums 2013_4-27 So, my fellow mommas fighting the good sleep fight, YOU CAN DO THIS. Find your inspiration. Find the thing that will help you get through, because as you look for a solution that helps baby learn to sleep, you’ll need it. And it’s there! For me, realizing that this sleep saga is temporary, and that my baby would learn if I kept teaching her gave me the strength to go on.

Plus, I had support. We stuck with the Personalized Sleep Plan™. Based on it, and with help from Jen, we created “Lyla’s Sleep Rules”, which we follow every night. They helped us be consistent. Lyla got the same actions and reactions from both my husband and I. The rules evolved as Lyla continued to challenge us with her sleepless ways, but having them in place help her know what to expect, and for my husband and I, it kept us on track with how to deal with her.

Remember: You can do this. Find your inspiration to keep going. If nothing else, let it be that the payoff to sticking with sleep training is worth it – your baby or toddler will know how to sleep, making him/her more happy and healthy. And you will finally get some sleep, too!

You Don’t Have To Do This Alone…We Can Help!

Personalized ConsultationVikki had Jen acting has her boot camp coach – Jen created a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that was tailored to the Meldrum family’s needs and schedule, and was oriented around Lyla’s unique personality and temperament. Having Jen in her corner was key to Vikki’s sleep training success – yes, she and her husband put in a ton of hard work, but having Jen there to help coach them along was vital!

You can have your own Baby Sleep Site consultant in your corner, acting as your Boot Camp Coach, too. Simply purchase one of our consultation packages to get started. (And remember, they’re currently on sale!) Then, connect with one of our expert consultants, and get started! Your consultant will create your Personalized Sleep Plan™, and – most importantly – she’ll support you every step of the way. Vikki had Jen to coach her through this process; having your own sleep consultant is just what YOU need to conquer sleep training boot camp!

You can do it, boot campers – don’t give up! Keep going! And remember, you’re not alone. Have questions, or just need some encouragement? Let us know in the comments section, and we’ll answer! Have tips to share? We want to hear ‘em!

 
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<--Boot Camp Part Three: Creating & Implementing Your Sleep Training Plan

Boot Camp Part Five: What You Need To Know About Nap Training –>

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Sleep Training Boot Camp, Part Three: Creating And Implementing Your Sleep Training Plan

 
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New to Sleep Training Bootcamp? Check out our overview page to find out what Sleep Training Boot Camp is all about, and to catch up on past Boot Camp articles.

 

BOOT CAMP, PART THREE: Creating and Implementing Your Sleep Training Plan

 
How To Create A Sleep Training Plan

Welcome back to sleep training boot camp, readers! Can you believe were already at Part 3 of our month-long boot camp?

Now that you have done all the prep work necessary for sleep training (by doing the 5 things you need to do before sleep coaching, and by making any necessary feeding and scheduling changes – and possibly filling out the Family History Form), it’s time to actually create your sleep training plan, and then get started with sleep coaching!

Today, we’ll look at these two components separately – how to create your sleep training plan, and then how to start implementing it.

Creating Your Sleep Training Plan

There’s no one way to create a sleep training plan – your approach to sleep coaching can be as unique as you are! But after spending 5+ years refining our own Personalized Sleep Plan, which we create for all our clients, we know a thing or two about what makes a sleep coaching plan successful.

When you go about creating your own sleep coaching plan, use these tips to ensure that your plan sets up you and your baby or toddler for success:

  • Implement ‘mini-steps’ if you want to minimize crying. Mini-steps help you break down sleep coaching into very small, very manageable steps. So instead of making a BIG leap, like, say, from rocking all the way to sleep to putting baby down wide awaken the crib, break that down into smaller mini-steps.
  • Don’t work on naps and nights at the same time. A small percentage of our families find it’s actually better for them to work on naps and nights at the same time, but for the majority, it’s just too overwhelming. Instead, break them into separate components.
  • Create the plan with your baby/toddler AND WITH YOURSELF in mind. Obviously, your child should be the focus of your sleep coaching plan. And it’s key to account for your little one’s temperament. But remember, the plan that works is the plan that YOU can commit to and feel good about. So keep that in mind as you make your plan – choose a method that you feel good about, keep the amount of work you have to do reasonable, and watch the timelines to be sure they’re reasonable, too.
  • Speaking of timelines…plan for a healthy pace to your sleep coaching. Don’t plan to move too fast (you can’t overcome major sleep associations in 3 or 4 days!), but you don’t want to inch along a snail’s pace, either – you shouldn’t be sleep training for months! For most families, 2-4 weeks is adequate time to make big improvements in sleep.
  • Include a basic day-by-day portion of your plan. We include this in most of our Personalized Sleep Plans™, and our clients tell us it’s so helpful. Basically, your day-by-day tells you what specific actions you should take each day (and each night).Creating a day-by-day schedule means you are creating concrete, actionable steps for your sleep coaching, and that can really help you stay consistent even when you’re tired and frustrated.

Implementing Your Sleep Training Plan

When it comes to actually implementing your plan, keep the following things in mind:

  • There is never a perfect time to start sleep training, but as best you can, clear your schedule for a few days after you start coaching. And, if you’re married or have a close support network around, considering soliciting some help for those first few days.
  • Working on night waking can be exhausting, so try to carve out time for yourself to take a nap, to sleep in mornings – anything you can do to catch up on your sleep. And remember that your baby or toddler may need the same – when you’re working on night wakings, do what you can to be sure your little one takes adequate naps.

Let Us Make Your Plan For You!

Personalized ConsultationYou can make your own sleep plan – we offer resources specifically designed to help you do that (many of our e-book packages include a ‘How To Make Your Own Sleep Plan’ workbook!) But the fact is that parents who hire a Baby Sleep Site consultant to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for them have higher rates of success than those who attempt to go it alone. Why? Because our consultants bring years of experience and insight to your consultation – they have worked with literally thousands of families! All that experience combines to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that is guaranteed to equal sleep training success.

How can you get your own Personalized Sleep Plan™? Simple – first, you’ll need to purchase one of our consultation packages (Remember, they’re currently on sale!) Next, you will receive login credentials to our Sleep Helpdesk – from there you will fill out your Family History Form, upload it to the Helpdesk, connect with your consultant, and get started! Once your consultant has reviewed your history, she will create your plan, and then send it over with implementation instructions. It’s that easy! Once you’ve tried out the plan at home, you can email your consultant any time to ask follow-up questions, or to request changes to your plan.

Still not sure if a Personalized Sleep Plan would be right for you? Here’s what Vikki had to say about her plan:

BSS Headshot 1“When I first got the plan I felt two things. First, I felt a sense of relief. I had help, and help that made sense. I had spoken to doctors, nurses, other moms, everyone I could think of. Everyone said, “Oh, she’ll sleep when she’s tired”. But she didn’t. I have tears now just thinking about how bad I felt and how tired she was. Then, I got the plan. I had a blueprint to help us get to a better place.

I also felt a lot of ‘a-ha’ moments as I read through my plan. There were answers to the questions of ‘why’ I had so often. I had heard before that you can give baby a lovely, but I didn’t know why. The plan explained that. I had read about other techniques that Jen (my consultant) referenced in the plan, but she gave me the why. I knew not only what we were going to do but why we were going to do it. That was HUGE for me. I am a very why-oriented person.”

Makes a lot of sense, right? What Vikki (and the rest of us here at The Baby Sleep Site®) want you to know is this: for many of you reading this, a Personalized Sleep Plan™ is all you need to conquer sleep training boot camp, and to solve your little one’s sleep problems once and for all. Even if you don’t feel like you need a consultant tobss_ebook_3stepsystem_left-1 help you, you probably will want all the sleep coaching info you can get your hands on to help you through this process. Well, our e-Books (which are currently 15% off!) provide just that. The 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep is a great choice – it includes all the basics you need to sleep train successfully, and the Silver package includes downloadable instructions about how to make your own sleep training plan!

No matter how you decide to approach Boot Camp Part #3, remember that this step is critical – you need to create a solid plan and then implement it well. You have about a week before we get into Part #4, so use this time to make and then use your plan. Next week, we’ll talk about what to do if things don’t go exactly according to plan. ;) But between now and then, remember – we are here to help!

This is a big step, so if you have questions, ask away, and we’ll offer some help! For those of you who have sleep trained before – share your tips!

 
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<--Boot Camp Part Two: Making Feeding & Schedule Changes (Plus A Bonus Step!)

Boot Camp Part Four: Staying Consistent With Sleep Training –>

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