Why Do Babies Fight Sleep?

Baby Fighting Sleep

Have you ever experienced this, parents? You’re in the midst of your bedtime routine, but your baby – who would ideally be getting drowsy and relaxed right about now – is instead arching her back, pulling away from you, crying, and generally doing fighting sleep in every way she can.

Based on the number of questions we’ve gotten recently in our Helpdesk, this is a problem that many of you have faced. That’s why we’re devoting an article to it today: we’ll lay out the three most common reasons your baby is fighting sleep, as well as 5 solutions that can help!

Baby Fighting Sleep? Here Are 3 Reasons Why

There are 3 primary reasons why most babies fight sleep at bedtime and nap time:

  1. Baby is overtired
  2. This is hands-down the most common reason why your baby is fighting sleep. Simply put, a baby becomes overtired when you miss his “sleep window” (that moment when he’s drowsy enough to fall asleep fairly quickly, but not so tired that he’s begun crying) and put him down for a nap or for bed too late. It sounds odd, I know, but babies really can become too tired to fall asleep easily.

  3. Baby isn’t tired enough for sleep
  4. This is less common, but still a reality in some cases – especially for toddlers. If your baby is fighting sleep, rewind and think about how much wake time your child has had. While younger babies definitely need short wake times throughout the day, most toddlers are capable of much longer wake time. In our experience, a toddler who’s fighting sleep may very well not be tired enough to sleep.

  5. Baby is going through separation anxiety
  6. Separation anxiety doesn’t strike for most parents until around 9 or 10 months – it tends to be part of the 8/9/10 month sleep regression. But when it strikes, it can definitely lead to your baby fighting sleep! Separation anxiety tends to really peak around 18 months, and can also re-surface again around the 2 year mark.

**Bonus** So, this can be considered a 4th reason, but we’re treating it at a “bonus” cause of sleep-fighting, because it’s important to rule out the previous reasons before settling on this one. Another reason why your baby fights sleep may simply be related to your baby’s personality and temperament. Simply put, perceptive, social babies are more likely to fight sleep, simply because they don’t want to miss a minute of fun, and they have learned that being awake is so much more stimulating and interesting than being asleep!

Baby Fighting Sleep? Here Are 5 Tips That’ll Help

Wile the “why is my baby fighting sleep” question can be incredibly stressful and frustrating, rest assured that it can be solved fairly easily.

  1. Move bedtime to either an earlier or a later time in the evening.
  2. If your baby fights sleep because he’s overtired, then moving bedtime up to an earlier point in the evening can really help. You may also want to try shortening your bedtime routine a bit – shorter routines can help your baby feel relaxed and drowsy, but also ensure that you’re not keeping your baby up too long before bedtime.

    However, if you suspect that your baby is fighting sleep because she isn’t tired enough to fall asleep, then try moving bedtime later. Again, this is particularly true for toddlers – if your toddler is still taking two naps a day, for example, then your bedtime may need to bumped back fairly late in order to make sure your toddler is tired enough for sleep. And in theses cases, you may need to extend your bedtime routine, to give your toddler plenty of time to wind down.

  3. Institute a nap routine, if you haven’t already.
  4. Many of you no doubt have a solid bedtime routine in place – but lots of parents overlook the nap routine! But in our experience, a nap time routine can really help a baby or toddler go from full-on playing and fun to falling asleep. If your baby is fighting sleep at nap time, and you suspect it’s because she’s having trouble transitioning from playtime to nap time, then try a calming nap routine. Just be sure to keep it on the short side – 1 story and a quick lullaby is great.

  5. Adjust your baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule to allow for more or less wake time.
  6. If you’re asking yourself, “Why is my baby fighting sleep?”, odds are you need to make some schedule adjustments. A baby who is overtired may be taking too few naps, or taking short naps. Conversely, a baby who isn’t tired enough at nap time and bedtime may be ready to drop a nap, or to have a later bedtime.

    For help in determining the best, most sleep-inducing schedule for your child, check out our sample sleep and feeding schedules by age, or use our custom schedule maker.

  7. Give your child a little space.
  8. Now, this won’t work for every situation, and it’s mainly intended for toddlers. That said, here’s what I mean: if your baby or toddler is pushing away from you during the nap time or bedtime routine, there is no harm in putting your child down, scooting away a little, and just giving your little one a break. If your toddler is older, you may want to try leaving the room for a few minutes, and then returning to try again later. It’s not a punishment or a consequence – it’s just you respecting your toddler’s emotions, and giving him the space that he seems to be requesting.

  9. For separation anxiety, check in and provide comfort, but work not to create new sleep problems.
  10. As I said earlier, separation anxiety is a less common cause of a baby fighting sleep. However, if that’s the cause of your baby fighting sleep, then you’ll want to take a look at this article on separation anxiety and sleep for tips about how to manage this problem without creating additional sleep problems.

Baby Fighting Sleep? We Have The Help You Need!

Good nighttime sleep and restorative, consistent naps are hard enough to accomplish – but if your baby is fighting sleep? They can feel downright impossible! Fortunately, we can help. Our consultants at The Baby Sleep Site® specialize in creating Personalized Sleep Plans™ that are customized to your own parenting philosophy, and that will NEVER make you feel guilty or pressured. Even better, once you have your Personalized Sleep Plan™, your consultant will walk you through each step of implementing it at home.

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.

Why does your baby fight sleep? Share your experiences and tips with us!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is 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!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
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_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.
 

Need help knowing where to start? Visit our Help Me Choose page for helping choosing the Baby Sleep Site® resources that are right for you.

Benefits of Swaddling with 7 Swaddle Safety Tips (Plus a Giveaway!)

Today we have a guest post written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN and inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle. Woombie is also giving away two of their Woombie Air so be sure to read to the end to find out how you can enter to win one!

Swaddling Babies

Benefits of Swaddling Your Baby

When your baby is swaddled, he or she is taken back to the days in the womb, when everything was comfortable, safe and snug.

Swaddling has a number of key benefits for both parents and babies – when done correctly and safely:

  • Swaddled babies sleep longer and sounder.
  • Swaddled babies experience less anxiety.
  • Swaddling prevents unnecessary wake-ups due to the startle reflex.
  • Swaddling eliminates the need for comfort items in baby’s crib – no pillows, bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. (using these items in crib have been linked to SIDS)
  • Swaddling prevent face-scratching.
  • Swaddling mimics touch, which is important for baby especially when they wake up at night.
  • Swaddling helps maintain the back sleeping position and also reminds tired parents to place baby on back to sleep.
  • Swaddling soothes babies with colic (again, when swaddled, they feel secure and safe just like they felt in the womb).
  • Swaddling in the hands-over-heart position is the preferred sleeping position for babies; in this position they learn to self-soothe and can get back to sleep on their own.
  • Swaddling benefits parents too — when baby sleeps more, mom and dad sleep more!

Safe Swaddling Tips

Over the last 20 years, we’ve learned how to swaddle safely. It’s safe to say we have come far from the tightly wrapped, mummy-style swaddle bands and swaddle boards! Learning to correctly swaddle baby is key to ensuring safety and effectiveness. Here are seven tips:

  1. Do not over-swaddle – Over-swaddling or using double swaddle blankets can lead to overheating. This factor has been linked to SIDS. Signs of an overheated baby include damp hair and sweating. Today parents can use swaddles that are specifically designed to allow excess heat to escape which provides ventilation for baby.
  2. Make sure the swaddle won’t unravel – A loose blanket can end up covering your baby’s airway.


  3. woombie-baby-swaddle-karen-quote

  4. Position baby “hands-over-heart” – In the past, it was traditional to swaddle baby’s arms at his/her sides, but this can cause joint problems and limits mobility. Place baby’s hands over the chest before wrapping, or with a swaddle sack that requires no wrapping, put baby in, place baby’s hands over chest, and zip!
  5. Don’t swaddle too tightly – Rather than a blanket, use a specially made baby swaddle that hugs baby comfortably but allows for natural movement of the legs/hips to prevent hip issues like hip dysplasia.
  6. Place baby on his/her back to sleep – When baby sleeps on his/her tummy he is more likely to rebreathe his own exhaled air and start to overheat, both of which can lead to SIDS. Remember: “back is best.”
  7. Stop swaddling when baby begins to roll – When baby begins to roll, this is a good time to consult with your pediatrician or a baby sleep consultant on whether or not swaddling should be continued. Usually you want to transition baby to arms-free sleep once baby begins to roll, but some pediatricians are now saying that swaddling is safe even after baby begins to roll as long as the crib is free from all suffocation hazards such as bumpers pillows toys and blankets. When it’s time to transition, an arms-free sleep sack is a wonderful tool so baby can feel snug but with their arms free.
  8. Don’t swaddle all day – Babies need freedom to move around and learn their bodies. Even if your little one loves being wrapped up all day, give him/her time to develop and leave the swaddling for sleep time.

Most people use swaddling during the newborn stage and begin to phase it out before six months. Some babies like being swaddled up to nine months, and that’s perfectly fine so long as you are using an arms-free sleep sack once baby begins to roll. At some point though your baby will prefer the freedom outside the swaddle and struggle to break out. Click to read more about when and how to stop swaddling.

Note: Each baby is different; some babies resist swaddling from the very beginning, although this is rare. All newborns put up a little bit of a fight, but they quickly accept the feelings of security and peace the swaddle affords them.

karen-barski-best-baby-swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 20 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share especially on the subject of swaddling, child sleep, baby safety, newborns, pregnancy, and more.

Since 2007, Karen started KB Designs and is most known for inventing two swaddle brands, Woombie and Mod’Swad. Her line of signature baby swaddles have helped parents across the globe easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll and even longer with specialty “Big Baby” swaddle sizes and “convertible” swaddles where baby’s arms come out (arms-free sleep).

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a million babies and counting!

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information in this blog post and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Giveaway

Woombie is giving away two of their Woombie Air swaddles to two lucky winners! Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries for the giveaway will be accepted today through Monday, June 1, 2015. Please note: Woombie can only ship prizes to US mailing addresses.

Parenting Styles and Sleep: How Your Parenting Style Affects Sleep Training

Parenting Styles

We’ve said this before: your child’s temperament and personality will heavily influence how you approach sleep coaching, what kinds of sleep coaching methods you use, and how quickly or slowly you move through the process.

But YOUR parenting philosophy and personality is equally important! After all, sleep coaching isn’t just dependent on your baby…your sleep coaching plan’s success or failure also depends on your ability to stick with it, and see sleep coaching through to the end. And as our team of consultants has seen over the years, the plan that you can stick with is the plan that matches your parenting philosophy and goals. We have seen parents try to sleep coach in ways that fundamentally contradict their nature as parents, and it just doesn’t work.

So, what kind of philosophy of parenting do you have? And how will that philosophy impact sleep coaching? Read on to find out!

7 Parenting Styles, and How They Affect Sleep Training

A quick note – there are historically three different types of parenting styles, as developed by Dr. Diana Baumrind. However, since Baumrind’s research has been published, a few more notable parenting styles have appeared; I’ve included three of those in the article.

1. Attachment Parenting

Attachment Parenting Basics:

  • Dr. William Sears credited with creating the attachment parenting philosophy
  • Generally, focused on sustaining and nurturing the deep bond between parent and child
  • Emphasis on respecting the child, and on loving and gentle guidance
  • Many attachment parents practice bed-sharing, prioritize breastfeeding, and are proponents of baby-wearing

Effect on Sleep Training:
When it comes to sleep, many attachment parents are reluctant to sleep coach, as sleep coaching is viewed as cruel or cold. We’ve worked with a number of attachment parents who tell us that they were incredibly reluctant to contact The Baby Sleep Site® for help, and who are anxious about how sleep coaching will impact sleep coaching. But here’s what we tell every family with whom I work: you CAN sleep coach in a way that aligns with your attachment values. For example, you can focus on gradually weaning your child away from falling asleep at the breast, while still sharing a bed with him; you can also focus on helping your child fall back to sleep independently after night feedings, but without the goal of moving on to night weaning. Attachment parents also benefit many times from a looser, more relaxed schedule. In general, attachment parents do best with very gentle, minimal-crying techniques.

2. Authoritarian Parenting*

Authoritarian Parenting Basics:

  • Considered a more “old school” style of parenting 😉
  • Value immediate and unconditional obedience to authority
  • Believe that key to raising happy, productive children is to break their strong will
  • Disobedience is immediately punished
  • Authoritarian parents believe in strict code of moral absolutes that children must follow to the letter
  • Disobedience is often corrected with corporal punishment

*Authoritarian parenting is controversial – while some people see it as “good, old-fashioned” parenting that produces obedient children, research indicates that this heavy-handed approach to raising children can produce problems as the child grows.

Effect on Sleep Training:
In our experience, the struggle for authoritarian parents who sleep coach tends to be that they jump straight to cry it out methods too early, and that they generally try to force a rigid schedule too early. This particular parenting philosophy emphasizes that the child is expected to adapt to the family’s needs, and to the parent’s guidance, so authoritarian parents may jump too quickly to extreme methods and harsh schedules that, while they may work for the parents, are not age-appropriate for the child.

3. Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative Parenting Basics:

  • Like authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting puts parents firmly in the “driver’s seat” (but similarities end there!)
  • Focus on setting limits on behavior, rather than on requiring children to conform to specific set of rigid rules
  • Pragmatic approach to limit-setting
  • Emphasis on reasoning with their children, and explaining the reasons behind limits and expectations
  • Authoritative parents are just as likely to explain and reason with a child as they are to punish with consequences
  • Focus on reminding the child of her responsibility to abide by the limits, while at the same time respecting the child’s own rights and emotional needs

Effect on Sleep Training:
Authoritative parents are generally pretty well prepared for sleep coaching – they recognize the double truth that it’s up to them to teach their children to sleep well, but at the same time, they are fully aware that they have to respect their child’s needs and temperament throughout the process. The main issue we see for authoritative parents who are sleep coaching is that, in general, they tend to second-guess themselves, and their plan. If sleep coaching isn’t going well for the first few days, authoritative parents may get concerned that they’re trying the wrong method, and may be temped to change their plan too early and try a new method, since their child’s emotional needs are important to them. But then again, these same parents may get fed-up when the new plan doesn’t work either, and decide to “get serious” and resort to a harsher sleep coaching method, because they know that it’s up to them to set limits for their child.

4. Holistic Parenting

Holistic Parenting Basics:

  • Rooted in ancient eastern philosophy, holistic parenting has a strong focus on inner awareness (for both parents and child), and on respecting the individual.
  • Tendency to avoid pharmaceuticals and elements of modern medicine, and preference for natural, alternative remedies, as well as diet and lifestyle changes as approaches to disease prevention
  • Advocates for positive, gentle discipline and embrace co-sleeping, baby-wearing, and extended breastfeeding
  • Holistic parenting is essentially attachment parenting with an emphasis on alternative medicine, environmentally-conscious living, and the importance of spiritual awareness

Effect on Sleep Training:
Holistic parents generally have the same concerns about and objections to sleep coaching as attachment parents, and may be more inclined to see sleep coaching as something negative that is damaging to the parent-child bond. However, like attachment parents, holistic parents can sleep coach very gently and slowly, in a way that allows co-sleeping and night feeding to continue.

5. Permissive/Indulgent Parenting*

Permissive/Indulgent Parenting Basics:

  • Permissive parents are responsive and loving to their children, but make very few (if any) demands on their children
  • Generally, no rules or set limits
  • No insistence that children’s behavior conforms to any set standards
  • Permissive parents are incredibly lenient, and generally avoid confrontation with their children
  • Any rules that do exist are enforced inconsistently, and rarely with consequences
  • Tendency to use coaxing and bribery to change child’s behavior

*I should point out that while The Baby Sleep Site® never judges parents for their philosophy and approach to parenting, it is widely accepted that permissive parenting is unhealthy, and produces significant discipline problems in children.

Effect on Sleep Training:
Sleep coaching can be incredibly tough for permissive parents, simply because they are not accustomed to setting limits, and may balk at the idea of setting them in the first place. Additionally, many permissive parents have a tough time staying consistent in the face of their child’s frustration or unhappiness, and may tend to give in quickly if sleep coaching doesn’t go smoothly right from the start. In our experience, permissive parents understand the rationale behind sleep coaching, and truly want their children to sleep well, but find it difficult to enforce the sleep-time limits and to deal with the “fallout” of an unhappy child. Generally, unless permissive parents are willing to step outside their comfort zones and stay consistent with their sleep coaching plan, the sleep coaching will stall out and not produce meaningful changes.

6. Positive Parenting

Positive Parenting Basics:

  • Prioritizes the parent-child bond, and emphasizes total respect for the child
  • Views misbehavior not as a willful act of defiance, but as an expression of a child’s needs (as well as a result of the child’s relatively immature brain development)
  • Focus on gentle, positive (obviously!) and empathetic guidance as opposed to punishments (including time out) for misbehavior
  • Emphasis on guiding the child through modeling good behavior, teaching through play, and talking to and empathizing with the child
  • Discipline techniques may also include things like sticker charts, and rewards for good behavior

Effect on Sleep Training:
Positive parents can generally sleep coach without much issue. We’ve found that many positive parents prefer to start with gentle sleep coaching methods, but really, positive parents can also do well with Ferberizing techniques, too. And when it comes to toddler sleep training, positive parents really tend to shine, as they are already well-versed in positive reinforcement and sticker charts – both of which are excellent tools for toddlers!

7. Slow / Simplicity Parenting

Slow / Simplicity Parenting Basics:

  • Fairly recent parenting trend that developed in large part thanks to author Carl Honore’s book Under Pressure: Rescuing Our Children from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting
  • Advocates for lots of unstructured play time using simple, non-mechanical toys
  • Avoids use of television and electronic media for children; focus is instead on family time spent reading, playing board games, taking walks, etc.
  • Opposes over-scheduling children’s days with lots of after-school activities, like clubs and organized sports
  • Focus on giving a child lots of space in which to develop their own interests and abilities, and are completely opposed to any form of “helicopter” parenting
  • Many also consider themselves free-range parents, and believe that modern-day families overly-shelter children
  • Free-range parents intentionally allow children to experience risks and challenging situations, and encourage their children to deal with those risks and challenges on their (the children’s) own, with little to no parental help

Effect on Sleep Training:
The unstructured nature of slow parenting can make it challenging for parents to implement a daily sleep and feeding schedule; for that reason, we recommend that slow parents stick with more of a schedule “shell” that has built-in flexibility (at least at first – eventually, your child may really need more structure schedule). Additionally, while we commend slow parenting’s focus on allowing a child to grow and develop at her own pace, this can cause problems with sleep, as mom and dad feel they are “supposed to” let their baby figure out sleep on her own, even if this means lots of missed sleep for the whole family. I’ve found that slow parents sometimes struggle with the concept of sleep coaching, and that even when they decide to sleep coach and create a plan, they struggle initially with concerns that they are pushing their children to learn to sleep too soon.

Parenting Styles: A Sliding and Changing Scale

Now, I want to emphasize something: the list of parenting styles above is by no means an exhaustive one. Rather, it’s a list of the most common parenting styles and philosophies that we encounter in our work with parents, and that we believe tend to have a big impact on how sleep and sleep coaching are handled.

Additionally, we urge you to keep in mind that very few of us live out just ONE of these parenting philosophies. Most parents identify with a few different parenting philosophies, and pick and choose what they see as the best of each of those philosophies. For example, I’ve personally met several families who believe in attachment parenting, but who have adopted a lot of slow parenting philosophies as well. What’s more, many parents will shift and tweak their parenting styles as their children grow, to accommodate the child’s (and, by extension, the entire family’s) changing needs. For instance, we’ve seen many parents who practice attachment parenting when their children are young tweak that philosophy as their child grows, and may adopt a mix of attachment and positive parenting philosophies when their children are older.

So remember that this list is meant to be informative, not prescriptive. You are most likely not ONE of these things only. And the parenting philosophy with which you most closely identify now, at this stage in your child’s development, may change as your child grows. Be sure, therefore, to keep an open mind, to stay tuned in to the shifts in your parenting style over the years, and to always trust your gut instincts as to what’s best for your family.

Sleep Training Help That Fits Your Parenting Style

Struggling with sleepless nights and non-existing naps? Let The Baby Sleep Site help! Our consultants at The Baby Sleep Site® specialize in creating Personalized Sleep Plans™ that are customized to fit well with parenting philosophy, and that will NEVER make you feel guilty or pressured. Even better, once you have your Personalized Sleep Plan™, your consultant will walk you through each step of implementing it at home, in a way and at a pace that you’re comfortable with.

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.

Your turn: What’s YOUR parenting style, and how has it affected your child’s sleep?

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is 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!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
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_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.
 

Need help knowing where to start? Visit our Help Me Choose page for helping choosing the Baby Sleep Site® resources that are right for you.

5 Reasons To Start Sleep Training TODAY

Sleep Training

Let me be clear: when to sleep train is a personal choice, that’s heavily dependent on a lot of unique factors. There is not age when all parents “should” sleep train, and while there are sleep training windows that tend to be better for sleep training, and help the process move along smoothly, we always caution parents not to feel pressured to sleep coach during or by a certain time frame.

That said – we hear almost daily from parents who are beyond exhausted, whose families are losing precious sleep, whose nerves are fraying, whose work performance is suffering – and who are putting off sleep training. And most of the time, their reasons for putting it off are something along these lines:

  • I don’t even know how or where to begin!
  • I don’t have the energy to sleep train…I’m just too tired.
  • I already know it won’t go well; my child just isn’t a “good” sleeper.

Well, we’ve learned from experience that sometimes, parents who are stalling on sleep training (even though they are incredibly tired and sleep-deprived!) simply need a pep talk to get them going. And that’s just what we’re providing today! Read on for 5 reasons it’s time to stop putting off sleep coaching, and start working on sleep today.

5 Reasons To Stop Putting Off Sleep Training TODAY

  1. There is no “perfect time” for sleep training.
  2. Our consultants have talked with sooooo many parents who are putting off sleep training because they are waiting for the right time. Waiting for the 4 month sleep regression to pass, waiting for their baby to start solids, waiting until a bout of teething is over, etc. But here’s the thing: in general, the “perfect” time to sleep train is right now! Sure, you want to hold off on sleep training if your child is ill, or if you have a vacation coming up, or a big transition (like moving to a new house). However, if you have a few weeks where you’ll be staying at home and not having many schedule interruptions, and if your child is healthy, then guess what? That’s a great time to sleep train!

  3. The first step is always the hardest to take – but once it’s done, it tends to get easier!
  4. We hear from many, many parents that they are itching to sleep train, but that they don’t know where to start. Should they start working on bedtime and naps at the same time? What time of day is best to begin? Should they start on a weekday, or over the weekend? What kind of sleep training method is best for them? How can they know if their plan is working nor not? These are such good questions, but they can feel daunting when you’re a tired parent who’s trying to map out a sleep training plan. Fortunately, we have a team of expert consultants standing by who specialize in helping tired families get started with their Personalized Sleep Plan™. We’ve also had a lot of overwhelmed parents find great success with our Express Sleep Plan™ – it’s a budget-friendly sleep plan that’ll tell you exactly how to get started with sleep training, and provide you with step-by-step daily instructions.

  5. Being “too tired” to sleep train is precisely the reason you SHOULD sleep train!
  6. This really becomes a circular, chicken-and-egg sort of issue: being exhausted and sleep-deprived makes you realize you should really work on sleep training, but they all that stored-up tiredness makes you feel too worn out to sleep train! But here’s the thing to remember: the fact that you’re super-tired is a great indicator that you should sleep train 😉 What Nicole usually recommends is that you and your family catch up on sleep as best you can for a few days, so that you have a well-rested start to sleep coaching. That way, you have an energized start to the process. You can read this post about 5 things to do before you start sleep training for more details.

  7. There are many ways to help your child learn to sleep – which means there is a sleep training method that will work for you.
  8. So many parents we hear from tell us that the #1 reason they put off sleep training is because they assume that sleep training = crying. That’s understandable; no one wants to listen to their child wail for hours! But this is actually a really unfortunate myth. The truth is, there are many, many ways to approach sleep training – and many of those approaches involve minimal crying.

  9. Sleep training is not one of those things that gets easier with time….in fact, for many families, the opposite is true.
  10. There are a lot of things that get easier as your child gets older. Once your child can dress himself, brush his own teeth, feed himself breakfast, and buckle himself into the car, your morning looks a whole lot calmer and more relaxed! But unfortunately, sleep training is not something that gets easier with time, for most people. Why? Because sleep habits become entrenched as your child grows, so the baby who gets accustomed to being rocked to sleep becomes the toddler who firmly believes the only way TO fall asleep is being rocked! Add to this the fact that toddlers are generally stubborn little cuties who exert their new-found will and opinions with surprising conviction, and you have a toddler with some troubling sleep associations who absolutely, plainly, without-a-doubt refuses to sleep any other way. And that can make for some tough sleep training. That’s why we recommend sleep training before your child is 12 months old; it’s simply because negative sleep associations are easier to overcome during babyhood.

    BONUS: Okay, so this is technically a sixth reason – but we couldn’t end the article without including it! Here it is: many, many parents are stunned at just how capable their children are of sleeping soundly and napping well…and we bet you will be one of them! I wanted to end with this one, because it’s encouraging. :-) Time and time again, we hear from parents who believe that because their child has never slept well, that means that their child can’t sleep well. They are convinced that putting their child to sleep drowsy, but awake is wasted effort, because their children aren’t capable of self-soothing and falling asleep independently. But you know what? Happily, these parents are almost always proven wrong! Many of these parents tell us later that they were completely surprised at how quickly their child picked up new, healthy sleep habits. And I bet that your child is just the same; even if your little one isn’t showing any signs of knowing how to self-soothe and sleep well now, that doesn’t mean that she can’t. I’ll tell you what our consultants tell their clients: have faith in your child. Your baby or toddler is going to be capable of a lot of great things in her life – including building healthy sleep habits!

Don’t Delay – Start Sleep Training Today!

Between long night wakings, struggles at bedtime and naps that feel all over the place, baby and toddler sleep challenges can feel overwhelming – so overwhelming that it may be tough to start start solving them! Fortunately, we can help! Our consultants at The Baby Sleep Site® specialize in creating Personalized Sleep Plans™ that are customized to your own parenting philosophy, and that will NEVER make you feel guilty or pressured. Even better, once you have your Personalized Sleep Plan™, your consultant will walk you through each step of implementing it at home – including that first, getting-started step.

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.

Have motivating sleep training advice to offer other parents? Share it below! Questions about getting started with sleep training? Ask – we’ll answer!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is 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!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
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_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.
 

Need help knowing where to start? Visit our Help Me Choose page for helping choosing the Baby Sleep Site® resources that are right for you.

Why I’ll Never Co-Sleep Again (…Maybe)

CoSleeping

I never really gave our sleeping situation much thought before we had kids. We weren’t adamant crib folks, but we weren’t entirely certain that co-sleeping was a good fit either.

Then our son was born early and was roughly the size of a cantaloupe when we brought him home. We were so afraid we would roll over him in our sleep (or worse, my postpartum hunger would mistake him for a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies and I would gobble him up as a midnight snack) that it solved our sleeping arrangements for us. Plus, our house was small enough to see his crib from our bed, so it felt like he was almost in the same room.

My daughter’s arrival forced my husband and I to move downstairs to the basement bedroom so she could have a room of her own. To avoid having to run up and down stairs all night long, we tried having her sleep in our room when we brought her home.

However, she wasn’t the quietest of sleepers, grunting and whinnying throughout the night. It didn’t matter if she was in her bassinet, nestled in between my husband and I, or resting on my chest, she still made our room sound like a farm at daybreak. So, to try and encourage more restful sleep for all of us, we put her back in her crib.

It wasn’t that we didn’t agree with co-sleeping, it just didn’t seem right for us.

But we would give it the old college try on occasion.

When my son was in Kindergarten, he started asking my husband or I to “sleep over” in his bed from time to time, and since he was an easy sleeper, we’d take him up on it.

Was it the most restful night? It wasn’t ideal, and there was an encroachment of space and the scattered kick or two. But it wasn’t the worst night’s sleep ever.

That would happen many years later.

The Night I Co-Slept With My Daughter (Or, The Night Of No Sleep)

On vacation one summer, the pull-out sofa bed in the living room that my husband and I planned on sleeping was about as comfortable as sleeping in a sink hole, so we put the kids in one of the double beds in the bedroom so we could take the other one when we went to sleep later.

Five minutes after bedtime, my son (a “head hits the pillow and he’s out” kind of kid) couldn’t handle the full-scale monologue to her stuffed animal that my daughter needs to perform to get to sleep. He came marching out to the living room and declared “This isn’t working” with the conviction of a Forbes Fortune 100 CEO.

So, it was decided that we would split the kids up between the two beds so they could both fall asleep as they needed to. When it was time for the adults to head to bed, we’d each sleep with one of the kids. My husband took our son, and I took our daughter’s bed.

Crawling in to bed next to her limp, sleeping body was adorably cute and heartwarming. And the first time she snuggled up to me and whispered “Mama” in her sleep with a grin on her face was touching.

But it was all downhill from there.

The prefix “co” in co-sleep indicated that both of us would be sleeping, right? Yet, it didn’t feel so symbiotic.

My daughter was like a heat seeking missile, finding me no matter how far away I scooted, and at one point, half of my body was draped off the side of the mattress, as I held on tight for what little real estate I had left on the bed.

And then, there was the kicking. My goodness, the kicking. And the nudging. And the elbows and knees in my back, face, chest, throat.

I don’t think I slept longer than 5-minutes at a time before being pounded like a whack-a-mole. With each hit, I found myself praying for daylight. And when it finally came and my sleeping beauty opened her eyes in the morning, I asked her how she slept.

Certainly, she couldn’t have had a restful sleep, right? I mean, with all that movement? For crying out loud, she fell out of the bed at one point!

“Good. Really good.

Well, at least one of us did.

I resorted to the pull-out sofa the rest of the trip, grateful that despite the 15-degree slant I was sleeping on, and the coil marks on my torso when I woke, I knew I’d at least escape being pummeled in my sleep.

Still, there’s a part of me that wishes it would have worked out. I wanted it to. I had visions of my daughter and I cuddling and spooning during a rejuvenating night of sleep. Perhaps one day in the future we’ll try it again.

When she’s older. And I’ve purchased full body protective gear.

Co-Sleeping Or Not: HERE’S How To Solve Your Sleep Problems

Whether you co-sleep or not, one thing is certain: if your baby is up all night, then you are, too! If you’re losing precious sleep, but aren’t sure how to solve your little one’s sleep challenges, why not try a personalized consultation from The Baby Sleep Site®? Your consultation will allow you to work one-on-one with an expert sleep consultant. Your consultant will craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for your family, walk you through each step of implementing the plan at home, and then will support you throughout the process.
 
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.

Your turn, parents – are you committed co-sleepers? Are you co-sleeping to survive, but wishing you could stop? Share your story with us!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is 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!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
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_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.