Tag Archives: baby sleep

Will Sleep Training Make Your Baby Inflexible?

 
Will Sleep Training Make Your Baby Inflexible?

When you are getting up a million times each night with a sleepless baby, and suffering through microscopically short naps, you probably feel like you would do anything (A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.) to get your baby sleeping through the night and taking long, restful naps. But there are parents out there who are a little nervous about starting sleep training – and not because they are nervous about trying it, or because they aren’t sure their babies are ready.

They are nervous about sleep training making their babies inflexible.

Specifically, some parents are concerned that if they they create predictable sleep schedules, and institute strong bedtime routines, they their babies will no longer be able to ‘go with the flow’ and catch a nap in the car, for example, or go to bed later than usual during a special occasion, or sleep in a pack-n-play at grandma and grandpa’s house.

This is a good question, if you think about it, and one that we think is worth answering!

Sleep Training Impact Depends on Your Baby’s Temperament

First, let’s be clear about something: sleep training most likely will not change your baby. Cry-it-out probably will not change your baby’s personality; neither will sleep training in general. Remember, your baby is born with certain temperament traits; this is why some babies are more relaxed and go-with-the-flow, while others need consistency and routine. Your baby’s inborn temperament traits will have much more to do with how flexible she is than anything you do (like sleep training) or don’t do.

Sleep Training May Make Your Baby More Sensitive To Schedule Changes

That said, it’s true that sleep training can, in general, make babies more sensitive to disruptions to your normal sleep schedule and routines. For instance, if you have been sleep training for a few months, and your baby has become used to napping twice per day, at the same time, in his crib, then it will probably be tough for him to miss one of those naps, or to catch the nap in the car.

Same for bedtime; if you have been sleep training for awhile and have a constant bedtime each night, you may notice that your baby isn’t able to stay up much later, or to fall asleep somewhere else at bedtime.

Finally, if your sleep training has been successful, you have no doubt gotten your baby used to her sleeping environment. That can make it a little difficult to travel with your baby; you may notice that your baby has a hard time falling asleep in a different room, or in a pack-n-play.

But keep in mind that ‘tough’ is relative in all of these scenarios – how ‘tough’ each of these is depends entirely on your baby’s temperament. Intense, persistent babies will react strongly to any change in the schedule – but that is true both before and after sleep training. More relaxed, easy-going babies may put up a little fuss to disruptions (which they may not have done prior to sleep training), but it likely will not be as a ‘big’ fuss.

Baby Sleep Training: Most Parents Find The Benefits Worth It!

So, what’s the bottom line? It’s this: sleep training will not fundamentally alter your baby’s personality or temperament. However, it will make your baby accustomed to certain routines and schedules, and after months of following a certain schedule, or sleeping in a certain way, it’s not surprising that most babies will react at least somewhat to changes in those schedules and routines. However, how strongly they react depends on innate temperament traits – intense babies will probably have big (and loud!) reactions, while easy-going babies put up a smaller fuss.

Is it worth it, then? That’s the question for some parents, particularly those who are on-the-go types, and like to have flexibility from day to day.

We certainly can’t answer that question for you – after all, you are the best judge of what’s best for your baby, and for your family! What we can say, however, is that every parent we have worked with would say that it is definitely, definitely worth it! For them, sleep training put an end to sleepless nights and non-existent naps, and gave them their lives (and their sanity!) back. Yes, it can mean that your baby is a bit less flexible in responding to schedule changes than she once was, but our well-rested parents would tell you that the nights of uninterrupted sleep are worth it! ;)

Plus, remember that if you prepare for schedule disruptions in advance, you can likely alleviate some of the stress to your child, and help him through it. Check out some of these articles on how to prepare for and deal with “schedule-busters”:

Nicole’s Note:
“I honestly can’t remember EVER getting an e-mail saying ‘I wish I hadn’t sleep trained!’ On the contrary, I most often hear ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’”

Ready To Sleep Train Your Baby? The Baby Sleep Site® Can Help!

If you are ready to be a well-rested parent, and are ready to trade sleepless nights for peaceful, quiet ones – look no further! Our team of consultants is waiting to craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for you, and to help your whole family finally get the sleep you deserve.
 
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.

Did sleep training make your baby seem less flexible? What do you think – is sleep training worth it? We want to hear your opinions, parents!

  • Want to tackle sleep training on your own? Why not take a look at our 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, and stay asleep (and stop fighting bedtime!). For toddlers, try The 5-Step System To Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books is available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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Celebrating Our Newest Arrival with a Giveaway!

Newborn Sleep eBook GiveawayHave you heard the news? On Tuesday, we unveiled the newest addition to our Baby Sleep Site® family of products: 4 Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep. Written specifically for parents of newborns and young infants, this book is designed to help parents create healthy baby sleep habits right from the start.

It may be a bit of an understatement to say that we’re excited about our newest e-Book. Truth is, all of us are absolutely thrilled that we can finally put this awesome resource into the hands of our Baby Sleep Site® parents.

In fact, we’re so thrilled, we decided we had to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than to host a giveaway? :) That’s right — a brand-new e-book AND fabulous prizes! So enter today, using the widget below (and also on our Facebook Page). We will be accepting entries from today through Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm EST.

Ready for the details? Check out the list below for a description of the prizes we are giving away in celebration or our new e-Book.


Grand Prize- Newborn e-Book Bundle (a $99 value)

Newborn eBook Bundle GiveawayBecause all of us here at The Baby Sleep Site® know first-hand just how exhausting and overwhelming the newborn stage can be, we created a bundle package that includes a copy of the e-Book, 4 Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep, PLUS a Basic E-Mail Consultation. With this bundle package, you get all the helpful, hands-on information in the book as well as a Personalized Sleep Plan™, created specifically for your newborn. At $99, this bundle package is already a great deal. But an even better deal? Winning it in our giveaway! One winner will receive the 4 Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep Bundle Package. (Please Note: If you already have an account, your account will be credited. This prize is available to entrants worldwide.)

$75 Amazon Gift Card

amazon-GCEvery mom and dad deserve a little shopping spree now and then — and we are doing our part to make that happen! One winner will receive an Amazon gift card worth $75, to use toward any Amazon.com online purchase. The Amazon gift card is available to both U.S. and international contestants where Amazon is available.

5 Copies of Our Newborn E-Book

Essential Keys to Your Newborn's Sleep5 lucky winners will receive an instant download of our newest e-Book, 4 Essential Keys to Your Baby’s Sleep. This fantastic resource is packed full of information that all parents of newborns and young infants will benefit from, such as:

  • tips and special help on feeding (both breast and bottle) from Miriam, our lactation consultant.
  • suggested routines for promoting sleep.
  • guidelines to help you decode your baby’s cries, and advice on how to cope with fussiness and colic.
  • sample daily sleep and feeding schedules, for both breastfed and formula fed babies.

The E-Book is available in your choice of formats: PDF, Kindle, Nook, or iPad.

Remember, the deadline to enter is 8:59 pm EST on Thursday, October 24, 2013. So don’t wait; enter now!


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Can Massage Help Your Baby Sleep?

Infant and Baby Massage

You are probably always on the lookout for ideas or products that will help your baby sleep better, right? Most of our readers are. I was the same way when my kids were babies – I would try anything (within reason), if there was even a chance that doing so could result in better sleep for my baby!

If you are the same way, then the topic of today’s blog article may interest you. We’re talking about infant massage today. What is it? Why try it? And (most importantly, in our readers’ opinions), will it help your baby sleep?

What Is Infant and Baby Massage?

In truth, infant massage is nothing new. The practice of gently massaging babies has been around for centuries, in many cultures (in Indian culture, for example). However, infant massage is a relatively new practice in the West. That’s due largely to the work of a woman named Vimala Schneider McClure.

While working at an orphanage in India, Vimala watched as a 12 year old girl routinely massaged all the children. Although the children lacked proper nutrition, they all thrived; McClure came to believe this was thanks to the regular massages they received. Returning to the United States in the mid-70′s, McClure set out to spread the word about infant massage. Her message received attention, and now, infant massage is widely recognized as a beneficial practice.

McClure’s approach to infant massage includes the Indian massage strokes she learned while working there; it also includes Swedish massage strokes and reflexology techniques.

The Benefits of Massage – For You And Your Baby

According to moms and dads who’ve used infant massage, the benefits are numerous. And here’s the thing: infant massage is good for both you and your baby!

Some of those benefits include:

  • …improved digestion. Believe it or not, infant massage can actually aid a baby’s digestion, thereby reducing gas and bloating. So if your baby suffers from gas, this could be a way to help him feel comfortable.
  • …relief of stress and tension. This works for both you and your baby. Gently massaging your baby can help calm and relax her, and it will help calm and relax you in the process. This may be especially welcome information for parents of babies who are especially fussy, or who are suffering from colic.
  • …increased bonding. Nurturing touch conveys love to a baby in a way that nothing else can. So massaging your baby is a great way to strengthen the bond between you both. This, in turn, will promote healthy emotional development in your baby.
  • …improved growth and development. Studies have indicated that babies who are routinely massaged by their parents show increased weight gain and improved development. They also tend to have improved immune function, meaning they don’t get sick as often! That alone may be a good reason to try infant massage. ;)
  • …improved sleep! That’s right, parents – infant massage really does help babies sleep well! Studies show that infants who are massaged by their parents before bed tend to fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and stay asleep longer. Good news indeed, for all you tired moms and dads out there!

How to Massage Your Baby

We cannot teach you all the ins-and-outs of infant massage in a blog article. Infant massage is not a complicated process, but it does require that specific techniques be applied in specific ways to specific points on your infant’s body.

We can, however, give you an overview of how infant massage works. This video demonstrates the basics:

Interested in massaging your baby? Here are a few tips from one of our own sleep consultants, Elaine, who’s trained in infant massage:

  • Always use an edible oil. Organic coconut oil makes a good choice.
  • Don’t try to massage your infant when he is fussy; wait until he is calm and relaxed.
  • If, at the start of the massage, your baby fusses and doesn’t seem to want it, stop. Massaging your baby when she does not want a massage will only make her fussier. Plus, this will help teach your baby, from an early age, that it’s always okay to say no if she doesn’t want to be touched.
  • Before massaging your baby, remove any jewelry, and trim your nails, if they are long.
  • Always start your massage with the “least invasive” body parts – the feet and the legs. From there, progress upwards.
  • Do not massage your baby if he is ill with a fever, or if he has a skin rash or lesions. It’s also recommended that you avoid massaging your baby for 48-72 hours after he’s had an immunization.
  • You can start infant massage early – even newborn babies can benefit from massage techniques!
  • Massage is something that both parents can do, so be sure that dad gets the chance to offer a massage!

If you’d like to learn how to perform infant massage, visit the Infant Massage USA website, to see if there is a class in your area. Or, check with your local hospital to see if they can recommend a trained infant massage specialist.

For answers to frequently asked questions about infant massage, visit this website.

If you would like to read more about the origins of infant massage, and to learn more about Vimala McClure’s infant massage techniques, check out her book, Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents.

Have you tried infant massage with your baby? Has it worked well? Share your story with us!

Is your baby struggling to sleep well? Infant massage may help. However, experience tells us you may also need to consider sleep coaching. Please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. Or, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

Disclosure: The Baby Sleep Site® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other product affiliate programs. If you click on a product link above and make a purchase, The Baby Sleep Site® may (but not always) receive a small commission from the company selling the product. This commission will not affect your purchase price. We only recommend products that we believe are quality products and are good for our readers.

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3 Steps to Help Your Partner Put Baby to Bed

young father play with his son boy

In our work with families over the years, we’ve discovered that often, one parent handles the baby’s bedtime routine. One parent does the rocking, one parent does the reading, one parent does the tucking…you get the idea.

We’ve also discovered, however, that most parents would welcome some help from their partner at bedtime! And many partners would welcome the chance to tuck their little ones in on a regular basis. After all, bedtime provides the opportunity for some quality, one-on-one time between parent and child.

Of course, we understand that in many situations, one parent has to be involved at least somewhat in the bedtime routine. Moms who breastfeed, for instance, will need to nurse at bedtime. And some babies really prefer one parent over another at bedtime. However, as much as you can, try to encourage your partner to be part of the bedtime routine. This will ensure that both of you share the workload, and that both of you have the chance to enjoy baby at bedtime.

3 Steps to Help Your Partner Put Baby to Bed

  1. Cue your partner in on important information. If they’re going to be any help at all, your partner needs to know all the vital bedtime information. When is bedtime? What’s usually involved in the bedtime routine? Sharing this info will help set your partner up for bedtime success, and will ensure that your partner feels like part of the team. And don’t forget to share the little details — does your daughter have a favorite pair of PJs? Does your son like to sleep with the lamp on? Your partner will need to know these things, too.
  2. Take a tag-team approach. This is especially helpful for moms who need to nurse at bedtime. If that’s the case for you, consider having your partner start the bedtime routine. Maybe your partner could be in charge of the bath and story time; then, you could step in at the end and nurse. Or perhaps you could nurse, and then hand the baby off to your partner for some rocking and lullabies. Taking a tag-team approach allows you to be available for the parts of the routine that you have to do (like nursing), while still ensuring that your partner has a role to play, too. This is a great approach to take if your baby is reluctant to be put to bed by your partner, too. By splitting up the bedtime routine, you gently help your baby get used to having your partner be involved.
  3. Help your partner feel confident. If you’ve been handling bedtime on your own, your partner may (understandably) feel less than confident about handling parts of the bedtime routine on his/her own. Help your partner feel more confident by not hovering (or perhaps even leaving the house altogether for a little bit!) And be sure to leave plenty of room for your partner to customize the bedtime routine, too, and to do things in his/her own way. This will go a long way towards increasing your partner’s confidence, and in helping your partner enjoy being part of the bedtime routine. And, try not to “rescue” your baby. Having your partner follow through 100% will promote confidence in both of them!

How have you helped your partner or spouse get involved in the bedtime routine? Share your tips with the rest of us!

Need help in creating a bedtime routine that involves both parents and that maximizes your baby’s sleep? Please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

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Why Consistency Is So Important During Sleep Training

Consistency-Sleep-Training

Based on lots and lots of experience in working with parents over the years, we here at The Baby Sleep Site™ have found something to be true: when used with consistency, the right sleep training method can work wonders for a baby’s nighttime sleep problems, or a toddler’s persistent sleep issues. The two key words in that statement? ‘Consistency’ and ‘Right’.

Finding the Right Sleep Training Method

It’s important that you find a sleep training method that works for both you and your baby. Not every sleep training technique works for every baby, or for every parent. The Pick-Up-Put-Down (PUPD) method advocated by Tracy Hogg, for instance (a method in which you pick up your baby when she’s fussy and put her back in her crib to sleep when she’s calm), works well for some babies. Others, however, get totally overstimulated by being picked up so often, and end up becoming increasingly upset.

Or take some of the cry-it-out methods. Some parents report that cry-it-out techniques helped their babies overcome their sleep problems in a matter of days. But other parents have let us know that cry-it-out methods simply do.not.work with their little ones. What’s more, some parents feel uncomfortable using cry-it-out techniques. In those cases, cry-it-out is not a technique that will work for their babies, since it’s not a technique that works for them as parents.

The right sleep training technique is one that works for both your baby and for you and is one that you can commit to doing. This means that, when considering sleep training techniques, you’ll need to take into account both your baby’s temperament and personality, as well as your own parenting philosophy.

Remaining Consistent in Sleep Training

If it’s important to find the right sleep training method for your baby, then it’s downright critical to remain consistent in your sleep training. This is so key, but it’s something that a lot of parents struggle with.

And that’s understandable. Some sleep training techniques require a lot of patience and a lot of time before they start to produce results. The fading method, for example (in which you slowly do less and less of the “work” to put your child to sleep, and your child does more and more) can take awhile to start working, and it demands a lot of patience on the part of parents. In cases like this, it can feel hard (or maybe impossible) to stay the course and remain consistent.

Other parents find it hard to stay consistent because of the way their babies or toddlers react to sleep training. Most of you know this first-hand by now, but it’s worth emphasizing: sleep training will almost always involve at least a little bit of crying. It doesn’t have to be full-blown cry-it-out, by any means, but even the gentlest techniques often involve a minimal amount of crying. And since no parent enjoys the sound of their child in distress, it can feel excruciating to remain consistent while your child fusses or cries.

But here’s the thing: sleep training won’t work unless you’re consistent. This goes for other aspects of parenting too, doesn’t it? Like discipline, for example. Let’s say you’re trying to teach your baby not to touch electrical cords (a very wise thing to teach!) Imagine if you spent three days strictly enforcing your new “don’t touch electrical cords” rule, only to give up on day four and not say a thing when your baby grabs the lamp cord with both hands and starts tugging. This is confusing for your baby; why was it wrong one day but fine the next? As a result of this mixed message, he won’t learn the “don’t touch electrical cords” lesson nearly as quickly as he would if you’d been consistent in enforcing the rule.

The same is true for sleep training. For instance, lets say you’ve been rocking your baby to sleep for months now, but want to wean her from that sleep association. For the first three days, you rock her for a few minutes before naps and bed, but then put her in her crib while she’s still drowsy but awake. This is a great start! But if you give up on day four, and rock her straight to sleep for naps and bed, you’re sending your baby a confusing mixed message. This kind of inconsistency will totally set you back in your efforts to help her learn to sleep through the night.

Why Is Consistency So Important During Sleep Training?

Why is consistency so key? Because people (both children and adults) need plenty of time and space to practice a new skill. And in many ways, that’s what sleeping through the night is for your baby or toddler – a new skill. Think about the times you’ve had to learn something new. You probably made lots of mistakes in the beginning, and felt frustrated. But over time, you figured it out. Now imagine if, just a few hours or days into your learning process, someone had stepped in and taken over, and started doing for you the very thing you were learning to do yourself.

It reminds me of a time in college, when a friend of mine was learning to drive her new car. It had a manual transmission, and she had only ever driven an automatic. A well-meaning mutual friend took her out for a lesson, but after a few hours, he couldn’t handle it anymore! The grinding of the gears, the stalling out on hills…finally, he made her pull over so he could drive the car back to campus himself.

In our sleep training analogy, my friend’s driving instructor was like the parent who gets overwhelmed with sleep training, finally saying, “I’ll just take care of this myself” and rocking the baby to sleep. It’s an understandable reaction (no one likes the sound of a fussy baby, just as no one likes the sounds of grinding car gears!), but ultimately, in both scenarios, no one learned anything new. My friend couldn’t learn to drive her new car unless she had the time and space to practice; your baby can’t learn to sleep through the night unless he the same.

So think about it this way: when you’re consistent in your sleep training, you’re giving your baby time and space to practice a new skill. The learning process may not be easy; it may involve some crying, and it may take longer than you’d like. But this is how learning often works.

When ‘Right’ and ‘Consistent’ Collide

Here’s the tricky part: ‘finding the right method’ and ‘staying consistent’ might seem to conflict with each other sometimes. For example, let’s say that you’re a few days into trying a new sleep training technique, and it doesn’t seem to be working at all. Your baby is fussy and cranky, she’s not sleeping any better than she was before you started, and you’re at the end of your rope. And you find yourself faced with a dilemma:

“Maybe this method isn’t right for her? Should I give up and try something else? But then again, maybe I need to give it a few more days…I don’t want to be inconsistent…ACK! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!”

This is so, so normal. Here’s our advice: if you’re trying a new sleep training technique, stick with it for at least one whole week. (If you’re sleep training a toddler, you may need to give it two or three weeks). If, at the end of the week, your little one has shown absolutely zero improvement, and is resisting your efforts in a big way, then you can consider trying something new.

Many of us know first-hand how hard consistency during sleep training can be, don’t we? Share your sleep training story with us, and let us know how you managed to stay consistent even when it was tough.

If you need some help and guidance in sleep coaching your little one, please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

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Top 10 Tips for Sleep-Deprived Royalty

Top 10 Tips for Sleep Deprived RoyaltyUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past week, you’ve likely heard the news: Great Britain has a new prince! His Royal Highness, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, was welcomed by the world on Monday, July 22nd. Parents William and Kate looked thrilled as they presented their new baby to the public a week ago.

Of course, by this time, they’re probably both looking more than a little tired as well. As every parent knows, few things are as mind-numbingly, soul-crushingly, “I-could-just-die-I’m-so-tired” exhausting as having a newborn in the house. While the royal couple will likely have quite a bit more help than the average new parent can expect, William and Kate are still in for some bleary-eyed days and sleepless nights in the months ahead. Even royals need 6-8 hours of sleep each night – and the little prince isn’t going to let that happen any time soon!

Luckily for William and Kate, we’re here to help. We’re offering up 10 royalty-themed tips that are sure to help mom, dad, and little George get plenty of sleep during the next few months.

  1. Sleep When The Baby Sleeps. None of us should be surprised if, in the next few months, we see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sacked out and drooling in the back of a limo. After all, new parents need to take every opportunity to nap – even if that opportunity happens to be during a royal motorcade.
  2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help. Remember: Charles and Camilla are just a phone call away.
  3. Create a Flexible Schedule. At this point, George’s daily schedule will mainly consist of eating and sleeping. But try to work in a few playtime activities each day, like tummy time, snuggling, reading board books, and watching parliamentary debates. You know — the usual.
  4. Swaddle George When He’s Fussy. Just be sure to leave his right hand free. A prince has gotta practice his royal wave, after all!
  5. Try Wearing George Around the House. Baby-wearing is another sure-fire way to calm George when he cries. Now, as far as we know, Alexander McQueen hasn’t yet introduced a line of baby slings. But then again, Kate, you would probably rock an Ergobaby.
  6. Develop a Bedtime Routine. Create a routine that helps George relax and settle in for bed. A bath, a few bedtime books, and a round of “God Save The Queen” should do the trick.
  7. Take Turns Doing the Night Shift. Note to William: nothing is sexier than a future monarch who changes diapers at 2 a.m.
  8. Avoid Overstimulation. An overstimulated baby is a fussy baby, and a fussy baby is a sleepless baby. So, when possible, ask the noisy crowds of adoring Brits to keep it down, and request that the hordes of paparazzi ease up on the pictures a little.
  9. Make Time For Yourselves. It’ll be easy to get lost in the demands of caring for little George. So be sure to make time for yourselves every once in awhile, to indulge in the kinds of grown-up activities that everyone enjoys: a trip to the gym, a visit to the spa, a spot of tea with Her Majesty the Queen, etc.
  10. Remember: We’re all rooting for you. This fact may not make your nights any easier, but it’s true: the whole world is celebrating this birth and cheering you on! May you both be blessed in your new role as parents, and may little George be sleeping through the night soon! :)

What tips would you offer the royal couple? Share them below!

Please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

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Cultural Differences in Baby and Toddler Sleep

Here at the Baby Sleep Site™, we take great pride in the fact that we’re an international business. We’ve worked with families from across the globe in an effort to get a better night’s sleep. Geography has never been a barrier for us; in fact, two of our sleep consultants are living internationally themselves! Melissa Kenzig splits her time between the U.S. and France, and Amy Bryant currently calls Germany home. And, both know a thing or two about cultural differences regarding baby and toddler sleep!

After years spent helping families from all over the world, one of the things we’ve learned is that cultural differences play a big role in sleep training. In this article, we’ll take a look at how different cultures view and handle co-sleeping, naps, bedtimes, maternity leave, and sleep training, to name a few. Why? Not to divide us parents, but to share with you that if you are not raising your baby like the “norm” in your own country, chances are that it’s the “norm” somewhere and you’re not alone!

Cultural Differences and Baby Sleep

Bedtime

Bedtime varies greatly from country to country, we’ve learned. Here in the U.S., it seems standard to put young children (especially babies) to bed early — around 7:00 or 8:00 p.m., and sometimes even 6:00 p.m. ala Weissbluth. Many of our American clients also view bedtime as “fixed” — that is, it happens around the same time every night.

Contrast this with some of our European and Asian clients, who routinely put their babies and toddlers to bed quite “late” — around 10 or 11 p.m. Many of these clients have told us that late bedtimes are quite normal in their countries; parents want to spend time with the children after work, so bedtime gets pushed back to create more family time. Many times, this also means bedtime is a more fluid, less fixed time. The idea that bedtime has to (or should) happen at the same time each night isn’t nearly as prevalent in some countries as it is in the U.S.

Nicole’s Note:
“I have often wondered how my son would have fared in a European country with a late bedtime. But, one thing we’ve seen is that we are able to help most families within the parameters of their family structure and needs. As long as your baby is getting enough sleep, that is usually all that matters. Late bedtimes generally mean later wake-up time (with the right schedule!), so there is a balance.”

Co-Sleeping

In the Western world, co-sleeping isn’t exactly the norm. Here in the West, we tend to sleep our babies in cribs, in a separate nursery. Room-sharing is still popular in the first 6 months or so, but other forms of co-sleeping (like co-sleeping long-term, or bed-sharing) are still more on the rare side among Western moms.

In countries around the world, however, this isn’t the case. For example, in many countries, parents and children share the same bed for several years. This is the case in many Asian countries — babies sleep with their parents until they’re toddlers, and at that point, they move to their own small bed near their parents’ bed.

It’s also standard practice in some countries to sleep your baby in the same bed as an extended family member (like a grandmother, or an aunt.) This is particularly true for countries in which living with extended family under the same roof is the norm.

Nicole’s Note:
“One important difference when it comes to co-sleeping across the globe is the bed that the parents sleep in. It is important to bed share SAFELY! American beds are different (read: fluffy, soft, pillow-top, etc.) than others’. “

Naps and Schedules

In the U.S. and some other Western countries, many parents work hard to get their babies on predictable, regular schedules. And there’s a lot to be said for establishing a routine — it often helps regulate a baby’s naptime sleep (and even nighttime sleep!)

However, we’ve found that parents from other countries tend to have a more relaxed, on-the-go mentality when it comes to schedules. In these countries, it’s normal for baby’s sleep schedule to look different from one day to the next. And it’s fine for naps to happen on the go, while mom and dad are out running errands or spending time with friends.

Nicole’s Note:
“No doubt our busy, American lifestyle leads to us being more rigid about scheduling. How else can we make sure the baby is up on time for daycare or we’re at that Gymboree class on time with a happy, content baby? My sons seemed anti-on-the-go and one was afraid he’d miss anything to sleep while out and about, so I definitely don’t know how that would have worked for him! :) It is particularly challenging for our international clients when they have a son like mine, who needs to be home, in bed, to sleep.”

Help With Childcare

This is a big difference we’ve noticed in our work with families from all over the world. In many Western countries, parenting tends to be a fairly isolated affair. It’s a parent’s job to do the work of childrearing, and if the parents happen to need childcare help, they generally have to outsource it (to a daycare provider, for example.)

This is far from the case around the world. In many cultures, the extended family takes an active role in helping to raise children. Sometimes, family members all live together under one roof, meaning that grandma takes the night shift with the baby as often as mom does.

What’s more, in some countries, middle-class families are able to hire house help, like nannies or maids. This provides parents with extra help as well — it isn’t always mom or dad who’s feeding and changing and cleaning up after and waking with the baby.

Maternity Leaves

This is such an interesting phenomenon, and it’s one that we’ve seen come up again and again when we work with international parents. Here in the West, maternity leaves are often woefully short (moms are lucky to get 12 weeks), and they’re often unpaid.

Contrast that with countries around the world that mandate lengthy, paid maternity leaves. In Croatia, Denmark, Serbia, and the U.K., for example, maternity leave is a full year long, and mom receives 90-100% of her normal working wage.

The implications of this are fairly obvious. It’s no wonder that many of us Western parents are quick to get our babies on a sleep schedule, and to start sleep training early — we need our babies to nap well and to sleep through the night because we have to go back to work! Many of our international clients, however, don’t face this same pressure — their maternity leaves tend to be longer, so (in general) they’re more relaxed about their babies’ sleep habits, especially when their babies’ are very young. Having said this, we do not believe At-Home Parents have it easy, either.

(Note: to see a side-by-side comparison of maternity leaves around the world, organized by country, take a look at this helpful Huffingtonpost.com article.)

Sleep Training

The different cultural perceptions of sleep training are fascinating to us here at the Baby Sleep Site™. In fact, if we were writing this for a different audience, we may even have to define the phrase “sleep training”, since it’s unheard of in some countries around the world!

In the West, we’ve become fairly accustomed to the concept of sleep training. The idea that some parents take steps to train, or to teach, their babies to sleep is understood and accepted (even if not every Western parent would agree with some of the practices associated with sleep training, like cry it out methods.)

However, in other countries around the world, the idea of “teaching” a baby to sleep is a foreign one. Many international parents report that in their home countries, allowing a baby to cry, even for a moment, is considered cruel and unnatural. Instead, it’s the expectation that babies will have night-wakings and the family’s “village” will help, whether it means getting up with the baby at night or allow Mom to nap during the day.

Nicole’s Note:
“We are working with more and more international clients who want something different than their surrounding culture. They feel isolated and alone and we try to be there for them. It’s not easy to have a challenging sleeper, wherever you are!”

A General, Respectful Overview

This isn’t meant to be an authoritative account on cultural differences and baby sleep. Rather, we’ve tried to give you a general glimpse at how the perceptions and practices surrounding baby sleep vary from country to country.

And we’re not presenting these differences to judge parents from other cultures — not at all! We believe that every baby and every situation is unique; we also believe that we have a lot to learn from each other. Educating yourself about sleep norms around the world is one more way you can help your own baby or toddler along the road to better sleep.

What are your thoughts on some of these differences? Be respectful, please! And to our international readers: anything to add? Chime in, and we’ll update the article with your feedback!

Expectations and practices regarding baby and toddler sleep may change from country to country, but sleep deprivation crosses all borders! If you’re an exhausted parent, please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

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Should You Let Your Baby Cry It Out?

When parents contact the Baby Sleep Site for the first time, they often say the same thing: “Are you going to tell me I have to let my baby cry? Because I can’t handle that!”

No parent enjoys the sound of their baby wailing in distress.

That’s why the cry-it-out methods advocated by Ferber, Weissbluth, and Ezzo are so controversial. Some parents feel like cry-it-out is a form of cruel and unusual punishment, but others are quick to point out that cry-it-out methods are fast and effective ways to teach a baby to sleep.

Not too long ago, an article in Psychology Today discussed the “dangers” of cry it out and yet another article even suggested that cry-it-out methods might be the cause of our “Prozac Nation.”

It remains debatable whether or not cry-it-out methods actually damage a child. After all, people often mean very different things when they use the phrase “cry it out” and what affects one child will not affect another the same way (just like Nicole’s life experiences affected her a certain way in the above article). And let’s remember that the side-effects of sleeplessness for children (obesity , depression, behavior problems, and even drug and alcohol problems, as well as a number of others) can be pretty serious. But even if using a cry-it-out method doesn’t damage your little one, should you do it?

What Does Cry-It-Out Mean, Exactly?

In any discussion of cry-it-out, it’s important to make sure everyone’s operating with the same definition. There are a lot of things that we believe cry-it-out is NOT; there are two things we believe that it IS. At The Baby Sleep Site, we use cry-it-out to mean a sleep training method that is used to change sleep associations and to help parents set limits as to what they will and will not “do” in the name of sleep.

Does Cry-It-Out Actually Work?

It might seem counterintuitive to think that crying can lead to a baby sleeping peacefully for hours on end. The thing is, though, it can, for some babies. Remember that falling asleep is a skill that a baby has to learn, and anytime a person (young or old) has to learn a new skill, there are bound to be some mistakes made. Some falling down. Some crying. As Nicole says,

“It is difficult to convince your baby that she can sleep on her own without some crying, just like it’s difficult to learn to ride a bike without falling.”

Some Parents Reject Cry-It-Out Due To Fear or Misconceptions

Some parents understand all the ins and outs of cry-it-out methods and still reject them. And that’s fine, of course. To each her own! However, other parents have fears or misconceptions that cause them to avoid any cry-it-out methods:

  • Some parents fear cry-it-out means that they have to let their child scream for 8 straight hours and turn 12 shades of purple before offering them any comfort. Not so! Remember, there are lots of steps in between rocking your baby all night long and letting her wail for hours.
  • Other parents worry that cry-it-out might change their child’s personality, turning their sweet, smiling baby into a screaming, shrieking one. But remember that your child’s temperament is as unique as he is, and it’s highly unlikely that any sleep training method is going to change that. That said, if you have a cranky, fussy, inconsolable baby on your hands, and that fussiness is due to chronic sleep deprivation, then cry-it-out may just change your baby’s personality — for the better! Once he starts getting the sleep he needs, don’t be surprised if that constant fussiness disappears.
  • Some parents are concerned that using a cry-it-out method will destroy their child’s trust in them. This is an understandable fear; when you’re listening to your child cry, it’s easy worry that she feels neglected. But this kind of thinking puts a LOT of pressure on you! After all, you can make yourself crazy if you operate with the mindset that any one thing you do (or don’t do, for that matter) could potentially damage your child FOREVER.

There’s No Formula for Parenting

When you’re sleep training (whether you’re using a cry-it-out methods or not), it’s easy to lose perspective. It’s easy to feel like letting your baby cry for a few minutes will cause serious damage.

That’s why it’s so important to remember that the parent-child relationship is a complex one, made up of many elements. There’s no ONE thing that can destroy that entire relationship. As Nicole says,

“There is not ONE thing (except possibly the purely heinous,like sexual abuse) that will violate his trust in you. If that were the case, the ONE time you didn’t catch him when he was learning to walk and bumped his head would cause him not to trust you anymore. The ONE time you were late changing his diaper and he was cold and crying and you didn’t know would cause harm to him. It is all the love, affection, and care you give him all day, day-in and day-out, that builds the relationship between mother/father and child.”

Some Parents Still Feel Cry-It-Out Isn’t For Them — And That’s Fine

The purpose of this article isn’t to persuade you to use a cry-it-out approach to sleep training. We don’t push cry-it-out methods over other approaches to sleep training, and we certainly won’t try to persuade you to use a method you’re not comfortable with. Whatever sleep training method you choose, remember that it has to work for everyone involved — for your child, and for YOU.

The Baby Sleep Site strives to remain judgment-free and to respect every parent’s unique philosophy, so if you just aren’t comfortable with any of the cry-it-out methods, that’s okay! There are plenty of other ways to teach your little one to sleep well, including some no-cry sleep training options. They might just require a little more patience on your part.

We always start our sleep consultations with a no-cry approach (unless a parent requests that we begin with a cry-it-out method). What’s more, we’ve had great success working with parents who have an attachment parenting philosophy, parents who are co-sleepers, and parents who simply want to minimize crying as much as possible. Be sure to check our our testimonials page to learn more about the variety of families we’ve helped in their journeys to better sleep.

Nicole’s Note
“I just saw a Facebook update from this mom, Najmi, whose now 6 1/2 year old looks forward to the weekend, so she can sleep in! If only we were all so lucky. Najmi was so petrified of CIO, but it was a life-changing decision she made. Cry it out is definitely not for every situation, but the pressure parents put on themselves to not allow ANY crying can sometimes do more harm. It’s about finding the right solution for your specific situation.”

What about you? Cry-It-Out? No-Cry? Share your opinions!

If you’re looking for ways to to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine, please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

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Your Real Goals In Baby Sleep Training (Hint: It’s Not Sleep!)

Surprise! We’ve had to sleep train our son (the one who inspired this website)…again! Can you believe it? Well…actually, I’ve stopped calling it “sleep training” and think more of it as teaching him new habits when the ones he’s established aren’t working anymore. And, this has changed over time.

Last week, we talked about how inertia can keep you from sleep training and the discussion was interesting. One commenter suggested that perhaps night-waking is normal and there really isn’t a “problem” to fix. I can see why she would say that. If all these babies have sleep problems, doesn’t that just make it normal and sleep deprivation is just a part of parenting?

I answer with a resounding “No!”

Our children do not come out knowing what to do in many areas (actually it surprised me all the little things I take for granted that I now have to teach!). Back in caveman days, I’m sure our ancestors taught our children how to hunt. Just because a baby doesn’t come out knowing how to hunt doesn’t mean we didn’t teach him. And, our children certainly do not come out with manners, either. We teach them how to say “please” and “thank you.” To me, it’s like saying since most kids like sweet foods that they should have a diet high in sugar and we have no influence over establishing healthy eating habits. Habits are just those. And, the way we parent our children can change those habits in a big way!

Does this mean your child should never wake at night? Of course not. There is a huge difference between a newborn waking 5 times a night and a 2 year old. There is a huge difference between a 10 month old eating once or twice a night and a 3 year old. And, there is a huge difference between a 4 month old waking every two hours and an 18 month old. Waking once a night for 18 months may be manageable for some, but waking EVERY two hours for 18 months would hardly be manageable for anyone, I can imagine. Even 6 months was too long for me and I am simply a worse parent when I am sleep deprived!

I know that many people believe that children will outgrow their sleep problems and perhaps some do, but these are long-term habits that can be very hard to change, if they don’t. This is similar to how hard it would be to teach a 6 year old to eat broccoli when he hasn’t eaten it for the first 5 years. I recently worked with a family of a 3 year old waking every 2 hours for a pacifier. That is not “normal,” that is “habit.” And, we influence our children’s habits just like we teach them to wash their hands after using the potty. The longer you have a habit, the harder it is to change.

So, what is your goal in sleep training? It’s not sleep!

As I mentioned above, we recently had to teach our son new sleep habits yet again. Here’s what happened:

It all started as nightmares back when he started Kindergarten last Fall. Understandably, he was nervous and the transition had him feeling a bit more anxious. Over the months, he’d have ups and downs and nothing major to worry about. Nighttime fears are very common after the age of 3 or 4, by the way, so it’s likely that your baby or toddler will go through something similar. When my son was 3, he had a fear of dinosaurs (no matter how many times you try to explain what “extinct” means :)). I’ve had clients with toddlers afraid of a variety of things from monsters to the dark, and it’s not always rational.

During this past Spring, things started really getting out of hand with night-waking every night and more and more fear. It started out as me trying to be understanding and comforting and then I decided I was only feeding the fear and I had to do something. But, you wouldn’t “sleep train” away fear, would you? Well, that’s exactly what I did, but first, you have to stop and redefine what “sleep training” means. And, you’ll see why it worked!

First, I decided I was reinforcing this fear, rather than empowering him not to be afraid. This was a very important realization for me. After all, I rationalized that one day he would outgrow this fear, right? I didn’t want to wake up one day to a 10 year old with phobias, but I wanted to be a comforting mom and for him to know that I was always there for him. And, that’s what I did, only he no longer “needed” me, he had new habits of being afraid. This is the same way you might be reinforcing your baby’s need to be rocked, fed, bounced, or pacifier’d to sleep (yes that’s a word, I think). By continuing to do the same thing over and over, you only instill the habit even more and reinforce their “need” for it. It’s possible he wouldn’t be ready, but it didn’t hurt for me to try, much like a 4 month old may not be ready for sleep training, but maybe another 6 month old would.

So, I started talking to my son more and more during the day and at dinnertime about his fears and we started “Operation Brave” and we talked about ways he can be brave. I talked to both he and his brother about this and they both came up with their own ideas. It was also important that I not minimize his very real feelings of why he was afraid. Instead, we talked about them and faced them and thought of ways to empower all of us, so we didn’t have to be afraid (such as talking about how we make sure all the doors are locked before we go to bed).

The other thing I did was I stopped laying with him as long at bedtime as that had become a recurring sleep association and I hadn’t realized just how much that was becoming a new habit for me to stay longer and longer. To “sleep train,” I started out simply leaving 1 or 2 minutes earlier than I recently had been and I said something like “You are so brave.” and I would leave for two minutes or so and then come back to check on him, give him a hug and a kiss and positively reinforce how brave he was being. We started VERY slow (as I most often recommend to anyone sleep training) and we did all of this with no crying. No tears whatsoever (which I can’t say was the case years ago when we first sleep trained or subsequent times after that!). After 2-3 weeks, he was doing soooo much better and since then I have only heard him say “I’m scared.” one or two times. Phew! :) We are currently in our longest stretch of good sleep since I can remember, actually (knock wood!).

The bottom line? Whether you have a baby, toddler, or older child, your focus in sleep training is NOT sleep! Your primary goals of sleep training are increasing self-confidence, improving skills with practice much like learning to walk or ride a bike, avoiding reinforcement of poor habits and, going back to the comment, instilling good routines and sleep habits. Nothing is a problem until it is one, but that doesn’t mean you sit back and wait to see if a problem goes away. Be sure that you DO have the wisdom and influence on your child’s habits, sleep or otherwise, and it’s an ongoing process.

Focus on the above goals and sleep, my friends, will follow!

What are your goals in sleep training?

Please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

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How My First 5K and Baby Steps Can Help You Sleep Train Your Baby

When you’re a sleep coach, many other things in your life tend to remind you about babies or sleep training or sleep training babies. On November 5th, I ran my first 5K race. It was a race where a portion of the proceeds would be donated to The Honor Flight for World War II veterans to fly to Washington D.C. I can thank my son (who inspired this site) for the inspiration (I guess he inspires me a lot!). He ran his first 1K over a year ago and wanted to run in another race. Back then, I was out of shape and didn’t race in the 5K that day. I vowed I would run in the next one. For the last 8 months or so, I’ve been exercising (you may remember that) a lot more, so when he asked about another race, I signed us up.

Did I expect to win the race? No way! In fact, I came in 104th. Ouch. I was 14th in my age group, though (which was ahem, 37 but now 38 years old). It took me 32 minutes and 9 seconds. Not bad! :)

With many things in my life, I set goals that I wanted to achieve (not my friend or neighbor). They never have to be “Become the President of the United States” goals. My primary goal for the 5K was simply to do it. My secondary goal was to keep running the entire time. I achieved both that day and the feeling of accomplishment was AMAZING!

What does this have to do with sleep training?

I remember sleep training sometimes feeling like a race. All your friend’s babies were sleeping well. The babies in the playgroups were sleeping through the night. So many people making you feel like it’s your fault you can’t finish the race, too. It was because he was napping too much or my breast milk wasn’t enough or WHATever!

Unlike the 5K, I never trained for sleep training. Who knew that babies just don’t sleep when they’re tired?!?

One way my 5K race IS like sleep training is the small goals I made for myself and I started thinking this is EXACTLY what I did when I sleep trained my own son and EXACTLY what I do when I make a Personalized Sleep Plan™. I recently read Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover and he goes over “baby steps” to become “financially fit.” I related a lot to his “baby steps” because it is at the heart of how I view goals.

Will it work to do your bedtime routine, put your baby to bed, and not come back until morning, crying or not? For many, sure. Is that the way most people want to sleep train? Of course not! Do I recommend to parents they do that? Who needs to pay someone to tell them that, so no. That is usually the way a hare does it or someone who has done an extensive amount of sleep training, already. I am not a hard-core “sleep trainer” and never have been.

Instead, I think the reason I’ve been successful in many things I do is a) I’m not afraid to fail (that’s how we learn) and b) I make smaller goals that build to one big goal.

When I sleep trained my son, my primary goal was to stop taking THREE HOURS (yes, literally) to put him to bed each night. Sure, he fell asleep rocking in my arms, but then he’d wake up every time he felt me move to lower him into bed! My first goal was NOT for him to sleep through the night or even to stop waking up every two hours…yet (though he did anyway once we mastered bedtime, yay!)

When I created The Baby Sleep Site™, my goal was to help people. I had NO goals about how many. I had no idea what would happen, but all I knew is that I wanted to make a website to support other parents (even if it was only 10 people) who were going through what I had to go through essentially alone. Even my husband didn’t obsess about sleep as much as I did, of course, and frankly, I think he got tired of hearing about it. Now, he doesn’t have to, because you listen. :)

Breaking your goals into “baby steps” can help you sleep train your baby, too! I did finally help my son sleep through the night (though it wasn’t perfect every night by any means!), The Baby Sleep Site™ now enjoys over 150,000 visitors per month and has over 100,000 people who receive the weekly newsletter, and now, I’ve finished my first 5K and my next goal is to do it in under 30 minutes. And, who knows? Maybe one day I’ll even win one.

What’s Your Goal and How Will You Achieve It?

If you’re looking for your “baby” steps that help you achieve your long-term goal and ways to to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine, please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

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