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BOOT CAMP, PART THREE: Creating and Implementing Your Sleep Training Plan
Welcome back to sleep training boot camp, readers! Can you believe were already at Part 3 of our month-long boot camp?
Now that you have done all the prep work necessary for sleep training (by doing the 5 things you need to do before sleep coaching, and by making any necessary feeding and scheduling changes – and possibly filling out the Family History Form), it’s time to actually create your sleep training plan, and then get started with sleep coaching!
Today, we’ll look at these two components separately – how to create your sleep training plan, and then how to start implementing it.
Creating Your Sleep Training Plan
There’s no one way to create a sleep training plan – your approach to sleep coaching can be as unique as you are! But after spending 5+ years refining our own Personalized Sleep Plan, which we create for all our clients, we know a thing or two about what makes a sleep coaching plan successful.
When you go about creating your own sleep coaching plan, use these tips to ensure that your plan sets up you and your baby or toddler for success:
- Implement ‘mini-steps’ if you want to minimize crying. Mini-steps help you break down sleep coaching into very small, very manageable steps. So instead of making a BIG leap, like, say, from rocking all the way to sleep to putting baby down wide awaken the crib, break that down into smaller mini-steps.
- Don’t work on naps and nights at the same time. A small percentage of our families find it’s actually better for them to work on naps and nights at the same time, but for the majority, it’s just too overwhelming. Instead, break them into separate components.
- Create the plan with your baby/toddler AND WITH YOURSELF in mind. Obviously, your child should be the focus of your sleep coaching plan. And it’s key to account for your little one’s temperament. But remember, the plan that works is the plan that YOU can commit to and feel good about. So keep that in mind as you make your plan – choose a method that you feel good about, keep the amount of work you have to do reasonable, and watch the timelines to be sure they’re reasonable, too.
- Speaking of timelines…plan for a healthy pace to your sleep coaching. Don’t plan to move too fast (you can’t overcome major sleep associations in 3 or 4 days!), but you don’t want to inch along at a snail’s pace, either – you shouldn’t be sleep training for months! For most families, 2-4 weeks is adequate time to make big improvements in sleep.
- Include a basic day-by-day portion of your plan. We include this in most of our Personalized Sleep Plans™, and our clients tell us it’s so helpful. Basically, your day-by-day tells you what specific actions you should take each day (and each night). Creating a day-by-day schedule means you are creating concrete, actionable steps for your sleep coaching, and that can really help you stay consistent even when you’re tired and frustrated.
Implementing Your Sleep Training Plan
When it comes to actually implementing your plan, keep the following things in mind:
- There is never a perfect time to start sleep training, but as best you can, clear your schedule for a few days after you start coaching. And, if you’re married or have a close support network around, considering soliciting some help for those first few days.
- Working on night waking can be exhausting, so try to carve out time for yourself to take a nap, to sleep in mornings – anything you can do to catch up on your sleep. And remember that your baby or toddler may need the same – when you’re working on night wakings, do what you can to be sure your little one takes adequate naps.
Let Us Make Your Plan For You!
You can make your own sleep plan – we offer resources specifically designed to help you do that (many of our e-book packages include a ‘How To Make Your Own Sleep Plan’ workbook!) But the fact is that parents who hire a Baby Sleep Site consultant to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for them have higher rates of success than those who attempt to go it alone. Why? Because our consultants bring years of experience and insight to your consultation – they have worked with literally thousands of families! All that experience combines to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that is guaranteed to equal sleep training success.
How can you get your own Personalized Sleep Plan™? Simple – first, you’ll need to purchase one of our consultation packages Next, you will receive login credentials to our Sleep Helpdesk – from there you will fill out your Family History Form, upload it to the Helpdesk, connect with your consultant, and get started! Once your consultant has reviewed your history, she will create your plan, and then send it over with implementation instructions. It’s that easy! Once you’ve tried out the plan at home, you can email your consultant any time to ask follow-up questions, or to request changes to your plan.
Still not sure if a Personalized Sleep Plan would be right for you? Here’s what Vikki had to say about her plan:
“When I first got the plan I felt two things. First, I felt a sense of relief. I had help, and help that made sense. I had spoken to doctors, nurses, other moms, everyone I could think of. Everyone said, “Oh, she’ll sleep when she’s tired”. But she didn’t. I have tears now just thinking about how bad I felt and how tired she was. Then, I got the plan. I had a blueprint to help us get to a better place.
I also felt a lot of ‘a-ha’ moments as I read through my plan. There were answers to the questions of ‘why’ I had so often. I had heard before that you can give baby a lovely, but I didn’t know why. The plan explained that. I had read about other techniques that Jen (my consultant) referenced in the plan, but she gave me the why. I knew not only what we were going to do but why we were going to do it. That was HUGE for me. I am a very why-oriented person.”
Makes a lot of sense, right? What Vikki (and the rest of us here at The Baby Sleep Site®) want you to know is this: for many of you reading this, a Personalized Sleep Plan™ is all you need to conquer sleep training boot camp, and to solve your little one’s sleep problems once and for all. After all, baby and toddler sleep problems can be tough to deal with on your own: between constant nighttime waking, super-short naps, and an erratic daytime schedule, sleep training may feel downright impossible to you. Not to worry – 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. Think of your consultant as your boot camp instructor, telling you what to do next and providing the constant encouragement you need!
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.
No matter how you decide to approach Boot Camp Part #3, remember that this step is critical – you need to create a solid plan and then implement it well. You have about a week before we get into Part #4, so use this time to make and then use your plan. Next week, we’ll talk about what to do if things don’t go exactly according to plan. 😉 But between now and then, remember – we are here to help!
This is a big step, so if you have questions, ask away, and we’ll offer some help! For those of you who have sleep trained before – share your tips!
<--Boot Camp Part Two: Making Feeding & Schedule Changes (Plus A Bonus Step!)
Boot Camp Part Four: Staying Consistent With Sleep Training –>