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What is Baby Sleep Training?

The term Sleep Training doesn't have to mean Cry-It-Out, and instead can be the gentle solution your family needs to thrive.

Sleep training is the process of helping a baby learn to self-settle. Some babies do this on their own, very quickly and easily. Whilst others do not, they might need more help settling to sleep or getting back to sleep when they wake. Parents can gently help them along the way. With all the information online regarding baby sleep it can be hard to navigate your way through sleep methods, self-settling and what is best for your baby. Often a Baby Sleep Consultant is your guide towards straightforward advice that actually works.


What is the difference between self-soothing and self-settling? Self-soothing is about regulating emotions, which some children don't fully learn until they're much older, even some adults can't do this. You shouldn't expect a crying baby to be able to regulate their emotions and soothe themselves when all they really need is touch, feeding or attention. Self-settling, however, is the process by which a baby learns to settle from fully awake to asleep without help from you. After a baby has moved through the 4-month sleep regression they will be developmentally ready to self-settle and may naturally do this as they get older. As adults, we all have something that helps us prepare for sleep, whether that's having a bath, putting on pyjamas or listening to calm music. It can be the same for littles too.


The term Sleep Training actually gets a bad rep because people assume it means leaving your baby to cry. It doesn't have to, and the methods I use are as gentle as a family needs them to be. Staying with your child and comforting them, whilst also encouraging healthy independent sleep habits are entirely possible. Sleep training can just involve combining gentle settling, preparing for sleep at the correct times and consistent routines which can be all you need to help your baby navigate their own way of settling to sleep.


At what point do you consider a Baby Sleep Consultant? Perhaps you've forgotten what it feels like to wake up refreshed, or you're looking to get your baby into a consistent routine as you prepare to go back to work. There are a multitude of reasons why parents hire a sleep consultant, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help. It really can be a minefield to know if you're doing the right thing, or even where to start? Every child's sleep is unique and following guidelines can leave you second guessing yourself and feeling very confused. My daughter was walking at 8 months on the dot and dropped to 1 nap when she turned 12 months old. That is not the average, so by following conflicting internet advice wasn't helping. Eventually, as your child gets older, they will likely sleep better. Sleep training is often used for little ones who need an external source to fall asleep, like feeding for example. It is then, that without stepping in to gently guide them towards an alternative, you may experience a severe lack of sleep. By Sleep Training you can expect to see longer stretches of sleep and the ability for your baby or toddler to self-settle.


If you're looking for a gentle solution to your sleep concerns, book in your free initial consultation here. Or for FREE simple sleep tips head over to our Instagram page @the_wideawake_club.

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