The unknown can be unbearable, especially when you are already sleep deprived, emotional, and hormonal. Here are some of my favorite tips on how to prepare for sleep training, not only for yourself but for the whole family.
I am a planner. So my planner’s mindset likes to know what is going to happen and when. This is where a customized sleep plan for your child comes in handy! If you need one, head over here. If you are more of a DIYer, or just want to know what to expect when you do hire a sleep consultant than read on.
The Steps to Preparing for Sleep Training
1. Be willing to make changes.
I am going to give it to you straight up! Children don’t have bad habits, they learn their bad habits from us. Read that again. Admitting there is a problem(not just lack of sleep) is REALLY hard on our ego, but trust me we have ALL been there. You have to put these problems out in the open, and be willing to make changes before sleep training will work for your child.
A lot of parents I talk to thought that sleepless nights forever is completely normal and the child would eventually grow out of it. There are solutions, and no your child will not grow out of it. Changes have to be made, and change is hard for everyone! Think of it as you want to lose weight but do not want to change anything about what you eat. That wouldn’t work, right? Sleep is the same way, It starts with the right behavior, followed by a biological need. Some change is always necessary.
2. Get your mindset right.
Sleep training is hard, because change is hard for EVERYONE. Children actually adapt quite quickly, adults on the other hand have a much harder time. I like to think of sleep training as a huge learning experience for the whole family.
When was the last time you learned something new? Something really different and challenging? It was hard right? As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nothing worthwhile has ever come easy.”. Get your mind open and ready to learn so much about yourself, your triggers, strength, and capabilities as a parent. Get excited to watch your child become a sleep warrior and literally thrive every single day.
Make the experience what you want it to be. If you think it will be horrible and not work, it probably won’t. Instead, If you believe in yourself, your child, and trust the learning process- that’s exactly what it will be. Don’t make assumptions based off the internet or what other people say. Every child is different with their own unique personality and temperament. This is why each of our sleep plans is tailored to who your child is, and how your unique family unit operates.
This is talked about a lot, and it really is the secret sauce to all things in life, but especially sleep. Showing up every single day, doing the same routine, prioritizing naps and bedtime is a must. In order to learn a new habit(in this case sleep skills), we must repeatedly do the habit. Once this skill becomes a habit you can vary here and there(we understand life happens), but this routine of consistent behavior is your foundation. Living on a foundation holds you up in times where you might not be on your schedule, or there is illness, travel, teething, or any type of regression. You have that ingrained habit to fall back on.
- Take a look at your child’s sleep routine now.
- Look at where you identified the problem.
- You most likely didn’t even know you were stuck in a bad habit and pattern. Or maybe your problem is inconsistency.
- As easily as we perform bad habits, we can learn and develop good ones.
Fun Sleep Training Facts.
It is SO common…
-for a child to have a growth spurt during sleep training because they are actually getting consolidated sleep for their growth hormone to be released more. 80% of a child’s growth hormone is released during deep sleep. Makes sense!
-also happen during sleep training. Whether it is crawling, sitting up, teething, talking, or doing better in school, these all happen because quality sleep allows the brain to restore itself, and properly develop. It is HARD work for children to learn things. They need consolidated sleep cycles in order to encode all of their memories, for brain synapses and neural connections, and right and left hemisphere growth.
Last but not least…
Temperament changes. You will have a happy, healthy child who looks forward to their naps and bedtime because sleep comes easy to them now, and their body is telling them when they are tired.
What to do next?
Take this information, identify your problem, get your mind right, and stay consistent. If you don’t know what could be keeping your child up, reach out for a free discovery call. We are here to help! The “Ask me Anything” call is also great if you want to DIY but still have questions about what you’re doing and if you are doing it right.
Don’t dread this experience, get excited for it! Will sleep training be hard? Absolutely, but I promise you I have never had a parent who regrets this learning experience and the results. You’ve got this!
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