Okay, your child won’t sleep.
You bought a book.
In your sleep deprived state you managed to read the book.
You have a plan.
You know exactly how to get your child to sleep.
You know exactly how to get your child back to sleep through the night.
3, 2, 1, GO…..No, no no. Wait! Don’t start the sleep training journey until you’ve read my sleep training survival guide!
It may take a while to get your child down to sleep for the first few nights. Anything over an hour is classed as normal.
Tag teaming will help. Have your partner come in to take over after a set amount of time (20 minutes is good). You will have 20 minutes to relax (!) and decompress before you go back in after 20 minutes.
Make sure the take over is quiet and calm, no talking with your partner. One comes in the other leaves straight away.
Yes, your child is going to cry. You are trying to break a habit, the way your child deals with the frustration is by crying I’m afraid.
Wear ear plugs, this isn’t so you can’t hear your child, but it will take the edge off the crying whilst you are in the room with them.
I always suggest starting any sleep training on a Friday night. That way if you are up a lot through the night you and your partner can tag team nap through the weekend.
You really must be consistent. I’m sure your sleep training book tells you this! I’m telling you again as it’s so important.
Studies done on sleep training techniques have found no technique works better than any other as long as you are consistent.
It’s also not fair to have your child frustrated for so long only to give in and give them what they wanted in the first minute! It also makes it harder to eventually sleep train. You child will think that they have to be frustrated for a long time before they get what they want.
Calmly does it
Try to remain calm and relaxed through the whole process. This isn’t easy. I think talking quietly and reassuring your child will help keep you calmer. Don’t worry if your child can’t hear you, don’t try and talk over them, as it will quickly become a yelling contest.
Sometime you just need a time out!
If you are in your child’s room trying to help them fall asleep, it can all get a bit much (even with the tag team and ear plugs). If this happens it’s a good idea to give yourself a time out. Make sure your child is okay and leave the room. Try to find somewhere where you can’t hear your child cry, take a few deep breaths and then go back.
You will be more effective if you can remain calm throughout the sleep training process.
Don’t worry if you do need to take a time out, it’s fine and perfectly normal for a child’s cry to begin to grate the brain after a while.
Good luck, sleep training certainly isn’t easy but it is well worth it.