Sleep Training Checklist: 4 Things to Check Off Before Starting
A lot of pre-sleep training prep revolves around the age of your baby or the method you intend to use, but many parents don't realize this isn't all that contributes to the success of the child's sleep training journey until they've been working towards their goals for some time with little results and realize it takes a lot more dedication than they initially thought.
Commitment and Consistency
I cannot put enough emphasis on how consistent you should be in your approach and techniques when it comes to sleep training. Given that your baby is at least 4 months old and healthy, you can expect sleep training to take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks depending on the method you use and how consistent you are being. Knowing this, you should keep your schedule open for the first initial weeks of sleep training - avoid travel plans, switching daycares or caregivers, and events that could disrupt your consistency and baby's progress.
Ideal Sleep Environment Set Up
It's probably obvious, but the room and space your baby sleeps in should be set up in a way that promotes quality sleep. This will look like:
A completely dark room
Cool temperature between 70-73 degrees
White Noise from a fan or sound machine
Empty crib unless baby is 12 months of age or older - this includes objects hanging near the crib or around the crib within baby's reach
"Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib covered by a fitted sheet, to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Firm sleep surfaces with no other bedding or soft objects. Nothing soft such as pillows etc. should be placed under the baby." - American Academy of Pediatrics
A Support System
The very reason my profession exists is because there is a need for maternal support when it comes to infant and toddler sleep! Though, I am not saying you have to hire a sleep consultant. Your support system might be someone within the home such as your husband who is just as committed to sleep training as you are or maybe it's your bestfriend who sleep trained her baby too and is willing to offer you moral support. Whoever it may be, having that support can really make a difference in your sleep training success.
If you take anything away from this blog post, let it be this. Having a plan is crucial to having success when sleep training. Combing a mom group comment section and choosing a method that worked for someone else's baby most likely won't be of use when it comes to your baby. Do the research and figure out what method works best for your family as a whole, where you will begin - will you start with night time sleep and then naps? Or do it all in one go?, decide who will do night checks or maybe you'll rotate the responsibility, and make sure to include any other caregivers in on the plan so they can stay consistent too!
Are you ready to sleep train?
If you've checked off each of these things, you're probably ready to get serious about improving your baby's sleep and I believe you can do it! In case you didn't know, I create customized sleep plans for families tailored to their child's unique self and offer 1:1 text or email support so you have expert suggestions and support along the way. Head over to my website (www.mamacsleepsolutions.com) to book a free 15-minute assessment call to see which service would best suit your family's situation.