Many people decide to sleep train their child when they are really struggling– I know because I see the traffic on my website, especially in January. Parents who succeed at sleep training often know exactly why they are doing it. Here’s how to figure out your reasons, so you can stay motivated when the going gets tough.
I’ve seen many families struggle with sleep training over the years. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned is that often parents make a decision to sleep train a little bit half cocked. They have a really bad night and they say, you know what? We’re just going to go for this. But they crash and burn within a few days. There’s a couple of reasons for this, but one of them is they haven’t really thought about why they’re doing it. (Here’s a link to the most common sleep training mistakes). What are the concrete benefits that they’re striving for?
Sometimes behavioral change is easy, but often it can be challenging. I’ve found that parents who are successful can articulate the benefits they are seeking.
* Your child goes to bed easily and wakes up playful and in a great mood at the same time every day.
* Bedtime is a lovely time that you share with your child, starting with calming activities, proceeding to cuddles, and ending when you kiss your child good night and leave the room.
* You and your partner have some time together in the evening to do activities you enjoy, without your kids.
* You can leave your child with a family member or babysitter without worrying about a huge freak-out, and with confidence that your child will be asleep when you get home.
* You wake up in the morning feeling awesome.
If you are thinking about sleep training, take a post it and write down three concrete reasons that sleep training will benefit you and your family. Put it in a place were you will see it every day as you plan your next move. Once you are ready to sleep train, here’s a guide to my favorite sleep training methods.