Servicing Most of Central Florida

Tampa/St. Pete | Orlando | Melbourne

valariestephens@yourfamilyguru.com

Tel: 407-491-4447

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White YouTube Icon

© 2017 | Valarie Stephens | Your Family Guru

Blog

The Truth About Sleep Training

March 2, 2017

 

Many parents balk at the idea of putting their child on a sleep schedule. Our little one has newly entered the world, and so quickly society is ready to press upon our vulnerable bundle of joy, all of it's fast-paced neuroses? I don't think so! It's a fair concern. 

However, you may be surprised to find out that when experts talk about sleep or eating schedules for a child, they usually mean the much looser term, routine. And instead of expecting your baby to start meeting a schedule of play dates & 9am meetings, it is meant to be a guideline for you the parent as to what is a healthy length of time for your child to be awake during the day or night...how much & often your baby will need to eat, etc. These "schedules" should always take into account the age & physical development of a child & his own unique needs. And if the method you are using is causing you or your baby prolonged or an unbearable amount of stress & anxiety, then it's a sure sign something needs to be adjusted. 

So when a child expert starts talking about the benefits of sleep training, try to listen with an open mind...especially if you & the whole household are starting to become seriously sleep deprived. A sleep schedule may be the real-world version of a miracle cure for you. And don't worry, you don't have to just lay your child down & listen to them cry all the time in order to "sleep train" them, there are gentler ways that are still effective. 

The truth is you & your child are establishing some pattern of behavior around sleep whether you believe in sleep training a baby, or not. The idea of a sleep schedule should never be to dictate what your baby does...but more to help create the healthiest sleep associations & patterns for your child's optimal health & happiness. And yours too! It's hard to be a patient, happy parent when your sleep is interrupted every hour or two. While this is to be expected at the very beginning, many children need a little help shifting into distinctive day/night patterns of rest when it becomes developmentally appropriate. 

In a nutshell, what works for your baby at 1 month, will not continue to be the same at 4 months...their needs & how they are presented change, sometimes drastically. Sleep training recognizes and gently reconfigures our child's time into longer awake periods & longer sleep periods, with the longest being at night. 

Another benefit of sleep training is that it focuses on the babies needs & can help prevent us from unknowingly expecting our infant to meet our adult schedules & behavior patterns that they of course are not ready for. We can then set our schedules around their needs. When parent & child unwittingly form habits that we can't continue to maintain, then we are just setting ourselves & our child up for needless trouble...on a subject as paramount to her healthy development as sleep. Why not minimize or avoid the problem altogether?

By setting a sleep schedule, you are being mindful of when & under what conditions your child will get the optimal amount & best quality of sleep. The process of sleep training can be a little daunting at first; mostly due to all the methods & opinions out there. And it's easy if you don't know your child's developmental stages or are going on your past knowledge of what worked, to misinterpret her cues that a change & what kind is needed. Sleep training can only effectively be done by someone who is well-educated on child developmental ages and stages, and the various sleep training techniques. They should also take into account your parenting style & your child's temperament. This is why for your first time, I recommend an expert to help you get through this process as quickly and painlessly as possible. But after being a part of sleep training one child, many parents go on to successfully sleep train their other children with minimal help. 

At Your Family Guru, I am a hands-on parent educator. I literally meet you where you live...striving always to facilitate and equip you the parent, so that you become more confident with your parenting abilities. Please comment below & share with friends if you found this info helpful. Feedback is paramount to what I do. And greatly appreciated! Feel free to email me today if you have any questions about this or another parenting subject.

My best,
Valarie Stephens
Your Family Guru

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Archive
Please reload

Follow Me
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Pinterest Icon