We often hear from families that we are lucky enough to work with that they have tried sleep training in the past, but it just didn’t work. Why is this such a popular trend?
A) Because they were not consistent
B) Because their child was not on a schedule conducive to their age
C) Because their child is chronically overtired
D) Because they just have a terrible sleeper
No, it is not D - all children can be great sleepers if given the right tools!
Did you guess A-C? Ding, ding, ding! ON their own or combined consistency, schedule, and an overtired child are almost ways to blame.
If there is one word you will hear from a sleep consultant again and again, this is it. That is because being consistent is the key teaching your child your expectations/what they are capable of. If one day you respond to their night waking by leaving them to go back to sleep on their own and the next you rock them to sleep, how will they know what you expect/they can expect?
Why is a schedule so important? For a few reasons:
It is important to have your child on a sleep schedule that is in sync with their inner biological clock or circadian rhythm, because this ensures that they will have the easiest time falling asleep and staying asleep. Sleeping at these correct times will also allow your child to get the best quality and most restorative sleep possible.
Having a schedule and a consistent routine allows your child to understand what to expect. Children truly thrive on routine and this is no different when it comes to their sleep.
Sleeping on the correct schedule for your little one's age will allow them to remain well rested and not to become overtired. This includes a bedtime that can occur before they reach an overtired state.
When a child is overtired their body’s begin to produce sleep-fighting hormones to keep themselves going. These hormones will wreak havoc on a little one’s sleep by triggering:
· Frequent night wakings
· Early morning wakings
· Short or broken naps
· Nap resistance
· Night terrors
· Bedtime battles
Not only that, these hormones trigger behaviors issues too:
· Unable to play independently
· Temper tantrums
· Refusal to eat
…lack of sleep is at the root of all of these issues.
Once a child is overtired it takes quite a bit of time to undo those effects so often times sleep training efforts are abandoned before a child can neutralize their sleep-fighting hormone levels.
If this all sounds all too familiar to you and teaching your child self-soothing skills has failed in the past, take care to ensure these 3 things are in place and give it another go. I am willing to bet this time it will go much better.
Well Rested Baby is a team of certified sleep consultants that helps families like yours identify, address, and correct their children’s sleep issues. WRB works with moms and dad’s to create customized sleep plans that reflect a family’s comfort level and philosophies. When paired with WRB’s 360-approach, the entire family is set up for sleep success. WRB offers a variety of support packages. Contact WRB today to schedule a consultation or learn more about how we can help you and yours get the sleep you need and deserve.