sleep trained baby

3 Steps to Take Before You Sleep Train

When I chat with parents, they often tell me that they’ve tried sleep training before, but it didn’t work. They’re at a loss and have resigned themselves to thinking that this is just the way it is for them. If that’s you, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case! Or maybe you haven’t tried sleep training yet, but now you’re ready. It’s been weeks (or months) of little to no sleep and you’re ready to do some sleep training. But, how? Perhaps your plan is to allow your little one to CIO, or maybe, you’ve decided to take it slow and stay in the room with them. Either way, before you start, make sure to take these three steps before you sleep train to set your child up for success.

#1 Check their schedule

Our child’s wake, nap, and bedtimes have SO MUCH to do with how easily they fall asleep and stay asleep.

If they are awake for too short of a time before sleep, then they will be under tired and wake up. And if they are awake for too long before sleep is offered, then they will be overtired and also…wake up. One of the most important things we can do before attempting to sleep train is to determine your child’s ideal schedule.

#2 Check the environment

There are three important factors when it comes to creating an ideal sleep environment.

Is it dark? Like really, really dark. Babies’ and toddlers’ circadian rhythms are extremely sensitive to light. Even a small amount of light can trigger their brain to wake up and have a hard time falling back asleep.

Is it cool? Children (and adults) sleep best when their core body temperature is slightly lowered. Consider dressing them the way you dress for sleep and adding a light sleep sack.

Is it noisy? Specifically, we want white noise. White noise promotes sleep as it mimics the sound baby heard in the womb. Furthermore, it is best because unlike music or other sounds, it doesn’t activate baby’s brain and keep them awake.

# 3 Check your sleep training method

Ok, if you get nothing else out of this, pay attention to this part! The absolute most important part of being successful in sleep training is this. Can you be consistent with the method you’ve chosen to implement?

For example, if you’ve chosen to do time checks without picking baby up, can you consistently stick to this plan even if baby is crying for an hour?

Or, if you’ve decided you’d prefer to be present in the room with your child, can you handle staying there until they fall asleep for up to three weeks if that’s how long it takes?

Finding something that feels doable to you and your partner is KEY.

Ready to sleep train? If you work outside the home, I suggest beginning on a Friday night. This way you can help to ensure good naps happen the first few days which makes things go a lot smoother.

Questions about finding the right sleep training method for you? Check out Sleep Training Methods Explained

P.S. If you haven’t already, try our free schedule generator to get an idea of your child’s ideal sleep schedule. 



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