Since lockdown, I’ve been enjoying doing lots of talks with parents over at @mushmums and every time I do so I get lots of questions from people with tiny babies asking when should I start sleep training..
So I thought I’d answer that in this post! Firstly the phrase sleep training is a funny one as it means different things to different people, for me at any age it’s about making the decision that your little ones sleep needs to change and then identifying what you might need to do that.
For Newborns (that’s those under the age of 4 months) it’s all about great sleep habits, so focusing on getting them lots of sleep in the day & a fair bit at night (as that’s what they need) and setting up some gentle sleep habits (where they sleep and perhaps how). It should mainly be about bringing your little one into the world and enjoying lots of lovely cuddles rather than a strict sleep schedule.
After 4 months that’s when people often start to wonder what’s going on with sleep. At this age, my suggestion is that you need to be seeing gradual improvement in your child’s sleep rather than getting worse! So it’s at this age I start working with people to try and get their sleep in a better shape by looking at the whole picture and crafting a plan to help them out.
And then the journey continues, for me there is no pressure to sleep through from a certain age, it’s all about what you are happy with and what the child is showing you.
There might come a point where the sleep issues become more connected with your childs personality and that’s when things might need to change, so with older ones we talk about mindfulness, routine charts, rewards and encouraging great sleep.
At any age, there are points at which you can have little set backs along the journey, illnesses, developmental changes and they can throw sleep off course, but it’s often just a bit of time and adjustments that you need to make to get back on track.
So there you go, there isn’t really a firm answer on when to ‘sleep train’ your baby..(sorry!) I work with children from 4 months up to 7 years so if you would like to start your sleep improvements then please do get in touch just click here to join my waiting list