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Benefits of Early Sleep Training

With all the negative stigma around sleep training, it is easy to understand why parents avoid it until later in the baby’s life.


Why do I encourage implementing healthy sleep habits early on?

Babies who are sleeping well by 5 months avoid the many regressions that can occur in the next year of their life. A sleep trained baby will rarely cry throughout the night, if they do they settle themselves within a few minutes. This is not because they now despise you and lack trust for you, this is because they have learnt how to confidently fall back asleep without any help.


When you have a baby who has been waking multiple times per night since birth, you are never quite sure of why they are crying. Is it because they are cold, hot, thirsty, hungry, overtired, undertired, frustrated, going through a leap, going through a regression, teething, unable to link cycles, missing their sleep prop?


If we don’t know what our babies are crying for, of course we are going to attend to them. Our job is to protect, nurture and meet the needs of these little humans. I bet you’re thinking that sleep training does the exact opposite of this? Remember part of protecting and meeting our baby's needs is ensuring they get enough sleep to be content and adequately rested to support emotional and physiological development. If you start early with good sleep hygiene and attention to tired cues, you will have already set the foundations that will then mean building skills such as self-settling and re-settling will be quite simple.


So why does sleep training later on sometimes lead to failure?

Most commonly, it is because the parents aren’t being consistent due to their anxiety that something is wrong when they cry out of the blue in weeks or months to come. If baby was sleep trained 2 weeks ago and they randomly cry at the end of a sleep cycle, a Mum who sleep trained after months of swift reaction and heavy intervention will revert back to panic and may re-introduce a sleep prop. This is inconsistent and now baby is confused and doubting their ability to get back to sleep themselves. Although this is not the only reason, I highly recommend waiting before reacting, think about how you will respond if the crying continues, maybe some verbal soothing is all baby needs. Start with as little intervention as possible and allow your baby space once you have re-assured them they are ok.


If we don’t know what our babies are crying for, of course we are going to attend to them. Our job is to protect, nurture and meet the needs of these little humans. I bet you’re thinking that sleep training does the exact opposite of this? Remember part of protecting and meeting our baby's needs is

ensuring they get enough sleep to be content and adequately rested to support emotional and physiological development. If you start early with good sleep hygiene and attention to tired cues, you will have already set the foundations that will then mean building skills such as self-settling and re-settling will be quite simple.


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