Olive and Cleo
[Photo credit: Klanneke via Deposit Photos]

Sleep training is tough. There’s no way around that. No matter how much you’ve prepared for this day, sleep training is challenging in so many ways. If you go with the Ferber Method or cry-it-out, you are going to be emotional as your little one is crying – and probably a lot.

If you use the gentler methods, such as the fading method, you could be dedicating weeks to this process, something that becomes very draining over time.

But the key to success is this: consistency!

Before you start sleep training, you should be prepared. This is not only meant for the emotional preparation, but also for how everything will work.

It’s all about routine

Sleep training comes down to one thing: routine. Your baby is crying because you are changing the routine and the habits he’s used to. He’s angry and confused. Why are you not doing the sleep time routine he’s used to as you start sleep training?

If you want to get some sleep and ensure your baby gets to sleep throughout the night, you have to create a routine and stick to it. If you keep changing things up, your baby will just get more confused. If you have a set routine in place and you continue with this over time, your baby will quickly adapt to this new normal.

Baby is confused

Before you sleep train your baby, it’s important to check that your baby has everything he needs. This includes a full tummy, a clean diaper, and is a bit drowsy and ready to sleep. If you try to put down a baby who is awake, your sleep training won’t go as expected. In fact, a baby with energy may just make the whole experience worse, as the crying won’t subside easily.

It’s important to understand that your baby is crying because he’s confused. He’s confused because you aren’t doing what he’s used to. It’s not because he needs a new diaper or a fresh bottle. If you know he has everything he needs, it’s simply because he’s objecting to the changes you are implementing.

And let’s be honest for a second – we’d be angry too if someone switched up our comforting routine and refused to go back to what we prefer.

Developing a new routine

Your baby thrives on consistency and routines. As soon as you start sleep training, you change that routine, so of course, your baby will resist and let you know that he’s not happy about it. The key to this is to have a new routine in place you can use every day. Within days or weeks, your baby will adapt to your new routine.

The new routine is completely up to you, but could include:

  • Bathtime
  • Bottle with milk
  • Reading time
  • Lullaby/sleep machine/song
  • Put baby down to sleep

It will be easier if the routine consists of relaxing events that calm your baby down instead of stimulating him. Also, keep the routine to 30 minutes.

If you’ve developed a successful routine that resulted in great sleep for you and your baby, please share your experiences below to help other moms who are struggling to make it work.

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