When should I sleep train my baby is a common question that parents often ask themselves. Some decide at the four-month mark, and some are still asking that question when their kiddo is 7 or 8 years old.
Let me be honest here; it will never feel like the right time. There is no perfect time to implement changes around your child’s sleep. The main reason being…it will take work, it will be tiring (but you are tired already), and you will not be using all the things you are using to survive. You will be starting from scratch.
There will always be changes/developments in life which may cause some disruptions with sleep. A few examples being, going on vacation, a new sibling, moving house, teething, and sickness.
I will tell you this though, the longer you wait, the more sleep deprived you become and the deeper you get into survival mode, creating more “habits.”
The biggest question to ask yourself is, is this sustainable? Can you continue living in this fog and state of exhaustion? Can you stand one more night or months or years of bickering with your partner, having no energy, have your work performance suffer, no time for yourself, and feel anxious every time bedtime rolls around?
Consider these 4 points to help you make your decision:
- Are you ready for a change? Are you ready to commit? It may not be easy, but there is an end in sight. Seeing a plan through from start to finish in its entirety is essential to be able to see the positive changes your baby is making towards independent sleep.
- Are you and your partner on the same page? Sometimes your baby not sleeping can affect partners in different ways. Have you had a conversation about how this exhaustion is hurting you? Have you sat down and imagined how life would change if everyone were well-rested? Having your partner’s support will also enable your little one to see that both parents are on the same page. This also helps with consistency and essentially makes it easier in the long run when you want to go out on a date night and have another caregiver put them to bed. Your kids will see that no matter who does bedtime, it looks the same. It also takes the pressure of one parent dealing with the brunt of all the wake-ups and bedtime battles.
- Can you clear your calendar for 2 or 3 weeks to implement a plan? A plan needs commitment and most of all consistency. The more consistent you can be for your little one for the duration of the plan, the easier it will be for them to learn independent sleep and help their natural body clocks.
- Are you prepared for some protest from your little one? Change is hard, and even the slightest change to sleep can cause some tears. However, these will lessen with time as your baby gets that independent sleep skill underway