Sleep training is a very personal and sensitive topic. It also has become a very hot topic over the years on blogs, websites and even on my Facebook page.
I am very happy that mums start to realise how important healthy sleep habits are for their babies but also for them as parents. Sound sleep for everyone is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As always, interest breeds information and it seems like there’s a new sleep training book coming out every other month these days with the hope of clarifying the issue for everyone who’s finding the information a little overwhelming. I thought I’d offer a quick overview of the different methods of sleep training, and where Happy Sleepers falls into the mix. 1. The extinction method is the one that has created so much controversy. Also known as “Cry-it-out”, this involves putting your baby to bed, closing the door, and not opening it again until the next morning. This method is very difficult, for obvious reasons, and it doesn’t address the fact that the baby might be crying for legitimate reasons like :
- Needing a nappy change
- Having a foot caught between the cot railings
- Vomited all over the cot
- Nursing to sleep
- Rocking to sleep
- Driving to sleep
5. Finally, we have the Happy Sleepers approach. We follow Dana Obleman’s Sleep Sense approach, which is, hands down, my favourite technique and I’ve done it with my own twins. The Happy Sleepers Program actually has a number of different approaches, which allows you to customise the program to your baby, as well as your level of comfort with leaving her alone. If you prefer to stay in the room with her the entire night, that’s covered in detail, including what to do when she cries and when to start easing your way out if the room. If you want to leave the room and check periodically, I’ve got a step-by-step guide to that approach as well.
What all the approaches in the Happy Sleepers Program have in common is that they teach your child how to fall asleep independently and stay asleep independently. Once your baby has learned how to fall asleep independently, it doesn’t matter how often she wakes at night, she will be able to put herself back to sleep. I often hear people say: “The right approach is the one that works for your baby” and I totally agree. Just make sure it’s actually working; it’s actually teaching your baby to sleep on her own and not fitting the criteria in which she’ll agree to go to sleep. If she’s got to have her dummy, her stuffed animal and a ride in the car to fall asleep, she’s not learning anything and she’ll be demanding all that at two in the morning when she wakes up. Now there you have it in a nutshell. Contact me if you want more information the Happy Sleepers Program. Sleep well