When is the best time to start Sleep Training?
Sleep Training is a term I have struggled with because of the way it has been portrayed. Pediatricians, books, friends, family, and all those “helpful” strangers often agree, and will confidently preach that 12 weeks is the time to start Sleep Training. The term Sleep Training can be described in many ways, but in this context, what I believe the pediatricians and others agree on is that 12 weeks is the appropriate age and time when we should start to let our babies “cry it out” and soothe themselves to sleep. Unfortunately, it is often assumed that there is nothing we can do before this 12 week mark to help our babies become better sleepers and to minimize crying when that window of time for “training” opens up.
It is my goal, when working closely with a family, to have baby sleeping a 12hr night by the time they reach 12 weeks (or more accurately 12lbs), with a dream-feed just once through the night. There is a more peaceful and practical way to teach our babies to sleep without much crying. The sooner we start practicing habits that encourage patience, independence, and the ability to self-soothe, the sooner our families will be getting the rest we all need. Setting rhythms and simply allowing baby to sleep in their crib rather than our arms are some of the very first steps in teaching your baby to sleep through the night.