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Is Sleep Training Necessary?

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“Do I really need to sleep train my baby?”

If you’ve reached this page, then chances are, your baby isn’t sleeping too well and you’re exhausted. You might have that lingering question, “does my baby REALLY need sleep training… RIGHT NOW?!” Or you might be thinking, “I’m already exhausted, I don’t have the energy for this!” Let me tell you- I’VE BEEN THERE! I have three kids ages 5 years old and under and sleep is a huge priority in my house. Sleep training is the best thing I’ve done for my kids. They’re such happy campers and great sleepers, they all nap wonderfully and sleep through the night- and have been doing so since 3-4 months old.

Here are some signs that sleep training may be necessary for your child:

1. Frequent nighttime wakeups:

When your baby is in a deep sleep he is getting an increased supply of blood to his muscles, his energy is restored, tissue growth and repair occurs and growth and development hormones are released. When your baby is waking up frequently, he is not getting enough deep sleep and the aforementioned development and repairs are not happening as efficiently. Your baby needs to get all the sleep he can get so he can grow and thrive.

2. Baby needs a sleep prop to get back to sleep:

If your baby can’t self-soothe, you’ll be up all night, providing the sleep prop for them. A sleep prop is anything that helps your baby go to sleep. They only become a problem when the baby can’t sleep without this prop. Some examples include rocking, swinging, nursing to sleep, pacifier,etc. Reliance on these props is going to increase the number of unnecessary wakeups.

3. Difficult bedtimes:

Bedtime should be calm and relaxing. Your bedtime routine should be a bonding experience and offering comfort to your baby. This should not be a time of stress or emotional outbursts. If the baby or parent is anxious or upset at bedtime, it is time for sleep training.

4. Your baby is often cranky:

If your baby is cranky during a majority of the awake time appropriate for his age, your baby is likely overtired and not getting enough sleep. Signs that your baby is overtired include: clinging to mom and only being content when held, not interested in playing or practicing milestones and waking up cranky. If this sounds like your baby, you’re ready for sleep training.

5. Your baby is often hyper:

Often times I hear, “my baby is all over the place and won’t go to sleep.” If you know your baby is due for a nap or bedtime and your baby seems wired, this is a sign that your child is overtired. Typically, the wired stage is a product of your baby running on fumes. When a baby becomes overtired, he produces more cortisol and adrenaline so that he can stay awake. These are the same hormones that are produced during stress. Many times, when a child has a lack of appropriate sleep, his behaviors replicate symptoms of ADHD. Studies have shown that with proper sleep, the ADHD symptoms disappear. Appropriate amounts of sleep are necessary for avoiding a misdiagnosis. If your baby is often wild and way overdue for a nap, it’s time for sleep training.

If you’re ready to start sleep training, let’s set up a time to chat! Some things to think about when deciding when you want to start sleep training your baby:

  • Ensure it’s the proper timing- make sure your baby isn’t sick, you aren’t traveling, or you don’t have any big life changes coming (new baby, moving, switching jobs/childcare, etc.).
  • Be prepared to put in the work. Consistency will pay off in the long run. Sleep training isn’t an overnight success; it takes many nights and dedication to help your baby learn to sleep.
  • Create a plan or hire me as your sleep consultant for one-on-one help.

Sweet Dreams,

❤ Missy Yandow

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