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INFANT & TODDLER SLEEP

I am currently not offering one-to-one support. Some options I offer to support you with sleep are to join the Stork Village Membership or to connect you with my wonderful friend, Lindsay Wye-Palmer of A B Sleep, who is also a certified Sleep Consultant and Behavioral Specialist.

FAQ & COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

If you have further questions or would like to discuss my answers, please, feel free to reach out. To chat, schedule a free 15-minute discovery session by clicking here.

WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO SLEEP TRAIN?

Official "sleep training" becomes an option when your child is sixteen weeks adjusted age or older. However, if you have an infant under this age, check out my FAQs on the newborn page.

Choose a two-week time frame when you will be able to be flexible for your child while improving sleep. This means that you plan to stay at the house to work on naps when needed, won't be distracted by guests or other projects, and won't be vacationing. Basically a time when you don't have a busy schedule.

DOES THIS MEAN I WILL BE GLUED TO THE HOUSE FOREVER?

No. Once you sleep train, you will know your child's biological schedule and can make plans to get out of the house and live a normal life around naps and bedtime. However, you will want to continue to preserve nap times and bedtime to help your child continue to be a happy sleeper.

 

DOES THIS MEAN I CAN GET MY CHILD SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT?

Possibly. This really depends on how you define "sleeping through the night". It is important to note that EVERYONE wakes a few times at night due to the nature of sleep.

 

If you mean "STTN" as in your child isn't needing assistance to fall back asleep for the duration of bedtime to wake time, then yes. That is if you are willing to commit to the process, your child is developmentally ready, and your child has no underlying medical issues.

DOES THIS MEAN I HAVE TO GET RID OF ALL NIGHT FEEDINGS?

 

No. You can teach your child to sleep well while still keeping night feedings.  

 

You and I will discuss what option would be best for you and your child. We will take into consideration what your pediatrician and any other professionals suggest is best for your child.

 

Most children will naturally wean from night feedings on their own once they are falling asleep independently. However, if your child is older than one year of age, we will want to drop all night feedings and encourage calorie intake during the day.

If your child currently has night feedings and you are debating whether or not to drop them, I highly suggest speaking to your pediatrician to make sure this is the right option for your child's growth and development. If you are breastfeeding and have a long term goal to do so, discuss this with your pediatrician and IBCLC. We can all work together to bring about healthy sleep while also preserving your milk supply.

WHEN CAN I EXPECT NIGHT FEEDINGS TO NATURALLY DISAPPEAR?

I generally see night feedings naturally drop between six and nine months for children able to independently fall asleep and transition between sleep cycles with some outliers.

 

However, it is important to note that meals and social interactions that occur regularly contribute to the strengthening of circadian rhythms. Hence, some children wake up more fully between sleep cycles when they expect a social interaction or food than a child who does not experience or expect this repetitively. For some families who have received the green light from their pediatrician and wish to get rid of the night feedings, intentional action steps are sometimes needed in order to drop unnecessary night feedings.

 

DOES THIS MEAN I CAN GET MY CHILD ON A SCHEDULE?

Yes, if your child is older than six months adjusted age, you are willing to commit to the process, and your child has no underlying medical issues.

 

For children sixteen months adjusted age and older, the circadian rhythm starts to mature and biological times become more prevalent. A schedule will start to develop around this time and become more solidified around six months of age.

 

DOES THIS MEAN I HAVE TO LEAVE MY CHILD TO CRY?

 

This will depend on the type of response and involvement you choose and your child's personality. During our consultation, we will discuss different options. However, no matter which option you choose, crying to some extent at first is expected as this is change for your child. And when you combine change with an overtired child? Tears are to be expected at some level.

 

The key to sleep training, no matter which method you choose, is to be consistent so that your child can adjust as quickly as possible by picking up on the new pattern.  

 

Although crying might occur, it is not long-term. 

 

WILL I GET TO KEEP SLEEPING WITH MY CHILD?

No. However, this does not remove the possibility to room share if this fits into your parenting philosophy and/or current life circumstances.

If sleeping in the same bed as your child is something you want to continue to do, I am not the sleep consultant for you. I am obligated as a Certified Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute to encourage families to follow the safe sleep guidelines from the AAP. However, I would be happy to refer you to someone else.

 

Please, note that co-sleeping can mean several things. Co-sleeping but in separate sleeping spaces (also known as room-sharing) is suggested for children one year and younger with it highly recommended for six months and younger. However, bed-sharing is NOT suggested as this highly increases the chances of SIDS and preventable deaths. When working with me, you will be required to sign an agreement that includes a statement that says you agree to follow the AAP's safe sleep guidelines.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN REASONS THAT SLEEP TRAINING DOESN'T WORK?

  • Inconsistency.

  • Overstimulation or distraction from parents being too involved with the sleep process.

  • A busy schedule that doesn't preserve naps and bedtime.

  • Napping on the go.

  • Underlying medical issues, which is why I suggest you check with your pediatrician prior to starting sleep training. On my agreement form, you sign a statement confirming this has been done.

 

THE MOST COMMON MYTHS OR MISCONCEPTIONS I HEAR ABOUT SLEEP TRAINING.

Myth 1: Sleep training means no more night feedings.

Myth 2: Sleep training means cry it out.

Myth 3: Sleep training will ruin your parent-child relationship.

Myth 4: Sleep training will damage your child.

Myth 5: Exhaustion is just part of parenting within those first few months and years and you just have to accept it.

Myth 6: Sleep training is selfish.

Myth 7: "My baby is more difficult than others and won't be able to do it."

Myth 8: "My baby doesn't need as much sleep as most babies."

Myth 9: Your baby will start sleeping through the night when they are ready. Just be patient.

Myth 10: Sleep training means choosing a sleep training method.

 

Schedule a free 20 minute Stork Discovery Session to discuss your current sleep situation, any fears or concerns you might have regarding sleep training, and what working together entails.

SLEEP TRAINING FAQ
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