My Fave Sleep Training Methods!
So you've decided to give sleep training on your own a go. Awesome! A lot of the time, it can be easier than expected. I'm going to lay down a few basic ground rules first.
1) FIRST AND FOREMOST: Remember the 3 C's.
Confidence - You're the parent! You set the tone of the home. You are responsible for keeping your Little Monsters healthy and happy - sleep is a vital part of overall wellness. You've got this!
Calm - When our children start going haywire, they are signaling a deeper need for something (food, sleep, attention, enforced boundaries, etc). It can be SOOOO easy to get sucked into drama and start yelling and carrying on ourselves. This, as I am sure you've seen firsthand, is not helpful. No one can communicate clearly, exchange information, or relax when they're in "red" brain. Unfortunately, it is up to us as the adults to figure out what our child needs, and we can't do that if we're upset.
Consistent - Schedules and sleep training work best if they are applied consistently. Your Little Monster's body will most quickly adapt to a biologically appropriate schedule if they are put down for naps and sleep at about the same time every day. Their body even begins to anticipate sleep when you start the routine! Children also need consistent boundaries - when you introduce your sleep training method, make sure it is something that you feel you can carry out for 5-7 days straight. Some of the plans have gradual changes, and those you stick with. But, for example, if you do intervals on night 1, then go running in immediately on night 2 (barring an emergency of course), what was it all for?
Don't start during a hectic period, like the holidays, right before a vacation, during a major life transition, and so on.