Top 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Sleep Training

Mother holding her crying newborn baby in hands

Sleep training or what I feel is better phrased as teaching your child the skills to sleep independently, can be one of the most stressful phases for parents. It’s a loaded weapon for many parents. The stress they feel about the process as a whole, combined with the pressures and opinions of others, can leave them completely lost.  Struggling with what’s right from wrong and battling to figure out what’s best for their child.  Sleep teaching can leave you with moments where you feel dedicated and strong to continue with the process, but that can be quickly followed by moments of weakness where you find yourself giving in. Sometimes parents come back to the process at a later date and sometimes its’ left in the dust forever. This is where I want to give you some food for thought.

What if you could choose a sleep method that didn’t feel cruel or harsh?

What if the method was something you felt 100% comfortable with and one that suited your needs emotionally and met the values you have as a parent?

What if the method never made you feel like giving up?

The phrase “sleep training” has been given a really bad rap! When parents hear these 2 words – SLEEP TRAINING – they immediately get a very negative feeling and tense up. They jump to the conclusion that their child will be left to cry for hours on end, all alone, and feel neglected. This DOES NOT have to be the case. These feelings don’t have to be your reality in order to get your child to sleep independently. Sure, there are methods such as Dr. Ferber’s Cry It Out (CIO) which leaves your baby to cry until they sleep. Otherwise known as the Full Extinction Method. This method does work for some families and if you’re comfortable with the method, I don’t see anything wrong with using it. That being said, this method will not be the best method for everyone. The good news is, that there are numerous methods available. All in which will meet at the same end goal: your child sleeping all night independently and falling asleep alone!

Working with parents and tailoring sleep plans to meet their specific sleep needs, desires, comfort levels and parenting styles is one of my favorite parts of what I do. The pure joy and amazement that parents witness once they stick to the plan we put together for them, is why I love what I do. Parents enter into the process feeling discouraged and unsure whether or not their sleep problems can be fixed. I will tell you what I tell them, EVERYTHING IS FIXABLE!  The key is to get a solid plan in order in advance. You need to be sure that you are comfortable with this plan – that’s where I come in! Last, you need to stick to the plan with 100% commitment and consistency! Once you do these 3 steps,  success WILL follow.

Read the Top 5 Mistakes parents make when sleep training, which prohibits success from occurring. If you avoid these, you will be golden!

  • Switching between multiple sleep training methods
  • Stopping and starting the process (1 night on and 2 nights off)
  • Choosing a method you aren’t comfortable with
  • Listening to other people’s opinions and not following their gut
  • Doing the process with a 1 foot in approach –lacking consistency and commitment

To start sleep training your little one, FIRST, pick a method you feel comfortable with. For some it will be full extinction CIO, for others it may be controlled intervals and some prefer a more gentle approach where you assist your child more throughout. Others will have a crazy combination. SECOND, choose a time to begin when you are ready to commit 100%. Stay home, don’t go out in the evenings and don’t travel. Be as consistent as possible for the fastest results. THIRD, follow your gut!  Your know yourself and your baby better than anyone else.  Listen to YOU, not everyone else. By doing these 3 steps you will be avoiding the top 5 Sleep Training Mistakes! You are now headed in the right direction for a solid full night of sleep!  It’s up to you to make it happen and I know you can do it!

Contact me today for a FREE 15-Minute Phone Consult!




babies, Infant Sleep Training, kids, parenting, parenting solutions, sleep, Sleep Methods, Sleep Training, Tia Slightham

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