All your Sleep Training questions answered
Exploring the Unknown:
Parents often have a variety of common questions and concerns before embarking on sleep training for their infants or toddlers. Sleep training is a process that involves helping babies learn to fall asleep independently and sleep for longer stretches.
Read our BLOG on Sleep Training methods
Here are some common questions you might have before starting Sleep training with Brave Little Baby:
- When is the right time to start sleep training?
- I have a newborn baby can I do Sleep Training?
- What sleep training methods are available?
- Is sleep training safe?
- Will sleep training harm the parent-child bond?
- How will sleep training affect nighttime feedings
- How long does sleep training take?
- Will I need to sleep train again?
- What about naps and sleep training?
- What if my baby cries during sleep training?
- Should I establish a bedtime routine?
- What if my baby shares a room with a sibling or they are twins?
- Can sleep training work for a breastfeeding baby?
- What if my baby has health issues or special needs?
- What if my baby is teething or sick?
- How do I handle sleep regressions?
- What do I do if sleep training doesn’t seem to be working?
- My child is at school or a nanny at home, can we Sleep train?
- I am breastfeeding and co-sleeping, can we Sleep Train?
- My child suffers from reflux or allergies, can we Sleep Train?
- I have a sensitive baby/autistic, can we Sleep Train?
- We don’t have space for the baby to sleep in their own room, can we Sleep Train?
- My child suffers from separation anxiety, can we Sleep Train?
- We are social people and want to be flexible, how can we stay that way and do sleep training?
- We are moving or going on holiday, can we Sleep Train?
- We have a dummy (pacifier) problem, can we Sleep Train?
1. When is the right time to start sleep training?
Brave Little Baby offers sleep training from 4 months to 5 years old, and we say that the best time to start is when both parents and carers are READY. There may always be a reason not to start, such as sickness, growth spurts, or regressions.
So, if you are ready to try it, these reasons shouldn’t stop you. The only time we don’t suggest sleep training is if your baby is sick or has a fever, if you are going on holiday, or if you are moving to a new house, country, etc.
Then you should wait until things have calmed down.
2. I have a newborn baby can I do Sleep Training?
We DO NOT recommend sleep training a newborn baby. This is the time that you can enjoy and embrace as many cuddles as you can have and this is the time to find your rhythm with your baby.
Newborn babies do not have self settling abilities and need parent intervention when it comes to sleep.
If you are pregnant or have a newborn baby ages 0-4 months old we suggest our Online Newborn Sleep Course which will guide you to genuinely loving this phase and embracing all the so-called “bad habits”
This course will help you to have a baby that sleeps independently by 4 months old without any stress and if you were not able to achieve this our 1:1 sleep packages or our gentle sleep course The Gentle Sleep way will help and support you onwards.
Learn more about newborn babies and allow your baby to fall asleep easily.
3.What sleep training methods are available?
Sleep training refers to a variety of methods and techniques used to help babies and young children learn to sleep independently and develop healthy sleep habits. The goal of sleep training is to teach infants and children how to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night without requiring constant parental intervention.
Sleep Training is a word that many parents are scared for when it really is “sleep coaching” and we help mom’s to find their balance using just the right techniques.
Sleep training methods typically involve establishing a consistent bedtime routine, creating a sleep-friendly environment, and implementing specific strategies to help babies or children learn to fall asleep independently.
These strategies can include variations of Cry it out(Weissbluth), Controlled Crying(Ferber method), Gradual Withdrawal(Lady Shuffle/Chair method), or Fading methods(Pick up Put Down Tracy Hogg), Gentle Sleep Training, Baby Led sleep, depending on the approach chosen by parents or caregivers.
Read our BLOG on Available sleep training methods: https://bravelittlebaby.com/2023/07/19/available-sleep-training-methods/
“At Brave Little Baby, we’ve crafted our own uniquely effective methods based on the approaches mentioned earlier. Our families not only find comfort in these methods but also experience success with them. Parenthood is an incredible journey, one that comes with its share of sleep challenges and tearful nights. However, these struggles are a natural part of the process. By reaching out for guidance, implementing well-thought-out strategies, and staying closely attuned to our little ones’ needs, we can establish an environment that nurtures better sleep and emotional well-being.
Our company has earned a reputation for embracing a softer, more gentle approach – a distinction we’re proud of. Before considering other methods, we wholeheartedly embrace this nurturing philosophy. We collaborate closely with parents, aiming to strike the perfect balance that aligns with their family’s dynamics. Through the application of tried-and-true guidelines, we lead the way with our parents to healthy sleep patterns. Because, after all, every parent and child deserves the gift of sleep.”
4. Is sleep training safe?
Approaching sleep training with sensitivity, a deep understanding of your child’s needs, and a strong commitment to their emotional well-being ensures both safety and effectiveness.
Selecting a method that resonates with your parenting style and your child’s individual temperament is crucial, all the while keeping their comfort and safety at the forefront.
Rest assured that a well-considered approach to sleep training does not pose any harm to your baby's emotional or physical well-being. It involves looking at the bigger picture and considering all factors that contribute to their overall development.
Seeking the guidance of our sleep coach/consultants at Brave Little Baby is a prudent step. Their expertise can provide valuable insights, ensuring that you set the right course from the beginning, leading to a smoother and more successful sleep training journey for both you and your child.
This is of utmost importance at Brave Little Baby.
5.Will sleep training harm the parent-child bond?
Sleep training, when done thoughtfully and with consideration for your child’s emotional well-being, does not harm the parent-child bond.
In fact, it can contribute to a healthier and more secure bond between you and your child in the long run.
- Independence and Self-Settling: Sleep training teaches your child to fall asleep independently and self-settle, which are essential life skills. When children can self-settle, they tend to feel more secure in their abilities, which can positively impact their overall confidence. Babies do not give up and stop calling because you are giving them some space.
- Predictable Routine: Establishing a consistent sleep routine through sleep training can actually strengthen the parent-child bond. Children thrive on predictability, and a structured routine provides a sense of security, connection and trust in their caregivers.
- Well-Rested Parents: Sleep training can lead to more restful nights for both you and your child. When parents are well-rested, they are more patient, attentive, and emotionally available during waking hours, contributing to a stronger bond.
- Quality Interaction: Quality interactions and bonding opportunities are not limited to awake hours. A well-rested child is more likely to be alert, engaged, and receptive to interaction during their awake times.
- Attachment and Responsiveness: Sleep training methods can be adjusted to maintain responsiveness to your child’s needs. Gradual methods that involve parental presence and comfort can enhance the bond by ensuring your child feels safe and cared for.
- Emotional Connection: While sleep training might involve some initial adjustments, maintaining emotional closeness through comforting touches, soothing words, and the establishment of bedtime routines can actually deepen the emotional connection between parent and child.
- Positive Association: Over time, a well-established sleep routine can create positive associations with bedtime and sleep, leading to a happier and more secure child-parent relationship.
It’s important to note that each child is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The key is to approach sleep training with empathy and understanding, adapting methods to your child’s needs and temperament. By focusing on your child’s well-being, establishing a nurturing sleep environment, and maintaining a loving and responsive approach, sleep training can coexist with a strong parent-child bond.
6.How will sleep training affect nighttime feedings?
Sleep training can impact nighttime feedings, but the extent to which it does will depend on the method you choose and your child’s individual needs.
Here’s how sleep training might affect nighttime feedings:
- Reduced Nighttime Feedings: Many sleep training methods involve gradually reducing nighttime feedings as your child learns to self-settle and sleep for longer stretches. As your child becomes better at falling asleep independently, they might not need to rely on feeding as frequently during the night.
- Spacing Out Feedings: Sleep training can help space out nighttime feedings, allowing your child to sleep for longer periods between feeds. This can lead to more consolidated sleep for both you and your child.
- Night Weaning: Some sleep training approaches involve gradually weaning your child from nighttime feeds. This is typically done in a gradual manner, allowing your child to adjust to the change without feeling deprived.
- Feeding Timing: Depending on the sleep training method, you might adjust the timing of nighttime feedings. For example, you could feed your child before putting them to bed and then gradually reduce or eliminate feedings throughout the night.
- Parental Choice: The approach to nighttime feedings during sleep training is often a personal choice based on your child’s age, feeding habits, and overall sleep goals. Some parents might choose to continue offering nighttime feeds, especially for younger infants who still require nourishment during the night.
- Consulting with a Pediatrician: If you’re considering reducing or eliminating nighttime feeds, especially for very young infants, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician. They can help determine if your child is developmentally ready for this change and guide you on appropriate feeding schedules.
It’s worth noting that while sleep training can lead to changes in nighttime feedings, the ultimate goal should be a balance between promoting healthy sleep patterns and ensuring your child’s nutritional needs are met. It’s important to prioritize your child’s well-being and comfort throughout the process, and to choose a sleep training program that aligns with your parenting philosophy and your child’s individual requirements.
7.How long does sleep training take?
The duration of sleep training can vary widely depending on several factors, including your child’s age, temperament, sleep habits, the sleep training method you choose, and your consistency in implementing the chosen method. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to how long sleep training will take, as each child is unique.
Here are some factors that can influence the duration of sleep training:
1. Child’s Age: Older infants or toddlers might take longer to adjust to new sleep routines compared to younger babies.
2. Method Chosen: Some sleep training methods are more gradual and gentle, while others involve quicker changes. Gradual methods might take longer to see results but can be more sustainable in the long term. Our Preferred package is a middle of the road 2 week process and our Ultimate package is a more gradual 3 week process and more suitable for twins, sleeptraining baby and a sibling, or moving away from co-sleeping in parents room to own nursery.
3. Consistency: Consistency is key to the success of sleep training. The more consistent you are with the chosen method, the more likely you are to see positive changes in your child’s sleep habits.
4. Parental Involvement: Your involvement and responsiveness during sleep training can affect the duration. Consistently providing comfort and reassurance and slowly doing less and less during the training process can help your child adjust more smoothly.
5. Adjustments: It’s common for coaches and parents to make adjustments along the way based on their child’s responses. Brainstorming and finding the perfect balance between adjustments make this process very successful. This can lead to a more tailored and successful outcome.
8. Will I need to sleep train again?
Revisiting sleep training after the initial process might become necessary, but the positive aspect is that it typically won’t demand the same 2-3 week commitment as your first endeavor.
Although it involves reaffirming your dedication to the process and adhering to the established plan, the duration is generally shorter.
Just a few nights of maintaining consistency and, if adjustments are needed, making them will often help restore the sleep equilibrium you’ve previously achieved.
This serves as a testament to the adaptability of sleep training as a tool. It can be employed whenever necessary to uphold healthy sleep routines for your child.
Keep in mind that factors like sleep regressions or alterations in your child’s routine (such as sickness, travel, or developmental milestones) might temporarily disrupt their sleep patterns.
During such instances, revisiting certain sleep training techniques could be beneficial to help your child return to a good sleep rhythm.
Many children can maintain the positive sleep habits established during the initial sleep training phase. Should these challenges arise, know that at Brave Little Baby, we’re here to support you once again.
We offer a Support Call option designed to assist you in getting back on track. Our commitment to you extends beyond the initial process – we’re a community that’s here for you until you feel confident and self-reliant.
Additionally, we’re developing guides that you can integrate into your program for future reference, addressing potential challenges and how to manage them following your sleep training journey.
Remember that sleep training is not a one-time fix but rather a process that evolves with your child’s growth and development. As they reach new milestones and encounter changes in their routines, their sleep habits might need adjustments.
Staying attuned to your child’s needs and adapting your approach accordingly will contribute to ongoing success in maintaining healthy sleep patterns.
9. What about naps(routine) and sleep training?
Naps are an important part of a baby’s sleep schedule. Adding Sleep Training to your daily routine is a key part of making sure that your days are well-organized and that your naps go off without any problems. If these naps are short, we shift our attention to making them longer.
On the other hand, if a nap seems to last too long, we show you how to gently wake the baby up to find the right balance, which will help the baby sleep better at night.
As part of what we offer, we give you a complete Day Routine with feeding and sleeping times that can be changed to fit the needs of your family. Also, our deal includes a Routines Bundle for kids 4 months to 36 months as a BONUS, which is worth R300 and gives you access to it for life.
Parents often wonder if nap training should be part of the plan and how to do it in the best way. Rest assured that our methods takes everything into account, making sure that nap and nighttime sleep tactics work well together.
10. What if my baby cries during sleep training?
If your baby cries during sleep training, it’s a common and understandable concern. Crying can be a part of the adjustment process as your baby learns new sleep habits.
Here’s how to approach this situation:
1. Comfort and Reassurance: It’s important to differentiate between different types of cries. Some fussing or mild crying as your baby settles down is normal. You can offer comfort through soothing words, gentle touches, or by being present in the room while doing sleep training with Brave little Baby.
You would not need to leave your baby for long periods of time. Some baby temperaments may need a different approach and therefore we work with you to decide on the best approach.
2. Gradual Methods are available: Numerous sleep training methods highlight the importance of gradually decreasing parental presence.
Additionally, we offer a specialized course tailored for parents who opt not to implement traditional sleep training methods. This course, called “The Gentle Sleep Way,” is designed to help parents achieve a harmonious balance between promoting healthy sleep and making minor adjustments.
We understand that not all parents are comfortable with a full-fledged sleep training journey and might prefer alternative approaches.
4. Consistency: Consistency is key in sleep training. If you’ve decided on a method, stick with it for a few days to assess its effectiveness. Frequent changes might confuse your baby and prolong the adjustment period.
5. Parental Well-being: Remember that your well-being is important too. If you find your baby’s crying overly distressing, take care of yourself and decide on an approach that aligns with your comfort level. Read our Blog on Crying is not always and emergency
6. Trust the Process: Keep in mind that short-term crying during sleep training doesn’t necessarily indicate long-term distress. Babies are adapting to new routines, and learning self-settling skills is a valuable life lesson.
7. A Brave Little Baby sleep consultant/coach can provide personalized guidance and alleviate any concerns when it comes to what is normal and ok crying for your babys’ temperament.
Every baby is different, and responses to sleep training vary. While some babies might adjust quickly with minimal fuss, others might take more time.
The goal is to find a balance between helping your baby become a confident sleeper and providing comfort and reassurance during the adjustment period.
READ our BLOG on Coping with a crying baby
11. Should I establish a bedtime routine?
Yes, establishing a bedtime routine is beneficial when sleep training. A consistent routine helps signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This can make the sleep training process smoother and more effective by creating a predictable environment that promotes relaxation and better sleep habits.
Together we will brainstorm ways to get the perfect bedtime routine, filled with fun and connection.
READ or BLOG on Bedtime routines
12. What if my baby shares a room with a sibling or they are twins?
If your baby shares a room with a sibling or are twins, sleep training is still possible. Consider choosing a sleep training method that minimizes disruptions for the sibling.
It might involve utilizing white noise, adjusting bedtime routines, and communicating with the sibling about potential temporary changes.
Adapting the sleep training approach to accommodate the shared space can help ensure a smoother transition for both children. We can help you make this a smoother process with tried and tested methods.
13. Can sleep training work for a breastfeeding baby?
Yes, sleep training can work for a breastfeeding baby. It’s important to choose a sleep training method that aligns with your breastfeeding goals.
Gradual methods that incorporate night feedings can help balance sleep training with your baby’s nursing needs.
Consulting with a pediatrician or lactation consultant can provide guidance on adjusting feeding schedules during sleep training.
We have Carla Brecher a lactation and sleep consultant on our Brave Little Baby team she has also written our 101 Breastfeeding Course: A no nonsense course for all moms and offers lactation support over what app.
14. What if my baby has health issues or special needs?
Sleep training can be adapted for babies with health issues or special needs. It’s essential to consult with your pediatrician or healthcare provider before starting.
We can offer guidance on tailoring a sleep training approach that meets your baby’s specific needs and ensures their well-being while promoting better sleep habits. In this case the Ultimate package will be a good fit.
15. What if my baby is teething or sick?
Yes, sleep training is still possible if your baby is teething or sick. Be more flexible and compassionate, offering extra comfort and soothing measures.
It’s okay to temporarily pause or modify the sleep training process to accommodate your baby’s discomfort and ensure their well-being until they’re feeling better. Comfort measures, like teething toys or appropriate pain relief, can help.
Read or BLOG on Teething and sleep
16. How do I handle sleep regressions?
Stick to the sleep training principles as much as possible, but be prepared to provide extra comfort and support during these periods.
Read or Blogs on each Sleep regression
17. What do I do if sleep training doesn’t seem to be working?
If sleep training doesn’t seem to be working, don’t panic. We will reevaluate our approach, and consider these steps:
1. Assess Consistency: Ensure you’re consistently following the chosen method. Inconsistencies can impede progress.
2. Adjust Timing: Give the method enough time to take effect, but if after a reasonable period we see no improvement, we will consider adjusting elements of the method or move to something else until we find a balance.
3. Health Check: If your child is unwell, pause sleep training and focus on their comfort until they’re better.
5. Baby could be teething/growth spurt or regression: A bit more pushback can be expected, but staying consistent and giving it more time will be enough to find success.
18. My child is at school or a nanny at home, can we Sleep train?
Sleep training remains feasible even if your child is attending school. Ideally, collaborating with the school to incorporate the new sleep routine is advantageous.
However, it’s worth noting that not all schools may have the flexibility to adjust. Fortunately, many schools adhere to predictable schedules, which can facilitate a smoother transition.
We engage in conversations with you to comprehensively understand your situation and devise plans that accommodate your child’s school routine for a successful sleep training experience.
With regards to a nanny and baby at home while you are working can work well too and together we discuss the method and the routine that they must implement for you and nanny.
19. I am breastfeeding and co-sleeping, can we Sleep Train?
Yes, you can still implement sleep training while breastfeeding and co-sleeping. However, you might want to consider a sleep training method that aligns with your breastfeeding and co-sleeping preferences.
Gradually transitioning your baby to their own sleeping space can be part of the process. Our Ultimate package is ideal in this regard as we can do a slower paced approach.
20. My child suffers from reflux or allergies, can we Sleep Train?
Babies with reflux or allergies can still undergo sleep training, but it’s important to work closely with your coach to ensure that any necessary adjustments are made to the sleep training approach to accommodate your child’s specific needs.
21. I have a sensitive baby/autistic, can we Sleep Train?
Yes, you can still implement sleep training with a sensitive baby. Opt for a gentle approach and be attuned to your baby’s cues. Some sensitive babies might require more gradual methods that prioritize their emotional well-being.
22. We don’t have space for the baby to sleep in their own room, can we Sleep Train?
Lack of a separate room doesn’t necessarily prevent sleep training. You can start by creating a designated sleep space within your own room or find alternative solutions that allow your baby to gradually become accustomed to sleeping independently.
23. My child suffers from separation anxiety, can we Sleep Train?
Yes, you can still undertake sleep training if your child experiences separation anxiety. Consider a gradual approach that involves brief separations initially and gradually extends the time.
Reassurance and consistency are key to managing separation anxiety during sleep training.
Seperation anxiety is a positive indication that your parent child bond is intact.
24. We are social people and want to be flexible, how can we stay that way and do sleep training?
Sleep training doesn’t mean you have to completely give up your social life.
Plan your outings and social events around your child’s sleep schedule as much as possible. Be mindful of your child’s sleep needs while also finding a balance that allows you to maintain your social connections.
We will provide you with guidance on how to remain flexible around the new established routine.
We believe in a 80%routine and 20 % flexibility.
25. We are moving or going on holiday, can we Sleep Train?
Moving or going on holiday can disrupt sleep training, but it’s possible to adapt. If you’re in the midst of sleep training, it might be helpful to pause and resume once you’re settled.
If you’re about to start, consider delaying until after the transition to ensure consistency.
26. We have a dummy (pacifier) problem, can we Sleep Train?
Sleep training with a baby who uses a pacifier is possible. It might involve temporarily soothing your baby in other ways until they learn to fall asleep without it.
Babies 4-8 months do not really have the ability to replace the dummy themselves yet so we at Brave Little Baby do recommend is this regard to wean them off the dummy.
From 8 months onwards we have the option to keep the dummy for sleep if that is what we decide on with the parents.
Read our Blog on weaning the Dummy
READ their REVIEWS: Here is a link to what moms have to say about Brave Little Baby
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