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Brave Little Baby

All your Sleep Training questions answered

All your Sleep Training questions answered

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26 Key Questions to Think About Before You Start Sleep Training

Sleep training is all about helping your baby learn to sleep on their own and stay asleep, which can be a total lifesaver for tired parents like you! It’s not just about getting more sleep; it’s about giving your little one the tools they need to have a restful night. 

There are loads of different approaches, so you can definitely find one that feels right for your family. But before you jump in, let’s chat about some key things to think about to make sure you’re set up for success. 

Here are some common questions you might have before starting sleep training with Brave Little Baby:

Here are some common questions you might have before starting Sleep training with Brave Little Baby:

1 month old sleep and mom

1. When is the right time to start sleep training?

Brave Little Baby offers sleep training for you and your little one from 4 months to 5 years old. We always say the best time to start is when you, the parents and caregivers, feel ready to dive in. 

Sure, something might pop up, like illness, growth spurts, or sleep regressions, that could make you second-guess the timing. But if you feel ready, these shouldn’t hold you back from getting started. 

However, we do suggest holding off on sleep training in the following situations:

  • If your baby is sick or has a fever,.
  • If you’re about to go onvacation,y.
  • If you’re in the middle of moving to a new house or even a new country,.

In these cases, it’s best to wait until things are a bit more settled.

Here is our SAFE SLEEP guide for room sharing and Bedsharing

Read our Ideal Room temperature and how to dress baby for sleep blogs

2. Can I do sleep training with my newborn?

We do not recommend sleep training for newborn babies at all. This precious time is perfect for endless cuddles and finding your unique rhythm together. Newborns aren’t ready to self-soothe just yet and really benefit from your comforting presence to help them drift off to sleep.

If you’re expecting or have a newborn under 4 months, check out our Online Newborn Sleep Course. It’s designed to help you love and embrace this stage, even those so-called “bad habits.”

This course is all about laying the groundwork so your baby can start sleeping on their own by 4 months, totally stress-free. And hey, if things don’t exactly go according to plan, don’t worry! Our one-on-one sleep packages or our gentle sleep course, The Gentle Sleep Way, are right here to help you out. We’ll help you learn more about how newborns sleep and pick up some tips to make bedtime smoother for your baby, as they learn to fall asleep easily.

3.What sleep training methods are available?

A lot of parents get nervous just thinking about sleep training, but it’s really all about finding what works best for you and your family. It usually involves setting up a regular bedtime routine, making sure the sleep environment is just right for a good night’s rest, and using some specific strategies to help your little one learn to fall asleep on their own. We prefer the term sleep coaching.

These strategies might include techniques like the Cry It Out method (Weissbluth), Controlled Crying (Ferber method), Gradual Withdrawal (also known as the Lady Shuffle or Chair method), Fading methods (like Tracy Hogg’s Pick Up Put Down approach), Gentle Sleep Training, or Baby-Led sleep. 

The sleep training method you go with really depends on what feels right for you and what suits your child best. It’s all about finding a good fit for your family.

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 a sensitive touch, really tuning into your child’s needs, and staying committed to their emotional well-being is key to making it both safe and effective. 

It’s important to choose a method that feels right for your parenting style and fits your child’s personality, always keeping their comfort and safety in mind.

A thoughtful and loving approach to sleep training won’t harm your baby’s emotional or physical health. It’s about seeing the whole picture and considering all the factors that play into their overall development.

Getting some guidance from our sleep coaches/consultants at Brave Little Baby is a smart move. We have the expertise to offer valuable insights and help you start off on the right foot, making the sleep training journey smoother and more successful for both you and your child.

5.Will sleep training harm the parent-child bond?

When approached thoughtfully and with care for your child’s emotional needs, sleep training doesn’t damage the parent-child bond at all.

In fact, it might actually make your connection even stronger over time. Let me explain how:

  • Independence and Self-Settling: Sleep training helps your baby learn to fall asleep on their own and handle a bit of alone time, which is really an important skill. They don’t stop needing you; they just get a little boost in confidence, knowing they can do some things by themselves.
  • Predictable Routine: Setting up a regular bedtime routine not only helps your baby sleep better but also builds trust and security. Kids really thrive on knowing what comes next, and having a predictable routine helps them feel more connected and secure with you.
  • Well-Rested Parents: When everyone gets a good night’s sleep, everything feels a bit easier, right? You’re more relaxed, patient, and ready to enjoy the day with your baby, which definitely strengthens your bond.
  • Quality Interaction: A rested baby is a happy baby, and they tend to be more alert and engaged during the day. That means more meaningful playtime and interactions with you, which are great for bonding.
  • Attachment and Responsiveness: Remember, sleep training isn’t about leaving your baby to fend for themselves. You can totally choose gentle methods that let you respond to their needs and comfort them, which reassures your baby that you’re there for them.
  • Emotional Connection: Even with sleep training, there’s plenty of room for cuddles and sweet bedtime rituals. These moments before bed can become special times that you both look forward to, deepening your emotional connection.
  • Positive Association: As your child gets used to their sleep routine, bedtime becomes a peaceful, reassuring part of the day instead of a struggle, which can really improve the overall mood and relationship.

Remember, every baby is different, so what works for one might not work for another. The trick is to be patient, keep tuning into what your baby needs, and adjust your approach as you go. 

By focusing on what’s best for your little one and keeping the vibes loving and responsive, you can definitely do sleep training while keeping that amazing bond strong and healthy.

 

6.How will sleep training affect nighttime feedings?

Sleep training might affect nighttime feedings, but how much it does depends on the training method you pick and your child’s specific needs.

Sleep training might change how you handle nighttime feedings, but here’s a rundown of what that could look like:

  • Reduced Nighttime Feedings: As your little one gets the hang of settling themselves and sleeping longer, they might not need as many feeds during the night.
  • Spacing Out Feedings: Through sleep training, you might find that your child can go longer stretches between feedings at night, which can help both of you get more consolidated sleep.
  • Night Weaning: Some sleep training plans include gentle weaning off night feeds. This is usually done slowly, so your baby can get used to the new routine without feeling deprived.
  • Adjusted Feeding Times: Depending on your chosen method, you might tweak when you feed your baby during the night—like offering a feed right before bedtime and then gradually cutting back.
  • Parental Choice Matters: How you approach night feedings during sleep training really depends on what feels right for you, your baby’s age, their usual feeding pattern, and what your sleep goals are. Some parents keep up night feeds, especially if their baby is still very young and needs those extra nutrients.
  • Check with your Pediatrician: If you’re thinking about reducing or stopping night feeds, especially with younger babies, it’s a good idea to talk it over with your pediatrician. They can help you figure out if your baby is ready for that step and what a healthy feeding schedule might look like.

The time it takes for sleep training can really vary, depending on things like your kiddo’s age, their personality, what their sleep is usually like, the method you choose, and how consistently you stick with it. 

There’s no set timeline that works for every child because, well, every child is unique! Here are some factors that can influence the duration of sleep training:

  • Child’s Age: Typically, older kids or toddlers might need more time to get used to new sleep habits compared to younger babies.
  • Method Chosen: Some sleep training techniques take a slower, gentler approach, while others might make quicker changes. Slower methods can take more time to work, but they often stick better in the long run. For example, our Preferred package aims for a middle-ground 2-week process, while our Ultimate package offers a more gradual 3-week approach that’s great for twins, training a baby and a sibling together, or transitioning from co-sleeping to sleeping in their own nursery.
  • Consistency: Being consistent is crucial. The more consistently you apply the sleep training method, the quicker and better the results will be.
  • Parental Involvement: How much you’re involved and how you respond during sleep training can also influence how long it takes. Offering comfort and reassurance, and gradually reducing your involvement can help smooth the transition for your child.
  • Adjustments: It’s pretty common to tweak things as you go, depending on how your child is responding. Finding just the right adjustments is key to making sleep training really work for your family.

Just remember: Finding what works best for your child and adjusting the approach as needed can lead to successful sleep training, even if it takes some time to achieve.

8. Will I need to sleep train again?

You might find yourself revisiting sleep training after the initial round, but the good news is it usually doesn’t take as long as the first time—no need for another 2-3 week marathon! 

It’s more about recommitting to the plan you’ve already set up and sticking to it for just a few nights. Making any necessary tweaks quickly helps get things back on track.

Think of it as proof of how flexible and handy sleep training can be. You can pull it out of your parenting toolbox whenever you need to keep those healthy sleep routines going for your child. And remember, things like sleep regressions or changes in routine from illness, travel, or big developmental leaps can shake up their sleep patterns temporarily.

If that happens, a little refresher on some sleep training strategies can make all the difference in nudging them back to a good sleep rhythm. Most kids hold onto the great sleep habits they develop during that first round of training. 

But if you hit a bump, don’t worry—we at Brave Little Baby are still here for you. 

We offer a Support Call Service, where we stand ready to help you get back on track. We’re not just here for the initial training; we’re a community that sticks with you until you’re feeling confident and in control.

We’re also working on putting together guides that you can add to your toolkit for later on, so you have resources ready for any future challenges that might pop up along your sleep training journey. 

Remember, sleep training isn’t a one-and-done kind of deal—it grows and adapts with your child as they grow and change. Staying tuned into your child’s needs and adjusting your approach as needed will keep those healthy sleep habits solid over time.

9. What about naps(routine) and sleep training?

Naps are super important for your little one’s daily rhythm. Adding some sleep training into your routine can really help keep your day smooth and make sure those naps are just right. 

If the naps are too short, we’ll work on stretching them out a bit. And if they start to stretch out too long, we’ll show you how to gently wake your baby to keep that perfect balance, helping them sleep better at night too.

We’ve got you covered with a complete daily routine that includes feeding and nap times, which you can tweak to fit your family’s needs. Plus, we’re throwing in a Routines Bundle for kiddos from 4 months to 3 years as a free bonus—it’s worth R300 and yours for life!

Wondering if nap training should be on your agenda? Don’t worry, our approach considers everything to ensure that nap time and nighttime strategies complement each other perfectly. We make sure everything meshes well so you and your baby can enjoy peaceful days and restful nights.

10. What if my baby cries during sleep training?

If your baby cries during sleep training, it’s completely normal to feel concerned. Crying is often just part of the process as your baby gets used to new sleep habits.

Here’s how you can handle it like a pro:

  1. Comfort and Reassurance: It’s pretty normal for babies to fuss or cry a bit as they’re settling down. When this happens, you can soothe them with some soft words, a gentle pat, or just by staying in the room for a while. With Brave Little Baby, you won’t need to leave your baby alone for long stretches. We understand every baby is different, so we’ll work together to find the approach that fits your little one perfectly.
  2. Gradual Methods are available:  There are plenty of sleep training techniques that focus on gradually reducing how much time you spend in the room. And if the usual sleep training vibes aren’t for you, we’ve got something special—our “The Gentle Sleep Way” course. It’s designed for parents who prefer making gentle adjustments to encourage healthy sleep habits.
  3. Consistency: Consistency really is key. Once you pick a method, give it a solid try for a few days to see how it works. Switching things up too much can confuse your baby and make it harder for them to adjust.
  4. Parental Well-being: Your well-being is super important. If it’s tough to hear your baby cry, give yourself a break and consider if the method you’re using feels right for you. Our blog, “Crying is Not Always an Emergency,” might shed some light on this for you.
  5. Trust the Process: Remember, a little crying now doesn’t mean distress forever. Your baby is just getting used to a new routine and learning how to fall asleep on their own, which is a really valuable skill.
  6. Personalized Support: If you ever feel unsure about what’s normal or okay for your baby’s temperament when it comes to crying, our Brave Little Baby sleep consultants are here to help. They’ll give you tailored advice and help ease any worries you might have.

Just remember, you’re doing great, and we’re here to support you every step of the way!

Every baby is unique, and their reactions to sleep training can vary quite a bit. Some might adapt quickly and fuss very little, while others might need a bit more time to get used to the new routine. 

The key is to strike a balance between helping your baby become a confident sleeper and offering plenty of comfort and reassurance as they adjust.Read our BLOG on Coping with a crying baby for more insights.

11. Should I establish a bedtime routine?

Absolutely, setting up a bedtime routine is a great move when you’re sleep training. Having a consistent routine really helps your baby understand that it’s time to start winding down and getting ready for sleep. This not only makes the sleep training process go smoother but also creates a familiar and calming environment that fosters better sleep habits.

Let’s get together and brainstorm some fun and connecting activities to craft the perfect bedtime routine for your little one. And hey, if you’re looking for more ideas, check out our blog on bedtime routines!

12. What if my baby shares a room with a sibling or they are twins?

Even if your baby shares a room with a sibling or they’re twins, you can definitely still do sleep training. You’ll just want to pick a method that keeps disruptions to a minimum for the other child.

Think about using white noise to drown out any fussiness, tweaking the bedtime routines a bit, and having a chat with the older sibling to prepare them for any short-term changes.

Tailoring the sleep training to fit a shared room situation can really help make the transition smoother for both kids. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of tried-and-true strategies to help you navigate this smoothly!

13. Can sleep training work for a breastfeeding baby?

Absolutely, you can definitely do sleep training even if you’re breastfeeding. The key is to choose a sleep training method that fits well with your breastfeeding goals. Opting for a gradual approach that still includes night feedings can be a great way to ensure both sleep training and your baby’s nursing needs are met.

It’s always a good idea to chat with a paediatrician or lactation consultant to help tweak your feeding schedule as you start sleep training.

14. What if my baby has health issues or special needs?

Sleep training can definitely be tailored for babies with health issues or special needs. Before you start, it’s super important to chat with your paediatrician or another healthcare provider to make sure everything’s set up right for your little one.We’re here to help guide you in customizing a sleep training approach that fits your baby’s unique needs while making sure they’re happy and healthy—and getting better sleep, too! For this kind of specialized attention, our Ultimate package could be a perfect match.

15. What if my baby is teething or sick?

Absolutely, you can still work on sleep training even if your baby is teething or not feeling well. Just remember to be extra flexible and gentle, offering lots of comfort and soothing when they need it most.

If things get too tough, it’s totally okay to hit pause or tweak the sleep training routine a bit to help your little one cope with their discomfort. Things like teething toys or a bit of pain relief can really help soothe them.

For more tips on handling teething and sleep, be sure to check out our blog on the topic!

16. How do I handle sleep regressions?

When you hit a sleep regression during sleep training, the key is to keep your cool and stay flexible. Remember, these regressions are just temporary and usually tied to your little one hitting new developmental milestones.

Try to stick with your sleep training basics as much as you can, but also be ready to offer some extra cuddles and comfort when needed. Consistency is super important, but so is being responsive to what your kiddo needs at the moment.

Once the regression phase is over, you can jump back into your regular sleep training routine to help your child find their rhythm again. If you’re looking for more tips on handling different sleep regressions, definitely check out our blogs—we’ve got a bunch of insights for each stage!

17. What do I do if sleep training doesn’t seem to be working?

If sleep training isn’t quite clicking yet, no worries at all! We can take a step back and rethink our strategy. Here’s what we can do:

  1. Check Consistency: Make sure we’re sticking to the plan consistently. Sometimes, little inconsistencies can really throw things off.
  2. Timing Adjustments: We need to give the method some time to work, but if we don’t see any progress after a while, it might be time to tweak a few things or even try a different approach until we hit the right balance.
  3. Health Comes First: If your little one isn’t feeling well, let’s pause the sleep training and just focus on keeping them comfortable until they’re back to normal.
  4. Teething, Growth Spurts, or Regression: If your baby is teething, growing, or hitting a developmental milestone, they might resist a bit more than usual. Keeping steady and allowing a little extra time can help us get through these bumps.

We’ll work through this together and find what works best for your baby. Hang in there—we’ve got this!

18. My child is at school or a nanny at home, can we Sleep train?

Sleep training can definitely still work even if your child is in school. It’s great if we can sync up with the school schedule to make the transition smoother. Although not all schools might be able to adjust their routines, the good news is that many stick to predictable schedules, which really helps.

We can sit down and have a chat to fully understand your situation. This way, we can come up with a plan that aligns well with your child’s school routine and ensures a successful sleep training experience.

And if you’ve got a nanny and baby at home while you’re at work, that can work out well too! We’ll discuss the best method and routine for your nanny to follow, making sure everyone’s on the same page.

19. I am breastfeeding and co-sleeping, can we Sleep Train?

Absolutely, you can definitely keep up with sleep training while breastfeeding and co-sleeping. You’ll just want to choose a sleep training method that fits nicely with your breastfeeding routine and co-sleeping setup.

A gradual shift to helping your baby sleep in their own space might be a good approach here. Our Ultimate package would be perfect for this because it allows us to take things slowly and gently, making sure everyone adjusts comfortably.

20. My child suffers from reflux or allergies, can we Sleep Train?

Babies with reflux or allergies can definitely still benefit from sleep training. It’s just key to work closely with your sleep coach to tailor the approach, making sure it fits your child’s specific needs. We’ll make any adjustments needed to keep things comfortable for your little one as they learn these new sleep skills.

21. I have a sensitive baby/autistic, can we Sleep Train?

Absolutely, you can still do sleep training with a sensitive baby. Just take a gentle approach and really tune in to your baby’s cues. Sensitive little ones might need a more gradual method that puts a big emphasis on their emotional well-being. 

For this, our Ultimate package or our gentle course, The Gentle Sleep Way, would be perfect. They’re both designed to make sure your baby feels secure and comfortable every step of the way.

22. We don’t have space for the baby to sleep in their own room, can we Sleep Train?

Not having a separate room isn’t a dealbreaker for sleep training at all. You can begin by setting up a special sleeping area right in your own room or explore other creative ways that help your baby slowly get used to sleeping on their own. 

It’s all about finding what works best in your space!

23. My child suffers from separation anxiety, can we Sleep Train?

You can still go ahead with sleep training even if your child has separation anxiety. A gentle, step-by-step approach works best here. Start with short periods apart and then slowly increase the time as your child becomes more comfortable. 

Consistency and plenty of reassurance will help manage their anxiety during this process. And remember, separation anxiety is actually a good sign—it means your bond with your child is strong and healthy!

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 putting your social life on hold. You can definitely still plan outings and catch-ups with friends, just try to align them with your child’s sleep schedule when you can. It’s all about balancing your little one’s sleep needs with keeping your social life active.

We’re here to help you figure out how to stay flexible with your new routine. 

We like to think of it as following the routine 80% of the time and allowing for 20% flexibility. This way, you can make sleep training work without missing out on fun times!

25. We are moving or going on holiday, can we Sleep Train?

Moving or heading out on holiday can definitely throw a wrench in your sleep training efforts, but it’s manageable. If you’re right in the middle of sleep training, it might be best to hit pause and pick it back up once you’re all settled in. 

And if you were just about to start, you might want to hold off until after your move or vacation. This way, you can keep things consistent, which really helps with the training.

26. We have a dummy (pacifier) problem, can we Sleep Train?

You can absolutely tackle sleep training even if your little one relies on a pacifier. It might mean finding other soothing techniques to help them drift off until they get used to sleeping without it.

For babies between 4-8 months, they might not yet have the hang of popping the dummy back in themselves. That’s why we often suggest weaning them off during sleep time.

Once they hit 8 months, though, we’ve got options. We can decide together whether to keep the pacifier around for sleep or not.

Check out our blog on saying bye-bye to the dummy for more tips!

And hey, want to hear what other moms have to say about Brave Little Baby? Check out our reviews here!

If you’ve still got questions, don’t hesitate to book a free 15-minute chat with one of our team members. We’re here to help!

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