Unfortunately, there are some strong feelings regarding sleep training and various sleep training methods. Through this blog, we will discuss what sleep training is, what are the different sleep training methods, research that is available about sleep training and much more!
We will also cover what the most successful sleep training method is, toddler sleep training methods, what the steps are to sleep training methods (each method I discuss will include steps to execute them), and why some parents may choose not to use sleep training.
What is sleep training?
Very simply, this is allowing your child to fall asleep with certain conditions (or without certain conditions). It is often referred to synonymously with either “cry it out” or night weaning (or both).
It can actually be neither of those things or both of those things. That is where it gets confusing!
There is so much information out there about sleep training that it can be hard for very tired parents to muddle through it and figure out how exactly to implement any one thing for their little one.
From the moment your baby is born, they are being conditioned to fall asleep. It can be viewed as sleep “shaping” for lack of a better description.
While sleep is something that comes naturally for adults who are motivated sleepers, it can feel a little different for our babies. Their entire life in the womb, they were lulled to sleep with movement and loud sounds.
However, they did not have any exposure to light and when they are born, they have an under-developed pineal gland which means they do not produce sleep hormones yet.
This is why sleep is so hard for our little ones sometimes from the get-go! They have no circadian rhythm!
They need to learn not only how to sleep, but when as well. Cue sleep training.
Until they figure out those pieces of the puzzle, they will need your help in soothing them (or helping them regulate their emotions/feelings plus meeting their very obvious needs).
So, every baby from every family is being sleep trained from when they are born. This is something they may learn to do while being nursed, rocked, bounced, with a swaddle, a pacifier, white noise, routines, all of it!