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3 Reasons Parents Abandon Sleep Training: How to Avoid Those Mistakes

Mom holding baby at night - sleep training

I get it. You’re frustrated, exhausted, and aren’t sure what to do. That was me years ago. My daughter wouldn’t sleep, was chronically overtired and my husband and I were at our wits end. I felt like I had read everything there was to know about baby sleep, bought online training programs, but still nothing worked. ⁠Then a sleep consultant changed my life. I went from feeling hopeless to having my life back and actually enjoying time with my baby.⁠ That experience was so powerful that it has been my mission ever since, to make sure no family needs to go through what we went through. Through the years I’ve seen it all. If you’ve tried sleep training and abandoned it, there are 3 reasons why it wasn’t you or your child’s fault!⁠

The sleep training method⁠ was used inconsistently

The method is the best way of communicating new expectations to your child. The more consistent you are, the faster they will get the message, and in turn learn how to take ownership of falling asleep. However, not just any method will work. You absolutely need to be on board with the method. Parents who successfully sleep train know exactly WHY and HOW their chosen sleep training method works to create an independent sleeper, as well as being a healthy way to do so.⁠ The more you understand, the easier it will be to remain consistent.

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The sleep timing was off

Sleeping at the right biologically appropriate times are key to restorative sleep. Falling asleep at these circadian rhythm led times can be easier and provide a better quality sleep!⁠ If you tried training your child and expecting them to sleep at inappropriate times for their age, then there will be more crying and less sleeping.

Not enough of the right support⁠

Was there more guesswork than answers? Children are human and they don’t always follow a formula or stay on track. This leaves many parents with questions. Not knowing what to expect, if something is normal, how long it will last, and what progression looks like, are just a few of the million questions that parents have. These questions can become very overwhelming and without the right support providing answers, they become paralyzing to your overall goal.⁠ When you aren’t sure if the thing you’re doing is leading to a light at the end of the tunnel, you are much more likely to give up. This is why personalized information and answers are key!

If these issues ring true for you, you are absolutely not alone. With our busy lives, any sleep deprivation can make decision making much more difficult, and coping skills tend to go out the window. This sleep disruption “which affects levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones, among other things — wreaks havoc in the brain, impairing thinking and emotional regulation” reports an article from Harvard Medical School. This means that sleep issues rarely get better on their own and the sleep deprivation tends to cause a snowball effect that is difficult to get out of on your own.

How to get sleep on track

Here are the key steps to getting out of the sleep disruption cycle, so you can make your way to better sleep for your family.

  1. Educate yourself on various sleep training methods and choose the one you know you can be 100% consistent with for 2-4 weeks.
  2. Work with a sleep expert who can recommend an age appropriate biological sleep schedule, which leverages your child’s natural circadian rhythm. (Not sure what that means? Book a complimentary Discovery call with us to learn more)
  3. Find a support partner who is knowledgeable with the ins and outs of what you’ll be going through during the training process. 

Everyone deserves the best sleep possible, especially when it comes to our children. With a solid plan and some positive support, healthy restorative sleep is right around the corner!

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health

Alison
Alison
Alison Macklin is a Child Sleep Consultant, based in Toronto, Canada. She is a mom who is very familiar with how it feels to have a child not sleeping properly, and worried about their well-being. Since working through her own infant sleep issues, her passion has become helping as many families as possible, learn how to help their children sleep better and develop those critical life skills.
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