Child Sleep Training Steps
Child Sleep Training Steps
Gary Feldman (Medical Director, Stramski Disorders Center, Miller Children's Hospital ) gives expert video advice on: What are the complete steps of sleep training? and more...
Why do I need to tell my neighbors that I'm sleep training?
The other really important thing besides preparing the family for support systems is whether they're going to be in the house or out when the other party does the training is "where do we live? and should I tell the neighbors! "We're going to train my -" "My child's going to be trained. We're not abusing our child, if they're crying, if my child's crying excessively, this is what's going on". Because you don't want to have that extra stress. The process is very stressful and that's why it's so important to have resolve, to be on the same page and to get all these little confounders that are going to stumble this process out of the way and get them sorted out.
What time of day should my child begin sleep training?
Sleep training with your child should begin at bed time. During the child's normal bed time is really when you should be focussing on sleep training. There are variations to a theme and it really depends on the situation. For instance, if you anticipate that your child is really going to fuss and cry for a long time, you may experiment with maybe putting the child to bed a little later, maybe half an hour later so that you can capitalize on the sleep drive. If they have a greater sleep drive, then they may cry less because they're just more exhausted. Bare in mind that once a child, especially a small child, is exhausted and overtired, they become agitated, and therefore are less inclined to sleep. So sleep training is really a case of each child's individuality.
What are the complete steps of sleep training?
I kind of refer to preparing the steps of sleep training as sort of preparing a military operation. The first thing is to get an idea of the lie of the land, in terms of, where you live, what your living environments are, and what your environment is like. For instance, it's important to tell the neighbours that “My child is going to have some sleep training; they may be doing some excessive crying and we are not abusing the child”. The other thing is that once you've decided that you are going to do the training, you need to decide when, in terms of the calendar, you are going to do this. This is because of how it affects your job; it's an exhausting business so you may want to do it on a long weekend, or you may want to take vacation. Those are the type of things you have to prepare; get that sorted out so it doesn't effect what you do in your job or daytime functioning. The other thing is to think about who else is in the house, what other adults are in the house, because everybody has to be on the same page. There's no point in both parents being on the same page whilst you have a grandmother who lives in the house who's totally opposed to this. Everybody has to be on the same page. It is critical for parents, and extended family adults, to sit down and talk about what you are going to do, and be absolutely resolute that "This is it, we've had enough. We realize that there's nothing wrong with our child; this is a bad habit that our child has gotten into, and it's totally wrecking our lives. It's wrecking our marriage, it's wrecking my work, and I want to do something harmful to my mother-in-law." Whatever the case is; be resolved to do something about it. Then, once you've got to that point, before you even discuss or think about the technique, you've got to decide who's going to implement it and what the weak links are here; which adult in the situation may be at risk for actually jeopardising the training. If one partner cannot tolerate it, cannot tolerate the child crying, they need to be out of the picture while the process takes place. Then, it's choosing the correct behavioural technique as to what will work best for the circumstance; the individual parental style or the environment. Once you've got all that organized, then you must realize that once you hit go, there is no abort button, there is no stop button; it's all the way through. Now, many parents will ask “I tried everything. I did all that. I did the Ferberizing, and I did this method. It doesn't work.” When I hear that, I automatically question how they executed it because, in the majority of cases, if you do it correctly and you plan correctly, you will be successful.