Sleep training has been a life saviour for us. In just a matter of days, it transformed my daughter’s sleep around and we’ve gone from multiple wake ups a night to her consistently sleeping through. She even moved into her own room without any fuss.
I found our first week of sleep training tough. It was awful seeing her upset and the time dragged. However, after just 6 days, she stopped complaining and started to drop off within 20 minutes. As it took 2 hours the first night, this was a massive achievement.
How we approached sleep training
We stayed consistent and adopted the same routine each evening. I believe that this is key to successfully sleep training. Our routine consists of putting on Little E’s pyjamas and giving her a bottle of milk. She then goes into her cot and I read her a story while sitting next to her. Next, I turn out the lights, put her lullabies on and put her starlight on which reflects onto the ceiling. I also make sure I use familiar cue words such as ‘time to go to sleep now’ and ‘bedtime’. At the moment, I stay on the floor next to her and wait for her to sleep. If she makes a fuss, I tell her it’s okay and sometimes I’ll stroke her cheek or hold her hand. However, I don’t take her out of the cot.
A good night’s sleep for all
It sounds so simple now. But, after a long, tiring day, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of doing what’s easiest. For us, this was rocking her to sleep in our arms. And, when she got too heavy, we rocked her to sleep in her buggy and had the tricky task of moving her to her cot.
Sleep training has turned my daughter’s sleep around in such a short amount of time. After just three weeks, she’s falling asleep within minutes and recognises that story time is time to lay down rather than hanging over the side of the cot. For any parent considering sleep training, I’d highly recommend it. It’s tough in the beginning and the first few nights are difficult, but, it’s worthwhile in the long run.