“Sleep Training” the Baby Sleep Science Way


Meg Casano BSN MA and Erin Evans PhD ALM

We hope that by now you’ve browsed through our website and gotten a sense of who we are and our style – which is that we don’t have a set style! There is no magic formula or magic strategy for a successful sleep consult because every family, every baby, every personality, temperament, and lifestyle is different – and we are open to and welcome them all!

Here is an excerpt from our pre consultation information package:

With us, “Sleep Training” is any thoughtfully and consistently implemented series of actions that results in a change in your baby’s sleep. Typically parents prefer this change to include achieving more consolidated sleep by exchanging a parent-led sleep association for a baby-led sleep association. Parent-led sleep associations (such as nursing, rocking, bouncing, and holding, to name a few) are wonderful and natural ways to put your baby to sleep, but they can sometimes lead to trouble when your child expects that same soothing at each sleep cycle wake-up during the night. The age of your baby may affect what type of intervention is appropriate for her.

Some parents choose a sleep intervention that helps them reach their goal very quickly, and other parents prefer gradual changes. Some parents are comfortable leaving their child’s room, and others prefer to be with their child at all times. Because current research doesn’t tell us which way is “best,” we are neutral when it comes to a particular sleep intervention or parenting style. We know that there is more than one “right” way to accomplish your family’s goals for improved sleep, and we don’t force or even recommend a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for your first baby may not be right for your second, and what was best during one developmental stage may not be best during another.

Our loyalties lie with our little customers, so we strive for changes that fall within the realm of baby sleep science and age-appropriate expectations, keeping in mind what each family feels is the best fit for their baby’s temperament, the realities of their family life, and their parenting style.

Here is another way we like to think of Sleep Training:

Change is hard, even wonderful change can be hard (think: bringing that little bundle home from the hospital and adapting to your new life with him or her!). When you make a change with your baby, she will probably resist it. This is quite a normal and predictable response.  Most babies will resist their sleep drive as long as they possibly can on the first night you ask them to fall asleep in a new way, and for many it may be a good 40-60 minutes.  Although we can’t always control how long it will take your baby to achieve sleep in a new way, what we CAN control is WHAT YOU WILL DO, during that time.  Do you want to be in there with her cheering and supporting every step of the way making small gradual changes, or do you feel this is very frustrating to your child and she’ll do better with something faster paced.  We offer many techniques from in room, out of room, and a combo of both; some you may have heard about and some we’ve created and molded on our own!  We feel good about the repertoire of options we offer families and we hope if you are struggling, you’ll give us a call!

Have a question? Ask us on our Facebook page.

Need personalized support?  Book a consultation with us.

© 2014 Baby Sleep Science: Sleep Resource Center

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21 Comments

  1. Rosita says:

    I need your help, my baby is 13 months old. We used to co sleep until a month ago , he is now sleeping in his crib even though i sleep in the same room . He wakes up every two hours and wants to nurse , i give him water instead but sometimes he wont stop crying and doesnt sleep so i nurse him Again . He doesnt want any naps furing the day , he has a lot of energy and wants to play all day long , he is a very hard sleeper and now he wants to use me as a paci furing the day and is very clingy of me , i dont know what to do anymire , he is always been a hard sleeper . What should i do ??

  1. […] first long stretch anymore. However most babies would also not be ready for any type of structured sleep training yielding rapid results. See our blog on reducing extra night feedings […]

  2. […] it’s better to stick to great sleep hygiene, regular age-appropriate schedules and proven behavioral interventions to help your child sleep well for the long […]

  3. […] this is also essential for maintaining a regular biological clock and before beginning any type of sleep training with your […]

  4. […] but I know that you can fall asleep without nursing.” You may also need to do some additional sleep intervention where you put her down awake after night feedings or to teach her to fall asleep without being […]

  5. […] if you wanted to stop it at this young age, your options are very limited in terms of the type of sleep training you can do to help your baby learn to sleep and self soothe in a new way (without the pacifier). […]

  6. […] later bedtime. See our Age by Stage Schedules blog here.  For sleep association pop ups,  using a sleep training method that feels like a good fit for you and your baby will help solve this […]

  7. […] her sleep more, perhaps by working on improving her nighttime sleep consolidation (info on that here and here on the four month regression, which usually leads to fragmented night sleep), increasing […]

  8. […] to have sleep cycle wake ups every 60 – 90 minutes (and for that you would start some sleep training), but the split night problem should resolve.  We hope that this helps you eliminate your baby’s […]

  9. […] from time to time, but as a general rule and ESPECIALLY if you are going to be starting some some sleep training, regularity and a predictable bedtime routine is […]

  10. […] If so, do not work on early waking until you tackle the sleep association. See our blogs on how to do that here. […]

  11. […] Sleep training is a personal choice. We consider any parent lead change (usually designed to help your baby to […]

  12. […] starting any sleep training, make sure your child’s sleep problems are about a sleep association and NOT about something […]

  13. […] Sleep Training may begin if desired […]

  14. […] What if you want to teach your child to sleep in the crib? What if you want to begin some sort of sleep training? As usual, every book seems to have a different suggestion about what to do. So, what works best? […]

  15. […] deprived AND doesn’t know how to fall asleep independently, then you may also need to do some sleep intervention after you help your child catch up if she needs to learn how to put herself to sleep in her own […]

  16. […] if you wanted to stop it at this young age, your options are very limited in terms of the type of sleep training you can do to help your baby learn to sleep and self soothe in a new way (without the pacifier). […]

  17. […] During this process, you will need to start putting your baby in the crib awake at bedtime (you can use the simple strategies that we described above). Also like mentioned above, some babies will develop a sleep association with rocking, so once you’ve reduced the “extra” feedings you can start to break up the rocking by returning your baby to the crib awake. The suggestions that we outlined for “not yet regressed” babies will work to teach older babies to go back to sleep too. Depending on your baby’s age, you may be able to do something a little more structured at bedtime and during the night if you want the process to go faster. We generally don’t recommend really aggressive sleep training for babies going through this regression. We also don’t think there is one right way to do sleep training. You may opt for a fast approach or you may opt for a very gradual adjustment. Your parenting style matters and there are many ways to get to healthy sleep. Check out our thoughts on that here. […]

  18. […] needs. You can then begin to work on changing the remaining rocking/holding association with a sleep training method that feels right to […]

  19. […] of interactions with your baby to help him navigate this uncharted territory.   This is your Sleep Training  technique!  Different families will choose different approaches to this – some preferring to […]

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