Any way you do it, sleep-training your baby is going to be a lot of work. It’s going to involve some crying, and less sleep for a while. It’s going to require that you be clear, and sure, and consistent.
Here is a quiz to help you decide if you are ready.
❑ ❑ Is your baby over 6 months old?
❑ ❑ Are you (or your partner or both) suffering from depression?
❑ ❑ Are you (or your partner or both) suffering from extreme sleep deprivation?
❑ ❑ Have you (or your partner or both) become angry or frustrated when dealing with your baby at night?
❑ ❑ Does you baby wake more than 4 times between 7pm and 5am?
❑ ❑ Does your baby take more than 10-15 minutes to fall asleep after waking at night?
❑ ❑ Do you have a separate room and crib for your baby to sleep in?
❑ ❑ Do you have a partner or another adult to help and support you through sleep training?
❑ ❑ Are you prepared to get LESS sleep for a week or so while you implement a sleep plan?
❑ ❑ Are you prepared to be VERY consistent about bedtimes and routines for the next six weeks or so?
If you answer yes to 6 or more of theses questions, it may be a good time for you to start sleep-training your baby.
Even if you answer yes to ALL the questions, it does not mean that you SHOULD sleep-train your baby. Sleep training is only one way to help parents get more sleep (see my post on how to get more sleep this week). Sleep training is only one way to help babies develop culturally-appropriate sleep patterns. All babies do not need sleep training!
Do not feel pressured to sleep train because…
… Someone told you their baby slept through the night at this age.
… Your friend’s baby sleeps longer than your baby does.
… Your baby takes short naps
… Your baby is 6 months old.
… You don’t want to develop bad habits
… You feel that your baby should be on a schedule
… You are worried about how your baby is going to sleep when you go back to work four months from now (that’s a long time from now!)