Sleep training a small child is the epitome of “short term pain, long term gain.”
For us and baby number two that proved to be the case.
Before I get started I want to be upfront. There are A LOT of different ways to sleep train an infant and just because the one I used worked for us that doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for you. With that said…
We’ve used the Ferber Method, “invented” by Dr. Richard Ferber, for both our children. We’ve found it to be a good middle ground between the extinction method (full on cry it out) and natural sleep training (pretty much doing nothing and hoping for the best.)
On with the training:
Letting them cry, some
The Ferber plan requires parents to let their children cry for a small period of time before checking on them. The period between checks gets a little longer between each time you go in and also as the days progress.
When it comes to naps you’ll need to start having them scheduled and limited.
- We scheduled our naps for 8:00am, 12:00pm and 3:30.
- The total for all naps shouldn’t be more than four hours. We allowed the first nap to go two hours, the second to go 90 minutes and the last one was only 30 minutes (this last nap shouldn’t go later than 4pm.) The time limit for each nap requires us to wake her up.
- You also need to put her to sleep drowsy but not asleep.
- If after 30 minutes and your four checks (see chart above for schedule) they’re still not asleep then they have lost that nap.
Pretty much the same as naps except you no longer have a 30 minute cut off. This can mean the first few days requires an additional visits to Starbucks but once again “short term pain long term gain.”
In no way am I going over all the little details regarding sleep training or even the Ferber Method in this one post but I’m hoping you can skim the main details and see if it’s something you might want to try for yourself.
The training only took us a few days but I will say that without sticking to the plan and being rigid on letting them cry each period to completion, it’s not going to work. So you need to know if that is something your family can stick to.
Comment below with any tricks or methods have you found to be successful when it comes to sleep training.