Sleep Training does not work


By Good Night Consultant

What does cake have to do with sleep training

I hate diets. I cannot tell you how much I hate eating the same types of food repeatedly, or how much I hate Cottage Cheese, tins of tuna and celery. I can tolerate exercise, on occasion… If I have to.

Your probably wondering what that has to do with sleep training. You see, the thing is we believe sometimes that we can just choose which parts we’d like to change and we expect it to work. Every Monday I expect the 20 minutes on the treadmill to undo all the Finger Licking goodness I had over the weekend. It simply does not work that way.

It is the same for Sleep Training. Google defines sleep training as: “… a number of different regimens parents employ to adjust their child’s sleep behaviours.” A few points to note:

• A NUMBER OF – sleep training does not involve one single method or way of changing behaviour. It does not automatically imply leaving a baby to “cry it out”

• DIFFERENT REGIMENS – sleep training in isolation is unlikely to work. If you only allow your baby a dummy, but not feed to sleep, or let your baby cry it out, but don’t allow adequate nutrition, or if you eliminate blue light from your baby’s bedtime routine but rock to sleep; you can for all intensive purposes eat the chocolate cake and expect to loose weight

• PARENTS EMPLOY – you employ the change. Not google, not some or other know-it-all scientist and not me. You know what is best for your child and only you can make the changes needed to your child’s routine to make sure he/she gets the sleep needed

• TO ADJUST – not to damage, not to harm, not to hurt – only adjust. Ask yourself if what you have been doing to date have been working. If you and/or your children are not sleeping then you need to do just that … adjust

• SLEEP BEHAVIOURS – sleep is a discipline and should be a discipline in a household. It is a behaviour. Behaviours can be taught or untaught. Behaviours are influenced by change. There is a clever term that neurologist use when it comes to sleep called cognitive behavioural therapy and it boils down to the fact that all of us – even our children – can change our sleeping by adjusting our behaviour.

To conclude, by understanding what sleep training is, you can understand what it is NOT. And so, if you believe that just merely allowing your child to scream for hours on end and closing the door will magically make your child sleep better, I’m afraid I have to burst your bubble.

Rather get a trained sleep therapist to assess your unique situation, to check the tickboxes and make sure that everything is in place so that you can adjust behaviour the right way. Because THAT, works. Just read here.

In other words, you can have one’s cake and eat it too 😉

To more chocolate cake and restful children.