When is the Best Time to Sleep Train My Child?
I always say it is never too early or too late to teach your child how to sleep well. It can, however, be a much different process depending on the age of your child.
Certainly the goals for a newborn baby and the goals for a 3 year old are much different, so the process to reach goals is also very different.
If you have a baby under 3 months of age, sleeping through the night will not be your goal. Sleeping through the night includes 12 hours of consecutive hours of sleep without the need to feed during the night. Babies under 3 months are not ready for this. So the goals for them are longer stretches of sleep, long, restful naps and falling asleep without being fed to sleep.
For children 3 months to 3 years you can expect your child to sleep 12 hours through the night without waking to be fed (there is a process to determine if your child is ready to sleep through the night without a feed) and taking naps according to their age.
Many milestones will happen during this time and they can have an impact on your child’s ability to learn to sleep well. For instance, if your child begins to stand in their crib or climb out of their crib, those are obstacles that will be addressed during sleep training and I don’t recommend avoiding sleep training because of these things. I know how to handle these situations and I will help you learn as well!
For children 3-13 there are many factors causing your child’s sleeplessness. Boundary setting and creating a positive sleep environment are key. I have worked with many children who are in this age group and have never slept through the night. There are no tricks involved and it isn’t magic. Some children learn to sleep well at a young age and some really need extra help.
Healthy sleep is such an amazing gift to give your child. It is something they will benefit from for the rest of their lives.
If you aren’t sure if your child is ready for sleep training, just ask! I always offer a free 15 minute phone call where you can ask all of your questions and find out if sleep training is the right step for you child.