Sleep training and change

Making the change to your baby’s sleep and deciding to sleep train, can take a lot of courage. When you’re already exhausted, from weeks of frequent night waking you need sleep training courage. Most parents keep on doing the ‘same old’ tried and tested things to resettle even if they’re not always working. Taking the crutch away is like wrestling a security blanket from a toddler. The thought of changing how you settle and resettle your baby is enough to bring a cold sweat on. And I agree if it’s not broken don’t fix it. However, if it’s hanging by a thread you need to fix it.Unfortunately, it’s not going to come good by chance.

Is Sleep Training Good for Your Baby?

One night of sleep training

It might only take one night of challenging sleep to achieve a good night’s sleep and utopia can be on the other side. Really, I rarely do more than one overnight stay. If you stay consistent and don’t give in, once you decide on your plan of action, you are often richly rewarded.

hierarchy of soothing

Hierarchy of soothing

Knowing what is self-soothing and what is a sleep crutch is really important.

The last thing you want is to take rocking to sleep away, but keep the dummy when both are ‘trouble’ and neither is self-soothing.

4 month sleep regression

Sleep training courage needed

Hi Karen

Help and give me the sleep training courage to do this.

So my 8-month-old Evie who was previously a good sleeper has in the past three weeks started waking 3-4 times per night. I’ll admit I’ve been feeding her back to sleep which I know I need to stop. In the middle of the night, it’s just so hard to justify not doing the quick fix. So I want to attempt parental presence, and I want to check a few things.

One. Her room is pitch black at night, I can’t see her, she can’t see me. Should there be a little light which I turn off as I leave, if not how will she know if I am there or not if I am being completely silent?

Two. At 8 months do I put a hand in the cot or am I not to touch or talk to her at all. And do I pick up for a quick cuddle if she is really stressed.

Three. When she wakes at night and is whinging, do I go in and start parental presence straight away or wait three minutes or do I wait till she is really crying hard?

Wish me luck.


These were my A’s to this mums Q’s

  1. I can totally see why you’d want to let your baby know you’re there. However, this is a presence method and not an interaction method. Any words or shushing creates a sleep association which will lead to more waking and reinforces the behaviour.
  2. If you put your hand in the cot (and on week one you can) it needs to be a passive hand i.e. do not put your hand on your baby, pat or stroke them. This is all sleep association and will lead to repeated night waking. If you think you will feel tempted to do any of those things don’t start with the hand in the cot. Keep the hand out of the cot and just sit by it instead.
  3. I use a 3-minute magic rule where I wait for 3 minutes of constant crying before going back into the baby’s room. If there are pauses and I mean 5-20 second pauses reset the timer. Pauses indicate a baby is not stressed and is likely to put themselves back to sleep.

And yes I wished Peta luck and she got her courage and she did it! YAY!!