How do you know if it is the right time to sleep train? This is probably the number one question I receive on every client inquiry. It is a very important and valid question. Often, the answer has more to do with the “readiness” of the parents vs. the “readiness” of the child.
I often recommend for parents to have a “business meeting” to get really clear on their family sleep goals and logistics and ask themselves the following questions:
- Are you and your partner on the “same page” regarding methodology and approach?
- Do you have any upcoming family travel or business travel that will interrupt the first 2 weeks of focused attention on night training?
- Do you have any foreseeable transitions upcoming such as moving to a new home, expecting the birth of a sibling or starting a new daycare schedule?
- Are you feeling emotionally strong to make significant changes and be consistent in the implementation
- Are you experiencing any other difficult life stresses such as a recent death in the family or major illness?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, than you may want to take a pause until some of the life events and logistics calm down and align in your favor. Parents are most successful in sleep training when it is their main focus for 2-3 weeks and they have been able to minimize other obligations. You want to feel aligned with your partner on parenting philosophy as it is important that parents support one another and work as a team. In the meantime, you could still be working toward your goal by continuing to do some more research and investigation in order to feel truly emotionally and intellectually comfortable with the process of sleep training. Parents who are really “ready” both logistically and emotionally move through the process with confidence and thus, the child is often more at ease during the process. It is best to be prudent and not rush into sleep training…it is all about patience and consistency and right timing for parents and child alike. Sleep training is a methodical process that works when parents can be consistent and ultimately brings harmony back into your household.