Sleep Training

Sleep Training Nannies and Parents Miami

Sleep Training – To Train or Not to Train

Sleep training is a touchy topic for many parents and caregivers, it also leads to endless questions and variations. Is sleep training the same as sleeping through the night? Which method should I use? Should I just start with naps? What should I do if this isn’t working? I wanted to practice gentle parenting and sleep training isn’t part of that process but I’m so tired, can you help? I’m not an expert by any means and the Elite Nannies Miami team is comprised of parents on both sides of the sleep training fence but this is my experience and what worked for our family.

I’m a mom, a mom of twins and I knew I was going to be outnumbered from the first ultrasound. I’m also a huge fan of order and planning in all other aspects of my life so it wasn’t a surprise to anyone that I had plans to sleep train my children when they arrived. Just to be clear, I didn’t bring them home from the hospital and tell them to go to sleep, the real newborn care specialists recommend waiting until between 4 and 6 months of age; I did, however, start with a routine from the very first day and it wasn’t easy. Every night at 7 I gave them a bath, slathered them in lotion, put them in pjs and got myself super comfortable to tandem feed them.

My husband was there to read to us while they ate and to assist with burps and final diaper changes of the day after which we swaddled them snug and put them in their separate cribs, in total darkness with white noise for comfort. Sounds terrible, right? I know. Don’t worry, they were up every 2 or 3 hours to eat again for the first couple of months so there was plenty of comfort to be had! During the day we were set up in the living room and they usually napped for an hour or so, woke to eat, be changed, and napped again. We had a pattern, a routine, – and then they turned 4 months old (adjusted, they were preemies, so this is important).

I read a million articles, tons of books, scoured the internet, decided on a DWT (desired wake time), built a schedule (you can check out Sleep Averages by Age) and I thought I knew it all. The first day was a disaster, the second day was surprising and the afternoon of the third day….it clicked. I couldn’t believe it and suddenly they were napping 4 times a day for 90 mins each time, sleeping from 7 PM-12 AM, eating and sleeping from 1AM to 5 AM. It might not sound like much but for this tired mom, it was a dream I didn’t want to wake from. It’s true what they say about not being able to pour from an empty cup, suddenly I was sleeping more than 20-40 minutes every 3 hours and I had more energy to focus more on tummy time, biting toes, tickling tummies, and showering while they slept!

So, to answer the questions I started with: Yes, for this author, sleep training was equal to sleeping through the night or at least a large portion of it. There are a host of different “methods” Ferber, cry it out, the chair method and so many others. You can start with naps if you’re hesitant, but we just continued it into the evening from the very first day of training. If it’s not working for you try a different method, just do what works for you and your family. Gentle parenting doesn’t generally support sleep training so as much as I want to say I practice it, I still put my kids in bed at 6:30 PM and 9 times out of 10 they don’t protest at all.

The most important thing is to have a routine that everyone implements the same way and to stick to it regardless at to what you feel you are missing out on. Here are the key factors that worked for us:
– Following the Eat, Sleep, Play pattern – A written schedule
– Blackout blinds (No nightlight either) – White noise
– Cooler than average room temperature – Not using sleep crutches
– Having a DWT and sticking to it regardless of how far off schedule the night got

It’s crucial that everyone involved in the care of the child and their daily routine is on the same page with the plan and the execution of the plan or you will likely be wasting your time. You will have to forgo some activities when you first implement the new routine, daytime sleep sets the entire scene for nighttime sleep so don’t let anyone convince you that your baby isn’t sleeping because they aren’t tired, it’s possible that they aren’t sleeping because they are over tired! It’s also helpful if the information is printed and posted in a central location for everyone to see and remember to always check with Mom and/or Dad before implementing any sort of routine first!

I can only speak for our family but the first time I had to wake them up from their nap (yes, limiting the length of their sleep, that’s part of sleep training too) was so satisfying for all of us, the smiles on their faces confirmed that I was doing the right thing for us. If you want to know more details about the ways we maneuvered this challenge, the method we followed or help figuring out your written schedule, let our Elite Nannies Miami team know and we will be happy to post more in-depth info here on the blog.

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Sleep Training

Sleep Training Nannies and Parents Miami

Sleep Training – To Train or Not to Train

Sleep training is a touchy topic for many parents and caregivers, it also leads to endless questions and variations. Is sleep training the same as sleeping through the night? Which method should I use? Should I just start with naps? What should I do if this isn’t working? I wanted to practice gentle parenting and sleep training isn’t part of that process but I’m so tired, can you help? I’m not an expert by any means and the Elite Nannies Miami team is comprised of parents on both sides of the sleep training fence but this is my experience and what worked for our family.

I’m a mom, a mom of twins and I knew I was going to be outnumbered from the first ultrasound. I’m also a huge fan of order and planning in all other aspects of my life so it wasn’t a surprise to anyone that I had plans to sleep train my children when they arrived. Just to be clear, I didn’t bring them home from the hospital and tell them to go to sleep, the real newborn care specialists recommend waiting until between 4 and 6 months of age; I did, however, start with a routine from the very first day and it wasn’t easy. Every night at 7 I gave them a bath, slathered them in lotion, put them in pjs and got myself super comfortable to tandem feed them.

My husband was there to read to us while they ate and to assist with burps and final diaper changes of the day after which we swaddled them snug and put them in their separate cribs, in total darkness with white noise for comfort. Sounds terrible, right? I know. Don’t worry, they were up every 2 or 3 hours to eat again for the first couple of months so there was plenty of comfort to be had! During the day we were set up in the living room and they usually napped for an hour or so, woke to eat, be changed, and napped again. We had a pattern, a routine, – and then they turned 4 months old (adjusted, they were preemies, so this is important).

I read a million articles, tons of books, scoured the internet, decided on a DWT (desired wake time), built a schedule (you can check out Sleep Averages by Age) and I thought I knew it all. The first day was a disaster, the second day was surprising and the afternoon of the third day….it clicked. I couldn’t believe it and suddenly they were napping 4 times a day for 90 mins each time, sleeping from 7 PM-12 AM, eating and sleeping from 1AM to 5 AM. It might not sound like much but for this tired mom, it was a dream I didn’t want to wake from. It’s true what they say about not being able to pour from an empty cup, suddenly I was sleeping more than 20-40 minutes every 3 hours and I had more energy to focus more on tummy time, biting toes, tickling tummies, and showering while they slept!

So, to answer the questions I started with: Yes, for this author, sleep training was equal to sleeping through the night or at least a large portion of it. There are a host of different “methods” Ferber, cry it out, the chair method and so many others. You can start with naps if you’re hesitant, but we just continued it into the evening from the very first day of training. If it’s not working for you try a different method, just do what works for you and your family. Gentle parenting doesn’t generally support sleep training so as much as I want to say I practice it, I still put my kids in bed at 6:30 PM and 9 times out of 10 they don’t protest at all.

The most important thing is to have a routine that everyone implements the same way and to stick to it regardless at to what you feel you are missing out on. Here are the key factors that worked for us:
– Following the Eat, Sleep, Play pattern – A written schedule
– Blackout blinds (No nightlight either) – White noise
– Cooler than average room temperature – Not using sleep crutches
– Having a DWT and sticking to it regardless of how far off schedule the night got

It’s crucial that everyone involved in the care of the child and their daily routine is on the same page with the plan and the execution of the plan or you will likely be wasting your time. You will have to forgo some activities when you first implement the new routine, daytime sleep sets the entire scene for nighttime sleep so don’t let anyone convince you that your baby isn’t sleeping because they aren’t tired, it’s possible that they aren’t sleeping because they are over tired! It’s also helpful if the information is printed and posted in a central location for everyone to see and remember to always check with Mom and/or Dad before implementing any sort of routine first!

I can only speak for our family but the first time I had to wake them up from their nap (yes, limiting the length of their sleep, that’s part of sleep training too) was so satisfying for all of us, the smiles on their faces confirmed that I was doing the right thing for us. If you want to know more details about the ways we maneuvered this challenge, the method we followed or help figuring out your written schedule, let our Elite Nannies Miami team know and we will be happy to post more in-depth info here on the blog.

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