Today we have a guest writer, sleep consultant Erika Lamour from The Sleep Dept speaking with us about sleep training. She’ll be writing for us for the next few months, so if you’re wanting to find out more about helping your baby to sleep, keep an eye out… over to Erika.
Why baby sleep training isn’t all just black and white
If there’s one topic that’s sure to fire up controversy within a group of new mums, it’s baby sleep training. For the uninitiated, sleep training is the process of helping a baby learn to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
On one side of the debate, you have the people who crinkle their noses in disgust at the mere mention of it. To them, it’s a crime on par with leaving your bub in the car on a 40 degree day. Then, you have the advocates, who will enthusiastically tell anyone that will listen to do it as early as possible. You’re either for or against it and there’s rarely an in between.
But as a sleep consultant and the owner of The Sleep Dept, I can tell you — things aren’t always so black and white.
Cry It Out
One of the biggest preconceived ideas many people have about sleep training is that it’s all about CIO (Cry It Out) This strategy involves leaving your baby to cry until they get to sleep. Many people perceive this to mean letting your baby cry for a full 12 hours — closing the door at 7 pm and re-opening it at 7 am.
But of course, this isn’t always the case. There are certainly less extreme versions of CIO, but personally, I prefer to use gentler methods that are less emotionally draining on both the parents and baby. Another important to thing to realise about sleep training is that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. There’s a range of reasons that babies might struggle to sleep, from their sleeping conditions and the use of dummies, to age-related sleep regressions. As a sleep consultant, I don’t use a blanket approach but rather, work to get to the root of the issue so I can create a personalised plan.”
What does it involve?
So, if sleep training isn’t all just CIO or a one-size-fits-all approach, what does it involve? I employ a range of gentle sleep techniques, depending on the baby’s age and individual needs. These include nap schedules, settling and re-settling techniques and introducing a relaxing pre-bedtime routine.
Erika has been working in childcare for nearly a decade. She’s worked with Newborns, Toddlers, Special Needs, Multiples… and everything in between. Her curiosity in guiding babies to sleep began in 2012, and she quickly read every book she could get her hands on. She then completed qualified training courses in various sleep training techniques. Over the years, she would help out friends and families, before she took her growing passion and turned it into The Sleep Dept. Erika has created her own gentle techniques that have had a 100% success rate. There is no better feeling than supporting families to not only find a solution to their families sleep issues, but one that they also feel comfortable with. To find more about her services, visit thesleepdept.com