When Should I Start a Sleep Co-Program?
When to Start Sleep Program – When it comes to a baby not sleeping well one of the things I have noticed in the years of experience is parents look for an excuse. Right, we wont to make sense of it, and we don’t like not knowing why about things. Especially when it comes to our children. So, when we still have a six-month-old baby who is still up through the night. 5-6 times a night we look for the reason why!
So what I have found the most common reasons or excuses (let’s call them to be more honest ) that parents come up with are things like he’s in a growth spurt, or she is teething, or he has some gas problems. We look for all these reasons that will “explain” why our child is not sleeping so great! So let us ask, could those things be valid. Yes, they could be but most of the thing it is found to be more the parent looking for reassurance or validation that maybe this will pass. It is just a phase, she’s getting some teeth, or he has a bit of a tummy ache.
What stops sleep teaching?
These all could be, but most of the time these are all excuses. You as a parent use to appease/assure yourself in the current situation. A little lie to make yourself feel a little bit better about all of the sleep situation. I do get this and also understand why. If you haven’t been sleeping well for the last 3-6months then I get you are just looking for the answer. The one that will allow you to make it through the day. You are holding out hope that the teething will pass and once the tooth as broken through. Or this growth burst gave, or once the current developmental milestone goes away. It will all pass and that somehow this child is all of sudden going to start sleeping well.
Today I am going to talk to you about when is a good time to start my program, and by start, I mean using the Lisa Gargaro Sleep Co sleep Program to teach your child how to sleep well. I will highlight some of the good reasons why you shouldn’t start and debunk some of the reasons why people should be, but they don’t.
Why not now?
One of the everyday things that I hear in this business is I don’t think it is the right time to start this program because my child is teething. This one is huge. Teething is the number one excuse/reason why people are stopping or stalling to start the program. I have to be honest with them and say well come back to start then when the child is two. As teething will be something that will come and go, come and go, come and go throughout the first couple of years probably 2 ½ years. Before all of those teeth are through. In my opinion, 2 ½ years of anguish & bad sleep that no one deserves. Not even the child deserves to have two years of poor sleep.
What is really a good reason to postpone sleep teaching?
Being honest I would say let us put the teething excuse/reason to bed unless you see the little tooth cutting gum. Then we can say there is physical discomfort. Now, this has been researched. The research and I have hunted high and low for evidence to state that any other point there is discomfort there is none. Now the cutting of the gum takes a couple of days. Then the pain should subside.
Yeah, so course if you see that happening then yes, you should postpone the training for a couple of days while the tooth cut through. There is no point in adding any more stress to an already stressed infant. Once that is through go ahead and start. If however your child is just drooling and chewing on things, then that is just what babies do. They stick things in their mouths; they drool this has nothing to do with teething it is not causing them any pain even if chewing everything they can get their fingers on.
Simply that is what babies do. Best we just go ahead and start a program and get everyone sleeping well if that is the case.
Another reason why people wait
Another reason why people wait or stall or put off starting a program is that their child is not eating well. So this will be our older babies. Say our 10month olds, our 1year olds, 15 months olds, those starting to push into the toddler realms. Once they hide the 1year old they should be eating the majority of their daily calories from solid foods and milk. Whether it is breast or formula, milk then becomes a beverage.
A compliment and this can be a hard transition for some kids as it is more susceptible to down an 8oz glass of milk than to sit and eat a meal. Kids preferring the easier road and are therefore drinking most of their calories. Which then cause parents to worry. When they say she isn’t eating that great during the day. I am going to continue to offer and give night feeds by milk. I’ll tell you, you are in a catch 22 situation. She is not eating well during the day as she is eating during the night. So guess what she will never eat well during the day if she is topping up her calories during the night.
How best to handle night feeds
By taking away the night time calories up will see your child over the next weekdays consuming more calories during the days. Due to them not getting those calories during the night anymore. I wish to be clear here; I’m talking older babies by that I mean the 11-18month old babies age range. I am not talking about newborns or infants / young babies in any way shape or form. This is very important to stress this point. I am very clear about this fact.
If for the older babies then let’s go ahead and start. Let us get this child sleeping well. By not have them not eating calories during the night and she will naturally begin to consume more during the day. The best way to do this is every 2hours during the day you are offering some sort of solid food with a compliment of milk.
Setting boundaries helps
Setting the boundaries that food is the main calorie source and not milk. Will, in turn, fix the feeding during the night. You know they have eaten well and it’s not hunger that has woken them. The amount of time I have had a client tell me their child is not eating well during the day. Then they stop the night time feeding, Boom the next few days the child starts eating well during the day and night time feeding stops. We have also found that when they sleep better and more consolidated. Then they start eating better also just for that fact alone—making this great news so you should go ahead and start.
The last one now is that your child is not eating solids yet so this will be our younger babies; this will say the 4- 5months age range. You are thinking I am not sure if I should start this yet as they have not started solids yet. I am here to say that beginning solid have nothing to do with sleeping well…nothing. I mean that it has nothing to do with it. If you have a baby who is a great weight, whether it be breast or formula milk. It doesn’t matter. In either scenario, you can still have a great sleeper.
Are they sleeping through the night?
Maybe, maybe not, and I am not that sticky around that if you wish to give you 5month old one-night time feed then sure go ahead and do that.
But you can teach them to sleep independently AND offer them a night time feed. The two don’t have to mutually exclusive. The only thing you need to keep an eye on is making sure you don’t feed your baby to sleep in the night. If you are trying to break that prop association between feeding and sleep you can do this. When you provide in the night then keep them awake through that feed. Then place back into the crib to use their skills to fall back to sleep again.
What is the point of sleep training?
This is the whole point of sleep training, is to get them to learn their method to sleep independently and not rely on external sources to do all the work for you. So if you have a four-month-old who is up during night say 8 x night or 5 x a night now is a great time to teach them to sleep well. They can learn independent sleeping skills. I have taught many newborn babies how to self soothe from the moment they came home from the hospital.
So I know this is all possible and you don’t have to wait for some magic age to teach them this. Or wait until they are 6 months or what you are being told by those all to good intention advice-givers. You can do this at any age. The differences are in how you do it. Not that is not possible. I would encourage you to reach out to myself to get the best individual advice for the best program & method is that one is age-appropriate to ensure success.
Not to make matters worse by taking well-intended advice which is not appropriate for your child. The little younger babies most definitely have a different program. I do things differently for these children, but that will not stop them from learning how to sleep well independently. So when might you not wish to start sleep training?
These I would offer caution about starting training, I have 3.
First one is sickness. You have bought you program you are ready to start on a Friday night and on the Friday day you begin to notice she is not quite herself, she has a fever, or she has the sniffles your little one has picked up a sickness bug, this will not be a great time to start. She is already sick; we don’t wish to stress her or her body out any further by doing some changes to her current routines.
So we will carry on doing what she has been doing making sure she is getting as much rest as she can throughout the illness, and once she is better then, we start. It is a couple of days of her feeling well then we can start the program and will have much better success with it when you go ahead and start.
Starting a program
Should you start the program and during the middle of it your child gets sick, then it will depend on the kind of sickness they child has got as to whether or not you continue with the program. If it is just a cold then you should continue, Making sure they are a comfortable as you can make them but keep going, It may require you to go in to comfort them more often than you would have ideally been doing. However, by sticking with them getting proper sleep will help them recover quicker.
GO in offer a cuddle & love, if you need to pick them up then do this giving them the love is essential to provide & allow them the space to continue to self soothe and offer the reassurance that everything is OK and you are there for them, but you can’t do it for them. They need to learn to do this without their sleep prop. I think that is better than abandoning the plan entirely and then having to start again from scratch once they are well again. However, should she get a high temperature? Fever or something more serious is going on then. You should stop and then just pick this back up again once they are feeling well again.
Third reason why
The third and final reason why you may wish to hold off on starting a Sleep Co sleep program would be if you are about to move in the next week or two, and that is just if we are talking about the toddler range, 18month at up. If you have a move coming up in a few weeks to a month then wait until after the move, for toddlers. Any kind of environmental change for a toddler can throw them off; toddler tends to be very black & white thinkers and a change in their home or room and be a sit of setting for them.
When is it best to start a sleep program, waiting a few weeks for them to get settled into their new home, surrounding and space you can go ahead and start. If you have younger babies who are under one year, You have a move coming up then if you are feeling up to it then go ahead. Start the program. However, if you are feeling stressed (and let’s face it moving is with it being in the top5 most stressful things you can do ) then starting a new sleep program may not help you.
When is it best to start a sleep program is it best to wait?…. maybe
It may be best to wait until you are in your new home, so you don’t add any more undue stress to what is already challenging time, especially in the first few couples of days. Have a good look at yourself and are feeling you can manage to do this then do it. Under 1’s can adapt well so it can be a great idea just to start.
These are the only reason why I would tell someone to hold off or wait from sleep training. Its never to soon and its never to late to teach your child to sleep well and it a gift that will last your child a lifetime.