What exactly is sleep training? Why is sleep training so hard?
Sleep training is HARD - there I said it. Everyone knows it but no one wants to truly address it because it takes TIME and SUPPORT! There are many books with many opinions on how to do it - but ultimately it is up to the parent to succeed...or not....
As a pediatrician and a Mom of 4, I understand the difficulties of sleep training and the absolute JOY when it works. I have read all the books and used my own children to test out the techniques...we have tried the ferber technique, the sleep easy solution, breastfeeding to sleep, talking to the kid, not talking to the kid, the list goes on and on. I will tell you, this is not a one and done parenting skill. Nothing is. Parenting takes work and education, and you will make mistakes, loads of mistakes, but you are a good parent - and good parenting takes work.
The secret to sleep training is....are you ready....DESIRE...mixed with some stubbornness and consistency. Do you want your child to go to sleep at 8 pm? Do you want your child to sleep in their own bed? Do you want a well adjusted child who will thrive in school and beyond?
Training starts in infancy, but don't worry parents of toddlers and beyond, there is hope for you too! Babies require sleep, hours of sleep. The average infant will sleep 18 hrs a day for the first weeks of life. As babies grow into toddlers, their sleep requirement lessens, but they still require at least 12 hours a day. Most infants should be sleeping through the night by 4 months of age. So let's talk infant training today.
Starting at a 4 weeks of age, establish a routine with your infant. My favorite is Bath, Breast/Bottle, Book, Bed. At this age, the bedtime doesn't matter, but the closest to 8 pm the better. It's okay to breastfeed your baby to bed for the first few months