Need Sleep? Sleep Deprived? Don’t Know Where To Start To Get Your Baby To Sleep? Keep Reading...
Let's be honest, sleep training has a bad reputation, but what is it really? Sleep training is the process of teaching your baby how to fall asleep on their own. Sounds easy right? Depending on the circumstances it actually can go much smoother than you may think. Hiring a professional like myself to come in to access your baby’s current habits and patterns, and to provide your family with a customized infant sleep training program can expedite the process.
Most people believe that sleep training means cry it out, but the true definition of full extinction aka cry it out is the process of leaving your baby in their crib from the time you put them to bed until the next morning, without any check-ins. Though that method is effective, that is not one I use at Modern Childbearing. Instead we work to ensure that our process is built around what feels right for your family, and what works well with your lifestyle. Will there be crying during training? Possibly! How much? Hard to tell! But I can assure you that the methods I use aren’t harsh or harmful, and depending on your comfort level, this process can be done over 3 days or it can take much longer.
During sleep training I come into your home and work with you step by step to establish age appropriate schedules, routines, look for signs of new and old sleep issues, set up a sleep environment that is conducive to good sleep, and follow the sleep program of your choosing.
For my services I have 2 different options. Since extending sleep overnight sleep is highly influenced by what happens during the day, I like to analyze the full picture.
(1) 24 hour day and (2) 13 hour nights: During the first day (24 hours), I will be able to get the full picture, navigate each nap, ensure baby is getting enough awake time, sleep, food, and activities, learn what problems arise each day, establish routines, prepare a schedule that works for your baby, and more. The (2) 13 hour nighta are from 6pm-7am and this is where I’m able to help you all establish a bedtime, a bedtime routine, and navigate through sleep issues that arise overnight.
(3) 13 hour nights: This option is not as comprehensive as the first one, but is still very effective. Since I will only be working overnight, I will only see some of the full picture, but I will educate and coach your family through navigating sleep issues that occur during the day, and helping to establish a daytime schedule for your child.
No matter which option you choose, you will learn what to look out for, how to prepare for future sleep disturbances that may arise, the importance of scheduling, how much daytime versus nighttime sleep your baby needs, and much much more.
I can’t take my baby crying. Will I still be able to work with you for sleep training? Yes! I provide families with a gentler approach to sleep training, but I can not and will not guarantee that there will be no crying at all. Some parents decide to leave out during sleep training and some decide to use some of the methods I recommend when crying does occur. When it comes to babies learning how to fall asleep on their own it is a change that they are not used to and it is a time that includes breaking some habits. As adults we know just how hard it is to break habits that are embedded into our psyche. With this comes frustration and sometimes tears. The good news is that babies are adaptable. They find new ways to find comfort and self soothe when given the space to do so.
Is it ever too late to sleep train? It is never too late to sleep train though Modern Childbearing does not work with children over the age of 5. Sometimes, infants that don't sleep well grow into toddlers who don't sleep well and then children that don't sleep well so establishing new schedules and habits can be beneficial at any age. Though this is the case, sleep training does become tougher as children age and as habits are deeply embedded.
Do you provide follow up support after sleep training? Yes! I provide support to my clients after all sleep training jobs and consultations.
How long will sleep training take? Every child is different and every family is different. So there is no way to know the exact timing of sleep training. I will be in the home for 3 consecutive days. For some babies this process can take only 1-3 days while others can take weeks.
How young can we start sleep training? Sleep training with Modern Childbearing does not start until it is cleared by the baby’s pediatrician, the baby is at least 4 months old, and at least 12 pounds. In addition, Modern Childbearing does not sleep train babies that are sick, just had shots/vaccinations, or have severe reflux.
What if sleep training doesn't work? I definitely understand this fear, especially when you have tired all that you can, read all the books, and have had no success thus far. No worries, I work with families until we succeed and reach the goals we set for our time together. I believe that the only way I can fail is if I quit, and I am not a quitter. With consistency and teamwork we will accomplish our goals, unless there is an underlying medical condition that needs to be accessed by a pediatrician. My in-depth assessment, evidence-based knowledge, commitment, and customized sleep plans all work together to bring about improvement and ultimately success.
"Shaniqua was a wonderful help to our family! We started working with Shaniqua for overnight care a few weeks after bringing our newborn home. Our baby was premature and had reflux requiring her to be held upright for 45 minutes after feeds. Shaniqua was very patient and attentive to her needs while working with her overnight. We subsequently used her help during the daytime as well for several weeks. She was able to get our daughter on a good nap schedule, and she helped her to learn to self soothe in a gentle way and fall asleep in the bassinet on her own. Shortly after, our baby started sleeping 8-10 hour stretches overnight! She has extensive knowledge on newborn and infant sleep and was always willing to share resources and offer ideas for how to assist our daughter to sleep better. Shaniqua was always very patient, interactive, and engaging with our baby. She is also very professional and reliable. She is an incredibly positive person and has a genuine love for newborns. I highly recommend her!"
-P.S Family. Alexandria, VA