Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What is gentle sleep training in Nut Shell?

I want to better understand how sleep training works. Is the core principle in sleep training sending a clear and consistent message regarding sleep to the baby? In other words, is sleep training about doing the same thing every time it’s sleep time in order to set a boundary so that my baby knows what I’m going to do and therefore knows how to behave?


The type of sleep training I teach parents to do is more about understanding the baby's needs, meeting those needs, and then making changes that still meet the needs but undoes the sleep crutches or sleep associations. We do it in such a way that is slow and with as low stress as possible, reading the baby's body language to still meet the needs and keep the infant mental health as the priority.  Once you have a plan that can do that, you need to be consistent with it, (within reason) to help the baby adjust to the new scenarios providing lots of responding.

In a nut shell, you want to help the baby go through the natural learning process that comes with learning sleep skills at an age appropriate level.  There are many variable that help make the process go smoother.  If your baby has an alert temperament, you want to do a method that has more responding in it and avoid Cry it Out (CIO) Methods.  CIO methods can cause an anxiety disorder in some alert babies so you want to be cautious if your method is going to cause too much stress.  It is possible to meet the baby's needs and your needs.  Most of the time, the goals the parents tell me they have are completely possible.  I will be up front with you if they are not.

You can co-sleep or undo co-sleeping and still develop improved sleep skills.  You can crib sleep, floor mattress sleep, nursery sleep or room share. There usually is a gentle sleep training option that fits your family style.

Share your goals with me and see if you would like to work together on a gentle sleep plan. I will coach you and you coach your baby.

Gentle sleep training is generally for ages 6 months to 6 years old. There are special plans for younger babies as early as 18 weeks but we take it really slow and very gently.  Gentle sleep training fosters secure attachment and help to develop independent and happy children.  

Tracy Spackman is the mother of 5 children and is Certified and Extensively Trained as a Gentle Sleep Coach.

Tracy Spackman
Certified Gentle Sleep Coach

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1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your article. Please make more interesting topics like this on.
    I'll come back for more :)

    From Japs a researcher from beddingstock