The beauty of motherhood is that we all raise our children differently. Sure, there are common ideas, universal principles, and social norms, but as moms, we are freely able to take a little bit of this and a little bit of that and create the method that works best for us and our children. All children are different with their own unique characteristics, temperaments, personalities, behaviors, and needs. We aren’t given a handbook on parenting when our children are born and there certainly isn’t a cookie cutter way to raise every child in uniform fashion.
When it comes to sleep training, I have a very specialized approach to each parent I consult with on this topic. Sleep training is so personal to each family. There are a lot of factors that are taken into consideration before sleep training a child. Are you a single parent? Are you breastfeeding? Do you currently co-sleep? Does your child have their own room? Before I give a parenting consultation on sleep training, I have each parent fill out a brief questionnaire asking them what they have already tried, what resources they have, and what their thoughts and beliefs are regarding sleep training. Some parents are on one end of the spectrum and strongly believe in the crying it out method. Others are the exact opposite and believe strongly in attachment parenting. I find that most parents I work with are somewhere in the middle. Most parents want a firm and consistent routine based on limits and boundaries, but also want to nurture and be there emotionally for their child through this big transition of life. And don’t forget, sleep training is a process. Many factors can change your child’s sleep patterns even after you have “successfully” trained your child to sleep. Moving, vacation and travel, family changes, teething, illness, time changes, and new siblings entering the home can all result in a sleep regression for your child. But don’t give up! Use the same tools you did the first time around and you will have success (and sleep!) again!
I first learned about sleep training soon after I had my first child. She was only a few weeks old and one night I was feeling extremely overwhelmed as a new mom (like most of us do at some point – please tell me I’m not alone!) and I reached out to a close friend of mine who was already a mom of multiple young children. She was so kind and calm and walked me through what I needed to do and gave me some tips that I will never forget.
The most important piece of advice she told me was to Be Consistent. She told me to put my daughter down to sleep in the same place each and every time. She also told me to have a routine and to stick to it as best as possible. At the time, my routine was bath, bottle, book, and bed. I can’t stress how important it is to stay consistent. Children are very perceptive and know when the pattern is off track. It’s impossible to keep a consistent pattern everyday of your child’s young life, but research shows, the more consistent you are, the more flexible, resilient, and adaptable your child will become. So try to stick to a schedule as best as you can on most days, and you will find that you and your child are much happier and content.
When Haven was five or six months old, I attended a sleep training seminar and had a one-on-one consultation with a sleep training coach. I learned so much that day. My daughter was sleeping through the night by 10 months old and we haven’t looked back since. Each time we have a slight regression due to an environmental factor, I use the same tools and interventions I learned over the years from sleep training experts, mom friends, books and research, and my own personal experience and they work like magic each time. And I can share all of these with you, too!
I have a 100% success rate when it comes to sleep training tips, suggestions, and advice. If you would like a sleep training parenting consultation, please email me at email@example.com and I will give you all of the details via email. If you mention this blog post in your email request, I will even give you 20% off the total price of a parenting consultation. With the discount, your sleep training consultation would only cost $40! All consultations are conducted over the phone at the time that is most convenient for you. I make myself available during the day, in the evening, and on weekends. You can sleep again!!!!
As a licensed marriage and family therapist and registered play therapist, I have worked with a lot of families and children over the years. I am a strong believer in the healing power of music and noise distraction. Most families have a noise machine in their baby’s room to mimic the loud sounds of the womb for the child to sooth and sleep. I encourage all families to incorporate music and noise into a child’s life as soon as moms are 18 weeks pregnant, when developmentally, a baby can start hearing sound in the womb. Music can calm anxiety, help with depression, and help with children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. Music is a coping skill for many adolescents and adults alike. I have used a lot of visual imagery in my child therapy sessions, where children have the permission to escape safely to another place to ease distressful symptoms. That is why I love Dinosnores, an Australian based company that has come up with an imaginative, and relaxing way to make bedtime easier for families.
Dinosnores is an award winning meditation to help kids sleep. Dinosnores essentially created fun stories that use simple, calming relaxation and visualization techniques to help children slow down and get ready for sleep. The stories are guided relaxation and meditation designed specifically for children by childcare and child language experts. Each story is about 30 minutes and has a soundscape that lasts a full hour so your child will drift off to sleep even if they are awake to listen to the story. These stories will engage your child, educate your child, and help encourage listening and language skills.
These sleepy stories are available as a CD or as a download on iTunes. You can find them by following this link: http://dinosnores.com. They have many different stories to choose from and ones specifically for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and even school-aged children! Curious yet? You can even listen to samples on their website’s homepage before purchasing. Ready to buy? Click on this link http://dinosnores.com/where_to_buy.html to find out where to purchase your Dinosnores depending on what country you live in. In the US, they are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble among other online options. You can also purchase right from their website, too! My favorite is the Mermaid story, but my toddler’s favorite is the Kitten story. She loves the purring kitten in the background while the woman is telling the story like ducks, sheep, and birds. She even responds to the woman when asked a question. After the story is done, the kitten continues to purr (which I have to admit is quite soothing) and sounds of other animals are sprinkled in to the mix. We listen to a story each day during our afternoon “rest” time. Once we read our rest time book and turn the lights out, she requests to hear a story. She has come to look forward to hearing a story each day and loves that she can pick a different one each day. And did I mention that she is at an age where she has been protesting naps on a regular basis but after listening to these stories, she falls asleep each and every time. They really do work and you have to try at least one in your home. I know you’ll be hooked like we are!
Make sure you are following me on Instagram @theparentologist or https://www.instagram.com/theparentologist/?hl=en because tomorrow I am partnering with Dinosnores and we are giving away a prize pack of multiple CD’s based on your child’s age for one lucky winner!