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NO! To date, I have not had to use cry it out with any family I have worked with.
First, let’s break down what cry it out actually is. Cry It out is referred to as the sleep training method where a parent puts their little one in their crib, walks out of the room, and does not return until morning, effectively allowing their child to “cry it out” all night long.
This method is formally known as the extinction method and if followed properly, is an effective sleep training method. The problem with the extinction method is that most families would not be able to be consistent with this method as it is very difficult to listen to our little ones cry and to transition from several interventions and interactions in the night, to none at all. The sleep training methods I most consistently use are ones where the parents are either physically present with their child the entire time or popping in and checking in on their child at predetermined intervals. I give families a choice in which method they would like to try while indicating which method I believe they will be most successful with given their specific situation.
If a family is consistently following their sleep plan, heeding my advice, and committed to implementing the changes necessary for fostering independent sleep skills, I will continue to support you until we reach our goals. There are times when a medical evaluation may be necessary if the behavioral strategies we are implanting are not progressing as I would expect them to as there are several underlying medical conditions that could impact sleep. I will discuss with you what those may be and we will stay in contact while you reach out to medical professionals and dig a little deeper.
On the flip side, If a family is cherry picking elements of their sleep plan and not following my advice, I will not extend our time past the set 2 and 3 week programs.
My official hours are M-F 9-5pm and Saturday 8-9am. I commit to answering within 2 hour windows but most of my clients will tell you I am very responsive. If I am unavailable during a certain time, almost all of your questions can be answered by peeking back at your detailed sleep plan.
Yes and no. I find that there is freedom in a schedule. You will know when your child will be rested and at their happiest. You will know when to schedule appointments and playdates, and you will be better able to organize your time. I suggest my clients follow an 80/20 rule when it comes to the schedule. Ensure that your child is rested and on schedule 80% of the time and go off schedule to enjoy life 20% of the time. Children that do not carry a sleep debt will be more
flexible and better able to manage long travel days, skipping nap, and being out past bedtime.
Often times I find that families love having consistent and long naps and enjoy the “break” that provides them. They are happy to head back home and honor their child’s schedule.
When you schedule your evaluation call, I will recommend which plan I think you will be most successful with. If there are just a few loose ends to tie up so that sleep can be amazing, I will let you know that I believe you only need the basic sleep plan. More often than not, families come to me needing more frequent support. It is similar to hiring a personal training a few times a week vs. following a fitness guide on your own. Your success will likely be more significant with a trainer holding you accountable along the way. We can discuss the options on the phone!
A few points- 1. When your baby is at least 4 months old 2. When what you are currently doing is no longer benefiting your family. You are not thriving emotionally or physically and you KNOW things need to change. 3. When you are ready to commit 2-3 weeks to implementing the changes consistently.
With those points in mind, I would choose a time you are not traveling and when you don’t have several social engagements. I would also caution with starting with family members staying at your home. Everyone staying in the home should be supportive and on board with sleep training.
Finally, it is never “too late” to sleep train. I have worked with children 6 years of age and we
have been able to make wonderful and positive changes.
Yes! When I sleep trained my children, they were both still breastfeeding. We continued to exclusively breastfeed until 15 months. We will adapt your sleep plan to protect your milk supply as this is very important to me.
It depends. When implementing a sleep plan for a 4 and 5 month old baby, we keep at least one night feeding unless the baby naturally drops the feeding on their own. As children go past 6 months, often the night feed will interfere with sleep and that is when you may want to eliminate. I have had families successfully keep one night feed until 8 months. The good news is that if we do eliminate night feeds, your baby adapts and transfers those calories to the daytime, eating fuller feeds while awake, and allowing their digestive system to rest and repair at night.
I don’t think it is every too late to change sleep behavior. There are several adults who could benefit from their own consistent sleep schedule, sleep hygiene, and boundaries.
Toddlers with sleep issues have often had these issues since babies. That means the behaviors have been going on for a more significant amount of time and will need an additional week to correct. The beautiful part about the toddler/preschooler sleep program is that the techniques that I teach you spill over in a positive way to the daytime. Think fewer tantrums, happier children, and a regained sense of control by the parents that provides comfort and safety for the child. Our children do not want to lead, they want us to lead them.