Can You Sleep Train a Newborn?Nov 30, 2021
The sleep deprivation that comes with the newborn fog can be a dangerous thing for some parents. Desperately trying to make it through every day with very interrupted nights makes it easy to understand why many ask “can you sleep train a newborn?” The answer is both “yes” and “no.”
Let me explain.
If you search anywhere on the web or ask others, they will tell you that sleep training and independent sleep skills can only happen once a child is 4-6 months of age. This is both true and false, and it is solely dependent on how you define sleep training.
How Sleep Training is Defined:
Many traditional methods of sleep training, which include various methods of Ferber or “Cry-it-out” are not appropriate for children younger than 6 months of age. This more traditional method is what people typically associate with when thinking about “sleep training.” Now, if we were to define sleep training in various methods and habits deployed that help guide our children to fall asleep independently, without sleep props, the answer changes.
It is true that independent sleep skills can be developmental, but in some cases, it can also be just a natural understanding of patterns and routines and does not need to involve crying in many situations with newborns. There are various methods and habits that we can incorporate during the newborn stage which can lead to independent sleep skills, as well as gentler methods that allow for full parental presence as early as 3 months of age.
The Answer is YES!
Hope is not lost! If you are trying to figure out if there is something you can do in the newborn phase, or even earlier than 4-6 months, the answer is yes. Sleep is much more than nights. It includes days, routines, naps, feedings, and so much more. Incorporating all of these foundational pieces for sleep all work together to help improve sleep at night.
HOW to Sleep Train a Newborn:
If you’re looking for a bit more education on HOW to do this, our Newborn Course is exactly what you need. It walks you through all of the ingredients to good sleep and how to incorporate them.
These are all the things you CAN do with a newborn:
- I identify the right waketime for your child
- Develop an age-appropriate wake time and nap schedule to help develop longer naps
- Practice in-crib sleeping
- Implement methods to increase the core night
- Begin laying healthy foundations to wean and remove sleep associations and create POSITIVE sleep associations
- Create the right environment that helps a newborn thrive in sleep
These are all the topics I cover in my newborn sleep course, made to help you have the tools you need to navigate and maximize your newborn sleep.
If you have a child that is on the cusp of newborn and infant (3-4 months of age), I offer Group Coaching and 1:1 Consultations that provide you with the exact sleep plan and methods that are developmentally appropriate to help your child sleep better at night in just a few days.
"Learn more about how we work with families to help their babies sleep 10+ hours at night without Cry-it-out or Ferber. Join our free webinar!"
Rested Mama, Happy Baby Founder
I'm your certified pediatric sleep coach and new parent educator, Mica Deshaw. I help families on their journey to establish healthy sleep habits and get the whole family sleeping again, working with children ages 0-4 years old.
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