This is a list of questions I get often, as well as myths many parents hold to be true.
- Will my baby cry?
Short answer- yes.
Long answer- if your baby doesn’t ever cry, take them to the pediatrician. Babies cry to communicate (when they’re hungry, wet, bored, sick, etc). As parents, we are reluctant to have the baby cry as we train them, but can listen to them crying for 4 hours at night (every night) as we rock and feed them to sleep. I have found, that we are also unwilling to listen to the baby cry to find out why they are crying. We will often feed them so as to stop the crying- we feed them when they’re cold, wet, scared, etc.
- Is it really necessary?
Is any kind of training really necessary? Strength training, cardio or school training? We do them all to better ourselves. Sleep training is beneficial to your baby’s mental and physical health
- How do I get my husband/ mother/ mother in law on board with the training?
Allow them to handle the night time feeding for 1 or 2 nights. The most probable reason as to why they aren’t on board, is because they have no experience with, staying up on multiple nights in a row, with a baby who refuses to sleep. Allow them to be involved. Sleep in, don’t get up!
- Will the trainer throw out the routine I already have?
Absolutely not. As a sleep coach, I look to enhance parents’ work and routines, provide new knowledge and recommend new habits. All in support of getting baby to sleep through the night.
- Is any kind of medication used?
Not even in the slightest!
- Will my baby be dehydrated?
We intend to have your baby sleep for 6 to 7 hours uninterrupted. No human can get dehydrated in that time, unless they are literally asleep on the surface of the sun.
- Will I sacrifice my own sleep for a week, to sleep train my baby?
As opposed to sacrificing your own sleep for 6 to 12 months before baby learns to sleep by themselves? Unfortunately, we have clients with 4 year olds who come to us for support. The ‘self-learning’ might take much longer than you initially anticipate. The pros outweigh the cons.
- How long does it take to sleep train a baby?
In our experience, between 5 and 10 days. The younger the baby is, the faster they learn. We have had a few clients learn in 1 day, most learn in about 3. And a handful take the whole 10 days.
- How does it work?
Sleep training is about establishing trust, developing a feeding routine and creating and sticking to a bed time routine. With these 3 basic steps, and professional technology and support, any baby can be sleep trained.
- Will it work if my baby is sick?
We recommend you wait till your baby is feeling better to train him/her.
- Sleep training is un-African
The core of the technology I use was taught to me by my mother, who was taught by her own mother, who likely learned it from my great grand-mother. This mountain was not discovered by a Portuguese explorer. Only the English language terminology makes the process appear western.
- Sleep training only works for girls
This myth probably has a lot to do with the way we socialize boys and girls, and thus, form their personalities later on. However, scientific studies have shown that there are no significant differences in personalities between baby boys and girls. Sleep training is effective for both boys and girls.
- New born babies are too young to sleep through the night
New born babies have been known to sleep for up to 20 hours a day. They wake up often, but are asleep most of the time.
- Sleep training is harmful/traumatic to babies
Babies who have been sleep trained, have been found to be happier, healthier and better adjusted (as toddlers) than babies who have not been sleep trained.
- Sleep training doesn’t work for babies who are strong willed
I honestly, do not know of any babies who are more strong willed than my own. I am willing to bet that this myth comes from parents who are not particularly strong willed themselves, and allow their babies to control their household. I recommend you do not consider your child the boss of the house. It is only cute for the first or second year of their lives. After that, you will start using terms like ‘terrible two’ and ‘nightmare’ and ‘hard headed’ to describe your child.