What is Sleep Training?

UAE Sleep Training

Sleep training is the process of helping child learn to get to sleep by himself and stay asleep through the night. Some children do this quickly and easily. However, many others have trouble settling down to sleep – or getting back to sleep when they’ve wakened – and they need help along the way.

Why Sleep Training?

Sleep training brings great results to the whole family. Everyone needs to sleep in order to function properly. When the child learns to sleep independently, the mother can get her lost and deserved sleep back.  Once the mother is well rested, she will be able to be a better parent and a wife at the same time.

Children, especially babies are not able to organize their own days and nights into predictable rhythms, but they have the biological need to do so. That is why parents must take the lead and create a structured routine for their babies and for themselves.

Sleep is essential for your child’s health and development. Restorative sleep is crucial for development and memory consolidation, not to mention the peace within the family when a child sleeps well. Uninterrupted sleep is so central for you and your children. Well rested children are healthier, happier, less fussy and irritable.

One of the main reasons children won’t sleep is because they have developed “sleep props” over the first part of their lives. Sleep props refer to the ways children have learned to fall asleep using assistance instead of developing their own skills. These may include feeding to sleep, being rocked to sleep, co-sleeping, etc. To be more precise, your child has learned to fall asleep using a certain method. When these methods no longer work, and your child is losing sleep, it may be time to figure out which sleep training method would work best for you.

There are several different approaches helping children to sleep and I’m happy to demonstrate them for you.

Myths & Explanations about Sleep Training!

Sujay Kansagra, MD, who is the director of the Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program at Duke University in Durham, NC. explains the following myths about sleep training:

Myth #1: If I let my child cry, they will hate me.

Fact: Multiple studies show that there are no negative consequences in parent-child bond due to sleep training. In fact, some studies actually show an improvement in security between parent and child following sleep training.

Myth #2: I love holding my child at night and singing to her. If I sleep train, I can’t do that anymore.

Fact: Sleep training does not mean giving up the activities you love to do with your child. You can continue to do any and all of these activities as part of the nighttime routine. Sleep training simply involves avoiding these activities just at the time of transition from wake to sleep.

Myth #3: Sleep training means I can’t share a room with my child.

Fact: It is completely fine to sleep in the same room as the child during sleep training. Being close to your child may be more convenient for breastfeeding and provide you with the reassurance that your child as well. If you want to keep your infant in the same room, the infant should have her own sleep location that is separate from the parents, such as a crib or bassinet. Sharing the same bed with an infant is not safe.

Myth #4: Sleep training is for the benefit of the parents, not the child.

Fact: Although adults do tend to sleep better once the child is sleep trained, it is not for the parent. It is for the child! When a child needs caregiver intervention to fall back asleep each night, this is frustrating. Imagine waking up multiple times each night and having to cry in order to get put back to sleep. This is not easy on the child. Learning how to self-soothe is an important skill for infants to avoid crying nightly.

Myth #5: There are long-term risks and benefits to sleep training.

Fact: Scientific studies have not found long-term risks or benefits to sleep training. There are multiple studies showing short-term improvements in both sleep quality for children and maternal mood.

Myth #6: After I sleep train, my child will sleep through the night.

Fact: No human being actually stays asleep the entire night. We have multiple arousals every hour in which we might fidget or turn over. This movement is actually protective for us. Infants are no different. Even after sleep training, children will wake up multiple times each night, and may roll over, move briefly, or make vocalizations. The key is that after sleep training, they will be able to put themselves back to sleep after these short awakenings.

Myth #7: I don’t need to sleep train because my child will grow out of it within a few months.

Fact: While it is true that most children will eventually stop needing the caregiver’s help to fall asleep, the timing varies greatly. It is not unusual for 5 and 6-year-olds to still wake up multiple times and want to be fed or rocked to get back to sleep. I know of teenagers that still insist on sleeping next to parents to fall asleep. Will the child outgrow it? Yes, eventually. But in the worst-case scenario, it might be when they leave for college.

https://pediatrics.duke.edu/news/sleep-training-your-child-myths-and-facts-every-parent-should-know

How Does Sleep Training Work?

As a UAE sleep trainer, I will be giving parents the tools they need to help them teach their baby or child to sleep at night and naps too. My approaches are very simple:

  • I will give you honest information about WHY sleep is so important for your child’s well-being and development. (This will give you all the motivation you need to make changes to your child’s sleep habits).
  • I will lay out an easy- to -follow, step-by step personalized plan that lets you make some choices about what the right approach for your child is.
  • I will show you how to measure success. (No, you shouldn’t expect your child to sleep 12 uninterrupted hours on the first night. Although it does happen! I will tell you what you should expect along the way).
  • I will not leave you. You will have my full support throughout the sleep training process. We will work as a team.

I respect individual parenting styles of each family and I’m not against a particular method or sleep situation. It is important that the parents feel comfortable with the plan I created for their child, and that they are confident that they can do it. I like to go as far as I can to respect and consider parents requests or suggestions – of course only as long as the child is doing fine and responding well.

A little note about the “crying” question: Since people always ask me about whether my solutions involve “crying it out,” I think it’s something that deserves to be addressed here.

Crying is your child’s way of protesting change, and you can expect that making changes to their sleep habits will result in some protest. That’s why I’m always sure to tell parents that my program will most likely involve at least some amount of protest on the child’s part.

Please understand that I will never ask you to leave your child to cry alone, nor will I ask you to ignore their cries. The reason that the Sleep Sense™ Method is so effective is that it lets you develop a plan that you feel comfortable with, based on what you know about your child.

Sleep Training in the UAE

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