A very common question exhausted parents ask me is about sleep training and crying. The truth is that when we’re making changes to your little one’s sleep, they ARE going to cry because we are making changes to their routine that are DIFFERENT.
And they don’t like or want “different”!
In this episode, we’ll be covering:
– Why some crying during sleep training is unavoidable (but that’s okay)
– Why you don’t have to resort to cry-it-out if you don’t want to
– How long it usually takes a baby and a toddler to fall asleep on the first night
– How long it takes to see significant improvements with a proper sleep plan
– What I worry about MORE than your little one’s crying
Have a listen!
Podcast episodes discussing sleep training, mental health and healthy attachment:
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Hey there, you’re listening to the, My Sleeping Baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little ones sleeping so that you can sleep too and enjoy parenthood to its fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident’s sleep expert, mom of three, founder of the Sleep Bible online coaching program, and lover of all things sleep and motherhood. If you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one sleep woes or you simply want to learn more, this podcast is for you. For more information, check out mysleepingbaby.com and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.
Hi everyone. All right. So today’s episode is going to be addressing a very common question that I get. And the question is how much crying is going to be involved with sleep training? My baby. That’s a really great question. And before we get into it, I first want to read a testimonial from a past client named may arrive and her testimonial is Eva was amazing to work with. She was always so responsive, professional and kind tremendous patients when teaching us how to implement her initial strategies and answering all of my big and little questions and the successes followups, her methods were beautifully and quickly and has improved my entire family’s quality of life. I learned so much from her that I will be using for hopefully a very long time. Thank you, Eva. Thank you so much, Mira, for such a wonderful review.
All right. The question at hand, let’s talk about crying. This is such a common question because let’s be real. You are nervous about the crying and I don’t blame you. You know, nobody likes to hear their little one upset, but here’s the truth. The truth is that when we are making changes to your little one’s routines, they are going to cry simply because it’s going to be different and unfamiliar to them, right? Remember, humans are routine based beings and your baby, your toddler, your preschooler is no different. And so when they are used to being fed or rocked or held, or they’re used to you lying down next to them until they fall asleep and we change something up on them, they’re not going to be happy about it. They are going to push back on that because it is different, no other reason. And so I wanted to assure you that part of this process does not need you involved leaving your little one alone for extended long periods of time.
If that is outside of your comfort zone, cry it out is not the only option where you put your little one in their crimper bed and say good night and leave and not go in. That is not the only option. And I also want to assure you that waiting it out is not the only option, either waiting it out, meeting. You’re just waiting for that magical. Dave’s you arrive that your little one decides that they’re ready to go to sleep. I want you to know that there is a very large happy medium here where we can support your little one through this process and intervene to some degree while they are crying so that they aren’t going through this learning process alone. Generally speaking with infants, it typically takes around 45 minutes or so for them to fall asleep on that first night. Some might take a little bit longer and some might take a little bit shorter, but I want to assure you that when we’re talking about 45 minutes of crying, it does not need you involved leaving your little one alone and support an unsupported for that period of time.
Because again, we don’t have to be doing cry. It out of that is outside of your comfort zone. In fact, the vast majority of people who work with me and join my sleep Bible program have no interest in doing cry it out. And so there are many other approaches that can allow you to either be in the room with your little one the entire time, or checking on them frequently enough that they can get support throughout that process with a toddler and a preschooler. It obviously might take a little bit longer than that, given that they have mastered the art of the temper tantrum when they don’t get what they want. Right. And remember what they want in this specific scenario is for their current routine to continue what they need is for their routines to change. Because let’s remember that the reason why we’re making these changes is because your little one sleep routine isn’t working anymore and your baby, your toddler, your preschooler, doesn’t have the critical thinking skills to understand the difference between good change and bad change.
All they know is this is different than what I’m used to. And I don’t like it. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. I want things to be the same, but the good news is that humans are adaptable and there is no reason why your little one can’t give you huge changes and huge improvement within actually a very short period of time. You know, when people ask me, how long does the process usually take? We typically see massive improvements within a week, if not less than of beginning. And so this is not this long-term process that we need to be looking at here. This is something that when you begin, can really make earth-shattering changes to your life in a very short period of time.
So look, I’m really glad that I have the opportunity to answer this question for all of you, because the truth is that when I’m thinking about this process, your little ones crying is actually not something that I’m worried about. You know, what I’m worried about. I am worried about your mental health. I’m worried about your physical health and the effects that chronic sleep deprivation can have on you on your wellbeing, on your relationship with your partner on your ability to enjoy being a mom in this adorable stage. I worry about you getting into a car. Having barely slept the night before. I’ll be the first to admit that before I was sleep deprived, I had an almost perfect driving record. And suddenly when my Eliana was waking me every 90 minutes, all night long, I managed to smash both of my car mirrors off of my car within a 10 day period of time, where I kid you, not the first time I was backing my car out of my garage for the 10th time, I had bags in and out of that garage quite a bit, but I miscalculated how close I was to the edge of the garage.
And then I smashed my left mirror off and then had to take it to the car shop to get it fixed. 10 days later, I found myself back at the car shop at the car mechanic because when I was driving home with my two year old in the back seat, I had picked her up from nursery school and was driving home. I miscalculated how close I was. I was on my streets and I miscalculated how close I was to the male track. That was posts that was parked on the side of my street. And so I smashed my right side near off. Thankfully I left his car mirror in tax, but the point I’m trying to make is that I suppose I should be really grateful that in the depths of my sleep deprivation, all that happened when I was behind the wheel was I smashed my car mirrors off.
Because when you think about it, the reality is that we know that when we are behind the wheel of a car chronically sleep deprived, it is the equivalent of driving drunk. It is inherently inherently dangerous, and I was clearly not exempt from that. And so that is something that I worry about. I do not worry about this very short period of time that your little one is going to cry when you’re in the thick of making these big necessary changes to your little one’s sleep and your quality of life, your mental health needs, maternal mental health here. Friends is crucial. It is a game-changer, it’s a non-negotiable we know from all so much, evidence-based research out there that when mom is happy and well rested and thriving that the baby, the children benefit hugely from that. And of course, you know, the opposite can be true when we’re sleep deprived.
It means that we’re not functioning at our best. It means that our bodies are literally in survival mode, just trying to get through the day without collapsing. It means that our mental health struggles are going to be majorly, exacerbated, completely out of control. Sometimes when we’re sleep deprived, it means that even if we don’t have mental struggles on a day to day basis, now that we’re chronically sleep deprived, we’re going to feel like we are constantly struggling emotionally because sleep deprivation can cause all kinds of symptoms that look and feel exactly like depression and anxiety. It is not a joke. Sleep deprivation is not a joke. Maternal mental health is massive. You benefit from sleeping, your little one benefits from you sleeping. And everybody wins now to address a very common follow-up question. Is this process going to harm? My baby is my little one going to lose trust in me.
And the answer is an unequivocal. No, some of the studies that are quoted by people in the anti sleep training world showing or arguing that sleep training can cause long-term effects are literally quoting studies that involve kids living in orphanages, kids, living in foster care, kids who have unfortunately experienced what is coin’s long-term childhood stress. And the reality is that this very short period of time where we are sleep training, your little one in a supportive, loving home does not fall into the category of long-term childhood stress. But again, if you need more convincing of that, please listen to either one or both of these podcasts. I think that they both do such an amazing job addressing this question from their own different angles and their areas of expertise. So if you ask me the lifelong gift of sleep that you are giving your little one far outweighs the small amounts of difficulty and annoyance that the two of you might experience while your little one is going through the learning process, but it is a hundred percent worthwhile.
Now it goes without saying that you obviously have to be ready, right? Some of you might be listening and thinking, you know what my scenario is, okay. I’m okay with my current situation, I don’t really feel the need to make any changes. Yeah. I feed my baby to sleep, but it takes me five minutes and she only wakes up once a night and it’s really no problem. And I wanted to assure you that if it’s not a problem, then it’s not a problem. You don’t have to intervene and make changes. If you don’t want to. This is obviously geared towards people who want to make changes, who are not happy with their situation, who think that they are stuck because the thought of having their baby cry just feel so debilitating. And I want you to know that I see you. I hear you. It’s not easy listening to our little ones cry, but if you take everything that we just talked about into accounts, the pros absolutely outweigh the cons.
So to sum up your little one will likely cry because we’re making changes that they don’t like, but when everything is done consistently incorrectly, it should be on average about 45 minutes of crying for a baby. A little bit longer for a toddler. You can support your little one throughout the process. Remember that this is a short term situation that is going to hugely improve your quality of life and your mental health as well as your little one’s overall wellbeing as well. So don’t underestimate the importance of a proper night’s sleep. And remember that we are giving our little one, the lifelong gift of sleep that they’re going to take with them forever. So I hope that this was helpful, everyone, and that you have a wonderful day. Take care.
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share this episode with a friend who can benefit from it. I also love hearing from my listeners. So feel free to DM me on Instagram @mysleepingbaby, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org until next time have a wonderful restful nights.