“Is There A Way To Teach My Newborn How To Be A Great Sleeper So I Don’t Have To Sleep Train Later On?”
This was a question I received from Fatimah, my first client in Saudi Arabia.
She hadn’t sleep trained her older son until he was a year old. At that point, he was waking up seven times a night to nurse. And sleep training him was excruciating.
Now eight-week-old Farris seemed to be following in brother’s footsteps. Fatimah really didn’t want to endure the same nightmare again.
Also, Farris was heavy, and rocking him and nursing him to sleep multiple times a night was really hurting Fatimah’s back. She has almost no time with her older son because Farris seemed to need her all the time, and she was feeling a lot of guilt about that. And of course, she was exhausted from nursing and not-sleeping all night long.
But she didn’t want to do anything that would harm him, of course. So she scheduled a free call with me, and we decided to move forward in a gradual, gentle progression. Neither of us wanted him to cry for long periods of time. Older babies can handle this but newborns aren’t ready for that.
Newborns have immature nervous systems and often need a lot of help falling asleep…. But that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to take over the job.
Here’s some of the strategies we used. None of them involved crying:
Some of the changes she noticed in Farris, “He actually now prefers to fall asleep on his back in his bassinet instead of in my arms. He often wakes up happy now, whereas before, he was really fussy. Sometimes I don’t even realize he has woken up because he wakes up happily, without crying!”
And about herself, “I have so much more energy now that I am sleeping more. I would never have been able to do this on my own. It was scary at first, because I never sleep trained my older son at this age. I am so glad that I could message you with questions, or even just to rant! That really helped.
Farris sleeping independently will make it so much easier for him when I go back to work. I am so excited that his sleep habits will continue to grow and I will never have to sleep train Farris like I did with my older son!
It's also great having some time to relax and connect with my husband in the evenings.
I am so happy I did this!"
If you would like to help gently guide your newborn to better sleep, it is absolutely possible! Better sleep is in your future. Schedule a free chat and let’s get your family the sleep you deserve.
Abby Wolfson is a pediatric nurse practitioner, certified child sleep consultant and former NICU nurse. She divides her time between Brooklyn, NY and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.