Is my child too old for sleep training?

We often come accross parents of toddlers who wonder whether their children are already to old to be sleep-trained. The answer is ‘no’. You can always teach your children healthy sleep habits. Truth be told, the older the child, the more challenging the process is going to be; but it is certainly possible. Here are some things you need to take into consideration when sleep training an older toddler:

  • They need to sleep! If you have been following us, you know how important sleep is for children.
  • They learned from us. Be a role model in terms of healthy sleep habits. Children model our behavior, so make sure you are a good example in this area too.
  • They are smart. They’ll try everything under the sun to get your attention and get their way.

What method should you follow? We do not believe cry-it-out is the best method for sleep training babies; although we acknowledge that it might work with some babies*. When it comes to toddlers, it doesn’t work! You need to create a plan that involves your child, that is adapted to your child’s personality; otherwise, it won’t work. These are some things to keep in mind when building your plan:

  • You are trying to break a habit, that you help creating; be patient!
  • Consistency is key
  • Avoid fights and stay calm
  • There’s no negotiation
  • Make it fun and rewarding
  • Make sure the room is childproof
  • Don’t do cry it out, it won’t work with
  • They understand, get them on board!
  • Get them excited about sleep, make feel ‘adult-like’, praise them, reward them every morning for the first weeks

If you need additional help building your sleep training plan, contact us at contact@smoothparenting.com or call us at 646 450 6605

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