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  • Annika Brindley

Should I Sleep Train My Baby Before the Holidays?


You and your baby are beyond sleep deprived, and you are ready to sleep train your baby; but, the holidays are just around the corner. Should you get started now or wait until after the holidays? Ask yourself a few essential questions before you decide.


Question #1: "Do you have enough time?"


November has fewer than four weeks to work within, and December has four weeks. That feels like a fair amount of time. However, consider the days that you may be traveling. You may be leaving a few days before the holiday to visit family or take a vacation. How much time you actually have to work with depends on your travel plans. I recommend having at least two and a half weeks at home.


Question #2: "Do you have plans to travel before Thanksgiving and before Christmas?"


If you have plans to travel but have already started sleep training in the first few days of November, you should be good to go by Turkey Day! If you have not started yet and are just thinking about starting, you don't have enough time to begin your sleep training plan of action. It is best to wait. Get by and do the best you can, knowing that you can start as soon as you return from your Thanksgiving holiday travel.


I always recommend clients book their initial consultation with me before Thanksgiving to have enough time to get everything they need, get clear about the plan of action, and start as soon as they get back. Booking and completing your session before you travel will allow you to begin as soon as you get home and make the sleep chaos while visiting your in-laws tolerable.


Why? Because knowledge is power. Knowing you have a plan will allow you to let go and feel a bit less anxious. You know that you are going to solve your baby's sleep problems soon enough. More than half the anxiety parents feel is in continuing the habits that keep

them stuck, like rocking or nursing, to no end. You know that what you are currently doing is not a long-term solution, and that is stressful! No worries. An excellent and thoughtfully crafted Little Sleepers plan of action will take care of your baby and your family and give you confidence that things will change. That is very exciting!


Question #3: "Are you staying home for the holidays?"


If you are not traveling, you have more freedom to start sleep training. It would help if you could start a few days before Turkey Day. It is hard to start day one of sleep training on the actual holiday night. If you start in November and are not traveling, you will be in good shape for winter break.


Question #4: "Are you having house guests over the holiday?"


Some parents are not traveling but may have their parents and in-laws coming to stay with them. I do not advise sleep training when you have house guests; that can be very stressful. You need to take care of your baby and yourself and not your mother-in-law. Set your baby and yourself up for success. It should be a private experience if you think you may feel judged. Who needs that? Start sleep training and continue through the holiday only if you have guests that are the most helpful, fantastic family members on the planet! My cut-off is two family members tops, but it matters who they are. You have to have your baby's best interest at heart first, as house guests can create different energy in your home.


Question #5: "Are you home and not working?"


If you are home for the holidays, not traveling, and not taking on hosting Aunt Sylvia and Grandpa Joe, yes, get started! It is an excellent time to start if you have some vacation days to use. This way, you can be fully involved, and there can be total consistency for your baby, which is the key. I work every holiday! It is a great time to sleep train if you have some downtime and plan ahead!