The hardest part about having a new baby is the sleep deprivation caused by waking up multiple times a night. Lack of sleep causes numerous issues in both stay-at-home and working parents. It also causes problems in children. Sleep deprivation is proven to take a toll on a person’s physical and mental health. Sleep training your baby is one way to solve this problem.
Studies show that not getting enough sleep increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety in adults. Lack of sleep causes poor school performance, mood swings, and a shorter attention span in children. In short, getting enough sleep is very important for the entire family.
When your baby or toddler doesn’t sleep through the night, it affects the parents, but it can also affect the baby’s older siblings. So, how can you make sure that the entire family gets enough sleep? One answer is sleep training. However, sleep training can be extra challenging when other children are at home. Here are some tips on how to sleep train considering the older siblings.
Make a plan and stick to it
Sit down as a family and talk about how the next few days or weeks will be extra challenging as you help your baby learn how to sleep through the night. One way to make this a little easier is to start sleep training on a long weekend or a holiday break. This way, the other children can catch up on naps during the day, and you won’t have to worry about lack of sleep affecting them at school. This set up might be difficult for the first few days, but everyone will benefit when your baby is successfully sleep trained.
Move the other kids temporarily
One option is to ask a family member or trusted friend to take in your older children for a few nights. If this is not possible, another option is for one parent to move out with the children to an Airbnb nearby. You can turn it into a mini staycation and make it fun for the kids. One caregiver stays with the older kids and gets enough sleep while the other parent sleep trains the baby at home.
If moving the kids to another house or apartment is not possible, try to relocate them within your home. Maybe you can move rooms, beds, or mattresses around to make it easier for the kids to sleep at night. Doing this allows the other kids to get enough sleep at night while the baby goes through sleep training.
Hire a night nanny or a certified sleep consultant
If your budget permits, consider hiring a night nanny to take over baby duty at night so that the rest of the family can rest. Night nannies often have experience with sleep training, so they can help you get your baby to sleep through the night.
Sleep consultants have special training that teaches babies how to sleep independently and encourages them to stay asleep at night. Some sleep coaches also offer overnight visits and nighttime phone calls to give parents the support to sleep train successfully. A certified sleep consultant can also help your baby sleep through the night, providing the rest of the family with much-needed rest and sleep.
Sleep training your baby gives everyone in the family the nighttime sleep critical in staying healthy, physically and mentally. While it is harder to sleep train your baby with other kids at home, it’s not impossible. Once the baby knows how to sleep through the night, all the sacrifices leading up to that point will be well worth it.