About Sleep Training

What method of sleep training do you teach?

At Tiny Transitions, our approach to sleep consulting is not by teaching only a specific formal approach, but through a complete understanding of your child’s sleep struggles, your parenting style, and their overall situation before we determine the best-balanced approach to sleep training, coaching, and adjustments that we will be making and that we feel will be the most gentle but effective approach. The sleep coaching “method: is only about half of the puzzle to sleep training, it’s also about the balance of naps, managing awake windows, and how you implement the changes to minimize tears, something we do differently here to support the smallest protest and tears during the changes we make in support of teaching your child the skill of independent sleep.

What are the methods to sleep training?

There are 5 main methods to sleep training/sleep coaching a child. While these are the foundations that all sleep consultants are going to use, regardless of the “adjective” they use to describe their ‘approach. Here at Tiny Transitions, we balance and have experience in all of them, to create a holistic approach to sleep coaching that doesn’t subscribe to just one “approach” you most are Certified with, but rather is the best for their age, temperament, and your unique goals on the journey to giving your child the gift of sleep.

  • Pick-Up / Put-Down Method – This approach is best suited for children under 4-6 months of age, depending on their developmental milestones. It is a foundational way to teach a newborn to sleep through the night, {while eating as needed & appropriate} but also building and strengthening the skill of independent sleep in their first weeks of life. This is the gentlest form of sleep training {though involves minimal if any tears}. It is not suitable for babies certainly older than 4- 6 months, as it can become too stimulating and cause more tears as they grow.
  • Staying-in-the-Room / Sleep Lady Shuffle® / Camping Out – This is a sleep training approach that is used in which a parent wants to be in the room and your child prefers that you are in the room with them until they are sleep. {Think toddlers} – This is a gradual wean of a parent out of the room, however, in this approach, they are able to offer support, engagement, and comfort to a child with balance, slowly weaning and lessening their support as you progress through sleep training. The age of the child and the props to fall asleep lesson over time and the way this approach is implemented is dependent on the age. {A 4-month-old vs. an 8-month-old and how we use this foundational sleep training method vs. an 18-month-old are going to be vastly different.}
  • Inter-based check-ins / FERBER® / Leave-&-Check Method – In this sleep method, parents put their child to bed awake and then wait outside the door for the set, intervals. After each timer goes off, the parents can enter the room and soothe the baby but they have to leave the room after one or two minutes. The parents then set another timer for the increased interval and wait to enter again. The intervals used are going to depend on the child, their temperament, age, and overall sleep issue we are working with as they learn.
  • Extinction Sleep Training / Cry-it-Out {CIO} – This method is generally the fastest sleep training method, however, not something that we use here at Tiny Transitions unless a parent specifically requests it. With a Cry It Out method, parents leave their child in his bed sleepy but awake, walk out of the room, and return in the morning. That will generally lead to howls of protest but eventually, the child will tucker out and fall asleep. Of course, video monitoring is encouraged (especially if your child is an “emotional crier”), but overall, parents stay hands-off until the child gets the hang of self-soothing. While many Pediatricians recommend this approach as a result of not knowing what else to do, it’s generally not necessary to take this approach to sleep coaching with children and not something we favor here at Tiny Transitions, because there are gentler and effective approaches to sleep training.

Do You Teach the Cry-It-Out Method?

Unless specifically requested by a parent {which believe it or not it sometimes is} we don’t need to or prefer to use this approach to sleep coaching, as there are other more gentle and effective approaches to teaching a child the skill of sleep.

How long should I expect crying during the first night of sleep training to see results?

The changes are typically met with protest because the child doesn’t actually realize they have the ability to settle themselves. Sleep is a skillset, that children learn, based on how they are ‘taught’ to go to sleep. So for 7 months, if they only fed to sleep, that’s all they know. They have to learn they have the skill, and once they do, each time they wake and re-settle happens faster and easier as the skill sharpens. The time in minutes varies, we have clients on night 1 that settle in 20 minutes and others that take 45. It’s not 100% tears though, it’s more of a spike in protest in response to changes, then a lull of eh-eh-ah-eh-ah-eh-ah type self-soothing in a valley, while they practice. Then another spike, for less time, and a longer lull {practice} in the valley. I typically see the spikes and valleys to sleep lessen by 50% every day, yielding a child settling independently at bedtime in under 10 minutes, sleeping through the night, and staying asleep until an appropriate time in the morning {with feeds overnight where they are age-appropriate for nutrition} in 3-5 days.How long should I expect crying during the first night of sleep training to see results

Will my breastfeeding be impacted by sleep training?

As a Lactation Counselor as well, I take the breastfeeding relationship very seriously because I know that it is important to so many mothers who have a goal to nurse for a specific period of time. Most new mothers question sleep training because they don’t want to impact your supply. I share with moms all the time that sleep training improves your supply!! Here’s why. First, the baby is rested, and when you are rested, you nurse better and more efficiently, cause supply to be better. When you wean off overnights is determined by the total intake of a baby, some babies sleep through the night, even when exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months, sometimes at 6 months, it’s still appropriate to feed overnight, based on supply, and a whole host of other situations. People look at sleep training and breastfeeding as “one or the other” and you can have a child that sleeps well, naps independently, and can have a great supply and protest your breastfeeding relationship. Milk is supply and demand, so when you shift off overnight feedings, the milk simply moves to the daytime, as does your supply, in about 3-5 days. While other sleep consultants out there will cut overnight feeds {in my experience too soon} – here, we look at your goals, babies’ needs, and overall sleep challenges and build a sleep program that works for you.

What is the right age to sleep train a child?

Sleep is a skill that can be taught to a child at any age. It’s about helping them to recognize they have a tool that they don’t necessarily realize they have. With newborns, it’s about building that sleep skill from birth, without needing to formally sleep training, something we do all the time with newborns here. For infants, it’s about replacing props like rocking, feeding or bounding to sleep, all they know, with the skill of independent sleep, they sometimes need to be shown they actually can do. {If you only ever learned to walk upon your tippy-toes, for example, it takes some time to realize that oh, walking with your feet flat is actually much easier, and through practice that becomes the norm. It’s the same with sleep training an infant {4-17 months} as they don’t realize they actually have the ability because they were never taught. When working with a toddler or school-aged child who has sleep issues, it’s more about behavior modification, timing, and positive empowerment. Toddlers can typically sleep, they just ‘prefer’ how they do it today, i/e you laying with them, co-sleeping, hair twirling, and head rubs until they are asleep, with them requesting that you do it for them every single time they go to sleep or wake. Do, the long and short of it is that you can sleep train at any age. All children can learn the skill of sleep that is best for their cognitive, emotional, and physical development.

Do I have to get rid of the pacifier when I sleep train?

The quick answer, no necessarily. Pacifiers are great for newborns and infants, supporting a child’s natural tendency for soothing and calm. Some babies use a pacifier, others never take to one, both are ok. While some sleep consultants have a zero-tolerance for pacifiers, we have so much experience with them, we don’t require you to drop the pacifier unless it’s a true prop that requires YOU to put it back in 46 times a night. Many children settle with it, then it falls out and they don’t wake, or like and use it as needed, putting it in themselves. The good news with the pacifier is that if it does need to go, it really is something they don’t even remember they used in a day or two, because we have sharpened their skill of settling and sleep so much, making it actually EASIER for them to go to sleep, stay asleep and take long naps!

How is your sleep training program different from other sleep consultants near me?

Results & customer service. Hands Down. We get you the results you desire, with a unique approach based on your goals and parenting approach, and have supported thousands of families with gentle and effective sleep coaching. We offer the best, and most comprehensive support, 1-1 coaching, customer service, guidance, and options on the market. We don’t restrict emails, we don’t like phone calls or text messages. We work with you, support you, communicate with you, and get you the results you desire. Most parents don’t realize the limitations that other consultants put around ‘contacting’ them – and it’s a shame, as a tired parent, navigating sleep training, we are here to support you.

Do you recommend I work with a Sleep Consultant near me or can they be located anywhere?

That is a personal choice for you. We have a large team, covering many cities across the US and also have a Spanish Sleep Consultant, if you prefer a coach who speaks/works with you in Spanish. We have sleep coaches in the following cities and also will fly to you, if that’s a preference, it’s something we do often for more high-[profile clients and celebrities, who want a little more hands-on help.

  • Greater Philadelphia, Phoenixville, West Chester, Exton, PA & surrounding area
  • West Caldwell, NJ, Sparta, NJ, Hoboken, NJ, Long Island, NY, Northern New Jersey / New York Metro
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Tampa / Sarasota, FL
  • Nashville, TN
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Paducah, KY
  • Austin, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Scottsdale, AZ

And more, we are always growing!

My toddler/school-aged child is waking overnight and won’t stay in their bed for sleep, can you help with older children too?

Of course! We work with toddlers, school-aged children, and sometimes even adults on their quest for rest. Giving a child the gift of sleep is an amazing thing. We support children who are experiencing nightmare/night terrors, fear, anxiety, excess stimulation, divorce, and a lack of ability to meet overall sleep needs for their age, to build a balance in the demands of everyday life, their unique situation, and overall sleep needs. We want you to be confident in parenting and are here to support you.

We are going on vacation in a few weeks, can you sleep train a baby before a vacation, or is it best to wait until after?

That depends on the time you are going, how long you are staying, and the sleep arrangements. Sleep coaching results transform sleep in as little as a week, so if you have a few weeks until you go, get on it now and enjoy the vacation! If you are planning to co-sleep on vacation, I would wait, to avoid confusion.

How long until I see results with sleep training and sleep coaching for my child to sleep well?

Clients of Tiny Transitions see major shifts in their child’s sleep in 3-5 days, with the full transformation in about 2-3 weeks. This includes them settling independently and without tears at bedtime, sleeping through the night, waking after 6-7 am, and napping consistently for you in the daytime.

Can I still feed my baby overnight once we start the sleep training journey?

Absolutely! Children who nutritionally need that intake to meet the AAP recommended guidelines of 24-32oz in a 24 hour period should always eat, they are growing and thriving. Children who are eating “to sleep” – AKA a habit feeding will need to wean off that feeding, as it’s a habit, and together, we design a plan to thoughtfully and gently shift that milk from the overnight hours to the daytime hours during our time together.

Can I use a swaddle or the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit when we start sleep training?

Yes! We have so many great swaddles, swaddle transitions, and wearable blanket products that we recommend and use here at Tiny Transitions. These products play an important role in managing a child’s comfort, startle reflex, and balance their room temperature, depending on your geographical location. We also work with many children who don’t use one, and they can sleep great as well, it’s unique to each family and something we work through together.

How do we successfully sleep train if my baby goes to daycare or is starting daycare?

We work with kids in daycare all the time! Don’t worry about that, children adapt to their environment, and we guide you and the daycare on how to best support your child’s sleep transformation. We take balanced but effective sleep coaching approaches so they rock their sleep at home and when at daycare or in the care of another caregiver. We even will speak directly to your daycare if you need, to ensure they understand the sleep transformation, as they too prefer kids rest well when in their care!

I am worried, will I lose my emotional connection to my child when I sleep train?

This is a COMMON misconception. Giving your child the gift of sleep is the best gift you can give them and that will last a lifetime. As a parent, it’s not all or nothing. Cuddle nap? Go for it, just not EVERY nap. Stroller walk, wearing them for naps, skin-to-skin time, rocking to sleep. Check, check, check, check….. When it comes to sleep coaching, you are giving your child rest to be THEIR best, and for you to be YOUR best. Sleep is the foundation for which the house is built, and only positive comes from sleep. When a child is getting the right amount of sleep, they are cognitively, physically, and emotionally their best {so are you.} They eat better, play better, tantrum and cry less, and are more engaged in their day. You are rested and confident in your parenting too, so it’s a win-win!

Will you come into our home or is the sleep coaching done virtually?

We provide in-home and virtually coaching, live bedtime support, overnight support, and full done-for-you sleep coaching/consulting services. Our locations are across many major cities in the US and we also use Zoom, if that’s more your style or better works for you. We coach families every week, across the globe. If you would like to learn more about the coaching and your desires, set up a preliminary discovery call. We have done it all!