Paging Dr. Whitney Roban, Ph.D: Sleep Training
Almost every day I receive questions from moms who are dealing with sleep issues with their children. This is a topic that I take very seriously because if a child is having sleep issues it is likely affecting the entire household. So for parents that are frustrated and exhausted I have a great blog for you today by MomPrep Expert Dr. Whitney Roban with an introduction to sleep training.
Pediatric Sleep Specialist Dr. Whitney Roban lives and works by one philosophy: parenting is one of the hardest jobs, made impossible when a family doesn’t sleep. Her mission is to give the gift of sleep to families through her information dissemination and emotional support based sleep training system. With this mission in mind she founded KIDZ. With an M.A. in Psychology from New York University and Ph.D. in Clinical and School psychology from Hofstra University, Whitney began her career creating psycho-educational books and games for use in child psychotherapy for child work/child play. She then took her expertise to the Girl Scout Research Institute as an applied social researcher, where she authored national research studies in the youth market.
Dr. Roban is now devoting her time away from her two very well rested sons to help other parents and caregivers struggling with childhood sleep problems. Throughout her years working as a child sleep consultant, Whitney has helped hundreds of children sleep soundly every night.
GUEST BLOG – DR. WHITNEY ROBAN ON SLEEP TRAINING
Sleep training will probably be the first of many difficult parenting challenges you will face. However, once you have a well-rested family, all the future parenting challenges will be easier to deal with.
We are all human beings with three basic biological needs: to breathe, eat and sleep. Many parents tell me that they “want” their child to sleep and they express guilt over this “want”. However, both children and adults actually “need” to sleep. I believe that parenting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, made impossible to do effectively when sleep deprived.
Sleep training is one of the most highly debated parenting topics in books, online, in the media, and in parenting groups around the world. However, I strongly doubt that you will ever show me a study on the positive effects of sleep deprivation. In fact, there is so much research out there that shows the negative effects of sleep deprivation on children, such as increased levels of childhood depression, anxiety, obesity, poor academic performance, and behavioral problems. Sleep deprivation is also related to adult reports of depression, anxiety, obesity, forgetfulness, and slower reaction times when driving.
The good news is that all healthy children can be taught good sleep habits and can become great sleepers. If, and when, you are ready to embark on a sleep training journey, know that the positive effects will last a lifetime. It is a difficult journey, but the end result is priceless – a well-rested family!
Introduction to Sleep Training Tips for Parents
- Do not begin any official sleep training until your baby is 4 months, 14 pounds, and healthy.
- Before you embark on sleep training, make sure you have at least 2 weeks in which you can be 100% consistent with your child’s sleep routine and sleep schedule. This means no traveling, no visitors during sleep times, nor any social plans which will interfere with your commitment to your sleep training program.
- Choose one sleep training methodology and stick with it. Sleep training will not work if you switch between different sleep training methodologies.
- Every caregiver who has a responsibility to your child in relation to his/her sleep must agree to implement the exact same sleep training program. There must be consistency between caregivers in order to have success.
- Develop a written sleep training plan for your family so that every caregiver is on the same page as to how to deal with all sleep situations that will arise during the sleep training. A written plan will confirm that all caregivers agree on the plan of action and will lower anxiety in the sleep training process.
- You must be 100% consistent with your sleep training program in order to have success. All sleep training methodologies will eventually work, as long as you are 100% consistent. Less than 100% consistency is the main reason why sleep training fails.
- The most important components of an effective sleep training program are 100% consistency, age appropriate sleep schedules, and brief and consistent nap and bed time routines. Even if you choose to never sleep train your child, these are the key components you will need to raise a good sleeper.