Vivian Sonnenberg has been speaking at Sprout in San Francisco for the past four years. I am constantly running into women at the store who feel they owe her their sanity because she taught their babies to sleep. I feel the same. Three years ago, she helped my daughter Hannah sleep twelve straight hours at 3 months old. I really felt that my life got better that week. I didn’t realize though how much good she does for the babies themselves until she helped us with my second daughter last year. Amber was always overtired and cranky and wanted to be held all day and all night. She was an unhappy baby. After Vivian helped her go from awake all night to sleeping 12 straight hours within a week, we saw a side of Amber we had never seen. She was smiling and calm all the time. She became one of the happiest babies I have seen. It was then clear to me that by teaching my children to sleep, I was helping them even more than I was helping myself.
Vivian spoke again at Sprout recently and allowed us to take notes to share with you. Here are just a few key tips that stood out to us:
Sleep Training Tips from Vivian Sonnenberg
- Schedule and consistency are very important. You need to dedicate 5 (consecutive) days to sleep training the right way. If you have someone helping with the baby during the week, start over the weekend then train them how to help too.
- Do not let the baby fall asleep on you.
- There is no “No Cry Solution.” That does not mean you should turn off the baby monitor, sleep and let your baby cry all night, but sometimes there will be tears.
- The younger they are the easier the training will be. Start sleep training around 3 months old (depending on weight and health of the baby).
- If you rush in and feed the baby every time you hear them make a peep, then they will expect you to continue to do this for them.
- If you have a good nighttime sleeper then a nap in the car or stroller is okay. If the baby is not sleeping well at night then they should be taking naps at home in their crib.
- For the city parents who have one bedroom… your best bet for sleep training is moving yourself or the baby to the living room. It is MUCH harder to sleep train a baby if you are in the same room.
For more insight from Vivian, please see her website: http://www.viviansonnenberg.com.