How To Re Sleep Train A 2 Year Old?
If your 2 year old has recently been through a sleep regression or you feel like they never really learned how to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own, you may be considering re-sleep training.
There are a few different methods you can use to re-sleep train your toddler, and the one you choose will likely depend on how cooperative your child is, how long it's been since they last slept through the night, and how much patience you have!
The 'Cry It Out' Method
If you're feeling frustrated and desperate for a good night's sleep, the 'cry it out' method may be appealing. Also called 'extinction', this method involves letting your child cry until they eventually fall asleep on their own.
It's important to note that this method should not be used if your child is under six months old, as their brains are not developed enough to understand that you will eventually come back. Additionally, if your child is over six months and has never been left to cry before, this method may be too much for them.
That said, if you feel like you and your child are both ready to give cry it out a try, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success:
- Make sure everyone in the house is on board with the plan. This means no picking up crying toddlers!
- Start with short periods of crying, gradually increasing the amount of time you leave your child.
- Be consistent - once you start, don't give in!
The 'Graduated Extinction' Method
If the thought of letting your child cry it out fills you with dread, consider the 'graduated extinction' method instead. Also called 'fading', this approach is similar to cry it out in that it involves leaving your child to learn how to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.
The difference is that you start by sitting with your child until they fall asleep, then gradually reduce the amount of time you spend with them each night. So, the first night you might sit with your child until they fall asleep, then the second night you might sit with them for 5 minutes before leaving the room, and so on.
The 'Sleep Lady' Shuffle
For a less traditional approach, consider the 'Sleep Lady Shuffle'. This method was created by sleep consultant Kim West and involves gently moving your child from their bed to yours whenever they wake up in the night.
The goal is not to get your child back to sleep in your bed (although that may happen!), but rather to teach them how to self-soothe and fall back asleep in their own bed.