In my professional life, I’ve come across a fair number of parents who started off intending to sleep train but defer it. The reason? The Wonderweeks app says Leap X is around the corner.
I have personally experienced enough growth spurts and developmental milestones in my 3 daughters’ sleep journeys to know that these definitely cause sleep disruptions. In fact, I blogged about this at length.
But the idea that all babies make cognitive strides at certain set timings/ages (as the Wonderweeks’ creator asserts) strikes me as being rather broad brush. After all, every baby is unique, and likely has their own development curve.
And I’m not alone in this view, as this New York Times article suggests.
The Wonderweeks’ strength comes from its neat documentation of average baby behaviour. Your baby may trend with these averages, in which case the Wonderweeks could be your almanac. But the danger comes in placing too much stock in the accuracy of the Wonderweeks, as experts themselves can’t agree on whether all infants follow the same schedule of regression and growth.
So, if the parent I described in the opening paragraph is you, then can I make a humble suggestion? Instead of letting the Wonderweeks app decide when you sleep train, can I suggest starting sleep training whenever you, the parent, are ready to make the commitment? Whether it’s a sunny week, a stormy week, all are perfect times to get the ball rolling. My job as the sleep consultant is to meet your child at wherever he/she is at.
In fact, starting early can have its benefits. I find that babies that have acquired the skills of independent sleep early on, get through leaps/developmental milestones (whatever you want to term it), with much fewer sleep disruptions, precisely because of their sleep skills.
As a final word, I’ll leave you a thought to mull on. Which is: there is no time in a baby’s life that can be considered the wrong time to get him/her sleeping well. So why not start today?