Can Your Baby’s Personality Affect Sleep Training?
Can your baby’s personality affect your sleep training process?
Sleep training is effectively behavioral training. Not everyone likes to admit that because it doesn’t sound sciencey or complex enough, but it’s the truth. Your goal is to teach your baby to fall asleep on his own and put himself back to sleep without your help.
All forms of behavioral training (sleep training, potty training, don’t-talk-with-food-in-your-mouth training) are affected by your baby’s personality.
Some babies are naturally more easygoing and content. These are the babies who can play happily on their playmat without outside stimulation for longer periods of time.
Some babies are fast learners. You show them something once or twice and they pick it up right away. Oh… that’s how to shake the rattle!
Some babies are very sensory and don’t like being touched a lot. Some babies are the opposite and always want to be held.
Think about your baby… how persistent is he? How intense is his personality? Is she sensitive? Easy-going?
All of these factors will have an impact on your baby’s ability to learn to sleep through the night.
The good news is that even the most persistent babies can learn to sleep if they are matched with persistency from Mom. It’s up to you.
Which warrants taking a look at your own personality before you begin to sleep train. How persistent are you? When you set a goal, do you stick it out to the end? Do you do better when you have someone holding you accountable along the journey? Do you cave easily to the fearful voices in your head when facing an uncomfortable situation? Sleep training is no easy task and you need to know how to prepare yourself before you begin.
Once you figure out your baby’s temperament and your own, you can choose the sleep training method that will work best for you and your family. In the words of my favorite parenting expert, Dr. Laura Markham, “read as much as you and then lose the guilt. Do what works for you and your baby.”
**A word of warning- some parents like to attempt gentler sleep training methods on babies who have more persistent personalities. This often backfires. Babies who are very strong-willed do much better with a firm sleep training method and learn within a short time. Gentle sleep training methods usually frustrate this personality type as it draws the process out and prolongs the frustration.