13 Things That Can Go Wrong When Trying To Sleep Train

by Autumn Jones

Preparing to sleep train your little one can be an exciting time, because you can imagine a good night's sleep in your future. I mean, isn't that all you really need to feel happy these days? Yes, imagining your baby getting a solid eight hours is great motivation to start a sleep training program, but as you formulate your plan, it's wise to be aware of things that can go wrong when trying to sleep train. Prepping yourself with what could potentially interfere with your plan will only make your sleep training efforts more successful in the long run.

Before you dive into the world of sleep training, you'll need to do a little leg work. You'll know your baby is ready to begin when they show certain signs. According to Baby Center, when your baby drops night feeding and begins to have a regular sleep-wake cycle, they should be ready to start sleep training. Once you see readiness, you can choose a method and get started. But just like all things in life, every step doesn't always go according to plan.

As you enter the world of bedtime routines and self-soothing babies, be on the lookout for these 13 things that can go wrong when trying to sleep train, and keep in mind there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.


Your Baby Suffers From Sleep Apnea

A sleep disorder like sleep apnea, which includes inconsistent breathing and heavy snoring, could pose some obstacles for sleep training. If you think your baby could have a condition that affects her sleep, consult with your pediatrician before starting a sleep training plan, as Baby Center's website suggested.


You Miss The Window

One of the keys to successful sleep training is getting your baby in bed at the right time. According to Parent's magazine, missing the window of opportunity can sabotage sleep training attempts. To know when you baby is sleepy, look for signs of fussiness as well as yawning and eye rubbing.


You Struggle With Your Method

When planning to sleep train your child, you may decide on a method that sounds appealing to you, but it just isn't panning out. As the Baby Sleep Site pointed out, different sleep training methods work for different families. You may need to try more than one approach before finding the perfect fit.


You Blame Yourself

Sleep training can be a struggle for some babies, but it can take a toll on the parents too. When I was sleep training my sons, I would always ask, "What am I doing wrong?" when things were off track. This only made me feel worse. On those tough days and nights, don't blame yourself, start brainstorming ways to fix the problem.


You Don't Time It Right

Even though you are anxious to sleep through the night, starting too soon won't help. As Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital told the Wall Street Journal, babies two months and under are too young to start sleep training. At that age, they are simple not capable of sleep a full night.


Your Baby Goes To Bed Too Late

If your baby is falling asleep during your bedtime routine, you're going to want to start the process earlier. When getting babies into a sleep routine, you want to put them to bed awake, but drowsy, as Jodi Mindell, the associate director of the Sleep Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia told The Bump.


Your Baby Cries Over Their Soother

Both my children used transitional objects when sleep training, and let me tell you, if a pacifier went missing, crying replaced sleeping. If you're using pacifiers at night with your baby, make sure to have back stock nearby. Not being able to locate this soothing item would send my babies into a fit of tears and throw all the hard work of bedtime out the window.


Your Other Child's Schedule Gets Messed Up

If your baby is waking at odd times, it could be due to a sibling's sleep schedule. According to Parenting magazine, an older child's bedtime and wake time could effect the baby's sleep training. The chance for this increases if the children share a room. If separating them isn't possible, try using a noise machine to mask the stirring of a roomie.


Your Baby Misses Their Nap

Sleep training isn't just about bedtime, although that's where a majority of the focus tends to be. As Mayo Clinic pointed out, being consistent with naps helps to set a baby's sleep 24 hour sleep schedule. Whatever method you are using for bedtime sleep training should also be applied to nap time.


You Get Confused

With all the different options for sleep training methods, it's possible to get wrapped up in one that just doesn't work for you. In order for the plan to work, you need to be comfortable with and committed to the method you choose, according to Baby Center.


Your Baby Gets Too Much Soothing

One of the main goals of sleep training is to help your baby be independent with his sleep. But if the parent is doing too much soothing, the baby can't learn how to self-sooth, as Today Parents pointed out.


Your Baby Gets Too Warm

Even littles need the right temp to get some solid shut eye. If her room is too warm, it may be hard for your baby to sleep. To help your baby's sleep routine get off on the right foot, set the thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees for a perfect snooze, according to Parenting.


Your Baby Has A Sleep Regression

Just when everything is running smoothly, along comes an obstacle that feels like a major setback. Somewhere between the ages of three and four months, your baby is likely to experience his first sleep regression, according to What To Expect's website. These are periods of time when a baby that slept like an angel can start to resist bedtime or wake frequently throughout the night. Typically, this is only a minor obstacle that will fade in time.