There are many misconceptions about sleep training, especially the idea of “formal” sleep training. Today we will bust through those misconceptions!
Formal sleep training occurs once your baby is over 4 months, adjusted age. Once your baby is over the age of 4 months, they go through a cognitive burst that many people refer to as the 4 month sleep regression. Essentially, they have developed enough cognitively to go through sleep training and are entering an age where night feedings can soon be dropped (with the go-ahead from your pediatrician).
Sleep can now be scheduled by the clock and babies are able to maintain longer awake periods in between naps. They also experience melatonin releases at specific times of day. All of these factors are important because it means that everything you do or do not do is creating a habit. They are beginning to understand cues and are starting to soak up everything around them.
Everything mentioned above indicates that formal sleep training can now take place. That means that the sleep environment needs to be regulated, the sleep schedule needs to be regulated, and a sleep training method needs to be chosen. Each piece is important and influences the others, make sure when choosing a method that you follow the directions to the letter, every day, until it sticks. Typically, this could take up to two weeks. When all of those elements are in line and are being executed consistently and implemented correctly, formal sleep training is occurring.