A baby's guide to sleep training parents.

How to Sleep Train Your Parents

{After 20 years of parenting, I am convinced that this is the way it works. Sleep train babies? I’m pretty sure they sleep trained me. I’ll likely start getting sleep just about the time I start going by the name grandma.}

How to Sleep Train Your Parents

written by a very clever child.

A baby's guide to sleep training parents.

Why sleep train?

You may be wondering why you should go through the work of sleep training your parents to begin with. There are many reasons that babies choose to sleep train their parents.

Sleep training your parents can be very rewarding in in the years to come. Establish early on that you are in control of nighttime sleep and you will reap the benefits for years. Once your parents realize that they need to come get you every time you cry out in the night, they will be at your beck and call. Midnight snacks? Company when you’re lonely? It will all be yours.

in-hospital newborn photos

Start Early

It is never, ever too early to begin sleep training your parents. For best results begin on day one. If possible avoid that sleepy newborn stage altogether. You’ve probably heard the urban legend about newborn babies “sleeping all the time“. This is entirely optional. Some newborns choose to be wide awake from day one. Hour one. Strive for the best. Only go with the “sleepy newborn” routine if you are attempting to lure your Parents into a false sense of sleep-security. 

Establish a Routine

Parents are best trained with routine. In this case, a routine of never, ever having two days (or even two naps) be the same. Keep some spontaneity. Fall asleep in your crib one day and then insist on sleeping in your mother’s arms for the next 17 days. Then, just to keep things exciting, don’t fall asleep anywhere but your carseat. Once your Parents figure out this is your sweet spot, refuse to sleep anywhere but your crib…with your favorite blanket.

If you really feel like you need the rest take a nice long three hour nap one day (preferably on a day when you parent needs to leave the house) and then get right back into the sleeping in 7-10 minute increments the rest of the time. Make sure you vary the time of day you sleep as well as position.

in-hospital newborn photos

Ignore the Tears

Your Parents are going to cry. An adult who has not have more than two consecutive hours of sleep in three months will be on the verge of tears all the time. Funny joke? Tears. Burnt toast? Tears. Clean laundry? Tears. It is best to steel yourself against these tears and learn to filter them out.

Bellingham lifestyle family photography

Ask for Help.

Keeping Parents up night after night can be exhausting. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do you have an older sibling? Or a twin? If so, ask them to wake your Parents up every two hours for a night or two so you can get a break and sleep. This also helps with the No Two Sleeps the Same policy.

Another fun tip is to cry out in the night (preferably loudly and clearly.  Your cry should SCREAM a rat is nibbling on my toes and I’m about to DIE) then when you Parent runs in to get you, pretend to sleep. Snore softly and don’t stir. This is one of the most fun parts of sleep training!

Reap the Benefits

Once your parents are sleep-trained they will be so tired, so groggy, so desperate you will be able to ask anything you want of them. Now is the time you can relax and enjoy your infancy. Lonely and need some cuddles? Cry and your Parent will be right there. Want a little snack to top you off at 2 am? Cry. Hot? Cold? Lonely? Once again, CRY in the night.

This type of training will pay dividends in the future well into your toddler years. Upset that your sock has a lump? Your cracker broke? The sky is blue? If you have properly sleep trained your parents they will be so tired, grumpy and sleep deprived, the world will be your oyster.

Or favorite sippy cup.

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4 thoughts on “How to Sleep Train Your Parents”

  1. Jasper used to be the good sweet easy to sleep baby…but then he became a toddler. He wakes up because he can’t find his owl, or his car, his blanket is “wrong”, he needs a clean diaper, his nightlight is on the wrong character setting. My nights usually loook like this: kids asleep by 8. I do chores, meditate/pray, have tea, go to bed by 10…or midnight. At 4am the CAT wakes me up to be let out…or he will pee of the curtains in anger. At 4:30-5 Jasper will wake and want a sippy of milk. We used to be “no milk in bed”. We give him the milk. Since daylights savings he then wakes up by 6 and he and his sister come and “snuggle” me which is there word for “lets kick mommy in the spleen”. Jasper likes to rock my head back and forth saying “awake, awake”. It would be funny if it were on TV.

    How you’ve survived so many I just don’t know. You’re amazing. And very, very, very tired I imagine. Honestly, I think the sleep deprivation is the best reason to have children in your early 20’s. By 32 when I had my first—I liked sleep. I miss sleep. It’s llike sleep is the “one that got away”. Maybe we’ll have a romance agian someday. Ah, sleep.

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