Settling Methods: There is No One Size Fits All

A to Z Sleep Solutions’ Sensitive Sleep Consultant, Heather Kucenski, Chandler, Arizona

A few months ago I worked with a family with two-year-old twins- we will call them Sally and Samuel. They had been co-sleeping with their parents, and our goal was to have them sleeping in their own cribs, with each in their own room. When we began, we started with the same settling method for

both children. Sometimes, chances are we discover that each child is different. One may need more of this and less of that. In this particular family, we found exactly that.

Sally did really well and didn’t even need a settling method. When she woke, she was able to settle herself back to sleep without needing assistance of any sort. Her brother, Samuel, had a tougher time. When he co-slept, he was laying on or near Dad and was missing that physical connection. We began with Samuel getting him used to being in his crib in his own room and his parents staying in the room with him. We began to withdraw them from the room gradually and instead replaced them with a pillow and sheets to mimic someone being in there. Samuel also preferred a little pat on the head as reassurance.

This just goes to show that there is no “one size fits all” training scenario. We purposely ask detailed questions on our questionnaires to begin to see what a family’s parenting styles are like. We take into consideration what the child’s temperament is like. Some need a slower, more hands-on approach. Other children may find parents being in the room to be too distracting and stimulating. We work with families to find that common ground, to find what settling method is most comfortable for them but also steers the child to better sleep.

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