The Gear You Need For Sleep Training

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All right! You have decided to sleep train your child. Maybe it's because you are doing things differently with child #2. Perhaps it's because you need help to get through this part of your parenting journey. Maybe it is because you can tell your child is exhausted and you don't know how to help!

It doesn't matter why.

It matters that you know what you are going to do next. And if your family is ready to have a healthier relationship with sleep, then let’s get you prepared.

When your child is developmentally ready to start longer stretches of sleep and is medically capable of doing so, we want to welcome you to consider some of the supplies that can make supporting your child's sleep a little easier.

While you don't NEED any of the things we mention here, there are reasons why these supplies can help. We like to suggest:

A Personal Sleeping Space

While children can transition to napping and long stretches of sleep while room sharing, we recommend that your child has his or her own sleep space. There are all sorts of distractions that can interrupt sleep when sharing space with family members, and for your child and you, we recommend the calm and respite of an independent sleeping space.

Black Out Shades/ Curtains

There are many ways to distinguish "sleep time" from "awake time." One tool that helps to get babies into regular sleeping patters is the use of blackout shades on windows to allow for light and dark to help set your child's circadian rhythm - or the natural pattern of sleeping at night and being awake during the day.

Sound Machine/ White Noise Machine

This tool is two-fold. Having a noise machine is a way to help soothe your baby, as the shh-ing can mimic the noise heard while your child was still in-utero. The additional benefit of adding white noise to your sleep routine is that any auxiliary noises that could startle or wake your child from outside their sleep space are dulled inside the room.

Baby Monitor with Video

Having a video monitor is defiantly not required for your baby to sleep. However, it sure helps to distinguish the difference between the general grunts and squeaky noises your child makes while asleep, and the same sounds while awake. A large part of sleep training is teaching parents how to relax and let their child be awake while in their sleep space if they are not showing any signs of stress! Having a camera can help calm a nervous parent about what is happening on the other side of the door!

Sleep Sack

Using a sleep sack, or a wearable blanket, helps your little one feel more secure and cozy, which can help lower his or her cortisol levels, making going to sleep a bit easier. Once your child outgrows or out develop swaddles, moving into garments that allow for warmth, while also staying safe from suffocation, are essential. We recommend using sleeping sacks until your child outgrows them! They come in a variety of weights for cold or warm temperatures.

You, And Your Sleep Expert

The most important things necessary for sleep success is you and your sleep expert to be on board with clear expectations for your time together. Every family has come to the decision to accept help from an expert from a different starting point, with their own baggage connected to what is and isn’t supposed to happen. Working together with Bliss Sleep Co. means we hear you and your concerns, and we work with you to find what will be a good fit for you, for your child, and for the family.

Some have concerns about pacifiers. Some want to know about using lovies or security items. To have a night light or not to have a night light?! So many questions, and all of them can get sorted out as we work together.

Why Do Sleep Experts Exist?

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Before having a child, the fountain of hope springs eternal for all areas of potential stress, trouble, or mischief. Every parent knows there are hard parts, but every new parent still thinks their child will be different, or more relaxed, or (I hate to say) better than other kids.

The plans made in the period between finding out you are pregnant and parenting your child are often modified, or changed completely! One of the areas you can never quite wrap your head around when planning for parenthood is sleep.

Sure, the stories of sleep deprivation are prevalent. And yes, almost every style of night parenting is criticized by someone. That is part of the reason the western world is seeing a surge of professionals that help families with sleep.

Parents Sharing Options

There have always been people who've known about child development, styles, and methods for getting babies to sleep. However, we argue the rise of parenting with the internet has led to increased use of sleep experts, and it’s helping! Families share experiences that yes, they are struggling with sleep too, and look, you don't have to figure this out on your own!

Change of Family Dynamics

Culturally, we have been living independently of natural support systems for a relatively short time of our human history. Historically, as creatures who need other humans to ensure our success as a species, we have tended to have tribes and literal villages of support when babies are born. That meant that there were extra hands, generational wisdom, and help to get children accustomed to the life patterns of a family.

For most Americans, we do not have extended family living under the same roof or nearby. Moreover, especially in the Washington DC area, people are relocating to the beltway and beyond for work opportunities, leaving potential support behind.

The Myth of Having It All

It may be hard to hear from us, but we know many who are entering parenthood are raised with the idea that they can have it all. "Work and life balance," and all that jazz.

There is no balance, there is no having it all, and there is no way parents can ever live up to the expectations that media and the world place on them. Usually, about the time parents are coming out of the fog of the first weeks/months with their newborn, the visitors tend to stop coming. The meal trains have ended. Parental leave is about to be over.

The reality of leaving your baby-filled months and returning to work, for many, is the impetus to figuring out a plan to help their child learn how to sleep well. So we're here for you. We know it's hard. And we are ready to help.

Stretched Pediatricians

A standard recommendation is to speak with a pediatrician to get help with your child’s sleep. We agree…to a point. We know that ruling out any medical reason for why your child may be having sleep trouble is essential. However, many pediatricians are not able to give families the time, detail, or nuance necessary for a parent to feel heard and confident moving forward.

Sleep experts work with your pediatrician, not against them. We want the safest possible recommendations, and we want you to feel you have the freedom to ask all the questions you have as they arise, and not be limited to what can be covered in a 15-minute appointment.

Bliss Sleep Co.

We understand all these factors that enter into why more and more families are willing to hire a sleep expert. We also know that the idea of hiring someone to help a child sleep may seem ridiculous. We get it. We do. The story is that you should be able to do this on your own.

We know that what we are offering families isn't merely a child who is sleeping through the night, but an entire family that is well-rested — a whole family who can function better, and with more compassion. Ultimately, a family that can connect more fully during the day, because they aren't spending resentful hours dreading wake-ups, crying fits, and endless walks trying to sooth a wide-eyed babe.

Ultimately, sleep experts exist because many families need their help. We are delighted to be a trusted expert to help you when you need it most.

Everyone Sleep Trains Their Child

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Regardless of your feelings about sleep training, you are going to participate in training your child to sleep. You can't avoid it.

Whether you are an Attachment Parent who co-sleeps and feeds on-demand, or are a strict Scheduled Parent, or an RIE Parent, or an unintentional "flying by the seat of my pants" parent, you are going to train your child.

By train, of course we mean, your behaviors become the teaching tools, and your child will learn what to expect.

So, are you being intentional about what you are teaching, and what they could learn?

That is the premise of hiring a sleep professional: to make an intentional plan about how you and your family can support your child while helping them learn how to sleep at night.

Parenting your child at night is hard. Some even say harder than parenting during the day. At night, parents have to work extra hard to overcome their emotions of being tired and impatient. Why? Because, well, they are usually being woken up!

Sleep training without a clear goal or plan often is a stop-gap for parents who are overtired, frustrated, or feeling hopeless. Perhaps your baby starts in the crib at night but ends up in bed with you by morning. Maybe your baby can sleep comfortably while being held, but cannot settle once laid prone in her crib. Or perhaps your child wails to the point of a hoarse voice, and you feel guilt about how to help them learn not to hate going to sleep.

We know that most habits parents engage in for night parenting are done out of love and compassion.

We also know, that parents who take the intentional steps to transition their child and engage in safe sleep teaching can benefit from a well-rested child, and often, become well-rested themselves. It is never too late to be intentional with your parenting!

If you are afraid of sleep trainers, Bliss Sleep Co. isn't a company who uses harsh tactics and abandonment. We work with you to help you find a sustainable way forward and a clear plan ahead.

Baby Sleep Tips for Daylight Savings Time


It's time to FALL BACK and most people are excited about getting MORE sleep but, as a parent, you know that doesn't mean anything to your children. 12 hours is 12 hours and they don't care what the clock has to say about that.

Mommywise Founder, Natalie Nevares, has some great tips for keeping up on baby's good sleep habits with the time change. These sleep tips can also be helpful when traveling to other time zones with little ones.

If you are wondering how you can establish good sleep habits in the first place, contact us! Bliss Sleep Co. is happy to help your whole family start sleeping blissfully.