How Long Does Sleep Training Take?
“How long does it take to sleep train a toddler?” I get this question from parents all the time.
When you use my REST Method™ which is taught in my toddler sleep course, Sleep Tight Without a Fight, the process is mapped out to take 2 weeks.
Meaning, after 2 weeks, your child will be able to fall asleep by themselves without you in the room and sleep through the night until at least 6am with no wake ups.
For most families, they see massive improvement in a matter of days.
Some families have ALL their sleep problems fixed in a matter of days. While other families may take up to 2 weeks or even longer.
Here are the 2 factors that can impact how long sleep training will take with your child.
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It’s nearly impossible to give a definitive answer to the question “How Long Will It Take to Sleep Train My Toddler?” but there are 2 main factors that affect how long it will take - the strategy you choose to fix the sleep issues and your child’s personality.
Sleep Training Methods
First, the strategy that you choose is going to make the biggest impact on speed to the finish line. This is the strongest determining factor as to how long it will take.
There are many, many methods out there.
In Sleep Tight Without a Fight, I teach 2 strategies so you can choose based on your parenting style - 1 includes high parental involvement and 1 includes low parental involvement.
Strategies with high parental involvement tend to be more gradual and will take longer than strategies that include low parental involvement.
It’s likely that the reason your child struggles with sleep now is because you, as the parent, are very wrapped up in their process of falling asleep - either you are in the room with them while they fall asleep or you’re responding to a million requests after bedtime, maybe negotiating tantrums and involved in a big drama-fest right before bed.
In either case, you, the parent, are a key player in the sleep situation at your house.
So, as you can see, lots of parental involvement in the child’s process of falling asleep is typically one of the causes of the sleep struggle in the first place.
When you look at the more gradual sleep training strategies, they typically include high parental involvement in one form or another. Because of that, these gradual strategies will take longer than less parentally involved methods.
Sleep Tight Without a Fight includes night-by-night instructions for a more parentally involved strategy so that it can be completed in 14 days. Many families do this successfully while some report that they prefer to go slower and it can take up to 4 weeks to get sleep perfected.
Strategies that include less parental involvement will be faster. And I DO NOT mean simply saying goodnight, shutting the door and walking away for 12 hours! The reason why strategies that involve the parent less are faster is because it immediately starts with a big change from night one - removing so much involvement from the parent. So, from the beginning, you’ve made a big change which jump starts progress.
In Sleep Tight Without a Fight, the less parentally involved strategy is mapped out to take 14 days but most families complete the process within a week - some in even just a few days.
The less involved you as the parent are in helping your child fall asleep, the faster the process will be.
The second factor that will impact how long it takes to get your child sleeping like a rockstar is your child’s personality.
If your child is fairly easy-going and tends to be a rule follower, then they typically do well with new sleep rules. Because that’s all “sleep training” really is.
First, it’s changing expectations around sleep and how parents react to their child’s sleep-related behaviors. And then it’s teaching the kids the new sleep rules to keep everyone in the family healthy and well-rested.
If your child is used to following other rules in your house - like picking up their toys when asked, no hitting, no throwing food - they can learn to follow these new sleep rules.
On the flip side, if your child struggles to follow your house rules then sleep training may take a little longer. Especially if there is one parent who more easily gives in to the child and is less apt to follow through with consequences. This can make the process take longer. It’s best for the most diligent, committed parent to take the lead on sleep training. Because consistency is the most important element.
For most families, if they have a solid sleep plan, no matter which method they select, they see massive improvement in a matter of days.
This could look like reduced bedtime battles, less tantruming, fewer or easier overnight wake ups.
And then typically in 2 weeks or less, you can get your child happily falling asleep alone and sleeping through the night without you seeing or hearing from them for 10-12 hours.
If you’d like to learn more about my REST Method™ that has delivered these results for thousands of families, join my next Free Toddler Sleep Masterclass. You can find the link to save your spot, click here.
If you’re struggling to get your child to fall asleep without needing you to stay in the room, it's time for you to take my free Toddler Sleep Masterclass where I teach you the proven method to get your child comfortable falling asleep alone - so they can sleep through the night. You can fix your family’s sleep problems for good!
And even if you are still not 100% sure what is disrupting your child’s sleep, this free class can only help you get more clarity. >>Click Here<<