How to Make a Sleep Training Plan for Your Kids


adorable baby girl sleeping in cosleeper crib attached to parents bed

So you’re ready to start sleep training, huh? That’s awesome. You’ve probably already spent a good deal of time reading about the various methods of sleep training, too. So now you’re ready to take what you’ve learned and put it into a sleep training plan.

But wait… what? How do we do that, exactly?

Let’s help you write your own plan for sleep training. That way, you’re ready for whatever could happen – and you’ll know what to do about it.

Ready? Let’s do this!

What is the Sleep Training Plan?

First, let’s start talking about what a sleep training plan is.

A sleep training plan is how you will implement the sleep training method (of your choice) so that it’s a customized sleep plan for you and your children. It can be as fancy, plain, or detailed as you want it to be.

That’s it in a nutshell, really.

But if you’re as exhausted as I was while sleep training, it’s better to err on the side of over-planning and writing everything down.

Because when you’re that tired, you aren’t going to remember the plan in all of its glory. And without it being written down? Well, it won’t happen as you’d planned it – and then you just get frustrated.

So let’s make sure you’ve got this.

Resources to Make Your Own Plan

First off, you’ll need to know about the various sleep training methods.

  • Cry it out just means you acknowledge that your baby is going to have to cry (even a little bit) along the path to sleeping better.
  • The no-tear method involves consistently using bedtime as a way to bond with your child – and it involves a lot of soothing. (Hint: this one didn’t work for us)
  • Update to add: I just found this awesome no-cry sleep training resource thanks to Carly of Mommy on Purpose – be sure to check it out if you want to go tear-free!
  • Fading programs are a gentler version of cry-it-out. In fact, it’s more of a blend of cry-it-out and no-tear sleep training. This is what worked best for us!

Once you know which kind of program works for you, it’s time to personalize it. Make it fit your life, your style, and your family. Otherwise, it’s not going to work so hot!

Sample Plans for Sleep Training

Need a sample plan? Let’s do this. Let’s start by looking back at all you’ve already read and researched. Write those down on a list.

Methods researched:

  • Healthy sleep habits, happy baby
  • Ferber method
  • Sleep Sense
  • Baby Whisperer

Then, consider which of the methods was your favorite – and those that didn’t resonate with you.

  • Favorite method: Sleep Sense
  • Didn’t resonate: cry it out without comforting

There’s no wrong answer – it’s what’s best for you, your family, and your child.

Now consider your child’s developmental age and any health history that could affect sleep training, like reflux. Because really, sleep training at 3 months of age will look far different than sleep training a 14 month old.

Next, write down your full plan. Some things to write down include:

  • What’s the desired wake up time? How will you help keep your child in bed and/or asleep until that time?
  • What time are you feeding your child at? Do those times work?
  • How long are naps – and when do they start? Do they need to be at different times?
  • What does bedtime look like?
  • How long will you allow your baby to self-soothe or cry before you go in and check on them?
  • Will your partner be involved in this process? If so, how?

Got all that? Great! PHEW. That’s a lot to consider, isn’t it? But that’s the start of your plan.

From here, you’ll need to test, adjust, and tweak it until everyone’s sleeping better, happier, and well rested.

But that’s where you’re in luck.

Because I’ve got a sample sleep plan all written out that you can use as a template – and a 30-day email-based sleep training challenge to walk you through all of the tweaking and adjusting.

Want it? Grab it here now – for free.

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Kimberly C. Starr

I'm a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all. I believe humor is the best medicine, followed very closely by chocolate and tacos. To read more about me, click here.

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