Just as no two people are the same, no two babies are the same – even when they come from the same family. This is an important, and often challenging, concept for parents’ with young children to understand, especially when it comes to sleep training (or sleeping learning). However, once parents understand and embrace each child’s uniqueness, the sleep learning process can be much more successful.
Parents can use the knowledge that a baby’s personality will impact the sleep training process to their advantage. To start, a child’s personality will play large part in the ease and speed with which the sleep training process will go. An easy going baby will take well to any type of method and either regular or inconsistent implementation by the parent(s). On the same token, a stronger willed child will thrive on a consistent schedule with very little “cheating”, including in terms of helping the child fall to sleep. While rocking / feeding / assisting in getting your baby to sleep seems like an easy fix, for stronger-willed children, they will quickly begin to require it. Indeed, we’ve known many strong willed babies who have stayed awake an entire naptime in the hopes of ‘convincing’ mom or dad to come in. For easy-going parents, this requires a great deal of willpower (and the support of a sleep specialist!).
Our personalities are largely shaped by genetics and parents often have to look no further than themselves when determining the disposition of their child, and therefore the best way to raise that child. And, since knowledge is power, parents who understand their child’s temperament can be fully prepared to approach sleep training in a manner that is most effective for that child, meaning a good nights’ sleep for all involved!