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Sleep Training for Nannies: A Step-by-Step Approach

This blog post provides nannies with a step-by-step approach to sleep training. A nanny who has sleep training can be a solution for many families seeking relief. From assessing sleep needs to implementing a personalized sleep training plan, gain a better understanding of what it takes to guide babies and toddlers toward better sleep.

Understanding Sleep Needs

Have you ever heard of the Owl and the Lark theory? The idea is that as humans, each of us is either born a “morning person” or a “night owl” and no matter what we do throughout life that cannot be changed. But what if it can? And what if it starts as early as infancy?  Before we go too deep into sleep training, it’s important to understand the sleep needs of babies and toddlers. Each child is unique, and recognizing their early cues and sleep patterns is the first step toward successful sleep training.
We are all the result of a “little bit” of nature and a “little bit” of nurture. In other words, part of our patterns for sleep is just who we are as individuals, but there is so much that can be improved upon with knowledge-based training.
“How a baby sleeps depends on many different factors, including age, personality, temperament, and parental beliefs about sleep training,” says Violet Giannone, a registered nurse and the founder and CEO of the Pediatric Insitute of Sleep Training and Parenting.
“Knowing how to piece all of this together is crucial in helping a baby learn to sleep well. I always say that sleep training is like a big puzzle, and with just one piece missing, it will not work. Putting all of the appropriate puzzle pieces together is what a trained sleep consultant does to help a baby start sleeping through the night safely and effectively so the entire family can get some rest and can be happy and healthy.”

Creating a Sleep-Positive Environment

No one is too young or too old for a bedtime routine! In this age of constant overstimulation, it is more important than ever to be intentional about getting a good night’s sleep, no matter your age.
Setting the stage for good sleep is crucial and it’s honestly never too late to start. But the earlier in life your body learns how to get quality and consistent sleep, the more rested and refreshed the body will feel when facing each day. And how the benefits of that add up over time are just too long to list here.
For parents and nannies alike, the focus should be on creating a calming and consistent sleep environment that promotes relaxation and signals to the child that it’s time to rest.
When asked what this consists of Nurse Giannone offers that “a dark room, white noise machine, consistent bedtime routine, proper fitting, and age-appropriate sleep outfit” are a great place to start.


Developing a Sleep Schedule

Consistency is key in sleep training. Learning to establish a daily sleep schedule that aligns with the child’s natural sleep rhythms will help to regulate their internal clock and improve overall sleep quality.
We asked Nurse Giannone if it was important to set a sleep schedule. Her response was an enthusiastic “Absolutely. And the schedule should be based on age. Babies can only stay awake for certain periods of time at different ages. Following these age-appropriate awake times is essential in creating a good sleep schedule. A set schedule typically does not work because it is not age-appropriate.
“This is the biggest mistake I see caregivers make- putting the baby down at set times. For example, putting a 6-month-old down at 10am, 2pm, and 7pm instead of every 2.5 hours, which is age-appropriate and will help significantly improve the baby’s sleep.
“Putting a baby down too early or too late can have a significant impact on how they sleep because certain hormones are released to help aid sleep if the awake period is appropriate, and other hormones that disrupt sleep are released when the awake period is not appropriate for the child’s age.”


Implementing Sleep Training Techniques

You may have heard of various sleep teachings such as the Ferber method, gradual extinction, or pick up/put down technique. The Institute for Pediatric Sleep and Parenting shared with us a few more terms for sleep training. There are “The 5 S’s (for newborns), console and check, camping out,” says Nurse Gianonne. “There’s also CIO [cry it out] but most parents seek an alternative to this. The former are some examples of gentler methods.”

Tracking Progress and Making Adjustments

Monitoring the child’s sleep patterns and progress is vital in the sleep training process. Learning how to track sleep data, identify trends, and make necessary adjustments to the sleep training plan will produce optimal results. What does this look like, we ask?
“Less crying at bedtime, longer sleep stretches, and just a generally more happy baby” says Nurse Gianonne.  I couldn’t help but wish I had her expert advice when my kids were small.

Supporting Parents and Caregivers

Effective communication with parents and caregivers is key to successful sleep training. The Institute for Pediatric Sleep & Parenting offers phenomenal guidance as well as a community where students can gain the expert advice of faculty regularly. Any dive into Reddit pages will reveal countless parents at their wits end with how to help their babies get better sleep. It wasn’t until recently I realized myself there is highly effective formal training to do just this.


Managing sleepless nights is one of the biggest challenges in the life of a parent, and sleep struggles can extend well beyond the infant years. We truly believe that a sleep-training nanny can bring huge value to the family who employs them. Whether a nanny invests in themselves with training or a family seeks to invest in a nanny who can offer this vital service, the dividends are huge.
We were so impressed with the Institute for Pediatric Sleep & Parenting program that we wanted to share it with our readers. We know from experience that with the right knowledge and tools, nannies can empower themselves to guide children toward better sleep and overall well-being.  Check out their specialized training courses and use the discount code NATIONALNANNY at Checkout for up to $200 off your order.

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