Sleep training is not a no snuggles ever situation. I mean, wouldn't that be horrible if it were? If anything, you get more and better snuggles because you're no longer too sleep deprived to enjoy them.
The fear of losing that precious snuggle time when your little one falls asleep on you or next to you is a concern I hear with many of my clients, and I get it! I love, love, LOVE to snuggle with my tiny human.
Focus on the snuggles even more
When we sleep trained our now 2 year old at 4 months old, I was honestly devastated at the thought of losing those snuggles. I was used to wearing him for every nap and rocking him to sleep at night. We literally never put him down awake because it was just impossible for us. Mamas in this same boat - I've got you!
To be honest, I did miss the snuggles at first. But here's the thing...I actually want you to focus even more on those snuggle times. That bonding and physical connection is so important. Just be sure you're not snuggling to the point of sleep.
If baby doesn't need me to sleep, when do we snuggle?
Let's assume for the sake of this post, that baby is sleep trained. That means your 4+ month old is falling asleep independently, without needing you to rock/hold/bounce/feed them to sleep and back to sleep. Woohoo!
You're putting baby down awake for naps and bedtime, they fall asleep on their own, and you get them up with the nap is over or it's morning wake up time. Doesn't that sound magical? But if they don't need you to fall asleep...when do you actually get in that snuggly, bonding time?
Here's how we've filled our snuggle bucket every day:
During breast or bottle feeding
Long walks while baby wearing
The occasional carrier nap when on the go
While reading books
During nap/bedtime routine
While watching a post naptime show (these sleepy snuggles are magical!)
First thing in the morning we bring him into our bed and snuggle with books (everyone is awake for this)
These are just some of the ways we've gotten in all those snuggles after sleep training, but there are so many more depending on your family's activities and routines.
Snuggles should never stop when you sleep train. But if you want baby to fall asleep without needing you to hold them, then just don't snuggle to the point of sleep. If you do want baby to need those snuggles and contact to fall asleep, then don't change a thing!
If you need help getting through a nap transition or have any sleep questions, set up a free 15-minute consultation with me to discuss!