Sweet Dreams: Ria Campos Lopez and Anika Recto Ribas on the Benefits of Sleep Training
Certified baby sleep and parenting coach Ria Campos Lopez and mother to two young daughters Anika Recto Ribas share the benefits of sleep training—not only for the wellness of your child but of the entire family.
“The most rewarding part about sleep training is having not just well-rested daughters, but a well-rested
family,” begins Anika Recto Ribas. She first tried sleep training her eldest daughter, Lucia, who was born during the pandemic. Stuck in quarantine with no house help around, Anika and her husband struggled with Lucia’s erratic and unpredictable sleeping schedule.
“As grownups, we all know how it feels when we don’t get enough sleep,” she goes on to add. “We are tired, cranky, have low energy, and are not very productive. So imagine how it feels for a child.”
Having to spend hours rocking and singing Lucia to sleep, only for her to wake up again when she’s put down, the process slowly took a toll on them—neither the parents nor the baby were getting enough much-needed rest.
Taking the Leap
Anika then decided to seek the help of certified baby sleep coach Ria Campos Lopez of Himbing Baby Sleep Solutions. “Ria assured me that we did not need to stop breastfeeding and room-sharing even if we sleep trained,” she shares.
Simply put, sleep training teaches children to be able to fall asleep on their own. This way, the child isn’t dependent on sleeping beside a parent, or being fed, rocked, or sung to sleep.
“It’s actually really parent training and teaching them how important it is to know about their child’s sleep needs, watching their cues, having an age-appropriate schedule and consistent routines to allow sleep to be easier for their child,” explains Ria. “When all the pieces of the puzzle are in place, our children can go to sleep by themselves as early as four months old.”
It’s Okay to Cry
It’s common for parents to feel apprehensive and panic when the baby starts to cry. “We never want to hear our baby cry but we also have to remember that crying is our baby’s way of communicating and crying in itself is not bad, it means our baby is trying to tell us something,” Ria points out.
And it’s the parents’ job to determine what their baby wants to say by crying and this is where staying attuned to them is so important. “In relation to sleep, it is likely because they don’t like the change in
style, at least for now,” she explains. “From being rocked to sleep, they are placed in a crib and we accept that this will be hard for them—so then we stay calm and help them with that transition.”
“Studies have shown in the first few days of sleep training, there is a bit more cortisol or stress
when starting, but by the third day, when the child figures out what is happening, it goes back to its regular level,” Ria adds. “So, yes, there is crying, but I always remind parents that they can be there
in the room with their child, so there is still that attachment and being present. The only change is
really in the way the child falls asleep.”
Just Keep on Going
“Parenting on its own is overwhelming, and when throwing in sleep training to the mix, we find ourselves balancing more than just managing schedules but also routines in order to get to independent sleep—so set realistic expectations,” says Ria.
The beginning is always the hardest part—but it’s well worth it. “Be patient and keep going. Seek help from experts, like Ria, when it gets too overwhelming,” she adds. “Remember that a well-rested child is a happy and healthy child and more often than not, they are in a good disposition, wherein they are ready to play, learn, and explore during the day.”
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