Gentle Sleep Training For Beginners: Creating An Effective Sleep Environment & Routine

What if I told you that sleep training your little one can be easier than you may think? Check out this post to learn applicable sleep training tips from a certified sleep consultant that you can implement tonight!

Check out this post to learn gentle sleep training tips from a certified sleep consultant that you can implement tonight!

Check out this post to learn gentle sleep training tips from a certified sleep consultant that you can implement tonight!

When it comes to sleep training, it can seem impossible to know for sure if you’re really doing it right. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m personally not a fan of the ‘cry it out method’. 

Mainly because my son has the loudest cry in history, and because I’d rather teach him healthy sleep habits.

Well, what if I told you that there are really only TWO major elements that you absolutely need in order to really WIN when it comes to sleep training your baby or toddler?

Don’t believe me?

Well, you don’t have to take my word for it! 

This pleasantly, practical post comes from my friend Bridget Jensen, a sleep consultant with Better Bedtime.

She’s graciously provided her expert advice on what you REALLY need to create lasting, healthy sleep habits, with applicable tips that you can implement TONIGHT!

So, if you’re at your wits end with sleep training or simply not sure where to start, this is the post for you!

Gentle Sleep Training For Beginners: Practical Tips From A Certified Sleep Consultant

The Importance of A Calm Bedroom Environment

Let’s talk about how to create a calming bedroom environment and a healthy relationship with sleep.

The thing I love about this is that it doesn’t have to cost you anything at all.

Creating an ideal sleeping environment is essential.

If a child does not have a dedicated space to sleep, and there is too much chaos going on, it can be difficult for them to sleep.

That said, room-sharing with parents/siblings/both is no problem at all.

Although I admire the beautiful nurseries that our clients create, it certainly isn’t necessary to achieve great sleep habits that last.

So what does an ideal sleep environment look like?

Less is more

If your child is struggling with going down easily for sleep, try removing the clutter from their bed and bedroom.

  • For toddlers, choose 1-2 safe items that they love for their bed.
  • For some children, too many items create a stimulating environment.
  • For babies under 12 months, it is safest to have nothing at all in the crib.

Dark Bedroom

Cover the windows to create an ideal environment for sleep to come easily.

You can use something you already have, like a darker blanket, or any kind of fabric you have around.

Investing in black-out curtains/blinds can go a long way in ensuring naps stay lengthy, and for avoiding early mornings.

Although you don’t have to actually buy any, if you do – I recommend these blackout curtains.

White Noise

White noise is an excellent tool. It helps drown out household and neighborhood noises.

This also prevents short naps and early morning wakings.

This is because it creates a calming sound that makes it easier for children to drift back into sleep.

You can use a fan, humidifier, or a bathroom fan turned on. Just ensure a fan or heater is never directly blowing on your child.

You may find one a friend no longer needs or an inexpensive used one online.

I have used this exact white noise machine for 6 years

Boring is Good

Have their bedroom free of stimulating activities like moving light devices, loud/lit mobiles, etc.

If you have toys/activities that you absolutely love, it is okay to use them during non-sleep time in their bedroom.

The Importance of A Bedtime Routine

A routine is an easy way to calm a little one down and get them ready for sleep.

Something between 20-35 minutes is ideal because there needs to be enough of a transition happening

The idea is that they understand that a shift is occurring.

If your child has a particular need (physiological, lotion for skin condition, etc.) making it part of the routine is a great way to ensure that it gets done, but also helps to not have to think about it during other parts of your busy evening.

So what should a Gentle Sleep Training Bedtime Routine look like?

1. Bathing/Washing

Starting off in the washroom is a great way to mark that a transition is happening. It doesn’t have to actually be a bath night, but even just washing their hands and face in the washroom before moving into the bedroom is great.

2. Jammies

Get them into a fresh diaper, jammies, and a sleep sack if you use one.

3. Feeding (Depending on age)

If you are unsure about when to remove a feeding from the routine, you can always consult a caregiver.

4. Story/Pray

Offering your child a book helps develop their vocabulary. Allow them to choose a book so they can feel a little in control. This is especially true with toddlers.

5. Sing A Song

Sing a familiar song that your support people know, so that when you are not present – someone else can easily get your child familiar with bedtime approaching.

You do not need to buy gadgets (fancy lights, rocking devices, etc.) to create good sleep hygiene.

It is more about getting a child ready for bed early and having a predictable routine.

Hello! Thanks for having me!

My name is Bridget, and I’m a sleep consultant with Better Bedtime.

What does that mean?

We help families who are struggling with their children’s sleep – typically babies 14 weeks and up, including toddlers and preschoolers as well.

We work one-on-one to learn about a specific child’s development and sleep particulars.

From these details, we create a gentle sleep routine and coach parents through the sleep training journey. We also monitor the child’s sleep progress day over day, until everyone is getting the rest they need.

We work in person and remotely.

You can find us over at

Bridget Jensen, BA Sleep Consultant

Check out this post to learn gentle sleep training tips from a certified sleep consultant that you can implement tonight!
Check out this post to learn gentle sleep training tips from a certified sleep consultant that you can implement tonight!

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  1. Sleep training made such a difference for my baby and me. I’ve read a lot on the internet, and a lot of people were saying good things about “How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone” by Susan Urban and her HWL method ( ). It just made my son sleep 🙂 I was tired and down, but now it is much much better! My son is only 4 months old, so it’s normal that he eats at night but with this guide, I got rid of waking up every hour to feed him and he can fall asleep alone in his crib what was impossible a few days ago. Big recommendation from my family and me

    1. I know the Urban’s guide from a few years back, it is fantastic. I’m six months pregnant now and going to use it again for sure 🙂

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