Sleep training tends to punish babies and toddlers for problems that don’t belong to them. They are left to cry, put down while they still need a hug, denied milk when they are hungry and ignored when they most need comfort. I don’t actually believe any parent wants this for their children, yet their exhaustion leaves them with no other choice. Or so they think. There are in fact, many ways to gently improve infant sleep that don’t involve any sleep training at all. Here are eight of them:
This talk of ‘sleeping through the night’ must end, it is factually inaccurate. This myth and misinformation pathologises normal infant sleep and turns it into something problematic that needs fixing. The fact is, the baby achieves nothing from being taught to be quiet while they transition between sleep cycles, the benefit here is solely for the parents.
The goal is to tuck the child in, read them a story, give them a goodnight kiss and leave the bedroom shortly after, with the child still awake. Watch any film, soap or drama on TV and any bedtime will look exactly like this. The child sweetly replies with their “goodnight”, yawns, turns their head over on the pillow, eyes close and not a peep is heard from them until the next morning.
So what do we know about the effect and efficacy of cry based sleep training based on current scientific evidence? The answer is ‘not a lot’.
Many will know me as an author who advocated being as child led as possible as much as possible, particularly when it comes to sleep. I expect therefore that this post will surprise quite a few.
The mainstay of almost all baby sleep training is the idea of teaching ‘self soothing’ or ‘self settling’. This approach believes that if babies are put down ‘drowsy but awake’ and parents do not rush in to feed or rock when they wake, that the baby will learn to settle back to sleep without parental input.
I thought it was about time I ventured into the world of vlogging, so I’m pleased to bring you my very first video! This one is all about bedtime routines, why they’re so important, why you shouldn’t be scared of them, why being child led is not always great and how to create the mostContinue reading “VLOG: The Importance of Bedtime Routines for Babies & Toddlers (and how to create a good one!)”
The same sleep patterns that have been handled without trouble or ‘expert advice’ for thousands of years have now become a source of big business. It is in the benefit of industry for babies to be seen as having sleep problems.
Bad habits. Rocking to sleep, feeding to sleep, cuddling to sleep, bedsharing…there are so many potholes and pitfalls to be avoided as a new parent. If you commit any of these heinous sins you are sure to end up with a child who is unable to sleep alone and you’ll still be rocking or breastfeedingContinue reading “Let’s Talk About Bad Habits (and Baby and Child Sleep)”
Are friends, relatives and professionals telling you that you should sleep train your baby? Warning you of dire consequences if you don’t? Are you considering sleep training because you are exhausted and desperate for a little more sleep? Here are ten reasons why you shouldn’t do it! 1. Sleep Training Misunderstands Normal Baby Sleep Those whoContinue reading “Ten Reasons to Not Sleep Train Your Baby”