The Internet is awash with ‘research’ that shows sleep training is bad for our babies. However, there is also an abundance of ‘research; suggesting that NOT sleep training is bad for our babies. (The research is usually taken from studies of 4 babies, 2 kangaroo cubs and a tadpole so it is almost always definitely accurate). So when it comes to baby sleep, what
bullshit advice are we supposed to follow?
Sleep-training was not right for my babies but I do not judge people who have chosen to try this approach (except for the Leave Baby To Cry Herself To Sleep And If She Pukes That’ll Learn Her, people –I totally judge them). But every decision most parents make for their children, is made out of love – we are all just doing what we believe is best.
I let my daughter sleep in my bed because it was what she needed (ok, and because I was too bloody tired to get up every half an hour) – not because a study said it would make her into a happy, healthy genius. I chose this way because of my instincts not the science. Dealing with night wakings is such an emotional aspect of parenting – it is not something we can make a decision about based on (the often dubious) science. And as every baby and parent have different needs and personalities, unless the research was specifically carried out on your family, it is not going to be much help.
Every baby is unique, every family set up is different and when it comes to sleeping – there is no once size fits all. But it is a fact that every child will sleep EVENTUALLY, no matter what. But until they do, avoid all the research by The Society Of Expert Twats Who Have No Idea How Babies Actually Work and take a look at this handy check list instead!
SHOULD I SLEEP TRAIN MY BABY?
1) If sleep training your baby feels wrong. Don’t do it.
2) If you are sleep training your baby because all the other mums are doing it and say you should try it. Don’t do it.
3) If you are sleep training your baby because a book said you SHOULD and you think that the book expert knows better than you because they wrote an actual book about babies and you only have a degree in drama and English, then don’t do it. YOU are the only expert on your baby.
“Trust your instincts not the ‘science‘.”
4) If you are sleep training your baby because you read a study that said it is the best thing to do. Don’t do it. Trust your instincts not the ‘science‘.
5) If you are training your baby because you are scared that his development will suffer if he does not sleep through the night, then don’t do it. Babies have been waking up in the night since babies were invented and the world isn’t full of middle-aged sickly weirdoes who still haven’t learnt to talk/walk/use a knife and fork).
6) If you are sleep training your baby because it feels right for you and your family, then try it.
7) THE MOST IMPORTANT THING to remember is that having a baby who wakes up a lot (a Sleep Thief) is tough. You are taking care of a tiny baby while feeling mostly like crap. So if you try a sleep method and give up after a few days, an hour or even five minutes then it is totally understandable. You have NOT Failed. If you try one way, then another way, but your baby STILL won’t sleep then you have NOT failed. If you try co-sleeping and your offspring still won’t settle – you have not failed. It is just not the right way or the right time for you or your baby.
Like adults, some babies sleep all through the night, and some just don’t. But it does get better. One day you will be up, dressed and getting on with it, drinking a tepid coffee after just a few hours sleep. And you will smile at your happy, healthy baby and realise that actually she has trained YOU NOT to sleep through the night successfully.
(This is an extract from my book Sleep Is For The Weak).
MY BOOK FOR TIRED PARENTS
Check out my book that contains no baby sleep advice whatsoever… Just lots of laughs and stories about surviving the sleepless nights from someone who has been there!
“The saviour of the sleep deprived parent.”
Sleep Is For The Weak: How To Survive When Your Baby Won’t Go The FzZk To Sleep at book shops or on Amazon now!!
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