With life becoming more and more hectic, parents often find themselves battling through the minefield that is parenthood on their own, with few people to turn to for support.
So, what do you do when you feel like there is nowhere to go? Do you give sleep training a go? Or, do you muddle through alone for fear of judgment and hope it’s just a phase!
Baby sleep training has been at the centre of controversy for some time now. The term ‘sleep training’ has become synonymous with the ‘cry it out’ method, which is deemed to be harmful and cruel to the child.
In fact, there is a whole list of myths out there about sleep training, and I want to put the record straight!
Myth 1 | Sleep training means letting your baby ‘cry it out’
20 years ago, this was perhaps true. But not anymore.
‘Sleep training’ doesn’t refer to just one approach or strategy, it is in fact the term used to describe a number of different methods used to help your little one to sleep through the night.
As a gentle sleep consultant, I offer both in room and out of the room sleep methods.
This means responding to your baby when you want to and being hands on.
The methods I use are age appropriate and will differ depending on your particular family situation.
When I choose a sleep method for you my priority as a Therapist is always that you and your family are within your comfort levels and you are happy during sleep training.
Myth 2 | Sleep training is harmful to children
There is no evidence to suggest that sleep training harms your little one in any way.
In fact, one study measured children’s stress levels throughout a period of sleep training and found that there were no harmful effects on their mental and emotional wellbeing.
The impact of sleep deprivation on a baby is likely to be more harmful when they are waking frequently.
Major developments take place in deep, quality restorative sleep and it’s super beneficial for babies and children to get a good night sleep; mentally, emotionally and physically.
When your child is sleep trained you will see their appetite increase, their mood improve, become less clingy and developments speed up!
Myth 3 | I can’t be in the same room as, or hold my child when sleep training
As I mentioned previously, sleep training isn’t one rigid method which everyone must follow. There are lots of methods and strategies you can use to get your child to sleep through the night. When you work with me I will develop a tailored plan to suit you and your baby’s needs and lifestyle.
Myth 4 | I can’t breastfeed whilst sleep training
This is absolutely not true. Is it trickier to sleep train a breastfed baby than a baby who is on formula?
When I work with you not only will I address night wakings and give you a gentle and gradual approach but I also provide you with a daytime feeding schedule for meals and milk feeds.
I calculate how much milk.your baby should have including length of feeds and monitor this all for you during our 2 weeks together.
This helps you come away from feeding on demand and gives you predictability and your body back!
Of course you can also choose your own feeding schedule. The beauty is that you have the best of both worlds and when you train with me you can choose how and when to feed your baby using my expertise input.
Myth 5 | Once sleep trained, my little one will sleep through the night forever
When we work together you will be given a whole heap of useful handouts to tackle each and every natural occurrence that takes place in a baby’s life which will allow you to keep them on track and ensure their sleep is not disrupted in the years to come!
These handouts include age appropriate routines up to 3 years old, managing teething, travel, sickness, nursery and days out and social activities.
You then have Sleep Regressions and Nap transitions!
You will be fully equipped to keep sleep on track!
So, there you have it! Myths….busted!
As a mother of 3 beautiful girls, I know how much information is out there and how overwhelming it can be. If you want to have a quick chat to discuss your situation and how I can help, please feel free to get in touch.