Sleep Training Myths
It is late at night, mom and dad are looking at google, they type in, “when will my baby sleep through the night”. You are not alone! The only problem with google is there is so much information out there and bottom line, how do you know what to trust, and what will work for your baby and your family? One thing I know for sure is that many parents are sitting here reading this blog post sleep deprived just like YOU! For some, the sleepless nights last the first few months, and for others it can go on for a while and can get worse and worse. Just mentioning the word sleep, or talking about how your baby sleeps can send some parents into full on debates. I will say it very clearly, sleep training is a personal choice! Sleep training is not meant for everyone and no one should be made to feel they must do it. We came up with a few of the most common myths that we hear most often. This is here to help give you some clarity on if sleep training is the right solution for you and your family.
Myth #1- Sleep training will harm my child/is dangerous
This is something that many parents worry about and are surprised to find out there is no evidence based research to support this. It is important to note that sleep training is used to change(learn) a behaviour and is only meant for that. It should never take place if there is a medical issue that is stopping your child from sleeping (ear problem, reflux, intolerances, etc.). The longest study that was done was over a span of 5 years and there was no difference in the children that had or hadn’t been sleep trained. A study that is usually brought into conversation was done on children from an orphanage and these children were also lacking physical and emotional care. This cannot be compared to a home environment where a child’s day to day needs are being met.
Myth # 2- I want a no cry sleep training method
If anyone tells you there is a sleep training method that guarantees no crying, I would be very skeptical. If it was that easy, you would not be here reading this blog and everyone would do it! Let’s be clear, no one wants to hear their baby cry. However, crying is normal and developmentally appropriate. When you sleep train, you are making a change and your child is resisting it and fighting back (telling you off). For many parents, this is the first time they really had to tell their child no, and follow through with it. Did you know crying is said to be the worse sound in the world? There is a reason you want to intervene and make it stop, it can take you to a very dark place. But I challenge you to take a step back and look at the whole picture, and understand that your child is well loved and they are just resisting change. Let your child express their emotion and you can still be there to support them. There is something special about them working through their emotions and crying with the positive outcome that everything was ok and that mommy and daddy still loves them!
Myth #3-You have to leave your baby to cry
This is a very big myth and when you hear the word sleep training, unfortunately that is what comes to mind for a lot of parents. There are so many ways you can improve your child’s sleep and leaving them to cry is not the only way to do it. Above, myth number 2 did mention that there will be some crying, and that is correct, however the amount of crying can vary from method to method. But, leaving your child to cry, for hours and hours is not going to happen. There are so many factors that come into play, and ways to set your child up for success, no matter what method you choose to use. By making sure all elements of your child’s sleep are working together, we can significantly reduce the amount of crying that takes place. You are very much involved in the process and there to reassure your child as these changes in their new routine take place.
We looked at 3 myths that we often see when it comes to sleep training your children. With anything in life, change is always hard, but with consistency and the right program you can get your sleep back for your family. Sleep is important for the whole family unit. We want to support you along the way and we would love to hear from you! If you are feeling a bit stuck, feeling like you need accountability and a clear plan of action, please reach out. We are available for in person or virtual support.
Blissful Babies By Shantelle