Sleep training involves getting your baby/child into the habit of falling asleep independently without any kind of outside help/assistance. This process varies for every child, even among siblings. When most moms hear about sleep training, they first think of the cry-it-out method. You can use several ways to achieve independent sleep in your child. Despite popular opinion, there is no perfect sleep training method. The ideal approach is the one that works for your family.
Unfortunately, moms feel a lot of guilt around sleep training. There is the tendency to feel overwhelmed about having your baby cry to achieve sleep. I would be the first to say there is no sleep training that doesn’t involve some crying, even if minimal. Most babies will.
One of the main reasons moms have challenges with sleep training is the guilt they have come to associate with the process. As a result, you may have already concluded that sleep training is not for your family.
Sometimes, the guilt may come from:
1. Feeling too exhausted to go through the process and be consistent
Even with the best intentions, you may be too tired to consistently follow through with sleep training. You may decide to put it off for the next night, week, or month. While it is reasonable to delay sleep training, for example, if you are going through a period of transition ( illness or move), it is better to pick a time and start, even though you realize it won’t be perfect.
2. Not being on the same page with your spouse or co-parent
There is often a benefit to having varying philosophies when it comes to parenting. With sleep, training is helpful to be on the same page as your spouse or other caregivers. You want to avoid sending mixed messages to your child about what to expect at bedtime. The Baby Center 3-stage sleep solution, recommends that all adults involved in the child’s care should watch the course. This consistent approach will make the sleep training process much more manageable.
3. Potentially thinking you are scarring your baby emotionally
I get it; it is hard to watch your child crying at bedtime. Many parents feel they are potentially scarring their children emotionally. However, based on the research done in this area, there has been no evidence of negative psychological impacts in children who are sleep trained. While no sleep training method is completely free of tears (even the “gentle” methods), you can decide on a method that works best for you and your child’s temperament.
How to ditch the guilt around sleep training
Suppose you are on any social media platform or online for five minutes; you would have seen many varying opinions about sleep training. This may introduce guilt about your decision to sleep train your child or make you question your parenting.
Realize that wanting your child to fall asleep independently is