Is Sleep Training a Mistake?

Sleep training. As parents, we do our best to make sure we are providing for our little ones and giving them the best opportunities available. We see these wonder parents on social media, and we wonder how we will ever measure up to them. Are we making mistakes? Are we really doing our best? 

The answer is yes, and no. Yes, you are doing amazing, and you really are doing your best. And no, you are not making mistakes, and you are just as great as social media super mom. If not better. There are so many new skills to learn as a new parent. Many you learn as you go, and many come with a helping hand. Like sleep training. You do not have to go it alone. Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby is here to help you. And like all new and existing parents out there, it takes a village, and when you have a great tribe, everything just seems better for everyone. 

Sleep training is not always easy. When we are in the throughs of it we are often exhausted ourselves and our brains are not functioning at full capacity when we are sleep deprived. We hear stories from other parents, and often they are filled with exaggerated stories or fabrications. We do not want to believe that our friends or fellow parents would tell us tall tales, though often, that is exactly what they are doing. Parents do not like to be seen as weak or making mistakes because of how judged everyone is, and that is really a disservice to all of us. 

We should be building each other up and being honest so we all know that we truly are figuring this out as we go, and no one is any better than another at this parenting gig. The only practice we may have had if we did not have younger siblings or cousins, or if we did not babysit might have been the hard-boiled egg or bag of flour, and for you luckier parents you might have gotten the chance at the fake baby who did cry and drive you crazy for a week though none of these were true examples of the roller-coaster ride parenting is. 

I also want to let you in on a secret. Knowing how to teach your child independent sleeping skills is not an innate ability we have once we become parents. If you are beating yourself up because you are coming to realize you need help when you should really know how to do this on your own – give yourself a break! Being a parent doesn’t mean you automatically know how to teach sleep skills. 

There are so many misconceptions about sleep-training and Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby is here to help you debunk these myths and get that much needed sleep you and baby both need. 

  • Am I Starting Sleep Training Too Early or Late? 
    • This is the #1 question I get asked when people find out what I do. When should I sleep train my child? The answer is, when YOU the parent is ready. My team and I will meet your child at a developmentally appropriate place no matter what age they are at!

 

  • Let Your Baby Cry Themselves to Sleep
    • Sleep training is not an old-wives tale. It is a trusted, scientific program to help you and baby get the sleep you both need. There will be tears as there is adjustments to their sleep schedule those these are not the same tears that indicate distress or hunger or a wet diaper. You will get to know those cries quickly and during sleep training you will learn that there may be a few tears as they acclimate to their new schedule though these tears should not last through the night or indicate severe distress. They are learning a new skill set, and often they are both tired, and learning new skills is, well, new to your baby. As adults we often feel a little stressed when we are learning new skills too. We have developed ways to handle this stress, and your baby crying is their coping mechanism right now and it is perfectly safe and okay for them to shed a few tears as they learn this new sleep pattern.

 

  • Stressed?! My Baby Will Be Stressed? 
    • As I said earlier, adults learn to deal with stress in a variety of ways. However, how we see and handle stress and what our baby is learning are vastly different. There are no short-, or long-term psychological effects on your little ones when they are learning or going through sleep training. Attachment issues come from neglect. Your child is a well taken care of child all day, every day! Big difference!

      When I mentioned stress earlier it is not a long-term stressful situation your baby will be in, nor will it truly be considered “stress.” It is just a term to help you understand that if they shed a few tears, it is simply because this is new to them, and they are learning how to cope with all things new.

      If there were any lingering or negative effects sleep training would have on your baby, as a mother myself, I would not make this my life’s work. As a mother, I know how it feels to hear that little cry and please know I feel that same little pull to comfort them too, though I know from experience it is very temporary and completely safe. You are giving your baby the best opportunity for sound sleep through the night, and that is the ultimate goal. 

 

  • How Do I Know What is the Best Schedule for Baby?
    • We talked about baby shedding some tears and again, I am reminding you this is temporary and a couple to a few nights of some tears is very minimal compared to the full night sleep that is just around the corner. It is safe for baby to have a few nights of tears in learning a new and healthy habit compared to years of sleep habits that leave them, and you, tired, cranky, and having unfulfilling nights of sleep.

      This is genuinely an optimal choice for your baby because you are setting him or her up for a opportunity of full nights sleep and that is the best gift we can give our little ones. If you suffer from sleep disorders, you know you might be at the point you would do anything to get a full night sleep, and three or four nights of sleep training tears is really nothing compared to years of sleep deprivation.

      Sleep deprivation have been proven to cause many issues for your little one as they grow including weight gain, obesity, ADHD and more. 

 

  • Will My Baby Still Love Me? 
    • It is perfectly normal when baby is crying to feel like you are doing the wrong thing or have made the wrong choice. The truth is you and baby have a bond that can never be broken. Your baby will love you no matter what. There may be a few teenage years that you will wonder where that sweet little one went, though that too is temporary as many changes your baby will encounter through life will be.

      The smile your baby gives you, or the snuggles and love you feel when you and baby are together should reassure you that baby truly loves you unconditionally. It is never easy to hear our little one’s cry, just remember this is for their benefit and these tears are again, very temporary. Just like feeding your baby something they do not like will not cause long term damage, neither will sleep training. It is just something they are adjusting to and will have so many positive long-term benefits. 

 

All of us at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby are here to provide you guidance through every step of the way, and any time you are feeling apprehensive, or questioning if this is the right way to train baby, please call us. We know this is new, and challenging, and we are all parents ourselves and have been through this, too. There is no right or wrong questions or answers, or feelings. Our goal is to help all of you get the sleep you all need and deserve, and to help your little one thrive. As parents, any time we can give our little one’s tools to succeed, we will do our best to get them those tools. This toolbox comes complete with a guide who is there for you, anytime you need us.

Having a sleep plan in place and personalized care is what we at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby are known for. Call or email us to get started on your sleep training journey today! We work with families all over the world! We are personally located in Denver, Aurora, Arvada, Englewood, Kansas City & Fort Worth Texas!

 

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