Many parents we talk to have reservations
about sleep training their child. They have heard various rumours about how sleep training can cause emotional and physical damage to a child. How a child can feel abandoned and alone. And probably one of the most upsetting for parents is that it can weaken the baby/parent bond. In some cases, where parents have not taken the proper steps to ensure that all their child’s needs are met, that their room atmosphere is ideal for sleep, clear messages for baby have been implemented and that an age appropriate schedule and routine have been establish, it can most definitely create emotional and physical issues for baby. However, as long as these important things have been taken care of, sleep training won’t have any long
term effects on baby.
Most parents seek out professional help from a sleep consultant because they feel very anxious and unsure of how to move forward with sleep training. However, it’s important to understand that sleep training with or without professional support will be one
of the hardest things a parent has to do, but it won’t be the last. This is just the first of many times when a parent has to recognize that parenting also means sometimes doing a very hard thing for a very good reason. I try to use the “playing in the street” scenario with families. If your child wants to play in traffic, do you let him just because he demands it by screaming and protesting or do you parent the child and teach him a better and safer way of playing. Of
course, your answer would be the later.
Wanting to teach your baby to sleep better, have self soothing skills and be on a better routine is not selfishness on the parents’ part. It’s actually the opposite. Sleep training is so difficult for
most parents to emotionally accept that when they finally do sleep train, it’s because they recognize the toll that the lack of sleep habits is having on the child and the family as a whole.
Who said sleep training was easy? NO ONE! Sleep training is one of the hardest things a parent will have to do. However, in some cases, it is necessary to ensure that their child gains the skills he
needs to sleep better which ultimately will help him with growth and development physically, socially and emotionally. Ask most parents who have sleep trained their child and their answer will be “it’s the best thing we ever did!” Both babies and parents are happier, healthier and enjoying each other more every day. You will know you have made the right choice when your baby points to his
room at nap time, snuggles into his crib, smiles at you and goes to sleep!
Definitely not easy…but worth it!
Be Debbie Fazio – Parenting & Sleep Coach
Precious Moments Babeez
This is a great place to ask your questions. Anything from prenatal to preschool. From feeding to sleeping...ask away!