We get it: Sleep training is an unofficial no-go. It’s a word that most parents dread and picture to be just plain awful. Bring up sleep training in a mom’s only Facebook group, and you’re pretty much screwed with all the hateful comments. But here you are, looking for a solution that will get your baby to sleep for longer than 1.5 hours at a time. Enter that word: Sleep Training.
What exactly is sleep training?
Most parents see sleep training as a way to train your baby to adhere to a sleep schedule. Following a protocol to get your kid to sleep more and more regularly. It goes by a lot of names. Sleep coaching, sleep support, but simply put its training because well, that’s what it is and what it does. It trains kids to sleep better so that their parents can get some peace, quiet, and a big serving of sanity.
What sleep training is NOT
- Sleep training doesn’t mean letting your baby cry themselves to sleep
- It also doesn’t mean not allowing your baby to feed during the night
- It does not mean that you’ll be sleeping in one bed with your baby
- And it’s also not about getting your baby to sleep if and when it suits you
Why is sleep trainign such a hated term?
The electronic info we have at our fingertips these days is both a blessing and a curse. There’s a LOT of info available online about how to successfully use sleep training, but there’s also a lot of contradicting info out there, which rules out all the great perks you read about sleep training.
The truth is that haters will always hate, and sleep training is a very personal thing, which is why so many people stand up for what they believe in. Most haters out there have this idea that in essence; you’re screwing your kid up by sleep training them. Like for instance, here’s one article about the cons of sleep training, and this one is just as liberal about anti-sleep-training tactics.
On the other hand, you have articles like this, which promote sleep training, and then this one, which lists all the great benefits that are brought to the table thanks to sleep training. It’s a catch 22 scenario. You’ll either completely love or totally loathe the idea of sleep training.
Some good studies, like this one, clearly show that there’s no significant difference between kids who were sleep trained and those who were not. And then there’s this Australian study which found that sleep trained kids were able to fall asleep much easier than kids who were not sleep trained. The sleep trained subjects also had no stress when compared to their non-sleep-trained counterparts.