What People Say About Parents Who Sleep Train - Pt. 1
MYTH NUMBER ONE: “You’re ignoring your baby’s needs.”
Oh, this one. It’s up there with the worst things you can say to a sleep-deprived new parent. Truly, I can think of few other things that are said equally as frequently and are equally as harmful as this.
Literally no parent wants to be told they are failing their children (and I don’t believe you are, by the way). I also think that those who lean on this phrase as they share their shame don’t actually understand sleep training, at least not the method we use here.
When they think of sleep training, they probably imagine that you’re putting your baby in the crib and closing the door for at least twelve hours, no matter what.
“But what if your baby poops?”
“What if your baby vomits?”
“What if your baby is in pain?”
“What if your baby is hungry?”
It might be a shock to some, but I think the answers are pretty obvious:
You change them.
You clean them up.
You soothe them (and medicate if necessary!).
You feed them.
But the question no one ever asks is, “What if your baby is tired?,” even though sleep is also a necessity, and even though babies also cry when they are sleepy.
…So, what if your baby is tired?
And if they are having trouble sleeping, you help them, and this is what sleep training is about. It does not mean ignoring your baby’s needs, it is a response to your baby’s needs.
It is also a response to your needs and the needs of your family—because despite the ongoing jokes about sleeplessness and parenthood, we know that sleep deprivation is hard and dangerous and exacerbates physical and mental health issues. We know that just because you became a parent doesn’t mean you are only a parent, or that your needs are any less significant.
We know that your baby needs sleep, and you need sleep, too—and we believe you both deserve to have that need met.