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Sleep Training does NOT Prevent Sleep 'Problems'

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

I had a dream the other night that the CDC stated nighttime breastfeeding was no good and that the way to get babies to sleep through the night was to take them to the zoo to pet a dog. Apparently, cuddling, breastfeeding, and more cuddling was not appropriate nighttime interactions with your baby.

Now doesn't that sound like JUST THE ANSWER. I mean we have pediatricians touting insane ideas like giving your baby Benadryl to get them sleeping through the night and licensed mental health professionals telling us to just put baby in bed and let them scream it out for 5 minutes at a time, wait don't touch them when you check on them, that would create a sleep crutch.

With all my heart and love to my fellow parents of the world I am here to tell you that you don't get to clock out of parenting between 6 pm and 6 am. You are always on, unless of course you are 'on a break' and another loving caregiver is watching over your youngster. They need care ALL the time, 24/7.

Babies are not like dogs. They CANNOT be left in their cage (bed) for 10 to 12 hours and simply tended to in the morning.

Here is a common question I get from parents considering sleep training.

"But aren't we supposed to be teaching our children good sleep behaviors? And don't we need to start getting them to sleep through the night as infants so that they don't develop sleep problems that might lead to behavior issues and learning difficulties later in life?"

Actually the research shows us that NO, sleep training your infant does not prevent sleep issues in later childhood. Even further, research goes to state that early sleep training (this study looked at the first 6 months)

* Worsened maternal anxiety

* Increased problem crying

* Risked a premature weaning of breastfeeding

* If baby was placed in another room, away from their care provider, for sleep, it


This tells me that early sleep training does not hold the benefits that many people believe it does. It does not prevent sleep problems for your baby in later childhood. In fact it shows a lot of vary valid reasons NOT to sleep train your baby.


As always remember today does not predict tomorrow. This is true for your baby's first 6 months, second 6 months, and all the way through childhood. Sleep ebbs and flows and growth progressions often come with sleep 'disturbances' (read more here-The other FAIL of sleep training).

And if you are looking for ways to increase your sleep while still meeting the nighttime needs of your baby give me a call to set up a private consultation. Together I will help you and your sleep partner co-create your nighttime plan.

~I help parents co-create safe and effective sleep plans for their family.

To a Confident, Sexy, Love filled life! Kimberly Lindsay,  BA, CPCC, ORSCC, IBCLC

Mental Fitness Coach for Spiritual & Creative Moms:

Who are ready to ditch their saboteurs so they can show up

as the partner, parent, and person they want to be - getting back to self and back to roots. 

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