Being a sleep consultant, it’s not uncommon for me to talk to many defensive parents and debate “sleep training”.
And yes, I’m a sleep consultant and I HATE the words sleep training, not because of what they are doing or what they mean but because of what it has come to mean to too many families.
So, when talking to a family the other day that was having a hard time wrapping their head around the need for sleep training I had a thought that I shared with them…and now I want to share with you too.
We are all sleep training our children whether we want to or not. We are training them because we are teaching them. What we teach them is left up to us, which is actually all sleep training really does. It helps our children to sleep in the way that we, their parents/care takers, see fit.
If we are a co-sleeping family, we are teaching them to sleep in that way.
If we are a go to bed on your own but I’ll see you in the middle of the night family, we are teaching them to sleep that way.
If we help them to fall asleep in certain ways, we are teaching them how to sleep.
If we guide them to sleep independently, we are teaching them how to sleep.
Whatever you’re already doing with your child’s sleep…you’re teaching them how to sleep.
And whatever it is you’re teaching them WILL become foundational for them.
It’s not about good or bad. It’s not about right or wrong. I don’t believe that there is a good or bad, I don’t believe there is a right or wrong when it comes to teaching our children how to sleep. It has to be based on what works for us, what feels best to us.
I think it’s most important to get our children to sleep in a way that suits them and us comfortably. In that we have to take into account their personalities, their development, our personalities and our lifestyle as a family.
Don’t hate on sleep training, we’re all doing it whether we want to call it that or not.
We’re just doing it differently…and you know what? That’s okay because we’re all different and our children are all different.
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