Perhaps you’ve been mulling it over for a while, perhaps you’re just not sure what you want to do. You know that the current sleeping arrangements are not working for you and your family at the moment, but perhaps you’re waiting for baby to ‘turn a corner’? How long will you wait for? Perhaps the thought of sleep training fills you with fear? Whatever your reason for feeling hesitant, there is a reason why you should start doing something now. For better sleep. For good sleeping habits that your baby can carry into adulthood. For your own sanity! Here are 5 reasons to start a gentle sleep training program…
You don’t want to leave baby to ‘cry it out’
Gentle sleep training is just that- gentle. There is no need to leave your baby to cry, so if that is what’s been stopping you from making some positive changes to sleep, then worry no more. The Michi Method does not condone leaving baby to cry it out. We use gentle methods tailored to you and your baby- so let’s strike that concern off your list right now. If you do not want to leave your baby to cry, then gentle sleep training methods are for you.
You are too tired to be able to even think about sleep training
If you’re too tired to think straight, then the chances are you are more in need of sleep training than you think! We all need sleep to be able to function in life and if your baby is not sleeping well and the whole family is being affected, then something needs to change. It can be a vicious circle at this point- sleep deprivation has you too tired to feel able to implement a new schedule, but it also has you too tired to be able to function well in other areas of life too. Something has to give- and a gentle sleep training program is what you need to get back on track.
You want to teach your baby how to sleep well
Some of us are born knowing it all, some of us are not. Sometimes we need to teach babies what good sleeping habits are. We can do this in many ways, but we prefer the more gentle methods. Remember that your baby still needs you and this won’t change when you start sleep training. And you will still want to show your baby that you are there for her too. Gentle sleep training methods allow you to be clear and consistent in your approach to sleep, without teaching your baby that good sleep is not important. And after all, if your baby is sleeping well and you are functioning well on more sleep through the day, you are likely to be a better parent too.
You want to strengthen your relationship with your baby
Sleep training methods that ignore your instincts as a parent do your relationship with your baby no favours. If you are not a responsive parent and you do not go to your baby when she cries, two things can happen. Firstly, your baby begins to lose trust in you. You do not come to her when she calls for you, and so she stops calling. For some, this can be seen as a success- baby has stopped crying and is falling asleep! She’s learned! Leaving her to cry it out works! Right? Wrong. What’s actually happened here is that she has given up. And the second thing that happens is that you stop responding to your baby too. Natural instincts exist for a reason- so that we can nurture and protect our babies. By responding to their cries, you are not only telling your baby that you are there for her, but you are also responding to your own needs as a mother too. And by responding to your baby, you are strengthening your relationship.
You want to carry on breastfeeding for as long as possible
Some sleep training methods may suggest that you do not go in to your baby when she cries. Gentle sleep training methods suggest the opposite. You are encouraged to listen to your baby, soothe her and allow her to find her own sleeping patterns. If you’re breastfeeding, there is no reason why you cannot follow a gentle sleep training program too. If your baby is waking for food in the night, you do not need to stop this if you follow a gentle sleep training program.
What are your main reservations when it comes to sleep training?