This is a very controversial topic.
And I am not in the market to rub people up the wrong way!
But, I do firmly believe in protecting the mental health of parents and I'd like to offer a different perspective to anyone currently wading through the treacle of loud sleep trainers with large marketing budgets.
Hopefully this blog will help you to be able to make an informed decision.
Buzz words like 'gentle' and 'holistic' are readily spoken; I just implore you to research the qualifications and ethos of who you work with to check these aren't just words to tick boxes.
Of course there are absolutely wonderful sleep consultants out there, who have spent time and money gaining a true education on sleep. Coaches who respect your little ones and your parent-child bond. Who understand babies aren't robots and don't treat them as such.
And I am not here to shame parents. That would be the absolute last thing on my list. The pressures we all feel as parents to do the right thing is already a heavy burden. What a parent decides to do is their own business and something I feel really strongly about is this -
You are the best parent for your child.
Your instincts are true to you and your family - if your instincts are screaming that something is wrong then it probably is wrong for you.
What does frustrate me though is the untrue promises some people make. By stating that you can get someones 3 month old baby 'sleeping through the night' in 3 days makes parents believe their child should be doing something that isn't necessarily normal. Now if your little one IS sleeping through the night at 3 months then AMAZING! But this is not the norm and if your little one isn't then you haven't done something wrong.
Some sleep trainer somewhere - 'You need to train your baby to sleep.'
Sleep is biological process and is not taught. Your baby slept in the womb...Rather than thinking about teaching your little one to sleep, consider creating the calmest sleeping environment for them, giving them the support they need to feel safe, and responding to their needs knowing they can't do it for themselves.
Some sleep trainer somewhere - ' You need to teach your baby to self soothe.'
Babies and children can't self regulate their emotions. Not because they don't want to or they are manipulating you. They literally can't. To that end, the concept of self soothing is nonsense I'm afraid. It is so important to respond to your little one's cries at night because that is their only form of communication and they are telling you they need something.
Some sleep trainer somewhere - 'Your baby needs to be independent'.
I don't want to go to heavy into attachment theory right now but essentially the deeper the attachment the better your little one can cope at being alone. This is the opposite of teaching your little one to be 'independent' when they aren't ready simply by not responding to them.