Why I won’t ‘sleep train’ my baby….Even though she doesn’t sleep.

It’s no secret that Jasmine is not a good sleeper, I can be up anywhere between 5-20 times in the night with her. A physical and emotional struggle, it’s no wonder sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.

Five months down the line it’s improved very little and more often than not I see every hour. Yes it’s exhausting and frustrating, but even in my lowest moments at 3am, I couldn’t comprehend ‘sleep training’ Jasmine. I know that it works so well for lots of mums and this is just a post of my personal opinion, not judging others.

Sleep training can come by lots of different names, controlled crying or using the ‘cry it out’ method are among a few main ones. So letting them cry until they learn that it’s ‘bed time’ and eventually you win and they loose. But when you have listened to your baby cry themselves to sleep there’s no real winners are there? Normally the crying stops because they are too exhausted to carry on. Or some methods include going back in but not pick the baby up just ‘sssshhh-ing’ her and pat her tummy until she gets the message.

Again if this works for you then I’m not telling you how to parent your child, just my own stance and the truth is I find it quite heartbreaking.

When I decided to have Jasmine I made a commitment to be her mum, not just when it suited me but 24 hours a day (and night). How can I say I’m always here for you….but not between the hours of 7pm – 7am, then you’re on your own. If she needs me anytime I need to be there to give her a cuddle and reassure her, I don’t want her to think I’m ever not there for her needs. Nighttimes can often be the times when babies need comfort the most. She’s just a baby, in other cultures they carry their babies around in their arms all day, sleep with them in their arms at night and would never dream of leaving that baby to cry it out, alone.

We become obsessed as a culture of ‘not making a rod for our own backs’ when really babies just need love. They’ll sleep eventually, I would rather they were content and secure than, so upset from crying without anyone coming that they loose their voice and give in to sleep. Why are we so against answering our babies needs? If babies have a nightmare and need comfort they just want to be held and comforted by mum.

Yes, it’s tough being up through the night. As I type this now it’s 3.54am and I’m walking around rocking Jasmine in my arms for the ninth time tonight. But these nights will pass.

Yes, it’s going to be so tough when she’s in her own room but if she calls me through the night, I’ll be there to give her love and security whether she’s 5 months old or 17 years old. And I won’t feel guilty for cuddling her, or feeding her on demand. And guess what? You can’t spoil a baby.

Don’t get me wrong I’d love her to sleep longer, but I’d never want to see and hear her suffer to get there. I understand it works for some family’s but for me it’s a thanks but no thanks.

‘The course of true love never did run smooth’ – William Shakespeare Act 1 Scene 1 -?A midsummer nights dream

9 thoughts on “Why I won’t ‘sleep train’ my baby….Even though she doesn’t sleep.”

  1. Absolutely with you on this, can’t bear the thought of leaving my child to cry. I know sleep deprivation is awful, but I’m sure one day we’ll miss the midnight cuddles xx

  2. I get why you don’t want to do it. I did it with both of mine and it worked. BUT the first time was horrid but came out of an equally desperate place. What I did learn was the difference in cries. She had one for “you left me here” and another for “I am not right” whatever that may be…. nappy, hungry etc. This actually helped me during the days as well. But I would be lying if I said it was easy and also I never left her for long to cry anyway. A full on cry it out method was never adopted. Second time was much easier in general as I would have to prioritise which child got my immediate attention 24 hours a day. She was just used to not having me 100% to herself anyway and was much better at settling.

  3. I agree that it’s a very personal choice. I couldn’t do the cry it out method but I did try another method that worked (but mine were pretty good sleepers once they’d settled). For me I needed to train them to self-settle as I’m a single mum of twins – so while I would have adhered the bonding time – with two it was just chaos. But they’re only little once!

  4. I totally respect your decision but after eight months of our daughter sleeping much like yours and being at work too I thought I was going to lose the plot so rightly or wrongly we sleep trained our daughter it was two night’s and she has been a great sleeper ever since there’s no right way the only right way I believe is our own way…

  5. I don’t like the idea of my kids crying themselves to sleep, I wouldn’t be able to listen to it or cope with it if. I did have to use a much softer method with my daughter as she went through a phase of not sleeping. My little boy is 4 months & sleeps really well, but I think it’s because he knows my attention is so divided between the two of them I can’t be there all the time even though I would like to.

  6. We did sleep training with our first after 9 months of basically no sleep. It was, as you said, heartbreaking. We only did it for 3 nights but listening to him cry, knowing all he wanted was for me to pick him up and soothe him was AWFUL! I felt pressured to do it from my husband/friends but when I had my second baby I was adamant I wouldn’t be doing it again and I haven’t. If I had to be awake all night with my second then I was, I wasn’t going through the controlled crying thing again. I think when you are a first time Mum you can feel like you have to do certain things to get your baby to sleep because you worry they will never sleep through if you don’t. That’s not the case though,they will sleep when they’re ready and I think your attitude is spot on, just do what’s right for you. There’s no denying that sleep training works but it is really hard for Mum and baby I think xx

  7. I did sleep train my son but after he turned 1 years old. We co-slept until he was 8 months old but had to revert to sleep training as he regressed really badly. As some have said, it took 3 nights and he’s been great since (with a few blips due to illness and emigrating). But I do think trying to train a young baby isn’t right. I just couldn’t do it when they’re still so young.

  8. Your baby you do what you feel is right for you both. I do think it’s a good thing to teach your kids to sleep well and settled, whatever way you choose to do it. I had twins for my 2nd pregnancy and I couldn’t stand there holding them, as I couldn’t hold both at the same time!!! It also would have meant one of them would have been left upset and that was worse.

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