In an effort to not write an essay, I have made this post in to a two-part series. Part 1 will outline the more research-based elements of sleep training, whereas part 2 will focus on our personal experience with using a gentle sleep training method.
The one thing I had promised myself I would never do, I am now doing: sleep training. Gasp! Shock! I know the arguments lash-outs moms putting other moms down because of the well-intentioned decisions they made about their own families debates surrounding sleep training and why it is good or not good. This was most definitely one of the hardest decisions we have ever made. I was always on the side of it not being good. I just didn’t think it could fit with the attachment parenting lifestyle that we had adopted. But, after 16 months of co-sleeping and nursing to sleep, with neither of us getting the quality of sleep we needed, something had to change. I started doing research and as a family, Papa Mermy and I made the conscious decision that sleep training, or “sleep learning” as Alice Callahan, PhD, terms it over at “The Science of Mom” was the right way forward for us. Knowing now what I know of sleep and sleep training in its various forms, I can honestly say that this was the best decision for my little guy. Does it mean I get a bit more sleep? Sure, but that’s never been the driving force. I am a research-oriented person and once I started learning more about sleep and its importance for little ones, I felt that it was my duty to ensure that I allowed my son to pursue independent, good quality sleep and thereby thrive in his development. I know there will be those who will disagree, but to put it politely, our family, our rules #sorrynotsorry. As our family motto states: This is a no-judgement zone.