One of the most difficult things about having a newborn is the fact that they do not sleep throughout the night. New parents tend to be exhausted as is, what with all of their newfound responsibilities, but adding sleep deprivation to the mix certainly does not help the situation. While every new parent is overjoyed with their new bundle of joy, getting some additional sleep would certainly be welcomed.
One of the most hotly debated and controversial parenting methods is sleep training. What is it and why is it so divisive? Let’s find out.
At its very core, sleeping training, sometimes referred to as letting them “cry it out” is a method of teaching your child to sleep throughout the night on their own. This involves allowing the baby to cry for a bit before coming in to pick them up as opposed to immediately running in to soothe the crying.
Sleep training doesn’t necessarily involve allowing your baby to endlessly cry all night without attending to them at all – but rather timing how long you wait until finally get up to begin soothing. It’s all about starting slow: waiting 5 minutes before going on, then 10 minutes, and so on. Eventually, you’ll be able to differentiate between when your baby is crying out for attention and when you are being alerted to something truly being wrong.
Eventually, your baby will begin to sleep through the night (yes! 11 hours is possible!) and you will be able to get a good night’s sleep as well, so you can be the best possible functioning parent throughout the day.
Now, some people may argue that it’s inhumane to let your baby cry and not go and check up on him or her. While it’s true that it is difficult, it becomes easier over time, especially when your baby begins sleeping for longer periods.
While it is vitally important to be the best possible parents we can be, it is equally crucial to take care of ourselves as parents as well. Simply put, if we neglect ourselves, we can’t be the best parents we can be. Before you know it, your baby will be a teenager who is sleeping through their alarm on a school day.