It never fails... We post something about sleep training on social media and the questions or comments come pouring in.
"Don't you know that babies are biologically designed to wake during the night?"
"A parent shouldn't ignore their baby."
"Why have a baby anyway if you can't handle the sleep deprivation?"
By reading some of these comments you would have thought we were promoting starving a child, ignoring a child, or putting your needs as a parent before your child. Except we didn't. We didn't promote any of those things. The only thing we promoted was sleep.
So why the shame? Why the judgmental comments? Why all the questions?
We have a revolution happening in parenting communities - one that is working really hard to reduce the amount of shame, guilt, and judgment that surrounds parenting. I love this revolution and I am here for it 100%! But for some reason sleep training or sleep coaching is one of those topics that doesn't apply to the non-judgmental approach to parenting.
Why is that?
Maybe it's because people are sitting behind a computer screen or an iPhone and not actually seeing the struggle many parents experience.
Maybe you don't see the mom that has postpartum depression and anxiety and needs meds to sleep. Maybe you aren't seeing the dad that bounces his baby day and night, night and day because it's the only way the baby will fall asleep and stay asleep. Maybe you haven't seen that same dad leaving for work the next morning barely functioning because he sacrificed his sleep for his kid. Perhaps you don't know a mom that has no time for her 2 year old because she's doing everything in her power to get the baby to take a nap longer than 20 minutes. Or you don't see the tears in that moms eyes when her baby wakes crying from that short 20 minute nap because she barely had time to eat a snack and go to the bathroom. You don't see an entire family with bags under their eyes walking around like zombies.
But I do.
This is the reality that I see when I walk into people's homes to support them with sleep training.
I see parents that are at their wits end. Parents that have tried everything. Parents that just can't do it anymore.
I SEE PARENTS THAT NEED A LIFE PRESERVER BECAUSE THEY ARE DROWNING.
Parents are not contacting us because their sleep situation is manageable. They're contacting us because they NEED HELP.
And isn't that what we tell other parents to do? "Ask for help!" we say. "You don't have to do it alone!" We say these things about prenatal care, birth, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding and more. But when it comes to sleep training, why don't parents deserve help? Why shouldn't parents ask for help?
Honestly, it makes no sense to me.
So, here's the reality: Everyone's experience is different.
Some babies sleep super well and don't need much help learning how to fall asleep independently. Some babies are great self soothers. These are the babies that you can put down in a crib awake and they'll find their thumb and fall asleep without a peep. If this is your baby, rock on! This is amazing and we celebrate your awesome, independent sleeper!
Some parents have the desire for attachment parenting and have the time, energy, and privilege to wear their babies during naps or sleep in the same bed with their babies. If this works for your family, we love it! We trust that you know what is best for your situation and encourage you to co-sleep and babywear on!
Some parents have a baby that needs a lot of help falling and staying asleep. These parents often use tools like bouncing on a ball, taking the baby on a car ride for a nap, or resorting to unsafe sleep situations. These babies learn to rely on these tools which aren't sustainable for sleep deprived parents. Some of these parents suffer from anxiety and depression from lack of sleep. Many of these parents are single parents that need to wake up for work the next day so they can pay for the daycare, the rent, and the bills. Some babies need space, time, and structure to learn the skills to sleep independently.
These are the parents and the babies we exist for. This is why we offer in-home sleep training services.
If you're struggling, we want to help you teach your baby how to sleep. We are here to meet your needs as a parent but also to empower you to meet the needs of your baby. AND BABIES NEED SLEEP! They don't just need food, dry diapers and love. They literally need sleep, just like you do. So we help your baby get sleep and a byproduct of that is you get more sleep too. We do this in a way that honors your baby's individuality and unique needs. We do it in a way that honors your entire family and lifestyle. We do it in a way that is safe and effective.
Our live-in sleep coaches don't advocate for depriving your baby of love, of food, or of anything else that your baby needs. What we do advocate for is helping families without judgment or shame. We advocate for the end of depletion in parenting. We advocate for health and well-being for everyone - physically, mentally and emotionally. That is our mission and our bottom line and we're honored to serve families in this profound way.
If you're searching for a lifeline because your baby isn't sleeping, we are reaching out a hand. You are not alone.