Recently, Kveller has been running a series of posts with professional sleep coach Batya Sherizen, in which she answers readers’ questions about issues they are having with their children’s sleep. I’m not a professional sleep coach and I respect people like Batya, but there are actually other perspectives on sleep, and I wanted to share some of the “other side.” I speak from the perspective of someone who got (free) sleep advice from people who don’t support sleep training and I also come from my training as a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor. Some of us don’t prescribe to sleep training, especially for the first year, and especially if you are breastfeeding. Here’s why.
I wrote a book a few years ago called Beyond the Sling. It was a very straightforward, very honest, very accurate portrayal of what Attachment Parenting looked like in my home. More specifically, there were chapters on my experiences with natural birth and homebirth, breastfeeding on demand as well as extended breastfeeding, not using harsh discipline or punitive discipline, the magic of baby-wearing, and other such enthralling AP-related topics.
And of course there was a chapter on sleep. Sleep training and sleep management is one of the most profitable and difficult topics for new parents. I chose to safely co-sleep with my sons, participating in the subset of co-sleeping known as bed-sharing. That means my sons and I shared–and still share on many nights–a sleeping surface. As I discuss in my book, this arrangement is not for everyone and it is most certainly not for people who cannot or will not abide by the rules of safe co-sleeping. However, from my experience as a mother of two breastfeeding and securely attached children, as well as a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (C.L.E.C.), I have a lot of things to say about babies and sleep.
Here are the reasons why I don’t believe in sleep training. If you want to be conservative about the matter, these beliefs of mine hold most strongly for children under 6 months of age. Read the rest of this entry →