Pros and Cons of Sleep Training Your Baby
No matter how smiley your baby is during the day, getting your baby to sleep can be tough on new parents. While it’s never too early to start a bedtime routine so that your baby learns it’s time to wind down for the day, it’s recommended that you don’t start sleep training until they are five months old. Before that age, parents need to check on them often to feed, burp, and change them.
Many parents need to decide if sleep training is a good option for them. There is a huge amount of information regarding sleep training on the internet, making it easy to get overwhelmed. This is especially true when you haven’t been getting enough sleep yourself. You’ll find people who are strongly for it and just as many who are vehemently against it, leaving you even more confused. So, here’s all the information you need on the pros and cons of sleep training your baby in one place.
Pro: They Learn to Fall Asleep Independently
Every person has sleep cycles. We wake up several times at night and put ourselves back to sleep. We eventually program ourselves to do this so we don’t remember waking up. Babies have sleep cycles of varying lengths too. The difference is that a child who hasn’t learned to self-soothe will develop a dependency on their parent or caregiver to fall asleep again. The right sleep training method helps your baby learn to self-soothe gently and securely.
Con: Cries Can Be Heartbreaking
No sleep training method doesn’t involve tears. Crying is a way for your baby to communicate that something is not quite right in his or her world. It could even be an ‘I’m so tired’ cry that you hear while holding your baby. No matter what the reason, listening to your little one cry can be heartbreaking for parents who are sleep-training their baby. Having said that, crying is inevitable; there are ways to minimize crying while sleep training.
Pro: Promotes Overall Wellbeing
If the thought of sleep training is troubling you, you should consider it because research shows that babies who have undergone sleep training have lower stress and anxiety levels than those who didn’t. Researchers also found that sleep training did not affect the parent-child bonds. After 12 months, it was discovered that sleep-trained babies had the same parent-child attachment as babies who were not sleep trained.
Pro: Helps Development
It’s no secret that getting a good night’s rest is good for your health, no matter how old you are. Depending on their age, babies need up to 12 hours of sleep to be well-rested. Better sleep patterns give a baby’s brain ample time to recharge so that they are alert and ready to learn when they are awake.
Pro: Better Parenting
When your baby sleeps well, so do you. While you will still have to wake up to feed and change your baby, the intervals between the feeds increase as your baby grows older. Sleep training helps your baby sleep for longer, so you get a better night’s sleep. This can help you be alert and around for your baby when they need you during the day. A study found that sleep training can help with parental mood disorders too.
Con: It can Take a Bit of Trial and Error
Your baby’s needs and personality are highly individual, even at a young age. Finding a sleep training method that is the right fit for you and your baby may take some time. What works for your best friend and her little one may not work for you and your baby. Rest assured, though, that it will work when you find the right method.
Con: Sleep Training Methods May Need to be Revisited
Sleep regressions are real and can come out of nowhere. Your baby, who previously slept like an angel, may suddenly start waking up multiple times a night. Sleep regressions typically occur when your child is going through a developmental milestone or changes in his or her environment. You should revisit your sleep training methods to reinforce those habits and give your child the support he or she needs.
One of the hardest parts of sleep training your baby is getting the support and advice you and your baby need as a family. Beautiful Baby Sleep offers the customized support and compassionate guidance you need.