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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sleep Training: Does it work?

     I see it all the time, mom's on the edge because baby wakes up frequently at night. Then, comes the inevitable advice, "Put him in his own bed in his own room and let him cry." Let's discuss that shall we? Ok sure, your kid is now screaming in another room all alone...what is your first instinct? Could it be to run and pick up your baby and comfort it? If it is, why do you feel this is such a bad thing to do? Why fight nature? Babies can't talk, their only form of communication is crying. Babies can't understand time and what is "normal" for us adults. Babies ARE very dependent creatures...they rely on someone to help them, to feed them, to hug them, to do everything for them. Why deny them of all that just because it is nighttime?

     Now let's discuss if this does in fact work. Well, I see it all the time on other pages..."My son was doing well with (insert crazy training for sleep here) and then he stopped, he is 11 months and has been waking up every hour."  Ok, so maybe instead of FORCING this sleep onto them, why not figure out what it is your child is needing, what may be happening?

    I, as an adult, do NOT always sleep for 8 straight hours without waking. I wake up when I need to pee, I wake up when I need to roll over, I wake up when I hear things, I wake up after a dream, I wake up just because and I wake up if I am too hot or too cold. Now I want you to read that again, think on it for a second. Think long and hard about how you sleep every night. Do you always go right to bed and pass out hard and sleep 8 straight hours non-stop every night? I highly doubt it. Do you experience episodes of awakening? Pretty sure you do. Now, your baby has a tiny tummy, an inherent need of someone to do everything for it, a tiny bladder, acute hearing, no experience with house noises or much else...it cannot talk and communicate any need, fear or want to you except through cries. So, I ask, why do you expect this little one to sleep like a rock all night long almost from birth? Not saying it doesn't happen, but, why expect it to happen as though it is a definite set in stone thing? It is far from it.

 Also, studies show that mommies who breastfeed get better sleep than their formula feeding counterparts. Although, at first, your little one will stay attached to the breast non-stop for maybe even the first 2 weeks. No need to panic though, it definitely does even out and become better.

16 comments:

  1. Very good point. I also like to ask that mom, "how do you sleep when your husband isn't home?" Most often it's not very well. We aren't designed to sleep like rocks every night. How would we survive as a species?

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  2. I completely agree with this!

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  3. Sorry, but this is a ridiculous post... Sleep training does not "force" your baby to stay asleep all night. It teaches your baby to soothe themselves back to sleep if they do wake - the same way adults can after waking for all the reasons you mentioned. Do some research PLEASE. Posts like this irritate me as they give out incorrect information to moms looking for serious answers.

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  4. P.S. I just sleep-trained my 6 month old. He cried for a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes over a 3 night period - combined. He now sleeps for a 12 hour stretch (wakes inbetween, but goes right back to sleep). He's a lot happier in the day now that he gets a full nights sleep. There is nothing cruel about giving your baby the gift of sleep. For all mom's considering it - check out this site http://www.facebook.com/SleepStore - there are thousands of moms with great success stories and they're all dying to help you!

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  5. Actually, there is NO reason for a BABY to need to soothe themselves back to sleep alone. There is a reason they wake and it's your job to figure it out. NOT to teach them to self soothe so you can get your precious sleep and they have no parenting at night. My son was never FORCED to learn to sleep on his own...he slept all night from 3 months old. Maybe if you felt like parenting at night wasn't a burden, then, your baby would have slept all night sooner. To most of us here, your post is utterly ridiculous. Why don't YOU do the research and see for yourself. Not to mention that posts like yours are equally as irritating to me.

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  6. I did not sleep-train my child because I didn't feel like being a parent at night!! That's a common misconception and it makes me so mad when people assume things they know nothing about. Isn't it funny that those moms who's babies sleep through early on are the BIGGEST judges of sleep-training! You are very, very lucky that you did not have to sleep-train. It's the hardest thing in the world to do and hearing your baby cry is the most terrible sound in the world. I did it FOR my baby. He could not sleep for longer than an hour at a time and I struggled for 6 months trying to help him by getting up every night and staying up for hours. I wasn't teaching him good sleep habits and I was his soother. I couldn't leave him overnight at his granny because he'd scream. He can now stay over happily, because he's not dependent on me to fall asleep. I'm not here to have a debate with you, I just hope moms reading your post read mine too so that they can know that there is real help out there - you can't be a good mom if you wrap your car around a pole due to sleep-deprivation...

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  7. The damage to babies from CIO has not been scientifically proven - Take this paragraph for example:

    “Some babies of mothers that drink during pregnancy turn out okay. Others get fetal alcohol syndrome. Some kids that are bullied at school brush it off, others suffer from depression, get bad marks, commit suicide or murder. Some children that are victims of sexual abuse are able to get over it and move on, for others their lives are ruined. Some children who are left to cry it out will turn out okay and others will suffer intellectually, emotionally and socially.”

    All of your initial examples can be proven scientifically. We KNOW that some children that are victims of sexual abuse will suffer tremendously from this later in life, or that some kids being bullied at school will develop depressions. There is plenty of evidence for this. However, no evidence whatsoever indicate that SOME children who are left to cry it out “will suffer intellectually, emotionally and socially.” No evidence at all suggest that ANY children who are left to cry it out “will suffer intellectually, emotionally and socially.” This is only your opinion and it is not based on any facts. You have the right to think, believe, hope or guess whatever you like, but don’t pretend that you know something that you don’t.

    I could as well say that “SOME children who are NOT left to cry it out turn out ok and others will never develop into happy and independent individuals."

    Bottom line, for some babies, controlled crying may work well and help to develop healthy and necessary sleeping habits. As a matter of fact, by NOT developing healthy and necessary sleeping habits, one could certainly harm a child intellectually, emotionally and socially. Plenty of evidence show that our sleeping habits affect our mental and physical health (that’s why sleep deprivation so popular in Guantanamo Bay…).

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  8. LOL...why are you adamant that your kid is fine? How old is your kid? Did you co-sleep? Did you nurse or bottle feed? There are many factors in why and how kids do best at night. CIO HAS been proved to cause brain changes and damage in babies. My son is now 15y/o, he has always been a good sleeper. No,m I wasn't lucky, he slept by my side from birth and I parented him at night. When he did ever wake up after 3 months old, I still parented. I fed him or rocked him or talked to him. I didn't train him to not need me, that was a milestone he acquired the ability to do all on his own. It isn't a skill to be taught. Kids aren't supposed to to be able to sleep without needing someone to feed or comfort until their bodies are physically able to and that may be 1 week old or 2 years old.

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  9. Why don't you pop onto the Sleep Store discussion board on facebook and comment on there to the hundreds of mom's struggling with sleep? You seem to be an "expert" and I'm sure they'd love to hear your opinions. In particular, go onto the Starting VR topic. There are ladies on there in particular, suffering on a daily basis - breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, co-sleeping, from ages 2 months to 4 years, that have tried everything you have never had to. If you're such a better mother than all of us, please do share. But before shouting the odds (I've read some of your posts and you're very judgemental of anything that goes against what you believe in/have done with your children - some ladies have even had the guts to challenge you) why don't you take a walk in their shoes by reading some of their stories? It would go a long way in making you (and this blog) a much more valuable resource to moms out there. Just a thought...

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  10. The deal is...I do NOT believe in "Training" a child younger than one year to not need me at night. No matter how little he sleeps. That in my mind is cruel and harmful. I don't care who asks, I will have the same advice. If they aren't sleeping sometimes after one year old, then and only then, I might consider another method. However, you can't seem to take that as gospel from me. I really don't care how you feel about it. This is MY page, so of course it will contain parenting tips I feel are best. I mean really, if this was your page, you could post every article on sleep training there was including a step by step how-to. BTW, there is NO WAY on this Earth I would EVER sleep train a 2 month old. My son didn't sleep all night at 2 months and I kindly got up every 30 minutes with him. In fact, for the first month, I nursed him 2 hours straight every 30 minutes, so I know about sleep deprivation. I still did sleep train. I also want to point out, I explain in the "about" section of this blog that we are all about attachment and natural parenting...that should imply expressly that I will NOT discuss sleep training. If you prefer that, go to the "Babywise" or "Save Our Sleep" or any of the other site for training KNOWN to harm babies. Did you even know that the AAP issued a statement against the use of "Babywise" and are against CIO? Because those are damaging to babies.

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  11. Ok - well now you've just gone and discredited yourself completely. Please send me a link that indicates AAP is against CIO? (Babywise was critised for it's stance on feeding small babies on a schedule - not for sleep issues). In fact, they did a study on CIO to see the long term effects on babies. Here is it: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/122/3/e621.full NO NOTED EFFECTS. And they support the National Sleep Foundation which advocates assisting children to sleep independently from 3 months of age! You said babies don't need to soothe themselves back to sleep?? Please, read here: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/children-and-sleep - a wonderful article explaining all about "self-soothing". (Approved by the AAP.) The AAP have also linked babies' frequent night wakings to everything from postpartum depression in moms to future obesity and behavior problems in kids. In fact, your blog contradicts a lot of what the AAP says, so please don't use them to support your opinion! They are against co-sleeping (SIDS) and are ultimately against breastfeeding to sleep too.
    I'm aware that this blog is YOUR blog and that it's all about attachment parenting etc. I'm not against any of that - I'm against MISINFORMATION. All paedatricians are pro sleep-training in certain circumstances. And FYI and for all other moms out there reading this - sleep training is not about abandoning your baby while he cries - there's a method to encourage good sleep habits. Read this step by step guide (yes, written by the AAP) http://www.healthychildren.org/english/ages-stages/baby/sleep/pages/Getting-Your-Baby-to-Sleep.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token
    After your last post, unfortunately, I cannot really take this blog seriously anymore...

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  12. As a mum to a sleep trained boy who strts his CAHMS assessment in a couple of weeks. NO, it does not work. He was my only child I did it with, and now, at the age of 8 he's my worst sleeper. The child who was breastfed, coslept and worn, at the age of 3 is my best sleeper.

    You say it doesn't damage children. It does, I have proof of it sitting right beside me.

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  13. OMG! are you serious? whoever you are speaking "facts" here? do you belive in God? giving a birth to a baby its a greatest gift from God, he took care of everything already without your studies, without your "civilization" researches! no need to go that deep and complicated, just look at you cat or any other Gods creator, they didt forget about their instincts, they dont use brain to raise their babies, they coo-sleep, they breastfeed on demand, they stay attached to their babies till they are ready grown and independent to survive alone..how do they know that this is the best for their kids? from where they take knowledge? from their heart, cuz heart given to us from God to help us stay connected to him to survive as a species..

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  14. Anonymous! I dont know your name, you maybe ashamed to show it on public?! OMG for you and your "facts"! are you really serious about all those serious things you trying to say? I just cant understand, do you have a heart? do you believe in God? if you do, you should know that children we have are our greatest gift from him, and as he gives us this gift he provides us with all needed to support our children to make them survive. No need to go too deep in analyzing maternity, no need for all this info, studies and AAP, just look around, maybe you have a cat or any other Gods creator next to you, they have their babies natural way, they breastfeed, the coo-sleep, they stay attached to their babies till they grown up, strong, independent and ready to protect themselves, they become like this after feeling secure and loved by their parents! animals don't use their brain to know how to raise their babies, they don't read articles, they listen to their instincts to their heart. God gave us all heart to connect with us, to help us to survive to live peaceful and respectful life and we have to RESPECT our kids, their needs to help them to grow up in better generation, with less wars and less crimes...

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  15. Anonymous! I dont know your name, you maybe ashamed to show it on public?! OMG for you and your "facts"! are you really serious about all those serious things you trying to say? I just cant understand, do you have a heart? do you believe in God? if you do, you should know that children we have are our greatest gift from him, and as he gives us this gift he provides us with all needed to support our children to make them survive. No need to go too deep in analyzing maternity, no need for all this info, studies and AAP, just look around, maybe you have a cat or any other Gods creator next to you, they have their babies natural way, they breastfeed, the coo-sleep, they stay attached to their babies till they grown up, strong, independent and ready to protect themselves, they become like this after feeling secure and loved by their parents! animals don't use their brain to know how to raise their babies, they don't read articles, they listen to their instincts to their heart. God gave us all heart to connect with us, to help us to survive to live peaceful and respectful life and we have to RESPECT our kids, their needs to help them to grow up in better generation, with less wars and less crimes...

    ReplyDelete