Why I Said No To Sleep Training

Sleep training is teaching a baby to go to sleep on their own. There are a few methods, from letting the baby “cry it out” to soothing the baby back to sleep without picking the baby up. There are many suggestions about how many months old the baby should be. Most say at least 3 months, but beware during one of the dreaded sleep regressions.

With my son I was desperate to stop waking up every 2 hours when he was about 6-7 months old. I decided to try sleep training and attempted to Ferberize him (let him cry it out).

It was painful. Not only did he not go to sleep, he almost threw up and his crying made my heart break. Everyone says to stick with it for at least a week. Well, I went about four days and then had enough. If my little pumpkin needed his mommy, I was going to give him what he wanted. Too bad, sleep. You’re taking the backseat.

I don’t regret it. My body learned to adjust. My son learned to sleep through the night at 19 months, when he was ready. Sometimes he still wakes up, but now he is a great sleeper and still takes a 2 or so hour nap every day.

One thing I learned from my graduate school psychology class in psychoanalysis was that you can’t spoil a baby. A baby can only express needs and it is the caregiver’s job to understand and provide. A baby only wants to be taken cared of and loved. I was, and still am, happy to provide that.

Now,  with my daughter, I have chosen to completely forego sleep training. She will learn to sleep when she is ready. Sometimes she does put herself to sleep. I didn’t teach her that; she decided to do that on her own. It’s not consistent, but it is a step. One day she will sleep, and so will I, but when she’s ready.



9 thoughts on “Why I Said No To Sleep Training”

  • Thanks for this ! I too decided not to sleep train my baby and after he cried for 2 hours straight and still didn’t go to sleep.
    In social work I learned similar, babies development is pivotal on being able to trust their caregivers. Otherwise they can become anxious or angry children and later adults.
    So this encouraged me so much. I may actually do a similar post on my blog 🙂 to share as well.

  • I needed this post today. 🙌🏻. My youngest is 16 months old and still wakes up one to two times a night. I get a lot of grief for not letting him cry it out.

    I let my oldest cry it out, and it only took one night and he was sleeping through the night. My baby just likes to be held. He’s my last. I will baby him as long as he lets me!

    • Wow, that’s great that it was so fast for your oldest!

      I agree about babying the last baby. I just can’t stop doing it myself! I think it’s great that you’re not giving in and letting him cry. No baby, no matter how old, needs that kind of stress. Besides, if psychosocial developmental theories are to be followed, then my favorite says the crisis that needs to be resolved at this age is trust vs mistrust. The baby needs to trust you will be there for him, and you are! You are lucky, though, that it’s 1-2 times a night. My son was up every 2 hours until 19 months. Good luck and stay strong!

  • Everyone told me I HAD to sleep train my daughter at 6 Months. I was shamed for co-sleeping by friends who don’t have children. That’s a funny one. I’m so thankful that she didn’t cry to much and got the hang of it after just three days. But she refused to sleep in a crib or bassinet from the start. She only wanted mama’s arms. I don’t necessarily regret it, but I still feel bad about it. She’s two now and still wakes up in the night at least 3 times a week. What can I say? The kid hates to sleep! Lol. Lessons learned for when we’re ready to take on #2!!

    • I hate it when people tell me what I should do, especially when they don’t have kids. But it’s also annoying when they do because every child is different and what makes them think they know everything about your child? Best of luck when you do have #2!

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