The Good News About Sleep Training

Sleep training, or sleep guidance, or sleep assistance, or whatever you’d like to call it, is a heavily debated topic in parenting circles. Those against sleep training often label it as cruel or “evil” without even having an understanding of what sleeping training/guidance/assistance actually involves. The two most popular and, in my opinion, gentle methose are the controlled comforting method and the camping out method, used by Super Nanny. Those of us who have practised it know that there is nothing cruel or evil about it and we have seen first hand the benefits of it.

From my own experience I know that the benefits of sleep training were far reaching. I felt less depressed, anxious, overwhelmed and stressed when I was well rested which in turn helped me to be the best Mom I could be to my baby. And for my baby, there was no denying that she was a far happier, easy going and settled child when she too was well rested.

A lot of Mom’s are afraid to sleep train because they worry about the long term emotional effects that it could have on their baby but new research is now proving that there is no long term effect in terms of parent to baby bonding and that children who were gently sleep trained show no adverse effects, no emotional trauma no difference in their emotions, sociability and conduct to those who were not sleep trained.

The previously accepted theory that babies who are sleep trained are more inclined to develop hyperactivity has also been disproved. In fact, the study concluded that children who had not been sleep trained, and I quote:

In fact, slightly more children in the control group had emotional or behavioral problems than in the sleep-trained group.

The final finding of the study was this:

Meanwhile, earlier data from the study show that sleep-training does work: babies learn to go to sleep easier at bedtime and stay asleep longer at night. Based on the findings, the authors conclude that sleep-training is safe and effective, and call for an increase in parent education about these methods as well as more training for health specialists to recommend the procedures.

You can read the full article here:

If you think that gentle sleep training is something you’d like to try, I’d really encourage you to attend a Baby Love seminar or book a one on one session with their trainers.  You can visit Baby Love’s website for more info.


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  • Reply Melanie Voordewind

    We did sleepsense sleep training with Jano, you put him to bed, make him comfortable and leave. if he starts crying you go back to him every 5 min. 1st time you re-assure him, close him again walk out, 2nd time you put him down and close him pat him lightly on the leg, leave, after every 5 min you go back and put him down. walk out. 1st night I almost LOST it. Jano cried for 85 min. I though i was the cruellest mom in the world!!! 2nd night it was 25 min and 3rd night he slept thru. it is now 6 years later and Jano do not have a problem in the world with bedtime.
    BUT BEWARE it is not working for all babies. Liam did not adapt to sleepsense sleep training.. he cried till he threw up, every night, after 7 days. I COULD NOT CONTINUE sleepnsense with Liam he is now 5 1/2 he will go to bed not problem but every 2 hours he will be up. then he is in our bed. if i take him back I can time the clock. 2 hours and he is back. if he sleep in our bed he will sleep through till next morning.

    September 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm
  • Reply Sharon

    I think the key with sleep training is to know your child and then find which technique works for you. We tried Baby Sense with Ava and it did not work at all. Then I tried the “camping out” technique with some success but Baby Love worked best for us, after 2 days she was settling herself and we’ve been enjoying pain free going to sleep and full nights sleep since she was very young! A total win win for us.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm
    • Reply Melanie Voordewind

      tx Sharon! i will look into the Baby Love 🙂
      (me a bit tired) i’m lucky if i get 6 hours sleep a night with Liam.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    It is the term sleep ‘training’ that gets people’s backs up. Plus it obviously should never happen while there is still a nutritional need for a baby to wake often. But I never understand moms who are so happy about their baby’s milestones – when they finally crawl, walk and eat solids – but won’t teach them how to sleep. It is as much of a skill to be taught as everything else. And I think it fosters independence in children which is our job as parents to nurture.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Totally agree with u Jen.
      My goal with sleep training Ava was not so much to get her to sleep through the night, but to encourage her to settle herself so that bed time would not require hours of back breaking rocking and crying (the crying would be me by the way). The sleeping through she pretty much did herself, the first time she slept through at 6 weeks old, and then consistently every night from about 3 or 4 months. But biggest issue was getting her to fall asleep without the hours of frustration on both our parts, which she learnt so well from her sleep training. Even night time feeds became a breeze because I could put her down as soon as she’d fed and she’d go back to sleep by herself within minutes. FTW!

      September 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm
  • Reply Fairy Girl

    I was one of the fortunate moms, all three of my kids slept through from around six weeks without my help. Perhaps they could sense I was an overtired bat lol or perhaps they inherited my “sleep genes”. I can sleep anywhere – anytime, I love my sleep.

    I’ve had quite a few friends that tried “sleep training” with their kiddy winks and it worked wonders for them.

    Now and again Logan will refuse to sleep, we allow her to read a book or play with her doll in her bed and she’s usually out for the count in five.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm
  • Reply Ros Mitchell

    Sleep training isn’t all good. This study suggests that babies may just learn that crying isn’t effective and are still stressed out.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      I think it’s important to note that the studies you refer to relate to CIO which is very different to sleep training, which is gentle and with no extended periods of crying. Proper sleep training has been proven time and again to not have any negative effects but it is important to note that sleep training is TOTALLY different to CIO.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm
  • Reply Laura

    I think we are sleeping training with Jack now. We stopped his night time milk bottle a few weeks ago hoping he would stop waking – he doesnt mind water or tea :-/ So it kinda backfired.

    The last 3 nights he wakes and cries but if we leave him he does stop and falls asleep again but it happens about 3/4 times a night :-/ And shows no signs of getting better!!

    I actually am not sure what to do – D reckons we leave him and it will get better.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm
  • Reply Nikki Heyman

    I did sleep training with my now 17 year old son and now I can’t get him to stop sleeping. #teenageproblem.
    On a serious note, it was one of the most difficult things I ever did, but when one gets desperate enough, you try anything. The images of me leopard crawling on the floor are still vivid enough to make me remember those days like “yesterday” , but at least I can now laugh about it.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm
  • Reply TJ

    Yup, I firmly believe in sleep training! I don’t feel sorry for the moms that complain about sleep but won’t sleep train. I think it is important to help our babies learn to sleep and link their sleep. It is very much a learned skill and need for babies.

    I know I can put my boys to bed at 7pm and leave the room and continue to do my own thing – sure, Memphis still wakes up at night and I co-sleep when he wakes up early hours, but I don’t have to break my back rocking him to sleep.

    I stand just as firmly in my decision to leave the door closed for Xavier because he was sleep walking and would often only cry when he was at the bottom of the stairs. We have to do what we have to do to teach, train and protect our children.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm
  • Reply Lisa-Marie

    So agree with this! As I said to you – it changed our lives SO positively in SO many ways that I was left thinking that it should be compulsory for all parents to do it! (shock horror!)

    September 13, 2012 at 11:59 am
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