Should "sleep training" and "secret" really have to be in the same sentence?
I recently saw an article on Scary Mommy that confessed, "My deep dark secret: I sleep trained my baby (and I have no regrets)".
At first I was offended and wondered why anyone would have to keep such news a secret. But as I read on, I discovered a common problem so many of us face as moms, especially those who chose to sleep train: mom-shaming.
The author of the aforementioned article had this to say in her "confession":
It worked really well for our family, and I am pretty angry with the parents who make me–and other parents who decided sleep training is right for them–feel like it should remain a deep, dark secret. Like we should be ashamed or embarrassed.
I appreciated how she went on to further define what sleep training is and isn't. For some reason, our society has become fixated on picking sides: things have to be black or white...suggesting there is no gray area.
Yes, even within the sleep training community, there are multiple methods and viewpoints (though we're obviously partial to the time-tested principles presented in On Becoming Babywise).
But what really moved me about Ms. Martinez's article was her conclusion:
What happened to gathering all the information you can and then using your gut? How about instead of relying solely on facts and figures, we honor ourselves and trust in our instincts to be good parents too? Let’s believe in the deep connection we have to our children.
While critics of sleep training - and the Babywise method in particular - have accused parents who choose to sleep train of ignoring their baby's needs and moving through their day like robots, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the introduction of On Becoming Babywise encourage parents with the following:
We realize there are a number of parenting theories being marketed today, most of which come gift-wrapped with unrealistic promises and unnecessary burdens. In light of the many options, how can new parents know what approach is best for their families? Since every philosophy of parenting has a corresponding outcome unique to that philosophy, we encourage new and expectant parents to consider, evaluate, and decide which approach is best for their families. This can be accomplished by observing the end results. Spend time with relatives and friends who follow the La Leche League/Attachment Parenting style of infant care. Observe those who practice hyper-scheduling, and certainly evaluate the outcomes associated with Babywise.
So what can we all agree on in the end? Your baby is exactly that: your baby. Take time to research, explore and lean on parents who have traveled the road ahead of you. Within the pages of On Becoming Babywise, you'll discover wisdom based on decades of parenting and pediatric practices, but ultimately, it's up to you as a mom to make the right decision for your family.
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