Common Questions About Baby Sleep, Co-sleeping & Bedsharing
Updated: Mar 21
I'm tired, should I sleep train, any other solutions? I'm feeling impatient and fed up with how much work it takes to get my baby to go to sleep, any tips?
Those are some common questions I see doing the rounds in many mothering facebook groups. Here's the answers:
Baby Sleep Q & A
Question: “I am tired and considering sleep training my baby, another other suggestions?”
“My suggestion is bedsharing & having the expectation that it’s biologically normal for little ones to wake in the night and to need responsiveness & closeness at night. And expecting phases of more wakes that eventually pass… there’re more wakes because it’s a period of higher need. The increased wakes signals increased need. Sleep training extinguishes a child’s cry for help, but doesn’t extinguish their needs that therefore go unmet when they’ve been trained that no one will come if they cry in the night. Self soothing isn’t possible for a child’s brain. They can be trained not to cry, but they aren’t soothed. Sleep training is not an evidence based practise and I personally believe when government advice catches up with research, it will one day be classified as neglect and won’t be a widespread practise. The impact of maternal deprivation/separation is pretty intense if you read the research. I would face this like any other life challenge… get as many other things off your plate and arrange your life to be able to respond to the child’s increased needs, and also bedsharing helps and is the environment we are designed for on a evolutionary level. Also, baby-wearing for day sleeps is a huge help. I latched on my babies in the baby carrier (I used Tula baby carriers with adjustable straps), and then I went for a walk and they fell asleep. I could then transition them onto a bed, or sit down, adjust the straps to make them more comfy and I could relax and read something or attend to my to-do list on my phone, or meditate. "
Question: “any tips for a phase when you’re feeling impatient and cranky that your baby/child won’t fall asleep or is taking ages to fall asleep but clearly is tired.”
I went through these phases. I guess knowing it’s normal and others go through it too helps… so I felt less alone about experiencing it.
Also, giving it a new meaning that feels good: e.g.
“this is the time of day where I bond deeply with my child, demonstrate co-regulation and in doing so create a legacy of love that will ripple through generations to come and that I will feel proud of when I sit and reflect on my life at 80yrs.
Future me is going to be so proud of me, and my relationship with my child is going to be so rewarding and connected… and right now is when I am planting the seeds for that.
What else could I be doing with my time, and is that really more important than the amazing seeds I am planting now and the legacy I am creating? Is there really a better use of my time right now? I came here to love, and this part of the day brings me to a complete stop and teaches me how to love for 1-2hrs… what a gift, I am so proud of myself etc.
I also acknowledge that this is really hard and I see myself feeling impatient, and I love myself anyway, just like I love my child no matter what… etc”
So, take it as a time to do really empowering self talk.
I also often tried to meditate too. So I closed my eyes and tried to meditate. If my kids were too restless for me to meditate, I went back to the self talk… as though watching myself and being my own cheerleader for all the good I was doing for my children and for the world in creating love and loved children…