The Problem with Anti-Sleep Training Rhetoric Pt. 2

#2 It only looks at one tiny part of the bigger picture.

A baby isn’t the only member of a family. There are also parents – one or more, sometimes siblings, caregivers, grandparents. Anti-ST people take out a magnifying glass and ONLY look at how sleep training might affect the baby, not taking into consideration the needs of anyone else in the equation. If the baby waking 10 times a night means parents aren’t sleeping, the parents are SUFFERING. If bedsharing means the baby sleeps great but YOU do not, you are suffering. If parents are spending so much time trying to get the baby to nap that they’re unable to spend time with their other kids, those siblings are SUFFERING. And really, do you think an exhausted parent is really being the best they can be for the baby anyway?

I’ve had parents come to me physically ill, worried about their ability to keep their jobs, driving so exhausted they risked an accident every time they got behind the wheel, resenting and regretting having kids. Lack of sleep can really exacerbate mental health issues, especially in postpartum parents. Even if the issues aren’t that major, parents want their identities back. They want to eat dinner with their partner or watch a TV show or read a book. Sleep training gives you your LIFE back.

And while we’re on the subject, these conflicts can sometimes occur within a family as well. If one partner (usually the one not getting up all night) is so concerned that the baby NEVER CRY, then they are not seeing how much their partner is suffering EVERY DAY. Open your eyes!

What’s worse here? A few nights of a bit of crying, or months on end of physical and emotional difficulty for the whole family? And who are YOU, anti-sleep-training critic, to decide whose needs are most important?

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