Why is it that sleep is the one thing that parents are so afraid to let their babies and toddlers learn to do on their own?
Learning to crawl
As parents we spend hours practicing tummy time and crawling around on our hands and knees, acting like a baby, to show our little one how to crawl.
And then everyone does a happy dance when they are finally on the move!
Learning to walk
Every parent is dying to capture their baby’s first steps on camera! We are constantly holding onto little fingers and breaking our backs as our little ones take practice steps with our help.
And then everyone does a happy dance when those first little steps come together, hands free!
Learning to talk
Sure most parents throw around some baby talk here or there, but for the most part, we are reading book after book, and babbling around the clock for our child to get a better grasp on the English language.
And then everyone does a happy dance when they speak their first words!
Learning to use the potty
Most of us parents are in such a rush to ditch the diapers, that the second we see a possibility of getting our kid on the potty, we jump head first into potty training!
And then everyone does a happy dance when it finally clicks and diapers become a thing of the past!
(anyone remember the Look Who’s Talking- “Pee Pee on the Potty!” dance?! #ima90skid )
And the list can go on and on – eating solid foods, using utensils, coloring with crayons, climbing steps. These are all achievements that we are always working with our little ones to accomplish, usually before they are even ready to!
So why is sleep so different?
I hear parents say all the time- “my child is three year old and still doesn’t sleep through the night!” Parents spend so much time with their little ones learning all these new skills, that they eventually master, why should sleep be any different? In fact, it should be the opposite!
Parents should be spending the most amount of time with their little one trying to master sleep because if they aren’t getting enough sleep then it will be even harder for them to master any of these other skills! If your pediatrician is giving you the green light to have your child sleep through the night, then what is stopping you from working on this with your little one?
Some people call it “sleep training” and there is a lot of controversy around that phrase. However, if you take that taboo phrase out of it, having your child learn to self soothe and sleep on their own, are skills that are very doable, age appropriate (for babies older than 5 months old), and extremely beneficial for them to master on their own.
Do you have to let your baby “cry it out” to learn how to sleep? No, not at all! But, think about this…
Did your baby cry when you were working on tummy time in the beginning?
Did that stop you?
According to pediatricians and all the parenting books, tummy time is super important for your baby to master so that they can move on and learn more essential skills. But its hard! Young babies usually hate tummy time at first. But as parents we are there for our baby, offering support and encouraging them, and little by little tummy time gets easier and easier.
Well the same is true when they are learning to fall asleep on their own! Yes there will be some tears of frustration at first, but just like tummy time, because this is such an important skill for your little one to master, you shouldn’t give up trying or put it on the back burner. You can be there for your little one, offering support, and encouraging them to succeed.
you can do a happy dance when they are sleeping through the night 💜🧸