Why I Believe in Sleep Training
I firmly believe you do not have to justify your parenting choices to anyone, but I wanted to share why sleep training was the best thing for our family.
I needed sleep: This is obvious and the most common reason people make changes to their child's sleep habits. I am someone who loveloveloves sleep. Having an infant was exhausting, but that was to be expected. It was as my son got older that I became more and more frustrated with his night wakings and knew I had to do something.
My son needed sleep: This is often overlooked. Kids NEED sleep to be healthy and grow. Decreased sleep can have negative effects on your child's growth and behavior.
I was not myself: Some people believe that sleep training is selfish of the parents. My response: Yep and there's nothing wrong with that! I'm a better wife, mother, employee and person when I get sleep. I'm happier and more enjoyable to be around (ask my husband).
I needed quick results: I probably could have made changes to my son's sleep without sleep training, but I was impatient. If the plan was going to take a few weeks, I knew I wouldn't be able to stick with it. I needed to see results within a few days and sleep training did that.
I needed an easy to follow plan: I didn't want to have to think about how I should respond to my child in the middle of the night when I'm already exhausted. A simple, solid sleep training plan took all the guesswork out of our schedule.
I needed a schedule: I'm very Type A and needed to know when my child would go to bed, when they would wake up and when they would nap. Sleep training made life so much more predictable. It was actually freeing to be able to say, "I can't go to the park at 1:00 because he will be napping, but I can go to the park anytime before noon." I suddenly knew what to expect each day.
I needed time for myself and my husband: Having a predictable bedtime and nap time, along with an efficient bedtime routine, allowed more time to connect with my husband and do things that I enjoyed. I could read again! My husband and I could watch a movie! We could talk! It was (and continues to be) amazing.
So whatever your reason, do not feel any shame in wanting to sleep train. And if sleep training isn't for you, that's great too.