Friday, January 13, 2012

did you set out to sleep train your child?

Working on my sleep question book again, I'm struck by the absence of the hardcore sleep trainer. Sure, there are several moms and dads who've shared their experiences using some form of the Ferber method with its recommended intervals of crying, or the Baby Wise sleep scheduling and cry-it-out approach, or Dr. Weissbluth's solution of "controlled crying" or "all crying" ("extinction"), but I have yet to find a first-time parent that set out to sleep train from the get-go. While some are quicker to turn to sleep training, and all seem happy with the results, most moms and dads who've shared their experiences with me, resorted to sleep training as a final recourse after much sleepless agony.

When I started my sleep question project, I imagined I'd find one camp of co-sleepers and nurse-on-demand mamas, and another die-hard camp of sleep trainers and child behavior schedulers. What I've found instead are these murky waters of a lot of in-between and a-little-of-all.

Which is why I now wonder: is there anybody out there who set out to sleep train their firstborn child from the outset? Did you or do you know someone who did? Please comment or email me at anne(at) And please pass this on to other moms and dads. Thanks!


  1. I think the concept of "baby-led" vs. "parent-led" could be useful to you here. Looking into the definitions of both led me to the conclusion that I'm squarely in the middle. Strictly baby-led at some times and parent-led at other times. So, for example, I did set out to intentionally sleep train, but I also nursed on demand *if I thought the baby MIGHT be hungry*.

    Also, could you define what you mean by "sleep train"? 



  2. Thanks for your input, Tara; I appreciate it!

    I'm reluctant to define "sleep training" more precisely though (other than alluding to the above authors, approaches and methods) because my impression at this point is that it means different things to different parents and I'm interested in getting to those individual interpretations and experiences.


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