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The Sleep Doula Saved Us!

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It’s one of the most controversial and emotional topics that every parent seems to have an opinion on – sleep training.

Making the decision to have your baby “cry it out”, is stressful. No parent wants to hear their child scream uncontrollably for an hour or more! But some babies keep their parents up so much at night that it is hard to function.

I was definitely finding it very hard to function when my son was about 5 months old, when he would be up an average of 7 times a night. The only way I could get him back to sleep was by nursing him. Rocking him wouldn’t work, patting his back, giving him a soother… nothing. I woke up exhausted every morning feeling like I could barely face the day.

I remember very clearly the day I hosted a playdate and one of my friends started talking about the sleep troubles she was having with her son. Her little guy would wake up about 13 times a night. Desperate for some sleep, she called the Sleep Doula.

Of course, my very sleep deprived ears perked up when I heard these words. A sleep doula?! I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that I wanted one!

The sleep doula is Tracey Ruiz and she lives in Toronto. For people who don’t live in the area she does phone consultations. I knew that I had to hire her to get some help!

The process begins with a questionnaire. Tracey looks for as much history and medical information as possible. Sleep training isn’t exactly a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Different approaches may be recommended depending on the age of the child (she will help get school aged children to sleep), habits, and environmental situation.

I started the training when K was exactly 6 months old. It is not recommended to start much before this age, with a few exceptions (I’ve heard of some people starting at 4 months in extreme situations). You also should not begin sleep training if your child has recently had any immunizations, or has been introduced to any new foods. It’s also best to start sleep training when your child is healthy, and when you are ready. Being ready does not only include emotional readiness, but also includes a commitment to being at home in the evenings for the bedtime routine for at least a week.

Here is the plan we got from the sleep doula:

1. Establish a bedtime routine. In order for K to learn how to fall asleep on his own, we had to eliminate his nursing=sleeping association. This meant we had to reverse the order of our bedtime routine. Rather than nurse him until he fell asleep she told us to make sure he went into his crib awake. The new routine had to consist of: Nurse, bath, story, bed. She told us to make sure we did the same thing every night.

2. Commit to a nap schedule. In order for babies to have good sleep habits at night, they need to be on a nap routine. The amount of sleep a baby needs varies by age and you can check out some sample schedules at babycenter.com.  Tracey made it very clear that babies should NEVER nap past 5:30 pm.

3. Apply the doula method: The doula method is a crying it out technique where you go “shshshshshs” at the same volume as the child’s cry. The shushing has to be done where they cannot see you (either lying down at the base of their crib, or just outside the door). After a while you can do what Tracey calls “intermittent shushing”, where you shush, leave, go back and shush after a few minutes. When you let your child cry it out, you have to commit. You cannot go back into the room, no matter how long the crying has gone on, or how awful the cry is. The only reason you would go into the room is if your child threw up. If that happens then you go in and clean up in a very no-nonsense way. This means no interacting with your baby and keeping the lights as dark as possible.

This technique should be done at night and during nap. The idea behind the doula method is that it reassures the baby that you are there and that you are with them. I feel I should warn parents reading this that shushing does not have a comforting affect. Well not at first. Over time the baby will come to associate your shushing with sleeping, but this will take a few days.

4.  Dream feed at night. It is important to do the dream feed so that you break the “I need to have a bottle or a boob to fall back asleep habit”. To do the dream feed you go in to their room, take them out of their crib and feed them without waking them up. What I especially love about the dream feed is that it makes it much easier to commit to the training knowing that your baby is not waking up due to hunger. The dream feed can be dropped as they get older. By 8 months babies don’t “need” to eat in the night anymore, but every baby is different.

After applying what we had learned, our little guy started sleeping through the night in less than a week. It truly felt like a miracle.

I was so nervous to start this process, but one thing that Tracey said that I will never forget is “Have faith in him. He can do this”.

And he did.

Now I am starting the same process with my daughter. We are starting her at 10 months because her sleep habits used to be good, but went downhill as she got more social! It’s a little bit easier doing it the second time, knowing how successful the training was with my son!

I realize that sleep training is not for everybody. I wasn’t sure if it was for us either, but knowing we were doing it the best possible way with the guidance from a professional really made everything easier. To help me get through the first 3 nights (It’s usually only really bad for 3 nights, then a miraculous improvement happens), I just kept reminding myself that this process was “short term pain, long term gain.

If you are struggling, I really recommend giving the sleep doula a call. Tracey can help with a variety of sleep problems, including transitioning from a crib to a bed.

I strongly believe that because of Tracey’s help we have an almost 3 year old with excellent sleep habits. Our bedtime routine is usually very smooth, and K never gets out of bed after we tuck him in. Today, I still think that sleep training our son was one of the best decisions we ever made!

Are any of you struggling with getting your baby to sleep? Any other methods you have found to be successful that you would like to share? Have any of you tried the doula method? Please tell us about it!

31 Responses to “The Sleep Doula Saved Us!”

  1. Misty Pratt says:

    As you’ve mentioned, sleep training is very controversial. I am very much against letting children cry, especially if it leads to vomiting. Your child may sleep through the night now, but what kind of stress was he experiencing when he cried so hard he was sick? I’m not placing any blame here or trying to say you’ve “damaged” your child. However, I wanted to comment and say that if you are a mother reading this and feel like crying-it-out would break your heart, please know that there are so many alternatives. Dr. Sears offers some great nighttime parenting advice. What worked for me was involving my husband to give me breaks so that I felt functional. Babies are supposed to wake up at night, and 7 times for a 5 month old is perfectly normal. Know that this stage is just a tiny slice of your life, and will be over before you know it!! You will never regret snuggling and nursing your child in the night. :)

    • kidsinkanata says:

      My child actually was not upset to the point of being sick. It was 3 days of stress but the end result was being able to sleep through the night, which he is still doing now.
      I hear many stories of people with kids who wake in the night multiple times even up to the age of 11. That is one problem we don’t have.
      We tried many of the other alternatives before making our decision. They didn’t work.
      Many women (including myself) have husbands who travel a lot for work. Single mothers also don’t have support from husbands to help them feel functional in the night.
      I want everyone who reads this to know that it was not a decision that was taken lightly. I researched all the alternatives and pros and cons before making this decision.

      • Misty Pratt says:

        I also know many children who wake up at night even though their parents did CIO. And I know parents who didn’t do CIO and their babies/children sleep all night long. The methods you use will not necessarily guarantee a good sleeper. It should also be noted that parents often have to do CIO over and over, every time their child goes through an illness, vaccinations etc. I’m glad this worked for you and your family. This is a hot-button topic, and you’re going to receive a lot of comments from parents who believe responsiveness is best.

  2. Amy Kardaras says:

    This “article” is really an advertisement for a sleep doula located in Toronto!! As a mother to three children, I must disagree with your advice! Sleep training is detrimental to a baby’s health and well being. Allowing a child to cry until they vomit is neglectful and it is wrong. I hope people use common sense when they read this and ignore this advice.

    • kidsinkanata says:

      This article was not an advertisement. The doula does not even know that I wrote it.
      I wrote this article because this method was very helpful to me and my family.
      I did not let my son cry until he vomited. I was simply saying that would be the only case according to the doula where you go into the room. This does not happen very often as far as I know.
      There is some research to suggest that crying it out can be harmful. There is also some research to suggest that there are no long term effects with crying it out. In any case, causality cannot be determined.
      It is also well known that there are many negative side effects to sleep deprivation in both mothers and children.
      At the end of the day there is no magical answer. Every family has to do what is best for them.
      For us it was necessary. It was a difficult 3 days but to us the benefits have outweighed the costs.
      I know it’s not for everyone and I said that. People need to make their own decisions.
      I thought I would pass on my experience because it was a positive one and thought it may help others.

      • Stacey says:

        Have you ever watch a child CIO when they are being monitored. Increase heart, decrease oxygen…. That’s just what we want to see for healthy neurological development!

  3. Susie ;) says:

    Young children may wake at night for reasons other than hunger that are equally important. The idea that a young child should have the same sleep routine as an adult is simply wrong. You have children, you sleep less. Yes, it sucks, but there comes a day when you child will naturally sleep through the night, and you will forget what all those long, sleepless nights were like (and believe it or not, you will miss the night waking!). I have four kids, only one of whom slept through the night before the age of 2, and they are all great sleepers now…. For us, co-sleeping made night waking much easier.

  4. Julie says:

    I continue to be mystified at why adults/parents feel like it is ok to treat their babies/children in a way that they would never allow another adult to be treated. How would you feel to be left alone to cry in a dark room night after night? I know I would feel desperate, alone and scared. Not feelings I want for another adult let alone my young baby who cannot communicate his/her desires other than through crying. It makes me so sad that the CIO “method” continues to be talked about and that the supportive work “doula” is associated with it. Hold your babies close, go to them when they cry, comfort them, love them and take comfort in knowing that they will sleep through the night, when THEY are ready.

  5. Laura says:

    Hello,

    I’ve just finished reading your article and it concerns me that this advice is being passed on for other mother’s to try. I understand sleep deprivation can have it’s toll on mother and baby, I’ve been there, but the truth is that the effects of CIO can be severely damaging to a child.

    I can see in your previous response that you are trying to do the best for your family but I must urge you to reconsider your methods. There are many educational articles out there that go in depth about how damaging CIO is.

    I know what it’s like to feel out of control when it comes to sleep. My daughter didn’t sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time for the first 4 months of her life. It was exhausting but I never let her cry. Instead, I respected her needs and we met in between. We sidecared her crib to our bed and co slept with her. When she woke, I would simply nurse her back to sleep side-lying so that she and I could both get our rest. She’s now 10 months old, sleeps through the night and never a tear was shed… Best part is, we are both perfectly sane and healthy. Co-sleeping might not be for everyone but there are solutions that do not require CIO.

    Please, anyone who reads this article, you must educate yourself on the topic. Here is a link to a page that highlights the damaging effects CIO can have on the human brain. There are many more like it, as well. http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201112/dangers-crying-it-out

    Wouldn’t you rather your child associate sleep with a comforting mother, warm bed and peaceful bed time rather than his/her last memory of the day be fear, loneliness, neglect and abandonment?

    There are many support groups that can help you through this.

  6. Brigitte says:

    A very controversial topic indeed.

    You can approach this from all the angles you want to. Sleep is essential for all facets of growth and development and for the family unit as a whole. There are definitely no guarantees when it comes to sleep or any aspect of parenting for that matter.

    WE all muddle through this and try our best and make the best decisions for our family with the information we have at the time.

    I used this method for both children and within the three day time period they were sleeping through the night consistently. They are happy, social, cooperative little human beings!

    I used Tracey as my sleep doula as well and it should be noted that she sets a maximum length for attempting the method at 90 minutes— if it doesn’t work within the three days you stop and retry another time you don’t go weeks on end with a screaming – vomiting child–

    I was very happy with the method and that there were parameters around the crying- In my opinion I would have probably lost my mind if I hadn’t tried something~!

    I am very happy you wrote this article as I know there are many mothers out there that have tried, or want to try this method but they fear they will be criticized for letting their babies cry.

    It certainly does not work for every mother or every baby but for those it works for it is certainly life changing—-

    I don’t believe trying it for a period of three days will damage a child in any way whatsoever… think of sick children or babies with colic— does crying for 90 minutes damage them for their lives——?

    Thank you for offering your opinion to others-!

    • kidsinkanata says:

      Thank you!
      Nice to hear about your experience too!
      I really think it’s important for all families to make informed decisions and do what they think is best for their children and themselves.

  7. Lindsay Bowie says:

    Thanks for the good read! I think this is one of MANY methods of getting kids into good sleep habits and respect your choice to go this route for your children. I’ve used some of the techniques myself and both kids did the CIO routine at 5 months. They are both just fine health wise and put themselves to sleep at bedtime and sleep through. Bottom line is you made an informed decision and it has worked out- good for you!

    One last note- a child waking 7-10 times a night is not good for them either!! They are not getting the deep sleep they need if they are awake every hour.

    • Laura says:

      If a child is waking, there is a reason. Infant sleep is very different from adult sleep. Their rhythms and cycles are much shorter. Much of this is survival instinct.

      http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/8-infant-sleep-facts-every-parent-should-know

    • Shari says:

      I don’t know why people fall back on the “Well, I did it and my kids are fine.” Do you remember a time when you didn’t have to put seatbelts on, or smoking while pregnant was fine? As technology advances so does our outlooks on what is “right” or “wrong” and “healthy” or “unhealthy.” More and more evidence against CIO is being released daily. Besides factors such as low birth weight and anxiety, the reason the babies start sleeping through the night is because they have “given up” on any sort of rescue and become hopeless. Why would a parent want to create a rift between their self and their baby? The reason mothers feel so horrible doing CIO is because it’s your body trying to TELL you something is WRONG! You are hard wired to attend to your child’s needs and your baby is crying because your baby *needs* you. Babies cry when their mother isn’t near, it’s an instinct, one that protects them. Your baby doesn’t realize they were born into middle class and safe in their own room and crib. To a baby, a missing parent means something is wrong. I don’t find the comments on this post harsh, I find them informative, so that if a new parent read this blog post they would see via comments that there are several other *peaceful* alternatives, ones that make both the mother and baby happy.

      • kidsinkanata says:

        Thanks for your post.
        I think it would be appreciated by many parents if you pointed us towards peaceful alternatives.
        I tried some of the more peaceful alternatives before trying this method and didn’t find any effective ones. If there are more that I am unaware of I would love to hear about them!
        I also just want to take the time to point out that in addition to new finding on CIO there are always news findings on the negative impact of sleep deprivation. I think every family needs to find the balance that works.

      • Lindsay Bowie says:

        Shari- I feel like your comment was directed at me and therefore responding. I am actually laughing at the fact that you are comparing me letting my child cry to not putting a seatbelt on them- I mean – come on that’s just not in the same category. I chose to let me kids cry, you clearly didn’t. I don’t make you feel badly for your choice so please don’t tell me I “DO” or “SHOULD” feel badly about mine. I work full time- would love to be home with them but it’s not my reality. There is no way on this earth that I could survive if I was up 7-10 times per night and then concentrate at work the next day. Small babies- say under 4 or 6 months- I get it. Older babies I feel is a different story. You say a missing parent means something is wrong to a baby- That’s a pretty broad statement. Nobody can possibly be with a baby at all times. I send mine to daycare- Shame on mean I guess……

    • kidsinkanata says:

      Thanks for you comment! Of course it’s always nice seeing that this method worked for other people :)

  8. Anna says:

    I would personally like to thank the author for sharing her experience, and I am sorry she is facing such vitriol in these comments. It bothers me to no end that the word ‘Doula’ is being claimed by proponents of attachment parenting. We had a Doula at all three of our children’s births, and it was an extremely positive experience. To me, Doula is somebody that provides informed choice, a person who advocates for you when you might not be able to think clearly, and a person who is a source of support, whatever support a new mother may require. To suggest that a Doula who supports the concept of sleep training is not fit to call herself a Doula is probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a long time. My husband is a pilot, and for my first child, I was lucky to have him home for one night a week as he was commuting from a contract in Asia. I also didn’t have the luxury of taking a 1-year maternity leave, so when I had to return to my nursing job 3 months later, there was no way that I could wake up 7 times a night and still support my family. If it wasn’t for CIO, I would have been at my wits end. Eventually, hubby got a job closer to home, but regardless, we went on to do it with all of our children, and they are as happy, healthy and as bright as can be. It kills me to hear proponents of attachment parent imply that those who don’t parent by this method are less caring and mindful of their children’s future health. If you really believe that it is a parent’s choice, then why don’t you write your own blog post on the topic to generate some legitimate debate that new mothers can look up, rather than attacking this poor author in the comments?

    • kidsinkanata says:

      Thanks so much for posting this.
      I honestly was not expecting such a charged reaction. I wasn’t trying to be controversial, but clearly it is a very emotional topic.
      People are making excellent points. And I would love to see more resources if there are any. It looks like lots of people would!

      • Misty Pratt says:

        I don’t think anyone is attacking the author. She chose to post on this subject, knowing full well it’s a controversial one. I would never suggest parents who do CIO are less caring or mindful…quite the opposite. I understand how hard it is in this day and age to be a parent. We have so little support and a lack of good quality information. I really like Brandie’s comment below, highlighting some of the issues with sleep trainers. (oh, and one last point – I’m not sure how babies who are waking up are sleep deprived? If they’re waking up and staying awake for hours, clearly that’s an issue. But as so many have pointed out, babies are designed to wake briefly before going back to sleep – adults do this too, but we don’t notice it. So a child would not be sleep deprived if they were waking, getting a quick pat on the back or boob, and then going back to sleep) This has been a great disucssion…thanks everyone!!

  9. Brandie says:

    I want to start my comment by acknowledging how difficult it is to be a parent, and that I think most of us to what we think is best based on the information available to us. When we are doing our research in the middle of the night, is sleep-deprived desperation, it is very difficult not to be swayed by anecdotal evidence. Many moms like some who have commented, and possibly the author, have truly felt there was no alternative and that their own health and the health and safety of their infants was at risk. This is understandable!

    At the same time, we have a responsibility I feel, as parents and professionals, to separate fact or science from stories or promises. “Teaching your child a skill” or “giving them the gift of sleep” is something we often hear that sleep trainers say. The truth is that babies wake up for good reason, and Dr. James McKenna has studied that in length at his Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. (http://cosleeping.nd.edu/) The term “self-soothe” was coined in the 1970’s by Dr. Thomas Anders to explicitly mean the opposite of crying. The term has been really taken out of context over the last few decades. It is only logical that if soothed, a brain would show decreased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, but this is not the case when one ceases to cry after an extended bout of crying, like is the case with the popular “cry-it-out” method. Simply, not crying is something else entirely and does not equate with emotional regulation.  Evidence shows that responsiveness facilitates emotional regulation and that this skill set emerges well into toddlerhood, after a good foundation has been set in infancy. There is no evidence that laying on the floor SHH’ing loudly does anything to help emotional regulation to speed up in an infant.
    While social ideology promotes sleeping through the night as the norm, studies show that 6 months of age, only 16% of babies actually sleep through the night (source: Sadler S. Sleep: what is normal at six months? Prof Care Mother Child. 1994 Aug-Sep;4(6):166-7. PubMed PMID: 8680184.
    ). This is from a study on a wide range of infants irrespective of their sleep practices. Some through CIO will cease to cry, but like others have stated, it is no guarantee that this will continue indefinitely. And now that my child is able to walk, is out of a crib and in a bed, a love of sleep is what I appreciate, comforted that if he needed me, I would be there. Personally, I have a husband who works long hours, 15+, often midnights, and a son, now almost 2, who was colicky as a newborn. At the same time I was taking courses and launching my own business. I am not abnormal, or a hero, but was lucky to find the work of doctors like Dr. Sears, Dr. Jay Gordon, Dr. James McKenna to name a few, who dispelled the myths and offered practical solutions to sleep deprivation. What worked for me was:
    – getting my son used to a variety of ways and people to put him to sleep
    – delegating and “creating my village” (babies are designed to attach to multiple caregivers)
    – sleeping close to my son so I could respond swiftly before he was fully awake
    – seeking support with like minded parents
    – self work to decrease stress and anxiety
    – excellent nutrition

    This is merely anecdotal as well, but when my goal became to teach my son healthy attitude about sleep, that it is a safe place to be, things got much easier. At under two years old he asks for his nap or bedtime. So again there is no evidence that we are with-holding a life lesson by allowing sleeping through the night to come in its own time just as with walking and other milestones. Coping with the wake ups is our job, and as I said there are many holistic options out there, and more and more professionals such as Wellness Coaches offering council in that area. There are also many single moms and entrepreneurial moms who are finding creative solutions to night-time parenting without going the CIO route. I am not out to change anyone’s mind per se – if sleep training feels right to you, then you should probably do it. But I do not want parents feeling they must ignore the voice in their heart or their gut, or intuition. I want to say there are other answers, but you probably need support, and I hope I can be one source for you.

    Lastly, I want to add that the term Attachment Parenting is probably overused and misused. Appropriately, it is to describe parenting that takes into account the psychological development of the child and their needs. For instance, we know based on Attachment Theory and the work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, that optimal development blossoms out of strong attachment, and attachment is indicative of the primary caregivers responsiveness and belief in the value of babies cry. When comparing to colic – it is not tears that are damaging – it is the tears that go unconsoled by the loving arms of the person designed to care for the helpless infant, over and over again. Thank you for reading.

  10. Parenting at Night says:

    This article is sad and frustrating. At six months old I will throw my hands up and say well I’m no longer going to meet your needs at night. Your going to have to start sleeping all night. And when your crying I’m just going to shh you. And hey if you do end up vomiting from crying so hard well I’m just going to walk in there with my no nonsense of an attitude clean it up and go back to shhhsing you without any comfort at all. I wonder if you tried this CIO ‘method’ in the middle of the day at a mall or park if it would still be acceptable. Or even do it with a child say 5 years old or your elderly parent. Does this change the perspective? I understand the need to sleep. There are a lot of alternatives out there. Neighbours, friends, family, paying a neighbourhood teen to take your child on a weekend morning so you can sleep in. Or even during the week. Take a nap when the baby does. If bottle feeding at night have a bottle warmer in the room so you limit the time awake. Or if you nurse co-sleep. Nurse and fall right back asleep. The period of wakefulness is reduced and you can meet the babies needs immediately.

  11. KrissyFair says:

    I think there is a major piece of the puzzle that always, always gets overlooked when we talk about baby sleep. We always focus on changing the child’s behaviour which is problematic because the bahaviour we’re talking about – waking up at night – is in fact a very important survival skill. There are a couple of very good alternatives to trying to change the child’s behaviour:

    1. Change your sleeping arrangements so that it takes the least possible effort from the parent to respond when the baby does wake up. The closer the baby is to you, the less awake you need to be to tend to it. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you if my 16 month old woke up once or 12 times last night because she’s in bed with me, so she latches herself and goes back to sleep without me waking up.

    2. Instead of getting help to try to change/control the child’s needs, try getting help to meet the baby’s needs. If you can pay someone for sleep consults, then perhaps you could think about paying someone to watch the baby WHILE you sleep. Or you and your friend who was equally tired could have talked about working together to trade off naps. As adults, we’re physiologically able to be a lot more flexible about how and when our needs are met than the baby is, so even one or two good naps a week to go a long way to helping you cope without having to force crying on the baby.

  12. KrissyFair says:

    You know what, one more teeny tid bit. I do know that sometimes we have to make changes even if they’re hard, I do! Where I take issue with most CIO methods (and it looks like this one lumps in there) is that they don’t factor in the baby’s cognitive development.

    Babies learn the concept of object permanence – the knowledge that something or someone can exist even if they can’t see it – at about 8 or 9 months. Before that, if the baby is alone in a room it thinks it’s alone in the universe. It doesn’t matter how loudly you shush, if the baby can’t see you, it doesn’t know you exist. It’s cognitively incapable of understanding that you’re outside the room or laying on the floor.

    Like I said, I totally get we sometimes have to make decisions our babies don’t like, but as people they really deserve for us to make those changes in a way that respects their development. So before object permanence, if you decide to work towards falling asleep without you, you should at least be visible. After that stage, the shushing technique is a lot less rough.

    Another thing to take into account is that their breastmilk intake should not start to decrease until close to the first birthday (solids are meant to be a bonus ON TOP, not a replacement until then). So if you’re cutting out feeds at night you’ll need to be sure to replace them during the day, so you need to be prepared to commit more of your waking hours to feeding the baby.

  13. Paulina says:

    To do cry it out to a baby is like recommending hitting a wife and insulate her in the basement if she refuses to let you watch soccer comfortably… YES AS STUPID AS THIS SOUNDS CRY IT OUT SOUNDS. NOBODY should be tormented to bend, specially babies people!!! They are loving human beings and they have to be treated with love, patience and respect, they will sleep by them selves when they are ready to.

    • Andrea says:

      Paulina –
      I’m appalled at your comment. There’s plenty of room for debate but there is no place for your kind of vitriol here. Somehow I don’t believe that would you say ever have the guts to say that right to the author’s face either.

      This is a controversial subject, as many before have mentioned, but if you ask me you should be banned from further comments here.

  14. Eryka says:

    I am sorry, but all these comments are frustrating! Especially some of the nasty ones! If you don’t agree don’t read it! No need to attack the author saying that she has damaged her child! How do you know?? Have you met her children?

    I am a mother of 4 children and I have used different methods with all of them, because they are all DIFFERENT! My oldest needed some gentle encouragement, my second and fourth slept perfectly from day one but my third needed full on sleep training. I have done partial co sleeping, I have put my kids in their own room at 6 months, and some of my kids have shared rooms. Believe me, every kid is different. And every kid needs different tactics.

    The author clearly stated that sleep training is not for everyone. So relax! If you don’t want to sleep train then DON’T! Do what YOU feel is best for YOUR baby! And leave other’s parenting decisions to them.

    It is not illegal to let your baby cry it out. Yes, I know you think it is neglect or cruelty but some people say that it is neglect or cruelty to put your child in time out or to use disposable diapers – or to use diapers at all for that matter.

    I hate how moms are all against each other these days! Being a mom is hard and we need to support each other! Or at the very least not give some horrible comment about how wrong they are. If you disagree go write your opinion of your blog. I am pretty sure the author of this post won’t go commenting about how wrong you are. This is why moms are so insecure these days. Trust your instincts and do what you feel is right. We all love our kids and are just trying to make it work.

  15. kidsinkanata says:

    Wow! well said! Thanks so much Eryka.

    It’s true that supporting each other is really important. That doesn’t mean agreeing with what everybody does, but it important to respect people’s decisions. Recognizing that everybody’s situation is different and that everybody’s child is different is crucial. I find it interesting that you used different techniques on all 4 of your kids.
    Thanks so much for reminding everyone that we are all doing our best, and judgement isn’t necessary. Listening and being open minded will make us all better parents at the end of the day.

  16. Jessica says:

    What background experience do you have? Have you taken any college or university courses in this area? If you have you’d know that an infant most important thing in life is attachment. They need to be able to trust and depend on you to be there. Their crying is a signal for something is wrong. This is their method of communication. I know as a mother when my daughter cries it pains me to see her like that. I can’t stand to see her cry, no matter how stressed or tired I am. If you leave your child alone now the only thing you are teaching them is that they are on their own alone in the world with no one to care for them.

    • kidsinkanata says:

      I have a degree in psychology and a masters in counselling. I have read many articles on attachment. But I really don’t think that my educational background is relevant to this post. I wasn’t claiming to be an expert in the field – I was simply passing on a technique that I had learned about.
      I think as parents what is most important – more important than Any degree is having an open mind, doing your research, examining all the angles of the issue, and finally making informed decisions.