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I used to believe self-settling was the main foundation to ‘good sleep’. 6 truths that changed my mind.

Updated: Feb 26

I used to be a supporter of sleep training and self-settling as the 'answer to sleep'. A gentle and responsive version but sleep training. Sleep training doesn't have an agreed on definition. Some people think of it as just Cry it Out. There are a few methods with lots of various names: Cry It Out, Controlled Crying, Spaced Soothing, Ferber, Leave and Check, Withdrawal, Disappearing Chair, Responsive, Gentle.

 

All sleep training methods have a single common denominator. They all have a single goal of self-settling and independence with sleep.


It was extremely hard to change my views about the key focus of self-settling as the foundation of 'good sleep' for all. It was confronting. It was an undoing of everything I stood on. I had to look back on my own approach with my kids. What would people think of me changing me approach?


And yet, it was also the very best transformation I went through 4 years ago.


The reason I went through this change was because I was provided with better education, better knowledge, a deeper holistic and evidence-based view of sleep. Sleep is so much more than just how your child goes to sleep.


It came down to 6 truths about sleep that broke apart and reformed my thinking. Basing what you do on truth is important especially when it comes to our littlies.


Truth 1:  Being supported to sleep and in the night is biologically, developmentally, historically and globally normal.

 

We simply cannot ignore this fact.


Truth 2:  There are many factors that influence sleep.


There is a list of 36 influencing factors that I show parents to illustrate this point.  And it’s not even a list of everything!  Sleep is about so much more than how your child falls asleep.


Truth 3: The way your child falls asleep may be heavily linked to what happens with their sleep and in the night.


We cannot ignore the evidence about this. It's why do help many families make changes to how their child falls asleep but never as a singular blanket focus for all and always in the context of the other 5 truths.  However, how this happens doesn’t have to fit any sort of a fixed workflow of steps, number of days and what you can/cannot do.


Truth 4: The way your child falls asleep may not be linked to what happens with their sleep and in the night.


This is also true.  It’s why many parents come to me with frequent wakings with a child who is already self-settling.  And equally why many times there are improvements to sleep for families I support where we make no changes whatsoever to how a child is falling asleep.


Truth 5: Infant and child sleep hasn’t changed, our world has changed.  But we cannot divorce ourselves from this world we live in.


On one hand we cannot deny the fact that babies and children are sleeping how they always have, their sleep biology hasn’t changed over time.  However, we also must accept that the world we live in now is different with greater pressures, greater isolation and many challenges to normal parenting.


Truth 6: Rested families and children can come in all shapes and sizes You, your child and your family are unique and there is no one right way.


Parents and children all over Australia and the world are well rested without any focus on self-settling or independence with sleep.    And for other parents and children, they have found better rest with making these changes.  There is no one right way so why limit the tools in your toolbox?


The challenge is these statements are not all in harmony with each other.  There is a lot of conflict and tension.  BUT they are all true.  Part of the transformation was considering how all of these important truths could coexist in the guidance and support I provide you.


But I found a way.  


I created an approach to optimise your child’s sleep based on accepting and knitting together all of these very important statements together.


I would love to share this with you so take a look around this space or book a Hello Chat or drop me a message here. I'd love to connect.


Always love,

Annie x 


PS None of this is about guilt about your choices. If you have made informed choices about what you feel is best for your child and family then great. The reason I share my journey is about helping people have the knowledge-base to make those choices rather than feeling sleep training is a rite of passage for sleep or the 'right way'.

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