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I Want to Sleep Train my Baby but I Can't Handle Crying

I hear this all the time, you want, NEED, your little one to sleep better but the fear of them crying is holding you back. This is totally understandable. You are a loving parent and don’t like seeing your child crying. You are not alone, it feels unnatural for us not to respond to our crying babies.


We are programmed to respond to our babies, to feed them, change them, make them comfortable, protect them, help them feel secure. We tend to their every need even before they are born. The thought of popping them into their cot to cry and cry fills us with dread.


Well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.


When I speak to parents, the two main reasons they are worried about their little one crying are, they might wake another sibling, or they will become so distressed and they can’t handle their child being upset. Also, their child's crying increases their own stress levels and they will do anything to make the crying stop. I get it, we have all been there many times.


You are here reading this because sleep is problematic in some way or another. Tell me, is what you are going through now crying free? I’m going to guess not.


Is your fear, your little one crying, or are you scared of failing and you are using the fear of crying as an excuse not to even try and get everyone in your family a better night's sleep?


Mostly when parents come to me for help they are already dealing with lots of unnecessary crying and by working with me, using a method tailored to their child, they find that the crying reduces quicker than they expected, even stops altogether. I want the children I work with to go to sleep happy, not crying.


We must be realistic in our expectations. All babies cry, it’s how they communicate with us. Saying we don’t want our babies to cry is like saying we don’t want them to communicate. What we must do is understand why they are crying and respond accordingly.


Why is my baby crying?


Have a think, are all their needs met? Change nappy, hunger, wind, hot, cold etc. Could this cry be a WANT not a NEED?


Respond in the correct way


If all needs are met, then you can presume this cry is a want. Maybe the want is SLEEP and little one is saying ‘I need sleep but I don’t know how to go to sleep’.


Think about how your baby goes to sleep, are you doing all the work for them eg feeding, rocking, cuddling etc?


Consistency


Think about how you respond to your little one when they wake up during the night? Are your responses consistent, allowing them to become familiar to your little one so they feel secure. Know what’s expected of them and can resettle themselves?


Think about it... if sometimes you feed, sometimes you rock, sometimes sing or take little one into your bed, they don't understand why they woke, what they needed or wanted and may just cry longer and harder for the outcome they prefer. However, if you respond the same way every time, there is no other option to cry for.


Calm response = Calm little one


Try and stay calm, your little ones can sense if you are stressed and you will make them stressed. Crying is designed to provoke us. Don’t let it ruin all your hard work. You are responding, you are being consistent, you are showing up, you are doing your best, your little one is loved.


You are doing great ❤

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