That's it! My mind is made, I am an anti-sleep training mama. After endless research and opinions, I keep going back to my gut feeling. I want to be there for my babes, I am not the type to let her cry it out in her crib alone waiting for me to help her. She doesn't understand why she is being left alone to "learn" how to sleep, she does know how to sleep! And it's with the comfort of me, her mom, right next to us in OUR bed. Yup, the truth is out we are a bed sharing, breastfeeding, non-sleep training family. Call me hippy if ya will but that's just the type of parent I am. I am not alone in these decisions, apparently Mr.Loonie is a bit hippy dippy himself. I found this letter written from the point of a sleep trained baby and I had a long cry, it was heartbreaking. I know this topic is highly controversial because you either strongly agree or disagree with sleep training but we are doing what feels right for our family.
Taken from: Alternative Mama - Letter from a Sleep Training Baby
I am confused.
I am used to falling asleep in your soft, warm arms. Each night I lay snuggled close to you; close enough to hear your heartbeat, close enough to smell your sweet fragrance. I gaze at your beautiful face as I gently drift off to sleep, safe and secure in your loving embrace. When I awaken with a growling stomach, cold feet or because I need a cuddle, you attend to me quickly and before long I am sound asleep once again.
But this last week has been different.
Each night this week has gone like this. You tucked me up into my cot and kissed me goodnight, turned out the light and left. At first I was confused, wondering where you’d gone. Soon I became scared, and called for you. I called and called for you mummy, but you wouldn’t come! I was so sad, mummy. I wanted you so badly. I’ve never felt feelings that strong before. Where did you go?
Eventually you came back! Oh, how happy and relieved I was that you came back! I thought you had left me forever! I reached up to you but you wouldn’t pick me up. You wouldn’t even look me in the eye. You lay me back down with those soft warm arms, said “shh, it’s night time now” and left again.
This happened again, over and over. I screamed for you and after a while, longer each time, you would return but you wouldn’t hold me.
After I had screamed a while, I had to stop. My throat hurt so badly. My head was pounding and my tiny tummy was growling. My heart hurt the most, though. I just couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t come.
After what felt like a lifetime of nights like this, I gave up. You don’t come when I scream, and when you do finally come you won’t even look me in the eye, let alone hold my shaking, sobbing little body. The screaming hurt too much to carry on for very long.
I just don’t understand, mummy. In the daytime when I fall and bump my head, you pick me up and kiss it better. If I am hungry, you feed me. If I crawl over to you for a cuddle, you read my mind and scoop me up, covering my tiny face with kisses and telling me how special I am and how much you love me. If I need you, you respond to me straight away.
But at night time, when it’s dark and quiet and my night-light casts strange shadows on my wall, you disappear. I can see that you’re tired, mummy, but I love you so much. I just want to be near to you, that’s all.
Now, at night time, I am quiet. But I still miss you.
Waaaa! Gawd! That is awful, some may think the letter is a little dramatic but how else could the baby comprehend what is happening? Since we are still in the thick of sleep regression, our methods are making this stage as calm and manageable. I feel that Penny will move to her own bed and learn to fall asleep on her own when she is ready. I think of it as another milestone like rolling over (which Penny is finally doing!!) or walking. With continuing with our style of "attachment" parenting, Penny will only learn to feel more comfortable and secure as she ages, aiding in the natural progression of her independence. Another post worth reading : Alternative Mama - 8 Reasons to Avoid Sleep Training