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Sleep training gets a pretty bad rap on the internet and amongst mom coffee groups.
It is something that a lot of moms do, but not many talk about because of the backlash that often accompanies the conversation.
Sleep training is often misunderstood. It looks different to everyone and there are so many variations.
Read more about sleep training in this post –> A Simple Explanation of What Sleep Training Actually Is
I know that there will be some parents that are dead against any sort of sleep training, and that is fine. I personally do not care how you choose to parent your children. They are your children after all.
I’m busy enough just trying to navigate raising my own three little crazies.
So, if you don’t like the idea of sleep training, this post isn’t for you.
However, if you’re on the fence, or just curious as to why some people choose to do it, then you might find my words interesting.
The five reasons below are why sleep training has made me a better mom.
Not a ‘better than YOU, mom’, but a ‘better than I otherwise would be’ mom.
1) I Can Judge My Children’s Needs More Easily
You know the day you bring home your baby from the hospital?
It’s magical and then you get home, and it’s terrifying.
You are responsible for making sure this kid stays alive and healthy. Not just that, but you need to meet their emotional and mental needs as well.
It’s a lot. Especially if you’ve never done it before.
The baby cries and people look to you, the mom, to know what to do.
Here’s the thing though, you won’t know what it is that your baby needs right away. It takes time to get to know your baby’s cries and what they might mean.
And even then, you might get it wrong sometimes. That’s normal.
Here’s why I loved sleep training. It has helped me to preempt the needs of my children and better understand what it is they need and when.
We start working on a flexible routine basically from day one.
Routine’s & Sleep Training
For the record, that doesn’t include leaving my brand new baby alone to cry for hours.
No, it looks more like encouraging full feeds and nudging them towards a cycle of eating, being awake for a little while, and then going to sleep independently.
By working on that routine from day one, it didn’t take long for all of my babies to start becoming quite predictable in regards to what they needed.
Sleep training includes establishing an age-appropriate routine.
By having that routine, I was better able to know what my babies cry meant.
If it was near nap time and they had already been fed, then I knew they were likely tired.
Of course, there were still times where I had no clue what the issue was. That just comes with the territory.
However, in general, there was much less of a guessing game then there otherwise would have been.
2) I Am Well-Rested
This should be obvious and is often something that sleep-training moms are given a hard time about.
Is it selfish to want to be well-rested?
Everyone has their own opinion on this.
Personally, I say no, it isn’t.
Sure, if I were neglecting my child then it wouldn’t be right, but I never have.
Sleep training, when done correctly is a fairly gentle process that always starts with addressing the needs of the baby.
Because my children sleep well, I am well-rested.
Because I am well-rested, my children get a much better version of their mother.
Sure, I should still be loving and kind even when I’m dead tired, but let’s be real…I’m also human.
I don’t function well on extended periods of little to no sleep.
Sleep training means my babies are well-rested, and so am I.
That makes for a more joyful household all around.
3) I Get Time to Myself
Self-care is something that is talked about fairly openly now. The message that we all should be implementing self-care is advertised in many forms.
Part of self-care requires time to yourself. Some need more than others, but sleep training is a tool that has helped me to achieve that.
Because my children have learned how to sleep well from an early age, it has given me the opportunity to have time and space to myself.
I don’t have to guess what time they’ll wake in the morning, or when they’ll go down to bed.
Nap times are predictable and fairly consistent.
All three of my children have naps and quiet time during the day at the same time so that I get some breathing room.
Taking a shower, getting dressed, and eating a decent meal shouldn’t be the last things on your priority list.
You are a person and you matter.
Your children will learn to take care of themselves better if they can see their mother exhibiting that behavior every day.
4) I Am Not Burnt Out
Motherhood is overwhelming. It just is.
It stretches us beyond what we ever thought we were capable of and pushes us further.
Motherhood is like a refining fire.
The balance is in not being burnt up (i.e out) by it.
Finding that balance isn’t always easy, but one big factor for me personally is having a predictable routine where I can get downtime.
If I didn’t carve out time during the day where I can refresh then I would easily become burnt out.
My children are with me 24/7. In order to keep the peace, we all need time away from each other.
For us, those times fall around 9 am when Charlotte naps and the older two have their Independent Playtime.
Then, from 1-3 pm all children are either napping or having quiet time.
By 7 pm, all 3 kids are in bed for the night.
They get enough sleep, and we as parents get a break and some time to recharge.
If my children weren’t able to sleep independently then I would absolutely struggle with burn out.
I Enjoy the Little Things More
I am far from a perfect mother. Thankfully though, because my children sleep well and independently, I am able to enjoy the little things so much more than I would otherwise.
Rocking my baby isn’t a chore because I don’t have to do it often.
I look forward to getting up in the morning and seeing my children.
Snuggles are a treat and when we have to share a bed I usually enjoy it because it isn’t every night.
Sure, I still get touched out. Toddlers will make that happen.
But, I’m a whole lot less touched out than if I had to rock all my kids to sleep every night and get up to them multiple times.
That is not a judgment on those who do. It just isn’t for me.
And for the record, I still love my kids just as much as you do.
Sleep training my children has really helped give me direction in my motherhood.
I am well-rested and have a better attitude and so do my children.
We’re not perfect, but life is pretty wonderful. And, even on the hard days when I’m at my wit’s end, I know that when 7 pm rolls around there will be a time where I can rest.
Until next time!
Hi! I’m Christine. I am a former registered nurse, turned stay-at-home mom, turned work-at-home mom!
Motherhood has always been my passion and blogging has only added to that and given me a creative outlet to share about the things I love.
As my blog has grown, my desire to share the knowledge of what makes my life less stressful, simplified, and more fulfilled has become one of my driving forces.
I have a heart for mothers that feel as though they are just existing from day to day and are longing for more. You can find out more about me and my family over on my ‘About Me‘ page.
As well as the abundance of posts you’ll find on my blog, you can also find me over at Today Parenting.