"I want to make a change, BUT.."

We’re here to support families to make changes to the aspects of their families' sleep that are no longer working for them. These aspects vary greatly from family to family because what works really well for one family might not be something another family enjoys or wants to do. This is absolutely okay and we need to lean into what works best for our families so that everyone has what they need to thrive. What we have been hearing a lot of lately is that families are at the place where there is something that is really no longer working for them and they want to make a change but there’s something that’s keeping them from doing so. We would never ever pressure you to change something that is not working for your family, but if you’re ready for a change and one of these is holding you back, it might be helpful to understand them a little bit more! 

“I want to make a change but I worry things will get worse.” What a totally valid concern to have. Of course you don’t want things to get worse than they are today when what they are today isn’t really working for your family! Change is hard, and it’s especially hard when we think that it’s going to lead to even less sleep than the little we’re getting today. What we have found to be true is that when families make changes gradually, they still are able to maximize their sleep and start shifting patterns to get their family the sleep they need while making changes. 

What we mean by this is that a family may decide they no longer want to nurse or rock their baby or toddler to sleep every 2 hours all night long. When they decide this, that doesn’t mean they need to stop nursing or rocking to sleep for the entire night at once, which we agree, would probably lead to a lot less sleep for everyone. Instead, they may start by making a change to just one wake up, usually the first one, before mom and dad have gone to sleep. This way they’re able to start shifting patterns and making changes, without having to be up all night in order to do so. Yes, eventually families will need to do the same for a wake up in the middle of the night (if that’s one of their goals), but we find that once the change has been initiated and accepted earlier in the night, the later wake ups are usually easier to make changes to. 

“I want to make a change but I don’t want to sleep train.” You’re definitely in the right place. Here at My Connected Motherhood we believe in making changes without the use of sleep training. We define sleep training as the use of physical or emotional separation to achieve a desired sleep outcome. We know it doesn’t feel right or instinctual to ignore your baby and toddler’s cries so we approach sleep from a place of closeness and connection. You absolutely can support your child through the changes you’re asking them to make and do so in a way that honors your instincts and your parenting values. The decision never has to be to wait it out or cry it out, so listen to that instinct that says you don’t want to sleep train! Learn more about how to stay close and connected when making a change here

“I want to make a change, but I’m worried they’re in pain” We absolutely want to investigate any signs of discomfort and pain and address the issue at the root of it. This is one of the reasons we don’t sleep train. We don’t want to mask underlying issues, but rather address them because we have found that as soon as we address those root causes for waking, babies tend to sleep a lot better, with little further intervention. If you feel like your baby may be signalling that they’re in pain or discomfort, check out this blog on hourly wakes

“I want to make a change but I don’t want to see my baby upset” this is such a common concern when it comes to making changes. Seeing our children upset can be really hard on us, especially when we weren’t allowed a full range of emotions when we were children ourselves. We want to remind you that you know what’s best for your family and if making a change is what your family needs, then it’s okay to support your baby or toddler through their upset as you make those changes. We also want to remind you that it’s important and healthy to listen to, empathize and support your child’s full range of emotions. You can read more about supporting emotions here

“I want to make a change, but I don’t know where to start.” We get it, there’s so much information out there on the exact steps on how to sleep train, but if you don’t want to sleep train it’s a little trickier to find those details. To get you started, think about what is no longer working for your family and then think about what would work for your family. Then we want to think about how we can gradually shift patterns to get there. If you need more support with how to customize this for your unique family The Baby Sleep Experience may be perfect for you! 

We would never ever pressure you to make a change to something that is working for you, but we know in many cases families do need to make a change in order for everyone to thrive. You and your family deserve to feel rested and you absolutely can make those shifts in patterns to get your family the sleep you need. You never have to sacrifice your relationship or your instincts in order to get to the place where you want to be. We hope that by taking the time to read through some of these it gives you a little more reassurance if you’ve been considering a change. You are all doing amazing.

Categories: Attachment, Bedtime, Emotion, Night Wakes, Red Flags, Sleep Support, Sleep Without Sleep Training