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Sleep training can change your life!

Brave little baby strives to help exhausted and sleep-deprived parents in South Africa and around the globe. To find a unique and tailor-made sleep solution that works for your family setup. Our philosophy is not just to help your little one sleep better but to help you get some much-needed rest as well.

We all want the best for our families, and for each person that means something different. Lately “sleep training” has been getting a very bad reputation and is perceived by some critics as harmful, cruel and an outdated method of finding a sustainable and healthy sleep solution. This may stop some parents from reading further about the topic. In return give them months of unnecessary sleep deprivation.

Zanda: So let me tell you a little bit more about my sleep training story…

I was heavily sleep deprived. I had 3 busy boys, trying to keep up with a busy household, and having the deep desire to be the best version of myself for my kids and my husband. It felt like I was failing miserably, and just not coping with everything. So I started scouring the internet, trying to find a solution. I felt even more confused and miserable as there was so much conflicting advice.

Sleep training your little one is the answer…….no sleep training can harm your little one……its just a phase, it too shall pass…..you cannot let your baby cry, even for small periods of time…..you need to be there 24/7 thats what parenting is about……your bond and attachment will be harmed….. sleep training does not harm your baby…..if you decide to sleep train then you are a horrible mother……how can you do that to a person you love.….

Internet comments

I felt like screaming out to all of these people! REALLY!? Who on this broad spectrum of opinions is correct and how would any loving (sleep-deprived) mother know what’s best for her family?

Unfortunately and fortunately the only person that can really make this decision is YOU. You know your baby and you know your family situation, if it’s not working for you anymore and you decide to make a change, whatever you decide, commit to that plan and never feel bad for wanting to improve your family’s sleep! We fully believe that you are doing this out of love and to benefit everyone.

Once I managed to commit to give sleep training a go, I prepared everyone involved in my child’s life and asked them to respect my decision. I educated myself on this topic and felt that it was the best thing for our family of 5. I set everything up and followed my program up to the last tip and trick. It took my son (9 months at the time) 2 nights to sleep through! Yes, you read that right, 2 nights! His naps took a little longer to sort out, as my son was used to doing 10-minute catnaps on my nanny’s back! There was crying involved, but I was with him every step of the way, giving loving responses, never hurting our attachment and I believed he could do it. With consistency, loving boundaries and patience, I never looked back. He is still a sleep superstar and we have a secure and loving attachment, no harm done whatsoever. When it comes to sleep, I do not compromise, we keep to our routine, my loving boundary is in tack, he knows what is expected of him and this has worked wonders for us as a family. My son loves his sleep and is a happier and healthier child because of it. I can honestly say that I am a better mom too, I have much more energy and time to focus on my sons and husband.

I wish I did sleep training with my first child. It is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family. I only started looking for answers when I was completely shattered and starting to feel ill. It does not need to be the same for you. Brave Little Baby was born out of the desire to support moms through this sleep journey, never ever compromising on our SUPPORT.

How sleep benefits your baby – here is what we know:

  • Quality night sleep has been proven to lead to more happy and content little ones.
  • Sleep is a basic need for an infant’s brain to mature and for memories to consolidate.
  • Sleep deprivation accumulates over a period of time and tends to have long-term effects on brain functioning.
  • Neurological development is affected positively and appears to be beneficial for the prevention of many learning and behavioral problems.
  • Infant sleep problems directly impact mothers and are linked to postnatal depression.
  • Infants with mothers who are depressed have higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. When an infant’s sleep improves, so does the mother’s mental health. Maternal depression decreases; maternal anxiety lowers; and marital difficulty mends.
Now that we know that there is nothing to fear when working on your baby’s sleep…

What does sleep training really mean at Brave Little Baby and what is sleep training all about?

Sleep training is NOT “getting your baby to sleep through the night” (If that is your goal we can work on it) but in most cases, it is about changing habits to increase sleep quality and quantity, and trying to eliminate anything that might be interrupting their sleep. At Brave Little Baby we pride ourselves in finding a method that works for your child’s temperament, works for your parenting style and looks at the whole picture before making a decision on the plan ahead. This decision happens in collaboration with the YOU, the parent, and what YOU are comfortable with. We are also flexible to make adjustments to the plan when we realize the plan needs to change. There are various sleep training methods available and it is never just “cry-it-out”(CIO) or extinction. We have hands-on in the room methods and methods where you are out of the room but checking in on your little one. It all depends on so many factors before we decide which method to use.

Let’s talk about the crying……

Firstly, We believe in Respectful Parenting

Respectful parenting means that we treat each child as their own little person. It is about unconditionally loving our children and parenting in ways that makes them feel respected, supported, loved, heard, and valued as individuals

This also means allowing your child to be ok with expressing their emotions and supporting them through it. When it comes to their feelings about sleep it’s crucial not to wave it off and make it feel like they are not allowed to feel a certain way. We need to shift our mindsets and believe that it is a gift to support your child through their emotions and allowing them to feel whatever they need to feel.

One of the many responsibilities we as parents have is to create the best sleep environment possible for our children to aid them in finding the ability to sleep well (age-appropriate) without parent intervention because they can! We cannot “make” our child fall asleep when we need them to, we need to trust that they have the ability to do it on their own when they are ready.

When changing behavior like sleep, it requires confidence and a clear plan. We will be changing certain habits your little one depends on to sleep so that they develop the skill to fall asleep happily on their own and enjoy the process. We’re going to be honest, getting there can imply some crying from your little one, which would be a perfectly normal emotion and response, especially when it happens in a loving and secure home. Crying under the right conditions is never harmful to your bond and attachment with your little one. Sometimes we as adults are the ones needing to be ok with feeling emotions. Being a confident leader for our children and leading by example. Even with the most gentle sleep solutions there might be some crying and remember that’s ok!. A few difficult nights for a lifetime of great sleep, the benefit outweighs any negatives you can find on the internet.

Secure Attachment

Research has shown that a secure attachment between moms and babies is correlated to: Warmth, Playfulness, Eye Contact, Intentional Physical affection, Understanding, Shared enjoyment. Happy, healthy mothers are the ones able to provide this. [Infant-parent attachment: Definition, types, antecedents, measurement and outcome]

So what is …….Sleep without sleep training 

There is this new (or old) thought about finding sleep without doing any sleep training at all. What is the deal!? Yes, it is possible to teach your baby to sleep without sleep training your baby. It takes patience and time (which is a luxury for many new moms) and the time depends on how long your little one takes to accept the new changes regarding their sleep. Sleep coaches who teach this method are usually against CIO sleep training, stating that it is harmful. They will paraphrase articles written on the subject to make everyone believe this is the only solution to a baby’s sleep difficulties. That’s ok! Sleep training does not fit with everyone, we are all unique, and all have unique family situations.

Getting there Gently

We know how difficult it can be to hear your little one crying, so we created a package called “Getting there gently” involving our gentlest methods and involves little to no crying.

We suggest this package to our stay at home moms, moms with a village of support close to them, attachment parenting styles, parents with flexibility. This program can be 4-6 weeks long and progresses slowly but it starts working nicely. When you have the patience and dedication and realistic expectations about sleep goals this program is for you.

But what if you are all of the above but need another solution that won’t take as long…then our sleep training packages may also be an option…

“Each parent is different and their little one is unique, there is no one size fits all solution. It takes time and dedication and trusting yourself, your child and your sleep consultant to make the process successful.”

BLB

We have a few programs involving little to more intense crying methods depending on baby and parents’ temperament and their family situation. These programs are usually successful in a 2-3 week period.

Whatever you decide, our goal is to make motherhood an easier journey and we are here to support you. Moms already have so much judgement passed due to various reasons, let us rather support each other in our personal decisions. Not all moms have a village of support, some have no flexibility, work all day and are very exhausted. Parents who prefer finding sleep solutions “without sleep training” and  “with sleep training” love their baby all the same and want the utmost best for their families and they both are allowed to feel sleep-deprived.

When you are in the process of deciding who you will trust to help you through this tough phase of your life, make sure to check out reviews, social media, what views they have regarding sleep, and that they are CERTIFIED. Articles should be backed with references and not just written from personal opinion. We hope this post clarifies a bit more about our philosophy on sleep training and what it can do for your family.

Sleep training changes lives and it does not live up to the word “training”. It’s more about guidance and coaching to achieve healthy sleep habits.

The decision always remains with you and what your mom-instincts tell you. We cater to any kind of parenting style to find solutions best suited for the child and parent, backed up with science, empathy, and common sense.

– Empowering parents –

BLB XX