I’ve had loads of messages this week from mums of toddlers, as I’ve had over 500 people sign up for my FREE Toddler Sleep Resource. So many of them have the same concern…that they have been told that their toddler has just got into a bad sleep habit (caused by them of course!) and the only way to break it is by leaving them to Cry it Out. Every time I hear this my reaction is WTF?! Do people really still give this outdated advice?! Have we learnt nothing more advanced?!
Firstly, there is ALWAYS a reason why any age Little One isn’t sleeping. Secondly, when you respond to your Little One with attention, cuddles, time in your bed…you are parenting them intuitively, giving them what they need. YOU ARE NOT CREATING A HABIT!!!
Let’s just remember that these are little people, people with feelings, people who deserve respect…just like we do. This seems to get forgotten along the way with toddlers, just because they haven’t fit into the tick box of how their sleep should have progressed. I’ve known of so many people who are anti Cry it Out for babies, think that it’s completely acceptable to leave a toddler to cry…because they know what they’re doing, they know how to play you…WTF?! They are still our children, they are still incredibly young…and it is not their fault that they can’t sleep!
Toddler behaviour can be challenging, especially when you and they haven’t slept for years…their behaviour escalates and your ability to deal with it decreases incrementally the less sleep you have. This does not mean that they should be left alone in a room to cry…we wouldn’t do this to anyone else in our life, why do it to the person we carried inside us, the person we chose to bring into this world, the person who depends on us to protect and guide them?! They are dealing with massive changes in their life, emotions that they don’t understand and are unable to sleep and unable to communicate why.
A toddler left to Cry it Out could be starting to really remember their birth memories, processing the trauma that has been held since they were born.
A toddler left to Cry it Out could be struggling with a gut issue that has always been there, so the discomfort is just normal to them
A toddler left to Cry it Out could be going through a Development Leap, unable to switch off their busy mind
A toddler left to Cry it Out could be holding the emotions of the people they spent the day with at nursery…so sensitive that they absorb everything
There are so many ways that we can help these vulnerable little ones grow, feel more secure, deal with what is preventing them sleep…but just in case I haven’t made myself crystal clear IT NEVER NEEDS TO BE CRY IT OUT.