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Is Sleep Training Emotionally Damaging?

There are many misconceptions when it comes to sleep training for both infants and toddlers. One of the biggest misconceptions is that sleep training causes trauma and emotional damage for children. Let’s break this down shall we…

Cry It Out:

When it comes to sleep training, families automatically think about the cry it out method as if they are synonyms. This has placed a lot of anxiety and fear around this topic. But just as Michaeleen Doucleff states in the article, Sleep Training Truths: What Science Can (And Can't) Tell Us About Crying It Out, “In today's scientific literature, the term "sleep training" is an umbrella term that refers to a spectrum of approaches to help babies learn to fall asleep by themselves. It includes much gentler methods than cry-it-out or the so-called Ferber Method.”

When it comes to the Cry It Out method, this means that you place your baby in their bed at bedtime and do not return or check in on them until the next morning. This IS NOT what I recommend or do as a sleep consultant AT ALL. In my opinion, this method should not be associated with sleep training because it takes away from all of the groundwork that goes into effectively looking at and viewing sleep training in a full day/full body lens.

Emotional Damage

When you look at sleep training in a full day and full body lens like I do as a sleep consultant, my clients are able to emotionally support their infants and toddlers throughout the process. The process for me and my clients includes getting the full view of the families day from m

orning to night, examining what their child eats, how much they eat, when they sleep, how long they sleep, where they sleep, how they fall asleep, and so much more. In addition, getting accustomed to the child’s natural rhythm and patterns is vital to easing them into adopting better sleep habits versus forcing a new flow on them all at once. Lastly, focusing on the parents' habits, comfortability, and beliefs are just as important.

Getting the full story is the key to sleep training because every part contributes to sleep for infants and toddlers. When you work with a professional that encourages this approach, you are not just putting your baby down to scream and cry themselves to sleep, but you are ensuring that they have the right tools, environment, and daily routines during this


Lastly, there is no research to support the claims that sleep training can cause emotional damage, can traumatize your child, or impede the bonding experience between parents and their children. The thought that sleep training is emotionally damaging for children is opinion based.

Why Choose Shaniqua of Modern Childbearing For Sleep Consulting?

At Modern Childbearing, Shaniqua is passionate about meeting clients where they are and working to ensure that they are comfortable and informed when it comes to the methods and strategies we decide on. Shaniqua works closely with clients virtually for 2-3 weeks with daily check-ins, Zoom calls, and customized, in depth sleep plans for now and the future. With years of experience from gentle sleep training approaches and beyond, Shaniqua knows what it takes to help families reap the benefits of sleep training.

Don’t lose another night of sleep. Schedule your free consultation today.

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