Sleep Training v’s Co-Sleeping

So the baby sleep training vs co-sleeping issue seems to gets parents in an uproar. All groups of people. Everyone in the family beds to that horrendous cry-it-out method. The sleep method of parents has become a highly controversial topic. In society, groups and professionals alike. Having tried both baby sleep training and attachment parenting. I’d like to share my view on a good night’s sleep that has everyone’s best interests in mind.


Involves parents who subscribe to Attachment Parenting (AP) which most commonly involve co-sleep with their infants either in the same bed or at least in the same room. As with more mainstream sleep strategies. There are pros and cons, myths and realities to co-sleeping and AP methods.

Proponents of co-sleeping claim it leads to more independent, confident or outgoing children, or that sleep sharing somehow leads to a child with higher self-esteem. While it remains to be seen if co-sleeping will influence your baby’s personality. The bonding experience that may occur for mum and dad may boost their self-esteem as parents.

Co-sleeping Pros

Appears to get more sleep – Co-sleeping babies can breastfeed easily throughout the night. Disrupting parents’ sleepless in the early months when the baby requires night time feeds.

More bonding time – Sleeping together allows for extra time spent enjoying and building a close relationship with your baby.

Simple soothing – Co-sleeping makes it easier to respond to babies, so they may fall asleep faster when they wake during the night and cry less.

Increase the risk of SIDS – Studies show that decreased Sudden Infant Death Syndrome reported for babies who co-sleep.

Co-sleeping Cons

Less quality sleep & rest – Sharing a bed with an infant can take time to get used to. Parents may not sleep as well when bed-sharing with the baby.

Less freedom for parents – Babies used to sleeping next to mum and dad may have a hard time falling asleep when in someone else’s care. Additionally, transitioning from co-sleeping to solitary sleeping is usually tricky. And may lead to bed-sharing when it no longer works for everyone involved.

Over-dependent baby – Babies who nurse to sleep do not learn to get back to sleep when they wake from a natural sleep cycle. Requiring their parents’ help well beyond infancy.

More challenging intimacy – Co-sleeping forces parents to compromise in terms of their love-making in bed. Though it’s possible to get creative. The demands of having a baby tend to overshadow inventive sex.

Baby sleep training

Baby sleep training involves helping your baby learn to fall asleep easily and eventually, stay asleep throughout the night. Most experts consider “sleeping through the night” to be 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Sleep-trained babies typically sleep in their room in their crib. Although co-sleeping families can utilize routines as well. Sleep training typically involves:

Sleeping, waking, and often feeding at the same time to establish a routine that works with your baby’s biological clock while not confusing day and night.

It is ensuring a quiet, safe, separate sleep environment for babies. That provides a comforting atmosphere without distraction.

Following a nightly, pre-sleep routine, such as a warm bath, some quiet time spent together and feeding before bedtime.

Teaching baby to fall asleep on her own with minimal distress and without being nursed, rocked, or bounced to sleep.

The variations

There are many variations of baby sleep training. Still, the basic steps are that if you start routines early and are persistent and consistent. Most babies (even “bad” sleepers) catch on to the practices by about four months of age without the notorious crying that gives these methods a lousy name. Older babies (especially beyond six months) may require a bit more crying before they give up their co-sleeping habits. But the transition can usually occur within three consecutive nights of a new routine.

Critics of baby sleep training believe that leaving a baby to cry herself to sleep is not only cruel and heartless. It also detrimental to babies’ emotional development and may cause unnecessary or even harmful physical distress.

Proponents believe that baby sleep training is the swiftest way to teach good sleep habits. As well as providing a healthy, restful environment for the whole family. Allowing a baby that is not hungry, sick, stuck in a dirty diaper. Otherwise in need of physical care to cry a bit while learning to soothe herself to sleep is normal and not torture. Most sleep training methods provide options for “no-cry” or minimal crying, and parents who use these methods can usually recognize those times when their baby is too distressed to fall asleep on her own.

Pros of baby sleep training

More Sleep – Where sleep routines are established, the whole family sleeps for longer stretches uninterrupted.

Contented Baby – Sleep trained babies know how to fall asleep without the assistance of mom and dad, tend to be well-rested, and adequately fed – all of which makes for a happy, calm baby.

Good separation = good connection – Parenting requires constant attention and link to your child. Having the ability to unplug and recharge allows for better bonding and connection during waking hours.

Happy Mummy – (and Daddy). Well-rested parents can be more present for themselves, and their children can make better decisions, have more patience for the challenges of parenting, and have more ability to experience the joys of parenthood as well.

Cons of baby sleep training

Front Loaded Effort occurs during the early days of establishing a routine. When a new mother is already exhausted and overwhelmed from birth, breastfeeding, and adjusting to a new baby), mama may get less sleep and feel more stressed as she must wake at night to go to baby for feedings.

Extra Discipline Required – Routines take time and consistency to establish. It may be frustrating and seem like a baby will never catch on for the first seven al weeks of trying. Having a mentor who’s done it before may help.

Less Flexibility – Scheduled babies kept to their routine much better it may not work for parents who prefer to take the baby along to social engagements regularly or are just not good with sticking to a schedule.

More Gear – Co-sleeping requires your bed. Scheduled babies tend to sleep in a crib in their room. You will also need a baby monitor to listen for baby’s cries from your room at night and black-out curtains to simulate night during nap times.

Baby sleep training vs co-sleeping – A strategy that feels right

Both baby sleep training and co-sleeping have their plusses and minuses. As the parent to your child, it is up to you to pay attention to what feels right regarding sleeping arrangements (and all other decisions). There is no right or wrong way, only what works for you and your baby. It may be die-hard attachment parenting, conventional baby sleep training, or somewhere in between.

If you’re interested in trying sleep training, I highly recommend The Holistic Sleep Program. My current bible on sleep routines after severe sleep deprivation with baby 1-3 is known for the habits. The concept of proper sleep/feeding patterns just makes sense and, if you stick with it. The result in your household getting more sleep and more peace.

For further information on Sleep Teaching methods in a gentle and result proven method. Please contact where help is only a click away,

I offer a 15 min free introductory call where we can chat about your sleep and how I can help you. Alternatively, you can email me, and I will tell you a bit more about myself and answer your questions this way… the choice is yours. Details of my programs are here. I offer adult, child, toddler, infant, newborn and family sleep programs. 

Sleep Well 😉