Sleep Training Culture — a poem
I stumbled across this poem on instagram a few months back, it evoked so much emotion and passion that I’ve recreated it and given it a permanent spot in my feed. The author is unknown, the post I saw it on didn't know the author either and it was terrible quality, so I've shared it onto my instagram here.
Gentle, natural and attached parenting is of utmost importance to me when bringing my girl up in this world. To always be seen, held, supported.
I feel that if you can shut yourself off to your own baby who you nourished and grew with your own body, then you can close yourself off to anything in the world, and that is never who I want to be. I will never choose to be cold or dismissive, especially to the ones I love most.
Being present with my baby now, sets the standard for me as she grows - to continue being present, responsive, supportive, and loving. It breaks my heart that the world is going in a direction of "when" their baby will be sleep trained, not "if"...
Back up the truck, please repeat, lets be clear:
You're saying, at night-time her needs disappear?
Sure. She's got to be clean, dry and fed.
But with those bases covered, plonk her down in her bed?
Drowsy but awake is the best state for learning
and preload her with solids so she wont be stirring.
Don't breastfeed to sleep (that's a habit to break)
and if the feed makes her sleep, God forbid, make her wake!
The correct schedule for babies is to feed, play, THEN sleep.
Oh and don't you forget to pre-layer the sheets.
You see, these infants, they’re crafty, they’re sly,
they'll vomit and soil to get you by their side.
But don't waver just change her with minimal fuss.
Remember: be boring, pat and shush if you must.
Don't over-handle, don't look in the eyes.
Be strong, be consistent, they're just protest cries.
And when screams turn to whimpers and silence ensues,
you've done it! You've won! She's learned to self-soothe!
So switch off the monitor, watch Netflix and sleep!
Your needs are important you've schedules to keep!
Don't be inconvenienced by teething or leaps,
once bub is sleep trained she wont make a peep!
Well thank you doctor/sleep trainer/random/mother-in-law for that helpful advice (and I'm sure you've got more)
But you see, there's good reason that won't Save Our Sleep: what's silence to you, is deafening to me.
The haunting echo of internalized screams
Nobody is coming to me!
Take a minute, and really let that sink in.
She's not learned to link cycles, she's learned to give in.
That piercing quiet, your holy grail,
that sound is the loneliest sound in the world.
But it's gentle! It’s responsive! you say.
Really? How would you like to be treated this way?
You're tired and teary, you've had a hard day,
hubby shushes you coldly whilst looking away.
He'll stay for three minutes, but never for four,
and before you're quite settled, he's out through the door.
You say that broken sleep will harm her brain
and if we fail to train her she'll be delayed.
And yet the human race survived ok
without wailing babes in separate caves.
And while you’re busy teaching her to sleep,
what's she learning about humanity?
That comfort and closeness aren’t genuine needs?
And all feelings are managed internally?
How can a baby learn to love and trust
when her primary caregiver leaves at dusk?
What you want me to do to my precious babe
by day is neglect, but at night its okay?
Now you say its only this sleep-thief I'm seeing,
not the harm of poor sleep to the parents wellbeing.