Hi there!

I'm Tracy 

I'm the founder, writer and advocate behind the award-winning blog, Raised Good - a guide to natural parenting in the modern world.

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Discover the Lost Art of Natural Parenting


Sleeping Through the Night, Self Soothing and ‘Good’ Babies: Why We Need to Stop Setting Mothers up to Fail

“Is he sleeping through the night?” asks a stranger.

“She’s too clingy. You really need to stop picking her up.” says a friend.

“Is she a good baby?” asks a woman at the park.

“He should be self-soothing by now. Consolidated sleep is critical for healthy brain development.” proclaims a sleep trainer.

“You’re creating a rod for your own back.” exclaims a grandmother.

“I hope you’re putting her down drowsy but awake.” advises a mother at a meetup.

“Feed, play sleep! Feed, play, sleep!” chants a daycare worker.

“You’re not nursing him to sleep are you? That’s a bad sleep association. How do you expect him to learn to fall asleep on his own?” questions a health nurse.

“Oh, he’s just manipulating you, dear. He’s got you wrapped around his tiny eight-week-old little finger.” says a mother-in-law.

“If you don’t put your three-day-old baby down to sleep in a crib on his own you’re risking suffocation and death. It is the only way babies are safe from SIDS.” states a paediatrician.

Without questioning the roots or validity of these statements.

Without an understanding of the biological needs of babies.

Without knowledge of what normal infant sleep looks like.

Without an appreciation for how most cultures around the world care for their babies (and why).

These mistruths are dangerous, not only because they’re false, but because they’re full of unrealistic expectations that set a new mother up to feel like she’s failing. To doubt her own abilities. To worry that there may be something wrong with her or her baby.

These mistruths when repeated often enough lead to fear, paranoia, worry, anxiety and guilt. This is the opposite of what new mothers need.

Because the truth is that no matter how many times we repeat these mantras, they’re still bullshit.

They’re still rooted in 19th-century ideals, created primarily by poorly informed, upper-class male physicians.

They’re still superstitious, unfounded and fear-based.

And while I appreciate that they may be said out of love for mothers, out of a deep desire to help or out of a concern for a family’s well-being, that doesn’t change the damaging impact these words can have on a new mother and infant dyad.

We need to recognise that to be invited into the presence of new parents and their baby is a great privilege, not a right. And with that privilege comes great responsibility. When the stakes are this high, it is simply not okay to repeat any of the mistruths above…even and especially if you heard these as a new mother yourself.

It is not okay to compromise the foundation of attachment a new mother is creating with her baby.

It is not okay to elevate society’s compulsion to conform above the needs of a new mother and baby.

It is not okay to pretend that cultural ideologies are fact.

The truth is that our western parenting culture got a little off track in the last hundred and fifty years. We no longer recognise the normal and healthy biological needs of children, day and night. We no longer recognise the importance of the fourth trimester and its ability to protect a new mother’s mental health. We no longer recognise how to help, in the way that mothers truly need.

And that’s okay. We can’t undo the past, but we can learn from it. And we can rewrite the future. We can be curious. We can learn. We can question.

We can find strategies to weave natural practices that allow both mothers and babies to thrive in our modern world. But, we can only do that if we silence the loud lies and allow the quiet truths of infant and toddler sleep to rumble.

So, what are the quiet truths of infant (and toddler) sleep?

That it is normal for babies to wake through the night, as often as every two hours for many, many months… and need their parents to help them fall back to sleep.

That it is normal for a child’s sleep to take five steps forward and three steps back and one step sideways and then turn inside out….sleep progress is anything but linear.

That it is normal for babies and toddlers to breastfeed to sleep (and through the night).

That it is normal for a baby to crave constant contact, to nap on her mother and to cry when she leaves the room to bring her back into proximity. This is not a sign that she is “spoilt”, this is a sign that she knows how to ensure her own survival.

That it is normal for toddlers to wake through the night and need mum or dad’s reassurance…to make them feel safe enough to surrender to sleep again.

That it is normal for babies to sleep like babies, and not like adults.

That it is normal for families to cosleep in the way they choose – bedsharing, room sharing, sidecar cot, musical beds – and it is normal for families to enjoy it…and not want to change a thing.

That it is normal for mothers to cry and to need help – that is NOT a sign she is failing or in need of a “solution”.

Because the truth is that human infants are the most immature, contact-dependent social mammal on the planet, which, by definition means that human mothers are among the most needed, hardworking and exhausted mothers on the planet.

So, she doesn’t need to be questioned or judged or to meet false standards of “success”. She’s doing her best just to get out of her pajamas by 3 pm. To have a shower every second day. Or to make and successfully drink a warm cup of tea.

She needs help, not judgment.

She doesn’t need you to have the answers or to ask for them, she needs you to BE her answer.

So, before you ask a new mother, “Is your baby sleeping through the night?” STOP.

Stop and ask yourself, what could you ask instead?

Perhaps…how are you coping?

Or…how can I help? Or even better…let me help you…I’ll make you a cup of tea. I’ll fold the washing. I’ll run you a bath. I’ll order takeout.

Resist using normal, interrupted infant and toddler sleep as a scapegoat. Instead, use it as a point of connection.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Because, in the years to come, a new mother won’t remember exactly what you said, but she will remember how you made her feel. So, make her feel cared for. Make her feel emotionally safe in your presence.

Make her feel like she is the best mother on the planet…because, to her child, she is.

Hi there!

I'm Tracy

Hi there! I’m Tracy - the founder, writer and advocate behind the award-winning blog, Raised Good - a guide to natural parenting in the modern world. Based in Vancouver and originally launched in 2016, I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response and the global community that’s developed. 

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  1. Brittany says:

    You said it perfect, “she needs help, not judgment”. Understanding this distinction is so important in today’s society, where just about anything and everything is subject to debate. If mothers (or humans in general) stopped tearing each other down, and instead built each other up and supported one another, the effects would be unstoppable!

    • Susie says:

      I Wish I had all this info when I had my son 40 yrs. ago. I got all the “old days” information. I would’ve loved to have all this info now back then! This is great info for mother’s and their child.

  2. Rocio Gonzalez says:

    Tears comes out when I was reading it. Thanks for the support and reassurance.
    Mother of two.

    • DEbbie says:

      Yes! Thank you for such a great article! I wish I had read this before my son was born. Mothers need to be given space, support and encouragement to follow their instincts and heart when caring for their babies.

  3. Jill says:

    Excellent article! As a typical grandmother, raised in the ‘50’s, the aforementioned questions were always the first to innocently flow from my mouth as well. Now I have a wonderful daughter in law who has shown us the difference. Our grandchildren are the most loving, caring and confident children around.
    I’ve also learned how important that “4th” trimester can be when you are raising 5 children and homeschooling them as well. We love our “daughter” and are so proud of the mom she is to our 5 grands and has not slept a full night for over 11 years!! God Bless her. Thank you for enlightening so many.

    • Martina says:

      Jill I love your comment and your honesty. Your daughter-in-law is very lucky to have you.
      I wish my mother has shown such respect and understanding.
      I hope she’ll understand one day.

    • Michelle says:

      Bless you for being loving and supportive…as a homeschooling mom of 5 I can’t tell you how difficult it can be to navigate through life without good support.❤️

    • Kimberly Ippolito-Caruso says:

      Don’t we ALLLLLLLLLLLLL “wish” they came with instructions… hahahahaha!!! ????????????‍♀️Or ~directions~????☺️???? sorry where do You go from here… js ????real life???? #BOOM!!! There here… lol ????

  4. Meredith says:

    Thank you for putting into lovingly written and well researched words the things I have been feeling for some time now. With my first, we tried lots of “sleep training” (drowsy-yet-awake, pick-up, put down, leaving the room, coming back, leaving again) and honestly, nothing “worked” — we would have ended up in the exact same sleep place years later if we had done none of those things (and with much less gut-wrenching crying and screaming). So with my second, I let it all go. I started with him sleeping next to me in a bassinet, which lasted for about five days; he’s been next to me in bed ever since. He’s a toddler now and I still nurse him several times a night. I haven’t done any “sleep training,” which feels right, but it’s so interesting to see the small sideways looks/comments I’m getting when I say I am still co-sleeping, even from close friends and fellow parents. I’m more confident now as a second-time momma, but these words really make me feel more confident in following my instincts and staying true to what they tell me to do. Thank you so much for that.

  5. Clair says:

    Thank you for this ❤️

  6. Matt says:

    Great article. We are following this and are happy with out decision not to sleep train as we do not agree with the concept. We are taking some flak regarding it, and coming from a scientific background, it would be great if you had some recent research to back this up? Or research that counters the sleep training argument.
    I think there are many different ways of parenting and no answer is wrong, but society do push for sleep training and it’s frowned upon if you don’t. Parents need to do what works best for them and their child whatever it may be.

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      Thanks Matt and so happy to hear that you are following what’s right for you. I have spent the last 5 months delving into the research and have put together a series of mini-guides on topics surrounding sleep, like sleep training, breastfeeding, night waking, responsiveness etc. I’ll be launching them in the next couple of weeks. The best way to find out when is by joining my email list. Thanks again!

  7. Clara says:

    Love this! What every parent needs to hear and understand.

  8. Barbara Chrisman says:

    I am a new grandma who shared my bed with my three babies and breastfed on demand. My daughter has read and been told, and is convinced, that bedsharing is dangerous to the baby; she has a cosleeper by the bed but after nursing when she tries to lay Ben on his back in the sleeper he fussed and wakes up. He doesn’t like lying on his back and misses his mom! Any ideas on making the co sleeper idea work. I don’t want to try to convince my daughter of something she is uncomfortable with. Thanks.

    • Kristen says:

      Can you give her information on the safe sleep 7? It can show her how to safely bed share. Also look up Dr. James McKenna, he has a great book that could maybe alleviate her concerns.

  9. Liv says:

    Thank you. Spot on! It is really hard when you feel like you are alone in advocating for your baby. I hope your blog becomes really really really REALLY famous and helps bring on a much needed culture change.

  10. Kristy says:

    This was an encouraging article to read.
    My baby is perfect – according to the ‘book’. I put her in bed at 7pm, and she sleeps 12 hours straight. She then talks to herself happily, until someone comes to get her. BUT, she is my 6th Baby ♡ They weren’t all like this!
    I’ve had babies who would only cuddle to sleep. I’ve had babies who would ONLY sleep in their cot (That’s a spoiler to any social life parents need!) I’ve had babies who would only breastfeed to sleep. I’ve had babies who would sleep anywhere, whenever they were tired.
    Each baby is precious & perfect & their way was the right way – it was their way!
    My eldest is now 14. I had to feed or cuddle him to sleep every time; but guess what???!!!? He loves to cuddle the younger kids when they’re upset. He will now pick up my 6 month old, and help her out when she wakes & any time really.
    What A Beautiful Gift That Is ♡

    • Gale says:

      Thank you for eloquently describing how unique each baby is and how it is ok, and important, to parent each child the way that is right for that child. No strategy is all wrong nor all right for every family.

  11. Ingrid says:

    The pediatrician unfortunately isn’t spouting lies. I perform CPR on lifeless infants way too often than you could ever imagine. Stop “normalizing” bed-sharing when Research has shown time and time again that it is dangerous. Keeping your infant safe is way more important than participating in the whole “do what works for you mama” attitude. I saw above where someone commented asking for research and you claim to have some but will introduce it later. I would love to see it, and share it with the thousands of parents/caregivers in our evidence based practice infant/baby care site.
    A pediatric ICU nurse who is tired of coding dead babies from unsafe sleep practices

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      I completely empathize Ingrid and can only imagine the absolute horror. The issue that I see is that either side of the argument isn’t willing to have an open-minded, rational and informed discussion with the other. That’s why it is SO great to be able to open the discussion on an individual level. Nobody wants babies to die – everyone wants to do the safest thing for their family. I don’t do the “each to their own” sort of thing as an excuse to practice dangerous habits.

      There are many opposing forces that need to be discussed. Cosleeping is used as a catch-all phrase to include sofa sleeping, falling asleep in a nursing chair etc. Bedsharing is normal and healthy and it is the way babies and mothers are designed to sleep BUT babies are not evolved to sleep with fluffy duvets, soft beds etc. ALSO there are multiple reasons a baby can die in the nights – SIDS, ASSB etc. The medical community issues a blanket statement that it is UNSAFE and tells parents NOT to do it but they are failing parents and babies because parents will do it anyway – why? Because they’re exhausted. Because babies need to sleep next to their parents and make their needs known. Because they’re trying to breastfeed (as every medical authority recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months yet fails to recognize that 50% of that happens at night) and its almost impossible to do that without bedsharing at night.

      What would be wonderful is if the medical community took responsibility to inform, rather than selectively inform and result in parents going it alone. To explain to parents how to bedshare safely. To explain what the issues are – to tell parents that if they smoke, drink etc they should NEVER bedshare and provide them with an alternative. Breastfeeding non-smoking mothers should be taught how to make a sleep space safe – no heavy fluffy bedding, no cracks next to beds, no headboards, no pets in the bed.

      If the medical community truly wants no more babies to die in the night needlessly then they need to change what they’re doing. Continuing to do the same thing (scare tactics) and expect a different result is pointless. I am launching a series of guides on the science of sleep and will be including on on SIDS that has all the up to date research outlined in it.

      • Homz says:

        I agree with the sentiment here. But I would push back a bit on the criticism of the medical community. Since the sleeping guidelines were issues by AAP, the SIDS rates have dropped dramatically, by almost 5 fold. So these recommendations have been effective in what they were meant to do, which is reduce the loss of life. Did they go too far, maybe; the strict guidelines were likely by design to assess for a reduction in death rate, and you can always loosen the restrictions a bit later.

        • Tracy Gillett says:

          Thank you for your comment and appreciate it. I am not saying that all medical advice is wrong but the fact is that by not giving the facts and telling parents that bedsharing is categorically dangerous the medical community may be predisposing families to make riskier choices. The fact is that bedsharing can be done safely but when we don’t explain how to do that and IF it is safe for an individual family (because it isn’t for all families) it leaves families taking risks they shouldn’t (like accidentally falling asleep on the sofa which is very dangerous). I would love it if you could share the data on the 5 fold drop in SIDS rates. The medical community also used to recommend to put babies on their abdomen to sleep which resulted in many babies dying in the night. I’m wondering if the drop you’re referring to is the correction to back to sleep?

    • Nancy says:

      How many of those infant really were needing to be revived due to unsafe sleep? Babies die in cribs too. Co sleeping can and has been done safely. Pediatricians need to teach parents HOW to do it safely instead of just scaring parents.

    • Barb says:

      Ingrid, how many babies have you coded from car wrecks where the parent fell asleep at the wheel due to extreme sleep deprivation from popping out of bed multiple times per night for days / weeks / months on end? How many babies have you coded where the parent inadvertently fell asleep in the rocking chair — while being careful to NOT cosleep — and dropped the baby? Why are THOSE deaths not included in the statistics? Don’t those babies count?
      Parental sleep deprivation (caused by NOT cosleeping) is also dangerous — extremely dangerous. Let’s talk about the dangers of NOT cosleeping.
      The solution, in my opinion, is side-carring the crib so Mom can pull Baby to her to nurse and slide him back when she wants to roll over; the goal being that she never lift her head from horizontal.
      Why don’t the anti-bed-sharing people, such as yourself, advocate FOR this solution instead of just “Never-Never”-ing and demanding parents conform to an unworkable, impossible setup (baby in his own 4-sided crib, requiring Mother to rise whenever the babe needs the breast)?

    • Kristen says:

      Many in-bed deaths aren’t following the safe sleep 7. If you follow that statistically there isn’t a higher rate of infant death compared to crib babies. Japan has some of the lowest infant death rates than any country and they advocate for bed sharing properly. Many European and Scandinavian countries advocate for proper bed sharing. They don’t have higher infant death rates. When planned out safely it is quite safe. I am also someone who “does CPR on dead babies.” I’ve had mothers in their exhausted states accidentally fall asleep trying to not take their babe to bed and cause minor to catastrophic issues with dropping them on the floor as they fall asleep. I’ve heard about mothers trying to avoid the “dangerous” bed and fall asleep breastfeeding on a couch where the infant slides and asphyxiates. Proper education on how to do it properly greatly decreases any increase in risk over crib sleeping.

  12. Mike says:

    No love for fathers in this article, maybe next time write this with both in mind… this isn’t 1960.

    Source: A father who cuddles his kid just as much as mommy does.

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      I know and appreciate the comment Mike and my husband is the same! 99% of my readers are mothers so that is mostly who I write to. Its not to alienate fathers at all. Will take this into account in the future though and if I can write to both I will.

  13. Pappy says:

    Everyone is different (mother and child )….all the ones giving advice on how to handle this situation, what one should or not do….i don’t usually see (MD…PHD or other degree after their name….just let your instinct and what you think is best…..for you and your child…

  14. Jana says:

    Thank you so much for your blog! I am sitting here with my 3 month old daughter peacefully sleeping in my arms, tears running down my face, because I can finally feel like a good mom. I have been struggling with the question of sleep and how to approach it, early sleep training/coaching screaming at you from all sides. I kept worrying if I don’t do something I’m depriving her of the opportunity to learn an important skill, all along feeling it was not right. Your blog moved me to tears as I finally realized my instincts were right and there’s nothing wrong with either of us. Now I can shower her with all the love and attention we both crave, guilt free.
    Thanks again!

  15. julia says:

    As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and previous pediatric trauma nurse – this post is incorrect. Co-Sleeping is not safe. Why are you going to encourage something that you know can cause infant death.

    Also as a mama who breastfed her baby you very much can breastfeed your baby at night without ever sleeping in the same bed as them.

    This post is unsafe to new moms.

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      Hi Julia, thank you for your comment but this post is absolutely correct. Please define what you mean by cosleeping.

      Bedsharing and breastfeeding (breastsleeping) with a non-smoking, sober, non-drug using mother, on a safe sleep surface is categorically different to sofa sleeping with a parent who has been drinking – yet, the medical community is failing parents because they call both “cosleeping” and fail to give parents safe nighttime parenting options.

      The fact is that mothers, especially breastfeeding mothers, WILL cosleep at some point. The way the medical community scares parents, generalises and fails to give individual parents approriate advice means that many mothers will be so fearful of bedsharing that they do not know how to do it safely and therefore accidentally end up falling asleep on a sofa or nursing chair – extremely unsafe version of “cosleeping”.

      So, we agree that cosleeping CAN be unsafe. But I do not agree that bedsharing can NEVER be safe. People can die choking – that doesn’t mean we suggest that people stop eating. People can break their leg walking, that doesn’t mean we put people in wheelchairs to prevent it. We inform, we teach. The medical community advised mothers years ago to put babies to sleep prone – countless babies died as a result. I fear the same thing is happening now when the same community fails to take responsibility for teaching parents how to do something that is biologically normal, puts their fingers in their ears, closes their eyes and pretends it isn’t happening.

      Scare tactics aren’t working anymore and more and more parents are doing it. What I think needs to happen is to teach parents who CAN bedshare safely how to do it and identify those parents who CANNOT bedshare safely (smoking parents, parents who drink alcohol, obese parents etc) and advise them how to parent at night without risking getting into dangerous situations like sofa sharing. Until parents are informed and empowered babies will continue to be put at unnecessary risk.

      • Jezika says:

        You are spot on. When my daughter was in hospital at 4 months of age for a UTI, there was a nurse there who interrogated me for almost two hours about my preference to bedshare and said very inaccurate and judgmental things, striking fear and shame in me and refusing to leave me alone until I promised I would not bedshare, all while I was dealing with a sick child and trying to get rest myself close to midnight. I understand that, unlike most of us, medical professionals actually deal with dead babies, and there is nothing more sobering than that, but you’re right that they really don’t seem to understand the nuance of the most up-to-date research. I have scoured it (and with a PhD in a scientific field, I believe I’m more than capable of locating and interpreting research articles) and of course you’re exactly right in what you say. Only my midwife was brave enough to actually tell me anything about the nuance of safe cosleeping, which she made clear was not something she should have been saying, since medical professionals are taught to be very clear with their anti-cosleeping message. I find this totally irresponsible for the reasons you stated. Other countries, like the UK, actually choose to educate parents on what safe bedsharing looks like, precisely because they acknowledge that something like 70% of mothers end up sharing a sleep space at some point despite awareness of its potential dangers. I truly believe more babies have died from the current zero-tolerance messaging around cosleeping than they would if the medical community treated parents like they’re actually capable of understanding a few extra pieces of information that might actually save their babies’ lives. I myself unwittingly fell asleep with my newborn daughter in what I now know are dangerous circumstances, ONLY because I didn’t want to bring her into bed to sleep (because of the dangers I’d been told about). I know I am FAR from alone on this.

  16. Hi again Tracy 🙂

    I just love all of your articles so much. This one is so true-baby sleep is not and cannot be a singular kind of thing. Babies are as different as adults are different, and each one requires personalized parenting. Gosh, it’s sucks that this has to eve be said-but it’s like you say, our cultural narrative is completely the opposite.

    You say that our expectations around mother-baby sleeping is rooted in 19th century ideals. Do you know exactly when and why things shifted? It’s so weird for a mother to be worried about sleeping with her own baby-I just am so surprised that we think like this in such a modern world.

    Something I often think about is the difference between adaptation and evolution-that we humans can adapt to our environment (it’s a superpower of ours), long before we evolve into it. But the thing is that a lot of the times our adaptation is pretty poor, as you can see in how we have adapted to our sedentary environment (not well).

    The same applies to babies. They have evolved sleeping with their mothers, and now are having to adapt to a different way of being parented. The detrimental effects of an adaptation aren’t always immediately seen, and by the time they are, it can be too late to reverse the damage. In the case of the mother-baby attachment, it’s too important of a bond to mess with. Women should continue to nurture their young the ways that have been carried out through history, without establishments imposing rules and fears on them.

    It breaks my heart that so many mothers are too scared to sleep with their babies, but it is changing, thanks to articles like this one. Thanks once again for your words 🙂

  17. Jamie says:

    As a NICU/peds nurse, it’s my job to tell parents not to sleep with their baby. I have two horror stories to back it up. &before I became a mom, I was the woman who just couldn’t believe that all these mom bloggers (some of them nurses) were promoting bedsharing!

    As a MOM I can’t say that I’ve followed my own nurse advice.

    I never set out to bedshare. But when I put my son in his bassinet right next to me and found that I couldn’t see him breathing, I panicked. That was the first time he slept with me, and I set the alarm on my phone every 15 minutes just to make sure I hadn’t suffocated him. It led to me buying a cosleeping bed.

    That worked until we hit the 3 week growth spurt and he wanted to nurse every hour all night long. I got him out of his sleeper over and over and eventually I just fell asleep. I wasn’t prepared for that and I remember feeling like such a terrible mom for falling asleep with him. I cried for a long time.

    & that’s when my research began. It was like this whole new world opened up to me. I’d never questioned that bedsharing was 100% dangerous. But now I do and I know it can be done safely – if the right conditions are met.

    I also felt like a failure for the longest time because he wouldn’t stay asleep. I convinced myself I had PPD but in reality I just believed what everyone said about baby sleep and self soothing.

    We didn’t exclusively bedshare until 4 months when he stopped sleeping for more than 2 hours. At least now I can do it and not be worried all night about him dying.

    Looking back now, both those horror stories involved cosleeping on couches. Go figure.

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Shanti Pappas says:

    Thank you!!!

  19. Sarah Anne Witesman says:

    I’m an ob/gyn PA not a pediatrician, but I’ve still heard ALL about how dangerous cosleeping is, so when I had my first baby I swore I wasn’t going to bed share. I had her in a bassinet next to my bed and the first week or two were… blurry but fine as far as I recall. But then she started developing this truly awful sounding stridor. It only happened at night and only in her bassinet. I talked to her pediatrician who reassured me that it was normal and would go away as soon as her trachea was more developed. It was clear to me that in the meantime her stridorous breathing was a stress reaction and being close to me soothed her and her breathing would return to normal. I started doing more research into co sleeping and found much the same things you are describing here. My baby was full term, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, and I rarely have a single glass of wine a few hours before bed. The baseline risk of SIDS for my daughter was about 1:5000 (approximate numbers as I don’t recall the exact figure) while bed sharing does indeed double that risk, it is still around 1:2500 which I considered an acceptable level of risk. (In a higher risk baby/mom situation, doubling that risk would be a much bigger deal and would not be acceptable). I made sure there were no heavy blankets and no cracks and if I had a glass of wine she stayed in her bassinet. She started every night in her bassinet, but finished many of them in bed with me. We both slept better and I felt more comfortable and less guilty. Her stridorous breathing did go away on its own and she easily transitioned into get own room when she was ready. I think it’s important for new moms to have the FACTS and understand the ACTUAL RISK so they can make the informed decisions that are right for them.

  20. Rachel says:

    Oh how it irks me when people ask if my baby is “good”!!!

    My sweet baby needs her mama, imagine that.

    My little baby hasn’t learned to face the world alone yet. I don’t blame her, it’s a scary place. She’s only been babysat without a parent 3 times, because she isn’t our burden she is our student and our duty.

    My precious baby is 18 months old and still wakes 5 times a night at least. She hates to sleep alone. Of course she does, so do I! So does my husband!

    She will learn when she is ready, and when she is ready I will say “go for it!”

  21. Myca says:

    I live in a country where, if not all, most of the mothers share bed with their babies. I’m a mother of two, and we still sleep together until now. Because I’m comfortable with this setup. I can sleep well at night knowing that my kids are beside me. I’m also a nurse but we don’t discourage new mothers to sleep with their babies. All babies and mothers are unique and special. Mothers have their own special way on how to care for their babies. I believe there is no right or wrong opinion about this matter. Afterall, all we want is to give what’s best for our children.

  22. Heather says:

    Interesting blog. Do you have any references to back up your assertions?

  23. Maricres Llamera says:

    Hi Tracy! This article is great ???? and learnings throughout each and every moms experience. As a mom of two, and having a currently 6mos. Old baby ????, I’m proud that I’m still sleeping with them esp with my baby ???? . At first days and first month to three months , most babies will not let you sleep completely while night, they will always cry and want to be fed every hour or every two to four hours which require you to be with them or beside them till they sleep. As my experience, I personally want to look at him every single minute , to check him if he’s breathing or not Bec sometimes babies not snoring or silently sleeping. Even you want to sleep straight your mind as a mom will always open your eyes to check your baby which I believe I’m not the only one like that. I love to keep him sleep beside me with giving him enough space to breathe on and move so just to make sure I will not suffocate them. Most nurse from medical side advices us here not to sleep with the baby and require to have a crib which he usually sleep only there at day time but night preferably better he sleep with me, Bec every time I put him down there he will always wake up and can’t sleep good and still longing for his mother’s arm which maybe he feels more comfortable and safe beside his mom. I really like your post and giving some tips to the moms out there. Let’s just be fair as a mother and a child has each and everyone unique experience and feelings towards one another. I remember “your child , your rule” as long as it will benefit good to your baby ???? don’t stop believing yourself and be safe. Thanks for sharing ????

  24. Sarah says:

    Thank You for this post I absolutely agree with ever word. I couldnt have said it better myself. As far a co sleeping well I am all for it a mother can sleep with her baby safely I co slept with all 3 of my babies and will continue to do so. I found that I never actually ever fell asleep I just rested. All 3 of my babies are just fine healthy and very happy boys a mother knows what their babies need and at the end of the day we will do what they need from us all the time. Thank.You again so much for your post. 100% TRUE!!!!

  25. Allen says:

    My wife sent me the link to your article after I asked her if it’s best practice to sooth our newborn in bed by putting him to her breast/nipple to get him to go to sleep. My concern was because our baby kept falling asleep every time she breast fed. So now we have had to begin supplementing with formula and my wife tries to pump equal to the amount our son is taking in. We’ve had a few minor medical problems that we are working through which resulted in low milk production, infant weight loss and slow weight gain, and he has trouble latching properly as well as being a weak sucker. My wife has two other children and this is my first. So due to my lack of experience I don’t get to have any input or question anything that has to do with our child because my wife assumes I am judging or questioning her choices. I am just trying to help. Help the baby and help my wife.
    So, I was wondering what your opinion is on the following:
    Will the baby will correlate the breast with sleep by soothing him too sleep?
    What do you think about letting the baby sleep through the night, unmonitored, on his stomach. My wife doesn’t agree with the baby sleeping on his back even though he is behind on his growth….
    My wife wants to Co-sleep with the baby in between us on the bed, on his stomach and I’m uncomfortable with that given that we are completely exhausted every night and she states that I move in my sleep a lot. I brought up the idea of a bassinet that goes right next to the bed but she got a different one and put it away from the bed.
    I’ve read articles and information from both sides of the spectrum but does the father not have any say in the fourth trimester so not to question anything that goes on?
    I’m writing this as I have been sitting up with our baby all night so my wife gets some well deserved rest. She can’t sleep with the baby in the room because if she hears him it wakes her up. I have become the night shift at home. I have to stay up because she wants him to tummy sleep and I’m not comfortable with it so I stay up to monitor him. I’ll be heading to work in 3 hours on no sleep.

    Thank you for the insightful article i really enjoyed it. Please let me know your thoughts.

    Learning to be a Dad

  26. Sandra says:

    Thanks for the article, but shouldn’t the headline read “Parents” and not “Mothers”? My husband does most of the night work with our baby because I work full time. It’s hard on stay-at-home dad’s too! (Or any dad who does night shift!)

  27. Yvonne Duesund says:

    This post is spot on. We have been co-sleeping ever since at the hospital; our baby boy was maybe once or twice in the cot offered at the hospital. He is now 5 months old and we still co-sleeps
    We will continue to do so until he is ready to sleep on his own. Nothing feels safer or more natural than his warm body snuggling into me, his arms reaching for my breast to nurse. I never imagine what it would feel like to have a child. Now I know and no love can compare to the feeling his very existence give me. I would never put him through “cry it out” sessions, how horrid! I am also plagued by comments and criticism from both nurse, family and even my physio therapist about co-sleeping and “how it ruins your life”. Well, so far so good!
    First time mother.

  28. Norma says:

    Until we have any paid leave at all, mothers will be under pressure to get babies to sleep more at night. Because driving sleep deprived is tantamount to driving extremely drunk.

    Lord, no, our society is not set up for mothers and little ones.:(

  29. Brittany says:

    I personally don’t understand why sleep training, co sleeping, etc. Is even an issue. I don’t understand why it is acceptable for mother’s to trudge around sleep deprived and exhausted and seriously disregarding their own self care. I for one refuse to get up all through the night or stay up half the night and fall asleep sitting up right from exhaustion. Put the baby in its room and shut the door when it’s bedtime after it’s been changed and fed obviously then I’m going to bed with my earplugs a fan on and a closed-door and I’m going to sleep through the night and when I wake up in the morning I will take care of another human being just like I have to take care of my own needs. Maybe they cry maybe they don’t eventually they will stop crying and go to sleep. and I wake up in a much better frame of mind with the ability to actually take care of the child and not walk around like a zombie because I for one have got to have my sleep.

    • Tracy Gillett says:

      Thanks for your comment but I think you’re on the wrong website. This site is about the complete opposite of what you’ve described and I advocate strongly for that. I don’t think there needs to be a choice – both parents and baby’s needs can be met and mothers don’t need to be exhausted but that doesn’t need to be done by ignoring a baby and wearing ear plugs. They will eventually go to sleep because they’re exhausted and alone and have realised you’re not coming not because you’ve taught them to sleep.

  30. Bea says:

    Your articles are the best I have read during my motherhood. Your words touch directly my heart. Thank youuuuuuu

  31. Dan says:

    It’s nice to hear it put like this as you are made to feel guilty for so much of the baby parenting process. We had our nine month review for our son last week, where we told the health visitor he still wakes at least 2 to 3 times a night for feeds at nearly 10 months and that he’s fed to sleep. She then pulled a face and gave us a handful of printouts on sleep training but we didn’t follow it as we weren’t comfortable with the idea of it.

    So glad we’ve stuck to our guns so far although it’s my wife who’s stayed strong – I’d probably have folded by now because you’re just bombarded, even by the nhs it seems, with guilt.

    Dan and Lucy

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