Sleeptraining: Here we go again…

If you’ve paid attention to the sleeptraining-debate in Denmark recently, you will have noticed that the ball is rolling – once again.

Not long ago, the Danish publisher Gyldendal was pressured to remove the sleeptraining-book “Godnat og sov godt” from bookshelves. They refused though, arguing something about no scientific proof of damage due to sleeptraining and also whispers about mysterious experts condoning sleeptraining (we were never allowed to know their names or the studies showing this though). Read the publishers argument for not removing the book here.

This made no less than 723 Danish psychologists sign a letter to Gyldendal, in which they ask the publisher to yet again consider removing the book and also go public about which studies and scientists made them decide to keep the book. Read the letter from the Danish psychologists here.”

It is not about good/bad parents – it is about good/bad books!

Yesterday, Danish journalist Sara Alfort commented on the letter from the psychologists, saying:

We have to remind each other that caring for someone and being gentle towards someone comes in many different forms (…) and that everyone therefore has the right to find their own path between conscience, responsibility and love.

My translation – read the whole article in Danish here

No one is saying that parents who sleeptrain do not love their children. This discussion is not about who is a good parent and who is a bad parent – it is about that this is a bad book!

Danish public debator Tove Rump made a wonderful comment to Sara Alforts article. Read her response here (in Danish)

Books like “Godnat og sov godt” should be removen from shelfs. Why? 

Because it misleads loving parents into sleeptraining their child and ignoring their intuition, under the false pretence of teaching their child to “sleep well”. 

The book promises results that are the exact opposite of what it actually causes.

Sleeptraining teaches a child that its parents will not respond to its cry at night. 

Is it okay that parents unknowingly and unwillingly teach their children this lesson of broken attachment, when they are in fact trying to do the exact opposite? Of course not!

New parents should be supported – not tricked.

“No scientific proof of permanent damage”, they say

No, it is not proven beyond any reasonable doubt that sleeptraining will hurt your child in the long run.

It may.

It may not.

But that doesn’t make it okay. Scientific proof of permanent damage is not necessary for us to act responsibly and ethically towards our children.

Read more on why the ethics of our actions today are more important than their possible consequences tomorrow here

If it feels wrong, it is wrong!

Do you feel pressured into sleeptraining your child? The most important advice anyone can give you is: Listen to your gut! Does it feel right to leave your crying child in bed alone?

Read more on sleeptraining here and here