What is nighttime parenting and why is it a good alternative to sleep training?
Babies are notorious for waking frequently during the night—it’s just part of the package. But once their sleep patterns become more regular (at around 4 months), some parents opt to start sleep training their child, or teaching their child how to sleep independently.
However, sleep training does not work for everyone. Other parents, especially advocates of attachment parenting, address their baby’s nighttime fussing with what’s known as “nighttime parenting.”
What is nighttime parenting?
While sleep training is focused on training your child on how to sleep through the night by themselves, with nighttime parenting, parents continue to respond to their babies when they cry and lull them back to sleep by nursing, rocking, singing, etc. While this does mean that it’ll take a while before you get enough rest at night, nighttime parenting does have many benefits, as enumerated by The Huffington Post:
1. Your baby’s sense of security
Your baby will feel more secure knowing that his parents will come when he needs them. This sense of security will create a positive view on sleep.
2. It’s natural
When your baby cries, your body responds by releasing a hormone called prolactin, which sends a biological response for you to pick up and nurse your baby.
3. It’s a great way to bond
This is just a phase in your child’s development—it won’t be long before these nighttime awakenings will be but a memory. Parenting your child throughout the night allows you to enjoy your child in quiet, precious moments.
Go to the next page to read more about nighttime parenting.