On Monday afternoon I spoke with a darling mom about sleep training for her 6-month-old child. She asked me a question that I frequently hear: "Are you sure this isn't going to scar my child???" I reassured her that not only would sleep training not scar her child, but it may help the whole family dynamic. A rested mom is a happy mom, and a happy mom is a happy child. A new study just came out to back me up. They followed over 200 8-month-olds with sleep problems for 6 years. Half of them went through sleep training, half did not. As expected, the sleep training camp had fewer sleep problems AND less maternal depression. There were also no negative long-term effects on the child's emotional well-being or behavior OR the parent-child relationship.
So...if sleep training is your thing, train away guilt-free. I am a huge sleep training advocate (although I also co-sleep with my babies when they are super young--don't tell the AAP!), and just this morning when my daughter Anna needed a little "refresher course" this knowledge made it a little easier to let her cry it out.
Sleep issues can be really draining on the whole family. If you are struggling, we would be happy to see you and talk it out. Good luck!!!