First things first, I am a proponent of sleep training. However, being a "fan" doesn't mean there aren't a few things I wish I knew before I started sleep training my daughter. For example, I know my daughter would be a totally wonderful human being if my partner and I didn't choose to sleep train her. Still, I naively thought sleep training was the only way. While it did work for us, I've learned over the last year and a half of parenting that there are other ways that might work for other parents and other babies.
I don't regret sleep training our daughter at all, nor do I regret sleep training the foster babies we had in our care over the last year. I don't believe it's cruel if it's done properly and safely. In fact, I believe it has made our lives, from the children under my care to my partner to myself, more sane.
Last night, my daughter slept from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. without a single peep. That doesn't happen every night, but it happens probably 80 percent of the time, and I credit sleep training for her ability to peacefully go to bed on her own and stay there all night. Sometimes she cries out, and when she does we try to meet whatever need she has. However, when all is said and done I can say we had a good experience with sleep training, but there are still things I wish I had known before we started. Here's a handful of them, just in case you're about to embark on your own sleep training journey.