Moving Beyond Sleep Training Culture: TBSTP Group Guidelines

I’d appreciate if we could all take a minute to really think about what it means to try to move beyond sleep training culture, what it involves, what it requires of us, both as members, admins and in our daily lives.

This is no small undertaking we have going on here.
The sleep training culture runs deep. The messaging is EVERYWHERE and once it seeps into your brain, it can be hard to un-hear it. Hard to think differently about it. To question it. To ultimately forget it.
Sometimes, we don’t even realise where our thoughts and beliefs stem from.
Sometimes they just seem like ‘common sense’ or at least ‘common knowledge’ but often, this accepted ‘knowledge’ and ‘advice’ when viewed critically still comes from this deeply ingrained belief that our children need to be taught to sleep independently.

We also aren’t all starting at the same point.
Some of us have had our head wrapped around this for years.
For some, it was an easy release to a way of thinking that sat so well.
For some, it’s old news.
Repetitive news.
Frustrating news.

But … for the majority of the group, there was a time when you were just learning.
When it was raw, real, stressful, confusing and oh god did it ache …

We gain nearly 3000 new people every month.
That’s about 100 unique persons joining us here each and every day …
Most come here because they are finding Sleep one of the greatest challenges in their parenting journey.
That’s why your feed is filled each day with people pleading for help, reassurance, solidarity, time, compassion and support. It’s new and real to that person even if it is now old and tedious to you.

If you are one of our older members who is very comfortable with this way of thinking and being with your babies, your next step is crucial …
We need you to keep responding. Keep offering your wisdom and reassurance.
This is how the change will happen.
It may sometimes seem to be long, slow, tedious and sometimes feel fraught but each person you give your time and compassion to is one more heart and mind who will have received the tenderness they deserve in their vulnerable moment.
It won’t be time wasted.

As long as most parents receive sleep training messages we will continue to have new members joining us daily with the same worries and fears we see day in night out …

That brings us to activism, in our families and communities- it’s okay to share this way of parenting. It’s a fabulous way to ensure more and more people know there are alternatives. But please, remember that kindness is always the best way to reach hearts and minds and realising that there is always a real person, with real struggles behind a story. Go gently with people and parent out loud and proud. (For more info, we have an article on activism in action).

To our new folk or those still journeying, welcome! We truly hope you find the love, help and support you need here.
What we ask of you is that you come with an open and curious heart and mind and with the understanding that the ideas you receive here will not be to ‘fix’ your baby or toddler or ‘make’ them sleep.
You will receive some amazing ideas to try to work out what suits your unique family and though they won’t all work for everyone, try to at least come at options with an open heart and mind and consider them, tweak them and take them for a whirl for a little while.

We take the mental health and safety of all people extremely seriously and this includes babies.
As part of this change away from sleep training, we demand better care for those facing mental health challenges. Care that does not centre around or suggest sleep training as part of treatmentMany of our admin team have faced or are facing mental health challenges. We are not strangers to this and take concerns very seriously. But we are working to dismantle sleep training culture, and this means we never see it as an acceptable compromise to sleep train.

The admin team has work hard during our regular archives to brainstorm ideas for how we can help alleviate some of the stresses and strains of growing pains and to also brighten our feeds up with some admin led love but you also have the power to help here …

Depressed by the state of your feed?
Post a #positivepost or something #justforfun
Share your favourite article that reassured you when you were at a challenging stage that may help someone there right now …
You can help in so many ways and with 30k+ members that means we have 30k+ people who can hold each other up, build each other up, educate, empower and share this time together.

This group is what we all make it.
Let’s make it the beautiful space we need to make this change happen.
Together, we can move beyond sleep training