I Don’t Want to Lie Down in Bed with Nanny Kids to Get them to Fall Asleep

Nanny Confessions: Why I Prefer Sleep Training

Co-sleeping with children is a choice parents have the right to make. It’s a controversial concept due to safety concerns, but it as been done for centuries and can make breastfeeding easier with newborns and allows new mothers to get more sleep. The choice isn’t mine to make for parents, but I confess, I prefer not to work full-time for families that co-sleep with their children.

I often see nannies complain on social media about having to rock infants to sleep when parents refuse to sleep train. On the contrary, I do love the feeling of warm infants falling asleep as rock them in my arms. Newborns can’t be cuddled and hugged enough.

But, as kids grow older, rocking babies, (and especially toddlers), becomes burdensome. Running in to the bedroom to pat toddlers on the back, sing to them, or giving them a bottle or some milk to drink is also not teaching self-soothing and using adults as crutches to help children fall asleep.

I prefer to care for toddlers that settle themselves to sleep, so I can use their nap time or bed time as an opportunity to finish chores that I need to accomplish around the home. Being told by parents to lay next to toddlers in bed to trick them into believing I’m going to stay there the entire nap or night, is deceitful. As I lay there awake pretending to sleep next to kids, I just wait for them to fall asleep so I can sneak out, only to run back in when they wake up and cry, and lay there to get them to sleep again. The cycle never ends.

Other than if used for medical issues, if parents tell me to use a baby monitor for school-aged children that’s a huge red flag they aren’t a good fit for me for a full-time nanny job. There is no reason for toddlers to cry when they wake up. Adults shouldn’t come running to soothe them. Older babies and toddlers should know how to settle themselves back to sleep, or simply play on their own when they wake up.

Co-sleeping can be a bonding time for parents and children and is a great choice for many families. I would never suggest a family change their child’s sleeping habits for me. But as a nanny, I am not a family member, and I don’t want to lay in bed with others people’s kids on a regular basis. I prefer helping parents sleep train children from an early age.

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