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I hadn't thought about writing about this subject but I suppose I should really hold my hands up: I have done a complete U Turn on one aspect of child raising and this post by the Analytical Armadillo explains beautifully why.

Dear Sleep Trainer Expert,
by The Analytical Armadillo on Friday, 22 July 2011 at 13:34

Dear Sleep Trainer Expert,
My Grandfather died a month ago and my Grandmother was still not sleeping very well until last week and she was crying a lot in the night. It's really been disturbing my sleep. She had a stroke about 2 years ago and can't walk or talk so I'm her primary carer. It's hard work but I love her, and I know it will pass but I really needed more sleep! I was desperate!
I wanted to tell you how pleased I was to find your book "The Contented Little Baby Whisperer's guide to Saving my Sleep". Over the last few nights I've been sensible and strong. It's been tough, but we did it!
I've put Gran onto a routine where I feed her at 7pm, and that's THAT. She's learning now that if she's thirsty in the night, she'll have to wait. I bathe her with the lights low and tuck her in bed with 16 blankets, said goodnight and left her to it. Let me tell you she didn't half complain on that first night! She cried and cried but I wasn't going to let her manipulate me. Just because she's slept next to Grandpa for the last 45 years! She has to learn to be independent from other people, I realise that now.
I found that going in every few minutes and not giving her eye contact eventually meant she got the message. She was sick at one point which was a shock. I didn't know old people could manipulate like that! Anyway, I cleaned her up and just ignored it so she won't be trying that again.
She seems very happy today. Well, she's quiet anyway. Not hassling me at all! Bonus.
I can't wait to tell all my friends about your amazing system. My friend Sally has a disabled daughter who is 10 and can't talk or walk. I'm sure she'd find this system works brilliantly for her, too.
Love your biggest fan,

Yup, we followed the *cough* sage advice *cough* of a best selling (and highly litigious) sleep training expert and we made our boy follow a strict schedule of feeds and sleep trained him in his blacked out room, swaddled in his cot from the day we brought him home.

I honestly believe we're just about unpicking the damage of that approach to this day.

It is pointless to beat myself up over our approach, and in honesty Keith still doesn't really see that our approach was wrong at all, but then I am the sort of person who voraciously consumes research and he is the sort of person who looks at the end result  of a relatively peaceful night and considers that the end justifies the means.

I'm not going to get on my soapbox and quote a lot of research about how sleep training leaves a deep and lasting scar on the mental and emotional make-up of a child because if you are the sort of person who thinks about these things, you are fully able to search Google for the many studies that have been done. 

I just wanted to post that "letter", as much to myself as anyone else, as an amusing reminder why I will never, EVER let my child cry it out alone at night again. 

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