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Sleep Trainer Translator


So often the verbiage used in the world of sleep training is confusing and misleading to tired parents just trying to do right by their babies. So I have created here for you a Sleep Trainer Translator, to take the phrases often prescribed to new parents by sleep trainers and turn them into accurate and accessible translations.

But be warned, this translator is dripping with snark and will likely offend, so saddle up your defensiveness and wrangle your face of righteous indignation.

Teach your baby to self-soothe.
Do not respond to Baby so that he stops communicating his needs.
Note: Babies learn to self-soothe by being soothed. As their utter helplessness wanes and their independence blossoms, so does their ability to meet their own needs.

Your baby needs to self-settle.
Your infant needs to not be dependent.

Sleep Crutch
Attachment-based care-taking behaviors

Tapered Model
Controlled Crying

Gentle Sleep Coach
Sleep Coach

Sleep Training
Forcing unnatural independence

Healthy Sleep
Adult sleep

Baby stops communicating distress, and mother-baby become emotionally detached.

I don’t do Cry-It-Out BUT
I do Cry-It-Out

Meeting Baby’s needs

Expressing a need and trusting it will be met

It hurts you more than it hurts your baby.
It hurts your baby more than it hurts you.

You need to teach your baby how to sleep.
You need to teach your baby how to sleep like an adult while still an infant.

Bad Sleep Habits
Attachment-based care-taking behaviors that meet babies needs while they have them.

Maternal Dependence
Healthy mother-infant attachment

Don’t be a human pacifier.
Don’t breastfeed your baby on cue, for any non-nutritive reason (thus denying your baby countless benefits of breastfeeding).

Not Needed
Based on my personal opinion (not scientific research or an intimate knowledge of your specific baby), your baby doesn’t require something for survival.
Note: My goal for parenting is much higher than mere survival.

Formula-fed babies sleep better.
I disseminate inaccurate information because research shows the opposite.

Start solids.
Ignore all of the research on infant gut health that led to the AAP changing their recommendation to a hard 6 month minimum before introducing solids because I heard it makes babies sleep more. P.S. I am mistaken in that uninformed belief.

Dad needs to feed Baby a bottle to bond.
Fathers have no natural bond with babies.
Note: Fathers have incredible bonds with their babies through their role as fathers, which is different than the role of Mother, which entails biological functions like pregnancy, giving birth, and breastfeeding.

This is a problem. You can pay me to solve it.
I’m telling you this normal behavior is a problem so I can be paid to solve it.

Now that we’re all speaking the same language, let’s get on the same page. I am a sleep coach, which is my preferred lingo for gentle sleep coach. Yes, the very same profession I just warned you about. But here’s the thing, let’s stop pathologizing normal, healthy infant behavior and mother-baby attachment. K? K.

I seek to support parents, as the world’s foremost experts in their babies, in making informed choices that help them to have restful nights in the context of their larger goal of having a loving and compassionate bond with their child and raising a healthy and happy human being.

Let’s just drop the bullshit. Let’s stop manufacturing problems by selling solutions.

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I work from an island in the Pacific Northwest, where I live wild and free in connection with my hilarious husband and three growing sailors in our fixer upper on the beach. I authentically live this healing work out loud raising my own neurodivergent family (inner child included) and draw on my decades of education and experience (I've done all the nerdy work so you don't have to) to guide a revolution of overwhelmed parents just like you to feeling at peace within yourself, consciously connected with your children, embraced by a supportive community, and enjoying a values-aligned life you love.

Gentle parenting, natural homeschooling, & simple living mentor

I'm Rachel Rainbolt

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