Tell Daniel Andrews that families need more support, but not from sleep schools
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Help us get 15,000 signatures to tell Daniel Andrews that parents don’t need more expensive residential sleep schools - what they need is realistic information on normal infant sleep and practical support!
This week the Andrews government promised $232m for sleep schools across the state.
We believe this funding would be better spent on educating our health professionals and parents on normal infant sleep, and supporting infant sleep and feeding in ways that are more acceptable to families.
The rise of sleep training culture has warped the view of what sleep should look like for our young babies and toddlers, and the resulting unrealistic expectations contribute to our epidemic of maternal anxiety and depression, with parents feeling they are failing when their baby is perfectly normal.
Sleep training, including interventions like “responsive settling":
- Risks breastfeeding success
- Has been shown to have no positive impact on long term sleep outcomes
- Has been shown by studies to be unacceptably distressing to more than 50% of parents
- Encourages solitary sleep, against SIDS recommendations
- Has not been proven to be safe by any long term study
It is a short sighted ‘fix’ and one that is unnecessary: recent research shows that waking frequently does not harm babies’ development, or mothers’ wellbeing.
We can do so much better by families by working WITH the biological norms of their babies, and ensuring that everyone can meet their needs for rest and sleep.
Better ways to spend these funds include:
- Training professionals in up-to-date approaches to biologically normal infant sleep following WHO and UNICEF guidelines for roomsharing or safe bedsharing
- Improved parental leave
- Parent education on normal infant sleep
- Support services to help exhausted parents get the rest they need without sleep training
- Quality lactation support - ie: IBCLC's covered by Medicare and further funding of the Australian Breastfeeding Helpline
So please sign this petition, and let’s see if the Andrews government will listen to what parents (and the evidence) tell us is desperately needed.
It’s time to move beyond this sleep school culture - our families deserve better.
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