A loving moment lasts a lifetime™

The disconnect between crying it out and baby's developing self worth

By Karen Braveheart

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My munchkins, Sophia age 5, Ryan 2.75, and Justin (and his mohawk) 2 mos

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You will learn from this blog how nurturing your baby at night builds safety, trust, and forms their first beliefs about love. I also share why I believe sleep training does not develop self worth in your baby’s brain.

I’m not a baby sleep expert and don’t really think there should be any. You know your baby better than anyone.

To my knowledge, there are no MRI studies on a baby’s brain that can show me that sleep training leads to self worth.

My intuition tells me it doesn’t.

Pregnancy nesting and decorating Sophia’s room

I was five months pregnant when I moved from Forest Hills, NY to San Diego, CA. I had just gotten over months of “morning sickness” which was really all day sickness for me, and my pregnancy hormones were in nesting mode.

I love the ocean and have been a swimmer all my life. I found myself drawn to a water themed nursery design with cute sea creatures and vibrant colors for Sophia. I planned on having a natural, water birth so this was perfect.

The line included bedding, a crib mobile, play activity blanket, vibrating seat with baby toys for entertainment, and swing with lights and music (a lifesaver!)

I enjoyed decorating her room with light purple on the walls, a bookshelf for all the books I was buying for her, a crib set with a matching changing table and dresser, a comfortable rocking chair, and her beautiful ocean themed decor.

She had more clothes in her closet gifted to her from our family and friends before she was born than I did. They were so pretty!!

During my pregnancy with Sophia, I never thought about how I would get her to sleep. To prepare for being a mom, I educated myself and read everything on pregnancy, childbirth, and taking care of a baby. My friends and I shared resources.

"What I did know deep inside my soul was that the biggest gift I could give Sophia was self worth!"

To love herself so much that she’d believe in herself, her dreams, and that she deserved a happy life.

This was the driving force in every choice I made and every interaction I had with her. It was everything.

Having a baby is like entering a different universe

Choosing to discipline your child and not punish them is a choice that you make and then practice through daily commitment to your choice.

I’ve been a mom for 17 years and experienced the craziest and most stressful of situations with my three munchkins. It got chaotic at times and I was always outnumbered. I was tested again and again and had to dig deep many times to remain patient and discipline them with “teachable moments”- not punish or shame them.


Me with the munchkins ages 5 and under

I had never experienced unconditional love before I became a mom. I had never loved someone as much as I did my baby, even myself. Over time, I’ve been learning to love myself unconditionally too. Love is infinite and all there is.

Each time I had a baby, my life turned upside down. My world was forever changed and my time was not my own anymore. I felt a deep reverence and responsibility for sustaining a life and shaping their brains in the best, most loving way I knew.

With each newborn, I observed how my thoughts weren't my own anymore. They became preoccupied with my baby and keeping them alive, safe so I could sleep, and thriving.

For the first few months, I would think at night


Are they breathing?


Are they in a safe position to sleep?


Are they still breathing?


Is anything blocking their breathing?


Are they on their back?


Is the swaddle far away from their face?


Are they too hot or too cold?


Why are they hungry again? (Cluster feeding!)


I was obsessed with their safety!

Sleeping with a newborn


Me with the munchkins ages 5 and under

When Sophia and her brothers were newborns, I woke up every hour and checked on them to make sure they were breathing.

I felt this immense responsibility to care for them, and I was the one keeping them alive!

The milk flowing from my breasts fed and nurtured my babies. I’m still in awe of my body, and I feel blessed to have three healthy children.

I co-slept with my babies. For the first month, I woke up every hour just to make sure they were breathing.

I found the six week mark to be a right of passage where my baby started waking up less at night to feed. My munchkins and I settled into a nice routine where they usually woke up about twice per night to feed and then went back to sleep pretty quickly after that.

As they got a bit bigger, I was able to put together a five hour stretch of sleep which was heaven on earth!

3 ways I got my baby to sleep

  • Nighttime feedings are not play time 
  • Picture_41e.jpg__PID:7fe4a72c-b835-46fa-b3c6-336a9b017831

    📷: Aliexpress

    Cosleeping with my baby in my bedroom felt natural to me. I wanted my baby to feel my energy and feel emotionally assured that I was close by.

    I also did it because getting up to feed and change a newborn was hard enough. The thought of going into another room at 3am was not gonna happen.

    I made the night feedings as easy for me as I could. I was all business when my baby got up to feed.

    • No playing.
    • No cooing.
    • No talking.
    • No comfort suckling- binky time

    They woke up to eat and that was it. Of course, I loved cuddling them and holding them in my arms as they breastfed. I have many beautiful memories of bonding with them.

    "I set up this love boundary to create a balance between their needs and my own"

    I needed to get as much sleep as I possibly could. Getting them back to sleep quickly after a feeding is the boundary I put up.

    Babies are smart and they intuitively understand your boundary that nighttime feeding is strictly feed- then sleep! They will know what’s expected of them, and it worked well for me with all three munchkins..

    However, there were times that I just couldn't get them back to sleep. Nothing worked! These times were the hardest and put me in total survival mode!

    There were usually three reasons I couldn’t get my baby back to sleep quickly:

    • Teething
    • Sick, or
    • Growth spurt and their body needed to cluster feed.

    As I look back on those nights- I don’t know how I got through them, but I did. My friends and I would talk the next day, and it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone. They drank more coffee than me though. Haha

    I was in 100% survival mode when my baby was up all night. The only place my baby would fall asleep and stay asleep was on my chest. They just wanted the comfort of mom.

    And I needed sleep!

    I never let my baby cry it out and go unattended at night. Not even once.

  • Baby Swing
  • fisher_price_ocean_wonders_cradle_n_swing_1494659069_b52e8979-gigapixel-low_res-scale-2_00x.jpg__PID:01b86ea2-5985-4567-94d6-29d5eb951762

    📷: Albee baby. Discontinued swing I used

    The swing I used for all three munchkins had 10 fun settings with soothing music, a seatbelt, and 3 rocking speeds- slow, medium, and fast. It would rock my baby sideways and back/forth.This swing had more features than any other swing on the market at that time.

    I placed the swing in the master bedroom across from my bed. It was easy for me to get them if they woke up, and I liked that they could feel my energy in the room near them.

    It was a lifesaver and helped me countless times to rock my baby to sleep during their 1st year. It was like having an extra set of arms to rock my baby to sleep when I was completely exhausted.

    My babies stayed asleep longer in their swing which helped me get more sleep. If they wouldn’t go back to sleep after a feeding, I’d put them in the swing and they’d stay there for hours till morning.

    Note: This is not a product endorsement nor is this intended to provide expert advice on sleep safety. Please consult an expert for safety issues.

  • Dad would go in to hug the older siblings in their rooms
  • Having three kids in 4.5 years was a dream come true for me. It was also really, really hard in the early years.

    I’m grateful for all the times my former husband helped out with Sophia and Ryan, still little themselves while I took care of the baby. Sometimes, they needed a middle of the night hug.

    I had trundle beds for them so he could easily pull them out and sleep with them. He actually got a better nights’ sleep this way.

    He also felt more connected and bonded to Sophia and Ryan when they woke up because he was the one to snuggle and cuddle with them. They felt secure and loved having a parent who was there for them if they had a nightmare, were scared, or simply needed emotional comfort.

    I was grateful for the support.

I am 💯 against cry it out


I am 💯 against letting your baby cry it out by themselves in another room. I feel like it’s cruel and heartless.


Love can only flow through open connection. When a parent connects with the love inside their heart, love flows to their little one. A baby’s brain then creates a core belief of feeling worthy of love.

"A child raised with self worth grows up to believe in themselves, their dreams, and that they deserve a happy life"

Love flows through me to my child during the day. Why would I stop this connection from flowing at night?

I knew. I just knew to pick up my crying baby and comfort her in the way she needed at night. I knew with every cell of my body.

I represent love to my child. I show them how to love. I show them love and affection. If I ignore their needs and wants in the middle of the night, what am I teaching my baby about love?

A baby hasn’t developed logical skills in their brain yet, but their emotional subconscious brain is operating 24/7.

10 ways attending to my baby at night would signal self worth to her brain

  • She’s safe
  • She can receive comfort and nurturing
  • Love will show up for her and support her
  • Her needs and wants matter
  • The world can be a safe place
  • Love will come through for her
  • It’s safe to fall and stay asleep
  • Her cries matter
  • It’s safe to trust in love
  • I’m safe

Unfortunately there isn’t neuroscience in this area, and my dream is to start a Prodigi Kids nonprofit that funds research into the neuroscience of how emotions impact a baby's subconscious brain in the early years.

You represent love to your baby


Babies need love during the day and they need love at night.

"A child raised with self worth grows up to believe in themselves, their dreams, and that they deserve a happy life"

As a mom, I’m my baby’s connection to love. It’s important to me to maintain our connection at night too.

If you cried at night, wouldn't you want a hug from your partner- to give you comfort emotionally and to help support you.

How would you feel if your partner completely ignored your needs and wants and insisted you cry yourself back to sleep. Why do we treat a baby any differently?

It didn’t make sense to me to bond with my baby during the day and then abandon them at night. Some adults are afraid to be by themselves at night so why would we expect a baby to be any different?

I know many adults that have trouble sleeping at night. I often wonder if it’s a fear that started when they were sleep “trained” as a baby.

Self worth is your capacity to receive love


Sophia at one year old

Letting your baby cry it out deprives them of inherently knowing that they deserve to receive love.


An adult’s ability to receive love comes in the form of happiness in all areas of their life


Do you believe you deserve a great relationship?


Do you believe you deserve optimal health?


Do you believe you deserve abundance?


Do you believe you deserve to have your dreams come true?


Do you believe in yourself?


Do you believe in sharing your gifts with others for your life’s work?


Do you believe you deserve to reach your full potential?

I don’t believe babies cry to annoy us at night. They cry because they’re wired biologically to ask for love, warmth, diaper changes, food, and hugs.

Their tiny bellies aren’t made to sleep through the night. Why do they feed 2-3 hours during the day, but then parents let them “cry it out” for 12 hours at night? They’re still hungry.

Food is brain medicine. There’s a direct link between your gut and your brain that creates your entire health microbiome. Why deprive their brain of nourishment!?!?!?

How did you form a relationship with love? Your relationship with love informs everything you do. Where do you think love comes from?

I formed a relationship with love from my mother. How my mother treated me is how I learned how love treats me (how deserving I feel to receive love) and how I treated (and mistreated) myself.

Note: I’m not a baby sleep expert, If you’re having health issues, please contact a medical professional.

"I hope that you form a connection with your baby at night that makes them feel loved and cherished"

We all deserve to receive love!

Moms around the world need more support!


There’s a deeper issue here. I believe that if moms had more support then perhaps they wouldn’t have to let their baby cry it out just so they can function and get the sleep they need.

I believe it is the duty of every country to support parents, especially moms.

I live in the United States and have a deep respect for the personal freedoms that we enjoy as rights.

However, as the most advanced country in the world, we’re not supporting moms enough to raise the future generation with self worth. Moms have a lack of support after giving birth, lack of postpartum and breastfeeding support, lack of task sharing around the home, lack of sleep, lack of support around work leave for moms and dads, lack support in the workplace, lack of a supportive community, lack of family support, burn out, and the list goes on.

If we want a more peaceful and happier world, the lens must shift toward raising our children with self worth and give moms the support we so desperately need.

Practical Tips

With my babies, I set firm love boundaries at night so I could get as much sleep as I could.

Some examples

  • Ryan and Justin both had their days and nights backwards as newborns. They would sleep all day and then feed at night and didn’t go back to sleep. Totally wide eyed! So, I was very strict with them during the day for the first few weeks until it reversed. I kept them awake during the day as much as I could so they would learn to get tired at night. It worked, and I got to keep my sanity  
  • My freedom came from being strict about daytime naps. They were mandatory. Same time every single day to make sure they got all the sleep they needed to during the day so I wouldn’t be stressed out
  • Sometimes I get asked if my kids had a problem transitioning to a “big boy or big girl” toddler bed in their own room. Never! I think because they learned to trust nighttime support and know that mom was always in the room near them


  • To learn more about how to raise your kids with self worth, I encourage you to read my eBook, The Prodigi Kids Parenting Paradigm. It contains my methodology and is backed by cutting edge neuroscience
  • Buy our products from our loving moments collection. They are purposefully designed to connect you and your little one in more loving moments, the building blocks of self worth

Note: This blog is not medical advice. Just me sharing my thoughts on how to raise your child with self worth.

About the Author Karen Braveheart, CEO

Karen Braveheart is an attorney turned entrepreneur and mom of three who deeply cares about making the world a happier place by raising kids with self worth. Learn more

all kids are Prodigi Kids!