Today I had a thought about the line I often hear, that “babies will never learn to sleep on their own if their parents help them”. It is often trotted out as an argument for leaving them to cry themselves to sleep on their own rather than feeding, rocking, stroking or otherwise ‘parenting’ them to sleep. But it occurred to me that when my little boy is trying to sit up, as he is trying to do at the moment, I don’t shut him in a room on the floor and wait for him to do it himself, ignoring him if he cries for help when he’s fallen over (or even reassuring him at arbitrary intervals). I sit with him, hold him, support him, catch him as he wobbles, and it never occurs to me to doubt that he will learn this developmental step all by himself without me having to ‘teach’ him it. So why shouldn’t we view babies learning to sleep well in the same way?