Ashley Graham on sleep training her baby: ‘it definitely broke me a few times’


Ashley Graham filled in remotely on The Today Show last week as a guest host for Hoda, who was taking time off. She spoke to Jenna Bush about being a new mom. Ashley and her husband of ten years, Justin Ervin, welcomed son Isaac in January. Ashley said she’s been sleep training Isaac and that it worked but that it was tough, essentially. She tweeted about this last month but this is the first I’m hearing about it. Here’s more of what she told Jenna:

On how it’s going at home
I love being a mama. He is so cute and so sweet and so happy. Isaac means laughter we really wanted a happy laughing baby and we got him. The biggest blessing out of all of this is that I get to spend this time with him that I never would have been able to carve out for myself.

On the best part and the hardest parts
The best parts are when you looks at you and knows that it’s you, mama, and he smiles. The hardest part recently was sleep training. My little heart was just tearing apart. It definitely broke me a few times, but now he’s on a schedule. Isaac is really listening to his schedule.

On quarantining in Nebraska with her family
I’m living in the house that I grew up in as a high schooler. I’ve never enjoyed Nebraska as much as I am now. Isaac loves being outside. My husband likes being able to sit in the car and drive away. There’s a freedom, open air, grass… we’re just really making the best of it. We’ve taken over the basement. My mom and her boyfriend live upstairs. It is quite a party every single day.

On accepting and loving her body
Having my body completely change and stretch marks and extra weight… I just want women to know that things will change. It’s most important to love yourself and to do that for the next generation. As we continue to morph into better women we need to let the next generation know that it’s ok to go through all the things that you’re going through.

[From The Today Show]

You could tell that Ashley and Justin are having a nice time in Nebraska. They previously lived in NY City. She said that they’re really enjoying it, that they’ve been looking at property and that they might stay through the winter.

As for sleep training, Jenna said she did that with her baby and that it was hard too. I understand wanting to sleep train as I barely got sleep when my son was little. I tried to sleep when he slept and I couldn’t let him cry at all. I read Dr. Sears and followed attachment parenting, but it sounds like sleep training works for a lot of parents. Everyone and every baby is different.

Here’s Ashley’s interview

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13 Responses to “Ashley Graham on sleep training her baby: ‘it definitely broke me a few times’”

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  1. Lunasf17 says:

    I sleep trained my baby at about six months and it wasn’t too bad. Just a some crying the first night or two but after that she was usually fine being put to bed. I needed some autonomy and sleep at that point. I know some parents are super against and cry it out method but if it saves your sanity then it may be worth it.

  2. Abby says:

    If it broke her adult heart, I wonder how it made her baby feel to be crying for his mother. Babies only stop crying when they are finally convinced (“trained”) that their caregiver won’t be coming to meet their needs. Which is a rather brutal message to send a helpless infant, since how else are babies supposed to communicate except by crying that something is wrong or a need is unmet?

    • Gina says:

      I agree. Sleep training is brutal for the helpless baby

    • anna says:

      i dont get it. What’s the alternative? You have to get them (babies) to sleep at night at one point. And parents need sleep, too. Structure is good for everybody.

      • Lou says:

        @Anna—I agree with you. For what it’s worth I did the Taking Cara Babies online course to sleep train and it was amazing. My baby went from waking up 6-8 times a night to sleeping 10-12 hours every single night.
        To me, the three rough nights we had in the beginning are 100% worth it. More sleep is good for mom AND baby.

      • Jesma says:

        You have no idea how old her baby was when she started cry it out. I know moms that start when their babies are a couple of weeks old. I never let my babies do CIO. That being said there are countless no tears sleep training methods for anyone that bothers to look. You should look up the studies on CIO that measure the still sky high cortisol levels in babies that are successfully CIO trained.

    • No Mommy Shame says:

      This response is so judgmental. First of all, she isn’t talking about a newborn. Newborns need a response every time they cry because EVERY time they cry they need something. Once a baby is between 6 and 9 months old, they sometimes cry because they are bored or wake up and can’t self soothe. You don’t leave them in the dark to cry and ignore them. You go in, reassure them that you are there and you love them and tell them they need to go back to sleep. You do that every 5-10 minutes the first few nights. After that, you can let them cry until they fall asleep. I find it really gross that you would judge her like that. Everyone needs to do what works for their family and I GUARANTEE you that she knows better what her son needs than some rando mommy on Celebitchy.

  3. Lou says:

    Here come the mommy-shamers…

    • Kate says:

      Yup. Came down here to give my advice to anyone who may be debating the whole sleep training thing. First, take all “expert advice” with a grain of salt because (a) no one cares enough about women to do real studies to figure out what is actually going on with babies so literally all advice is “this culture has done it this way for centuries,” and “the bonobo monkeys will all sleep in a huddle until their babies are 7″ or “in a study from 1980 with 20 participants…”, and (b) you can find evidence to support any view you have these days.

      I had PPA and could not stomach my babies crying but also could not function without sleep past so many months so I used the book “Good night, sleep tight” by the Sleep Lady. Which is like a very gentle training where you are in the room with the baby just not holding them so they allegedly don’t feel abandoned and can figure out how to settle themselves down for sleep without being touched. Again, grain of salt, but it worked for my kids who were not great sleepers as babies.

  4. Nicole says:

    To each their own, but man, I couldn’t do the sleep training. I tried and it did not go well. We looked for other opportunities to help with sleeping. For me, they are little for such a short amount of time, that I just went with the flow. Take that for what it’s worth, I am also currently trying to get a 6yo out of our bed :D

  5. Kkat says:

    This is why you use the NO cry it out method.
    A normal healthy baby can be sleep trained by 12 weeks (ish) to sleep 10pm to 5-6 am

    I worked for an agency for 4 years as a overnight nanny / certified newborn care specialist/ post partum doula and no cry it out sleep trainer. I personally have trained over 100 babies (most were twins, my specialty)
    It’s pricey, but a overnight nanny trained in no cry it out will get a baby trained without any crying.

  6. AMA1977 says:

    “Sleep training” is a loaded phrase that can mean anything from “plop the baby in the crib and don’t go back in for 9 hours no matter what” to “go in and reassure with touch and gentle sounds, gradually increasing the intervals before you check in over several nights.” We did the second method with both of ours and my oldest woke up 8 times the first night, 3 times the second, and once the third. It. Was. Magic. My daughter was a little trickier because she nursed (my son gave up on my boobs after 6 weeks) but we still managed to get her peacefully settled into one session around 11 and sleeping through until at least 5 until she weaned at 9 months. Do what works for you and your kids.

  7. BC says:

    My fondest memoroes are of my mum cuddling me to sleep even when i awoke at night. My neighbours are trying to sleep train their child and bless their hearts, it must be hard but its also waking the whole neighborhood and making me want to cry as i feel for the baby.