Good sleep is the cornerstone of happiness and well-being.
You’re exhausted. You’ve tried everything you can think of and you still can’t get your baby to sleep. Maybe you’re starting to get frustrated easily during the day. You aren’t enjoying parenting as much as you’d like. Perhaps your relationship with your partner is even starting to suffer. Worst of all, it’s hard to enjoy parenting when your baby doesn’t sleep.
Sleep is one of our most basic, fundamental human needs. When we sleep better, we ARE better. Things flow more smoothly, and everything functions at a more optimal level. We have more love to give, we are more responsive, we are happier, less depressed, less anxious, more in love with our spouses, and more engaged in our lives. Being sleep deprived takes a subtle, yet pervasive toll on our well-being. But the good news is, restoring good sleep is relatively easy and the benefits are almost immediate.
If you have a baby in your home, you were probably slammed with sudden and significant sleep deprivation. To combat this, new mamas often produce a surge of adrenaline and energy to overcompensate for the fact that your body is running on fumes. Thank goodness! But we’re wired to need more sleep than that, so over time our functioning starts to deteriorate and the sleep loss takes a toll, even if we don’t realize it.
You Need Sleep Mama!
So, yes, one important reason sleep training is crucial is because of you, mama. If your baby sleeps well, you will also get the good, restorative sleep you need. Before you feel guilty about that, remember, it’s not selfish. You’re a better version of yourself when you’re rested. And your baby benefits immensely by parents who are their best selves.
When you don’t sleep, you can’t be the best version of yourself. You become tired and cranky. Your relationship suffers. In fact, you may start to blame yourself for the lack of sleep. The truth is that some babies sleep better than others. And some children need more help learning to self soothe and eventually sleep through the night. That’s why you are here. You both need more sleep.
Your Baby Needs Sleep Too!
Most importantly, though, sleep training is for your baby. Your sweet little bundle of joy is actually the one who benefits the most from good sleep. While your baby is sleeping, they are doing the important work of growing and developing. It’s not selfish to hope your baby learns to sleep through the night. In fact, it’s a sign you are a good mom. You want your child to learn good sleep habits for their own wellbeing. In fact, learning how to sleep well early in life is a life skill they can use for the rest of their life.
Better Sleep Helps the Whole Family
If you make a list right now of things you need to be happy, you may end up with dozens of ideas. Your little baby is far more basic. She really only needs three things to survive and thrive: food, sleep and love.
Sleep is so important. In fact, sleep is a time that our brains and bodies are hard at work. You, your partner and your baby need time to do the important work of sleep.
Sleep Promotes Physical, Emotional, Social and Intellectual Development
Maybe you are wondering, “Why sleep training? Won’t my baby just learn to sleep on their own?” The truth is that some babies need a little extra help to learn to self soothe and how to be a better sleeper. But it’s critical that your baby does start sleeping better. There are so many benefits of good sleep and your whole family can only be at it’s best when everyone gets enough sleep. Some of the many ways sleep training helps your baby include:
- While babies are sleeping they do super important things like grow their bodies and their brains
- Sleep helps them regulate their mood and emotions
- Babies who sleep better are more rested, happier and more easy going, even the “spirited” (read: difficult) ones
- Kids who sleep better are smarter, learn faster and have lower rates of ADHD and learning difficulties
- Well-rested and emotionally well-regulated children fare better socially and have better relationships. Basically, it’s easier to be cool and make friends when you’re not freaking out and overreacting about everything because you’re sleep deprived.
- And here’s the big one: LEARNING TO SLEEP WELL IS A SKILL THAT WILL BENEFIT YOUR CHILD FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. Did you know that 80% of individuals with a mental health diagnosis have a co-occurring sleep problem? 80%! Missing sleep takes a toll on emotional regulation that can lead to depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other mental health issues. As a therapist, I feel called to help people restore and maintain emotional well-being in this super important (and relatively easy) way. Aside from personally benefitting from sleep training my kids, this is the reason I do baby sleep training
Attachment Based Sleep Training?
Lots of parents hesitate to let their baby cry it out because they’re afraid it will damage their relationship with the baby. These fears are misguided. You don’t have to choose a cry-it-out method… but don’t avoid it because you’re afraid it will harm your baby emotionally.
When babies vocally protest sleep, many parents get uncomfortable–they worry about their baby’s attachment. Attachment is all about being responsive to your baby’s needs. Attachment forms when your baby learns she can count on you. When she needs you, you are there. That’s how she learns that she is safe and protected in the world. It’s a trusting relationship we work on all day (and all night) long, built slowly through thousands of interactions. When it comes to sleep and attachment, we have to remember that baby’s needs and her wants are different. She does actually need to sleep, she just might not really want to right now.
Does Sleep Training mean just letting your baby cry?
Effective sleep training actually has very little to do with how much you let your baby cry when you put her in the crib. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about sleep training. It’s about helping your child learn to self-soothe, prioritizing sleep, fostering family habits conducive to good sleep, and tuning in to your baby to respond to all of her needs and many of her wants.
There are two important things I want you to know about sleep training:
You have options!
Every mom or dad doesn’t have to sleep train their baby the exact same way. And sleep training doesn’t always mean letting your baby “cry it out.”
You don’t have to leave baby in her room screaming for 3 hours to teach your baby to sleep well. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend that regardless. That’s not what cry it out sleep training actually means. It is possible to get a baby sleeping well whether you choose to allow for some cry-it-out or you prefer a slower, more gentle sleep training method.
A baby can sleep well and have a secure attainment!
Secure attachment is something you build with your child over thousands of interactions. It is a stable relationship where your child comes to know that she can count on you for safety and security. You will meet her needs and you will gently hold boundaries along the way. *Please remember that secure attachment doesn’t mean we give into all of our children’s wants and desires. Toddlers will want ice cream instead of dinner and teenagers will want to stay out all night with their friends. Part of parenting is gently steering our children in the direction of safety, health and well-being even when they protest.
Infant sleep training is about helping your child learn to self-soothe, prioritizing sleep, fostering family habits conducive to good sleep, and tuning in to your baby to respond to all of her needs and many of her wants. It’s about helping your infant, and therefore your family, sleep better.
That’s why I can confidently say that I help people with any parenting perspective achieve happier, longer sleep.
Better Sleep is Possible
So, why sleep training? Because better sleep for you, your baby and your entire family IS possible. You don’t have to continue having sleepless nights.
You CAN sleep again. And you CAN get good, healthy, restorative sleep in a way that fits your style and parenting paradigm. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for parenting or sleep. My aim is to educate and empower you. There are many different sleep training methods, and I want you to learn the basics so you can find what works best for your family. I want you to know your sleep training options and feel confident, grounded and at peace as you help your baby learn this critical life skill. It is way easier than you think!
Are you ready to learn to how to sleep train your baby?
Are you ready to learn how to get your newborn or baby to sleep? Have you had enough sleepless nights? It’s time everyone in your house get more sleep. How?
- Educate yourself: Buy my book summarizing popular sleep training methods and any my affordable sleep training guides to begin learning how to get your newborn, baby or toddler to sleep!
- If you’d like more help, contact me about my individual consultations or in-home sleep training packages. I can walk through the process of helping your baby be a better sleeper with you step by step.
- Start getting better sleep!
What are you waiting for? When you sleep better, you are better. You don’t have to continue feeling exhausted, stressed and frustrated. You deserve sleep. Your baby deserves sleep. It’s time to get started!
Sleep Training Resources & Services offered by The Peaceful Sleeper
I am passionate about helping babies, parents and families get better sleep. I offers a variety of services designed to help people of all ages sleep better. First of all, I have written a book summarizing the most popular sleep training methods and created over 25 affordable sleep training guides to help parents easily find information about how to help their children sleep. You can download these guides right now and start getting better sleep almost write away! Additionally, my sleep training services include online courses including a class on how to get newborns to sleep better and one for adult insomnia. For parents looking for a little additional help getting more sleep, I offer 1:1 individual consultations and in-home sleep packages. Whatever your individual needs are, I would like to help you and your baby get more sleep.