Good sleep is the cornerstone of happiness and well-being.
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.
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.
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.
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 because it is a time that our brains and bodies are hard at work. It serves four critical developmental roles:
Sleep Promotes Physical, Emotional, Social and Intellectual Development
- While babies are sleeping they do super important tingsl ike grow their bodies and their brains
- Sleep helps them regulate their mood and emotions
- Well-rested babies are happier and more easy going, even the “spirited” (read: difficult) ones
- Well-rested kids 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. I.e 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 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
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. I want you to know your 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 sleep? Have you had enough sleepless nights? Get better sleep today! How?
- Educate yourself: Buy the book and any supplemental troubleshooting guides you may need. I also offer individual consultations to walk through the process with you, step by step.
- Learn your options for sleep training and create a plan of action that you feel good about
- Start getting better sleep!
What are you waiting for? You don’t have to continue feeling exhausted, stressed and frustrated. You deserve sleep. Your baby deserves sleep. It’s time to get started!
Services offered by The Peaceful Sleeper
Christine Lawler offers a variety of services designed to help people of all ages sleep better. These services include adult insomnia online classes, newborn essentials online sleep class, 25 sleep training guides, and 1:1 individual consultations.