Many new parents around 3 months of age start wondering if and when their new baby will sleep through the night. I hear from parents of kids who are 12 months old, who are not on a schedule, have hit another sleep regression or seem to have derailed their sleep again…and want help, but feel guilty. Their first stop was Google:
- “When will my child sleep through the night?”
- “Is sleep training damaging?”
- “Do I have to cry-it-out to get my baby to sleep?”
- “How long will this sleep regression last?”
- “Can you sleep train a 4-year-old?”
I completely understand people have this misconception about sleep training and the work that I do in my career. The beautiful thing about work with families in the way I do, it’s not a one size fits all approach and it’s not selfish. The statistics back up why sleep loss in children and adults is detrimental to everyone’s mental and physical health.
- Research shows the result of chronic sleep deprivation in children and the effects of sleep on the social competence of children – an infant’s ability to understand and get along with others. They found that sleep onset time and duration were key in developing social competence in children aged 18-42 months.
- Chronic sleep loss in children and adults leads to a greater risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, the inability to regulate emotions, and your openness to learning new information, according to a study from Reuters.
- There is an increased risk of depression and anxiety in new parents, struggling to adjust to sleepless nights, hormone imbalance and the pressures of new parenthood.
- Sleeping 5 hours a night has the same impact on our brain as us being intoxicated…….every single night. That’s certainly not good for our health.
Did you also know:
- 71% of infants wake 1 time each night
- 46% of toddlers wake in the night
- 20% of women suffer from postpartum depression
So, is sleep training selfish? No. Why is wanting what is best for you, your family and your mental health selfish in something that so VASTLY changes the dynamics of a family.
When you start adding up the negative impact that chronic sleep loss has on our bodies, I would counter that with, not sleep training is selfish. (And for the record, I HATE that word. I am not training a dog to pee outside. I work with beautiful little humans to coach them with medically fact-based methods, using careful education, understanding and guidance, based on what’s happening in your home, to teach your child to sharpen a skill they don’t even realize they have.
They are happier, more rested little humans. This means they eat better, which helps them grow. (Oh yea, that’s another positive. The human growth hormone is secreted when kids SLEEP. I had a client tell me just last week, before working with me their baby was about 3 weeks away from being characterized as ‘failure to thrive’ – Insert working together and she literally said she could visually see the growth during our time together, and baby great in those 3 weeks to the 10% on the chart.) That was the best review I ever received.
Not to mention our relationships with our partners. Being trapped at home for now months on end, phew, that’s a lot. Add in trying to work, now be a teacher, entertain kids, join conference calls, cook meals, manage the house and you are left with a tank of empty. That quickly yields burnout.
How you feel is how your child feels, they just don’t understand the feeling.
Sleep is my superpower.
I tell my children every day that same thing. It keeps them mentally strong and sharp to learn, it keeps us strong and sharp to lean-in to this crazy time and support our families. We all want to operate on a full tank of gas, so take the next step and join me on building a journey to sleep for your family. We offer free preliminary discovery calls and private coaching services to support your needs. We also offer free sleep Q&A’s every week in our Facebook Group, come join us there. We would love to meet you and help you to make sleep your superpower. I also host a podcast, called The Kids Sleep Show, which you can tune in to every week to learn more about sleep and how to build that rested home.