“My 8-week-old son sleeps through the night all by himself!”, says the mom sitting to your left at your local mommy support group. “My daughter skipped the 4-month sleep regression! She not only sleeps through the night but sleeps until 10 am every morning!”, proclaims the mom on your right. Meanwhile, there you sit, listening intently, confused and barely hanging on to reality – a sleep deprived, raccoon-eyed mom vaguely recalling the last time she showered. You sit there and stare wide-eyed at these moms, vividly remembering last night’s 3-hour struggle to get your newborn to fall asleep. “They definitely have that $1,500 bassinet…the one that auto-rocks your baby every time they make a sound”, you reassure yourself. Sound familiar? The mom whose baby was born to sleep like a champ without support – we all know and love her (do we?) …and deeply envy her. “What is wrong with my baby!?”, you ask yourself – the truth is, NOTHING! Here’s why: every child is different, and your tiny, little, sleep-adverse child is perfectly normal ?.
But WAIT! THERE’S MORE! While some babies are born to sleep like champs, MOST of them aren’t born with the ability to fall asleep independently and almost ALL newborns aren’t able to sleep through the night because of the need to feed. What’s more, there is no telling whether these children will struggle with sleep at a later age. I am happy to report that these professional, sleeping babies are the exception and not the norm. Unfortunately, I do have some bad news: if your child is struggling with sleep, your child will not outgrow their sleep challenges – there is no age where “this too shall pass”. The good news is that there is something you can do about it (call us to start today!). Now, whether struggling with sleep is healthy for them (or you), is another story.
We all know that the first 8 weeks of a newborn’s life are tough – not only for moms and dads but baby too! Feeding is hard work, exposure to new sights and sounds is overwhelming and even sleep is exhausting (tough life, right?). As much as you want to hate on that mom with the sleeping baby, you don’t have to envy her – it’s quite easy for you to join that club, too. The process of teaching your child to learn the skill of falling asleep independently can be achieved in as a little as one week. Just think, sleep deprivation that you’ve experienced over days, weeks and even months just vanishing in as little as 7 days. Between 2 and 6 months, your baby’s body clock is better developed for clearer sleep patterns and is the optimal time for teaching your baby to fall asleep independently. Yes, YOU can teach your baby to sleep like a professional and join the “My Baby Sleeps Like a Champ” club.
It’s not a secret that sleep is critical for healthy development and function of the brain. Studies confirm that there are massive benefits to helping your child build healthy sleep habits early on, even from birth. Just as eating is a critical form of nourishment for our bodies, sleep is equally important. The brain, while not a muscle, acts just like one. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes, and sleep plays a vital role in this process. What does this mean? The more restful sleep your child gets, the stronger their brain becomes. Sleeping will help your child (and you) be more alert, calm, improve learning, promote better physical and mental health – the list goes on and on. You may say to yourself, “Well, I can deal with a few more days (or years) of sleep deprivation”, but the reality is that your child will not outgrow their sleep challenges. Further, the sleep-debt they will acquire can potentially contribute to a host of other challenges later in life. Ultimately, the healthy sleep habits you help your child establish now will last them a lifetime. Just think how much more enjoyable time will be with your little ones when they (and you) are well-rested. I think we all can agree that it is time to get on board and join the “My Baby Sleeps Like a Champ” club. So, what are you waiting for?