Your baby needs sleep, too.
In our last post, we discussed how sleep is a real human need, on par with food, water, and shelter. We talked about how often the unmet need for sleep that many mother's have is overlooked in ways that none of those other needs would be.
But while we talked about this in the context of parents, and how having enough sleep is vital to their well being, we haven't yet discussed that the very same is true for your baby.
your baby needs sleep the same way they need to eat.
Just like your body needs sleep to function, so does your baby's. In fact, with the explosion of growth, learning, and discovery that babies and toddlers go through---unlike any other time in life---your baby needs sleep even more than you do.
The amount of sleep depends on your individual baby and their age, but no matter what the fact remains that sleep is when they do their growing. Sleep is when their brain makes connections between all of the things they've learned that day (like "hey, no matter how many times I throw my bottle from my high chair, it falls down instead of up!" or "when daddy hides his face during peek-a-boo, he's actually still there!"). Sleep is vital to being a kid.
So when your baby is struggling to fall asleep, to stay asleep, and to take adequate naps during the day, it's not healthy for them.
The reality is when I walk into a family's home to help with sleep training, very often the parents aren't the only ones that are sleep deprived.
I see babies with bags under their eyes.
I see babies that are too tired and cranky to learn new things---they get frustrated and fussy when trying to learn to roll over or crawl.
I see babies that are constantly yawning.
I see parents that are worried about their babies, worried about themselves, and worried about if any of this will ever get any better.
healthy (and unhealthy) sleep habits start from the beginning.
When you were in college, how many friends did you have that had abysmal sleep habits? That stayed up all night. That couldn't sleep when they were tired. That needed sleeping pills or a glass of wine or to fall asleep watching tv to be able to fall asleep at all?
How many people do you know like that as adults? Hey, maybe it's you. No judgment at all. Maybe you need to scroll through your phone until you drift off. Maybe you have no trouble falling asleep, but getting back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night is almost impossible.
The stage is set for a lifetime of healthy sleep earlier than you might think.
you can give your baby the gift of healthy sleep.
By sleep shaping your baby's sleep habits from the start or using sleep training to instill good habits when your baby or toddler is ready, you are giving them the gift of a life long skill--and a life long love of sleep!
Sure, there's also the short term benefit of your entire household getting sleep (in 72 hours or less with our sleep training method!), but this is also a long term investment into the health of your baby as they grow into a child, teenager, and adult.