Why should you listen to me? Simply because my baby didn’t sleep. It might sound counter-intuitive but if you are getting sleep tips from anyone, it should be from someone whose baby was not a naturally good sleeper.
First, for those of you struggling with your little one’s sleep who have friends with a baby who slept through the night for 12 hours from day one. Well, you can’t be friends with them anymore. Misery loves company so go find yourself some sleep-deprived mamas who understand. Also, you most definitely don’t want to get any advice from them. They will know nothing about baby sleep or how to fix it. They didn’t have to struggle. You only learn how to fix things when they are broken. My child’s sleep was broken and from trying to fix it I learned a lot that I am very excited to share with you.
Secondly, people love to lie about how much their baby sleeps. Sleeping through the night is by definition 5-6 hours, but that doesn’t help you much if your baby is going to sleep at 7 pm and then waking from 1 AM and on.
Third, as a baby develops and changes, their sleep also goes through milestones. It is just harder to understand because you can’t see it like crawling. In fact, their brains continue to sort out sleep up until they are 5 years old. This doesn’t mean you’ll never sleep again, but it does mean that understanding and learning about sleep is essential.
I know certain babies are born great sleepers and some are born not so great sleepers. My baby is not a sleeper but my job as her parent is to give her all of the tools to become a good sleeper. I am not here to tell you what methods I like or don’t like. To be honest, I think all of the methods miss the main point which is to understand how to promote sleep in children and looking at sleep from a holistic viewpoint. I will give you every single tool you need to get your baby to sleep based on the ups and downs of every night, their individual needs, age, and your sleep goals.
We have been through so much with sleep. I have read everything I can get my hands on. I have methodically tracked L’s sleep to see how it changes based on the changes I make. We went through it all from the colic baby, to teething, to the gut-wrenching separation anxiety, which is why I wanted to make a section of my blog dedicated to tell you everything I learned and know about baby sleep. We tried so many things but what I didn’t understand was the whole picture until I acquired enough knowledge to really piece it all together. I want to save you frustration and hours upon hours of getting nowhere.
I would start with a questionnaire I designed that allows you to look at your child’s sleep from a holistic viewpoint (coming soon). Once you have done this, you can see what areas might need some work to really improve your child’s sleep. Next, I would highly recommend you read my posts on the Perfect Sleep Environment and Bed Time Routine (coming soon) to make sure you have the basics covered. After that I would read the Setting a Sleep Schedule Unique to your Child’s Needs so you sure you are putting your baby to bed at the perfect time for naps and bedtime. Remember, we want the path of least resistance to sleep and this means working with your own baby’s natural rhythm. If you think there is a specific issue but are unsure how to solve it? I would search in my specialty posts where I go through a variety of issues such as separation anxiety and how to solve each one.
Please comment below and I will try and address the topic in a future post.