What would you give for a peaceful night’s sleep?
All new parents realize that sleep will be lacking in those first few months after the baby’s born. The expectation is that you will need to get up and feed your baby several times a night. But what happens when baby is waking every hour throughout the night, has their days and nights mixed up, is super cranky, is taking horribly short naps all day long, or is sleeping on or next to you most of the night? How do you survive for months with so little sleep?
Sleep deprivation increases a mother’s chances of developing postpartum depression (PPD). When you’re dealing with healing from the birth, possibly trying to breastfeed your newborn, trying to manage fluctuating hormones, maybe other children and work, caring all day and night for a newborn, AND sleep deprivation, it can really get you down. More than 75% of the parents I work with have at least one parent who is suffering from either PPD or postpartum anxiety when we first start. I’m happy to report that many are feeling much better after their child is sleeping better and so are they!
Sounds great, right? BUT, you’re thinking how you can’t possibly sleep train a newborn! And you’re right in that thinking! I would never ask you to sleep train a baby under 5 months old, however, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have any options beforehand. At this age, I help parents work on basic sleep foundations, daytime schedules, bedtime/nap routines, and more. We use gentle techniques to simply transition baby from needing your help all the time to being able to put themselves to sleep at least most of the time. I call this “sleep teaching”, and it works great!
I’ve helped many parents go from feeling completely overwhelmed to feeling like they’ve “got this”! Sleep teaching is a great way to gently teach your baby as you go so you don’t have to reteach them later on (ie sleep training). I wish that more parents understood what this is and how much they could be helped now, instead of feeling like they need to wait until 5 or 6 months. There is so much growing and learning your baby needs to do in the first few months that it’s imperative that they get the sleep they need, too. In fact 65% of your baby’s growth is done when they are sleeping. And most of that growing happens during REM sleep, which is when your child has good, long, restorative sleep. So if teaching your baby good sleep habits now so you can all sleep better is something you’re interested in, then I can certainly help you!