Sleep training is a hot topic amongst new parents. It’s an issue that can evoke strong emotions, such as guilt and frustration, because it can be difficult to understand what’s best for your baby. However, it’s important to remember that babies have different sleep needs, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the science behind baby sleep and the benefits of sleep training.
Babies are not born with the ability to sleep through the night
The first thing to understand is that babies are not born with the ability to sleep through the night. It takes time for them to develop the necessary skills, such as the ability to self-soothe and regulate their own sleep-wake cycles. In the first few months of life, babies typically sleep in short periods, waking frequently to feed and be comforted. This is because they need to be close to their parents for safety and survival.
As babies grow and develop, they begin to sleep for longer periods and eventually develop a more regular sleep pattern. However, this process can take time, and it’s important for parents to be patient and supportive. During this time, it’s also important for parents to understand the importance of good sleep hygiene. This means creating a sleep environment that’s conducive to restful sleep, such as a dark and quiet room, a comfortable sleep surface, and a consistent bedtime routine.
The benefits of baby sleep training
The benefits of sleep training are numerous, both for the baby and the parents. For the baby, good sleep habits can help with brain development, growth, and overall health. Sleep-deprived babies can be cranky, fussy, and irritable, which can make it difficult for them to form healthy relationships with others. In addition, sleep-deprived babies are at a higher risk of developing health problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and sleep-disordered breathing.
For the parents, sleep training can provide much-needed relief from the stress and exhaustion of caring for a baby who is not sleeping well. By establishing a regular sleep routine, parents can help their baby sleep better, and in turn, improve their own sleep. This can lead to better overall health, improved mood, and increased energy levels.
Method of baby sleep training
However, despite the benefits, sleep training can be a contentious issue for some parents. Some may feel guilty about leaving their baby to cry, while others may worry that they’re doing something harmful. It’s important to remember that sleep training is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and different methods may work better for different families. Some parents may prefer a more gradual approach, such as the “fading” method, where the parent slowly decreases the amount of time they spend in the room with their baby.
Others may prefer a more direct approach, such as the “Cry It Out” method, where the baby is left to cry for a set period of time.
In conclusion, the science of sleep training is complex, and it’s important for parents to understand the benefits and challenges of each method. Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a sleep training solution that works best for your family. With the right approach, sleep training can be an effective and safe way to help your baby get the sleep they need to thrive and grow.
If you are keen to find out more, book a FREE 20 mins discovery call with us to see how we can help you and your little one get back your precious sleep.