The world of parenting is judgemental.  It can be polarizing and competitive.  As parents we make choices because we feel that they are in the best interests of our children.  Who wants to make the wrong choice when it comes to the most important job you will ever do?  So we stand firm in our convictions about how we feel children should be raised.  The problem is that it’s hard not to pass judgement when you feel that what you’re doing is right and therefore what your neighbour is doing must be wrong.

So we become parents who stand on one side or the other of issues affecting our kids.  You breastfeed or you formula feed.  You eat organic or you shop the regular aisles in the grocery store.  You use cloth diapers or you use disposables.  You teach your baby sign language or you’ll teach your baby words when the time is right.

When it comes to babies and sleep many parents believe their options are to cry-it-out or wait-it-out.  Why do so many families believe that their choices are so narrow and this discussion is so simple? We invite you to look a little deeper to gain an understanding of why SleepWell Sleep Planning is the best way to get your family resting easy.

First we need to rethink how we value and prioritize healthy sleep. As a society we are beginning to realize that sleep is an essential component of good health and it’s critical to the growth and development of our babies.  We also know that poor maternal mental health is closely linked to sleep deprivation and mothers who suffer from postpartum depression report that their symptoms lessen when their children begin to sleep better.  More and more studies are being published that link healthy sleep to benefits such as memory consolidation, maintaining a healthy weight and lowering risk of certain types of cancers, heart attack and stroke.  Your Certified Child Sleep Consultant will provide you with a wealth of knowledge about why sleep is essential to the health of your whole family.

When we put our babies to sleep follows a science.  As our babies reach 4 months of age their circadian rhythm is developed.  The circadian rhythm is our body’s internal clock which tells us when we should be asleep and when we should be awake.  We must respect a child’s need to sleep at the appropriate times or that child will become overtired.  Babies who are overtired find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep due to the extra cortisol released in their bodies as a response to this stress. If you are not putting your baby to bed at the right times your child’s sleep will not be as restorative and beneficial as it could be.  Our skilled consultants are trained in the science of sleep and know how to help you establish an age appropriate schedule for your little one.

How we teach our babies to sleep follows a science.  There are various behavioural methods that work in teaching children how to sleep.  By choosing the method that is in line with a family’s parenting style, parents are empowered to follow through with the process.  All of the methods will work if they are followed correctly.  Parents run into difficulty when they modify their method of choice to reinforce a behaviour that they would like to see their child change.  This is why the daily support we provide is so valuable to ensuring that the method is being followed correctly and families have success as quickly as possible.

We are there to consult, coach and cheer you on.  It’s difficult to know how to handle bumps in the road as you are teaching your child the skill of healthy sleep.  It’s easy to do whatever works in the middle of the night to get your baby to go back to sleep.  We know that if you have a clear, easy-to-follow plan you will be more successful in handling a 3am waking or a child who doesn’t want to take a nap.  We make sure that you know exactly how to handle these situations as they arise.  You always have us as a life line should you need to phone a friend.  We will be cheering for you as your child learns the skill of healthy sleep.

We prepare you for what lies ahead.  As our children grow and change, so do their sleep needs.  Teething, milestones, illness and travel can all affect sleep.  Teaching our children the skill of sleep includes all of this as well.  Your sleep consultant will ensure that you feel empowered and become your own child’s sleep expert after working through SleepWell Sleep Planning.

If you find yourself sleep deprived and weighing the options of cry-it-out or wait-it-out we invite you to consider a third option which is this: sleep is a basic human need that is essential to good health.  The truth is that your children need sleep and so do you.  It’s not as simple as searching the internet for ‘how to sleep train your baby’ or just hanging in there and hoping it will get better.  We invite you to consider SleepWell Sleep Planning and see why this third option, the one that values health, science and support is the best way to get your family resting easy.


Alysa Dobson is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant with SleepWell Baby.  She works with families to help them get the sleep they need.  Alysa offers support to parents with children ages 4 months- 8 years old through both in home and remote consultations.  She can be contacted at alysa@sleepwellbaby.ca.
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