The Importance of Sleep
Most people have experienced sleep deprivation at one point in time. On an occasional basis, we can recover just fine. However, repeated and on going sleep deprivation is unhealthy and linked to hundreds of health conditions.
Bottom line, sleep is a universal human need. It is when our bodies repair themselves and when we can rest and recover from each day. It is essential for health and well-being. Without sleep, we cannot lead long, healthy lives.
Infants and sleep
Adequate and consolidated sleep is vital for your infant and greatly impacts his or her mood and ability to grow and develop properly. Too little sleep is repeatedly linked to colic, witching hours, shorter attention spans, obesity, behavior problems and impaired neurological development in infants and children.
It’s important to understand that babies are taught to be good sleepers.
Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits - Birth to 12 weeks
The goal with an infant under 12 weeks old, is to help them develop solid sleep habits that will carry with them throughout their life. Fostering healthy sleep habits from birth is the most straightforward and easiest for the baby. When started early, there are no habits such as continuous holding, rocking, bouncing or the use of props, to break. The baby learns early on, how and where they are expected to sleep. It takes consistency from all caregivers, but yields great results.
Our consulting packages are great for families wanting some guidance fostering healthy sleep habits from birth.
Formal Sleep Training - 3+ months
For babies older than 3 or 4 months, formal sleep training can generally be done. This means that the baby typically meets several criteria and is capable of sleeping 10-12 hours straight at night. Babies in this age range almost always have habits and associations familiar to them, that need to be broken.
Formal sleep training is offered and quoted on a case by case basis. This is to ensure you and your baby are ready to begin the process. Please contact us for more information on sleep training your baby.
Please know that while the techniques are gentle and we are always responsive and sensitive to your baby’s needs, some crying is normal and healthy. How much your infant cries is largely due to their personality, learned behaviors and how you as a parent respond, when they do cry. Crying is your infants primary way to communicate and one form of self expression. It is also how they shut out their external environment when they have become overstimulated.
If you are experiencing any of the following, we can help you find solutions!
- Do you spend 30 minutes or longer trying to get your baby to fall asleep only to have him wake up as soon as you put him/her in the crib?
- Will your baby only sleep if they are with you in bed, on your chest or in a swing?
- Does your baby sleep for less than 2-3 hours at a time at night?
- Does your baby have “colic” or a “witching hour”?
- Is your baby only happy if you are holding him/her?
- Is your baby alert or wanting to play at night?
- Does your baby go to bed after 7:30 pm each night?
- Does your baby nap well and for 1.5-2 hours at a time?
- Did your baby sleep well the first few weeks of life and is now constantly fussy and doesn’t sleep much?
- Does your baby need to nurse, have a bottle or pacifier in order to fall asleep?
- Is your baby over 3 months old and waking to eat multiple times each night?
- Are you exhausted?
Chronic sleep deprivation is a serious issue, so please don’t feel like you have to “suck it up” or “just deal with it” for another month or year or two. Your situation can change. Your baby can sleep 10-12 hours each night and so can you!