Let's Get Your Baby or Toddler Sleeping!
When babies and toddlers sleep, parents sleep! At The Early Weeks, we support families in achieving better sleep in a few ways.
Sleep Learning - Birth to 4 or 5 mo.
Also known as sleep shaping or establishing healthy sleep fundamentals, is a way to help support a baby in gradually building solid sleep habits. This is acheived over a period of many months. When done well, your baby will gradually develop the ability to:
- Sleep longer stretches at night.
- Connect their nap cycles during the day.
- Fall asleep more independently in the desired sleep space.
This is a natural biological process, that is very holistic in nature. Sleep is able to develop in this manner quite beautifully, because the baby's needs have been fully met and there is consistency and exposure to the sleep environment in which the parents wish their baby to sleep. When started early, there are no habits such as continuous holding, rocking, bouncing or the reliance of props such as pacifiers, swings, or bouncers to break.
The Early Weeks firmly believes there is no such thing as 'spoiling' babies! During the sleep learning process, parents will be encouraged to be responsive to their babies at all times and in a manner that feels appropriate.
Our consulting packages are great for families wanting some guidance fostering healthy sleep habits from birth.
Sleep Training - 5 Mo. to 4 Yrs.
Sleep Training is generally referred to when more formal sleep work is requested. This sleep work typically occurs over a set period of time with a specific outcome that is sought. Often, parents would like their baby or toddler to:
- Sleep independently in his/her own sleep space (crib or bed).
- Fall asleep independently without the need for extended periods of holding, bouncing or other assistance.
- Have the ability to sync nap cycles on their own.
- Have no night feedings.
- Sleep through the night.
- Return to sleep unassisted if there are naturally occuring or habitual wake-ups (non-hunger related).
It’s important to understand that work done during sleep training is not inclusive. Meaning, that not all parents have the same sleep goals. Some parents seeking sleep training support may or may not wish to hold in a night feed or two. They also may just wish for more independent sleep or for their baby to have the ability to fall asleep without being held for extended periods of time.
At The Early Weeks, we support families with more formal sleep work typically beginning around 5 months of age. Formal sleep training support is offered on a case by case basis, after thorough review of your family's goals and your child's individual struggles. This is to ensure you and your child are ready to begin the process.
Please contact us for more information on sleep training services for your baby or toddler.
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.
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 fussy most of the time?
- Is your baby alert or wanting to play at night?
- Does your baby go to bed after 7:30 pm each night?
- Did your baby sleep well the first few weeks of life and is now constantly fussy and doesn’t sleep much?
- Does your baby rely on sleep props for sleep?
- Does your baby need to eat many times during the night (and it feels like too much)?
- Are you exhausted?
Please believe us when we say that chronic sleep deprivation is a serious issue and poses many potential risks to parents and child. Please don’t feel like you have to “suck it up”, “just deal with it”, hit your breaking point or a state of desperation. It is healthier and safer to intervene early.
Your situation can change. Your baby can sleep each night and so can you!