So here’s a blog I never thought I’d be writing But after a lot of thought, a lot of conversations with many moms, and a lot of experience helping babies and families–this is a blog that I didn’t need to write—GIRL I HAD TO WRITE IT.
Why? Why would a sleep consultant write a blog encouraging parents to NOT hire her? I haven’t lost it (yet) or had a change in perspective (not on this anyway, I have had a change of heart in deciding to watch Vanderpump Rules). Rather my experience has led me to some insight about why, when and how babies and families do their best when they start the process of helping their families sleep. AND the why, when and how families don’t end up achieving their goals. Sometimes waiting is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your baby.
Also, real quick–let’s discuss the term ‘sleep training’. I hate the term. Doesn’t it conjure up images of sad, screaming and crying babies in dark rooms? It did for me in my early days of parenting. Like…I want nothing to do with that image. Sleep training in the Amanda Jewson philosophy means, helping your child learn how to sleep. There are dark rooms, and there might be crying, but YOU CAN COMFORT YOUR CHILD. Heck, you can camp out there with them until they get it.
REASONS YOU SHOULDN’T SLEEP TRAIN
- YOU DON’T WANT TO. Girl, don’t! It won’t work, and you’ll find a way to sabotage the process (not on purpose, just subconsciously). So wait. It also means you’re not tired enough—wait until you’re tired enough. Also, a mom who is stressed to the maximum about this process shares that energy with her baby. If you’re not ok with this, neither is your baby. We all want less protest and quick long-lasting results. YOU need to be mentally ready for less crying and faster results.
- YOUR FRIENDS ARE ALL DOING IT. Would you walk off a bridge if your friends were doing it too? If it doesn’t feel right to you then don’t. See above for why.
- YOUR BABY IS STILL MINI, I get a lot of calls from parents between 6 and 8 weeks. And those parents are like ‘WHAT THE HELL DID I SIGN UP FOR??? MAKE THIS STOP” And, it sucks but I can’t do “sleep training” with most babies until after 4 months of age. A lot of that is developmentally related. Newborns are small things that are going through ‘sleep regressions’ every 2-3 weeks. It’s pointless. You CAN however, look into my newborn sleep program: 4 weeks of unparalleled support AND you may avoid sleep training completely like I did! (Both of my girls managed 6-8 hour stretches by 6 weeks using these methods—so have countless clients!)
- THERE’S A HEALTH THING: If you’re not feeling comfortable about your baby sleeping through the night because they have a little health thing then let’s skip this whole thing until you’re ready and your doctor has approved.
- YOU HAVEN’T TALKED TO YOUR DOCTOR YET: Doctors are always a great first stop before calling me. They can weigh your baby and help you assess where they are developmentally. Also, having a doctor’s seal of approval is nice to have in the back of your head if you’re feeling uncertain that your baby is ready
Ok. Now that we’ve got that out of the way–it is worth mentioning all the reasons you should be calling me.
REASONS YOU SHOULD SLEEP TRAIN (Like call me right now)
- YOU’RE NEXT LEVEL TIRED: We’re moms, and we’re tired. I’m tired. Being a mom is tiring. But I’m not talking about mom tired, I’m talking about walking into furniture, fuzzy headed, screaming at your husband and then crying on your baby tired. I’m talking the tired that makes you feel sick when you wake up, and terrified when you go to bed (because you’re wondering when your baby will wake next). This is not ok tired and it’s not safe or a ‘part of motherhood’. This level of tired is not a badge of honour or proof of how devoted you are to your child. Being tired, depressed and anxious actually has effects on your child and when YOU’RE ok, THEY’re ok. (But don’t freak out about this–the brain is constantly rewiring itself. With healing and time you and your child can be back to awesome in no time)
- YOU’RE SICK ALL THE TIME: Sleeplessness means your body doesn’t really have time to meet your viruses one-on-one and take them the eff DOWN. If you have a cold every other week and you’re not sleeping–it’s time to sleep. See this article for more of the science behind this.
- YOU’RE OBSESSING ABOUT SLEEP: If all you can think about is your child’s sleep, or your sleep or a combination of the two—then it’s time to make a change. When thoughts about your child’s sleep, whether or not you leave the house, see your friends or live life become overwhelming, it means we’re entering the danger zone. Seek help.
- IT’S SAFE: The most common question from potential clients? “Will this harm my baby?” Sleep training has been studied, studied again, had those results re-analyzed, and those results studied again. Will you find some studies suggesting otherwise? Yes. But there are also a few studies that also suggest climate change isn’t man-made. Over all the scientific community is in agreement about sleep training so you can rest assured that your baby will be fine and your bond will be stronger than ever when you’re rested enough to experience it.
- YOU’RE CRYING ALL THE TIME: Baby blues are pretty normal after baby. And it makes sense–for every new child there’s a whole new life! Literally and figuratively. A baby changes things and blues can come in times of change and uncertainty (also RAGING new mama hormones–those too. Remind me to tell you about when I sobbed for melting my breast pump tubes and begged my husband never to tell anyone. That…happened) BUT sleeplessness was cited as a contributing factor to both postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety in this recent study. I’m not suggesting that sleep will cure your PPD/PPA but it’s a damn good start on your path to recovery.
ARE YOU READY?
If you’ve read above and you feel like you’re ready–it’s time. There’s no good/best/optimal time to start helping your child sleep. There will always be leaps, teething and trips. But if you’re excited to sleep and ready to start I can help you. Book a call with me here.
If not, go ahead and bookmark this page for reference whenever you have questions or a little reassurance. It will always be here. ❤️