Sleep Deprivation and Sleep Training
You hear that cry over the monitor that makes you anxious and scared. You are worried that your baby is going to get up for the 4th time tonight. You are too scared to look at your phone for the time, but you do it anyways. How is it only 3am in the morning?! I remember praying that my baby would go back to sleep or on the other end of the spectrum, pray that others would be awake to lend a helping hand. I never asked for anything, but that my baby would sleep. This was the story of the first 5-6 months of raising my first baby. “Sleep when your baby sleeps” is something I heard often. There is a guilt that surfaced anytime I did anything for myself. If I slept when my baby slept, who would clean up the house, wash clothes or puree food for my baby (because that’s what I did, otherwise I would feel guilty about having to buy it from the grocery store).
My husband was amazing. He tried hard not to allow the guilt get to me. He was adamant about me taking naps; buying food from the grocery store already pureed and helping me cook and clean when he got home. It wasn’t easy though; no matter what anyone said I had to do what I could to be the “perfect mom”. Sleep deprivation was a huge cause of my crazy emotions. One day I would be happy, one day I felt sad and even angry and frustrated. If I dropped a dish, I would cry, if I couldn’t get my baby to sleep and my husband could, I would cry, if my baby was spitting out all the food I just made him, I would cry. It was not like me to get emotional over these things, but I did. I simply needed sleep and I was desperate!
The first night my baby slept through the night was one of the biggest milestones…not only for him, but also for me! I woke up happy! I woke up feeling like me and it was a relief! Sleep training your baby is a tough decision for any parent, but using a gentle to intermediate method like I did and advocate for is extremely beneficial. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of sleep training, but the method I teach is not cry it out (CIO) – the method I teach allows you to comfort your baby as much as you need. Achieving adequate amounts of sleep shouldn’t make you feel guilty. It should make you feel excited to get back to feeling like yourself and restoring your body and your child’s body of the energy that is lost in the day. Sleep training literally changed my life as a new parent!
If you have any questions about the information above, feel free to contact me at
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant
November 2, 2017