Not every child needs help getting a good night’s sleep. Some babies are naturally great sleepers right from the start. They go down happily at bedtime and only wake up when they’re hungry, or even sleep straight through the night from a very early age.
Some families co-sleep or bed share, some prefer that baby sleep in their own room. Some feed on demand throughout the night, others prefer to adhere to a feeding schedule. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those approaches. As long as a family’s sleep situation works for them, no change is required.
Families hire pediatric sleep consultants when their sleep situation is NOT working for them. They’re tired, no one is getting enough sleep at night, and they feel the need to make some changes.
Creating healthy sleep habits takes time, patience, and commitment. Together, we have tailored a personalized, step-by-step plan specifically based on baby’s needs, and it has an extremely high chance of success if it’s followed consistently over the two-week plan.
What are the Benefits for Children Who Sleep Through the Night?
-Sleep helps babies grow
Growth hormones are primarily secreted during periods of deep sleep. Babies need to spend about 50% of their time in deep sleep for adequate growth.1
-Sleeping helps prevent obesity
Babies who learn to soothe without feeding are less likely to be overweight and have lower rates of childhood obesity. Well-rested children are also typically more active, which helps them burn off calories and develop muscle tissue. 2
-Sleep helps boost the immune system
While we sleep, our bodies produce infection and stress-fighting proteins known as cytokines. The less sleep we get, the fewer we produce, and the more prone we are to infections and illnesses.3
-Rested babies are less injury-prone
Kids who don’t get enough sleep are clumsier and more impulsive than those who do. Getting enough sleep significantly reduces the risk of injury.4
-Sleep helps babies learn
Adequate sleep has been shown to increase creativity and cognitive ability in newborns and infants. In fact, a 2010 study showed that newborns actually learn while they sleep.5
What About the Adults?
Babies aren’t the only ones who benefit from a good night’s sleep. Mom and dad are just as likely to enjoy the advantages of getting enough shut-eye, and suffer the consequences if they don’t.
-Sleep keeps you healthy
Adults who get less than 8 hours of sleep a night are at an elevated risk for a whole laundry list of health problems, including hypertension, high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depressive disorders.6
-Well rested parents are more alert
Getting a good night’s sleep helps to keep you focused and aware of your surroundings. A recent study from the AAA showed that even getting 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night can double your chances of getting into a traffic accident.7
-Sleep boosts memory
Learning new skills, memorizing schedules, and establishing routines are abilities that are going to come in very handy for new parents. Getting enough sleep at night will go a long way to helping parents adapt to their new responsibilities and retain the vast amounts of information they’re learning on this journey of parenthood.8
-Sleep helps you stay fit
Sleep debt affects your metabolism and glucose tolerance, as well as your energy levels, which can lead to weight gain and all of the health issues that go along with it.9
Babies require a tremendous amount of time and attention. Sleep allows people to be the parents they want to be, happy, attentive, patient, and on the ball, rather than just surviving day to day dependent on coffee to function.
Learning independent sleep skills may appear to cause some short term stress for babies when they are protesting the change, but the research shows that it has no negative psychological impact, or effect on the relationship and bonding between parents and their children.10
The most important element of the sleep training process is consistency to prevent any confusion for the baby. I’m a big proponent of explaining why so please ask any questions you have. I’ll be happy to answer them so you understand more so we can all work together through this process. If I have done my job correctly by the end of the two weeks together I will teach you the tools to think like a pediatric sleep consultant. Sweet dreams!
1 Sleep. 2011 May 1; 34(5): 641–650.
2 Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2015 Feb; 22(1): 41–47.
3 J Sleep Res. 2014 Apr; 23(2): 133–142.
4 Sleep. 2008 Jan 1; 31(1): 71–78.
5 Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 1; 107(22): 10320–10323.
6 Sleep, Volume 31, Issue 8, 1 August 2008, Pages 1079–1085
7 Teftt, B.C. (2016) Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash
9 Lancet. 1999 Oct 23;354(9188):1435-9.
10 Five-Year Follow-up of Harms and Benefits of Behavioral Infant Sleep Intervenion: Randomized Trial Anna M.H. Price, Melissa Wake, Obioha C. Ukoumunne, Harriet Hiscock Pediatrics Sep 2012, peds.2011-3467; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-3467