Intro: Gemma. Main Body: Anna
Here at The Artisan Baby Co we like our parents to be informed, to be offered choices and to presented with different opinions. Babies aren’t a one size fits all and what works for one family may not work for another. Claire and mines experiences with our own little ones are testament to this. So here’s a little snippet from The Happy Baby Co about their approach to sleeping babies. Over to you Anna….
What do the words ‘sleep training’ mean to you?
Many new parents are intimidated by the world of sleep when it comes to having a new-born and to be honest its pretty understandable considering one of the first questions post birth people like to ask is – ‘ohh do they sleep well?’.
This question provides us with nothing but frustration.
Consider this, would you sleep well if you were thrust into a big bright, cold world, put in a scratchy nappy and suddenly had a tight waistband and weird feeling buttons against your skin when you’re used to be naked?
Would you sleep well if you had also been taken away for periods of time from the person who kept you safe for 9 long months and provided you with food, comfort and a comfy bed?
So, do you think new-borns should sleep ‘well’?
And also consider – what do we actually class as ‘sleeping well’?
We think what people mean, is do they go to sleep at bedtime with no fuss and sleep through the night until you’re ready to seize a new day? Well no, absolutely not. And we don’t believe there is a single parent out there that has a new-born that will settle to sleep on their own at bedtime and sleep the whole way through the night.
Why? Well because developmentally they are more or less incapable of it.
Sleep training is a word that makes people believe that you can train a baby to do anything as you would a puppy. But this is simply not true.
We are The Happy Baba Co pride ourselves on trying to educate parents that sleep training needs to be given a 21st century, millennial update, just like the apps on our iPhone need every so often!
We like to encourage parents to understand the biology and developmental stages children go through in order to provide them with realistic expectations of what their baby should be able to achieve in terms of sleep.
We like many other practitioners like to introduce a newer way of looking at sleep ‘training’. First, let’s get rid of the word training. Forget that, throw it away like the size 8 jeans you used to wear pre-baby.
We introduce to you the world of gentle sleep solutions.
We feel that more and more parents that we speak to here at The Happy Baba Co are not comfortable with methods such as ‘cry it out’. This is not to make the people who feel bad who have done CIO or other methods feel guilty it is to help parents understand why we take the perspective we do on sleep.
Reason number one we prefer ‘Gentle’ sleep solutions;
There is usually more than one thing affecting your baby’s ability to sleep.
Reason number two;
Crying releases the hormone cortisol into the baby’s blood, this is a stress hormone and inhibits sleep. So, in our eyes, the less of this the better!
Reason number three;
Babies brains have not developed enough in order to regulate their own emotions, therefore when a baby falls asleep crying their brain is still producing stress hormones even though to us it looks as if they have calmed down and gone to sleep. Babies CANNOT regulate their emotions and need your help to do that.
Reason number four;
We think co-sleeping is great as long as it is done safely – what could be more natural. How else would a cave woman and her baby have slept? Would she have put them in the cave next door to settle alone and take the chance of a lion coming to eat them? Therefore, leaving a Baba to go to sleep alone surely go against our natural instincts of protecting our offspring?
Reason number five;
A baby that needs you to help them settle but then goes to sleep and cries upon waking again is a baby which is showing a healthy attachment to their caregiver. A healthy attachment to their caregiver means they are more likely to be able to form trusting, healthy relationships in the future.
We could go on and on about the positive aspects of gentle approaches to sleep but I’m guessing you want to make the most of these minutes you have to look at your phone. So, if you are interested or fancy seeing more of the ‘Gentle’ sleep support we offer come and check us out at @thehappybabaco on Facebook and Instagram.
Big love to you and your Baba.
The Happy Baba Co
Photo credits: Peter Oslanec