MYTH YOUR CHILD WILL SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT WHEN THEY ARE READY
EPISODE 11 OF THE AFTER THE STORK PODCAST
If you have not yet listened to the last episode, Episode 10 - Should My Child Be Sleeping Through the Night, I would encourage you to do so prior to listening to this one as that episode is a precursor to this episode. It dives into the nature of sleep at night to help you better understand realistically what to expect, how we define STTN here in this Stork Community, and five indicators of whether or not your child could be STTN if not doing so already.
This episode is sort of a continuation of episode 10 in that we are going to discuss STTN more, but from a different angle. This episode is about the myth or misconception that a child will start STTN when they are ready.
Again, if you have not listened to episode 10, pause this episode and come back when you are done. If you have listened to episode 10, then let’s continue!
So something I have noticed as a common response to parents reaching out for support with their child's sleep in various communities is something along the lines of, “What you are experiencing is normal. Your child will start sleeping better or through the night when they are ready.”
Can you imagine being so exhausted that you are reaching out for tips and advice, and this is what you get?!
Perhaps you can because that individual is you! I can only imagine how hopeless and defeating this must make a parent feel.
And I think the most frustrating thing about this for me is that a majority of the time when someone responds this way, they fit one or more of the following descriptions.
One, they have a certain parenting philosophy that would be against any type of sleep training.
Two, they have no education about the nature of sleep.
And/or, three, they themselves are struggling with their child’s sleep.
Sometimes following up their comment about it being normal by something like, “My child is two years old and still wakes up at night needing my assistance.”
A very unhelpful response for someone who is hanging by a thread and needing some sort of advice to make things better. Perhaps a response that leaves them struggling for much longer than necessary.
So what is the truth?
Well, for some babies, yes, they might naturally start sleeping through the night on their own. But that is usually because the parents have set up the components that allow them to do so. Some parents do this with intention while others just get lucky by doing things that help.
And sometimes? The baby is just a laid back and easy going baby!
However, not everyone knows how and when to be intentional for their baby’s sleep or is raising a super laid back baby! And not everyone is lucky enough to just have the pieces fall into place.
So while a baby can naturally start sleeping through the night, there are often times when they need us to take responsibility to help them out. Not every situation is just a matter of the baby STTN when they are ready. And as you know from episode 10, whether or not a baby sleeps through the night can be affected by several different things.
Development, illnesses, milestones, transitions due to their sleep maturing, whether or not the components of ESRA+ are in place, and anything else that could hinder sleep.
They aren’t going to know or be able to make the sleep environment better. They don’t have control over the daily routines. They aren’t the ones who decide when and how to actually put themselves into their crib for sleep.
Now, there are two scenarios to consider when discussing STTN.
The first scenario is a child NEVER having slept through the night.
The second scenario is a child who once slept through the night and was considered a great sleeper by their parents, but then all of a sudden has been struggling with sleep.
That second one is exactly why I created The Stork Village Membership. A membership exclusive for my past clients. Because sleep training won’t solve all your sleep issues down the road. Your child is human! So with The Stork Village, parents receive education, resources, community, and support past the sleep training.
And for those experiencing the first scenario? Well, you happen to fit into the category of my most common client.
So if your child is struggling with sleep at night, what should you consider?
Whether or not you fit into scenario one or scenario two, my advice is the same for both. First, take a moment to evaluate the areas of ESRA+ as discussed in episode 3. Second, evaluate the five points made in the previous podcast episode, Episode 10.
LITERALLY take a moment to sit down with a pen and paper to go through each area and ask:
“What does this currently look like? If anything, what needs to be adjusted to make it better?”
And if this all feels overwhelming for you, find a sleep consultant to help guide you! That is what we are here to do.
I personally do this by hosting virtual consultations, creating a customized sleep plan for you based on your situation and the discussion during the consultation, and providing support as you implement the sleep plan to help you do so effectively.
It takes a village to raise those babies. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Or with the advice of someone who has no experience or expertise to help you.
For more information on what working with someone like me would look like, visit www.afterthestorksleep.com/whatisentailed to get a step by step overview of my process.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE