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  • Megan Robert

WHY WON'T BABY SLEEP?


Stress. Inability to focus. Lack of productivity. Emotional decision making. Snap judgments. Irritability. What do these all have in common?

They are all side effects of sleep deprivation!

With everything going right now because of the pandemic... Figuring out school for the older kiddos. Working from home with no daycare. Keeping the kids occupied with nowhere to go…. Lack of sleep should NOT be an additional burden!

If you’re experiencing exhaustion because of your baby’s sleep struggles and you want to feel human again? I’m here to help! I am going to walk you through what I look at every single time I prepare for a consultation and/or create a customized sleep plan.

You see? It is more than just choosing a method! Unfortunately though, one of the most common mistakes I see in my work is families jumping straight into a method without any thought to the other building blocks.

When navigating why your baby isn’t sleeping well and what adjustments to make, it is important to cover all the bases. The areas to evaluate include the sleep environment, the schedule, the daily and sleep routines, and the child’s ability to fall asleep AND connect sleep cycles independently. Along with those four major components, make sure no other areas are overlooked that need to be strategized.

Come on! Let’s dig in!

THE SLEEP ENVIRONMENT

Ideally for sleep, we want a space that is dark, quiet, and cool.

DARK

When I say dark, I mean pitch black! Literally meaning you do not want to be able to see anything! And that is for both naps and bedtime. Even if you use blackout curtains? Check that light is not coming in through the edges. With any light in a sleep space, it can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, and lengthen sleep.

EVERYONE wakes up a few times when sleeping due to the nature of sleep cycles. Including your baby! But if there is light seeping into the room, your baby is going to have a more difficult time connecting sleep cycles and falling back asleep; thus, increasing their potential to wake at night, early in the morning, and early from naps.

If you don’t believe me, listen to this! I once worked with a client who asked her childcare provider to move her son from a room with a little bit of light to a large closet that was pitch black. Immediately...and I mean immediately...the boy’s naps started to lengthen.

QUIET

While it can be difficult for some adults to fall asleep with noise in the background, it can be even more so for your infant or toddler.

Think about it! They are constantly soaking in their environment and often want to be in on the action. Imagine how distracting it is to be transitioning from one sleep cycle to the next and hearing the other kids in the house, the tv, mom or dad talking, traffic outside, etc.

While I understand that some parents want their children to be able to sleep anywhere, creating a quiet and dark space allows for your baby to get better QUALITY sleep and potentially larger QUANTITIES of sleep. Both traits being extremely beneficial for a child’s growth and development!

COOL

Now this one might surprise you a bit. The temperature of the room MATTERS!

Typically, we fall asleep as our core body temperature starts to fall to its daily minimum. When a room is too warm, it can make falling asleep and staying asleep very difficult.