Did you know that March 19th is World Sleep Day? We thought that was the perfect time to get some advice from one of our favorite sleep experts! We spoke with Natalie Homem from Sleepy on Hudson, who shared some great information about babies and sleep!
World Sleep Day is an annual event that is intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep. What would you like to say about sleep, especially for babies (and parents)?
Sleep is so important, not only for your little ones, but for the family as a whole. For kids better sleep results in happier children, transformed moods and behavior, better immunity, and improved ability to listen. Better sleep for parents definitely makes for happier parents! With less chaos, exhaustion, and resentment, parents are able to give their all to their family.
Can you share some of your favorite pieces of advice for tired parents?
My favorite piece of advice is consistency! It is so important to send a consistent message to your children about bedtime routines and nighttime waking. Another favorite tip is to invest in black out shades – keeping the room dark will help your child produce melatonin, the “sleepy” hormone that aids in falling and staying asleep.
Are there any sleep myths you can debunk for us?
Yes, absolutely! “Never wake a sleeping baby” is one we hear a lot. Newborns need to be nursed quite frequently, and when long naps begin to interfere with the feeding schedule, a baby may need to be wakened. Day/night confusion can also be tricky for babies – it is important to wake them during the day for feedings and activities so they can learn that daytime is for playing and nighttime is for sleeping.
“A later bedtime will keep your child from waking too early in the morning” is another myth we often hear. Putting your child down for sleep too late can result in an overtired baby. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released when babies are overtired, which can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep.
How do you know if you need a sleep consultant?
If one of these 4 statements applies to you, I recommend a consult with a sleep expert:
Have you have tried to sleep train your child on your own, but you aren’t seeing improvements?
Are you overwhelmed by all of the information on the internet (and in your mom group!)?
Do you have questions about sleep that you feel are unique to your child?
Are you looking for someone supportive to hold you accountable?
If the answer to any (or all!) of these is yes, we can help! We provide customized over the phone and in-person sleep solutions to meet your unique family needs.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Sleep is a learned skill. Often, the missing piece to the puzzle is independent sleep. To achieve this, your little one should go to sleep drowsy, but awake. This will help teach the skills needed to get to sleep, and fall back to sleep in the middle of the night. If you nurse or comfort a baby to sleep, she will look for that comfort again when she wakes up.
It’s also important to realize that sleep training is more than just Cry It Out. There are several methods, and typically you can see improvements in just 3-5 nights of sleep training.
Where can we go to get more information?
Go to our website here or give us a call. I know it can be exhausting, but our certified sleep consultants can help!