I think the most Googled question from tired parents is: how do I get my baby to sleep through the night?
And let me tell you, the results are WILD.
From magical sleep sacks, to sleepy oils, to the most insane looking (and highly unsafe) apparatuses, there are so many options.
Much of this grinds my gears because there’s nothing that angers me more than companies with gimmicky marketing taking advantage of tired parents.
But when you consider how many products are out there that say they’ll get your baby sleeping, it’s not surprising that parents think that maybe one of them might be their golden ticket to more peaceful nights. Maybe the self-rocking crib? The vibrating mattress pad? The weighted blanket? The motion-detecting auto-shusher? The hypnotizing bedtime book? (I’m not making this stuff up by the way. All of those are actual products available for purchase, and that’s not even a complete list.)
But the fact of the matter is that products are at best a temporary bandaid to a deeper sleep problem and at worst, an expensive piece of unused home decor.
Why “stuff” doesn’t work
The crux of the issue when we’re dealing with babies who struggle with sleep is often their reliance on external supports in order to fall asleep and stay asleep.
We all go through sleep cycles that take us from light sleep into deep sleep and back again. In between cycles, we all wake up. As adults we typically don’t even remember these wakings because they are so brief and benign. We simply scan our environment and as long as everything is as it was when we fell asleep, we transition right back into our next sleep cycle.
However, when babies rely on something external to get them to sleep at bedtime, something that is inherently out of their control, they’re more likely to wake up completely in between their sleep cycles and need whatever it was that got them to sleep at bedtime to be recreated.
Safety aside, while some items may have minor benefits in the short term (i.e. a weighted sleep suit) and others may actually work well temporarily (i.e. the SNOO), there is not a material item out there that can tackle the root of the issue: a lack of independent sleep skills.
Do THIS to help your baby sleep through the night
Sleep is a skill, and I don’t say that metaphorically. It’s no different than swimming, riding a bike, driving a stick shift, or playing the piano. While we are born with the ability to sleep, it still takes guidance, practice, and habit-creation to refine that skill in order to do it independently. When you help your child to sleep through motion, shushing, or feeding, you’re doing the “falling asleep” work for them. It’s like constantly holding the seat of their bike as they learn to ride it; it serves a purpose in the beginning, but eventually you’re going to have to let go and allow them to practice on their own.
THIS is what sets a sleep coach apart from all the apparatuses and devices on the market: together we teach your child to master those independent sleep skills. We take them, step by step, from beginner to expert until you’re the proud and happy parent of the Michael Jordan of sleep.
That means, no matter where they’re sleeping, no matter who is watching them, and regardless of whether the motor dies on their self-rocking crib, they’ll have no problem getting themselves to sleep at bedtime and staying asleep through the night.
Having a child so skilled at sleep comes with the added benefit of a well-rested child (as well as well-rested parents) but there’s another huge plus when your baby masters this skill: they’ll love to do it! Just the same as any other talent, when we’re good at something we enjoy doing it. It’s no longer frustrating or cause for protest. There are no more bedtime battles or epic meltdowns. There are just calm, enjoyable bedtime routines and peaceful journeys into sleep.
Dropping a few hundred bucks every six months when your child outgrows their weighted sleep suit (or a whopping $1,500 when they get too big for their self-rocking crib) is a pricey set of training wheels – especially when you consider that these things are really just treating the symptoms, not the root cause. Teaching your child the skills needed to fall asleep on their own is really the cure-all for your nighttime woes.
Of course, this is easier said than done. If you’re looking for expert guidance and step-by-step support as you teach your baby the skill of sleep in as easy and as stress-free of a way as possible, I’d love to help!