Sleeping through the night.
We honestly feel this is one of the worst (and outdated) sleep slogans out there! You hear it and read it everywhere!
“There’s SO much pressure on new parents to get their child to sleep through the night.”
I'm sure if you are a newborn care specialist or sleep consultant reading this, you would have been asked on a regular basis…
‘When will my child sleep through the night?'
And the problem is because of this expectation it's easy for parents to feel like they are doing something wrong if they aren't knee-deep in trying to ‘fix' this issue.
Perhaps you even feel like you need to come up with a menu of quick solutions, concerned that explaining what's biologically normal won't be met with an enthusiastic response.
But here's the thing…
None of us technically sleep solidly through the night. We all transition between sleep cycles and have brief periods of being awake during the night. This is to keep ourselves safe whilst sleeping and this is the same for babies.
In fact, when we look at adult sleep we acknowledge that adults can't command themselves to sleep. You can't tell your body to sleep and have success. In fact, usually telling yourself to sleep makes sleep harder to achieve. So we focus on resting the body and when we can rest the body then sleep naturally follows.
If that's the case, then why is it the norm in society to essentially put expectations on babies to do something that we actually can’t even do ourselves!?
At Babyem we believe we need to shift the conversation away from sleeping through the night to talking about normalizing sleep, and how we can appropriately support families so they don’t get to a desperate state, using gentle strategies (if appropriate).
Are you passionate about supporting families with sleep, in a gentle way? Find out more about our sleep consultant training HERE.