If you are like me, when you or your family are confronted with an issue, you get right to work! You start looking for answers, doing research, and figuring out the best way to help. When my dad was diagnosed with arthritis, I started reading everything I could on the subject, and when my eldest son was born, it was no different. I realized that sleep was not going to come easily, so I began to educate myself on all things SLEEP. Needless to say, there was a lot of conflicting advice out there! So, when I saw this article on HuffPo by a mom who felt completely confused and overwhelmed by all of the contradicting information on how to help babies sleep better, I could definitely relate! If you have just started reading about sleep, or if you’ve devoured everything there is on the subject, and feel lost and confused yourself, rest assured that you are not alone!
In fact, the biggest reason I created The Baby Sleep Site, was because in my quest to find the best sleep solution for my son, I started coming across countless families who felt just as frustrated as I did about the many one-size-fits-all sleep cures that were out there. We were all hearing that “if you just do this in this way” your baby will sleep better. But our babies were not sleeping better, and we were largely left to figure things out on our own. If you’ve been a part of our sleepy little village for a while, I know you’ve heard me compare many of the sleep training approaches out there, and weighing the pros and cons of each. But the reality is that more often than not, a family will need to modify any method to suit their baby and their needs, or even blend elements of more than one. How do you know where to adjust, how much and when? If things aren’t working well, it can be challenging enough just trying to figure out why!
The article from this understandably frustrated mom, actually does a great job of conveying just how unreasonable and impractical some of the sleep advice often seems – how it would be enough to make any parent want to throw their hands in the air and give up! And I will confess that there were plenty of frustrating nights when I wanted to do the same, myself. But, just as it took us a lot of trial and error to find the right solution for my dad’s arthritis, I knew that no one sleep book, strategy, method, or cure would work for us, or for that matter, for every sleepless baby out there.
In those desperate moments when I too, wanted to give up, I had to remind myself that sleep was too important for my children’s development and well-being, and for the health of our family. It was up to me to continue to learn, and find the right path for us. So with renewed commitment, I went back to the drawing board as many times as necessary, to help my sensitive little guy, as well as other families, get the sleep they deserved.
As parents, most of us are likely to be bombarded with advice from well-meaning friends and family, books, articles, etc., and it can be mind-boggling trying to figure out what, if anything, would work for us. It is still important to use our instincts and take what is valuable while putting aside what isn’t.
As I gained more knowledge and experience, and began helping other parents solve their sleep problems as well, I realized one very important fact: there is no one-size-fits-all-solution! I also realized that to effectively solve sleep problems, it’s important to look at more than just sleep, and carefully analyze the whole picture. I became truly passionate about providing personalized, holistic sleep coaching solutions that take into account each baby and family’s unique situation and goes beyond the surface to address all the pieces of the puzzle.
Now, I can imagine that for some of you, “holistic” may be just another buzz word people like to use. But, here are just some of the puzzle pieces we address when helping our families find the right sleep solution for their little ones:
- Your baby’s temperament and your parenting philosophy – this helps us determine what types of coaching methods would be a good fit.
- Your baby’s and your family’s scheduling needs – sometimes we have to find a compromise that works for everyone and still keeps your baby well-rested.
- Your baby’s sleeping arrangements – are you sharing a room with your baby or co-sleeping, for example. Would you like to transition to a new sleep space or continue room or bed-sharing?
- Your baby’s feeding needs and feeding schedule – Sometimes adding a feeding or two or changing the timing of meals can be key to improving a baby’s overall sleep.
- Your baby’s sleep environment – light and noise level as well as temperature can play a part in a baby’s sleep quality.
- Your baby’s sleep routine – routines are essential in helping cue babies for sleep, but some routines can reinforce problematic sleep associations, so it’s important to address those.
- Your baby’s development – Your little one will go through many phases of development in their first couple of years, and often each baby and stage will require a unique strategy.
In addition to this, each family will also have its own set of distinct circumstances that we also take into account. Sometimes families may not even realize that something in their day-to-day may be affecting their little one’s sleep and it can be helpful to have an outside perspective. We take pride in being part of your village and a source of support you can count on. No parent needs to stay sleep-deprived and confused! If you feel lost and all the sleep books and programs out there haven’t given you a solution that is right for your family, then holistic sleep coaching could be the solution for you.