Rant to Mom Martyrs
I have a confession to make. My number one pet peeve is a mom martyr.
What is a mom martyr? This is a mom that pushes herself to the point of breaking. With regard to sleep, this is the mom that wakes up all hours of the night feeding her child because she The parent isn’t in charge, the child is. What does this lead to? It leads to that mom getting burnt out, tired, and potentially even medically depressed. Does this mean that this mom is a better parent? No, probably not. This mom is sleep-deprived, cranky, struggling in her relationships with her significant other, and potentially dangerous to herself and her child.
Now, I can’t blame that mom. She sincerely believes that she is doing the best she can, because that is what society has trained us to believe. By pulling on our heartstrings, many popular posts have, in VERY emotional language, told us that we need to sacrifice ourselves completely in order to provide for our child’s well-being.
But, that is simply just not true. If we moms give up our sleep, then we navigate through our days as sleep-deprived zombies. So while we might technically be awake and caring for our child, are we really present and enjoying that time? In short, no. This is NOT sustainable in the long run.
Plus, an important question- is the child better off for it? Also, research shows that this isn’t the case. Children that are sleep trained sleep longer, which leads to increased cognitive function.
In addition to being a sleep consultant, I am also a scientist. My background is in biology, specifically molecular and developmental biology. I have been through extensive training through college and graduate school to learn how to use scientific evidence to back up my claims, and this evidence must be derived from reputable, peer-reviewed sources that have substantive claims. The results of my research on sleep are explained here.
Most importantly, I am a mother myself. Using all of this knowledge, it would be pretty stupid to not apply it to my own child, and raise her the best way I know how. If I believed that I was harming my daughter in any way, there is no way in hell I would have sleep trained her. Instead, I know that I am teaching her valuable skills so that she is prepared to sleep independently on her own now, and this will allow her to be more well rested so she is able to learn other skills better in the future.
Behavioral Treatment of Bedtime Problems and Night Wakings in Infants and Young Children
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Wakings in Infants and Young Children
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Early Developmental Changes in Sleep in Infants: The Impact of Maternal Depression
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Relationships between affect, vigilance, and sleepiness following sleep deprivation
Takeaways and Application
Ok, what does all this scientific jargon means?
Ultimately, babies and children that are sleep trained are not emotionally scarred, and might even be more independent. Both parents and children are better rested, which contributes to better overall health and emotional well-being.
So, should I sleep train my baby?
If you feel there is a PROBLEM with your child’s current sleep situation, and you want to FIX THAT PROBLEM, then yes, I can help you sleep train your baby.
If you don’t mind waking up multiple times throughout the night, or with your child sleeping next to you in bed, then no, you probably shouldn’t.
My aim is to help those families that are seeking change and an improvement in their child’s sleep. But, if you are satisfied with how things are going, then of course just keep doing what you are doing!