Why Do We Need to Follow All These Guidelines on Healthy Sleep Habits?
I recently had a mom ask me a fantastic question. She said to me “Eva, I don’t understand. Why do we, all of a sudden, need blackout blinds, and a white noise machine, and a proper daytime schedule, and an age-appropriate bedtime routine? Because in previous generations, when we were babies, our parents and grandparents weren’t worrying about any of this!”
We’re Always Advancing!
Here’s my response: Our parents and grandparents didn’t know what we know today. We, as a civilization, are always growing, learning, and advancing. We’re always trying to DO better than previous generations.
The medical world has made HUGE advancements, thanks to the amazing research been done over the last number of years and decades. Diseases and conditions that were previously incurable, and potentially fatal, are now suddenly manageable thanks to these advancements. Why would we rely on medical knowledge from 30 years ago if the medical community has made new, life-changing discoveries?
Back in the day, parents received medical advice that we would never dream of implementing today. I can almost guarantee that every single mom or dad reading this article was put to sleep on their tummy as an infant. Yet, thanks to the “back to sleep” campaign and the extensive research that’s gone into SIDS prevention, the number of SIDS cases has gone down substantially. Even though our parents and grandparents did something a certain way, it doesn’t mean we’re going to do the same thing.
Advancements in Sleep Science
The world has also made substantial advancements in the world of health and wellness, specifically healthy sleep. Why not take advantage of all this amazing knowledge that our parents and grandparents didn’t have access to? If my exhausted mother knew that putting me to bed very late for the night was causing me to wake up at the crack of dawn, she would have put me to bed earlier in a heartbeat! Instead, she was sleep deprived for years because she didn’t know better.
We are an incredibly privileged generation of parents. We have access to all this amazing information, advice, and support that can change the quality of life of everyone in your family. When it comes to getting your baby to sleep well, you have the option to empower yourself with this information.
So if we know that using certain sleep tools help your baby fall asleep faster, why not use them? If you know that making certain changes will improve your baby’s sleep, why not implement them? Because your parents never did this?
What can I say- my mother WISHES she knew what we know about sleep today. Her years as a young mother would have been 100 times less exhausting!