Many exhausted moms find themselves in a painful predicament where they’re incredibly sleep-deprived but feel stuck: on the one hand, they’d love to sleep train their little one so that they don’t have to suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. On the other hand, they’ve read somewhere that sleep training is “damaging”, “cruel” and “ruins healthy attachment”.
Join me and Dr. Jill Satin, PhD, registered psychologist and owner of The Well Parents Centre, as we delve into this topic in more detail. In this podcast episode, we talk about:
- Why Jill encourages all her clients to seek out the support of a sleep consultant if they’re struggling with their little one’s sleep;
- Why exhausted moms often feel “stuck” and need reassurance about sleep training;
- Why sleep is so crucial for mental health;
- How she feels about the claims around sleep training being harmful to the baby and that it ruins healthy attachment;
- How she addresses a common concern moms have about their little ones crying during sleep training.
Have a listen! Want to get your little one consistently sleeping 11-12 hours at night so you can be a functioning human? Join my FREE training HERE!
Hey there, you’re listening to the, My Sleeping Baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little ones sleeping so that you can sleep too and enjoy parenthood to its fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident’s sleep expert, mom of three, founder of the Sleep Bible online coaching program, and lover of all things sleep and motherhood. If you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one sleep woes or you simply want to learn more, this podcast is for you. For more information, check out mysleepingbaby.com and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.
All right, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us. So I am so excited to have Dr. Jill satin here today to talk all about sleep and mental health and why, why we need both why the two and two go hand in hand and how we can really help ourselves by ensuring that we get a proper night’s sleep and that our little ones are getting proper, proper night’s sleep so that we can function and thrive and be the best version of ourselves. So, Jill, thank you so much for being here. And why don’t you, um, introduce yourself and tell everybody a little bit about what you do.
Sure. Thanks for having me. This is a topic that’s, uh, it’s so important to me, both professionally and through my own personal experience. So I’m a clinical psychologist. I work mostly with perinatal clients. So, um, all the way through from fertility, um, pregnancy postpartum in the early years of parenting.
So that’s really the majority of, of what I do. Um, and I’m a mother of two. Um, so my kids are six and a half and almost four, so I’ve, I’ve lived it also. Um, and that really informs a big part of my work. And, and why, um, I’ve come to see this as such an important topic. So thanks for having me amazing. So your clinic, when you say perinatal, so you specialize in what pregnancy through those early parenting years. So at the well parent center, it’s, it’s mental health services, so psychologists and social workers, um, we also have a nurse on our team who helps with some of the newborn care, which is awesome. Um, yeah, so all of the challenges that you can face, even just trying to conceive and through losses. Um, and yes, so through pregnancy postpartum and, and those parenting years, which can be so tough as we all know.
Yeah, yeah. A hundred percent. And you know, I remember when we initially connected you, you told me that when you are working with your clients who Are in that initial postpartum stage, as well as, you know, in that first, even let’s say year or, you know, two years postpartum, that one thing that you, you know, encourage across the board is for your clients to seek out, sleep help for their little one, if sleep is something that they’re struggling with. So what is going to be a bit more about that? Why is that something that you highly encourage across the board?
Yeah, so obviously if somebody is not having a problem with sleep great, even if they’re waking up often, but they’re satisfied and you know, and they’re able to manage perfect, but for many, many clients who I see, um, that’s not the case. Right. And so then they’re caught in this problem between exhaustion, where they’re not able to function and some folks have internalized the message that, you know, any kind of sleep training is harmful, that it ruins healthy attachment, and then they’re really stuck. And so, um, by having somebody like me who is aware of this issue, and I’ve looked at research and I’ve thought about this deeply, um, to give that permission that, um, there’s something that you can do. There are strategies that you can use. It’s huge. Yes. And for perinatal mental health for maternal mental health. Well, for both parents, I should say, um, sleep is crucial and sometimes getting sleep could be the single most important intervention. So for me as a psychologist, like we can talk about all kinds of strategies for managing mood and managing anxiety. But if somebody is really that sleep deprived, that’s going to be the number one priority and we can do all the therapy in the world, but they’re exhausted.
Yeah. And it’s not going to, in other words, it might not you’ll end up hitting a brick wall in your counseling and your therapy work. If that sleep deprivation is just ongoing. Yes. This is a basic need. Yes. Yes. I guess that is no different than not having had, if you’ve been sleep deprived for six months and sleep is a basic human necessity to live, it’s honestly no different than if you haven’t had a proper meal in six months and you’ve been living off of, you know, stale pretzels and flat Coke. You’re you’re, you might typically be alive, but you’re not going to feel great. Exactly.
So it it’s a basic need, you know, some people they tell me like somehow they manage on like waking up every hour, right. There might listen, there might be unicorns, uh, who can survive or even thrive on such little sleep. Obviously when people are coming to see me it’s because they’re not feeling well. Right. So hypothetically though, maybe some people do function on very little sleep. Yes. Um, certainly not me. Um, so yeah, so I think that would be the exception. Um, I think that most people really need solid sleep. And so it’s just, um, when we talk about the importance of taking care of yourself, that’s like a basic building block. So you really, um, when people don’t think that they have options to improve that piece, they feel so stuck. Right. Right.
I remember when I was suffering from sleep deprivation with my second daughter who is now seven years old, you know, just does turn seven in September. She was the catalyst for how I got into this business. I remember the, the, the sleep deprivation was ongoing for a number of months. Um, I, you know, there might be some days where I’d be a little bit better and then it would get worse again. And I remember not coping. I remember. And, and I just want to say for the record that thankfully clinical depression and anxiety is not something that I’ve ever struggled with before. So it’s, it’s not like the sleep deprivation was exacerbating. Something that I had been struggling with. It was never a struggle of mine. And yet due to that sleep deprivation day in and day out, I felt like I couldn’t cope. I felt like the glass was always half empty, you know, no matter what, I was not able to look at anything positively.
Um, I was extremely irritable. I was crying at the drop of a hat. I was fighting with my husband because my ability to regulate my emotions was just, you know, out the window. And I remember landing up in my GPS office. You might, my family doctor, you know, talking to him thinking, you know, gosh, do I need, do I need to see, you know, a psychiatrist? Do I need medication? And when I told him that, you know, my baby was sometimes waking up every two hours, what he said to me was, look, go get your baby sleeping and then come back to me and then let’s see how you’re feeling. Cause he’s like, look at the end of the day, you know, there’s nothing wrong with needing medication, but if you need it, you know, it might take a little bit of time for it to kick in and see if you know, it’s actually working.
Let’s see how you feel when you start sleeping. And lo and behold, the anxiety went away like literally at the drop of a hat. I remember that night when I finally had that eight hour stretch of sleep, or it might’ve even just been a six hour stretch with a feed and then another, you know, four hour stretch. I felt like a functioning human, and I did not require any further intervention. I didn’t require any medication or counseling or what not. And of course that’s something that someone needs, please go get it. But for me, all I needed was sleep. And then I felt normal again.
Yeah. I mean, I think that that’s a good point. I think that you’re going to have some, some people who, even after, since leave, they’re going to require intervention. But then I think that you’re going to have this significant portion of people where the sleep gets them going. Right. They ha they can then they’re rested enough that they can do things in their life that will improve their mood. So for example, we know that when people are depressed, they do less. And when we don’t do very much, um, it’s a, it’s a cycle. So we do less and we have less energy, less motivation. And you know, that can go on for a long time and get worse and worse. Well, sleep is crucial in there because when we’re so tired, we can’t get going. Um, and so for some people, I think that it can cause depression, right? For other people, it’s going to look like depression because there’s so much overlap between the symptoms like, um, you know, feeling lethargic, feeling slow in your body. Um, not feeling really interested in those things, right. That’s depression, but that’s also chronic sleep deprivation. Yes,
Yes it is. And so when your clients follow your advice, they reach out for help. They go to a sleep consultant, they do what they need to do to get their little ones sleeping. And then they come back to their, your office with having had a proper night’s sleep or two. What difference do you find in, I guess, everything you being able to help them, you know, their mood overall, just the big picture. What are you now dealing with when you’ve got a mom that might still be struggling, but is now no longer sleep deprived?
Right. So I should say that sometimes therapy has been over because they say I’m rested and I’m actually doing a lot better. I don’t need your help anymore. Great. Which is great. Right. Um, that’s the best case scenario other times then it allows us to do the work way more effectively. Yeah. As you know, I’m a cognitive behavioral therapist. So I’m looking at the way that we think and the way that we behave. So the way that we behave, as I talked about before, the things that we need to do for our mood is, you know, to get more active when we’re feeling really down, if all of a sudden you’re more arrested, you can then do those things. Whereas before it would have been really tough to follow through and wouldn’t have even necessarily always been beneficial because what the, what the person needed really was to rest. Right. Um, so it allows us to do those good things that are going to improve mood. And then on the cognitive side, I think we’ve all experienced this, whether it’s from chronic sleep deprivation or just like a poor night’s sleep, we’re not able to think clearly, no, we might think more in extreme ways, black and white or catastrophic ways, like, you know, thinking about how horrible things are going to
Be last glass, half empty. Exactly,
Exactly what you described. And so in, in therapy, it gives them like a fighting chance to be able to look at their thoughts and see, and be more flexible and see another way.
Yes, yes, yes, yes. I love that. So here’s a question for you. So you have a mom who is struggling. Her baby is not sleeping, urge her to go and get some sleep help. And she says to you, you know, Dr. Sattin, I hear what you’re saying, but you know, I read somewhere, I saw this blog post, or I heard this, you know, expert of some kind with a bunch of letters next to her name is sleep. That sleep training is cruel and dangerous and is going to ruin my child for life. Yeah. Okay. What’s your response?
Yeah. So it’s a, it’s a big one. I want to take my time with it because I think that it’s so important and it’s, um, heartbreaking for some people because of how stuck they feel. Right. Um, and first and foremost, I want to just sort of pause and say that I have huge compassion for moms who say that. I don’t think it’s true, but I have compassion because it really means they’re stuck. As on the one hand, they’re desperate to feel better on the other hand, um, they truly believe that this is something cruel and not something accessible to do. So they’re, they’re hopeless. And I want to say that, you know, in my personal experience, starting out as a new mum, um, I didn’t think I would do any kind of sleep training because until you’re in it, like, why would you, um, it sounds horrible.
Um, it sounds like, you know, why would I even let my child cry for a moment until you’re in it? And you see that this is not sustainable for anybody. Yeah. Um, and so I was pretty committed in the beginning. Um, I had all the books, I read everything. I was really hoping to avoid any kind of, um, sleep intervention that had any crying. Right. Which I think is natural until, um, you learn more where you have experience. Right. So, um, so th for that mum, first and foremost, um, I have compassion and, um, so we stay there. I’m not trying to like, change their mind. Um, but gradually with some information, it can be helpful. Right. So we have some research, we could always use more research, but I’m sort of, when I look at the research, I’m pretty convinced. Right. So first of all, what kind of, so first of all, is it helpful, right? Because we were talking about risks and benefits. So is it helpful? It is helpful in terms of babies are sleeping. Moms are less depressed. Yeah. That’s huge. Yeah.
Right. It’s massive. There is nothing that anyone can con can say to convince me that it doesn’t work because I have the equivalent of a large scale study in my brain. Right. Because I have worked with about 2000 families, probably more than 2000 families to date. And so I know it’s not, I don’t believe I know with every fiber of my being that this works when it’s done properly.
Right. And so, you know, I hope that at some point there will be a research study with like on a much larger scale because it’s totally possible. Right. You know, like if somebody recruited you to be, um, part of a study, I’m sure that you would love
That with pleasure.
And so, you know, like with what you just said in terms of your experience, from what you’ve seen, I feel the same way. Like as a clinical psychologist, I look to the research first and foremost, that’s the highest level of evidence, but all we need to do, we don’t need to look too far. We can open our eyes, we can ask people. Um, and I also have that experience personally and professionally and in my personal life, talking to other women and men, I should always include the men because, um, we talk about mothers a lot, but the fathers are right along with them, um, and other partners. So, um, yeah, so just, um, I’m getting too excited. I need to like scale, scale myself back to the present moment in terms of what you’re saying of the clinical experience. So I have that experience to hear it worked and we’re all the better for it. So, you know, we want to look to the data a hundred percent and, and there are like, I have my book here, cribs sheet,
I’ve heard of that book and I think I need,
So I will often recommend that people go to this book, it’s data driven, you know, helpful to make decisions, but ultimately her point is that you need to also, you need to take the data and see what’s right for your family. Of course, he does a nice overview of the, of the research, um, and some of the misinformation. And as I said, we don’t have all the data that we would want, but pretty good to show that, you know, at least in the short term, I see benefits without risk. And there are some studies, you know, that look even five years out and no differences in terms of, um, healthy attachment or any problems with the kids. In fact, I think even a little bit of benefit for kids behaviorally and, and improvements in maternal depression, which is,
I mean, that’s huge, you know, when, when I hear people’s stating those claims, you know, my, my, my loving response is what’s the proof what’s that it’s, it’s a very big statement to say, sleep deprivation is going to ruin your child’s healthy attachment. Right? It’s a very big statement to say, without backing it with something and considering the research that we do have, and I’ll just give a brief summary on this. So there was, there was this very well-known sleep training study that was done in Australia about 10 years ago, I think, where they recruited, um, 225 babies in the seven month range, 225. It might not be 2000, but it’s also not 10, right? So it’s a fairly decent sized study. And what they did was they, they, um, these were all babies that were struggling with sleep. And so half of them were, were, were given a sleep training program of some kind to follow.
And then the other half were the control group where nothing changed. You know, the parents just continued doing whatever they were doing. And then they followed all these babies till age five or six, where they then assess the children for their overwhelmed overall wellbeing, looking at their healthy attachment, looking at their social skills, looking at overall, how are they doing? And they did not find any direct connection or correlation whatsoever between the children that were thriving. The children who may have been struggling with healthy attachment and other sorts of things, and the babies that were sleep trained originally, and the babies that were not. And so, you know, what that fairly sizable study shows us is if you want to sleep, train your baby, sleep, train your baby, and your baby will be fine.
Yeah. I mean, so the research shows it, um, experiences that we hear from other moms shows it because there’s, there’s, it’s not a conspiracy, right? No, no, our kids, right. We know what they were like, like, you know, babies are, um, we know what they were like before sleep training and we’re, we’re in tune with our kids. We see. Right. And so most people will report either no major change in behavior after or improvement. Yes. I haven’t heard, you know, and I speak to a lot of moms, you speak to a lot of moms, um, and we’re hearing success stories of this. And like, I have no vested interest in this. Right, right. I have no reason to be trying to convince parents of this. Um, I’m just noticing, you know, from, from what I’m seeing, that this is a gift to parents, it is
A hundred percent, it’s, it’s an absolute necessity. And to be honest, it never, this whole notion of sleep training, you know, a few nights, or, you know, a week of sleep training, being harmful and ruining healthy attachment in the term. It never made sense to me. You know, I remember when I was pregnant with my first, so this was now, I mean, she’s now nine and a half. So this was, you know, 10 years ago. Um, so unlike you, I didn’t do any reading. Well, I did a lot of reading, um, law school textbooks. Cause I was in my final year of law school. So I was doing lots of reading, just nothing parenting related. And so I remember, uh, friends of mine, you know, when I told her that I was pregnant, um, you know, we were, we were chatting and whatnot. So this friend of mine who already had a couple of kids at that point, you know, somehow out of the blue, you know, said, Oh, and by the way, you shouldn’t sleep, train your baby.
And I remember going, what’s, what’s sleep training again. I had read no books and uh, and she goes, well, it’s, you know, when you put the baby in the crib and then they cry and they learn how to fall asleep, you should never do that. And I said, why? And she goes, well, so-and-so, who’s this, you know, parenting expert that she follows says that you shouldn’t do it because we see that in, you know, the orphanages and in the Ukraine where all these babies were neglected and no one, and they were crying and no one was coming to them. They learned that there’s no point in crying because no one’s going to tend to them. And so, and so you shouldn’t sleep train. And so this is me, you know, completely innocent, like very new to the world. I’m just kind of digesting this as objectively as possible.
I remember saying to her, I said, but that doesn’t make sense because my baby isn’t in a Ukrainian orphanage. My baby is going to be in my home where I am going to be tending to this baby’s needs, you know, day in and day out. And I said, so you’re trying to tell me that sleep training a baby for a few days is like having them being raised in an orphanage in the Ukraine day in and day out over days, months, years at a time where their needs are not being tended to, they said, how is that the same thing? And she goes, well, you know, so-and-so says it is this parenting expert. And I said, well, what’s this person’s proof.
I don’t know exactly. So in that moment, you were fortunate enough to have something in you that said that doesn’t sound right to me.
You know what? It also was. I was pregnant at the time. I didn’t have a baby. And so, because I wasn’t, I wasn’t sleep deprived yet. And, and I was able, you know, my brain was, again, I was in law school. Right. So I was using my, you know, that like, uh, critical thinking side of my brain, but I was able to use because I was, you know, totally level-headed and not sleep deprived. And so I was able to ask those so that when the time came that I had to sleep, train my baby, I had already gone through that, you know, that way of thinking and was able to come to the conclusion that, that this doesn’t make sense to me. And I’m totally fine with this. Right.
So if we go back to, you know, the woman in my office that you asked about, who says like, um, I’m exhausted, but I heard this. Yeah. So you had that moment where you said that doesn’t sound right to me. Right. And right. And so you came to your own conclusion, despite a friend, it was a friend who said that despite a friend, um, bringing forward this sort of awful idea. Right. So the difference is that for the woman in my office, who, you know, doesn’t go down that route, she years something awful of an accusation about if she even considers it. What does that say about her as a mother? Yeah.
And, and that’s where things go so wrong. And, and I found myself there, right. Um, at different points, um, where I was thinking, what if, right? Like, what if that’s true? What if I’m doing something that’s the equivalent of that? And when you’re in it, like you said, you had, maybe it was a benefit that you were pregnant at the time, rather than having this crying baby in your arms, because it can be really difficult in that moment to tell what’s what, because that crying, which can be so, um, gut wrenching that crying can tell you, you know, you got to solve this problem immediately. You got a nurse, you’ve got a rock, you got it. Right. And it’s great that we want to do that for our babies. Um, but then it can be, it can put the woman in a real problem where, um, there’s no way out. And so that’s why I think this conversation is so important because, um, without getting that right information or people speaking out and saying, this is okay. Yeah, right. Um, she’s, she’s really stuck. And so, you know, I’m, I’m outspoken about this, but it’s, it’s still fairly contentious. Yes. Right, right.
It rages me that it’s so contentious because you know, I’m the first one to say, do what is best for your family. If sleep training is not the right fit for you, you don’t need to do it. You don’t want to do it. You don’t have to do it. So I wouldn’t, I don’t go around preaching the importance of everyone, sleep, training their kids, but for the people who wants to sleep train, and they’re hearing, don’t do it because it’s going to damage your child. It, it makes my blood boil. It really
Does. So, and that concern about, you know, damaging the relationship or damaging the healthy attachment that you were able to recognize. It’s not the same as that orphanage, you know, where babies were being elected. It’s just, it’s, it cannot be overstated that healthy attachment and the relationship that you have with your baby, with your children, it’s a complex relationship. It’s not, it’s not 40 minutes. It’s right. So, um, so your ability to be well and present during the day and tuned into your child during the day, that in my opinion is going to be of utmost importance. Yeah.
So that determines, I mean, that is what we need for healthy attachment to begin with. Ironically.
Yes. Yeah. So, um, so to me, it’s like, first of all, I think that maternal mental health is important in its own. Right. We deserve to feel well, but it’s also the case that even if we’re thinking of the infants or the children, it’s also the case that it’s good for them because taking care of parents is taking care of children. Yes. So it’s, it’s both, I cannot see, um, that this wouldn’t be important for the infant, for mom to be rested because she’s going to be better during the day. That’s a lot more time that that contributes in my opinion, a lot more to the relationship. Yes.
Yes. And, and people, and I, and I hear moms telling me that they feel so guilty because even though their baby is waking up five times a night, they’re happy during the day, look, my kid is waking up eight times a night, but she’s so happy. I’m miserable. And so, but, but she’s okay. And yet I’m doing this sleep training, you know, solely for myself. And I say the same, I say the exact same thing. I said, this is not, this is for you and your baby, because it means that your baby gets a happy mommy at the end of the day. Yeah,
Absolutely. Which, and
That’s worth its weight in gold. And, and to say in the, you know, and I have a couple moms telling me, but Oh, you know, when I’m, when I’m with my kids, when I’m with my baby, you know, I’m calm around her. You know, even though I’m, you know, miserable and exhausted, like she doesn’t see this, you know, sides to me. And I know with my kids, when I haven’t had, you know, a proper night’s sleep and thankfully the shoe man’s kids have shoes here, you know, my kids are all great sleepers, but, um, when we had that initial lockdown back in March, my sleep went out the window and it wasn’t because of my kids. It was because of the exponential stress that pretty much the entire world experienced in unison. And I was not exempt from that. And so there were a number of days where I was just not sleeping.
And even though I did my absolute best to still be, you know, calm, cool, and collected and happy around my kids, they knew what was going on. Like they knew that mommy, there’s something going on with mommy right now. You know, she’s, she’s not a hundred percent at the moment. And then once I kind of got over that initial shock started prioritizing, you know, self care, stopped scrolling the news every five and a half seconds at one o’clock in the morning. And, you know, actually started to try to take care of myself. And that included getting proper nights sleeps. It was different. It was different. All of a sudden my kids could relax and my kids could, you know, be around me more. And they knew that I wasn’t on edge and everything was just so much better. So, you know, this whole notion of, Oh, you know, my kids can’t really tell when I’m sleep deprived. Yes they can.
Yeah. I mean, first of all, infants can probably pick up on it. But if you have older children, I mean, toddler, that’s tough work, toddlers preschoolers. It is, it is tough to manage those behaviors and you sort of need your a game. Yes. Yeah. Yes. Yeah.
I have a two year old, you know, myself and he’s a very normal average, two year old that does normal, regular two year old things. And, uh, when I’m sleep deprived, it doesn’t make for an easy situation in the least bit. So I’m, I’m so happy that we’ve been able to delve into this. So I’ve, I’ve got one more question for you. So let’s say, you know, you have a mom in your office who is sleep deprived and maybe she had concerns about sleep training, but she spoke to you about them. And you know, she’s now she objectively understands that this is perfectly safe, perfectly effective is the right thing for her family, but she just can’t do it. You know, it’s like that five or 10 minutes of initial crying that you might get at first, it just gives her this, I don’t know this visceral reaction that just makes her go. This is too hard. I can’t, even though I know that I have to do this, I can’t listen to my baby cry. This is just way too hard. What do you find is usually, you know, at play and how do you support, you know, these moms that are experiencing that.
Yeah. So, so first of all, been there, done that. Yeah. Right? Like that, that was my experience with number two. Um, so for that, I would say, you know, not everybody can afford to hire a sleep consultant. Yeah. Right. But if they can, um, that’s when actually hiring somebody to support you during that time can be really helpful, right. Because many people can try this on their own, but, um, but having that added support and you can speak better to this than I can, but having that added support of somebody guiding you when you have your doubts and having a really clear plan can be very helpful. Um, having, if they have a partner potentially having the partner take over this, right. Um, again, for us doing the cognitive work in session, talking about what it means to have your baby cry and to, you know, maybe we go through the research or maybe we just talk about that again, to make sure that even though intellectually they agree, you know, emotionally, what are they actually thinking that it means when their baby cried?
Yeah. Could it be an essence, like a bit of a trauma response to hearing the baby cry? Like they know that it’s fine, but just emotionally they’re going, this is terrible.
Yeah. So, so again, biologically moms are set up to respond to babies. Yeah. Right. And I think that, you know, even in the late stage of pregnancy, leading up to a baby, being born, um, moms, their sleep architecture changes, they’re sleeping more lightly. They are, everything is set up to respond to baby and evolutionarily. This makes sense. What evolution didn’t, um, account for is mom’s anxiety that that’s not good for mom. Right? Yeah. Just made us tuned into baby. So if you are a mom who is responding during the daytime to absolutely everything, um, it’s going to be a pretty stark transition that now we have a different game plan. Um, so if you’ve been used to, and that, and that was me, I was a very quick responder. I felt viscerally in my body that I needed to respond, um, probably to my detriment.
But when you have, um, over time, you realize that you can’t always attend quickly. And that, that is okay. Right. That is okay. And when, when you’re on the other side and you have older kids, you realize that you have to say no, a lot of the time and kids are unhappy. And they protest to me a big shift in my understanding and what allowed me to finally be on board with sleep training with my second, because I had a particularly difficult journey and we had a few iterations of it was to recognize that her protest was akin to saying, I don’t like this, but she’s suffering. So sometimes in my office there’s work around your body is telling you this as an emergency. Cause you’ve been responding ever since this baby was born to every whimper, but there’s a difference between suffering and protest that this is new. I don’t like this. Yes. And there’s also depending on someone’s comfort level and you can speak more to this than me. There’s, there’s different, but there’s, there’s cry it out. Goodbye. And there’s, and there’s frequent checking in supporting.
Yes. And then there is also sitting next to your baby until they fall asleep and being there in a very supportive manner, you know, physically, emotionally, et cetera. And then kind of, you know, it’s known as like a gradual withdrawal method where you move kind of further and further away maybe might be upset because you’re no longer nursing her or no longer rocking her, but you’re still there supporting her. So that’s another option.
So that’s another option. And for some people that’s going to be a better fit for other people. That’s actually more difficult for sure. Yeah. You have to, you have to witness it. But I think that there’s, there’s a lot of different ways that I would approach this. So some of it is go to the sleep consultant, have them really by your side, every step of the way. Um, so that when you have your doubts, you have a solid plan and some confidence because you actually know how to deal with different situations. So that’s one end. And then the, the meaning behind, you know, what is, what is this mother imagining or father imagining the crying means? And is it necessarily true?
Yeah, yeah, no, you know what the, the conclusion that you came to is something that I scream off the rooftops that, you know, yes, babies have needs, but babies also just like any other human they also have wants. Right. And one of their wants is to continue with the routine that they’re used to because humans are routine based beings. But the difference between a baby and let’s say an adult is that they don’t have the critical thinking skills to understand the difference between a good, healthy routine versus a routine. That’s not so good for them. And so it’s only natural that you’re exactly right, that they’re going to push back because this is different than what they’re used to. And they don’t like it. Period.
And I really do believe like in terms of, um, like the term, I don’t know if you always use sleep training or, or, you know, I’ve heard sleep learning and it really is learning. I was learning a skill and some adults in my office have insomnia. Right. And for a range of different reasons, but they might lack sleep skills. And so you’re teaching a skill and sometimes it needs to be learned. And then with the older kids relearn, like my son who’s six is having, you know, a little bit of trouble falling asleep, um, this week. And so we’re trying a few different things and it’s just, it’s clear that it’s a skill that can be honed and it’s very hard for a baby to learn the skills. If they’re just doing the same thing. Like, you know, if it’s nursing or
Right, right, right, right. I am so happy that we have had this conversation because I feel like this is something that needs to be sent out to the masses for sleep deprived moms, to hear that if sleep training is something that you want to do, if sleep training is something that you need to do for the sake of your mental health, for the sake of your child, for the sake of your family and your overall wellbeing, you can do it. It is effective. It is safe. And it is a very reasonable parenting choice for a lot of people to make. And if, and if it feels like the right choice for you do it, and you will probably say, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I waited this long. I’m so happy that I did this because it really is. Life-changing. So thank you so much for coming on and having this discussion with me.
If people want more of you in their life, um, maybe they want to reach out to you directly, where can they find you? Thank you for asking. So on, on Instagram, um, it’s at well parents, um, our website is well parents center.com. Okay. Um, and, uh, we’d be glad to hear from you and we offer services. Um, again, it’s psychology social work, and we also have a nurse offering, um, newborn care, which I think is awesome because parents need help. Right. We can’t do it all by ourselves and you’re doing everything on zoom. Right. So you, you don’t have to be local to the Toronto area. You know, you can, they can reach out to you from anywhere within Ontario, within Ontario. So, yeah. Anyway, that’s a big province, so anywhere in Ontario. Amazing. Well, thank you Jill so much for coming on and thank you everyone for listening. Thank you for having me have a great day.
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