Child awake means so are you
If your child is not sleeping, you aren’t either. Lack of sleep seems to be one of the many sacrifices that belong to being a parent. But as your child grows, you may start questioning whether de-prioritizing your own sleep benefits your child in any way.
In the first months of the baby’s life, fragmented sleep is to be expected because newborns need to feed every few hours. At this stage, getting a full night’s sleep is hardly possible for parents, but even if you are breastfeeding, it is feasible to make arrangements so that you can get at least four hours of interrupted sleep.
During the first year of life, the need for nighttime feedings decreases rapidly, but not every parent will see improvements in their baby’s sleep. Some children keep waking up five to ten times a night past the age of six months. Others wake up multiple times a night at the age of two and a half…
For a variety of reasons, many parents will try to wait it out hoping that their child’s sleep will eventually improve on its own. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it takes a really long time.
How your sleep deprivation affects your child
It does so in more profound ways than you may realize. Insufficient sleep takes a toll on your physical and mental health and your relationship with your child. Think about what sleep deprivation does to your patience, to your ability to be engaged in play, to your attention, to how much you enjoy your child’s company…
Recently, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a report on early life predictors of life-long health and well-being. Here is one of their main conclusions:
"The single most important factor influencing a child’s healthy development is having safe, stable, and nurturing relationships with his or her parent or primary caregiver – typically, the child’s mother... Therefore, ensuring mothers have ongoing supports for maintaining good mental health and psychological well-being is critical."
Investment in your own well-being is an investment into your child’s well-being. More often than not, child sleep problems have solutions. I would be thrilled to try and help you find them.
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