Sleep is one of my favourite topics to talk about.
Why? I personally struggled with sleep deprivation for MONTHS and MONTHS and MONTHS and I just love seeing the sheer relief on a mother’s face when she realises it’s not the only option if she wants to avoid sleep training and cry it out type methods.
I remember that wave of relief when the realisation dawned on me while reading Aletha Solter’s brilliant book ‘The Aware Baby.’ And I want to share it with every sleep deprived mother out there.
For me, I just knew in my heart that cry it out/ sleep training was not an option for me. It wasn’t something I was willing to entertain.
And I just thought that meant that I had to put up with not sleeping for however many months or years it took for my son to grow out of it!
And he was waking up a lot. At least hourly, sometimes more. It was hard. And I know many of you are dealing with that right now.
The thing is, I didn’t understand WHY he was waking up.
I was doing all the ‘things’. I had the routine, the nice warm bath, the baby massage, the music, the lullabies, the lighting. We looked into food intolerances, allergies.
Nothing worked, he only got worse, waking more and more during the night.
It’s funny how many other mothers I’ve worked with who are similar in that they’ve just accepted the sleep deprivation. If they know in their heart, they want to parent gently, they’ve come to accept that means they might not get any sleep for the next five years. Which sounds funny now. I get it, because I chose that too, but it’s not very desirable, is it. For either of you.
So most mothers come to me for some other issue.
“My child is having meltdowns every morning and refusing to get dressed or into the car.”
“My child is hitting and biting his brother.”
“My child is clingy and demanding 24 hours a day!”
It’s not until I start asking some questions that I get to see that sleep is the real issue. It seems obvious now, but OF COURSE lack of sleep is going to be effecting your child’s behaviour.
Waiting for your child to outgrow this phase is not very practical in our modern society where parents do so much on their own, work long hours and have no ‘village’ to support them.
It can be detrimental to both yours and your child’s wellbeing.
My favourite part of this work that I do is when I get to tell sleep deprived mothers there’s an option ‘C’.
Let’s say ‘A’ is Sleep Training or some type of ‘Cry it Out’ approach
‘B’ is accepting sleep deprivation and not sleeping for the next five years
✨C✨ You BOTH get your needs met. You get to sleep. And your child gets to feel safe, loved, connected.
You might be wondering if this is some kind of make believe or magic spell?
No. As always, we look at the underlying emotions and how they are effecting your child’s behaviour (in this case sleep). And we look at how we can help them with that. When we solve this underlying cause all the other behaviour issues melt away. Truly.
- We look at increasing your emotional connection though play and laughter.
- We look at giving your child enough opportunity to release the emotions they need to during the day
- We look at getting YOU comfortable with holding space for all sorts of big emotions and the way they might come up: anger, tears, frustration, tantrums etc
- We look at being able to positively guide your child’s behaviour in a way that allows for emotions to flow rather than be bottled up
- We look at reducing the distractions. This is a big one and what I mean by that is, everywhere I look, I see people distracting their kids from what they’re feelings.
You’re upset? Have a dummy, have a bottle, have a lollipop, look at this game on my phone.
And I do get it, I’ve don’t this many times too.
But then we wonder why our kids are growing up with sugar, technology or other addictions that have them feeling numb to their emotions.
I don’t want to sound dramatic 🤷🏼♀️but it’s so common and done so unconsciously that it’s become an epidemic in our society.
Distracting ourselves and our kids from our emotions is having a HUGELY detrimental impact on our well-being.
So at all ages, but especially in early childhood, it’s SO, SO important to reduce those distractions as much as possible and practise being present instead.
Can you identify any of the ways you distract you child from their feelings?were you aware of this before now? And how might things change for you?
If you have any questions or would like some support with this, I’d love to hear from you! You can take a look at my online programs or get in touch through my Facebook group and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.