B.S. Sleep myth #1… We’ve heard for decades in sleep training books and from well-meaning pediatricians (who by the way only receive on average 2.5 hrs. of pediatric sleep hygiene education in medical school and residency combined; if any at all)
“Don’t sleep train when your child is teething.”
I cry B.S.!
What is the ONE thing our bodies want to do when we get home from the hospital after giving birth, have an operation, oral surgery?
That’s right. SLEEP.
It’s the only thing our body needs in order to restore itself. It’s a natural pain reliever. We don’t feel pain while we are sleeping.
On the other hand, if your baby is already overtired and suffering from sleep deprivation due to poor sleep habits and happens to be cutting a tooth at the same time, then their system is already stressed, preventing them from slipping into deep restorative stage 2 sleep that heals, eases teething pain, regulates hormones and increases pain tolerance. Sleep deprivation will definitely exacerbate teething pain at night.
Additionally, babies teethe and cut teeth continuously from early infancy through age 3. It is unhealthy and unsafe to put off implementing good sleep hygiene and healthy sleep habits that long in honor of the outdated teething excuse. The best way to provide teething relief to your child is to keep them well rested!
B.S. Sleep Myth #2… is to assume your baby or child is getting enough sleep by measuring the number of hours of sleep your child is getting within a 24 hr period.
Sleep science has proven many times over that the timing of sleep is far more important than the number of hours. Take jet lag syndrome, or one who does shift work, into consideration. If you are sleeping during times your body is biologically programmed to be awake, and awake when your core body temperatures drop and melatonin rises, then the sleep you are getting, even if the number of hours is there, is not restorative. It is “junk sleep”.
However, if the timing of sleep is in sync with your baby’s natural biological rhythms (circadian rhythm), and is continuous (consolidated) rather than fragmented, then the number of hours needed is naturally present as well. We cannot fight or change circadian rhythms! That is why it is so important to understand proper sleep hygiene needs for your little one at each stage of development.
Below are a series of FREE events and seminars I will be teaching throughout LA and Orange County where you can learn all about how to protect and respect your baby’s need for sleep for the most healthy and effective sleep training.