We’ve all seen the commercials that claim a certain product is a ‘miracle’ cure, whether it’s the latest diet pill or stress reliever. We like solutions to our problems to be simple and immediate. The same is true when it comes to a baby’s sleep.
As exhausted parents, we long for some kind of instantaneous “magical” solution. A solution that requires little effort, crying, or protest from our child. In fact, one of the first questions I get as a sleep coach is how long will it take before my baby is sleeping through the night?
Or sometimes this question is asked in a less direct way. “My friend bought a special sleepsuit and her son has been sleeping through the night ever since. Could this work for my daughter too?” Invariably, they are hoping that I will recommend this miracle sleepsuit as a solution for their child’s sleep problems.
However, to teach your child to be a good sleeper, sleep training takes time, effort, and consistency with the ultimate goal of having a baby who can sleep without any help.
Baby Sleep Products
There are so many products that claim that they’ll help your baby fall asleep easily. It’s not surprising that parents think that one of them might be the solution they’ve been looking for.
You can buy a weighted blanket. Or maybe invest in the self-rocking crib? The vibrating mattress pad? The motion-detecting auto-shusher? The hypnotizing bedtime book? I am not making these up, these are all real products.
Are these baby sleep products worth it?
I am not saying that these products don’t do what they claim. They might actually help your baby fall asleep faster. But, here is the kicker… they become a sleep prop. In other words, an item that your child relies on to fall asleep.
Let’s take the hypnotizing bedtime book as an example, which has been one of the hottest selling items this past year. The book promises to get your child to fall asleep by using repetitive phrases and constant yawning. If you read the Amazon reviews, many parents are astonished at how well it works.
But what happens when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night? Do you pull out the book and read it again? Do you have to read it multiple times a night?
The Futility of Sleep Products
Sleep is a skill. The ability to fall asleep on your own is a skill, no different from learning to walk, swim, or ride a bike. We have an innate ability, but it still requires practice for excellence.
When you use sleep props like shushing, vibration, or feeding, you’re doing all of the work for them. You’re constantly holding the seat of their bike while they’re trying to learn to ride it on their own.
Sleep contraptions inhibit your child’s ability to become an independent sleeper. And dropping a few hundred bucks every six months when your baby outgrows their miracle sleep sack, (or a whopping $1500 when they get too big for their self-rocking crib) is a pricey set of training wheels.
These products are just treating the symptom and not the cause.
Teach Sleep Skills
If you work with a sleep coach, they’ll be your guide and support through the process of teaching your child to master their own sleeping skills.
That means that no matter where they’re sleeping, no matter who’s watching them, and regardless if the motor dies on their self-rocking crib, they’ll have no problem getting themselves to sleep, and staying asleep through the night.
Once your child becomes a great sleeper, not only will they be well-rested but you’ll also find that they enjoy sleep. The battles at bedtime are over! Sleep will no longer be frustrating and something that your child actually wants to do.
If you want to teach your baby the skills needed to fall asleep on their own and don’t know where to start or you need guidance, give us a call. We’d love to help your family sleep better and end your nighttime woes.