Our society has a fixation on baby sleep, too often to the exclusion of other important factors. Today I want to talk about a common term; ‘baby/toddler sleep regression’.
Parenting a baby/toddler is hard. It’s important for parents to have someone they feel they can talk to about what is going on for themselves and their baby at any stage and get support. In order to get this support I feel like we are conditioned to think that there needs to be a problem, and that requiring support without one is self indulgent. It isn’t.., I’ll say it again parenting a baby/toddler is hard.
In naming something as a problem (ie sleep regression) it narrows in our focus to what is actually a by product of something more significant (usually a period of massive brain growth for our baby). Now that is NOT to say that sleep isn’t significant- it is! Trust me, I KNOW it is! But it is not something that should ever be considered in isolation because;
•sleep is not a conscious act, in other words it’s not something we can control and often forced attempts to control it have the opposite effect. As you well know if you’ve ever found yourself laying awake at night commanding yourself to SLEEP! Attempts to control the uncontrollable in our life results in suffering. A concept that is well understood and addressed in psychology.
•Instead we should widen our focus to include the things that we CAN control such as; parent sleep hygiene, mindset, support, values clarification and a focus on the baby’s sleep environment rather than trying to force sleep- all things The Perinatal S P A C E can asist with.
So perhaps the next time your struggling with your baby/toddlers ‘sleep regression’ and can’t seem to see the forest for the trees, try to expand your focus a little... there is a wonderful forest of neural pathways connecting in your child’s brain. 🧠 🌲