Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sleep Training Babies


We trained our four children to sleep through the night when they were six weeks old.  Waking up every few hours was taking a toll on my health and my emotions.  It took almost a week for each of them and it was difficult letting them cry {and not being able to sleep ourselves}, but after that, they all were very good sleepers.

Many women disagree with this approach.  They even tell me my advice will cause neurological and emotional problems.  Some even accuse me of being selfish!  However, yesterday I read on another blog these words,  "Postpartum hormones, six months of sleep-deprivations and the neurological impairment it engendered and the adrenal response of my exhausted body to prolonged stress ~ this is what rendered me a weepy, terrified mess staring teary-eyed into the frightened eyes of my children."

She then had to go on anti-depressants.  This became a light bulb moment for me.  I wonder if all the postpartum depression women are experiencing today is from not getting enough sleep. There are many health consequences of not getting enough sleep.

Dr. Marshall teaches that we need five solid hours of uninterrupted sleep without raising our heads above our chests for the adrenals to repair themselves every night.  The adrenals have so much to do with our hormones and health.  I know that a lack of
sleep greatly suppresses the immune system, thus making one more susceptible to getting the flu, a cold, autoimmune diseases, or even cancer.

Mothers hate letting their babies cry. I get that, but crying never hurt anybody. Not getting enough sleep can greatly hurt you. It is imperative for the health of the mother that the baby sleep through the night as soon as possible. You should, at least, try to train them to sleep a good five straight hours of sleep at night.

Everyone wakes up several times a night but we learn to go back to sleep. Babies need to be taught this and the sooner the better. We would make sure our baby was well-fed, warm, and dry. Then we would let them cry when they woke up during the night, checking on them often to make sure they were okay.  

After about a week, they were sleeping through the night along with the rest of the house.  This made functioning through the daytime much easier for me. Rest and sleep are vital for good health and babies can be trained at an early age to sleep through the night if you want them to and you can endure a week of a crying baby.  It was well worth it for us and all four of my children are happy, secure, and well-adjusted adults.

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, 
eating the bread of anxious toil; 
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Psalm 127:2

***I realize this is a very volatile subject but please remember there is no right or wrong way.  It is not a sin issue.  It is a decision made between a husband and a wife so keep that in mind with your comments and try not to throw harsh judgments towards those who you disagree with.  Thank you!