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Sleep Deprivation Effects on Babies: Vital Role of Sleep Training

Effects of Sleep Deprivation in Babies: Vital Role of Sleep Training

Sleep deprivation effects on babies is not discussed enough, in my opinions. Sleep is essential for human beings of all ages, but it holds particular importance for babies, whose growth and development rely heavily on quality rest. Sleep is not just a period of rest; it’s a critical component for a baby’s growth, development, and overall wellness. However, many parents find themselves lost & overwhelmed with the challenges of sleep deprivation, both for their little ones and themselves. In this comprehensive article, I will focus on the profound effects of sleep deprivation on babies and will encourage you to consider to look at sleep training as powerful tool in promoting health and wellness for the entire family.

Understanding Sleep Deprivation in Babies

Babies require significantly more sleep than adults, with newborns needing up to 16 to 20 hours of sleep per day. However, achieving this recommended sleep requirement can be challenging due to various factors such as hunger, discomfort, or irregular sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation in babies can manifest in several ways, including irritability, being constantly unhappy, difficulty feeding, poor weight gain, and developmental delays.

One of the primary causes of sleep deprivation in babies is the lack of established sleep hygiene. Babies often struggle to self-soothe (NOT self-regulate) or fall asleep independently, leading to frequent nighttime awakenings and disrupted sleep patterns for both the baby and the parents. Moreover, environmental factors such as excessive noise, light, temperature or uncomfortable sleep surfaces can further exacerbate sleep issues in infants.

The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Baby’s Development

The repercussions of sleep deprivation extend far beyond temporary irritability or fussiness. Adequate sleep is crucial for a baby’s cognitive, emotional, and physical development. During sleep, the brain consolidates learning and memory, regulates emotions, and releases growth hormones essential for physical growth and development.

Chronic sleep deprivation in babies has been linked to a myriad of developmental concerns, including:

1. Cognitive Delays: Sleep-deprived babies may exhibit delays in cognitive milestones such as language development, problem-solving skills, and attention span.

2. Emotional Dysregulation: Lack of sleep can lead to increased irritability, mood swings, and difficulty regulating emotions in babies, impacting their social interactions and overall well-being.

3. Growth and Immune Function: Sleep plays a crucial role in the release of growth hormones and the proper functioning of the immune system. Prolonged sleep deprivation may hinder a baby’s growth and increase susceptibility to illness.

4. Behavioral Issues: Sleep-deprived babies are more likely to exhibit hyperactivity, impulsivity, and behavioral problems later in childhood.

The Role of Sleep Training in Promoting Healthy Sleep Habits

In light of the profound impact of sleep deprivation on babies, sleep training emerges as a powerful tool in fostering healthy sleep habits from an early age. Sleep training encompasses a range of techniques aimed at teaching babies to self-soothe (AGAIN, NOT SELF-REGULATE), fall asleep independently, and maintain consolidated sleep throughout the night.

Pediatric sleep training I practice adopts a holistic approach to address the underlying factors contributing to sleep disturbances in babies. Rather than resorting to quick fixes or one-size-fits-all solutions (ew!), my approach to sleep training emphasizes individualized strategies tailored to the unique needs and temperament of each baby and the entire family dynamic.

Key components of effective sleep training include:

Establishing a Consistent Bedtime Routine: A predictable bedtime routine signals to babies that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This may include activities such as reading, or gentle rocking, creating a soothing transition to bedtime.

Creating a Sleep-Conducive Environment: Optimizing the sleep environment is essential for promoting uninterrupted sleep. This involves ensuring a comfortable temperature, minimizing noise and light, and providing a safe sleep surface free from hazards.

Helping Baby Learn to Fall Asleep Independently: Self-soothing is often mentioned when sleep training is discussed, and even more often mistaken for self-regulation (ability to regulate emotions and behaviors in response to what is happening around). In sleep training industry, self-soothing is used to refer to when a child wakes up but does not call out to be helped back to sleep. This happens when babies learn to fall asleep independently, over a period of tine, which can be achieved with the help of many techniques including gentle reassurance, gradual withdrawal, or controlled crying.

Consistency and Patience: Consistency is key when implementing sleep training techniques. While it may take time for babies to adjust to new sleep routines, patience and perseverance are vital for long-term success.

If you worry about tears, stress or attachment during sleep training, feel free to download my free guide below – I am sure it will ease those concerns!


The Role of Baby Sleep Coach in Sleep Training

Navigating the complexities of sleep training can be overwhelming for parents, especially when faced with conflicting advice, persistent sleep challenges while being severely sleep deprived. As your baby sleep coach I offer you my love, support and expertise in an utterly non-judgmental environment to help you bring the balance back to your family.

Combining my background in children’s psychology and childcare experience with practical advice, empathy and energetic principles, I am not quite like any other coach you’ve encountered! I infuse my sleep plans with love, consideration & support. It is my mission to empower and support your family so you can begin experiencing parenting in a completely different way. This has been my passion and mission. Parenting may get overwhelming enough. Offload this part to me – there is no reason to make more complicated ❤️

Prioritizing Adequate Rest Helps Babies Thrive

In the realm of parenting, few endeavors are as transformative and rewarding as nurturing healthy sleep habits in babies. Sleep training practices I teach, grounded in a holistic approach, offer a beacon of hope for parents navigating the challenges to avoid the major sleep deprivation effects on babies.

By prioritizing adequate rest and embracing the principles of sleep training, parents lay the foundation for their baby’s optimal growth, development, and well-being. Let’s embark on a journey towards restful nights and brighter mornings, ensuring that your little one thrives in mind, body, and spirit ✨

Whether it is virtual sleep training support, in-home sleep training consultations or sleep training workshops, feel free to explore my sleep support options: CLICK HERE

To the balance your family deserves✨

Pediatric Sleep Consultant Blog: Baby & Toddler Sleep Training
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When is the best time to start sleep training?

When is it best to start sleep training

“When is it the best time to start sleep training my baby?” is probably one of the most common questions I have heard over the years from new parents I worked with, family and friends. With so much misinformation on the Internet these days, it does not take long to feel confused and/or overwhelmed! I feel like that when it comes to nutrition. Even though it is a very dynamic field and more research is done, there is a lot of contradictory information that would drive anyone crazy, and social media does not help.

It is my soul’s desire to serve and help parents all over the world to remove the overwhelm and worry of their shoulders when it comes to baby sleep. There is a whole lot to deal with when you are a parent & I would love to make your lives easier in that area because, frankly, I do believe when you and your baby are rested, you can experience this parenting journey in a completely different way – from a centered, balanced and more harmonious place.

Today, I am happy to pour my heart out to offer you a better understanding of baby sleep & support so you may sail through the first weeks as smoothly as possible. Let’s enter the realm of sleep training once again, because with a holistic approach, you can navigate this journey gently and effectively, fostering healthy sleep habits that will benefit both you and your baby.


Sleep training is simply helping a baby learn to sleep well by brining together various components, such as: daytime schedule, sleep environment, bedtime routine and addressing night wakings, accompanied by a proper sleep training method. Because babies go through a lot of major developmental changes in the first months of their lives, it is recommended to wait with ‘proper’ sleep training. Until when? I will explain below.



One of the very first reasons to hold off on sleep training are the differences in newborn and infant sleep. Newborns alternate between 2 sleep stages only – ACTIVE (REM) & QUIET (NON-REM) until they develop all 5 sleep stages between 4-6 months.

Newborn sleep cycles are shorter, typically lasting around 30 to 50 minutes. They spend a significant portion (50%) of their sleep time in REM (rapid eye movement, light sleep) sleep, which is essential for brain development.

By the time infants reach 3-4 months, their sleep cycles extend to approximately 90 minutes (same as adults). They still experience REM sleep, but the proportion decreases slightly compared to newborns by 3 months, and by 6 moths all distinct sleep stages develop.


Nighttime wakings are common in newborns due to their small stomachs and the need for frequent feedings. It’s normal for newborns to wake up every 2-3 hours to feed. As infants grow older and their stomachs can hold more milk, they may sleep for longer stretches at night without needing to feed. However, occasional night wakings may still occur due to growth spurts, teething, or other developmental milestones.


Newborns are not born with a set circadian rhythm, the internal clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles in humans and their bodies do not produce cortisol nor melatonin until about 3 months. (They have never been exposed to light!). Instead, they have irregular and erratic sleep patterns and spend much of their time sleeping (14h-17h in 24h). Therefore, it will take a while (up to 6 weeks) for this day-night confusion to resolve. Some babies may have problems staying awake during the day, for some daylight may be too stimulating.

Understanding these key differences between newborn and infant sleep can assist parents and caregivers in providing appropriate support but also in managing their own expectations and let’s not forget: e v e r y child is different. The first few weeks might feel like survival which is often a shock to new parents because of the fact how romanticized having a newborn is by family, friends, strangers and especially social media while everyone should just make this experience their own, and that also concerns the dilemma of when it is the best time to start sleep training.

For the reasons above, it is best to hold off on sleep training until your baby is at least 4 months old which can be a lot smoother if parent decide on implementing proper sleep hygiene from the earliest days.


Even though I wrote it lol, it is a great question I know many parents ask themselves. And, there is plenty you can do to gently navigate through these first weeks to establish a solid foundation for your little one’s healthy sleep habits which can make a significant difference in both your baby’s rest and your own well-being.


Always place your baby on their back to sleep, on a firm and flat sleep surface, such as a crib or bassinet. Keep soft bedding, toys, and loose blankets out of the sleep area to reduce the risk of suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Avoid overheating your baby by dressing them in lightweight clothing and keeping the room temperature comfortable (68F-70F)


Be prepared for frequent nighttime awakenings for feedings, as newborns have small stomachs and need to eat every few hours. If you bottle feed, take turns with your partner. If you exclusively breastfeed, have your partner help with burping and changing after the feeding.

Accept that your baby’s sleep patterns will gradually evolve and become more predictable as they grow older. IT WILL NOT ALWAYS BE THIS HARD <3


Create a soothing bedtime routine to signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Include calming activities such as a warm bath, gentle massage, lullabies, or reading a short bedtime story. Keeping the bedtime routine consistent each night will be very important to help your baby associate these cues with sleep.


– Expose your baby to natural daylight and engage in stimulating activities during the day to help regulate their circadian rhythm. Turn the TV on, carry on normal conversations.

– Limit long naps (2h+) to ensure that your baby gets enough feedings and is more likely to sleep longer stretches at night.


Wake window is a period of time a baby can stake awake for. While newborn’s sleep is irregular and erratic, knowing how long can a baby stay awake may help parent create some daytime structure.

Newborn wake windows are about 35-60 minutes for babies 0-4 weeks and about 60-90 minutes for babies 4-12 weeks. Their total sleep requirement is 14h-17h. Daytime sleep should not exceed 5h-6h.


By that I mean, have moments throughout the day where your baby (0-2 months) can spent a few minutes, few times a day outside your arms. It can be supervised swing time, tummy time etc. You may attempt also to lay your baby down awake in their crib or bassinet when their are sleepy to give them a chance to practice being in their sleep space on their own, or maybe even falling asleep on their own. However, if you lay them down awake and they cry, pick them up and comfort them – things should be pretty lenient with a baby this young.


I know some parents may be freaked out by this and think “how the hell am I supposed to know their cues when they just arrived?!”. Welcoming a newborn is a huge adjustment period, but this baby chose you for their parents and you have ALL you need to take the best care of them. Trust me, it is there but the sleep deprivation and overwhelm are making it hard to tap into your inner truth.

– Pay attention to your baby’s signals of hunger, discomfort, or tiredness, and respond promptly – you will learn over time what those are. Here is my post on sleep cues in young babies that may be helpful:

– Offer comfort and reassurance during nighttime wake-ups without immediately resorting to feeding, especially if your baby has recently eaten.


– Remember to prioritize your own sleep and nutrition. Enlist the help of your partner, family members, or friends to share nighttime responsibilities.

– Nap when your baby naps to catch up on sleep and recharge your energy levels. Take it s l o w l y – your body just want through something very major.

Below, I am sharing my free guide for parents who may have concerns or fears about sleep training their baby. It is my passion and mission to help parents bring the balance back to their families so their babies can thrive and they can enjoy this wonderful journey, which is why in this guide I put all sleep training stereotypes to sleep 😴


Establishing healthy sleep habits with a newborn requires patience, consistency, and flexibility. While it may take time for your baby to settle into a predictable sleep routine, implementing these strategies can help lay the groundwork for better sleep patterns in the months ahead. I hope this article gave you a better understanding on when to start sleep training. By creating a nurturing sleep environment, following a consistent bedtime routine, and being responsive to your baby’s needs, you can promote healthy sleep habits that benefit both you and your little one. Remember, every baby is unique, so don’t hesitate to adapt these tips to suit your family’s needs and preferences. With time, you’ll find a rhythm that works for everyone, allowing you to enjoy those precious moments of rest and relaxation together.

To the balance your family deserves

Pediatric Sleep Consultant Blog: Baby & Toddler Sleep Training