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Sleep Training & Parental Wellness: Taking Care of You, Too

Sleep Training & Parental Wellness

There is so much joyfulness & deep gratitude that come with becoming a parent but also worry, doubt & guilt. On top of all the emotions which come to the surface when one is born a parent (whether it is the first or second time), there is so much for parents to deal with on a physical level, one of the most significant being sleep deprivation. From the moment a baby arrives, sleep becomes a precious commodity, often leaving parents feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Let’s explore the effects of sleep deprivation on parents & the vital role of sleep training which can positively impact parental wellness as well as strategies for coping will sleep deprivation.


Sleep deprivation is more than just feeling tired; it can have profound effects on both physical and mental health. For parents, the demands of caring for a newborn or young child can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to chronic fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and even mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. The effects of sleep deprivation extend beyond the night, impacting relationships, work performance, and overall quality of life.


One of the most immediate effects of sleep deprivation is its impact on physical health. Parents who are sleep-deprived experience elevated cortisol levels, weakened immune function, impaired digestion, low sex drive, hormonal imbalances. Chronic sleep deprivation can also impair brain chemistry, cognitive function, leading to decreased alertness, poor decision-making, and slower reaction times. For parents juggling the demands of childcare and other responsibilities, these physical effects can make everyday tasks feel overwhelming and exhausting.


In addition to its physical toll, sleep deprivation can also take a significant toll on mental and emotional wellbeing. Parents who are sleep-deprived are more likely to experience mood swings, irritability, and feelings of anxiety or depression. The stress of caring for a newborn or young child, combined with the relentless sleep disruptions, can leave parents feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained. This can strain relationships with partners, family members, and friends, as well as diminish the overall quality of life for parents and their children.


While sleep deprivation is a common challenge for parents, there are strategies that can help mitigate its effects:

Prioritize Sleep: While it may seem impossible to get enough sleep with a newborn or young child, prioritizing sleep whenever possible is essential. This may mean enlisting the help of a partner, family member, or friend to take over nighttime feedings or caregiving duties.

Establish a Sleep Routine: Creating a consistent sleep routine can help regulate both parents’ and children’s sleep patterns. Establishing a regular bedtime and bedtime routine can signal to the body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.

Practice Self-Care: It’s important for parents to prioritize self-care, even in the midst of sleep deprivation. This may involve carving out time for activities that promote relaxation and stress relief, such as enjoying your favorite show, exercise, meditation, spending time outdoors – it can be the smallest thing!

Be Kind to Yourself: It is important for parents to be kind to themselves and recognize that sleep deprivation is a temporary phase of parenthood. Remembering that this challenging period will pass and focusing on the joys of parenthood can help parents cope with the effects of sleep deprivation.

Seek Support: Parents should not hesitate to seek support from friends, family members, or professionals if they are struggling with sleep deprivation. Joining a support group for new parents or consulting with a pediatric sleep consultant can provide valuable guidance and encouragement.


Pediatric sleep training is not just about teaching babies to sleep through the night; it’s also about promoting parental wellness. By establishing healthy sleep habits for infants and children, parents can reclaim their own sleep routines and restore balance to their lives. Here are some key benefits of sleep training for parental wellness:

❤️ Improved Sleep Quality: Perhaps the most obvious benefit of sleep training is the improvement in sleep quality for both parents and children. By teaching infants to self-soothe and sleep independently, parents can enjoy uninterrupted sleep and wake up feeling more rested and rejuvenated.

❤️ Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Sleep training provides parents with a sense of control and predictability, reducing the stress and anxiety associated with sleepless nights. Knowing that their child is developing healthy sleep habits can alleviate parental worries and promote a more relaxed and harmonious family environment.

❤️ Increased Energy and Productivity: Adequate sleep is essential for maintaining energy levels and cognitive function. By prioritizing their own sleep needs through sleep training, parents can increase their productivity during the day and better cope with the demands of parenting and life in general.

❤️ Enhanced Mood and Emotional Wellbeing: Chronic sleep deprivation can take a toll on health, leading to mood swings, irritability, and feelings of overwhelm. By getting sufficient rest through sleep training, parents can improve their mood and emotional wellbeing, leading to more positive interactions with their children and partners.

❤️ Strengthened Parent-Child Bond: My sleep training methods allow parents to be approprietly responsive which encourages a secure attachment between parents and children by promoting a healthy sleep routine and fostering trust and security.

When parents are well-rested and emotionally available, they can better connect with their children and respond to their needs with patience and empathy.


While the benefits of sleep training & parental wellness are clear, many parents may feel overwhelmed or unsure about where to begin. This is where a certified pediatric sleep consultant, like myself, can offer invaluable support and guidance. I specialize in pediatric sleep training and work closely with families to develop personalized sleep plans tailored to their child’s unique needs and parenting style. During our consultation I offer:

Expertise and Education: My education & expertise, in-depth knowledge of pediatric sleep allows me to educate parents about the importance of healthy sleep habits for both children and adults. It is my job to choose the right method for your family based on our initial consultation & comprehensive assessment.

Individualized & Genuine Support: Every child is different, and what works for one family may not work for another. As a sleep consultant I take the time to understand each family’s unique circumstances and create a customized sleep plan that addresses their specific challenges and concerns.

Accountability and Encouragement: Making changes to a child’s sleep routine can be challenging, and parents may encounter setbacks along the way – this is totally normal & this is why you have me – to be in your corner and provide ongoing support and encouragement, helping you stay motivated and committed to your sleep training goals.

Follow-Up and Adjustment: Sleep training is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and adjustments may be needed as a child grows and develops. During our consultation I offer follow-up support to monitor progress and make any necessary modifications to the sleep plan to ensure long-term success.


Parental wellness is essential for creating a happy and healthy family dynamic, and sleep training plays a crucial role in achieving this balance. By prioritizing healthy sleep habits for both children and parents, families can enjoy the numerous benefits of improved sleep quality, reduced stress, and enhanced emotional wellbeing. With the support of a pediatric sleep consultant, parents can embark on this journey with confidence, knowing that they are taking proactive steps to care for themselves and their children.

To the balance your family deserves,

Pediatric Sleep Consultant Blog: Baby & Toddler Sleep Training
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Baby Sleep: Early Morning Wakings

Tips on how to deal child's early morning wakings.

Early morning wakings are very common sleep troubles parents encounter and they also can be the most difficult to resolve. An early waking or early rising is anything before 10h from bedtime that considered an early morning waking. It may take a few weeks to see improvement – especially when a baby has just started sleeping through the night and may just sleep the bare minimum 10h, and also what type of an early riser you have.

The Cheerful Early Riser

This baby wakes up very early but is rested and refreshed. Baby has slept at least 10hrs of overnight sleep and takes decent naps. Although, they wake up too early for your liking, they meet their daily requirement for sleep.

What can you do?

– Use 100% blackout shades

– Limit light and noise after dinner

– Limiting naps may help

– You can try moving bedtime to see if it could change baby’s wake up time by shifting a daytime schedule by 15-min increments each day until you reach new bedtime. It may take 1-2 weeks to adjust.

Small percentage of babies are “larks” – they wake up early in the morning, cheerful and refreshed and get tired early in the evening. They wake up at he same time every morning, no matter what time they go to bed. Whether your child is a lark is genetically determined and true “larks” are very hard to change.

The Tired, Cranky Early Riser

This baby sleeps less than 10hrs/night or naps poorly, or both! Baby doesn’t wake up refreshed in the morning and is tired for majority of the day. This baby doesn’t meet their daily sleep needs and could benefit from more sleep. Reasons they wake up are: hunger, external factors (light, noise), discomfort, over-tiredness, habitual waking, anticipation/excitement.

The first 3 are self-explanatory. Let me briefly explain the last three.

OVERTIREDNESS. Yes, overtiredness can cause early morning wakings! If baby isn’t getting the proper amount of sleep and are put to bed late it can cause early rising. It is one of most common sleep myths – later to bed, baby will sleep in. The exact opposite is true!

What can you do?

– Stick to age-appropriate wake windows and daytime schedule. BE CONSISTENT.

HABITUAL WAKING. Sleep is the lightest towards the morning. We cycle more through the light sleep stages in preparation for the morning waking. Also, the sleep pressure is lower in the wee hours. So it is especially hard for the baby to fall asleep in the early morning, especially when they don’t know how to go to sleep on their own. It is very easy for this to become a habit while you are trying to cope with these early morning wakings

What can you do?

– It is very important to teach a baby it is not time to wake up yet – they will learn eventually. Treat this just as you would treat the in-the-middle-of-the-night waking.

– If baby is fussing for about 10 minutes, it is ok to go in and give them a gentle reminder using a key phrase like “it’s sleep time”, then leave.

– If you have done the steps above, it’s been over 25 minutes or it’s around the desired wake time, chances are your baby will not got back to sleep. Pick them up, make a big deal out of the morning (so they do not think you came because they were fussing), and start your morning routine. Your baby may want to go to sleep an hours after they woke up which would be the extension of their night sleep. It is important to wait with that nap for at least 2 hours from the time they woke up or until 9am (depending on their overall daytime schedule).

EXCITED ANTICIPATOR. If baby enjoys whatever it is parent is doing after they wake up, they may start waking up early excited for this. Whether it’s cuddling, going to parents’ bed, rocking or feeding – a parent may be unwittingly creating a situation a baby is waking up for.

What can you do?

– Make mornings less exciting – it isn’t as mean as it sounds! Instead of doing whatever your baby might have been waking up for, start with something less exciting: diaper change, taking jammies off, getting dressed for the day. You can compare it to days you go to work and days off – when it’s work day you can ignore your alarm clock 10 time. However, on a day off you either wake up early excited or have no problems waking up for what you planned 🙂

– Same as with the habitual waker, you would go in with a sleep reminder/treat it as a night waking. Do not go in too often – it may too stimulating and turn into a game.

Seeing improvement in the early morning wakings can take a few weeks BUT it can be very successful if parents remain consistent! Understanding the reasons behind early morning wakings and knowing your little one is growing and learning every day are first steps to a more rested household.

To the balance your family deserves

Pediatric Sleep Consultant Blog: Baby & Toddler Sleep Training