Good night sleep is important for maintaining good mental and physical health. A good-quality sleep will help rejuvenate and recover from physical and mental exertion. It can be difficult for new parents to have proper sleep because their baby is cranky and not sleeping well through the night. In this case, new parents may require sleep training to make the baby sleep more consistently at night. The goal of sleep training is to make the baby sleep comfortably through the night on their own.
In our Meet the Mom podcast, we got you Ajita Seethepalli, baby sleep and food consultant @kidscenter.in where she talks about baby sleep training tips. She shares with Rabitat Brand Head Neha Sood how to make your baby inculcate better habits, how the baby’s mood & postpartum depression are linked, how food and sleep are interconnected.
“We must remember babies also want to sleep so they are not actually trying to be annoying and disturb us or any of that. They are actually just basically saying they don’t know how to do it on their own, they need to be taught.”- Ajita Seethepalli
But when should you get help to sleep train your baby? Ajita points out three important signs regarding this:
- If your baby is 7-8 months old but is not able to sleep for 5-6 hours at a stretch in the night and constantly need your help to do so then your baby needs sleep training.
- When your baby show you signs that he can’t settle down getting frantic or crying resisting sleep.
- A very important but often ignored sign is when the mother is not getting enough sleep, she’s getting overtired, exhausted, getting all kinds of health issues due to lack of sleep. It shouldn’t be to the extent that it impacts your life so much and you are not able to function properly.
“If the baby is extremely cranky, sleep-deprived, waking up multiple times for whatever reason, that in turn causes a mother to wake up multiple times to help the baby. We have data, statistics showing cranky, constantly crying babies get mothers a higher chance of getting postpartum depression or anxiety.”-Ajita Seethepalli
A cranky baby can make the condition worse for a mother who has been dealing with postpartum depression. When the mother has poor sleep because of the baby, she gets more anxious. When the baby is unwell, has bad colic reflux etc., it will make the mother more anxious causing a higher chance having of postpartum depression. This in turn makes the mother behave in a certain way, in her way of conduct, in the way she handles the baby. A Baby has a very strong instinct, a very strong sense of his mommy’s energy. So when the mother is not in a good place, the baby can sense her energy and they are not going to feel too good about themselves. Also in this condition, mothers may not bond or connect with their babies but connection and bonding make a lot of difference to the baby.
“It’s a cycle, so postpartum depression can cause issues for the baby in terms of the connection. If the baby is not feeling connected, she will get cranky, more cranky means mother’s postpartum gets worst, when it gets worst, baby gets more cranky, it just goes in a circle.”- Ajita Seethepalli
Ajita also talks about fixing sleep habits for babies as it will help to inculcate better habits. She says sleep and food habits are interconnected and if sleep habit is fixed, food habit will also automatically get fixed.
The most important thing is to make your child independent, independent in sleep, independent in food and is a part of the parents’ responsibilities. And they should put away the guilt while trying to make it happen.
“I feel many parents, many mothers especially, they feel the need to spoonfeed their children, everything and they want to do everything for them instead of giving tools to live a better and more fulfilling life. I think when you are independent, you feel happier and there’s a sense of achievement with everything you are doing as opposed to waiting for somebody to help you sleep, help you eat even at an age where you should be able to do that. And it’s not just the mothers, it’s also the society that really guilts them into doing that.”-Neha Sood
Ajita and Neha also discuss the new baby programme and baby’s safety during sleep and more. To know about it in detail, watch the full podcast