Why Normalising Baby and Toddler Sleep is Essential

motherandtoodler

Knowing about what is normal baby and toddler behaviour is only ONE PIECE of the puzzle when moving beyond sleep training. 

There are many more things to consider and adjustments to make to ensure that YOU can also thrive while honouring your small person’s need for night time parenting. 

Knowing this, let’s talk about why normalising remains such a powerful tool and essential understanding to come to on this journey ...

Normalising helps us to see through the smokescreens that unrealistic expectations place before us. 

Smokescreens that make us doubt ourselves and our babies. 

Smokescreens that make us think that what we are doing is wrong or to blame for our child’s wakeful patterns. 

Smokescreens that make us think that everybody else’s baby can just be put down to sleep. 

Smokescreens that fog our connection and trust with our own children by making us question whether they truly *need* us or if we are being manipulated and need to break bad habits. 

Smokescreens that make us think that the only reason we are tired is because our baby wakes and needs help in the night. 

Smokescreens that tell you that if you accept that waking is normal than you must also accept that extreme sleep deprivation and exhaustion is your life. 

Smokescreens that tell you that by finding acceptance in the normal waking, you must martyr yourself and your own mental well-being. 

Smokescreens that tell you that the *only way* to function with whatever challenges your family face is to stop your baby’s waking or calling to you in the night. 

And they sap you of precious energy. 

Body, mind and soul as they focus your energy so squarely on but one problem to be *fixed* ~ your baby’s behaviour. 

All of the tracking, timing, withholding, questioning, desperation, exhaustion that makes the connection between you and your child that much more hazy. 

While you think they are asking for too much...

While you think they shouldn’t  need you this way...

While you think no other child needs this...

While you think there is no other way...

While you think this is unreasonable...

While you think this is not sustainable...

Your smokescreens prevent you from ever exploring what else might work for your family. 

By KNOWING what is truly normal you free some of your energy. 

You free the anxious part that thinks you are doing it all wrong and your baby is broken. 

By KNOWING what is truly normal, you also free yourself to recognise when things AREN’T normal and begin to focus in on the underlying causes instead of simply trying to fix the behaviour that was a symptom not the cause. 

This also means, you KNOW that your child who has got other things at play, can rest in your connection and nurturing as you work it all through. There are no bad habits. 

Understanding what is normal, also allows us to find a new level of respect and value in the behaviours we see in our children.

And once you find the freedom that is released through simply knowing what is normal, suddenly the shape of your problem looks differently ...

Your exhaustion, your logistics, your life and well-being, they can come into sharper focus but WITH your baby’s needs in mind, too. 

And you begin to work with each other, as a team. 

You begin to look outside of your little unit for the supports you need to feel well yourself. 

Rest, respite, rejuvenating in ways that you’ve yet to imagine! 

There are SO many possibilities for every family, if only we let go of all the things we *can’t* or *won’t* consider. 

What CAN and WILL you consider? 

And we need to let go of perfection ...

What is perfect anyway?!?

Certainly, not life. 

And that doesn’t mean there won’t be joy but it does mean accepting the ups and downs, the raw and the real, the messy and imperfect. 

Because behind all of the beauty and precious moments we experience nurturing and trusting our little ones, there is always the day to day of life. 

Your solutions don’t need to be perfect. 

Your solution today to more rest and respite may need to evolve tomorrow, next week and again next month. 

Life with little ones is like the flow of a river system forging its way to the ocean ...

You can fight against it, you can build dams and swim upstream...

You can resist...

You can question...

You can feel like it doesn’t really have direction and you need to *take charge*...

But the truth is, through the hardest of circumstances, the river will flow and meander on and it WILL find the ocean in its own glorious time in its own perfectly imperfect way. 

You can choose to trust your little ones just as we can trust a river knows it’s way to the ocean. 

We can choose the path of least resistance and embrace it. 

We can find our natural flow alongside them and forge a path together. 

Connected through the good times and the bad. 

Our babies need us. 

It’s that hard and that simple. 

To read more ideas to get thinking about your situation, check out our content series on HOW to move beyond sleep training ❤️

Photo by  Daiga Ellaby  on  Unsplash
Carly Grubb