To compare your baby and their sleep to another baby is like comparing an apple to an almond. Here’s how to avoid the dreaded comparison trap that will steal your joy.
For me, it was often when I was sitting with other parents holding my baby who had refused her nap in my arms and listening to them share their stories of how "easy it is to put the baby down for a nap" and how "she sleeps through the night!"
Cue feelings of inadequacy.
Without even knowing it, I would begin to judge myself for not doing it right, not parenting well enough, not reading the right books thinking that I must be behind in the parenthood course. If I wasn't careful I would even judge my little baby for not being like all of the other well slept babies. And down the spiral I went....
Does this sound familiar?
In my private work with new parents, the most common stumbling block that they face is comparing their baby to how their coworker, best friend, or neighbor's baby is doing. Behind the statement of "Her baby is sleeping through the night, why can't mine?" is the deeper and more important question: "Am I doing this wrong?"
The sheer volume of parenting books, sleep-aid devices, and online courses that prescribe specific formulas for “guaranteed sleep” only add to the confusion because sometimes babies don't fit their prescription.
The overwhelm can quickly lead to anxiety.
Important Baby Sleep Facts to Consider
Every baby is a little different than the next. Sleep is influenced by a number of factors including:
- developmental stage,
- health concerns,
- sleep environment,
- parental state.
To compare your baby and their sleep to another baby is like comparing an apple to an almond. The feed needs are different, their weight gain is different, their development is different, even their temperament is different and all of those impact how they sleep! With enough information, patience and well-timed sleep training, your baby WILL sleep, but to compare her to the sleeping baby next to her only robs you of seeing her uniqueness and soaking it up!
Positive Affirmations for Parents
If you are stuck in the comparison trap, try these affirmations:
- My baby is unique from all other babies and I will make changes based on her/his needs.
- What does my intuition say? Listen and follow… (no book, online course or even sleep specialist can advise you better than your intuition).
Today, I invite you to lessen the comparing and bump up the joy.
Block out the should's and turn up your mother/father's intuition.
You got this. Just have a listen....
Joy resides in the moment, not in comparison.