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Trapped by Sleep Apps

Over the last few months, I've had several exhausted and frustrated families reach out for help after successfully completing sleep training. Now that their child is sleep trained for naps and night time sleeps, AND sleeping well, there’s confusion around why the spreadsheets and apps are saying otherwise.





They're using online methods and interventions that they read about in books, sleep consultants including myself and even recommendations from their pediatricians. Yet, they are reaching out for guidance because according to the app or spreadsheet, their baby isn't sleeping according to their expectations.



These families want to do the very best for their child and are now stuck, even paralyzed if you will, with what the next step should be to support their little one to sleep better. They feel that the only reason their baby isn't sleeping well is because the data collected by the app or spreadsheet say that their baby isn’t sleeping well enough.



There is value in tracking your baby's sleep, their response to whatever action you are offering to support their sleep, and their wakings. However, my personal philosophy is to focus on the baby, not on the data. If your baby is thriving, growing, laughing, and meeting milestones, and you feel like you are sleeping, then fantastic!


But if your baby isn’t sleeping, and you aren't, let's talk about that.


If your baby will only sleep if being held or rocked, and you are ready for them to sleep in their own safe sleep space, let's talk about that.


If your baby will only fall asleep and stay asleep if at the breast, and that's not what you want, let's talk about that.


However, friends, if your baby is sleeping just fine but, according to some chart somewhere, your baby "should be" sleeping 12 hours, and they are only sleeping on average 11 hours and 45 minutes over the last 60 days per the daily sleep log that you have been meticulously keeping, it's okay to stop tracking and delete that app.




I am giving you permission to just look at what your baby is telling you. When your baby is sprouting and thriving, that's what matters the most.


The data might say one thing, but your baby is telling you another. Trust your instincts as a parent, and don't get too caught up in the data.


Remember, each child is unique, and what works for one baby may not work for another. The most important thing is to listen to your baby and trust your instincts. Don't be afraid to seek help if you need it, but don't let the data make you feel like you are failing as a parent. You've got this! You are doing GREAT!


If you would like sleep help for you or your child, you can schedule a free consultation here or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.




Hey, I’m Sara, the owner and founder of The Mama Co-Op. I’m a parenting coach with a background in pediatric nursing, specializing in sleep and mental wellness for the pediatric, pregnant and postpartum person.


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