toddler siblings playing in bed together
Photo: Alex Green

Why does Batelle offer 6 years of sleep support?

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Batelle is unique in its offering of support with sleep struggles until a child’s 6th birthday, completely included. This is a testament to not only our confidence in the Batelle program, but also to the importance of treating improving sleep as a long-term investment in your child’s health.

Children between the age of 4 months to 6 years go through approximately 5-10 sleep regressions. Without intervention, parents’ sleep quality suffers dramatically when their child is born, and generally doesn’t recover until around age 6.[1,2] Sleep training alleviates these problems significantly, and provides a solid framework to reset healthy sleep habits after a regression.

Why do these regressions happen? Not only are children continually learning new things, but their brains and bodies are also constantly changing. As their internal environment is in a constant state of flux, they rely on their external environment to provide a sense of stability. Environmental changes like a new school, a new sibling, or even an ear infection can be majorly disruptive for a child. They are still not fully able to self-regulate their emotions and may not understand what’s happening. [3] The first five years bring many of these disruptive changes, such as teething, decreasing the number and length of naps as the child grows older, moving from a crib to a bed, the possible onset of nightmares and night terrors around preschool age, among others.[4]

“Parents’ sleep quality suffers dramatically when their child is born, and generally doesn’t recover until around age 6.” 

Many of these disruptions manifest themselves as sleep problems, and for good reason. Asleep, in the dark, by themselves, a child is at their most vulnerable. If they’re already feeling uncertain or dysregulated because of their external environment, slipping into this vulnerable state may feel too scary. In this situation, their natural instinct is to seek reassurance from parents, the one constant within the child’s ever-changing world.

Though Batelle’s can accommodate the different stages of a child’s development, sometimes parents may need extra support if family circumstances have changed, a child’s tactics for resisting bedtime evolve in an unexpected way, or the root cause of the regression isn’t clear at first glance.[5]

“We are committed to providing a comprehensive solution, rather than a quick fix” 

If you need help with anything sleep related after you have graduated from Sleep School, you can reach out to the team free of charge until your child is six years old. We see this as a sleep “insurance” offered as part of the service.

Ultimately, sleep training is a lifelong investment in your child’s health, and we are committed to providing a comprehensive solution rather than a quick fix. With this in mind, we’ve developed our method to be resilient and sustainable, able to weather inevitable life changes. When sleep is approached with the consideration of a child’s underlying need to feel safe, the understanding and trust they build up is something they hold onto for the rest of their lives.

Sources:

  1. “Long-term effects of pregnancy and childbirth on sleep satisfaction and duration of first-time and experienced mothers and fathers” David Richter, Michael D Krämer, Nicole K Y Tang, Hawley E Montgomery-Downs, Sakari Lemola (2019). Sleep, Volume 42, Issue 4.
  2. Sleeping like a baby: Sleep in the first years of life.” 2018. The British Psychological Society
  3.  “Children and sleep”. 2022 Sleep Foundation
  4. “Sleep in Toddlers and Preschoolers” 2020. Cleveland Clinic.
  5. Helping children get a good night’s sleep. 2020 Abrams, Z. Monitor on Psychology51(5).
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