Sleep Training as a Single Parent
My own single mom family back in 2015. At eight weeks postpartum, I still felt plenty tired!
All new (and not-so-new) parents are tired. Parenting is hard work.
But single parents take it the extra mile. They do every daycare drop-off and pick-up. They are the ones who go to work every single day, because there's no one else to bring in an income. They handle every night waking, every dirty diaper, every middle of the night vomiting session.
All parents deserve great sleep, but single parents, my hat is off to you. (I am in a relationship now so I can no longer truly call myself a single parent, though my first eight years were absolutely solo and I will always identify with SMCs.)
Single parents, you have an extra layer of responsibility. If you don't sleep, there's no one to cover for you. Ever. You can't be the parent you want to be, never mind the employee, friend, or just human being you want to be. You have to put your oxygen mask on before helping others.
When I was a single mother working full-time as a healthcare provider, I was terrified of being exhausted because what if I made a mistake that cost a patient's life? I couldn't accept that level of responsibility, so I sleep trained each of my babies before I went back to work after maternity leave.
I'm not going to lie. It was scary. I was so worried about emotionally damaging my older daughter, back before I knew about the safety of sleep training, that I actually hired my postpartum doula to come and sit with me while I sleep trained.
Much to my amazement, the process was much easier than I expected. Both of my children were fully night weaned (and no, they were not big babies) and sleeping through the night by the time I went back to work at four months postpartum. Best of all, they were contented little things, engaged with their world, eating on a schedule and almost never crying -- they had no need to. They knew exactly what to expect of the world. Their schedule assured them that their biological needs would always be met.
I can't come to your house to change diapers in the middle of the night, single parent. But I can make you a plan that gets you and your children the sleep you deserve. I'll reassure you when you worry. And I'll celebrate with you when you achieve your goal and witness your children being the happy, healthy selves they were born to be.
As my former client, Verena, says in her powerful testimonial video, "Your children will thank you for sleep training."
Set up a free consult and get ready to change your life.
Single parents, I got you.
(And coupled parents, I'd love to work with you, too!)
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Abby Wolfson is a pediatric nurse practitioner, certified child sleep consultant and certified life coach for parents. She divides her time between Brooklyn, NY and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.