By Elizabeth Pantley
Parents of newborns are very tired people. Sleep becomes their holy grail. In their blurry-eyed state they sometimes ask really crazy questions. “Can you sleep train a newborn?” is one of the irrational questions that sleep-deprived people ask.
Here are four reasons that that question doesn’t make any sense:
Reason 1: They already know how to sleep.
In the womb babies sleep twenty hours a day or more. That is a lot of practice. Clearly they already know how to sleep, so no training is necessary!
Reason 2: They aren’t old enough to learn anything.
“Training” is defined as the act of teaching someone a particular skill. Have you ever seen a newborn baby? They function purely on instinct and reflex. The idea that you can actually “teach them” doesn’t make sense, particularly because sleep is a biological function.
Reason 3: They are hungry. All the time.
In the womb a baby was fed through the umbilical cord 24/7. Even if you feed an infant every hour or two it’s still a drastic reduction of incoming nourishment. And a newborn stomach is incredibly tiny. At birth it’s only about the size of a cherry. By one month it’s still only about the size of an egg. And with an easily-digestible diet this itsy-bitsy stomach fills and empties almost instantaneously.