Many new parents are sleep deprived as they try to get their children to nap and stay asleep throughout the night. There are many ideas about how to successfully accomplish this, and the option that works best for you really depends on the age of your child. In this series, we’ll explore some great ideas for new parents during this tough transitional time- starting with newborns ages 0-5 months.
Baby Sleep Solution: Newborns 0-5 Months
Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
JEN VARELA: Are you finding it difficult to get your child to sleep through the night? Are you suffering from sleep deprivation yourself because of it? Do you dream of regular sleep schedule for your little one? Even if you feel as if you have tried everything and it hasn’t worked, there may be some tips and advice that have worked for others that can work for you. I am Jen Varela with Sugar Night Night. A Certified Gentle Sleep Coach and today we are talking about Sleep Solutions for Newborns. This is Parent Savers’ Episode 76.
JOHNER RIEHL: Hello and welcome once again everybody to Parent Savers’. Broadcasting as always from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. . Parent Savers is your weekly online the on-the-go support group for parents with newborns, infants and toddlers. I am your host Johner Riehl and thanks again for listening to Parent Savers’ and thanks for those of you who joined the Parent Savers’ Club. These members get all of our archived episodes, bonus content after each new show plus special give a ways and as many of you recently know, we unlocked the archives for everyone. So even if you are not a member you can still access the archives but to get the other cool stuff you need to be a member of our club. So please look into it and consider joining.
You can also subscribe to our monthly Parent Savers’ news letter for a chance to win membership to our club each month and make sure you have downloaded our free Parent Savers’ App which is available for Android and iPhones and you will get out podcast as soon as they are available.
So thanks so much for joining us and we have got a show that is going to be of interest to pretty much everyone. So let’s go around the room, so we know who we are talking to, there are a lot of familiar Parent Savers’ faces as well as our experts. I am Johner, I am the host, I have 3 boys, a 6 year-old, a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old, Quinner, Whitaker and Zyler. They all didn’t get sleeping and actually Quinner is getting better at it now. But Whitaker- and I think it is our fault to but so anytime a sleep topic comes up like most parents are happy to talk about it.
ERIN ESTEVES: Well hi, I am Erin Esteves, the producer of the show and also known as OG Mammacita and I have one boy who is just about 2 years-old. His name is Cash and yeah sleep and he don’t get along. Actually no, he is very – he is good but I will go into it later – he is good and bad at the same time.
Sunny Gault: And I am Sunny Gault, I am the owner of New Mummy Media which produces Parent Savers’, Preggie Pals’ and The Boob Group and coming soon Twin Talks which is all about twins and we are launching that new show because I am pregnant with twins, identical twin girls, about 30 weeks today and hoping I can make it to 38 weeks, that is when my scheduled C- Section is. I have got two little boys at home, so we definitely needed some girl power. Sayer is 3 years-old, Urban is about 18 months. As far as sleep is concerned, my little guy will sleep through anything, you just put him down and he is pretty awesome. My older guy used to be fantastic at sleeping and he is still pretty good but I have noticed like in the last 3 weeks he is totally refusing naps which is not good for my schedule and also at nights he really wants me to like lay down with him, help him to fall asleep and then he may wake up a couple of times you know within that first hour and cry for me. So I don’t know what is going on.
JOHNER RIEHL: And Jen joins us as our expert. Jen tell us a little about yourself.
JEN VARELA: So I am Jen Varela and the name of my company is Sugar Night Night and I have two children who are now 8 and 10 and they are twenty months apart. So in the midst of when they were little, sleep was essential and really important and most of my community was doing cry out at the time and I just felt like it wasn’t the right match for my family and that kind of launched my pursuit of sleep and finding a gentle way to do it.
JOHNER RIEHL: We are looking forward to the topic.
JEN VARELA: Terrific!
JOHNER RIEHL: Here is a question from one of our listeners, Sara from Connecticut ask “My twins are almost a month now and I am looking for advice with their feedings. I stopped doing the one up-both up because the second twin my little girl doesn’t eat enough when I force her to wake up and eat and then she is hungry just an hour or so later. If I leave her to sleep that night she would go between 3 and 5 hours between been hungry. Lucas on the other hand doesn’t always make it 3 hours. I feel like I am constantly feeding someone and would love to hear any advice or tips on feeding at night.”
JonaRose Feinberg: Hi Sara this is JonaRose Feinberg, I am an IBCLC, mom of twins and editor of BreastfeedingTwins.org. Hang in there; it is great that you have been able to recognize your babies individual needs so early. This is a really challenge age for feeding and sleepless year. Baby of this age don’t eat frequently, often every two to three hours even during the night. At this point babies have usually figured out that there is a difference between day time and night time but that doesn’t mean that they are ready to sleep all night long. I have already seen some baby’s starts touching up their feeding a bit while others still need to eat more frequently. Those are normal but it can be even more exhausting when babies are not on the same schedule.
One of the best things you can do at this point is to make sure you are getting as much sleep as possible. Night time feeding is even harder to manage if you are not getting any day time naps, or you are staying out late at night visiting with family. Do your best to take care of your own sleep needs right now.
Some parents find that they are better able to manage night time feeding schedule if they arrange alternate sleeping shift with their partner. Maybe one parent is a night owl and will manage all feedings before 2AM and then sleep a solid stretch until 7 AM, while the other heads to bed at 9 PM and manages feeding after 2 AM. For breastfeeding mom, your partners shift will include everything but the feeding. Getting the babies up to change the bed sheet for breastfeeding and then settle back down to sleep, which you are able to get extra help around the house moralities or postpartum doula, this is something they can handle to maximize your sleep.
You may also find it (unclear)- so take a look at their day time eating patterns. Are they eating on the same schedule during the day? Is there a way to adjust the day time and evening feedings to help align their night time schedule? Maybe one day they need an extra feeding in the evening or do well as a dream feed before you head to bed. Eventually they are both will be sleeping longer stretches at night I promise.
Come visit me online at www.breastfeedingtwin.org for more information on feeding tips.
JOHNER RIEHL: Today’s topic is Sleep Solutions for Newborns, I know as we are doing the introductions a lot of us have older kids but I know a lot of you listeners are new to the parent world or you are new again parents with young kids and so today we are talking with Jen Varela who is a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants and a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach and also the owner of Sugar Night Night. Thanks for joining us Jen.
JEN VARELA: My pleasure!
JOHNER RIEHL: We are actually focusing a little bit on sleep for newborns from 0 to 5 months – 0 to 6 months. Tell us how this is kind of actually believe it or not a new thing.
JEN VARELA: From a stand point of what can you do that is a gentle solution for infants up to the age of 5-6 months. It is new in the sense that we are finding that there is a lot of research that shows that you want to do it and it is the most gentle way possible but can you really do because it is such a delicate stage. After 6 months there is a lot of the sleep hess formed together and it is a safer time to look at sleep training. But sleep training under the age of 6 months, studies are really showing that it is not necessarily adventitious and so the fact that there are sleep strategies that you can do now for sleep shaping in a gentle method under the age of 6 months, that’s what’s kind of new and exciting.
JOHNER RIEHL: You were mentioning and I know that resonates with us to that you just weren’t comfortable with the cry…
JEN VARELA: I wasn’t! It is effective, and I am not saying that it is not effective but it is not effective for everyone and temperament plays a part in it and there is so much more you can do besides that.
JOHNER RIEHL: Nice! I am excited to learn a little more but lets start with from a newborn perspective, you know how much do they really sleep and how should they be sleeping, what does a newborn really need when it comes to sleep?
JEN VARELA: So when they first come home, you may find your little one sleeping up to 16 hours in a day, somewhere between 13 and 16 hours and that sleep is really purposeful for them and they will wake frequently and pillow everyone 1 to 2 hours, (I know poor Sunny that is coming?
SUNNY GAULT: It is petting me right now!
JEN VARELA: So when they first come out they are really kind of on a 90 minutes cycle in the sense that every 90 minutes they are sleeping again and that works out of the 24 hour clock if you will. So in the beginning, you are not going to see a lot of extended wake time which also means that the night time is not going to start coming together. So when they are really little you can expect somewhere between 9 and 12 hour during the day and night and then about 2 to 6 hours during the day as far as sleep. Then at 2 months they are still probably taking 4 naps a day.
JOHNER RIEHL: So it sounds like there are patterns to look for when they are very young, the 90 minutes and then when they get to 2 months, I mean are those kind of the patterns to look for a newborns or there are other things to look for.
JEN VARELA: Yes, so basically between the 6 and 8 weeks you might see the night sleep begin to link in. So the beginning your are kind of doing the 90 minute cycle all day long, day and night. Then at around 6 to 8 weeks, it is interesting because it is about 3 months as when their patters become more predictable.
So you won’t really see then with biological sleep rhythms prior to that time. So it is all going to be fluctuating and all over the place and that is normal and it is really overwhelming for a mom because you are just looking for – am I doing the right thing, are they getting enough and what you need to know it is normal that it is not normal.
JOHNER RIEHL: And you are sleep deprived and so then what is that be normal and…
JEN VARELA: Right! So you are not going to see that 4 to 6 hour stretch till probably closer to 3 months of age.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, it is interesting because whenever I meet parents, lets say like they have a 3 week old or you know even like a month old, like they are not going to remember talking to me….they are in like a fog right now and it is prior because of these sleep patterns of the newborns. So we are saying that the transition to infant sleep happens around 3 months or is that an early start…?
JEN VARELA: Yeah, that is when you are going to see the brain starting to organize sleep. So you are just not going to see anything predictable probably prior to 3 months and then you will start to see some lengthening at night as well as you probably also notice that if you child starts getting really fussy between 6 and 9 PM that maybe you were previously on like “Oh okay there is night nap and then they are awake and then they don’t really go to bed until like 10 or 11”. When you start to see that fussiness happening between 6 and 9 it is probably trying to change their bed time to something close to 6:30 – 7-7:30 somewhere in there. So that is when they are starting to organize and then any awakening after that bed time you treat the same as when they bed. You don’t look at it as a nap anymore in the evenings.
ERIN ESTEVES: I see, so you just see it as a like a mild interruption.
JEN VARELA: Because I think it is sometimes hard to know when that shift is happening right for the newborns and so I get a lot of parents who are like, “Well my kid’s sleep doesn’t start till 11 o’clock and but you know we are having a really fussy time and then sure enough if they just shift it right up and start bed time in that 6 – 7 o’clock hour, then they start getting longer stretches.
ERIN ESTEVES: Well that brings us to a question that we got on facebook from Christine. She wants to know who do you ease out of swaddling.
JEN VARELA: That is a good question! Especially if they starting to roll, you need to be out of the swaddle for safety right?
There is an OT here in San Diego who talks about swaddling with their hands towards their face, which I think is so great because they get them familiar with that whole concept of “Oh, there’s my fingers” and so when you start swaddling, then it is not so stimulating. So I think the first step is to be putting the hands on the face and then you know you can be doing one arm and then start doing the other arm and then loosening. Halo – H_A_L_O has great products for that and safe products.
So Swaddling is a tough one and usually it takes about 3 days for them to make that shift but it is for safety reasons for sure if they are rolling you need to be done with this swaddle. There are some other great products you can research on that to.
JOHNER RIEHL: As in aside Sunny, like when you swaddle are you going to use a blanket or a product to do it, it seems that there is a ton of swaddle products now.
SUNNY GAULT: I have never, I have bath products but I have never swaddle any of my kids and they pretty much sleep through the night pretty close, you know if they are waking up, they are not bothering me. I have tried to get my kid, I have tried to swaddle them a couple of times and they were a kind of fuzzed and I was like “Okay, well if you are going to fuzz I am not going to swaddle you”.
JEN VARELA: Yes and there are actually some research in Canada coming out about swaddling that it is not recommend. It is really interesting what is going on with the whole swaddle world.
JOHNER RIEHL: What all does feeding play in these cycles, I mean as we are talking about even like the 90 minutes cycles as one of the super young.
JEN VARELA: Because it is such a huge growth spurt time between you know 0 and 6 months, that is a really varying need and there are several growth spurts that happen and so my opinion and the leading experts in this – you feed the baby when it is hungry, whether it is day or night and basically I think if you having any questions or concerns about that you really just need to go to your pediatrician or your lactation consultant on that. I am not a lactation consultant so I am very mindful of where my expertise begins and ends. What I am aware of is that if you get too focused on heavy scheduling you can have a real effect on that breastfeeding relationship and establishing good feeds. So pretty much if I was to leave you with one thing out of this whole recording would be that anything that you consider a bad habit that you might be doing before the age of 6 months can be taken care of after 6 months. So it is better to attend to your little one and make sure that feeding is really established and if there is something that you are concerned about with that, that can always be addressed after 6 months.
JOHNER RIEHL: Got it! Well let me ask you a question about you mentioned schedules and heavy schedules, I know that seems sort of like you know some parents like to cry it out, some parents don’t. Some parents like to be a slave to the schedule of the baby and some like to not let that interrupt with the lifestyle and especially when you have older kids you know it can be tough to totally have everything set around the baby, what are your thoughts on this schedule as a center of everything or flexible and how important it is for the routine.
JEN VARELA: So there is a theory in book and how it will look in the book as a perfect life and there is real life application, right, the reality is when you have a little new born infant you need to be aware of what their queues are that they re getting their amount of sleep they need. So you need to make naps a priority which can be really difficult. However, to get so focused on stretching between feed and you know getting so rigid on that I think can actually create a lot of anxiety for parents and doesn’t necessarily help or increase sleep because the baby’s sleep rhythms are going to develop over time, meaning some are going to get theirs quicker than others. So you can’t like force them to sleep longer stretches just because you create this rigid schedule. They are going to do that at the way they need to do that and so if you attend to them and you are paying attention to that and yes you want to have some flexible schedule in place for sure, you don’t want to be so loose that you actually are putting them at risk because they are not getting enough sleep. But to get so rigid about watching the clock, actually I don’t think that that’s the most helpful way to go about it.
JOHNER RIEHL: Every kid is different and that’s a big take away here. So lets take a quick break. When we come back I know we got some good concrete tis that you will be able to share that obviously not going to work for every kid but hopefully some of them will help some of our listeners may be even us.
JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome back everybody. Today we are talking about Sleep Solutions for Newborns with Jen Varela. So thanks again for joining us Jen.
JEN VARELA: My pleasure!
JOHNER RIEHL: So the focus today is on sleep but I guess to look at it in other way why is, you know being awake so important to infants too. There is too much focus on sleep, we have to have them sleep but the waking cycle is important too, right.
JEN VARELA: It really is, there is a reason why baby is awake, and its for their survival. So if they are awakening it could be because they are hungry because they need to regulate their breathing, it could be body temperature they need you to attend to them because they are cold or too hot and it could be something like they are not feeling well. It could be illness and it could be also for connection. So you really don’t want a child to be sleeping so deep that they don’t arouse for those needs. And so it’s actually a good thing even though it’s a painful thing as a parent….
JOHNER RIEHL: Right, they have these short cycles and these short breaths. So there is a reason they need to be awake that often.
JEN VARELA: And especially if it’s an ineffective feeding, if they are not being able to get food the way they should then they need to be wakening and then you got to get that figured out.
JOHNER RIEHL: But it’s hard when they wake up at 3 in the morning and your instinct doesn’t “Oh! I am so happy to be awake.”
JEN VARELA: And there is just a reality that they may be not that physiologically matured enough yet to be stretching, right, these expectations that we have and I think that’s the part that is the hardest. You have these “Oh! Well my friends baby is sleeping for 6hrs straight every night” you know and you are like “And my baby is waking up every 90minutes.” So that comparison can just really take you down a road of discouragement and you just got to know that you cannot compare – I call it, don’t should on yourself and don’t should on your other mothers, right.
JOHNER RIEHL: And you need to be careful what you say.
SUNNY GAULT: Ca I ask you a question, now for the babies that are sleeping more continuous like what does that mean for those babies I mean because I may have had people say “Oh! Your baby is sleeping way too long, you need to wake them up , you need to nurse them” I know this isn’t a breast feeding conversation, but you know I always you know get nervous when they do sleep that long but at the same time I don’t want to wake a sleeping baby.
JEN VARELA: And so this is again where I think you really have to check in with your pediatrician and check in with your lactation consultant. It is normal at two months between the hours of 10 and 6 AM to waking two to three times a night. Once you get to 4 months of age then it will be somewhere between one or two times a night. So you know again every babies is different and if your pediatrician is happy with what is happening then I think you are okay. But at the same time , I think to have an expectation that they should be stretching to a certain…
SUNNY GAULT: Right! Right! That is unrealistic!
JOHNER RIEHL: Alright, so far I think the important parts are, not normal is normal and every kid is different, so to freak out. But now let’s try to look at the tips that we can maybe help parents with clinical problems or at least getting least surviving.
JEN VARELA: So I will be remiss as a sleep coach not to address how your baby should sleep, so there is the saying of “Back to sleep and tummy to play” and there is a real significance that tummy time is essential even if you look at it from neck strength so that if there was something that was blocking the baby’s sleep airways, they would have neck strength to you know make that adjustment. And they are just showing that tummy time is so important with you know motor skills and balance and all that stuff. So first thing is the sleep environment babies need to be sleeping on their back and it needs to be you know a cleared out crib. So tip number one is back to sleep-tummy to play.
Number two, it is important to meet your baby’s needs. Research are showing that skin to skin contact, responsiveness, touch and eye contact help hard wire the babies brain which will lead to more secure attachment. So the earlier respond to your baby the better and if you think about it, they don’t have words. So I always tell my clients like they can’t say “Oh rub right here” that is that one spot that feels like they don’t have that, they have “waa…” So communication happens a lot in tears. So the quicker you respond to your child in those tears, the better the attachment and you are going to learn more about your child. So I am one that really believes in answering I call the “nice ask” I don’t wait till your child gets to a full escalation.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, sometimes you want to say “Oh let’s just wait, maybe they will work through that”.
JEN VARELA: You can train them to cry, sure. I am heavy on attending to them quickly and especially in this early year. And just know and I am going to say it again you can’t break your baby, so anything that you thing is bad habit can be addressed later. So it is better to attend.
Number three; Find what soothing techniques work for your baby. So you know all newborns go through a fussy period and it can peak around 6 weeks and it can last up to 4 months. So finding what works for them, there is a lot of talk about a womb environment and if you think about that that makes a lot of sense. So that is where the movement, the rocking, the bouncing, swaddling, wide noise, dark room, that is all really helpful and then a lot of babies find it really helpful to nurse to sleep. So don’t get afraid because “Oh My Gosh, they seem to only want their nurse to sleep.” Yes you need to take a look at that and look for ways you can suit your baby besides nursing down. But thank goodness if you do have that option that is great. So just know that it is a unique set of rules at this time.
JOHNER RIEHL: It is okay, you know I think that you know maybe there is some guilt in doing that but it is interesting because especially with our third but even with our second, I remember one of the things that I was so dawned about when they were babies was like “Oh Geez, I got to figure your what this one is doing right now, my last memories are when the other one was an older baby and totally had it worked, oh when you look like that or going to go get some water or we are going to go do this, I am going to hold you on your side and go “Shheee” in your face and then “Wait that worked with your brother, why is it not working with you”. So you really do need to, it is a puzzle and it takes a few weeks and days and weeks which seems like forever to figure out how to soothe them.
JEN VARELA: And Heather (unclear) have put a lot of this material together and it is amazing listening to their successes with looking at each child as individual, you cannot put them into a box, not under 6 months of age.
JOHNER RIEHL: And if older kids, of course they are all individuals but for babies there is this feeling that they are going to be all cookie cutter in the same and they are not.
JEN VARELA: Number four; establish a consistent and flexible routine. Let me say that again “Flexible Routine.” You asked me that earlier.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yes
JEN VARELA: So basically you are looking to do the same things in the same fashion. So you know when they wake that is a great time to do eat, then be social and then sleep. So knowing that a routine at this time and this age is going to be very short, it is not like you are going to get 45 minutes, lets read this book for together right. So the expectation needs to be kind of look at you whole day and look at the rhythms of the day and see where you can kind of start creating the queues.
So I named my company Sugar Night Night because that is what I said to my kids when it is time to go to bed, “Sugar Night Night” and so sleep queues can be a really great thing to introduce which is there is an association when mom or dad said this that it goes with bed time. So anyways I think that consistent and flexible routine are valuable.
JOHNER RIEHL: So you have any sleep queues Erin?
ERIN ESTEVES: Yes we say Doo-Doo.
JOHNER RIEHL: Doo-Doo!
ERIN ESTEVES: It is time for Doo-Doo! And they will say “No, Doo-Doo no”.
JEN VARELA: Number five; learn your baby’s sleep queues and put the baby down when the baby is tied. So all have heard the typical yawning, rubbing the eyes that kind of zone out more of fussiness. It is easy to just kind of wait until they are way over tied and they go “Oh yeah now they are tied”. So I often say try a little sooner than you think because then you haven’t got into the point in which they are so over stimulated. Also I would tell you that temperament plays a huge part in this, my son is what I will call an alert baby and he came out with eyes wide open where is the party? And so he never showed sleep signals. He actually got happier and little crazier.
JOHNER RIEHL: So that is where his sleep is?
JEN VARELA: So sometimes you might have to really take a little look at what’s happening that it might not always be the typical sleep queues that they give you.
ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah that is how Cash is.
SUNNY GAULT: Slap happy!
ERIN ESTEVES: Yes
JOHNER RIEHL: What is the deal with over tied? That concept is still really hard for me to get my head up.
JEN VARELA: So there is a hormone called Cortisol that kicks in and it gives you your second win. So pretty much every night at 10 o’clock, my husband looks at his watch and goes okay Jen it is time for bed. Because she know…
JOHNER RIEHL: Sugar Night Night!
JEN VARELA: Because he knows if I get to 11o’clock, it is like my best energy like “woohooo…” like lets get it all done and now, right and so Cortisol happens also for the kids and so that is where you can tell it that they are so tied, they need to but they can’t. It is like trying to go to sleep with 4 cups of coffee. So you want to give them the opportunity sleep before Cortisol kicks in. So try sooner, that is the key, try sooned.
Number Six; Respect day time sleep, make naps a priority. How difficult is that?
SUNNY GAULT: Super!
JEN VARELA: We also want to like – you know wait I just want get one Erin in or gosh this is a great class for the baby or you know- so it is hard. It is really hard to make naps a priority. But there is a direct relation between night awakening and early rising with sleep deprivation. So naps are important, so one of the miss out there is this that “Oh of you skip a nap then they will sleep better” it is not true, is the opposite that is true.
JOHNER RIEHL: It drives me crazy at that stage and so like there would be times though we are like you know if you are driving around and the baby falls asleep when they shouldn’t, you are like “Oh no, they are not suppose to be asleep right now”. I mean is that okay if they still getting the sleep but the schedules are a little different?
JEN VARELA: So under the age of 6 months I think you know that is an opportunity to go okay, we have got more sleep and that is a good think and just know that their sleep schedules is going to fluctuate. We are talking about under 6 months of age here. So you will get a different answer from me if we are looking at over 6 months.
JOHNER RIEHL: What about like if they do fall asleep in the car and it is their nap time, the transfer, right, the skill of the transfer…
SUNNY GAULT: Like can you be the king of the house…
JOHNER RIEHL: Like is mom better at it or is dad better at it, do you just leave them in the car seat or try to but them in their crib. Because you don’t want to go wake up, right, it is still their nap time.
JEN VARELA: I am saying you do whatever you need to do inorder to help that baby sleep and it is okay, like it is more about getting the sleep than it is about…
JOHNER RIEHL: The position…
ERIN ESTEVES: Geographical location of the sleep, it does not matter.
JEN VARELA: Yeah, I mean obviously we are such a world of carries now, right, we always put our children in this care like…I am not using the right word…it is not carries but I am saying…
JOHNER RIEHL: Containers?
JEN VARELA: Containers, there we go. So but I am all about baby wearing, how great is that. So I guess what I am saying is this “What every it takes to get them to sleep, yes, the answer is Yes”.
JOHNER RIEHL: Get them to sleep.
JEN VARELA: And obviously if you can do without a container then that is idea.
JOHNER RIEHL: Alright squeeze in a couple of more tips.
JEN VARELA: The next on is create sleep friendly environment. Again is you kind of think of like a room like environment where as some white noise, room darkening shades, you know non stimulating- the other part is this also expose them to light during the day, that helps them with their sleep rhythms. Another one is develop a relaxing bed time routine. So again like I said, at this age under 6 months it is not going to be very long and probably a bad times one that is most likely to happen but it can be bath and massage…
JOHNER RIEHL: Maybe singing song.
JEN VARELA: And that is why I made that sleep queue, so it is probably going to be 20 minutes in length on the outside, but it is about repetition and consistency that that association will get developed. I kind of mentioned earlier that your baby might need an earlier bed time, so keep that is mind. Around 3 months of age of they start getting really fussy between 6 and 9, that might be a good queue for you to start looking at their bedtime between 6 and 7 and then treating any awakening at that point the same as you would at 1o’clock in the morning awakening.
JOHNER RIEHL: That is maybe where the blackout curtains can help.
JEN VARELA: Yes, then I think that is perfect.
ERIN ESTEVES: And by that you mean like no added stimulus, no rambunctious in our action with them.
JEN VARELA: Correct, so like were as you may have had a night nap what I call the evening nap and then they get up and you are like “Okay, hi” and then it is his play time right, where as you wouldn’t be doing that at 1 in the morning. So once you shifted their bed time to something closer to 6 or 7 that’s when you want to start, anytime they have an arousal awakening to treat it as the same as you would if it was 1 or 2 in the morning. That kind of also plays into an encourage or restful night at sleep by keeping the activities low at night. So I know my husband use to just love the amp up the kid’s right for bed. So you know keep that in mind, you want to set them up for success, right. But there is also something you can try to which is really great, which is called either a sleepy feet or a dream feet, where when you are getting ready to go to bed, you take a sleeping baby and you bottle or breastfeed them, it is kind of like a top off before you go down. Because you might actually get a stretch of sleep, right, instead of just getting to sleep yourself 45 minutes later and then have the little one wait to be fed. So dream (unclear) can be really terrific.
Alright number 11; try to practice, putting your baby down drowsy but awake. So they really don’t get the ability to self sooth or self regulate until they are closer between 4 and 6 months of age. So that is why I call it practice, because you might have one of those babies temperament wise that Sunny seems to have, that have that ability quicker than others. So if you give it a try especially bed time, I look at it like this, if you fall asleep in the living room and you woke up in your bed room, you will be like “Oh my goodness how did I get there” like one too many more he does last…okay ask him (unclear), if you fell asleep in your bed and your pillows on the floor you will be like, “That is odd but okay not so stimulating” right. Ask him pair of two, if he fell asleep in your room and nothing changed, you will be like – you might not even remember waking up.
So I look at it from the child’s perspective, if they can go into the crib, right, they are aware of their environments. When they go through a partial arousal, it is not a stimulating because like wait where‘s mom, where is the holding, rocking, nursing, right, that transporting. So that is why putting them into that crib aware is such a valuable thing. But keep in mind, under 6 months of age, that is going to develop faster and sometime slower in others and so it is practicing, it is not an absolute must go into the crib awake. It is “Okay let’s try today, maybe today is the day” it will start working for you.
JOHNER RIEHL: I think we got time to squeeze in the one last tip.
JEN VARELA: The last one is sleep when you baby sleeps, that’s hard to do.
SUNNY GAULT: It is so hard to do because you want to get stuff done.
ERIN ESTEVES: Not for me. I am sleeping.
JEN VARELA: So if your baby is napping nap go to bed when your baby goes to bed. Do your best you can to make it a priority.
JOHNER RIEHL: Alright, thank you so much for joining us, for more information for our listeners about Sleep Solutions for Newborns or about Sugar Night Night or anything you heard, visit the episode page on your website, we got link to all that plus some other great resources. We will actually continue the conversation for members of your Parent Savers’ Club after the show. Jen is going to tell us little more about some symptoms where if you do see those in sleep that it maybe it is time to call a doctor because that might indicate a sleep problem.
For information about the Parent Savers Club visit our website www.Parent Savers.com.
JODI TART: Hi Parent Savers’ this is Jodi with Urbansitter, a website that connects you to friend tested sitters. I am here to help you figure out the right questions to ask when searching for a baby sitter, such as what qualification should my sitter have. So you have found a sitter that has experience but what other qualifications do they have.
The primary qualification to look for in a sitter is CPR certification and First Aid Training. If you find a great sitter who isn’t CPR certified you can always offer to pay for a class or better yet take one with her. It is a great excuse for you to brush up on your CPR to. Ask your sitters to dig deeper into their qualification.
Questions you might not think to ask like, do you speak another language, do you know how to cook, are you willing to help with arens and house hold chores? These additional skills may just be the icing on the cake. It is possible to find a sitter that can communicate to your infant and sign language or help with the math homework. Or better yet when you go on vacation and maybe you can take that sitter along with you.
Okay Parent Savers’ it is time to say hello to your old friend spontané de, visit www.urbansitter.com to find and book babysitters yours friends know and love.
JOHNER RIEHL: That wraps up today’s episode of Parent Savers’. Thanks so much for joining us, it was a really fun conversation in studio. Hopefully you got to learn a few things with so create tips at the end. We totally appreciate you guys listening. Don’t forget to check out sister shows, Preggie Pals’ for Expecting Parents. The Boob Group for Moms Who Breastfeed and Twin Talks for Parents of Twins, they touch on a lot of topic that we might not touch on here but its twice as exciting.
Alright next week on Parent Savers’ we are going to be talking about Halloween, we are going to do a special Halloween episode. So please join us for that.
This is Parent Savers’: Empowering New Parents!
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
[End of Audio]