Baby Sleep Solutions: Sleeping Through the Night

If you’re a new parent, you’re probably not getting much sleep. We spend countless nights wondering how in the world we can get our children to sleep for more than just a couple hours at a time. So, what are the secrets to getting your baby to sleep through the night? What three elements contribute to the right kind of sleep? And what are the most common sleep de-railers?

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Featured Expert

Parent Savers
“Baby Sleep Solutions: Sleeping Through the Night”

Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

Joanna Clark : Being a new parent it is so tiring, literally. Our little ones are constantly disrupting your precious sleep and you are always begging them to sleep more. What is the secret to getting your little ones to sleep through the night? How do you get them to take longer than 20 minutes naps during the day? I am Joanna Clark, founder of Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching and this is Parent Savers, Episode 19.

[Theme Music/Intro]

KC Wilt : Welcome to Parent Savers, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego, I am your host, KC Wilt. Our apps are now available in the Amazon Android market and the iTunes apps store and they are free so, check them out. Another way to get great parenting information is to subscribe to our Parent Savers Newsletter and it’s featuring exclusive behind the scenes contents from our shows, special giveaways, discounts and more. Visit our website for more information and we want you to be a part of the show so, join our discussion on our episode’s page, Facebook page, call in or email with your questions and we will get them answered. We have Katie here from San Diego from and we are taking photos this show, so please excuse the clicking as you listen. And watch our Facebook page to see the pictures of the behind the scenes. I am a new parent. My son Carson is now 21 months old and I am joined here by three new parents.

Owen Hemsath : My name is Owen. I am a Videographer and web designer with simple business video marketing. I have got three kids, my oldest is 5 years and just started kindergarten, I have got a 14 months old Jameson and my youngest is 4 weeks old.

Benjamin Martin : Awesome, my name is Benjamin. I run a business at Oceanside. I have one 2-month-old baby girl.

Jodie Roberts : I am Jodie, I am a Teacher, a high school teacher and I have a little 19-month-old baby girl.

[Theme Music]

[Featured Segment: Eco-Friendly Parenting Tips]

KC Wilt : Before we start today’s show, here are some tips for going green.

Amy Sater : Hello, Parent Savers, I am Amy Sarter, Ecoprenuer and Co-founder of where you can find information for your family on going green, saving money and looking great doing it. Today, we are going to talk about packing an eco-friendly lunch box for children, school or even little kids going to day care. Now packing a lunch box everyday can mean a lot of waste, paper bags, napkins, plastic bags, wrappers, forks, water bags, you name it, straws and more. Send those items five days a week and your kid is definitely going to feel his own corner of the local influent, absolutely no time. It’s not hard to pack an eco-friendly lunch from home. Just follow a few easy pointers and you will end up in less waste and probably a healthier school lunch box as well. Now, one thing that I like to do for my daughter is use a reusable lunch box. I know it kind of ruins the whole brown bag lunch thing but sending your child’s lunch in a box or container it’s much greener than using and tossing paper bag each day. Now another item that’s important to have in there are reusable sandwich bag like ReUsies, I love these things, no more plastic baggies or zipper bags which also clog up a lot of our landfills. There are tons of styles, colors and materials of these waste free sandwich bags as well as snack sized bags and many can be washed in the washing machine or dish washer. Plastic sandwich boxes also work great. Now another thing I always put in there is a waste free beverage bottle or container. Daily juice boxes and water bottles create a lot of unnecessary waste and don’t even get me started about water bottles in our landfills as well. There are many affordable BPA free, reusable drinking container choices in our market today. Cloth napkins, who knew, there is a lot to be said for saving a napkin day for an entire school year. Get five and then wash them with your laundry at the end of the week. Better yet, I let my daughter pick up pink or purple ones at a little garage sale. She loves them and every day she is excited to see what she is gonna get. Pack real silverware, forget the plastic utensils, plastic equals waste. Pack a real fork or spoon in their lunch box and I don’t give my daughter the real silver of course. I pick up random alternant and utensils at third stores and garage sales for cents and I have my daughter put them in each day, that way if she loses one at school she won’t be crying. Now, fresh food of course is still important whenever possible. Serving your kids fresh lunch items will automatically cut down on your waste and of course it’s healthier for your kids. There are going to be days where time only allows or you tell something pre made and packaged but most part make them simple foods or have them make their on either ways in fresh food and vegetables. And last important thing that I love to do with my daughter is buy it locally. I buy food items produced locally and it is super eco-friendly that means no one waste a bunch of gas transporting your edibles all around the country before they got to your kids lunch. For more information on packing an eco-friendly lunch box and other parent friendly eco tips visit or visit us on Facebook at and don’t forget to make it a green day.

[Theme Music]

KC Wilt : Today on Parent Savers, we have Joanna Clark, licensed Gentle Sleep Coach with us here to give us the secrets on how to get our kids to sleep. So, first half can you explain why sleep is important and list out with the 0 to 6 months year old?

Joanna Clark : So, let me just tell you little bit about the new born phase in the world of sleep science we consider 0 to 5 months.

KC Wilt : Okay.

Joanna Clark : During this time sleep is not very well organized neurologically and so, they often have slight slumber. They typically are experiencing very infrequent sleep cycles but I want everyone to know that, that is normal. Really on a child during that age 0 to 5 months, typically is sleeping is a wake only 60 to 90 minutes and then the rest of the time sleeping, okay.

KC Wilt : So, how does that look I mean is it……..?

Joanna Clark : So, what it means is the best way to do and I always suggest this to parents, sleep logging your children’s sleep is critical. I f you start logging you have such an important understanding of how your day is forming up and I often recommend to families to take a look at their family schedule and ask themselves if they have a family that operates 6am to 6pm or 7am to 7pm and then, to organize their day around that in a very flexible way. What I mean is that, a family that has working fathers or mothers really do have to organize their day in order to be able to feel that they have some control in their life. And if you start logging within this contact you are able to really clearly see for a child that they are eating and sleeping within those two twelve hour cycle. So, during what I call, the AM shift let’s say 6am to 6pm and then what’s also happening with my child between the PM shift the 6pm to 6am shift. And it really helps to regulate what you are doing with eating and sleeping and so, when you back to this idea that your child in this age group typically is only awake for 60 to 90 minutes at a time, you can start looking at the day, the time your child woke up on a particular day and then you will know that the first nap cycle will occur within 60 to 90 minutes of that waking period that day.

KC Wilt : So, they just woke up at 6am from the night and you say they are gonna go back to bed at 7-7.30?

Joanna Clark : Correct.

Owen Hemsath : Now, how does that work for, you know, a newborn that is up every, the same thing I mean, you say getting from the nights were you know, my Benjamin is up all the time. He sleeps for a little bit, nurses for a little bit, sleep for a little bit, nurse a for a little bit. Is it the same case?

Joanna Clark : Okay, so again going back to this concept that you are looking at your day in two cycles, you are looking at your AM, you know, 6am to 6pm and then kind of your night shift, okay. So, sleep takes on different components in each shift that’s why it’s important to kind of differentiate it for yourselves because then you can better guide yourself on how well you are doing. So, for during this the AM shift or the daytime shift typically, children are awake between 60 to 90 minutes during 0 to 5 months.

KC Wilt : But not at night times?

Joanna Clark : No! At night time they can do as long a stretch as 3 to 4 hours at a time and that’s often determining with nursing, right or bottle feeding and that makes sense, right. So, longest stretch typically is that first night time stretch, you know. So, if your child goes to bed later which, when a child does a sleep at night, at that young age often times they are asleep later like maybe 10’o clock at night. And they do sleep 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 2’O Clock around that, are you guys getting the flow?

KC Wilt : But there is no wake-up time? It’s wake up at 2, feed and then right back to sleep?

Joanna Clark : And then right back to sleep! Great question, yes, yes.

KC Wilt : You will not wake up for an hour?

Joanna Clark : Not to wake for an hour, yes! Especially in this newborn phase it’s typical children are…or babies, I should say are having business nurses in the middle of the night. Okay, which is, they wake because of hunger, they nurse or bottle feed, right back to sleep and continue onto the next sleep cycle. Okay, and the other thing is that babies at this age often have very, very short sleep cycles. So, sometimes the waking is for hunger and sometimes it’s a partial arousal. So, a partial arousal means you are switching from rem to non-rem in your sleep cycle and for 1 to 2 months old they are going from rem to non-rem at night approximately every 50 minutes and for a 3 to 5-month-old, typically rem to non-rem is every 90- 110 minutes at night.

Owen Hemsath : Yeah, that makes perfect sense because there are times where he, you know, wants to feed and then there are other times where it’s just like “I don’t know what’s wrong with him? He is just, he is just awake.” and that makes sense.

Joanna Clark : Exactly.

Owen Hemsath : He has been kind of jolted out of his sleep.

Joanna Clark : So, going back to what is expected in the 0 to 5 months age range so, this is really interesting. A 1-month-old, typically is doing 8.5 hours at night with nursings, okay. And doing 7 hours of daytime sleeps spread between 3 to 5 naps and that’s a series of cat naps and these younger babies, 1 to 2 months, they might be sleeping 20 or 30 minutes and that’s normal. As long as they are doing cat naps throughout the day again looking at that wake cycle, that 60 to 90 minutes, and the time that they wake, you take a look at your watch and you say “Okay, approximately 60 to 90 minutes from now I can anticipate my child is gonna be showing me sleepy queues and I am gonna be paying attention to those sleepy queues. And then I am going give my, the opportunity to this child to sleep.” And again, attending to the needs you can nurse them down, you can rock them, you can take them on a stroller ride, anything they need to encourage sleep is important. Okay, it’s all about just watching the sleepy queues at this young age and being mindful of their awake windows and providing them that opportunity to sleep when it’s appropriate. At 3 months of age, typically they’re sleeping 10 hours a night dealt with nursings. So, I don’t consider a waking and nursing because that is important, okay. And then 5 hours of daytime sleep, 3 to 4 naps a day again they can be shorter naps and that is fine as long as it is adding up to 3 to 4 hours of daytime sleep with a total 15 hours at night. So, and then when we get into the 4 to 5 month age range they are typically sleeping more like 4 hours a day, daytime sleep and still around 10 or 11 hours at night. And right around 5 months it starts to be big developmental milestone that disrupts sleep so, I should tell you those of you out there that have 4 to 5-month-old children and if all of a sudden your sleep is falling apart please know that it is normal to be having big sleep disruption in the 4 to 5 month age range, often times teething and the start of developmental milestones such as rolling over, children that were once swaddled that have now decided that they don’t like this swaddle anymore which is a sad day because I love the swaddle. You know, I find that parents are often forced to make the change on the swaddle even though they love it because usually their child will start rolling or they will start busting out of their swaddle that’s requiring the parent to come in frequently to re-swaddle. So, often times it kind of happens to you before, to the parent before they are really ready. But that’s usually the indication that the child is ready to move on but I will suggest to all of you in this 4 to 5 month age range where this does happen with the swaddling. Great, the next step is something called the magic sleep suit and this is a wonderful product, that is a great transition to go from a swaddle to the next step to still give them that nice kind of compression feeling that they are used to and to move you to that next step.

Ben Martin : Yeah, that’s what it really works I mean that’s what we do every night, really tight. I mean, Chloe doesn’t like it very much at first but she passes right out not waking for 8 hours.

Owen Hemsath : Right.

Joanna Clark : Yes, and I also should say in this age range that white noise is really important and many who have children in this age are probably heard of Dr. Karp and he wrote “Happiest Baby On The Block". I love his work, I love that book and with the 5 S’s as many of you know, and so swaddling is one of it and white noise. He has recently come out with a white noise CD that is specifically engineered to be the appropriate decibel level and beats to encourage sleep. I have had a lot of parents who find great success with this and so, I do recommend white noise absolutely, especially for these younger babies to create you know…

Jodi Roberts : So, you also said these quick cat naps, is that okay like you know 5 minutes or 10 minutes are actually getting the proper amount of sleep?

Joanna Clark : Okay, so go back and say to yourself, “okay during my daytime shift I know that if I have a 3-month old I wanna get 5 hours of daytime sleep spread between 3 to 4 may be up to 5 naps.” So, as long as at the end of the shift you are looking at your log because you are keeping your log and you’re saying to yourself “Wow! Yes, my child may be slept 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there, 50 minutes there but over time, over that daytime shift my child is getting the appropriate amount of daytime sleep then I have done a great job.” And again it’s been mindful of the wake windows because really they do pretty much consistently fall back at sleep if you give them the right opportunity.

Owen Hemsath : So, that’s really phenomenal information when it comes to the newborn. I have got a newborn but I have also got a 14-month-old and a 5-year-old. So, what is the importance of sleep for a 6-month-old to a 5-year-old like that age range and what should that look like?

Joanna Clark : Okay, and I love the fact that you have like all, every age range that we are talking about today. [Laughs] So, this dad is like getting a direct contact with me. Okay, so 6 months to 5 years is obviously that’s a big age range because there is a lot of developmental milestones that each child is going through within that but let me just kind of now face into, you know, the fact that sleep is actually a learned skill. This is something that I feel that I know when I became a new parent no one ever told me and I had to kind of learn the hard way. So, sleep is actually a learnt skill and the easiest time for child to learn the skill is sleep which is essentially is self-regulation and self-soothing is at bedtime at the appropriate sleep window and what I mean by a sleep window is when Melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates sleep which is the drowsy hormone is most present. And often times what families experience is that if they don’t understand the concept of a sleep window then they often miss the most prime opportunity for them to help their child peacefully go to sleep. And what shows up next is Cortisol which is a mild form of adrenalin and often times that is when families will experience what they call like the “Dread Of Second Wind” or this feeling of my child is so tired right now but they are fighting, they are fighting it. You can be rest assured that when you have that experience your child has now entered the Cortisol phase that you have missed your window of opportunity to help this child peacefully go to sleep. So, the idea is in the 6 months and the onward stage is really allowing them the opportunity to self-sooth themselves to sleep and not be doing a 100% for them. So, a negative sleep association is anything that needs to be done to or for a child in order for them to fall asleep, okay.

Jodi Roberts : So, constantly rocking them until they fall asleep.

KC Wilt: Driving in the car at midnight?

Joanna Clark : Right, on the dryer.

Owen Hemsath : But that could even be the glow worms. Yes, the glow and the dark musical toy that sort of thing?

Joanna Clark : Yeah.

Owen Hemsath : Okay.

Joanna Clark : So, a negative sleep association is also called as the “Sleep Crutch” and so the most common sleep crutches that families depend on are rocking, nursing, bottle feeding, you know, rhythmical toys that need to be on repeat. And what I mean by that is all those things are beautiful, wonderful things but if you use those techniques in order to conk out your child, that’s what I call it, on a scale of 1 to 10 if 10 is conked out then that child will expect that same service.

Jodi Roberts : Every time.

Joanna Clark : Special treatments at bedtime and every partial arousal.

Jodi Roberts : What if we change that? I mean like some days you nurse him to sleep, some days he is on the car and some days his daddy puts him to sleep, some days he is on the dryer most days? [Laughs]

Joanna Clark : Okay, I know that. Great question, okay here is the thing that is tricky about sleep crutches and let me tell you it’s a sad day when your sleep crutches stop working. Also, it’s like a sad day when the swaddle stops working. Often times what will start happening is that sleep crutch will stop working and a new one shows up. And then the new one shows up after that and so often times families will find that in order to put their child to sleep and I am gonna be talking specifically right now at bedtime. They will layer their sleep crutches in order for it to happen so, what a routine we used to take 5, 10 minutes and those final moments of sleep crunching now can take 30 or 40 minutes because first, you nurse them, then you gotta rock them, then you gotta bounce them, then you gotta sing to them, then, then, then that is usually a sign to them that it’s a great time to really consider doing some night time coaching on self-soothing and self-regulation to sleep.

KC Wilt : Let’s talk about the self-soothing techniques in the next segment. When we come back, we will talk about the three main techniques parent use and sleep coaching as well as the four derailleurs of sleep for babies and young children. We will be right back shortly.

[Theme Music]

KC Wilt : We are back with Joanna Clark, the founder of Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching. Now, Joanna what are the three things that contribute to the right kind of sleep?

Joanna Clark : Okay, the three things that really contribute to the right kind of sleep and really healthy sleep habits overall is this idea of having the right quality, the right amount and the right timing of sleep. And I had referenced that in a couple of different ways in our talk already but the right quality is this idea that is not fragmented; it is uninterrupted and motionless. And again we are talking about babies 6 months to 5 years old at this point. The right amount of sleep is obviously having the right sleep expectations for your child. So, for example, with the 6 months to 5 years, the 6-month-old to 10 month old will typically sleep 11 hours at night may still do nursing by the way or feeding and 3 hours daytime sleep spread between 2 and 3 naps. 10 to 18 months old will typically sleep 11 and 1/4th hours at night with 2.5 hours of daytime sleep spread between two naps. And a 18 month to 2 year old that’s when you do the big transition from 2 naps to 1 nap a day which is often a difficult transition for families, 11 hours a night, with big, nice, juicy 2 hour nap during the day and then of course 3 years is when the big transition happens when babies go from to big boy or big girl beds and they are typically taking one nap a day at 1.45 hours. And then at 4-5 years they are usually doing a rest period during the day and sleeping about 11 hours at night.

Owen Hemsath : Now, Jameson is like right in there but he is doing like 12 hours a night, 3 hours nap but it is one nap and usually spread between two but if he is getting that same 2.5 hours in and it’s just a one big chunk and the mid-mornings, is that right?

Joanna Clark : How old is he again?

Owen Hemsath : 14, 14 months.

Joanna Clark : Yeah, that is fine usually the age spread when children’s start the transition to one nap is anywhere between 14 to 18 months so, it’s a pretty big spread. So, he obviously has made that transition and he has done well because he is still giving you a big long chunk which is great.

Owen Hemsath : Yeah.

Joanna Clark : Yeah.

KC Wilt : What’s the best sleep environment and routine for a sound sleep? I guess this is a twofold question but how do we get our children to take two naps or one nap? I mean, so do we need to set up a routine, do we need to, you know, set up an environment for them?

Joanna Clark : That’s a big question.

KC Wilt : Yeah, that’s a big question.

Joanna Clark : Okay, well let’s talk about the sleep environment because actually a lot of parents have asked me about this because the first step is really setting up a really great sleeping opportunity for your child and part of that is environment as well as the timing of sleep. So, the best sleep environment typically has some type of white noise you know a fan…

KC Wilt : Does it keep going till they are 18, 2 years, 3 years, 25 years?

Joanna Clark : Yeah, I mean start asking some of your adult friends I know, I love a fan. I mean, most people love some type of white noise as long as it’s duplicable. So, if you end up choosing an ocean cd or a fan and you have to travel or go to new places just make sure you can bring it with you, is a great recommendation.

Ben Martin : Oh! I can’t stand white noise.

Joanna Clark : Okay, some people do and some people don’t so, you know, but it’s also, the reason why white noise is also great is that for example, in the house with three children and if one has different sleep bedtime, it’s great to be able to block out external noises within the neighborhood and in the household just to maximize their sleep.

KC Wilt : That’s true.

Joanna Clark : And then room darkening shades are often recommended and people often say well how dark is dark and I say that is dark in the morning as it is 9pm at night, okay. So, room darkening shades are a great investment.

Owen Hemsath : As dark as you can go, basically.

Joanna Clark : As dark as you can go.

KC Wilt : For nap too?

Joanna Clark : For nap and at night time absolutely and cool environment so, 65 to 70 degrees is typically the best amount, you know, in terms of degrees. And then obviously no toys in the crib that are stimulating.

KC Wilt : Well, here is a situation I have. My mom asked me “You put this darkening shades we used to take out, we used sleep wherever, we used make you sleep when the noise is going on, we make you sleep through this and that” And so, now you know, I have this the lullaby’s go, the shades are dark an am I conditioning my child not to be able to sleep on the go or any of that? And also I do have you know, a couple of things next to the crib or into the crib when he wakes up at 5am in the morning screaming I’ll say “Go, book” and read it? It doesn’t really work very well but I still was trying to get him to actually because he didn’t wake up happy. He woke up screaming so, I wanted him to wake up happy and play with something. So, again that was a big task.

Owen Hemsath : Jameson did the same thing and that’s why we put that little glow thing in there because he wakes up 2am in the morning and press the button and put himself back to sleep. And to this little bit of the crutch there, I see but it’s like, you know….

Joanna Clark : It’s a better crutch.

Owen Hemsath : When you are working like you know, I just need him to sleep, I can’t get up and…

Joanna Clark : But it’s a self-soothing crutch because he is pushing it.

Owen Hemsath : Yeah, yeah.

KC Wilt : Right, what do you think Joanna?

Joanna Clark : I would agree with that. I mean, to me if you had a book in the crib or something like that where the child has a partial arousal and early rising like your child is 21 months that they can self-sooth themselves back to sleep or at least self-sooth enough to the point that you are ready to address or help them that day.

KC Wilt : Yeah.

Joanna Clark : In my opinion we need to honor sleep more in our society and we often don’t protect our children sleep in the way that we need to because really they operate off their body clocks and we try to force their body clocks into being something different than what is natural to them from a circadian point or circadian rhythm point of view. And when we stop battling trying to get them on our schedule often you find that they ease into a beautiful schedule and then you ease around them. And so, the napping on the go typically stops to work right around about 10 months of age. And so, a 21-month-old typically is not gonna be a nap on the go kind of child. 21 month old typically really does need to be home for that one beautiful nap a day.

KC Wilt : Is it okay for like here and there if you go to Disney Land and stuff like that, do you really have to sacrifice a day and make sure your 21-month-old gets a 2-hour nap?

Owen Hemsath : You know, we were just at the resort on our vacation and we were at the pool and it’s like Jameson is gonna need a nap. And so, we already checked out of our room so, we can’t go back, we can’t take him back to the room. So, I took him, I had to hold him like a baby which he hated and he fought with me for 25 minutes and eventually passed out and we enjoyed the rest of our afternoon while he took his 3-hour nap at the pool so…

KC Wilt : Well, that’s nice. That won’t work for my son. [Laughs]

Owen Hemsath : It took a lot of patience too because there are patrons and other vacationers were like “get up, da, da, da” so, I took him out, I had to take him where there were no other people.

KC Wilt : Well, when I go to Disney Land I take him on and I strap him on. [Cross Talks] No actually you know, he is a high requirement fellow but I would strap my thing, I would strap on me but his nap for 2 hours that may be an hour if I am lucky. Do I sacrifice that? I mean do I sacrifice a day we are going to have fun just so that he has his sleep schedule is protected?

Joanna Clark : Okay, great question because I get that frequently. If you are a new household you really establish healthy sleep habits, meaning you have a beautiful good night routine, your child’s self-soothes to sleep, your child’s interrupted sleep at night and I am talking about a 21-month-old at this point, okay?

KC Wilt : Okay.

Joanna Clark : And, pretty consistently has good naps during the week and you have a special occasion, absolutely you can stretch them. The problem is that when a child is being stretched and stretched and stretched over and over again and they don’t have the established healthy sleep habits at night then, it’s harder to stretch them like that in all these, you know, series of special occasions because they are really not gonna be at their best and obviously you have probably experienced.

Owen Hemsath : Their ability and whining and it’s like “Go to sleep.”

Joanna Clark : Yeah, yes exactly you have you know, the child is not just as adaptable, they tend to be irritable, they don’t tend to pay independently as easily, they are really not, you know. So, it’s not as fun for you but yes, I am, believe me, we all live in California, it’s a beautiful place to be in and go and do. So, we can all do that but really the idea is in your mind and your household is to really be honoring the sleep the majority of the time. So, that when you do have the special opportunities to go out and do fun things that are stretching your child is not gonna be so disrupted to them and also don’t ruin your day because your child is irritable or having such a hard time.

KC Wilt : So, Joanna what are the three main techniques parents can use in sleep coaching?

Joanna Clark : So, the three main techniques are there is graduated, extinction which typically parents hear about also known as cried out which Mark White Bleth’s which is healthy sleep habits, that book. There is graduated extinction which is also known as Ferberizing or timed check and for Richard Ferber who wrote “Solve your child’s sleep problems” is an advocate of that obviously. And the third is fading which is a gradual approach in the most popular person there people have typically referred to on that in that technique is Kim Wester who wrote “Good night sleep tight.” I believe every parent needs to educate themselves that they know what their choices are so that they can make really knowledgeable educated decisions that’s gonna work best for their family. And they also need to recognize that making a change in sleep is a behavioral modification and behavioral modification takes 2 to 3 weeks in order to get the results that you are looking for. So, I always encourage parents to really understand that they need to make 2 to 3-week commitment to really focusing on sleep in their household and focus on night time first. You cannot teach a child how to, you cannot nap, coach a child if they haven’t not learned and mastered how to go to sleep at bedtime with the appropriate sleep window and self-sooth to sleep. They will never be able to do it during the day. That’s the easiest, easiest time and you will never go for naps during sleep coaching is to really have them meet their daytime sleep requirements anyway you can get it even if you are using sleep coaches and allow them to self-sooth to sleep at bedtime first and master that skill. And then napping will improve sometimes often by itself which is amazing.

KC Wilt : And you mentioned also talking to your spouse in the daytime hours what you are gonna do at 2am instead of at 2am going “Oh!”?

Joanna Clark : Yes, you really need to as a family like I feel that sleep coaching is one of the first big parental decisions you have regarding parenting your child and really sitting down and asking yourself “what is the right methodology for you?” And there are many other books too and they are all fabulous, you guys in there all work, they all work but it’s a matter of consistency. It’s a matter of dedicating yourself to it. It’s a matter of being in the alignment with your partner and really committing to the process and being very patient, okay. But all the methods do work and they work well. You just have to choose what fills in suitably right to you.

KC Wilt : Thanks to Joanna Clark for teaching us how to have our home get more Z’s. If you want more information on Joanna or Sleep Coaching go to today’s show on our episodes page on our website or visit

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[Featured Segments: The Emotional Side of Parenting]

Dr. Jennifer Shear : Hello, Parent Savers, I am Dr. Jennifer Shear, a clinical psychologist with the practice in San Diego. One of my specialties is working with women during pregnancy and throughout the transition to motherhood. Today’s segment is on how to best handle your baby’s cry. Baby’s cries are designed to get us to respond. Their cry and alarm sets often us is the way the attachment system works. Baby’s cries are meant as an attachment signal to get you to come closer and provide safety. However with crazy hormones, lack of sleep and tightened emotion about this huge new responsibility we often get dominated by our own anxiety when our baby cries. It is easy to get lost in our own fears. Some strategies for responding to your baby’s cry and not reacting to your own anxieties are to try to go cognitive. By that I mean think of baby’s cry form of communication. They are signaling that they need something. It can help to create a short menu in your mind of the three basic options of the baby menu. Is your baby needing to be held, fed or changed? Much of the time if you go through this brief mental checklist, you will decide for the mystery of that momentary discomfort. Now, that the more times you go through this process with the baby the more comfortable you feel in combating the initial helplessness. Sometimes able to give the baby longer to discern what the need is. However, baby’s cries tend to get shorter and less intense. They have repeated the experience of your responsiveness, even if you haven’t actually responded to what the need is quite yet. Your consistent responsiveness builds trust and this helps them tolerate some discomfort just a little bit better. So, if your baby’s cry feels like a constrict panic button just remember that baby is simply saying “I need something.” Your job is to let her or him know you hear and you care. Thanks for listening to Parent Savers. I hope this short piece helps to mommy’s mind just a bit more at ease and keep listening for more episodes on how to thrive as a new parent.

KC Wilt : That wraps up today’s episode. We love to hear from you. If you have any questions for our expert about today’s show or the topics we discussed, call our Parent Savers hotline at 619-866-4775 or send us an email through our website or our Facebook page and we will answer your question on an upcoming episode. Thanks for listening to Parent Savers, “empowering new parents everywhere.”


This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Suggestions and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. For such 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 any healthcare 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 healthcare provider.


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