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You’re listening to the slumber party podcast with your host Amanda Jewson, a mom of two girls, a child and infant sleep expert and general sleep lover. If you’re a tired parent who is desperate for answers, or just someone who loves sleep, This podcast was created just for you. Each episode is packed full of tips and tricks to help you maintain your sanity as well as your social life during the early stages of parenthood. So grab your headphones, it’s time to get comfy.
Hello, everybody. I’m Amanda Jewson host of the slumber party podcast, sleep expert, and nap enthusiast. Today, we are speaking with Ashley about the dreaded, dreaded, dreaded dreaded early mornings. And I’m so excited to do this the first early morning episode, I had talked about a lot of the variables and it was just me kind of talking at you, which is quite boring. Or it might just be boring for me, it may not be boring for you. I know that there are lots of people who have a podcast where it’s just one person talking. And they’re like really smart and good at it. I just don’t feel like that’s me. I need someone to talk to you. So God bless Ashley for coming on this podcast today. And giving you a little meat and potatoes to go along with this. Thank you so much, Ashley,
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited. And hopefully you’ll be able to solve my problem
That is my goal is well, okay, so first things first, I want you to just jump in. And I want you to tell me all about what you’re experiencing any sort of issues, anything that you need to know, I will. At the end of your little spiel all I’ll pop in and then ask you anything that aren’t jumping out at me right away, you’ll also see me taking notes as well.
Sounds good. So pretty much, my daughter, Elle, is a little bit over seven months. And I will say that from the get go. I really really did all my research. And I really tried my best to really instill like really great sleeping habits. I’m very type A that being said she is a baby. And although very cooperative, and I would, I will say a good sleeper. We did recently transition from three to naps about a month or so ago. And at first it was tough, but we’ve kind of even doubt and she’s doing fairly well. The main main main problem that we’re having our early morning wakes, which are killing me, because I’ve tried everything and I just I can’t get her to kick that habit. Um, I will say that she wakes up, I wake up before her now, which is like driving me crazy. Because I’m up so early, checking the baby monitor to just see Oh, she’s awake. And when she wakes up and so on. And then sometimes she does doze back off. Sometimes I do so I really don’t know, like exactly everything that happens a to be every single day. But she is waking up early, which is kind of confusing me with like the wake windows during the day and then some wakes during nap times and stuff like that. So I’m just hoping for a bit more consistency. And I hate to have her up that early because I feel like she needs that sleep. And it’s not great to be up that early as well. So yeah, that’s pretty much what I’m dealing with right now. Yeah.
Okay, first things first, let’s define an early wake for you What time is she waking?
the her first wake when I kind of hear her. And the other problem that I do have is like she’s not always super vocal when she wakes up. So sometimes like I’m checking the monitor, I’m like, Oh my gosh, she’s awake already at night. She hasn’t like made any noise, you know. But I’ll say anywhere from five this morning actually was like 444 when I looked at my, my phone, but really normally anywhere from five to 530. And like I mentioned, she does like most of the time goes back off, on and off, like on and off. But that’ll normally be like the first time that she is kind of awake and moving around and I’m just watching her kind of go through all the things.
Yeah, okay. Okay, this is good to know. Talk to me a little bit about how she’s falling asleep. So how does she fall asleep for naps and nighttime, completely independently?
She’s like rolling from belly to back and back to belly. And now crawling is on the horizon. So she will kind of like go on to her belly, get on all fours and kind of like do like, like a little dancing quite a bit. The second I put her down to go to sleep for the night or for the nap. She immediate flops to her stomach. And she’ll kind of do her own thing but there’s no like she gets she goes to sleep completely independently. Normally Anywhere from like, okay, two to five minutes maybe to fall asleep.
Okay. Okay. And that’s that’s good to know. And the reason why I asked that is sometimes when babies aren’t going to sleep so I have an early morning master class plug, plug plug, it’s $29. It’s on my website. babysbestsleep.com/masterclasses. I also have a nap masterclass as well. But the reason why I ask and I’m going to tell you to not buy that course in a second is if your child is not sleeping independently, we need to rule that out as a variable first. Okay, so that means I see this all the time, and people are like, No, I know you say that. But like, it’s different, because it’s my baby. But a lot of people will tell me I mean, I don’t my baby sleeps independently on their own. I feed them immediately before they fall asleep. And their eyes are kind of closing and opening. But you know, I they’re on their own. And so it doesn’t sound like that’s the case for you. But if you have to get your baby to a point of like calm for anyone listening, if you’re doing something that gets them to the point where they can sleep is probably something you’ll want to remove. It also could be something that they’re waking for in the morning. So we need to do a really good deep dive into naps and nighttime to make sure that there is nothing helping that babies to sleep or getting drowsy that they would prefer to happen. Okay, great. So my next question is when she’s up really early, is there any like rewards, so are we getting her out? And like, bring her back to your bed for early morning? cuddles or anything? Nope. Okay, great. Again, I asked, and you’re like, Amanda, no, that’s not my issue. But like 10 other people listening are like, Oh, that is what I’m doing shit. So, yeah, the early morning cuddles. And I’m coming to this note from no place of judgment or saying it’s wrong. If you want to bring your baby into your bed, that’s totally fine. You just need to know that there’s a good chance that they may be waiting for that. So if you don’t want it, we’re probably gonna have to stop any rewards. If you have toddlers, like I’ve heard a lot of things like Oh, they, they get up, we just give them a bottle in our bed or they get up and we give them an iPad. These are big, big, big rewards for toddlers and preschoolers. So we’re gonna want to make sure that that is totally not happening as well. Okay, this is good. So, talk to me about I’m just gonna double check. It doesn’t sound like your baby is eating overnight or in the middle of the night.
No, she’s not never a little bit over two months now. She’s completely sleeps through the night.
Okay, great. And how much does she weigh?
She weighs 19 pounds.
Great. How are the time calories How is feeding in solids.
She’s She’s She’s a pretty good eater. And her she has a bat she has for daytime bottles that are seven or eight ounces and she’ll normally drink the majority of it. But once she leaves it, she leaves it. She did start on solids. She has mostly puree but I’m sickening and up slowly but surely. food that’s a bit more solid. She has trouble with consistency and stuff. We’re working on it. But overall, she’s, she’s good on that end. I think so anyways,
it’s good. That sounds like good. One of the things that you may want to think about or consider is like that last meal of the day fortifying the solids. Obviously, big disclaimer for everybody you know, your child’s allergies, we never want to be introducing brand new foods immediately before bed just to monitor for allergies, foods that they’ve never had should be monitored and offered during the daytime hours. But one of the things that you might want to try is fortifying those solids. So things like coconut oil, olive oil, a little bit of that just to fatten up that last meal offering protein sources, fatty sources, eggs, avocado again, what’s your allergies? Don’t everyone go and feed your baby and egg when you’ve never fed your baby an egg, please don’t do that. But you you might want to try during the day. And then if things are going well, you can offer that before night. Okay, so this seems good. So now I want to look at sleep totals because sometimes they’re in situations where babies are sleeping too little, or they’re sleeping too much during the day. And and this feels weird because oh my god, I’m competing with these blogs right now of people being like, I have a client and she’s so lovely. And we’re finishing in our babies like smashing life and she’s like, I just wanted to tell you, I read a blog, and they’re seeing me my six month old needs to be sleeping four to five hours a day and I was like oh Holy crap. I haven’t, like never years. Have I seen that most babies and, you know, if you’re listening to this, head over to my Instagram and look up, look up my sleep chart, my nap adequacy video is under one of my big TVs, I’m pretty sure and I talked about adequate sleep pressure, I talked about the length of naps, if you want to imagine, like, this isn’t exactly true, but like, just for the purposes of what we’re discussing, I want you to imagine that every baby has like a little amount of sleep in them, okay? And it’s, it’s full of their sleep. So every time they sleep, they take a little bit out of that sleep pot. Okay, like if we think of like, the pot of gold, I don’t know, this is what’s in my head. Don’t judge me, okay, but we have our pot of gold. And every time the baby sleeps to take out a little bit of that pot of gold. Now, let’s say they have 14 coins, or 14 hours in them. And we use two of those coins during the day or we use five of those coins. That means there’s only gonna be nine coins left overnight, right? So then we have to balance it out in some way in shifts that. That being said, if baby is not sleeping enough, they could be really overtired. And that creates lots of early morning wakes as well. And I see this mostly with babies transitioning to daycare, who are moved to one nap before they’re ready. They’re overtired, they’re not ready to do that. And then five or six o’clock in the morning, they’re just awake. Why are they wait? Well, let’s talk the biology. The melatonin will rise in your body from dusk until about two or three o’clock in the morning. And then Melatonin is like man or done. You’ve slept. We have enough melatonin in you. And then we have cortisol and adrenaline that rise around four or five in the morning that say, Okay, look, it’s time for us to be up and Adam, right. And these are our hormones. You know, cortisol has a really bad rap. But cortisol literally keeps us upright and moving during the day. So this comes. And so anything that’s happening in those early morning times are going to be more pronounced than at any other part of the night. Any waking after 3pm sucks. It’s the same reason why you are probably getting up at the same times and probably not going back to bed because your cortisol is like, whoo, we’re getting ready to wake up. Let’s do this. So it’s it’s a it’s a perfect storm. It’s a hormonal soup, that doesn’t really work for us. So going back to that idea of over tiredness, if your baby’s kind of overtired, they’re going to be more wired. And if they’re kind of awake and having a natural wake anyway, then it’s going to be harder for them to get down at that time. Okay. So talk to me about total daytime sleep. So how many hours total daytime how many hours total? nighttime. Okay,
so daytime, her first nap of the day is pretty consistently an hour and a half. Okay. And her second nap of the day will go anywhere between an hour 15 to an hour and a half. But that’s kind of an hour and a half is kind of on the rare side. And lately, I’d say in the past week. She’s been waking maybe like an hour, 15 minutes to an hour into her second nap.
What time is bedtime right now?
Right now? Well, I’m going on off week windows. So it’ll fall pretty much anywhere between 615 to 640. ish.
And then Okay, and then she’s up at five. Okay, yeah. Okay, so right off the top, I see a really common thing that people do. And I did this as well, by the way, before I was asleep, consultant. So what is happening is people get really attached to the weak windows, which I totally understand. So it seems to me that probably we’re working on like a three hour week window three and a half hours, right? Yeah,
the first one is a little bit under three only because, like I know she’s up. Yes, whatever. Yes. And then I’m doing like three, three and a quarter to a half as the last one. Okay.
So then what’s going to happen with that is her kind of always. So if she’s going to bed at let’s say 615 by five 540. That’s 11 hours, right? She’s like, Whoa, bright eyed, bushy tailed. Let’s do this. Yeah, personally, I mean, we’re speaking like four days before daylight savings.
That’s stressing me out.
No, no, no, I think this is good for you. This is good for you. Because I think that you should push up bedtime but maybe Don’t do anything for four days and 615 becomes 715 5am becomes 6am, which is a lot more palatable because we spring forward, right? So this is a writ like you are the only person on the planet who will well not the only but you know, hopefully we’ll get this out in a little bit of time. But you really don’t have to make a huge transition, which is awesome. So I would keep things away they are in your case, if you’re listening to this, and it’s not daylight savings, which is more likely than not what happens is we get to a point where baby is falling asleep, or getting up early, and then we panic and we’re like, Yeah, I don’t want them to be overtired. I’m gonna shorten that week window the whole day is pulled earlier than right your first nap is probably in the eights she’s done at nine then we might have a nap maybe around one two if we’re lucky. Then we get that that that ends it at three then nap oh my god wake windows. That is going to be at six because wait windows right? So our whole day is like vacuum forward. And so what I would say is a baby who’s getting 11 hours of sleep. We are really like most kids are getting between 10 to 12 hours of sleep 12 hours of sleep I’ve said this on this podcast before is a unicorn it is a unicorn and like it’s so rare most kids are getting a bed 11 with a good chunk in the 10s as well because daytime sleep is great. So if we’re getting 11 hours we’re close to it then it’s going to be really hard for me to pull that out for you with the exception of of pushing a bedtime which is going to happen really naturally with you You don’t have to really mess with her body clock you know the first day you do it might be challenging in for anyone listen I would listening I would try to push out by 15 minutes every three days. And instead of following a week window based on that that first waking because this might happen after to write you want to what I tell my clients is always assume that baby was waking at six. Okay. And if we assume that we can go from six we can calculate that week. We know from there. Oh, there’s baby now. She Oh, she’s awake from her nap.
Okay, that is that is Daddy’s got it?
Totally. I trust you. Do you know the most annoying thing in my whole fucking life is when I went back to work at four months. Everyone asked me who was watching my baby. Oh, like, by the end of the year? I would say like what maybe? I don’t know. It’s so insulting. I 100% is that there was irresponsible. Oh, my God, nothing triggers me more than that. Honestly, it’s like, oh, who’s watching the kids? Like, I did a business trip. And I was on the plane I didn’t want this was like pre COVID. And someone asked me on the plane. Oh, it’s so nice that your husband lets you do that. I’m like, No one says it to my husband, I know is wild. Okay. off track. That’s okay. So I told you, we’d get to a point where I said something about my husband, just there you go. Okay, so then what you can also do instead of weak Windows is move towards what’s called a forest or a fixed schedule, where we say nap at 930 nap at 130. bed at seven. Okay. And I think in order to push that morning a little bit, we need to get a seven o’clock bedtime in there. And it can take a while it can take a while to push to that point. Because baby is so used to getting up at a certain time. And this is actually why I wanted to have you on because I really, really, really want to talk about body clocks. And and I’m going to try to space out this episode. So it comes out really close to daylight savings. So everyone is like in it and listening to it. And they’re like I get it here I am. But our body clocks are only programmable generally within an hour. And if you think about daylight savings, it takes us like a month to feel normal with the new times. Spring Forward is a time where we have to go to bed earlier because 9pm is the new or our 9pm now is 10pm next week, okay, so then if we go to bed at 10 or bodies or like a girl is nine we don’t do that. So it’s really hard. Um, the same goes for these early morning wakings. And and I wrote this down in my notes here you set it I’m waking up before her because now your body clock is set right? So now she’s like, I get up, this is what I do. Um, I would I would be very cognizant of the body clock, because I feel like parents think it’s a really fixable problem. And for some of you listening, I do feel like we don’t have to do anything for you. Let’s wait for this time change, it will shift. And I also think like, even if it wasn’t time change pushing your bedtime at an hour, I think would would fix it because she’s getting enough sleep. Everything in your day looks good calories, look good, tick, tick, tick. Okay, you’re done. But for the average person there, they’re going to do all of this. You’re going to take my my early morning masterclass, and nothing’s going to shift for you. And it’s not because you’re doing anything wrong. It’s because baby has a body clock. And there are people like, it’s funny, all of my early rising clients are early risers themselves. It’s genetic. And so are you an early riser?
Normally, I mean, like, not like 5am. But like, you know,
you’re a, you’re a morning person. Yeah. And what I find with my early Monday morning clients is they’re like, Look, I get it. But that’s usually me time, I want that time for myself to be awake. I want my kid to sleep. And so a lot of this is the body clock, we have an internal what’s the right word thing in our brain. And it basically drives a lot of our rhythms, you’re going to have morning people, you’re going to have night owls. And that’s not going to be anything that you can really change. I am a night owl. And I’ve tried my whole life to be a morning person. And I, I, where’s the why we sleep book by Matthew Walker, he talks I referenced that book a lot. Because I’ve looked up this a lot. And it’s written in very, very, like challenging language. But Matthew Walker basically says, like, there are these two people who put themselves into a cave, okay. And no matter what their body knew, even if they didn’t have light exposure, their body knew when to wake up. And we actually have like, a longer a longer body clock than 24 hours, like maybe just slightly longer than 24 hours. But your body has a rhythm that’s just innate. So some of this can be solvable, some of it can’t. A few quick tips, if you’re not already doing this light exposure is a bitch. And we’re listening, I hope that you’re listening to this in the spring, you need to make sure that you have like to layers of garbage bags, if you don’t want your children to be responding to the sun. Because like having that natural wait time, we are also creatures of the sun. We are we are Earthlings. Okay? And so when the sun comes up, we’re like, Okay, I’m ready to go, no matter what, right? Like, I always think about as well. Um, my husband and I, my whole family, not just my husband, I, my whole family moved out of the city this summer. And my in laws had my kids. And it was just like, my husband and I, it was so wild. We had no window coverings at all. It was mid August, the sun was about like five o’clock in the morning. And we were like, Oh my God, we could not get back to sleep. We’re grown people who want to sleep, we couldn’t imagine being a little baby that’s like this, I discovered that I don’t have any social context about why you shouldn’t be awake. So make sure your room is super dark. Have the hand rule if you can see your hand, it’s too bright. If you can go into your child’s room right now and see your hand it’s too bright. Get a couple layers of garbage bags, obviously, if it’s safe to do so if your toddler can grab them or your preschooler, it’s not safe to have giant bags in their room. Don’t put those up there. But if you have a baby that can work quite well. Um, we talked about body clock body clocks are hard to change. It’ll take about a month. So those of you who are listening who are like, Oh, damn, I’m not as lucky as Ashley. And I’m not going to just be able to like slide into this beautiful time change. It’ll be harder for you than her. Know that it takes anywhere between three or four weeks. And remember the time change feeling remember how hard it is to go to bed earlier from and you’re gonna wake up probably at the same times, right? So, give give your child grace. Give them about three to four weeks before you’re seeing those big big changes. Okay.
Sounds good. For sure.
Awesome. Was that helpful?
No, that was super, super helpful. And like everything else on paper, like you said, looks good, like her daytime sleep like and even like In the upcoming like couple of months like or do, I need to make any big changes to kind of avoid like the early warnings creeping back up?
I think that the only instance where the early mornings would creep up is light exposure, which is really common. So between the months of April and May, my biggest question will be early mornings, which is why I’m trying to get this podcast out now. I think that light exposure is crucial. But if she is a little bit of an early riser, Oh, I know what I wanted to talk to you about? I would get rid of that monitor in your room as well. Would you be able to hear her if you had your door open?
And if she started crying?
Yeah, for sure.
Okay. I think to like what I was hearing too, like your, you’re waking, you’re seeing her she’s doing like really normal early morning stuff. Because of that, that cortisol hike and the melatonin dip, you’re seeing, like, if I put a camera on you at four o’clock in the morning, you’re doing the same thing. You’re on your phone, right? So it’s, it’s, it’s providing more stress, like she might be in and out of sleep and dozing in and out of sleep and reducing sleep pressure.
And that stresses me out!
So it’s stressing you out? I’m not saying so like, disclaimer, again,I’m not saying everyone don’t have the baby monitor. I’m not saying don’t check on your baby. I’m saying if you think that you would hear them and it’s safe to do so. Or maybe we even put the monitor on the other side of the room. You know, face down, so you have to get up to get it and you really have to work to hear it. That’s good, because monitors also amplify every sound every snore, breath cough. So I don’t love them for that reason, I think that they cause a lot of anxiety accidentally. So get rid of that monitor. Yeah. And and the other thing for you, too, you’re setting your body clock. Every time you get up and you look at your phone, your phone is like a replicat Sun, which is why we want to avoid it before bed. Because it’s like, Oh, we don’t have to produce any melatonin. It’s sunlight out. So when you get up at four, and I’m like, dang, your body’s like, Oh, that’s when the sun comes up. Let’s get ready for that tomorrow. Um, it’ll take a little while for you to wean yourself from the addiction. But I think it’ll really help everyone with that with that early morning as well.
Okay, that’s some good advice that I will. Yeah, definitely.
I telling you, I slept with like a monitor for a while and it like, are you in Toronto? Montreal. Okay, so maybe it’s a little bit different in Montreal, but like Toronto, like it’s every like small houses. It’s like, I could hear my baby like cough. Without the monitor. I don’t need the monitor making it sound like cough cough. It’s just like everything. So
All right. Well, Ashley, it was a pleasure. Thank you so much. And guys, if you do want to get on a call with a member of our team, chances are I gotta be honest with you, we’re probably not going to take you on just for early morning wakes. As you see there’s so many variables. That’s why we created the early morning masterclass. It’s a cheap and cheerful way for you to get the results that you want. However, if your baby isn’t sleeping independently yet, and there’s a whole bunch of stuff going on, you can head over to babysbestsleep.com to book a call with myself or any member of our team. We’d love to help you. If you’re on a budget, hover, head over to this podcast, you’re here thank god, Instagram or the blog, where we really lay everything out there as well for you. Thank you so much, everybody, and have a wonderful day!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai