Dom Asks: “Sleep Training is taking forever – what am I doing wrong?!?”

Voice Over  0:01  
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.

Amanda 0:36
Alright, Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another edition of a slumber party podcast. I’m Amanda Jewson sleep expert, nap lover, sleep lover, all of the lovers of sleep, things. I’m excited today, today is a guest episode, which means we get to talk actually problems with real people about real things that are happening. And I’m super excited to have Dom with us today. Welcome.

Dom 1:07
Hi. Thank you.

Amanda 1:09
Hi, thankyou so much for coming on. Okay, what I like to do is we just so we’re clear, we haven’t talked prior, I have what I have like your little application. But in case people are wondering, it’s not like we have a like pre call and I solve all the issues before we are doing this on the fly. So when I do a discovery call with my clients, it’s exactly what we do. I’d love for you to just kind of jump in and tell me what’s going on. You’ll probably see me take a few notes just so I don’t forget anything. But other than that have adder.

Dom 1:43
Okay, so, so first of all, thank you very much for talking with me. I wanted to kind of do this forever. So feels like forever, right? But okay. So my step now seven month old daughter, jet, we started, we jumped into sleep training, just after six months. Okay, so it’s been about a month for us now. And it I feel like I did it cold turkey. I’m not sure if that’s the right term or not. But I pretty much nursing her to sleep because we have troubles starting, like with breastfeeding. So she didn’t really get to breastfeed and take to it until two months. So from two months to six months, I was breastfeeding her, it was blissful, I would nurse her to sleep, you know, I felt so accomplished. I felt like Oh, she’s just the sweetest thing in the world. Like, let’s just leave this as is. And then of course, the regressions happen. And then she’s up every hour and a half through the night and needs to be nursed back to sleep. So I definitely reached my breaking point. And I just thought, alright, let’s just jump into this. I otherwise I’m not going to do it because I have so much anxiety around hearing her cry and leaving her and I just didn’t know what to do. So move the playpen out of our room downstairs, put her in her crib to sleep. And I stayed the night with her the first night. That was completely uncomfortable and uncool that I slept in my own bed next night, but went in every time she woke up. So of course that was a challenge as well. And then the third night I finally said, Alright, let’s do this. So I just followed Ferber as best as I could, as like as closely as I could, and it did seem to work after the second night. She slept through the night and I was amazed. And it was wonderful. And we’ve we’ve kind of just continued. So some things have happened in between there where she is now she’s now learning to stand up. So she loves to do that. And now she can crawl around as well. So she will move about in the crib. But what I’m finding is the crying has not really led up. There are I would say half of the time she will go down with like a minute or two of crying. And naps are about the same. But she wakes up wailing so in the morning, she will cry and cry and cry until she gets food or Publix I breastfeed her in the mornings. I tried to take some of your advice and not do it immediately. So I changed her diaper. I tried to sue her I tried to you know ask her overnight was if that means anything that’ll wake her up. Like you know, I’m happy I go in with energy and yeah, the crying just doesn’t stop. And and then I know there’s like over tiredness and under Carnage and I really try to figure out like follow her awake windows, but I just don’t know what I’m doing. And I don’t know why the crying continues after a month like I would have thought and like I said sometimes she will go down and it’s like perfect. Yeah. Most of the time. There’s still quite a bit of crying happening.

Amanda 4:58
Yeah, and you know what you’re Right. And that’s a good instinct to have that if there’s a lot of crying that’s still happening. That generally means there’s some confusion happening. It’s, it’s I’m so glad this is why I wanted to jump into this discussion because this happens so often, where I’m like, I don’t know if you’re in any Facebook mom groups, but it’s like, there was always 18 horror stories about sleep training that involves like, well, it took my baby like six weeks to learn. They cried the whole time for several hours. And I’m like, Oh, my God, no, like, something went wrong there. Like, it doesn’t have to be like that. And it doesn’t mean, this something went wrong is like, well, you screwed up and you’re bad. It’s like, this is stuff that people don’t know that. I know, because it’s my job. And it’s a weird job. Like, I didn’t even know this existed. You know, six years ago, it was like, so the, so you know, for anyone listening or for you, it’s like, this is stuff that we’re not taught, we’re taught how to breastfeed, we’re taught how to clothe a baby, we’re taught 1800 products to buy, and but sleep, it’s like, good luck, I hope you figure something out. People are kind of left on their own. Okay, a few questions. So for anyone listening, again, Dom if we run like a call, I wouldn’t like answer this roundabout. But because we’re on the podcast, we have to kind of talk like this, okay, but for anyone listening, when there is an extended period of crying, or lots and lots of crying, or an invite, and I guess we should define that, like, anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes can be normal for some babies to kind of like unwind, like, you know, they’re they’re doing their thing I like to say it’s like, letting out the last bit of emotion at the end of the day, they’re just kind of, like I said of the day. And to be honest, like, there are some nights where I feel like doing the same. So find it, let that emotion and then they go to bed. If you’re within that range, I think that’s pretty normal. Anything like 15 minutes plus, like, if we’re getting to a half an hour, 45 minutes, pretty consistently, there’s generally something happening there. And that could be a wake window issue that they’re not tired enough. It could be that there’s something continually helping them to sleep, that’s not obvious to you. And so that’s what we’ll try to problem solve right now what it could be. Okay, so right now, are there any overnight feedings?

So no, throughout the process, there were like, a few nights where she would wake up in the middle of the night and I would feed her. And then I would do the same, like, follow the same thing, right, put her down before she’s completely asleep. But, you know, the middle of the night so much easier for them. I feel like to go back to sleep. So yeah, she was probably still being kind of fed to sleep. Right. Like,

but that hasn’t happened in a while or in the last one hour. Okay, so no more feeding to sleep. What time is she waking in the morning? What time is wakeup time?

Dom 8:10
Anywhere between? like 640 and 7:10am?

Amanda 8:15
Awesome. That’s so specific. You’re on you can tell. I keep I know. Okay, good. Um, so between 710 What time is bedtime?

Dom 8:28
So I try to get her down consistently by 6:45pm. But in between, depends on when that last nap happens and when she’s awake from it. So anywhere between 6:20pm to 7pm 7pm is like the latest that she’s going into that. Okay, great.

Amanda 8:51
Talk to me about the last 20 minutes before sleep. Yes.

Okay. So, in the last week, I have been like, so I will definitely last two weeks. I feed her breastfeed her about 20 minutes before I’m going to bring her upstairs to her bed and start her bedtime routine. So I will breastfeed her downstairs. I stopped breastfeeding her in her room because I found she was really comfy. And it was I feel like there was some confusion. Right? Yeah. And so breastfeed her and then bring her upstairs and do her part of my routine. So like, I use like a warm washcloth to kind of wipe her face, change her diaper, put her in a onesy. Then I read to her, we read the same story every night. She smiles when I show her the book. So good. Yes,


And then I and I also have a lot of life planning in the background. And then I put her in a sleep sack. And that’s usually when I lay her down on the change table and put it into sleep sack. I will get some blessing from there. Like she knows what’s coming next. Yeah. And then step up the sleepsack. Give her hugs kisses, put her in her crib, and I do give her a pacifier. Like I put that into her hand and she puts it into her mouth. So I noticed that she’s able to get it herself and use it if she wants to. It’s not like, yeah, going back in to put it back in for her. Yeah, for some mornings she wakes up with it and others she doesn’t.

Okay. Okay. Um, that sounds good. So would you say that there is 20 minutes from the end of the feed to the start of your nap or bedtime?

Unknown Speaker 10:37
Maybe 15.

Amanda 10:39
Okay, that’s, that doesn’t sound too crazy. Okay, perfect. Talk to me about naps and your wake windows during the day?

Yeah, so she’s still pretty tired after two hours. So I try to follow like sleepy cues. But unless she’s like, rubbing her eyes or getting like, annoyingly fussy, um, it’s about two hours, like, that’s every two hours. I know. She’s pretty much ready to go down. And when I tried to stretch it, it’s like it’s very she has a challenging night. So then,

and when so she’s still on the three NASA right now.

Yes. Okay. I’ve tried to stretch her to two and Megan just rose the night off. That’s actually when she was starting to wake up in the night. So I don’t know. I feel like she’s not ready for that yet. But I’m really not sure. At this point.

Is she getting a two hour awake window before bed?

If she has a really late nap, it might be an hour and a half before bed. But it also like that’s me following her like her queues, right. So she starts to seem sleepy. bossy, so I’m trying to get her to bed before she has that like melting point, right. But yes, mostly it is two hours before bed. Okay.

In the last like that 15 minutes. And I think I know what’s going on. But in the last 15 minutes, is there any like for those of you listening? I’m holding my magnesium? I don’t know. It looks like a baby. But is there any kind of like holding until she’s calm? Any sort of like getting drowsy in your body? Like parents will say to me, Well, I can’t do sleeve training, because when I put them down, they cry. So I need to hold them. Then they get calm. And then I put them down anything like that happening?

No, I mean, so downstairs like that’ll read a story before we go up a quick story upstairs. I mean, I am holding her in my lap to read her book.

But I’m not talking about just holding like I’m you would know what I mean? Because you’d be like, yes. Like it would be like, Oh, the baby’s crying crying? No, no, no, okay, can’t cry, I’m just gonna hold you until you calm down. Okay, now you’re calm. Now I’m going to put you down. So we see, it’s, it’s not obvious help to sleep. But even for those of you who are listening, it’s not your particular issue. But it is a very common issue that kind of sneaks in. And the same goes for feeding too close to sleep boobs or bottles. Babies can do like a slow blink. And when they’re kind of doing this, like if you’re, if you are listening, I’m blinking slowly, if you’re watching, you know what I mean? They kind of like get in the zone. And then when the parent puts them into bed, their eyes are open. So the parents like no, I don’t feed them to sleep. I don’t, you know, do all those things. They’re just, you know, they’re a little bit calm. And so I would say, look, if you need to get them to come to go back to sleep, then that’s an issue. Okay, so the good thing is, I really think from what I’m hearing, this feels like a week window issue for me. And this is actually really common, and I’m so glad it’s just this because this can be easy, to some degree for you to fix. So I would say like the biggest struggle that I have with parents is extending wake windows for exactly the reason that you’re discussing, which is like they’re showing sleepy queues. They seem really tired. And I don’t want to miss this like magic window because I don’t want them to freak out. I don’t want them to be overtired. We have the big green, overtired monster hanging here and like we’ve been like, conditioned to be so freaked out by it, which I totally understand. But then the other half of that is knowing what her body is just used to. I don’t know if you can hear my husband, but like no sound men talk. He’s screaming. It’s like, anyway, it’s

Unknown Speaker 14:45
the same issue.

Amanda 14:46
I know. It’s like Why can’t you just talk at a regular level? And then it’s like thump, thump thump. And anyway, sorry introjection I think anyone in pandemic life can relate. Okay. Um, yes. The issue with the wake Windows is that your child can start showing sleepy signs in that’s mostly due to the fact that they’re used to going to bed. They’re used to being awake at that time. So their bodies naturally it’s kind of like, when I talk about that for I like repeating myself constantly. So you’ve been following me, I’m sorry, that first week of the pandemic, I ate a bag of chips every night at 930. And every night at 930. And like, finally, in like, the fifth day, I was like, I can’t eat a bag of chips, I’m going to be finished the bag of chips, but my body started prepping for food. So I got hungry, my tummy is going. But I don’t need the food. But my body’s ready. Your baby is ready, because they’re waiting, like, this is the thing that we’re put down. And this is what we’re used to. Now, where we would back up is like, yes, we want to honor their cues. And if honoring their cues means good naps, less protest, and all of that stuff. We go for it, definitely. Let’s continue it. But it does sound like there’s there are problems, right, there’s protests going down, it sounds like there are some shorter naps. And then, you know, if she’s crying for like, 30 minutes plus, that would be a reason for me to investigate the wake windows. So if you know you were my client, and we were jumping in, I would start you at maybe like two and a half hours in the morning at a minimum. And then I might even do three, three and a half hours before bed. Yeah. So it’s a big jump, I know. And then and then I don’t want you to get too freaked out about those numbers just yet, like you can get there. I mean, personally, if it were me, I would just jump in, she might be a little bit cranky or fussy, it might be like, kind of like dragging around this sad little puppy, but then they will also get used to the new schedule as seven months, you may even want to just jump into more of a fixed schedule. So where you have two naps at the same time. So for you, I would think if she’s getting up between 630 and seven, I would say that first nap between nine 930, roughly second nap between 132. And then bed time between like 637 depending on the length of the naps. Obviously, before Ben, you said, you know, there’s some times where that wake windows about an hour and a half. So a week window for, you know, a three month old is what I would be doing. Like I’d be doing that for one and a half or sorry, I’d be doing that for a three month old and one and a half hour week window. So for her, she’s showing you all the signs and like I would probably have done the same thing. And then you put her down and she’s like, I am so not ready to do this yet. I’m going to scream I’m going to shout. And it’s hard. Like I actually just finished with the client last week, where the baby was doing it as similar thing eight months, just for the life of us. Everything was amazing. Nasser amazing, no protests, everything was awesome. before bed, she just let it go for 20 to 30 minutes. I just said, Look, I just have a feeling she’s not tired enough. And the moms like well, she shows sleepy cues. And I was like I know. But let’s just try pushing 30 minutes, and it was gone. And the nights continued. So I think, you know, without knowing more, now that it sounds to me, there’s no asleep, sleep associations, there’s nothing in the middle of the night that’s, you know, continuing to happen or like you’re not feeding her overnight. There’s no confusion that’s jumping out at me. And I wonder if prior when you did try to push out those weak windows, those things were happening. And then they kind of combined. Even if there is some temporary over tiredness, which there could be while she’s making those stretches, I would still continue like going on because there’s just not enough in the tank. So it kind of needs to be like, right now she’s under tired. And then she’s going to be a little overtired. But then within like a day or two she’s going to want to pay back that overtired ness that additional sleep and you should get a lot less a lot less protest going down.

Dom 19:09

Amanda 19:12
That is I’m so glad I was like oh gosh, I hope it’s not some like you know thing I’m going to have to tell you that you really don’t want to do but this is you know, in just a you feel better. This is the number one thing we kind of come to blows with with clients is like Look, I know because we’ve been taught I was taught follow your baby cues when you get the baby cues, right, you’re gonna nail it, which is true, I think for the for a newborn. But for an older baby and this seven month zone we may have to kind of force a scheduler or force those weak windows when there are problems right when when that is going on. The other thing you might want to consider is, again, I’m not against pacifiers that they’re working. This can be a last ditch solution, if that doesn’t work, is sometimes when a baby has to get to full consciousness to find the pacifier. There’s risks of additional night waking or short naps as a result to connect those cycles. So I would you know, I’m not saying ditch the pacifier. But if you’ve, you know, alright, this baby’s on to naps. I’ve done all of the wake windows. Okay, now, what do I do? If the pacifier was still there? I might think about removing it. When I work with clients, I do remove the pacifier. But that’s not because I hate them. It’s because if you’re already at the point of where you’re hiring me, let’s eliminate every variable from from that repertoire. But if you are, if you’ve done the wake windows, and that’s your last thing, that is where I would suggest it and it doesn’t sound to me like if you have to give it to her and she doesn’t seem to care. That doesn’t jump out at me is like this thing. That is this huge issue. And she doesn’t want it during the day.

Dom 21:07
So that’s why like, yeah, she’s up and playing. She could care less about the pacifier. But I love that in the crib. It’s I feel like I don’t know if it’s a comfort thing. But

Amanda 21:16
yeah, yeah. Well, who knows? And you know, she doesn’t like lots of babies suck their thumb. She may not want to do that. So yeah. Does that feel like does that feel like something you can try? I

Dom 21:27
can definitely try that. And I’ve been trying to think about how to get her onto to nap so I can definitely try it out and see what happens.

Amanda 21:35
I yeah, it’s I know, it’s so it’s so scary, especially when they’re tired. One of the ways I suggest with clients when they are trying to stretch awake window is that you do some water play, which is actually kind of nice with this weather. So like water is like so fascinating to them. So literally like a spoon in a bowl and a little shallow bit of water in the highchair and bring her outside water is going to wake them up. You can literally give them a bath if you wanted to. But it’ll kind of cool down their body. They’ll be a little more awake and they might actually have a really good nap as well.

Dom 22:16
Okay, that’s snack.

Amanda 22:18
Constant snacking.

Unknown Speaker 22:19

Amanda 22:20
she and she on solids?

Dom 22:21
We are on solid. So work work that in as well.

Amanda 22:27
Amazing. Well, I’m super pumped out. How did we do for that one? I’m gonna check our timer. Okay, so 23 minutes the perfect crap nap time. And I know you were like, what happens if we can’t get through? We did it we totally did it good for us. And by the way, your your sound sounds amazing. So yeah, it sounds really good. You’re

Dom 22:52
crying baby in the background cuz I definitely heard my husband marched up the stairs to go get her out.

Amanda 22:57
Oh, hilarious. It’s so funny. We both heard our own husbands were both like, shamed by their sounds But no, I didn’t hear it at all. You did make a face where I thought like, Oh, she’s gonna have to go. But then I was like, Oh, no, it must have been gas. Who knows?

Dom 23:13
Like close the door because I could hear

Amanda 23:17
mean, it’s always I will be in the middle of like recording something or I’ll be like, there was a time where I was doing a presentation and the girls were like banana pants. Like, it was like for a partnership that I was doing with like an organization. They were paying me money to speak. And I was like, all I ask girls, please. No yelling, please. No yelling and they’re like, okay, Mommy,

Dom 23:43
we’re not gonna.

Amanda 23:44
We’re not gonna do it. My husband’s like, go downstairs. I was like, I didn’t think I had to tell you no yelling. I mean, it wasn’t like hardcore yelling, but he was like, Alright,

Amanda 23:57
go. And I was like, great. So yeah, we survived it.

Dom 24:03
Awesome. I really appreciate it.

Amanda 24:06
My pleasure. Thank you so much. And for anyone watching. Please go ahead, like review Subscribe on YouTube. If you liked this episode, and that helped you helped you please leave a review. It helps. Lots of tired parents just like yourself, find solutions they need. If you prefer to read this, head over to the blog, head over to my Instagram @babysbestsleep. I try to give you as much possible information for free on there things for tips and tricks for you to finally sleep. Thank you so much for joining us and have a good one.


Whether you’re at the beginning stages of sleep training with your baby or you just want to improve your mental health as a parent, the sleep consultants at Baby’s Best Sleep are here to help. Contact us today