S2E1: Kale and Krunches: Newborn 101! | Baby's Best Sleep

Welcome to Season 2 of the Slumber Party podcast! Today your host Amanda Jewson, renown sleep consultant behind Babys Best Sleep, is joined by Marlie Cohen aka @kale_and_krunches, who has just had a beautiful baby girl. We chat about all things newborn sleep and how to get those Z’s with a new addition in the house. As always, if you need some help with your sleep, set up a discovery call with me below!

www.babysbestsleep.com/15mins

https://kaleandkrunches.com

 

Hey everybody, welcome to another edition of Slumber Party. I invite you to my slumber party, except like the ones you attended in the 90s, this one actually includes sleep. For you, your children, and the entire family! Every week I have any unique guest or I answer a fun question about sleep to get you and your family the sleep that you need. So today I sat down with Marlie Cohen who is just so adorable. She’s a Toronto based health and fitness fanatic. She runs a pretty impressive Instagram account @Kale_andKrunches. She has an amazing blog, kaleandkrunches.com, and what I really love about her is that everything that she’s promoting and saying is really balanced. If you’re not into insane diet culture or like ‘how to get your flat tummy in five seconds’, Marlie’s who you should be talking about. But we actually didn’t talk a lot about what Marlie’s doing though that’s a great topic for another podcast. We talked about Marlie’s new edition, Lilly. I’ve wanted to do a newborn podcast for quite some time and I knew that Marlie had a newborn baby, and the way we structured this is we just basically answer her questions about newborn life because it is hard! It is really hard and it’s challenging and forever changing. So I think if you have a newborn baby, if you know a Mama who has just had a baby, this is a really good conversation. I actually really loved our conversation. I think it’s really, you know, I don’t want to say deep that insinuates it’s like heavy, but we get into the nitty gritty of a lot of stuff and Marlie asks great questions. So once again, thanks so much Marlie for joining me. This is a judgment free zone. All types of sleep are encouraged. So put on your headphones, walk around for the duration of a crap nap and just enjoy yourself and enjoy the show!

All right, everybody. Welcome to the second season of Slumber Party. We are, I don’t know if you can hear it in the background, but we are talking today to Marlie Cohen, otherwise known as Kale and Krunches! Marlie, do people just come up to you and say “Kale and Krunches?”

Not really. I mean maybe it’s happened a couple times, but.

It’s, I’ve had it a couple of times where I’d been at an event and someone will say to me and I am, I have like literally a 1% of the notoriety you do and someone will come up to me and be like, “Baby’s Best Sleep!” Yeah. I don’t know that everyone knows my, my actual name. *Laughter*, awesome. So Marlie is a health and wellness blogger, Instagram queen. Um, she’s, she lives in my neighbourhood, which I love. I love where seeing where you’re going in the hood. And I’m like, well go there. Um, but uh, I follow Marlie. Uh, cause I’m, I always like to stay ahead of trend and find out what moms, you know, who have brand, brand new babies are thinking and feeling. But also I really, I don’t follow a lot of health and wellness stuff ’cause it’s very, very, very like weight loss focused and like eat this diet food. And that is just not me. And I love that, I think you have a really balanced approach to wellness and I frigging love your recipes and all the food. Like you eat real food.

I do!

That’s, that’s so key for me. I eat all the foods, I want to follow people who also eat all the foods. Um, so yeah, that’s, that’s my introduction. I love everything you’re doing. Tell us a little bit about yourself and, and your, your new baby.

Yeah, so I’ve been I guess blogging now for maybe almost four years now. I do it full time, which has been I guess about two years of that now. I left the corporate world to pursue my side hustle, which is health and wellness, blogging, personal training, group classes and all that good stuff. Um, and I always shared my journey of, I guess it started with a how to be healthy in your nine to five job on Instagram. And then that transitioned to tips as a personal trainer and a health and wellness coach. And then it transitioned to showing more of my personal life. And then when I got pregnant, that sort of took a full turn on social media for me. And I apologize, I’m nursing right now. So these are not my weird noises, they’re Lilly’s!

*Laughter* Every mom is like, I know that noise. No apologies necessary!

Um, yeah. So it took a turn to just really share a lot about my journey in pregnancy. Sorry. And how that’s sort of, um, my relationship with my body and body image changed and developed and..

This is real life!

Exactly. She’s normally a great feeder and nurser, and then as soon as we’re recording she decides to put on a show.

I say this to clients all the time that like our kids know, they have a sixth sense when you present them to do something. Like a lot of the time it revolves around sleep, but it’s like, “Hey, I need you to like go to bed right at this time so I can make my workout class.” And they’re like, never, I’m never going to sleep. I’m never going to do that.

Exactly, if I want to get a little workout in at home, she wakes up.

Exactly.

So my. Yeah. So I sort of cultivated a new audience and community on Instagram just from sharing my journey in pregnancy. Um, it was all about definitely like still, you know, it’s killing crunches, so how to stay fit and feel good, but also a lot about dealing with things like, you know, your perception of yourself and your body image is changing and how to deal with that. And I was very honest with the fact that I went from you know, eating Kale Salads to bagels and cheese and all day long and it felt very far removed from that once health and wellness blogger that I was, to the pregnant woman who couldn’t keep down anything green, but anything white and orange was perfect.

Totally.

I was gonna say now since having Lily, it’s sort of been the same thing, just sharing like the real life of a new mom and really not sugarcoating anything.

I think. Um, it’s funny that you say that. I mean, I didn’t start off as a health and wellness blogger. I like joke because I, I’ve never been more healthy than I am now. But I, prior to having children, I was not, um, and, but I was always dieting. I was always doing a diet, diet, diet, diet, diet. And the first time I really stopped dieting in I want to say 10 years is when I got pregnant and I couldn’t, like I really, I don’t know if you feel this way, I feel like your body, it becomes very primal. You know what you need at that moment. I think you needed white food and orange foods and that’s what she needed. And it was the only thing that made me feel nourished and good. Like it wasn’t even about, ‘oh, I don’t feel nauseous’. It’s like I have a primal need to eat, just like crackers and bread with butter on it. And I just went with it!

I was even really lucky. I wasn’t even that nauseous in my pregnancy. I actually felt pretty good. But that primal need for cheese was real.

Yeah. Yeah. And then we got to listen to our bodies. This is a big, it’s why I enjoy your Instagram so much because I don’t think it’s pushing moms to be this unrealistic Kim Kardashian down to a a hundred pounds in three weeks. Like that’s, you know, I’m not judging that either because I do think a lot of women’s bodies bounce back and then they get a lot of shit in the other way. Right? Like what are you doing? Are you eating? You should eat a cheeseburger! But like there’s no pressure.

*baby cries*

Aww no! She’s so cute! Marlie and I can see each other. We’re talking on zoom. You can’t see her, but it’s, she’s super frigging cute. Your baby is really cute, which is helpful because you’re on Instagram and she’s great for your aesthetic.

That’s hilarious!

So the reason why I wanted to have you on today is, I actually am super passionate about the newborn stage because this is when I started my work with my girls. Everyone’s going to be different in this respect. I also wanna point out by saying that, because I might, my whole story, and I’ve probably told this story on my podcast a few times, but, the reason why I became a sleep consultant is because I’m obsessed with sleep. I need eight hours. And when I got pregnant I had like 47 people tell me I’d never sleep again. And so that was really terrifying to me and I learned everything I could and I had really good sleepovers, *laughter* I did not have any sleep overs. I had really good sleepers really early on. Um, and so, you know, by six to eight weeks they were doing long stretches and I had another kid and that worked out. Um, I should preface all of this by saying I had pretty chill babies and temperament does play a lot into this. So if, if what I’m saying you’re hearing is like, “screw you”, that is not my experience. You can tell me just screw off. I totally understand. But I do think that there is also, misinformation about the newborn stage. Like, look, it’s going to be horrible. There’s nothing you can do. You have to sleep train at four months and then it gets better. I don’t think that that’s true either. Um, for a lot of people they want to take that route. Like, look, I just want to like do whatever I want to do. I want to sleep with my baby. I want to feed them. I want to do that. And I think that’s really good too. Um, but I do get a lot of questions about newborn sleep and you’re in the thick of it. You’re in the like right now. Every time.

Oh my god. Yes.

Yes, you are like, and I really wanted to get a newborn voice cause I forget, I have a five and three year old. I have the ideal versions in my head of them. You know, when your inlaws or your parents will be like, “oh, when I was a parent…” They imagine themselves being so cool, calm and collected. Like, let me ask my mom about sleep. She’s like, “whatever. I just put you in the crib and I left.” I’m like, that’s not, there’s no way. There’s no way. So I’m a little bit worried that I could be like that. And I was like, I want to talk to someone who’s in the newborn world and you ask me your questions and we’ll kind of talk about newborn sleep and go from there. And you actually open this up to your Instagram and holy cow, you’ve got some questions.

You got a lot of questions. I only sent you the first little bit then because I wanted to make sure I got them to you, but I haven’t, I haven’t really checked. I’m sure there’s a lot more. Um, so yeah, I guess I should also preface it by, I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I think Lily’s a pretty chill baby so far. I’m going to knock on this desk here. She seems to be a really good baby. Um, and also, I guess the biggest thing is that, or my mantra that I’ve sort of been living by, or the rule that I’ve been going by is where I think a good place to start off, which is sort of, you can’t create bad habits. Nothing matters until you sleep train. So maybe let’s start with that.

Yeah, 100%. I tell my newborn clients, so my newborn program is over six weeks. It’s really general. I’m like, here are your sleep tips, you practice. And then we talk about it every two weeks. Um, and some people come to me and they’re like, I’ve made zero progress. I have done nothing. Everything is failing. I’m like, no, you get 7,000 get out of jail free cards in the newborn phase.

Right.

Cause your baby does not have the capacity to remember a bad habit. They don’t even know that they have arms. In fact.

So that is a false state. I mean a true statement then you, that you cannot create bad habits as early on.

Listen, if you were to say to me, okay, I am going to, well let’s, let’s, I guess I want to really define what a bad habit is. I’m really careful to honor everyone’s experience, right? Like my job and what I do is to help people sleep independently. So that’s not for everybody. Some people want to co-sleep and they sleep better and everyone does that. And if you’re doing that, you don’t need me. Right. You’re probably not listening to this podcast because you’re sleeping and living your life. Um, but I do think that, um, a bad habit is anything that you don’t necessarily want to keep doing forever.

That’s a very good definition.

Yeah. So if you’re cool with doing the thing that you’re doing forever, I say carry on. Um, if there is something that you don’t want to be doing, you probably want to pull back on it. Um, so a bad habit, you know, let’s say nursing to sleep, babies are going to nurse to sleep at this age. They’re drowsy. They’re like basically little cells outside of your body. Like that’s going to happen. And as they get older and older, you can probably work towards that. So you can’t, if you only did that up until four months, it’s not that all of that, like if you were to call me at three months, your baby might have some established patterns of behavior by three months. But I would say before that you generally, as long as you’re working towards independent sleep, it probably will happen. I have nursed my kids to sleep. I have patted and rocked and shushed them to sleep and I still didn’t need to sleep train them.

Well I just think first of all this early on she falls asleep when she’s, I have a lot of milk and then she guzzles it and gets exhausted. Like of course it’s going to happen. I’m not going to wake her up then to put her back to sleep.

As she gets a little bit older and bigger… so how many weeks does she now?

She’ll be 10 weeks on Tuesday. That’s frightening.

You’re going to see a really big change in her after 12 weeks. I’m sure you know this with the newbron stage. Oh my god, every week is a different child.

A different baby every day,

Every day. So I think that after 12 weeks you can maybe start working, again if you want to, just spacing out when that feat is and, and she’s going to be less likely to fall asleep on the boob. Right. Cause she’s older, more aware. She’s like, “Hey, what’s going on? I see your necklace. What’s going on?”

Right, yeah. So I think like the one I guess habit that I wouldn’t want to continue, but as my favourite thing in the world right now, and I just don’t want to stop anytime soon, is after her, let’s say 5:00 AM feed, the one that’s between five and six. I just, I like co-sleep with her and it’s my favourite thing in the world and I, I know it’s not going to last forever because she’s not gonna want to sleep on my chest forever. She’s not going to fit on my chest forever. But it’s my favourite thing ever. I’ll pull her out, I’ll feed her up, pull her out of her bassinet, feed her and then we just sleep. And we, I get into deepest, my best two hours of sleep is when she’s on my chest in the early morning.

And I think that you should continue doing that. So when I went back to work, um, again, this is pre-sleep training pre knowing so, so much or sorry, sleep consultant life. But I went back to work pretty early with um, my first daughter and so she was still getting up. She was four months when I went back to work. She was getting up for that like 4:00AM or 5:00AM feed. I’d feed her, she’d go back to bed. But a lot of the times I would just pull her into bed and have a little snuggle and it didn’t seem to disrupt our sleep work at all. Um, I always tell people a problem is only a problem if it’s a problem for you. So these things only become a problem if the rest of your day and night look like shit. Right,

Right.

So you’re like, hey she’s crying for 30 minutes every time I put her down for a nap or she doesn’t fall asleep at night unless she’s on my chest. I will probably have to get rid of that thing. But if it’s not posing a problem and I would, I would suggest for some babies you can get away with that. It’s just like the people in every moms group. How are you in moms groups?

I’m not in a group, but I sort of had a natural built in group cause I am having babies at the same time as all my friends. All amazing, which is amazing. I got my best friend. So every single one of us is with a newborn or a, an infant. So it’s, yeah, built in group. It’s really lucky.

Yeah. That’s so amazing. Well, I think what you’ll, okay, Facebook is notoriously vicious, but yeah, exactly. Um, you always sort of see someone post about, you know, my kid does this and for so long and like someone will be like, you know, just feed them to sleep or just co-sleep with them. And then they say, you know, I did that for so long and then my kid just stopped doing it. I think that that exists, but there’s also going to be a group of people where that you’re going to have to move them along. Right. They will not make that decision on their own. So if it’s impacting you, then you’ll have to make a change. Right. Yeah.

I like those little mantra is like, it’s only a problem if it’s a problem for you or do, it’s easy to remember like when you, cause it’s so easy to overthink everything in this stage. Every time you do something and it’s a good night, you’re like, oh, what did I do to recreate it? And then every time something bad happens, you’re like, what did I do to stop? You know, it’s, you’re always overthinking.

There is a really funny comic of, I don’t know if you’ve seen it or it’s like a meme. It’s like scientists in the lab. And then the meme is like me and my husband after our babies first night of full asleep.

Exactly.

The first time my newborn slept eight hours in a row. Um, we were, this is so bad. My father in law is a lovely, amazing man. And he was a GP for a really long time and this is the first time I was leaving Winnie alone. So I’m freaking out. I’m really freaking out. I have like seven bottles of pumped milk. Just in case. Yeah. And um, they feed her a bottle, they put her down and that must’ve just been a lot of milk or whatever. So she sleeps until five. I freak out. I’m literally up from 2:00 AM till 5:00 AM and before I had left to go on this date with my husband, I was like, look, there’s five bottles. If she needs him, just take them. And he goes, “Amanda, I’m a doctor and she needs a little something. I got a whole bunch of something in the cupboard over there” and she slept! And I woke up the next day and I asked my husband, I was like, “do you think he drugged her?” And my husband’s like, ‘no, that’s insane.’ So then I couldn’t let it go. This is like your postpartum brain. Right, right. And, and so I asked my father in law and he’s like, “are you being serious right now?” *Laughter* I’m just kidding.

You didn’t give my baby drugs! *laughter*

But I mean again, we did the whole like we’re going to recreate every possible situation that we did to get her.

Yeah. Yeah.

So what are your, I mean we can jump into your Instagram questions!

Maybe let’s just talk about, I think one of the most common questions was just about like schedules and things like that with a newborn. Like is there such thing as a sleep schedule for a newborn this early on? Should you be trying to get them into some sort of schedule? I know there’s all those books like 12 hours by 12 weeks and there’s all these, you know, things that people suggest. Is there really anything you can be doing now to set them up for successful long stretches and are long stretches okay even this early on.

So I I, this is such a good question because I remember I read the book “The Baby Whisperer”, which has nuggets of, of goodness in it, but it’s a lot of misinformation. It’s a very popular book, but there’s some like crazy stuff about breastfeeding in there. I would not read it if you’re a breastfeeding mom, like one of the things that she talked about was like if your baby doesn’t nurse for more than five minutes at a time, they’re not getting enough and they’re going to fail to thrive. And I like brought my doctor, I brought my baby into the doctor and I was like, is she getting enough? And she was like 16 pounds at six weeks. And it’s like, your brain does not work. You’re like, okay. Um, but one of the things in that book was like this eat, play, sleep, and it was on like a three hour, four hour routine. And again, I think it might work for a small percentage. For me, it made me incredibly anxious because for most newborns, your newborn is not really going to be on a schedule. And especially if they’re breastfeeding, um, their bodies, don’t know, it’s 9:00 AM they don’t know it’s this, you know what I mean? So when we are enforcing a schedule, we might be ignoring a hunger cue or a sleep cue based on like what the clock says. And personally I find that anxiety inducing. I don’t, I don’t know about you, I think there’s another half of the population that says I really need a schedule so I can be saying, and not having a schedule makes me crazy. I, I’m kind of in that camp as well. Um, all I can suggest is we want to be following wake windows instead. So, um, I’m going to link to a blog in the liner notes here with a link to my baby’s sleep totals chart. Um, and most babies between, I would say zero, like zero to four weeks, probably 45 minutes to an hour is all they can be awake, afforded, you know, 10 weeks. We’re looking at about an hour to an hour and a half. And then I would say 10 to 16 weeks you’re looking at anywhere between an hour to two hours. Your baby will tell you, they’ll give you some good cues. Um, and then when, if you honor their in those, those first little time, you honor their wake windows and you’re feeding them when they want to be fed. A schedule emerges.

Yes.

Which is really good. Have you found that?

Totally. I recently read about wake windows because I was finding that I was just like kind of worried that she was asleep so much and then I read that she right now should be in the 60 to 90 minute range. And then since I read that a couple of days ago, I had been paying attention to her cues and I’m noticing, yeah. Oh my God. Like she’s not hungry right now. She’s tired.

Yes, yes.

She’s a little bit more assistance to be, you know, she just needs me to rock her a little bit, give her that soother and then she’ll pass out in a second and I’m like, Oh, you were stuck, you were tired. I was just ignoring that. I didn’t know when you’ve had enough. She’s like “I’m full. I’m tired.”

I remember feeling so confident about sleep and that I happened on this blog that talked about wake windows and I was like, Oh my God, I love this so much more. This makes so much sense.

So much more sense.

Because I like the little baby like we, when we’re born or when we wake up, we all have sleep pressure and that’s like the how tired you feel, as soon as you are, you know, how, when you feel tired basically, and how quickly that happens. So for babies, sleep pressure builds really, really quickly, for adults its pretty slowly. And for a newborn baby where literally life is too stimulating and too much, their, their sleep pressure builds really quickly. And then it tends to get longer and longer and longer as they get older. Um, but yeah, so I, I’m not a huge fan of schedules. I am a huge fan of wake windows and I think when you honor your wake windows, you’re probably going to see that your baby takes three to four naps generally within a half an hour of the same time every day. If you give it a month or two, it happens for most of my clients.

Okay. That makes a lot of sense. And then you mentioned earlier about that, I don’t know if it’s 9:00 AM or 9:00 PM and that was a big question to, that they don’t know the difference between day and night this early, right?

They, they that so I think what I meant by like, they don’t know it’s 9:00 AM it’s time for your nap. You know, like I say it’s nine. Um, but I think that the sun actually plays a really important role in regulating a baby circadian rhythm. So the circadian rhythm, it’s in everybody. It basically tells us when we should feel tired, when we should be asleep and awake. And the sun and light exposure are really important indicators. So often you do have babies who mixs their night and days. Um, I heard, what is it? They’re usually born at nighttime or something. Those babies who have their days and nights mixed up anyway, the only thing that you can really do is give lots and lots of light exposure during the day and then have complete darkness during night time and really resist the urge. Like, I think TV has programmed us and myself, like I did this. Um, TV has programmed us that when we’re up for our feeds, we turn on the TV, we turn on the lights and we’re up. Right. We’re up. You don’t have to do that. Keep your lights off first in low light and put them right back to sleep again. Yeah.

Okay. Yeah, that answers a lot of questions for sure. Um, okay. So maybe let’s talk about sleep training a little. And I never seen a big one just to make sure that we get it in because like I said, my mantra is sorta been can’t create bad habits. I’m just going to do whatever I want to do and enjoy this time and this flexibility. Although I’m quickly learning that there isn’t much flexibility since I had her but until I actually train. So what are your thoughts on really not doing anything until you hit that four month mark to sleep train versus starting to create little routines and schedules or habits to implement before sleep training?

So the whole reason I got into this, this work, one cause I liked sleep but the really big second portion and part of this is that, um, when I was on, I did take a full mat leave with my second child and I was like joining all these mommy and me groups and it was going to belly boot camp and you know, and I’m meeting these friends and then they stopped showing up to the group when their babies stopped sleeping. And then when they did come, they were exhausted shells of themselves and it started happening to friends and I was like, oh, this is such a shitty thing to happen to women and moms, and it really falls on us. Um, and so I really, I can tell you how to get your baby to sleep independently. My main mission is for you to feel good. So there’s going to be a mom like me who wants to start early and get on it so they don’t have to sleep train or they just want to be sleeping better really quickly. And that is, um, that’s like 50% of the people that I work with. Like I just want to be proactive. I think that’s great. And I think that’s actually gonna serve mom to feel like this is what I want and I’m working towards it and I’m doing something and it’s like scratching that itch in my brain to tell me to do something. Then there’s going to be a whole other camp that’s loving their life, that’s loving their newborn. Um, they’re not really worried. They’re like, well, you know, I’m getting up but I don’t care cause I am enjoying it. I’m not desperate. I don’t feel like crap every day. Um, I think both are fine. People will call me at like six months and be like, did I wait too late to sleep train? Absolutely not. It is never too late to sleep train. If you are fine, that is my number one priority is mom. If you feel good, if you’re nursing or feeding your baby and your baby is happy and you’re happy with whatever your current sleep situation is, then you should keep doing that until there’s a problem.

Right. So what would, um, let’s say I’m the mom that, you know, just maybe wants to get a head start on it. Could you walk me through like what that would look like? And you’ve just said a few really important things, I don’t know if the other method is the cry it out method, but what would that look like if someone wants to start maybe creating better habits or practices?

I don’t teach cry it out in any way. I mean, crying it out is like essentially leaving your baby to cry out all night, teasing out, seeing them in the morning. Nobody wants to do that.

No it would make me sad!

I know! Nobody wants to do that and I don’t think that you have to do it. If you wait till after four months, there will probably be crying involved. But you don’t ever have to ‘peace out’ and not attend your child. You can stay with them if you want to until they figure it out. But they’re going to cry because there is a change in how they’re sleeping. Um, I wouldn’t suggest doing any sleep training before four months. Um, when you’re in the newborn stage, what we’re looking at and, and just looking at your Instagram questions, I felt that this answers actually a lot of the questions.

Yeah.

Does, um, oh, I’m just looking at it a question here. I was like, what BB Kale, you’re baby Kale. I thought she was, I was like, how is that possible? Okay. Um, what we need to remember, my biggest piece of advice is babies change every day, especially in the newborn phase. So I really tell moms, look, don’t label your baby. Don’t see your baby is spirited or high needs and they can never be helped. They’re spirited in high needs right now and they’re not sleeping yet. And that’s not just positive thinking, it’s just true. I had this client who called me at eight weeks and she had a tough cookie. He was really tough. And I worked with her in a group coaching setting and I was like, look, you need to take a week off. He will get this. And she, she worked really hard. We made strides, but it took time. It really took time. And in the end she, she was like, I’m going to hire you for a sleep training after, she never needed to hire me and no one was more surprised than her. Right. And it’s, if we get into the notion that our baby is this and they will never do this, they will never ever do it. So, um, you know, I’m reading about like, my baby won’t nap. They won’t go into the cot. They won’t go into the crib. What do I do? There isn’t, these little guys are so connected to your body still, if you’re like some babies are cool like I, with with Winnie my first you would not sleep anywhere but my chest for two weeks. And so uh, in preparation for my second, I bought this like bassinet that goes into your bed and I was like, I won’t have that problem again. Nora didn’t care at all. She’s slept In her crib from day one. Its so annoying but so you’re going to have a little bit of a different thing. But if you have, you have a crib resistor or you have a nap resistor and these babies who don’t really want to not, it’s a matter of continually trying these strategies again and again at a time when you and baby are in a good mood. Cause if you’re like “Go to sleep GRRR!” which I’ve done, they’re never going to sleep cause they feel all of your, you’re anxious and you’re like negative energy really, because they don’t know what’s going on. And they’re like, ‘why do you, you’re freaking out. Should I be freaking out? What should I do? I feel totally…’ Um, so we think that it’s a matter of, okay, if you are trying some strategies and my biggest piece of advice for all newborns, put them down, awake, swaddle them, you know, dress them appropriately. Always check the AAP guidelines first was swaddling. So Google them. It’s basically like clothing. You can swaddle arms in, make sure that they have their legs, um, being able to move. You don’t want to do a full body swaddle, they need to move their legs. Swaddling is going to reduce their startle reflex. Be really careful about newborn sleep stuff. Recommendations are always changing. So things like that. So just be really careful about swaddling. I mean, you know, a month ago the rock and play was being sold in stores and now it’s recalled. So I’m very careful that it is really up to the client to make sure that they understand baby sleep safety. But you’re going to, regardless of whether you swaddle or not, I would like you to try to put your baby down when they’re happy. So they’re happy. They’re chilling. It’s been been an hour. Okay. They might not even be showing you a sleepy sign. And sometimes when they show you a sleepy sign that might be too late. So you go put ’em down in the crib and you walk away. If they’re happy, if they’re happy and then they’re probably gonna fall asleep. And if they don’t, that’s okay. You’re going to go back and attend to them and then you can help them fall asleep. You’re going to keep trying that every day and one day they’re going to be like, “oh I know how to do this.” And you’ll be like, great, okay I’m going to capitalize on it! So I’m going to try that for the next nap. And then you do it for the next nap and then you do it for bedtime. And it’s a matter of literally persisting that way.

And this is okay from day one, like from zero weeks? Like they’re.

totally.

learning to soothe themselves or I guess not soothed but fall asleep. Is there a difference between being soothed them needing to soothe themselves to fall asleep? Cause when it’s, if they’re soothing themselves is that like an unhappy baby?

It’s sort of a, it’s often like, um, used in the same way. But what people mean by self soothing is generally like, let’s say you, your sleep training, right? At four months your baby has always been held to sleep and then at four months you put them down, they’re going to be pissed off. Understandably. So then they cry and then people say no, they need to learn how to self soothe. Yeah. Yes. But what they’re doing in that process is learning what helps them feel good to fall asleep.

Right.

My kids, I mean we’ve done Christ stuff like there is a feeding when he was waking for at like seven 30, a half an hour after she would go to bed and I knew she didn’t need it and we had to do like a little cry thing and that it was over. But my, my kids slept really well without having to quote unquote Self-Soothe Right. They just learned how to sleep. So they’re using [inaudible] interchangeably, but a little bit different. But essentially like it’s, it’s a common sense thing. If your child needs you, you go to them. If they don’t need you, it’s okay to step away.

Right. Okay. And on the subject of self-soothing, can we quickly talk about pacifiers, because Lilly loves her pacifier and she’ll sleep with it. Like we’ll give it to her for a nap mostly. But then I find that if I’m nursing her in the middle of the night and then I burp her, I’ll put her down, she’ll fall asleep really quickly without it, which is great. But is it, does it ever become a problem if they, they are, they get used to it and then they can’t reach for it. They don’t have the ability to put it back in their mouth. Is that something..

You have described the problem if there’s going to be a problem, that would be what it would be. Some babies love it and I think they gave the a great soothing tool for newborns for sure. There is a, there’s a prominent sleep consultant in the states who actually recommends them and tries to teach parents how to get their babies to put them in place. My, my experience however, is that anytime I’ve had a pacifier baby, they are not always the best nappers. And so the difference between like a baby sucking on their thumb or their fingers is that it’s attached to their body. They don’t have to find it. It’s right there. So then they just pop it in, go back to bed. They don’t wake in order for a baby to sleep at night, who needs a soother, they have to get wake up, get to full consciousness, find the soother there, put it in. If I went to you and I woke you up. Even for those microseconds every hour or two, you would feel exhausted the next day. So there’s that risk. And because day sleep there’s more light outside, we’re not sleeping as well as we do at night, there’s less melatonin production and a long nap is essentially two short sleep cycles connecting. If a baby has to get up, find their soother, pop it in to connect, there’s a risk that they may not go back to sleep because they’ve got to consciousness during the daytime. Those are the risks. So if you were to ever work with me past four months, I wouldn’t recommend a soother. But if you, if it’s helping you now, it’s something that we can easily remove later on.

Yeah. Okay. And okay. I think another common question is, this might be a funny one, but people are asking a lot about like how long they should be napping for and if they should be waking them up past the two hour mark and things like that during the day. And if they sleep too much during the day, are they not going to sleep at night? Is that a thing?

Um, it’s, it’s a funny balance here. It is a thing. It can be a thing. Um, you’re going to have people tell you, “Oh, if your baby, if your baby naps during the day, they won’t sleep at night.” That’s not true. Um, most babies, most newborns need between like 18… 16 to, you know, sometimes depending how young they are, even 20 hours of sleep a day, that means they’re only awake for four hours ideally. Um, and you were probably on the end of that when you’re like, “is my baby’s sleeping too much?” That can be really normal? I would say that it depends. Like if your baby is sleeping, you know, six to eight hours during the day and then up all night, we could probably reverse that for you. You’d want to look at that. So you might have to start tapping naps. You hear all the time, ‘never wake a sleeping baby’, but it’s okay if it’s really impacting your nights. My general rule for newborns is you’re probably going to get one three hour nap and then I would cap the rest of the naps at one to two hours if you’re, if you’re that lucky. But it can be very normal up to six months to only have what my clients like to call crap naps, 30 minute naps, where they get up and they will not go back to sleep. You’re just gonna march on forward to your nap at the next week interval.

Okay. I love all your rules because you have a really good way of like simplifying it then it’s easy to remember.

Oh good. I’m glad. I’m glad it might’ve been my, my teacher years like find away for people to remember.

Right, exactly. Um, okay. I’m looking at some more cause I want to make sure, is there anything that I haven’t asked yet that

I feel like a lot of the questions were about? Um, let me see. Oh wait, did she wake up at night? If there’s, oh, should you still wake up at, okay, this is a good question. This during the day though. So there’s a question. Should you wake up a newborn to feed if they’re still sleeping past the two hour mark and I think that probably means the day. Maybe you would probably want to talk to your doctor about how they’re gaining and how they’re eating. Um, it really, it really is a, a weight game at this point and there are some babies who need to be woken at night to feed. So definitely consult with your doctor about that.

Yeah. We were waking Lily to feed only the first, until she was at her birth weight, which was the first week. But I know, let me think that they say you need to wake them to feed until they hit that birth weight.

Right? Yes. But I mean that’s just what we were told. I’m no doctor obviously. Um, okay.

It really is baby dependent, right? Yeah.

Um, okay, so here’s one, a personal one so Lily, so we have that. I think it’s the best that you were talking about. We borrowed from my sister in law, the halo bassinet that goes over the bed except it doesn’t actually go over the bed. So she’s in the bassinet next to us every night and she probably feeds maybe twice in the middle of the night. We’ll put her down around 9 or 10. She wakes up around one or two and then we do another four or five. And then, um, is that, I don’t know if that’s a good wow or a bad wow,

No thats awesome! There must be at least seven moms right now being like, ‘I am going to kill her.’.

Um, but, and we have gotten like a six hour stretch every now and then. We’re like, what did we do? But it doesn’t happen often, but she sounds like a barnyard animal and she is like, she’s sleeping peacefully but sounds like this crazy animal. And it’s definitely keeping us up, but I’m just not like emotionally ready to put her in the nursery. And then, because I feel like if the whole thing is gonna start all over again, like running in and she breathing, is she okay? Is She alive? Do you have any tips on like how to make that first transition?

Yeah, it is a…

When you maybe, when you should, is it like, would she sleep better if she, cause she can, she smell me when she’s that close to me or like I’ll be like are these thingss true.

Um, they are true. I think so I always start off with safe sleep recommendations. So the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room sharing up to 12 months. Um, I think that,

yeah, sorry, you said 12 months? 12 weeks?

No its 12 months!

12 months room sharing?

Yeah, yeah

Oh Wow.

It used to be six months and then recently, I want to say last year, they extended it to 12. I know,

How many people actually do that?

I know. Well, I think I talked to my doctor about it because my kids were also barnyard animals, especially Nora. I was really struggling and I was like, look, we live in a small house. I can have my doors open and I can hear her if I, if something bad happens. And you know, I think in the end it needs to be a personal decision. Um, take those recommendations and speak with your doctor about what the best thing is for your baby. Sometimes the best thing for your baby is a rested parents. So if you are not coping and you feel really, really horrible and you’re getting too out more hours of sleep when your baby is in another room, then that’s actually the safer thing for your baby in that moment. And it’s worth talking to your doctor about. When you do decide to make that transition, you just want to make sure that you feel ready you’ve talked to your doctor about it, that you have an ability to hear them obviously. And that doesn’t always mean using a monitor. Like we live in Toronto houses. I’m sure you could probably hear her. If you have the door open.

Her nursery room is like 12 inches from my front door, so we practically touch. It’s very small.

Baby monitors tend to amplify every noise, like a cough, a sniff, a breath. And so when that happens, um, we hear everything in like we’re more alert so it might not actually be helpful. So if you can hear your baby, I don’t think you need a monitor. Um, if you feel comfortable using like an angel care Monitor that’s an option for a lot of moms. That’s gonna create more anxiety cause they’re waiting for that thing to go off. Um, it really, you need to know, you and your partner need to have a plan. Um, you need some support. Um, and then it’s basically just doing it. And if I’m doing it, uh, it’s, it’s really important that you try lots of times in the crib, like all before that, you know what I mean? So during the day when you were alert and aware and you see that they’re okay in their crib, in their nap, then you’re going to feel more comfortable doing it at night. There are a lot of studies to confirm that parents sleep better when they’re not room sharing. Parents and babies and I have some stuff if people want to message me about that, but again it really is a personal decision. I’ve worked with two-year-olds whose parents want to continue room sharing and we can make that happen so it can all work.

And if, would it makes sense, if I was moving her bassinet into the nursery or like if I’m already putting her in the nursery, you might as well put her in the crib?

Yeah, you can do a little bit of a transition, like put the bassinet right next to the crib and then just do like a little shift one day.

Yeah.

Yeah.

The Halo is so big anyways. I’d be like, it’s the size of the crib.

The biggest part of it is its base.

Yeah. Oh God. I know. Moving it up. Can’t move it like once. It’s in that spot, thats it. Yeah.

Marlie, we have hit on a lot of stuff and I like to try to keep this podcast to a crap nap time. And actually we are in for a good nap. Exactly. So I think we’ve really covered a huge, huge range. I’m going to link to a whole bunch of newborn resources in my blog. I’m going to link to your blog. Where can people find you?

So the best places on Instagram, it’s @Kale_and_krunches, um, or my blog, Kaleandkrunches.com

Awesome. It’s full of beautiful things in a really frigging cute baby. Oh, um, thank you so much, Marlie. It was a pleasure. Awesome. Have a good one. Bye everybody.