S2E8: Amanda Answers feat Alicia: How to leave the house and NOT eff up! | Baby's Best Sleep

Amanda: (00:00)
Hey everybody, welcome to another edition of slumber party. I invite you to my slumber party, except unlike 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 guests or I answer a fun question about sleep to get you in your family, the sleep that you need. Today we’re talking with new mom, Alicia, who just had the mini two month old baby and she’s thinking ahead. And she messaged me on Instagram asking, how can I live my life and still have a baby who sleeps well? Meaning I want to leave my house. I want other people to be able to put her down. And I want to make sure that I have a life and I feel human again. This is my bread and butter. If you’ve been listening to me, if you’ve been following me, this is what I live for. I really want to give moms permission and dads, sorry, parents, parents. Anyway, how you identify, I want to give parents the permission that they can have children who sleep and lead lives similar, not 100%, but similar to the ones that they had before. So Alicia and I jump right in. You’re going to love this conversation. I’m going to give you all my tips and tricks and I’m gonna link to a blog that has a little downloadable for you. So stay tuned. Enjoy. 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.

Amanda: (01:44)
Hello, welcome!

Alicia: (01:46)
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me on.

Amanda: (01:50)
Honestly, thank you for this super awesome question. I was so ecstatic. I kind of bullied you into doing this if we’re going to be honest, but I’m, I’m so glad that you agreed to do this because I feel like, um, well why don’t you go ahead. You jump into your question and then I’ll jump in with my super long winded podcasts answer.

Alicia: (02:13)
So I’ve been starting to look into sleep training. My daughter’s two months old, so I kind of want to just get a better understanding of what I have to look forward to, I guess. But my husband and I are very close with each of our families, so we tend to be at a lot of events and/or at family cottages and whatnot all the time. Um, so I just wanted to know how that works in terms of sleep training. Like our goal is really to have Nora go down, um, pretty much anywhere without having to follow like a specific set of rules, um, because not all environments might be, available to us in order to do that in other places. And also we want to make sure that our family members, if they’re watching her, are able to easily put her down, without having to have follow like a specific set of rules that we’ve come up with essentially. So just wanted to know kind of how that fits in with sleep training.

Amanda: (03:22)
Yeah, this is my bread and butter, to be honest. So this is sort of why I got into the industry, because I think that a lot of modern parents are just like you, right? We have families, we have… people travel more now than they have ever. You know, we are millennial moms, so we don’t just hang out at home. We don’t tend to live next to our family. So, you know, a lot, you know, back in the day we could have our kid nap at our house and then we’d just go sit in our porch and her mom lives down the street and our sisters live around the corner and we all have this like super close community and these are questions maybe our parents didn’t really have to answer or deal with. Right. So I feel like whenever, you know, I talked to my parents or my mom, about this stuff, I’m like, what did you do? And she’ll be like, “I don’t know, we just took you places. You just slept.” It’s like, well, that is a very easy answer, isn’t it? But yeah, I totally agree. And now in our, you know, modern age, that doesn’t really work because we are often alone. We are often, you know, trying to figure out ways to entertain ourselves during the day, all day with he small child. And you know, having a child is supposed to be the absolute best thing ever that happens to you. And in so many ways it is. But I’m, I’m sitting here in my office looking at a book I purchased when my daughter was about three months old called ‘Baby Play for Every Day’ cause I had no G D idea what I was going to do with this child. And I feel like that’s what a lot of people feel right in these times where you’re sitting at home and you’re like, how do I entertain this child? Like what do I,

Alicia: (05:27)
Right!

Amanda: (05:27)
So, and this is kind of why I love this question because you know, part of what I think is missing in, in the talk about sleep training or, or child’s sleep in general, is that how non practical some of the advice is, right? Where you know you have to be at home for all the naps and your day has to be completely scheduled around your child sleep schedule. And you know, I remember like I wrote a blog about, and I’ll send you this document after, but I wrote a blog and I created like a little cheat sheet of how to get out of your house. But I remember feeling like such a champion because I’d gone home with my newborn and I remember being like, ‘look at me’ like during her nap time, I just go out and I put her in the stroller and I get a walk and a coffee and I feel like you’re human and she gets a nap. Like I’m this amazing person. And then I remember coming home and someone sending me an article, I’ll be like, ‘uh, uh, naps on the go aren’t as good as naps at home’. And I’m like, Oh my God. Like how am I, I can’t just stay at home forever. It’s not really practical, so I’m sure you’re, you’re feeling that way now. And are you just to do a little deep dive into your situation? You have a two month old, how are things going for you during the day right now? Like are you pretty active? How are you working it in?

Alicia: (06:52)
Usually by the time we get up and get going half the day feels like it’s already gone. But yeah, I’ll, I’ll put her in the car and like go get a coffee or go for a walk or something and she will fall asleep and, and so I’ll let her sleep. But I obviously when we get home I, I try and put her down. But that doesn’t always work out. But yeah, so I try and, and, and be active as I can during the day. I don’t try and restrict myself based on her napping.

(07:25)
Good!

(07:25)
But I don’t want to change her {inaudible}

Speaker 1: (07:26)
Yeah, totally. And she seems to do well going, like when you’re out and about like she’s, she’s doing what you want her to do.

Alicia: (07:36)
Oh yeah, for sure.

Amanda: (07:38)
Awesome. Okay. So I mean in this instance I would say, you know, my number one in my biggest concern is actually not your baby’s sleep. I know shocking, my business name is Baby’s Best Sleep, but I feel like when you get baby’s best sleep, you get mom’s best rest. Right? And if you are rested and you are feeling sane, you are going to be the best parent to your child. So part of keeping sane is, is leaving your house. But there is a very real concern that if you are constantly out of your house and your child doesn’t have any sort of semblance of structure there are some consequences. So you know, how I talk about this with clients is less about these are all the bad things that are going to happen, but it’s like, okay, here’s how to have some balance. And also, when things do go off the rails, because they will, here’s how to cope. So we’ll talk about, you know, step one, which is probably just day to day, how to get out of your house. Right?

Alicia: (08:42)
Yeah.

Amanda: (08:43)
Cause eventually, you know, you were talking about how’s leap training kind of fit sleep dream should really, I mean, and I hate even saying sleep training, but I would say, you know, teaching your child’s asleep should really fit into your lifestyle. So if you think that you need to be going out, I usually advise my clients, let’s try to stay, let’s try to aim for naps at home to be about 50% of your naps and then the other naps you can kind of manage on the go.

Alicia: (09:13)
Right.

Amanda: (09:13)
And actually, there are some real advantages to having your child sleep on the go or to be really flexible sleeper. And I really, really, really, truly believe.. I do. I do think that there is a small percentage of the population who is like absolutely 100% not going to sleep on the go. So I’m glad to hear that your a little one is, is cooperating right now. That’s all that matters really. So your a little person is cooperating nicely, but there are some babies who don’t. My advice to that is you really have to keep trying if going out and having an nap on the go and having that coffee or having that walk or meeting your friend and you packing your Pack and Play and putting them in a dark room at your friend’s house or whatever the case is, is important to you. You need to keep trying to make that an important thing for you. And so, you know, the example I always give is I remember we always used to be able to bring my first daughter with us wherever we went. So, you know, we were one of our first friends to have babies and you know, my friends would be having, you know, dinner parties and then, so we’d pack up our daughter, we would do our whole sleep routine in the new place who bring a pack and play, we put her down and then we’d enjoy our dinner and then transfer her to the car seat and then back into the crib when we were home. And so it was definitely slightly disruptive. We did not do this all the time, maybe once a month. But she always seem to cooperate and there’s a time where she just stopped cooperating, right. Where I remember very, very distinctly, my husband was actually away for travel and a friend of our’s was like, ‘Oh, just come over and put the baby down here and like, you know, let’s have dinner and watch TV.’ And I was like, okay. So I did that and it just was like absolutely not happening. And my friend’s husband went to go in and be like, ‘Oh, I know what to do’. And then he comes out, he’s like, ‘Oh, I don’t know what’s going on.’ We ended up having to leave and it was totally crappy and antisocial, but you know, it’d be very easy to be like, well I guess she doesn’t do that anymore. Right. But that was really important to me that I would be able to like go out. It was also really important for me to have rested child. So we just kept at it and you know, the next time was kinda crappy too. And then the next time it was fine. So, if that is really important to you, you can totally do it. It may take some persistence.

Amanda: (11:41)
So you know, if you have, you know, a lot of my families do a big Friday dinner, like a Shabbat dinner. And so that comes up a lot in the discussions I have with my clients. Like, how do I make my Friday night late dinner work? Like they tend to, you know, go really late. That is exactly what I would recommend. Bring the Pack and Play, continue like keep your bedtime routine the same and try to put your child down at the new location. And then again, if you can’t do that, let’s talk about the consequences. So the consequences of, you know, keeping your baby up late and not doing the bedtime or not adhering to the bedtime. Can you do it? Sure. They just might be really, really cranky the next day. A lot of people will assume that if your child is up late, that they will sleep in. I want to say a good 8 out of 10 kids are never gonna do that. You know, because I have spent five years trying to make my daughter’s sleep past 6:30am. It’s never happened. I am a professional. I’ve left my job to make this happen. It’s still does not happen. So you know, it’s, if you put them to bed a bit later, your child may sleep in, chances are they will not. They will be pissed off at you the rest of the day. But here’s the other part of that. Sometimes it’s going to be worth it, right? Sometimes you have to go to your best friend’s birthday party. Sometimes you have a wedding, sometimes you can’t get a sitter and things have to go on. You know, the biggest thing in all of this is that you have to remember that your, your vibes are, your energy going into this are really gonna make or break the work or, or make or break your time. Right? So like I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you are, you have a family dinner, right? With one of your families and you can’t get a babysitter and there’s no place to put the baby down, you know, it’s going to be a later night than usual. Now if you go in being like, “this going to be shit, this is going to suck, I’m going to hate this, she’s going to lose it. Tomorrow’s gonna suck.” She will definitely rise to the occasion. She will absolutely fulfil your destiny. Or you can say, “Hey, all of these shitty things might happen, but it’s worth it. And I’m going to try to just have a really good time tonight. I’m going to make the most of this time because I’m investing in a really shitty day tomorrow. I might as well enjoy it right now.” Like AND your child is not going to blow up, they will not have anything bad happen to them. They will just be really cranky for one or two days. It may throw you off whatever program that you have, you just need to make sure that you can get back on.

Alicia: (14:26)
Okay.

Amanda: (14:29)
Okay. So that’s for like later nights. And I think that also kind of answers your question for, you know, naps on the go. I say just do them and keep on trying. Now, there I definitely have babies who love sleeping in their cribs so much that they won’t sleep in a, in a a stroller or a car if you’re like headed somewhere. That can happen. But I would say the vast majority can sleep on the go. Both of my girls, like if I had something to do, I’ve just planned to leave during nap time and they would sleep in the car and it was no big deal. So if you have to do that, that’s fine. But then there becomes some like mental gymnastics that come in. So tell me, I would love to know, when are your doctor’s appointments typically scheduled.

Alicia: (15:20)
Usually the morning.

Amanda: (15:23)
Okay. So do you, you do that, do you make a point of that?

Alicia: (15:26)
It just happens to work out. Usually they suggest the time and I just go with it. I haven’t really scheduled it around any of her schedule. We haven’t really had like a set schedule with her yet. So I’ve just kind of gone with it up until now.

Amanda: (15:46)
Okay. I feel like every time I tried to make an appointment with my child’s doctor it was always during nap time. I was like, can we do any other? And they’re like, no. And I’m like, oh, okay…this is going to be the worst and you’re poking something when I get there. So it’s even going to be worse. So. Great. Okay. So in this case what I like to try to do is a little bit of like mental math about how we’re going to get there. So in the document that I’ll send you and for all the folks listening at home, I’m going to link to this blog. So you can download this on your own, but you might have to do some mental gymnastics. So let’s say like if, if this were me and you know, the doctor’s appointment is at 10 o’clock, well that would be straight into my child’s nap. So my child would always go to bed between like 9, 9:30. So it would either mean like a short nap or a non-existent nap to get to the doctors. So what I’d do is I’d say, okay, if we need to be up and ready at 10, then I’m going to walk to the doctor’s office, right. If I could. And I know that the doctor takes me about 40 minutes to walk there, so I’m going to walk there and then we’ll just get our nap on the go. She’ll wake up there right as rain, we’ll do the appointment then, or you can like drive and like kinda drive around, or you decide that you are going to, you know, grin and bear it in the, put the baby in the stroller or the carrier kinda hope they fall asleep in the 15 minutes there or if they don’t, your nap is just later. So as soon as you leave, the baby will likely sleep in the car. You know, I would say kind of planned backwards, like kind of figure out when you need to be somewhere. Give yourself 15 minutes of getting that baby ready from your house. At the very least, that’s such a conservative number. 15 minutes, let’s say 15 minutes and then, and then be like, okay, so this child has to be up by this time in order.. And then we have to out of the house, it’s going to take this time, get her in the car, dah, dah, dah. So sometimes it might just be worth doing an app on the way there or doing an nap on the weight back. And it does require some thinking. Right. And most kids when you, when they’re a little bit late for their nap or a little bit early, tend to be pretty cooperative. So again, don’t worry. And sometimes again, it might just be like, well crap, we miss a morning nap. You’re a disaster. The whole day has been crap. Now you have an early bedtime, the end. Let’s just make this day end. And that would be totally okay and fine.

Speaker 1: (18:32)
The, there was something else I was thinking of saying when we were talking about mental gymnastics in naps. Hmm it’ll come to me. So, so does that help kind of answer your question about, you know, how to kinda kinda manage this. Like is there any like jump in and dig deep here. Like is there anything that isn’t quite making sense?

Alicia: (19:00)
No it all makes sense? And what about if say, my husband and I like go away for a night and we’re in the middle of sleep training and one of our parents is looking after her. So it’s not the same environment. Maybe they don’t necessarily follow the procedures accordingly or how do you work through that?

Amanda: (19:26)
Okay. Yeah. And so it’s funny, I feel like that’s the biggest question I get. Like my parents will not do what I say. Please help me. I would recommend actually if you weren’t doing sleep training, like okay, today’s the day we’re doing it, we’re doing it for this week, you know, quote unquote sleep training. I would actually plan to not go anywhere for that reason because you know, you can’t count on, unless you can absolutely count on your parents following your instructions to the T, it may set you back. So I would stay home. But you know, once your child is, is sleeping soundly and you’re feeling pretty confident, then again, it’s a matter of doing it. So maybe before your big thing you go the weekend before and have a little test drive or go a couple of weekends before and do a nap there.

Amanda: (20:16)
And get them involved into the process. So if staying at grandma and grandpa’s is something that happens often or if they’re going to be a part of the bedtime routine, if they’re at your house already, get them in there, get them doing the bath, get them doing the routine. The more that your child feels like it’s normal for that to happen, the less protests they are going to have. And you know, let’s say it’s the worst night ever, ever. Okay. They’re little terribles. I think grandparents love nothing more than kind of being like, ‘Hey look, there is a problem and we handled it’ so there’s that. They could, you know, maybe not be following your instructions to a T. Typically most kids can deal with one night like that. If it would be like a caregiver, let’s say every day, not following instructions for like naps that could be detrimental. But if it is just one like a one off for a night, I think you’re totally okay. And here’s the deal. Like I want to say like 90% of my clients who are going out, like in the second week they might go for, you know they have an event or they hire a babysitter. This is your biggest concern or bringing your child to daycare. The really annoying thing is that your kid is going to be amazing for your parents and you are going to spend so much time worrying about it. Or they’ll like, I have so many babies that will sleep so well at daycare and then never at home, you know, like not do their nap. Same nap, same time, everything’s the same. It’s just not their parents. So I would say don’t worry about it because for the vast majority of people, your baby will understand that different things happen for different people and that’s totally okay. And so when you get back, there probably gonna bounce back pretty quickly. If they don’t, it might mean a little more protest than you’re typically used to. If there’s any help to sleep, like let’s say grandma and grandma rock them to sleep or whatever the case is, and then you come in and say, no, we’re not going to do that the next night. Well, yeah, for sure they might protest that. But as long as you expect that and stick with it, it’s usually one tough night and that’s it.

Alicia: (22:36)
Okay, perfect.

Amanda: (22:40)
Yeah. So my whole thing is I want you to live your life. I hope you feel like you can live your life because what’s the point of having a baby who sleeps if all you do is stay at home anyway, you might as well just not, my biggest concern around

Alicia: (22:57)
And that has been my biggest concern about doing sleep training is I’m worried that it’s like, so, like rules focused that I don’t want to feel like we are the only people that can put her down or we, you know, can’t live our lives because we’re so focused on it. And so, to make sure there’s like flexibility in that I think is really important to us. So,

Amanda: (23:22)
Totally. And I mean you can’t be Willy nilly, right? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Like I will say that there, your life will change after having children. I do have a number of people who are like, I’m going on vacation, I don’t want to be home early. I want to stay out till 10. How do I do that? It’s like, well you get a babysitter or you can’t. Like, you know, or you keep your child up and it might ruin your vacation cause they’re so over tired. So like there is stuff like that that may put a wrench in your style and I can’t say, you know, you can do that every night or go out every night. But, if you’re mostly good and you cheat sometimes your baby will just become flexible.

(24:09)
Yeah.

(24:09)
My kids sleep everywhere. They have slept everywhere and it’s because it, it’s like part of our life. Like we travel a lot. We visit our in-laws a lot who are out of town, and so they need to get over it.

(24:23)
Yeah, that is the goal. For sure.

(24:27)
Well, honestly, Alicia, if you’re, you know, two months in and this is where you are in, this is what you’re thinking, then you’re ahead of the game. Perfect. So good to know.

Amanda: (24:36)
Yay. Good. Well, awesome. Best of luck with your little nugget.

Alicia: (24:42)
Thank you!

Amanda: (24:42)
Sounds like you’re not going to need it and keep me posted. I would love to hear a little success story about how you went outside and the world didn’t explode!

Alicia: (24:53)
Okay perfect!

Amanda: (24:56)
All right. Thanks so much, Alicia.