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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.
Alright, Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another edition of slumber party. I’m your host Amanda Jewson creator and founder of baby’s best sleep, I help your baby or your child sleep. Because it’s awesome when they do. And when they sleep, you sleep. And when you sleep. You’re awesome. So it’s a pretty I have a great job. Today I am, I am showing nepotism. Okay, I have a family member joining me and I’m just putting it out there. Because I don’t know if I should just see this because we’re gonna sound like we know each other because we really do. And we have for years. And Meredith is my cousin. She is my husband’s cousin, my cousin by marriage. We’ve had lots of fun at weddings together over the years. And now, Meredith, is having a baby, which is very exciting for us all. And during my application process, Meredith wrote me, and she’s like, what do you think about talking about freaking out of a baby sleep before the baby’s even here and I was like, we absolutely have to talk about this. So it’s not, I want to be clear. If you’re applying to this podcast, I want you will get in on like great topics like this, that people aren’t necessarily talking about whether or not you’re related to me. Okay. So welcome, Meredith. Welcome.
Hi, thank you.
And this is on going to be on YouTube and on YouTube now. So no picking your nose. Just save that for after reminding you. Um, and it’s funny. I feel like if you’re watching this on YouTube, like I started off in full makeup and that like now it’s like day four. I’m like, No, it’s just this is what you get. I put on moisturizer and mascara.
Well, then, I need about okay.
So Meredith, tell me a little bit about your question. I would love to know how far along you are. Just jump in.
Alright, so I am pregnant with our first child. I’m due in October October 14, which would make me about 34 and a half weeks, I guess a little bit less.
Together. I’m sorry to interrupt you. But at 30 like I was looking at you and I was like, Oh, she like 25 weeks. Like No, you’re gonna have a baby very soon. And you seem very calm. Yeah.
It’s it’s been a good pregnancy hard at first, really a lot of a lot of morning sickness, a lot of nausea. But that’s gotten better. So that’s good. And I’ve been feeling good. I’m just starting. Like, we’re getting close to the baby. Being here, which is exciting, but a little overwhelming. And I just, I’m someone who needs a lot of sleep. Yeah, normally to function. I go to bed very early. Yeah, people think it’s really funny. And I’m just worried about making that transition to going from needing a lot of sleep to knowing I won’t really be able to have a lot of sleep, especially right at the beginning and wanting to make sure we set the baby up for success.
Yes. We sound very similar, like I had people call me to be like, hey, you should figure out this sleep thing before the baby gets here. Because like you won’t, you won’t last. I’m like, Oh, God, thank you. I have to say, for both of my girls, so actually, Meredith is not finding out the gender of her baby or this sex. I’m trying to figure out what the right terminology is. Is it sex now? I think it’s gender is a construct. Yes, exactly. This baby can come out whatever it wants to come out. But I have often heard that morning sickness means girl.
I don’t know. That’s anything. Yes. I’ve been told that. The way I’m carrying though. It looks a lot like a basketball is under my right like in my belly. So I don’t know. It’s really up. No one knows. The only person I’m sure is my mother in law. She thinks it’s a boy. But again, based on
Oh, and you know, the tricky thing about this is it’s like you have the best odds at guessing like 50% Yes, so good. And so if you get it Right, like even, you know, eight to 10 times you feel like a star, right?
Yeah, I have no idea. I keep saying like, do you have? Do you have an inkling? I have no idea.
I was certain in my heart that both of my girls or boys, and even the like, I found out this x. And I was like, are you sure are like I’ve just, I’ve heard so many stories about women being told it’s a girl. And I mean, honestly, this was, I have to say, my feelings about needing to find a gender have changed quite significantly from the time I had kids and my knowledge and education about this. So I’m saying these words, and I don’t feel this way now, but I was very I needed to know what he or she was, and blah, blah. And I remember the technician I had later ultrasounds because I was late. And then for Nora, we went to Mexico during Zika virus. I had to be and we this is not on purpose. By the way. We were like the last pregnant people to show up in Mexico. I’m not joking. We showed up we went right after Christmas. Actually. We went we stayed for a week. We show it we got home literally Three days later. There’s a huge travel ban. And everyone who had gone to Mexico needed to be like, monitored. So it was a disaster. They didn’t have like a good Zika test. It was like a precursor to coronavirus, I guess. And then so I had like all of these ultrasounds to make sure her head size was appropriate. Yeah, that she’s really quite large and she’s fine. So that worked out but I remember both times both late term ultrasounds, a technician being like Libya. That’s her labor. Yeah, it’s a girl. And I was like, I’ll believe it when I see it.
I don’t believe you. Yeah, um, we had an ultrasound at 20 weeks. And then we’ve been very lucky. The pregnancy has been good. So I haven’t had an ultrasound since then. So she asked me this was in Coronavirus. Brendon couldn’t come in. She asked me Do you want to know I said no. And then we haven’t really had an opportunity to change our mind about that. My wife doesn’t even know. Like I said, it’s not even written down on their file, because we have chosen not to find out. So it will be a surprise.
Yeah. And I think some technicians or some places aren’t even talking about gender anymore sex. So yeah. Yeah. And you know what, it’s probably a move in the right direction. Because who the hell cares? Right? Who cares? Doesn’t really matter. And then the end? child? Yeah, exactly. There’s a baby. And that’s exciting. Okay, so we got off track, but so sleep asleep before? And and, you know, I wanted to have you on because I think it’s such an important discussion to have, that a lot of I will get inquiries from parents. You know, they’re like, six weeks, and they’re like, how do I get on your waitlist, I’m like, I’m not that popular. Like you can, you can hire me, you might have to wait a few weeks. But, um, he, your baby comes out who they come out. And this is actually it’s hard to believe or experience because I think we’ve been trained to be like you are the sole driver of your child’s personality. And that’s just not true. Okay, I have like, a Buddha baby, second child, who is like then in every way, and very common, I had nothing to do with that. I can assure you, anyone who knows me for five seconds is like, I mean, she’s very much like my husband, and but even she’s very much her own soul. And, you know, I would actually suggest and what I’m going to talk about today is actually less about sleep and more in some like great parenting philosophies that I really love. That will really help you feel better about whatever happens, right? Because there’s going to be the baby that comes out like, Who’s so chill, and you, I’m sorry, you have no responsibility for that you didn’t do that. That’s not because y’all are chill. And then you’re going to have the baby who you know might have some tummy troubles or colic or can’t get comfortable or needs to be a mum and dad, and they’re going to be these parents that beat themselves up that they’ve done something wrong, right and real. I’m here to tell you if you’re pregnant. If you have a newborn, it isn’t your fault. Okay, this is just, this is just the spirit. You know, this is this baby’s little spirit in and out. Think about, you know, winning my first was such a great sleeper. And she wasn’t we we lucked out. But when she didn’t like something she really let you know about it in in her big, big, big, big feelings. I remember night, Brad walking up and down the hall back and forth back and forth with this baby who just didn’t chill. And And the funny thing is, when I think back to that I’m like, she’s always been who she is. She’s always been this way when he is lovely and smart and loving. But if you cross her, you better have a shield. And, and run.
Yeah. And so a bit of a Jewson trade, I think the big feelings. Yeah, we’re all big feelers,
all the men, the women, you all have them. They’re all just, they’re all there. It’s so great, though, I have to say, you know, like, you know, Brad is so emotionally available and aware, and he’ll hate that I’m talking about this. So I’ll cut it down. But all the men in the family are all it’s just amazing. You know, we were all just recently together. And I, that was a thought that I had. It’s, it’s great. So, uh, yeah, like, whoever raised those children or, or the DNA that allowed that to happen? Look, I’m totally contradicting myself. But what I will say is like, kids come out who they come out, okay. And there’s going to be a whole bunch of different scenarios that we can’t really control. So even when I’m doing a discovery call with a newborn parent, and they they’re so desperate to work with me, I do work with newborns I work with them only for, I now only do a minimum of a four month thing. So at the end, if our newborn work hasn’t worked, and your child is still like, they can’t sleep, we can do some gentle sleep stuff to get them sleeping at a point where they’re developmentally able. But I think when people are ready to hire a consultant into their newborn phase, it’s because they want me to come in and like fix it, right? And I get that I would, if that existed, I would have done that. And I would have paid many, many, many thousands of dollars to make that happen. And so, but you can’t always you can’t always because of a lot of different reasons. So they call it the fourth trimester for a reason. And the fourth trimester is basically like our our babies are too big for our body. So our bodies expel them, basically. And then they they you know, you can get lucky and that baby’s okay with being out and then there are some babies and it’s it’s just very normal natural. Who are like I’m not ready. This is too much. I need I can’t I can’t look at anyone yet. I’m not ready.
Ah, yeah, exactly. In that this is where I go down to like a philosophy that I hold of like, let’s give our babies and child in children some credit, right? Like, I just came out of the womb. That is some big shit. That is a huge change. I’m starting school and I’m not really sleeping. Well. Yeah, yeah. Change the we just moved houses. I didn’t sleep well for the first week. That I mean, I know there are times we where we don’t sleep while we’re experiencing stress. And and you know, give your child the benefit of the doubt for those reasons. So um, there’s a few things that I’m going to suggest right now before we even talk about anything sleep and I am going to talk about sleep. So number one, I have a newborn podcast that I recorded with Marley Cohen and cheese from the Instagram handle at kale underscore and underscore crunches spelled with a K. And I just I love her account like I’m so past the baby stage. But she’s she’s pretty real and good. She’s a great account to follow. But we talked about newborn stuff. So take a listen to that just for like some good stuff. And I’ll talk about some of that again. There’s a book called The Awakened family by shefali. Say Barry, I think I’m saying her name right. She also has a book called The Awakened child. And she talks a lot about as a parent, not placing your expectations essentially on your child’s and an honoring the child in front of us and I love that like what can we do? To honor this child in front of us, we can it’s not to say we take a backseat and we’re like we do nothing. We do nothing. We say good luck. I honor you so much that you can do whatever you want. We can set up limitations and boundaries and structures for our child for them to thrive in. But in the end, how they respond to those is going to be their decision. Right. The other I don’t I have an audio book, but I don’t have a physical book. Oh, I know what I’m going to suggest to you, too. You have six weeks. Oh, you’re going back to school?
And I’m reading TV. Okay,
I read I married. Okay, good. or listen to them on your commute? Do you have a long commute?
Well, I’m actually doing distance learning. So no commute. I’m working from home. Oh.
Oh, that’s so good, though. I’m glad that they did that for you. Yeah. Um, okay, so then I’m gonna suggest everything by Janet Lansbury. Janet Lansbury is a parenting expert out of LA. She has a podcast called unruffled. I actually base kind of was inspired by her podcast her mind, because she reads letters. She’s like DERA being on our podcast. But I can’t do that I have to talk to people, or else I just get I there’s no structure for me, no one to keep me, I can just go. And the first season I did it, I was like, I hate this. But Janet Lansbury talks a lot about honoring those big feelings of your child’s that we don’t have to put them down, we don’t have to suppress them, will allow them to be upset by your boundaries and structures. That’s okay for them to feel that way. But you, she kind of talks a lot about the ideas of being the leader in the house, like your children really want you to be a leader, and they want you to have those structures and children love them. So I just I think those two books for sure required reading for you just as a philosophical. I mean, I’m pushing my philosophies on you. Obviously, if you’re here and listening, I think we’re probably in line. But yeah, that’s sort of where I kind of, I designed my programs and what I kind of reach to my clients. So those two books, I really
agree about, like feeling all your feelings, all your feelings are good feelings. It’s what we do with those feelings. That is important. Mm hmm.
And you’re a teacher. Right. And I feel like teachers, as parents, I mean, I’m oversimplifying this, but I think that because prior for most teachers, they were a teacher before they were a parent. That you understand that kids come in all different ways. Yes. And it’s generally not the parents fault that they are doing whatever they’re doing, or they’re having a feeling. And I think it can allow you to come at this just pretty open. Yeah, about that. So then, okay, you’ve done that reading. I would actually read this book before you do anything else. And then I’m going to talk about sleep. I promise. This is crib sheet by Emily Auster. I’ve heard you have you read expecting better?
I’ve read expecting better? Yes, I actually have it right here. It’s on my bookshelf. Yes. Yeah.
I knew you would be like we’re like in many ways. crib sheet is all about parenting decisions that are somewhat controversial. Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, co sleeping, sleep training, allergies, vaccinations, okay. And then what she does is she gives you the best research, she she starts off the whole book talking about what makes a good study. And if you’re not even a parent yet, or you’re interested in studies, or you’re interested in how media shapes narratives on research, and studies just read that only to be like to just ask good questions, because, you know, we’re on a 24 hour news cycle. The media loves to be like a new studies to just drink a coffee grows horns out of your head. And then you read the story, the study, and it was like, Yeah, that one, that study used one person and they have a horn growing disorder. And well, there you go. So you just need to be careful about that myself included, by the way, I have to be careful about what I am talking about. I’m preaching to my clients. Anyway. So she talks a lot about that. And then she breaks down all of these decisions, because in addition to sleep, I’m guessing You likely have anxieties about many things that are yet to come. And this would like for me, I feel a lot of calm in making data driven decisions. Because I have all the feelings as well, as you know, pretty sure I’ve cried in front of you, I
don’t know when it’s happened.
I’m pretty sure I’ve cried on this podcast, I get emotional, so easy. I, my clients will be on the phone with me. And they’ll be really emotional about something and I’ll cry with them. So like, if I cry, but um, why am I saying that? What are they talking about? Both
studies and making scientific Yes, base decision.
Yes. Because I have such big feelings. I have a tendency to not know how to choose things. Because my feelings really want me to direct a certain way. I am very calmed by people being like, I’ve done this before, this is what happened. And this is how she breaks down these things. So I’m not going to push you in any direction in how you choose to sleep with your child, as long as it results in sleep. And I think crib sheet can help you make really great decisions based on sound evidence and data. And we need more of that these days.
Um, so in overall, this is what I’m going to tell you about your is our is it’s been helpful so far. It’s been great. Yeah, it’s always I
always love to read having read, but helpful thing to like, refer to.
Okay, okay, good. So number one, your, I want to lessen your anxiety because your body will produce hormones that will allow the sleep deprivation to be tolerable for you. So that’s good, you won’t really feel it as much as you would, you know, even the second time around or whatever, but I am I even know me, I love sleep. And when I had Winnie, the first time she woke up to eat at night, I was like, here we go. is crazy, but I was so excited. And you will be to do like, I get to feed this baby. And this is like, it’s just gonna be a whole host of feelings that you don’t even have yet. So that’s coming, you’ll be able to handle this you will. This is something that people say and never do. And it’s also kind of annoying advice. But you actually have to practice resting, if you can. And that might mean like if the baby goes down, you do like put her next to you in the bassinet or in a safe sleeping position somewhere and have an app with her like you you have to you have to be okay with the dirty house. If you are financially able get a cleaner that you feel comfortable with. Obviously that is wearing a mask and being safe. Or you know, ask your mother in law or your your mom, get a take all the help. Don’t be a warrior. It’s stupid. I did that. Don’t do that. It is stupid
grandbaby on both sides. So I’ve got two a mother and a mother in law that are both very excited to help so good, hopefully.
And you know what, you you might not be ready. I wasn’t ready to give my baby to someone yet. Like I remember. I think like my gym friend came over. And they were like, Look, we’ll take the baby, you just go upstairs and I went upstairs and I was like, bright like my eyes wide open. I could not rest I didn’t sleep. I was so anxious. Like what is she needs to eat whatever. So maybe you’re not ready for that. So give them tasks because people will want to help you. Give them to us that will help you make me dinner for three days. Make me a smoothie. I need food. I need my house, clean your room. I need you to walk my dog. Like get them to help you. So you can be upstairs. Okay, this is another thing that I’m going to suggest and it’s not my my idea but a good friend of mine Lindsey beam. After she had her baby. Her husband basically quarantined her to her room and brought everything to Wow, she didn’t go upstairs. She didn’t do anything. If you have the opportunity to just do that. I really it’s gonna be a wrestle time for you A wrestle time for baby. It’ll be really sweet and calm. Let people come to you. Don’t go to people. It sounds like
a baby moon almost like a little relaxation. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.
And you know, there are lots of cultures who do that. And like, there are cultures who like don’t let the mom out of the house for 30 days, so she can recover. And I’m like, what oh my god. There are mothers who can Go back to work. Yeah, in that time, you know what I mean? Like what it’s, so we really need to honor that, that a huge thing just happened to your body. So, you know, I don’t want to say sleep when the baby sleeps because someone will punch me, but rest when you can and take help. That’s what I’ll say real quick. Um, yeah, and I want you to remember this that you’re not like, you’re not failing if you do that you need to do that because it’s the it’s its sustenance, its physical and emotional sustenance. The Yeah, so then do that. You want to make sure to so these are my two biggest pieces of advice that I did with both girls are amazing sleepers. You can start this day one, get a good swaddle, see one and and they might not like it. They may be like, ah, but sleep better once they fall asleep because they have a significant Moro reflex, a startle reflex. So they’ll fall asleep. And then they do this and they wake themselves up. So if they do that the swaddle keeps them nice and whatever. If you go on to my team member, Andrea, her, her Instagram is at BBs underscore ANDRIA Ri a Andrea. She has a whole post on the 400 difference model she tried with her child and
I saw that about a week. Or sleepsack. Yes, that one? Yes, I remember. Yes, yes.
She’s amazing. It’s really funny. And so go ahead and read that there are lots and people be like, what’s your favorite, I’m like they change all the time. But I like the ones that zip up because babies can’t escape. And it babies tend to tolerate it more. If you if your baby likes to be wrapped even better, you can use something like rappy. But maybe have a sample of one of each before you buy a ton. And and try that. So that’s going to get you a good stretch. Obviously, you need to practice safe swaddling. So you want to make sure that the baby’s hips are loose, legs are loose, arms are tight, and that you’re not overdressing overheating, no blankets, we’re not swaddling a baby and putting them on their stomach. We’re not double swaddling, we have to be very careful. You can read those guidelines online anywhere. Then what I want you to practice again, this is day one, if if you can, this is my asterisk. If you can put your baby down when they’re happy. around every 45 minutes to an hour, don’t put a screaming baby down be like, Oh, are they ready for their nap? No, they are not they’re screaming at you. You want to put them down when they’re clean, and they’re happy. And it’s been 45 minutes to an hour. And you can just pop them down, and they’re happy. And then if they’re cool with doing that you walk away slowly. You don’t have to be there. If they’re happy. If they’re not happy, then you pick them up again and love them up. And you just keep trying that until you get it down. But really I do that with Nora D one. And it was fine. Yeah, the more we normalize it, and the more that we introduce them to our bassinet and our cribs, you know, you pay a lot for both do that. Then when all else fails, you there is a product called this new,
I suppose on Instagram.
Okay, so I’ll tell I have to talk about it. Um, you will have to sleep train after using it, but it if it gets you sleep for three to four months, I don’t know I might, it might be worth it and you can resell it, or you maybe even actually, at this point be able to find it use for a lower price. New it’s about I think 1499 plus tax. So that’s a lot of money. I understand that. But I’ve heard wonderful things about it. It swaddles baby safely, and it basically replicates parent shushing rocking Dr. Harvey cart. This is I’ve showed this book on another podcast. Here you go. This is a happiest baby on the block. This is a great book for newborns. I like this book for newborns, you may want to pick it up. You may not just I’m giving you the 411 here, but um, he talks about how we don’t have the village anymore. We don’t have the Village this is what we’re missing. And I totally agree. What we do with newborns is like inhuman, it’s wild that we can do it. So he says this new is your village I’ve put the village in there. So it’s like it rocks. It cherishes it does everything and apparently it’s a Wonder product. It’s also like close to $2,000 of tax. So yeah, yeah. And you will have to sleep drain after so plusses and minuses, but honestly, I am a huge fan of like doing what works best for the parent. Because when you’re well, the baby as well. So my overarching advice for you, that took me exactly 30 minutes to say is save yourself first in all situations.
Okay, yeah, like, I know just what I know about myself that I’m not I don’t, I’m not my best teacher, my best wife when I’m tired. And so that was some of the anxiety about how am I going to be a good mom, if I’m signing up to be tired for four months. So this has helped me you’ll be great.
It will be in a wet I did it. And I can’t believe I did it. And I think a lot of people can’t believe I did it. But it is also no surprise that I’m asleep consultant, but you can do it. You can totally do it. Every you know, and and if you can’t, there’s so many resources now. And we’re also at a point where it’s really okay to say hey, I’m struggling. Mm hmm. So halt. What can we do? Who can give me $2,000? For I actually, you know, and take I when we were talking about what to get you for your like gift, right? I was like, No, I think everybody around me was like, we don’t know what that is. Like, I’m telling you, she’ll want this.
That would be a very generous gift I took
it may require the entire family and extended cousins. We’ve never met me, but
I’ll go your sister in law. My cousin did attendees, swaddled for a gift, which is very exciting. Amazing. Yeah.
Good. I have a great gift on its way. So I’m very excited.
Thank you. Very
awesome. Okay. Well, I hope this was helpful. I thank you so much for volunteering your question. And I, I hope it was less terrifying than you thought it was going to be?
Well, it’s, it’s been great. And it’s helpful to have, like you said, like those two big takeaways, like these are things you can do day one that’s very helpful. Like I like lists. I like let’s try this. It’s very helpful to have concrete steps of like, we’ll do this and then we’ll do that and that will help us.
It’s great. Amazing. Good. All right. Thanks, Meredith. Thanks to everyone listening today and joining us today. Again, you can find me at @babysbestsleep on Instagram or www.babysbestsleep.com for blogs, recently resources, all of that good stuff. In the meantime, sleep well go to bed early. Drink a lot of water.