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You’re listening to the slumber party podcast with your host Amanda Jewson, a mom of two girls, a child and infant sleep expert and general sleep lover. If you’re a tired parent who is desperate for answers, or just someone who loves sleep, this podcast was created just for you. Each episode is packed full of tips and tricks to help you maintain your sanity, as well as your social life during the early stages of parenthood. So grab your headphones, it’s time to get comfy.
Hello, everybody, welcome to another edition of the slumber party. I’m back with Emma and Karen. And we’re talking about common things that we see with our clients. And we’re gonna, we’ve talked about the myth of over tiredness, if you haven’t listened to that one, that’s the one for literally everyone, literally everyone. And this is one for those clients who haven’t quite done their sleep work yet, and have a lot of questions about why the heck their baby is up all night. What am I doing wrong? And we often say or when we are doing a discovery call, we are mining for the help to sleep. We’re mining with the with the client to see okay, what is this client doing to help the child to sleep? And quite often to the client. It’s not obvious, it’s not clear. So in today’s episode, we’re going to help you define common helps to sleep that are hidden for you that are not obvious. Because guys, how many times are you on a discovery call with a client and they’re like, my child goes to sleep 100% independently? Yeah,
all the time. All the time. It’s like my child falls asleep independently for naps. For night, they just are having short naps, and they’re waking up through the night.
Yes. Any reason why you’re like, let’s dig.
Yeah. Yeah, I think there’s like, you know, some people don’t maybe understand what really real independence means. Right? And and you know, so a lot of times that looks like maybe Mama’s feeding their baby, right before they’re putting their baby down into their crib, or even holding or doing a little bit of rocking in that chair. Anything that basically is making their baby drowsy, right before they’re putting their baby in the crib. But they still think because they’re like, No, no, my baby’s still awake, that that, you know, their baby is falling asleep independently. But that usually is the culprit. Most of the time is when their baby throws you right before they’re being put in the credit.
Well, and actually a feel like we should maybe name or we should name all these podcasts myth, but we should call it the myth of drowsy but awake. Because, yeah, I remember being at after I had Nora, I was at like a mom workout group. And this girl comes up to me. And she said, I was training to become a consultant at the time. And she was like, when you become a consultant? Can you not be a huge bitch, and tell me that drowsy, but awake is wrong. And I was like, I won’t do that. And then I trained to become a consultant, you learn about the science of sleep and the stages of sleep, and you’re like, Well, how do I not be a bitch and say this because it is true, it is impacting you. And it is, again, another piece of super pervasive advice that gets passed on from one person to another. It’s great advice for a newborn. Totally. Yeah.
And, you know, we we want them tired, right? We don’t want them drowsy, we want them tired. But awake, you know, yeah, you want the the sleep pressure to be there. But if they’re drowsy, then when they wake up through their sleep cycles in the night, and they’re, they need that help getting to that point again.
Well, in this is a great moment for a little lesson in sleep. So when I talk to my clients, when we’re having our discovery call, it’s like, we have to discuss what happens in those first two stages of sleep. So when you have a newborn, they actually don’t have those first two stages yet, that comes at the four month regression. And so it’s no question why the four month regression is tough, or why it’s challenging or why you might see some more pushback then. But basically, anything that happens in that stage of sleep or gets your child like this, like they’ll be like, they go like so if you’re watching me, I have a slow blink. I’m kind of nodding I might have been really quiet, calm looking around. That is Dr. zenus. I liken it to when you’re driving and you’re tired and you feel like more, or you’re watching Netflix and on the couch and you wake up and you’re like oh wasn’t sleeping, like you were, you worry, it is a stage of sleep. And that is what your baby is. And so people will tell me all the time I say, oh, are we feeding to sleep? Nope, nope, I’m not feeding to sleep. And then when we dig, when we do our evaluation, we find out like Karen said, that feed is the very last thing to happen. or parents will say this with older children all the time. I’m not. I’m not feeding to sleep. They’re just really, really rambunctious and active right before bed. So I will feed them until they’re calm. Or I hold them until they’re calm, or I sit with them until they’re calm. And that the calm that is like my key to be like, Oh, there it is. There it is, there’s the help.
I think, too, another common place where we see this is, even with clients during the sleep training process where, you know, they’re doing their check ins, and we’re seeing it prolong, you know, longer than what we want to see. And at that point, I always say to parents, I just want to make sure that what you’re doing isn’t good enough that they’re, it’s worth them crying to get it back. So when you’re going in there, if you’re picking them up, and you’re doing a little song or you’re doing you know, and they’re still awake, you’re still calming them down, you’re still soothing, that’s still soothing to them. And that’s the part that they need to be able to do themselves. Otherwise, they’re going to continue to wake up and to cry for that help. And also
wait for it, you know, they’ll they’re going to stay up and they’re going to want that parents. Yeah, can you know, and that kind of keeps them more stimulated and more engaged. And that’s really the opposite of what we want those check ins to be about.
And it’s important to ask yourself the question, this happened last week, where I had a client who, you know, the baby was upset, and so she or her partner would go in, and they would put their hand on the baby’s chest until they fell asleep. over a number of days, the protests actually got longer and longer and longer, because the baby was waiting for the chest, the hand on the chest. So these we sound like we might sound like witches right now, like, Doc pads, I mean, that’s not what we’re saying. It’s, it’s more like touch your baby put put your hand on baby’s chest, when they start to be like, okay, that’s what I need. That’s when we actually have to pull back and say, Okay, I’m gonna leave, I love you so much, or I’m going to sit right here. And we just don’t do it to sleep. These are all things that you can do, just not to sleep. While you were talking about that as well. Have you have you ladies ever had a client who told you that they moved out of the room and haven’t? And they’re kind of sticking around the room?
Yes, yes. I had somebody that that told me they were right out of the room, but then later confessed that Well, actually, I just decided to sit on the couch that I have in that room. So are we sticking around? And they were doing great. They were doing really well. I was there.
I find it the opposite. I find. So things will be going awesome. Everything’s swimming. And then all of a sudden, it’ll be like day eight or something where things are should be like rocking and rolling. And the baby is freaking out and crying and naps are super short. And I’m like what’s going on? And then I’ll be like, are you to the room? And they’re like, no, yeah. And I like it. And they’re there. They’re kind of it. So and the first step when your baby is learning how to sleep, they go, Okay, great. Thanks for being here. It is really important to move yourself out of the room and stages because when you stay, and we get past that honeymoon stage, they’re alert. They’re aware, they’re looking at you. And they’re like, well, if you’re going to be here, do something. And then if they fall asleep with you in the room, and then they wake up at 20 minutes, 30 minutes and you’re not in the room. That is that’s going to be something that they wait for as well.
And I think that when I’m talking about this being in the room, and they’re doing really well it’s usually for older kids, it’s usually for like toddlers, where they haven’t they haven’t moved out of the room and then it’ll come to like quite a bit later where we’re almost done and then they’re like, Okay, I guess I should get out. And then all of a sudden, they’re the kids not sleeping anymore. Right? And you know, it’s because they just got used to your body being in the room. You don’t even have touching them.
It’s a really good point because this is around that toddler time at around two years old, is when children will start asking the parents to sit with them until they fall asleep. Which seems on the surface again, I would do that. Yeah. All right, I’ll stay with you until you fall asleep are so cute. I love you. Of course I will. And then the issue is, your child falls asleep with you. They wake up, they’re either they’re in a crib, they’re gonna scream for you until you come back. Or they’re gonna get out of their bed and come find you several times a night. And so we we’ve had many clients who we worked with, we have awesome sleeping babies. And then they come back to us at two years old, being like, well, now I have to sit with them for three hours while they look at me, what did I do? And it’s surprising for parents to know that that’s the type of health to sleep.
I mean, we can’t even talk about myself in this right now. Because I had to ask for help this week. Because my unicorn sleeper was not doing his regular unicorn sleeping. And he is three over three still in his crib. And all of a sudden starting to wake and I would go into his room and you’d be like, Hi. Like, yeah, what? Where’s daddy? Like? No, no. And so I did it with a one night and then he you know, they get you they cry. They don’t normally cry. It’s very it pulls up your heartstrings you go in high. Like, alright, this is this is not good, not good. But I had to come to you guys just for the reassurance It is hard. But you know what I didn’t go in, I didn’t go in again, we talked with he’s older. So we talked about the reward that he’d get. And he’s back to sleeping. It’s just, you know, it’s the boundaries, it’s the boundaries that are sometimes hard to keep. But when we are talking about older kids, we don’t realize that us just entering the room can be enough that they wake up in the night to say hello,
yeah, we went through this when we moved houses, you know, our oldest man who’s four, you know, and he was always been a really good sleeper. But he I guess it was just a new environment and a little bit unfamiliar to him. And all of a sudden, I you know, her the little quick steps at night at you know, two in the morning, four in the morning, obviously, you know, I was always walking him back to his bed. And we, you know, started new rituals around bedtime, getting him used to his room and reading stories, but it does happen every now and then, you know, babies and toddlers change. And they’re, they go through their own developmental milestones. And it’s just, I guess, right back to that consistency, right, and making sure that you stay consistent. And, you know, they know what those boundaries are, even if things do switch a little bit throughout the years. And, you know, and yeah, it’s normal, right? It’s just about us always having that plan to go back to and for our clients as well, too, and knowing what to do.
Yeah, yeah. And, and one of the things that we haven’t talked about and I was thinking about this is how common pacifiers or suitors are, in that helped asleep. So yeah, there are sleep programs and sleep consultants that totally recommend pacifiers, and I’m a big fan of if that’s working for you should continue to do that. But if you were at the point of, if your baby, if you’re having problems if your baby is waking frequently, if you have to go to replace the pacifier every time, if you are seeing frequent short naps, that can also be a hidden help to sleep.
Yeah. And also to make sure that I know it’s terrifying for parents as I was the parent, when Amanda told me I had to get rid of my guys. I don’t think so. Um, that, you know, for some babies, it might work to not get rid of it all the time. But for most babies, it’s confusing. You know, if you if you keep that pacifier first, say, the car or the walk, or you know, they’re getting fussy, and you give it to them, then in the night or when they’re going to bed, they’re going to cry some more and be like, Where is that thing? That really helps me?
Yep, exactly. And people I always joke that people would rather, if I told people look, you have to throw your child out the window in order for them to sleep. They’d be like, oh, I’ll think about it. And then I’m like, with a pacifier and they’re like, No, no, I will not. love it so much. It’s so crazy. I don’t know what it is. And it’s because I’m not I wasn’t a pacifier parent. And not by choice. I actively actively tried. But it just didn’t work. But like Nora vomited when he was like, I prefer my thumb. So it just didn’t happen. So I don’t understand that parents are so attached to the pacifier. I see a lot of problems with pacifier use, especially with short naps, are you guys seeing that as well?
Yeah. Yeah, no pacifiers. Like you said, if they’re working great, but if you know you have a discovery call with a mom whose baby’s waking up every 45 minutes to an hour to two hours, and this baby is using a pacifier, you know, they’re where they’re only entering that late stage of sleep because of that continual sucking in a second, that pacifier falls out. They’re awake, then it’s a problem for sure. And actually, I, you know, I find, too, that parents are really scared. It’s like this security blanket, not only for their baby, but for themselves. And it really only takes like a day or two for babies to actually get used to not having it. It is an apparent surprise, happily surprise, but you know, when you remove it, it really it’s like, it wasn’t even there in the first place. It’s an amazing Yeah, totally. Exactly.
For every so great, go ahead. No, no,
I was gonna say that. That’s okay. That, um, another thing to be careful with is, I always, I mean, I have nothing against grandmas, they’re so helpful. They just also love to be super cuddly. And that, you know, sometimes when we have grandparents who look after babies, you know, parents when, when the parents are on and on weekends, or when they’re doing that time, they’ll say to me, yeah, like, you know, we do their naptime routine, and we put them in their bed, and we’re still seeing short naps. I just had this like a month ago, and I’m like, okay, and I’m really trying to figure it out. And I said, I just like, want to make sure that when your mom’s putting him down, that they’re not doing anything that is, you know, really, like calming or cuddly. And she said, Well, I’ll ask her, and she asked her, she said, Well, I do hold him, I turn the lights off, and I just hold him and I just do a little bit of swaying and I just sing a really short song. And, you know, we went in, and we told Grandma, maybe to keep the lights on and do it when he’s a little bit fully awake, and improved naps. So it’s just you don’t even realize sometimes and sometimes it’s not, you know, sometimes it’s a caregiver, that that isn’t you that is making the naps short or making some night wakings.
You just reminded me of a client that I had about three years ago, this is like the this is everyone’s worst nightmare. But the baby was in a way that you can sort of think about, like, is my child being helped asleep? Is there something that could be helping them and you do have a caregiver situation, it could be something that is impacting now I’ll say this with the disclaimer that most kids understand with a different caregiver comes different behaviors. So a lot of them can have a little help to sleep with one caregiver and still do okay with parents. However, in this particular situation, we had a really tough cookie, this guy, there was a whole bunch of stuff. I mean, the the family was living with their extended family in like an apartment in the house. So they were sharing it like it was a lot of extra things to think about. We finally got this guide about it was amazing. She was a teacher, she goes off to work. The next summer she calls me She’s like, look, I think we need to work together again, something’s so off. I can’t figure it out. He will not sleep in his crib, like something as crazy. We’re doing everything. I’m perplexed. And I’m like, Can we give like last last case, I was like, Can we just give daycare a call and see, like, I know, some times they do stuff turns out there? Well, the first time he has he said no. The second time, they said, Well, look, all we do is we sit beside the crib, and the crib has some wheels on it. And we just roll him back for it back and forth. So he was like, Romi Yeah, when he got home, and then as soon as we asked the the caregivers to stop the night sleep got better as well. Yeah, you got to do sometimes you have to do digger deeping. Sorry. Yeah. deep diving is what I was trying to say. Yeah, yeah, exactly. I think that, you know, just, you know, I would say, yeah, can’t pay attention to anything that could be making your child really calm, drowsy, and again, I see this, there’s gonna be so many clients who listen to this or people who are like, Oh, well, I do that and my baby sleeps 12 hours. So we’re not talking to you. We’re talking to the, the harder core. I call them, you know, like more spirited kids who are just so aware of every change, right? It’s not to say that you can’t tell a baby to sleep and have them sleep 12 hours. I mean, there’s a whole Industry predicated on that, right? It’s so obviously must work for some kids. We don’t deal with those kids, right? Nobody hires us. For those kids. We deal with the kids are like my daughter, we’re like Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, that’s different. That’s different. That’s different make it the same. totally amazing. Well, any final thoughts on any help to sleep? Anything that we want to? that we haven’t covered?
I think we’ve covered a lot of it. Yeah. And I think that Yeah, Amanda, like, just, you know, it’s not like we’re trying to be like, these mean people and be like, That’s not good. And that’s not good at it, you know, are we when working with clients is really wanting or, you know, their babies we’re working with to fall asleep, like well, and quickly and without, with a minimal amount of zero amount of protest. So when we are pointing these things out, it’s just really to try to help maybe identify if you’re young is struggling, what potentially, you know, is happening or could be happening. So we have troubleshooting.
Such a good disclaimer, and I am so conscious. Like, sometimes I forget in the work that we do, like a lot of our clients will come to us with the same issues. And I mean, if you’re in our community, you see that, but it’s more that. If you’re not, it can feel like we’re giving blanket advice, which is my worst nightmare. This is not for every kid. I think that I I’m pretty sure I nursed Winnie to sleep during the day for a long, long time, before it ever became an issue. And she slept well and was fine. Like, and I know people like that. So it’s more along the lines. Like if that stops working, then these this is probably why Yeah,
I think to to look at the 20 minutes before they’re falling asleep. If you’re having trouble with them sleeping, then that’s the part that you need to look into is the 20 minutes before they are falling asleep and what happens during that time and go through it piece by piece. And if there’s anything in there that you think is might be soothing, or might be calming and that type of thing, then that’s what you probably need to scale back on.
And if you’ve gone through it and you’re like there is literally nothing we are talking about a dry desert, then it might be some regressions, some sort of developmental milestone and then we just kind of need to wait it out. But chances are if you’re listening to this episode, that’s probably not you. Awesome. In that case, we will say goodbye for this episode. As always, you can find us online at baby’s best sleep on Instagram, at @BBS_Emma on Instagram at @BBS_Karenn, which I was forgetting at the beginning now I will not you can find more information on the blog babysbestsleep.com/blog. And if we’ve helped you today, leave a review it does wonders. Hit subscribe that would oh my god make my life and drop us a line because we always like knowing that to have a good one everyone Sleep well.