Voice Over 0:01
You’re listening to the slumber party podcast with your host Amanda Jewson, a mom of two girls, a child and infant sleep expert and general sleep lover. If you’re a tired parent who is desperate for answers, or just someone who loves sleep, this podcast was created just for you. Each episode is packed full of tips and tricks to help you maintain your sanity, as well as your social life during the early stages of parenthood. So grab your headphones, it’s time to get comfy.
Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Slumber party podcast. I’m Amanda Jewson. And today’s a special day, because we are joined by the entire baby’s best sleep team with Karen and Emma. And I’m so happy that you guys are here. Because I think that there are some things that you can only really talk about with people who are doing this every day. And what I mean by that is like, it’s like someone is not going to call me about a problem they don’t know as a problem. Does that make sense? I don’t know how to if I’m saying that. Right? Totally. But one of the biggest Yeah, in one of the biggest things that comes up for us all the time. And I’ve ranted and raved about this on my Instagram stories. But Instagram Stories only lasts 24 hours. And I want this to live. I want this to live forever. I want to continually linked to this episode because I’m so sick of talking about over tiredness than the myth of overt hardness. And I and I want to that is what I hope that we discuss today. But for the monitoring myth. Yeah. So I don’t like I’m just gonna start off by sharing how this kind of manifests for me. And then I love for you to kind of jump in here, but so we’ll be working with a client. And you know, the first few days are always like, not great for everybody, like your nights will come really quick, your naps will take always longer to get where we want them to be. And then all of a sudden, around day three or four babies had three amazing night of sleep. So they’re more rested. And suddenly, they’re not quite there or they’re they’re really the parent will put them down to sleep. And they either cry a lot suddenly before going down. Or their naps become like 25 minutes. And we’re like, okay, now’s the time, now’s the time. And so I always tell parents who may start our work, okay, for the first few days. Let’s not worry about weak windows, let’s worry more about following their cues when they seem tired. Let’s just put them down. So sometimes that’s a really, really short week window. And then, after those three or four days, parents are like, okay, I had three days that are going really well. I don’t want to change anything. And then you’re like, Okay, let’s try to bump that up. 15 minutes and they’re like, okay, okay, all right. Um, what if they’re overtired? Because we have been conditioned to think that overtired is this rampant disease. It happens to everyone. What are you guys hearing in the trenches? About over tiredness? How does it manifest as your clients?
Well, for mine, I think that Yeah, the concern is, you know, over tiredness is like the worst thing that can happen to their baby. Which is funny because when you start off before those three great nights of sleep, waking up like so often than they were actually really overtired and carrying a lot of sleep. But I think that you know, the first three days like we always call them the honeymoon phase, right? So it’s amazing to see what’s happening during those first three days. But then day four to day seven is the regression and it is important to keep babies up for their full week window in order for them to build enough sleep pressure but parents get scared you know, they get scared they’re really yummy that they, you know, oftentimes are really fussy baby is I guess hard to deal with. So big question is, well, what am I meant to do during their wake window? How do I keep them awake? How do I keep them stimulated? You know, these are the things I think that you know, parents really do their challenges the first week and, and a lot of times, I think that parents are so scared of this over harvest that they are putting their babies and having putting their babies down before the end of their wake windows and before they are actually tired which can also create A lot of issues as well.
Unknown Speaker 5:02
Yes, totally. I sorry, I
find them I find, too that, you know, I always try to explain to parents, but like you were saying, Karen, that the amount of sleep debt that you came into this with, they’re not going to get all of that sleep debt, in a matter of a day of us pushing the wake window, you know, yeah, in order to get enough sleep pressure, to have a good nap that we want to have, you have to keep them up. And I know, sometimes also, parents are talking about how they don’t know what to do with their baby, because they’re so fussy. And, you know, I know it sounds funny, but sometimes I say to them, you know, they say, if I pick them up and they start to fall asleep, I’m like, well, then put them down. You know, if you put them down on the ground first, they’re gonna get angry first, I can’t you can pick them back up again. But it’s gonna keep them awake for that extra 15 minutes.
Yeah, and let’s be clear, like, we’re not in the business of like, hey, when you work with us, your children will be super fussy and angry all the time. And you have to give them a floor. This is not. This is not like your real life. This is really temporary. And you also have to be reminded, so there’s two things at play here. Both of you guys have said things that make me want to Yeah, so Karen, you said, parents will often Well, I fine. And maybe this isn’t what you meant. But parents will say, Oh, I’m anticipating my child will protest for 10 minutes. So I’m putting them down earlier. And I’m going to avoid that protest, when in actuality, you could be perpetuating it. Because if a child isn’t tired enough, they protest. Yeah, yeah. And I mean, we’re talking about the sleep training process, we can kind of transfer her discussion as well to like a baby who does sleep well on their own. But if you are putting them down to early, you’re going to get into a situation where your child could get a second wind. So they’re protesting, protesting, protesting, or now I’m not really darned at all. And I’m chilling in this crib, and I’m really angry. And and so that’s part one. But part two, is that because parents are, you know, and I also want to say, like, honor the child in front of you. So they do seem tired. Yeah, okay, fine. put them to bed. If it has been a day or two of that not working, then we have to change it because children can also show tired signs, because their body’s used to going to bed at a certain time. So if the the baby’s body is like, oh, we’re used to being up for an hour and a half. At this time, I’m going to show all my turkeys parents like no, but I’ve read that I have to follow the turkeys. Like I know. But like, how is that working for you right now? I don’t know that it is working. So just be open to shifting and pushing. Because children as they get older, need that additional sleep pressure? And if they don’t have it, you’re going to get into Scituate. Well, there’s a there’s there’s two situations how this manifests for me, either perpetual, early days and mornings, or lots of protests at naps.
Yeah, I think that you know, what you were saying to read the child on if they do seem really tired than to put them down is really important. But you also want to read the child on how the nap goes, right? So if you’re, if you’re reading the child that you put them down, because they seemed really tired, and then they still only had a 20 minute nap or they had a lot of protest at the beginning, then you also need to take that part into account as well for the next time you’re putting them down. Amen. Yeah,
I was actually thinking too, that one of the things that I mean, we just jump in here. And I was thinking before we actually did this podcast episode, it’s gonna be really important that we explain some of the things that we’re talking about because for us, we know exactly what we’re talking about. But for sure, there’s a mom listening to us right now being like, what, um, but what I mean is a lot. So if you go on to a baby blog, if you look up baby sleep, if you look up anything or if you’re looking for like a quick tip on the internet, the the number one thing in terms of free advice that a consultant or an expert or doctor is going to give you is avoid your baby being overtired. And that is really good advice. That’s really great advice. Nobody wants is super overtired baby. And the difference between pushing awake window 15 minutes and an overtired baby is pretty different though. And so that’s where I think that we should define what overtired is. And Karen, you’re so right that on the onset, many of the children that come to us
are overtired. Yeah, no. So that’s a really good point. I mean, what is overtired? You know, versus not really overtired. I guess I can give an example, I was working with a mom who had a six month old baby, and she was only giving her baby two naps. But her baby actually could really only handle two and a half hour awake windows. So there was a 1.4 hour awake window right before bedtime for a six month old. And on average, that is way too big. And then you know, we were looking at things like early morning wakes and night wakings, which you know, when a baby is overtired, you do tend to see, but let’s say, you know, pushing that week window to two hours and 45 minutes or even three hours, that would be completely acceptable.
Totally, totally. And obviously, it always goes back to Let’s follow your baby, I’m sure there’s gonna be a six and a half month old mom or parent listening right now being like, Well, my baby has a four week window. And if it’s going well, it’s going well. But I do think that there are, I mean, I have two four month olds that are responding very differently to different week windows. So we have to really suss out the week window for your child. Yeah, so a big issue that I see with over tiredness and fear of pushing awake window is what manifests in a couple of ways. So we’ll work with clients, we work with a lot of four month olds, would you say? What, what would you say are our highest traffic times?
Like I would say, definitely four months? You know, you hit that regression. And parents are done. And they’re, they want they want health at that point. You know, and then some of them, I also get a lot of six month olds, and then I get kind of a big gap. Yeah. And then I yeah, a lot of like, 18 month olds and 16 month old, over a year, basically. Yeah,
I’ve been getting a lot of nine month old lately. So that and a lot of Yeah, that kind of a well,
I find for me, it’s foreign eight months old, because those are the two biggest regression points. So we work with a lot of our clients and the format of time we establish or you know, to our awake window, which is probably the most common. And then at eight months, that parent is calling me and they’re like, I don’t know why these naps are so short. You know, they’re 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 30 minutes, and then we go through the date, baby’s still on three naps. Baby, so only has a two hour awake window. And, and I’m like, yeah, we’re gonna need to stretch those weak windows to about three hours. Let’s start there. And they’re like, there’ll be overtired, they’ll be overtired. And it’s, it’s, it’s that that will impede a lot. Because the best analogy, and I think I’ve talked about this on the podcast before that I can give is, we all have a metaphorical balloon in her head, okay, if we want to imagine this balloon, it is empty. It is empty at the beginning of the morning, we open our eyes. And we begin to fill the balloon with something called sleep pressure. And so if you imagine that a full balloon, not overfall, that’s overtired, that’s going to pop out a properly filled balloon is what we’re looking for, to not only fall asleep, but to sustain the length of a nap, or to sustain overnight. So then what happens is we’re asking the balloon, if you’re watching, I have a wonderful visual here, if you if you were asking your child, so if this is the potential balloon size, and I’m holding my hand open wide for those of you listening it that’s a potential balloon size that we need in order to have an hour nap. And we’re asking a child to have an hour nap on this balloon size. I’ve closed my hand, then they’re only going to get those 20 minute naps. Furthermore, because you’re reducing the sleep pressure like this all day, by the time you get to bed, that balloon again is still not false. So you are going to see early mornings, a lot of parents have started to get into the situation where you have way, way way early bedtimes and early bedtimes. This is Oh, we should actually have another episode on early bedtimes. Because this is another thing that comes up a lot is like early bedtimes being the catch all for literally every problem. Early bedtime. It’s a really bad time like we we we only most humans only have anywhere between Have you ever been to all humans? Babies only have between 10 and 12 hours of sleep in them? 100% you’ll hear but that 13 hour unicorn? Yeah, I mean, unicorn with a diamond tiara or not. I
mean, I have one. You know, thankfully, we don’t talk about just one at a three.
It’s so frustrating, because the irony of this situation is that Emma has like the best sleeping child that gives me FOMO. And I train that child and my child doesn’t do what her child does. They were both up at 530 this morning. My I’m not a good mom. I was so excited. Like, yeah. Usually earlier for us like that was when my kids, right? Well, they’re like getting older. And they’re like, we don’t want garbage bags on our windows. So I was like, Okay, I’ll take them off. And then today, I was like, Well, I guess they’re going back up. And they’re like, No, I think so. We’ll see. But that Yeah, exactly. Okay, so then we get into the super early mornings. Again, because the child is not building up their balloon, to where we can get those longer naps. And early morning, sorry, go ahead, Emma.
I think that too, you know, when we were talking about, especially clients, but anybody maybe who did it on their own, who had a baby that wasn’t sleeping well, and then they did some sleep work with them, they got them sleeping really well. Fast forward to a few months later, and they’re really worried about the overtired ness, but their baby also isn’t sleeping. And it’s like this fear of the over tiredness is repeating back to what your baby was doing before and really not sleeping. Well. You know. And if you can remember back to that point, where, you know, maybe you were working with one of us. And we were saying no, you really have to increase that wake window in order to make a difference. You’re back in that same position, you know, you you have to make changes in order to see a change. Yeah.
You know, another thing, it just came into my mind when I do speak to clients later on, like, let’s say we have that one call that happens. And sometimes, when I go through, you know, the issues that they’re currently having, I would say 75% of it is related to weight windows not being large enough, or their schedule a little bit off, or they’re having an extra nap or releasing that’s totally the day. So this really is like a super important issue. Because it really like, I wish that you know, hopefully after hearing this podcast, maybe some parents will be like, okay, let’s not be scared to expand that wave window. Let’s try. Give us a chance and see if it works.
And, and yeah, and I also just want to be clear that we’re not suggesting like keeping your child up for six, seven hours at a time we are maybe talking about anywhere from 15 minutes, sometimes to an hour for older, older children. It’s this it is it does set people back and then I felt so compelled to do this episode because the the idea of over tardiness is so pervasive, it’s not really understood. It keeps being pushed as this fear thing like, Oh, no, no, no, you need to pull pull way, way, way, way, way back. And it’s like, oh, my gosh, most of the stuff that we’re dealing with is a lack of sleep pressure in our clients. It’s a lack of understanding about what sleep pressure is. You know, if you think about it this way, like this is the best way to understand sleep pressure. How like, I’m sure we’ve all dealt with this. You are five minutes from home, your child falls asleep for literally five minutes. And then you’re like, it’s okay. It’s your enough time. We’re just gonna go No, no, you’re never having that nap. That nap is gone. Now. I mean, I shouldn’t say that. You’re going to have to keep them up for like 30 minutes to an hour. But as soon as we fall asleep, the balloon goes. And it’s it’s so much of that air is gone. And we’re asking our children to fall asleep when the air is gone in their balloon. If I am having a tire day, and lately I have been because my kids are wanting to see more gray hairs. During this time, that’s what they want. Well, I’m looking in the camera and the bags under my eyes are significant. Anyway, um, so yeah, if if, oh, shoot, I lost my train of thought now because I haven’t talked at I’m thinking about how annoyed I am that they were up at 530 So annoying you sleeping or like giving example like, yeah, if I am having a tired day like I am, late afternoon, I will have nothing left, I will go and literally have like a 15 to 20 minute sleep where I try to go to sleep, I’ll set an alarm I wake up, I feel so much better. My sleep pressure has reduced significantly. I’m waking at a late stage of sleep, and I feel better. So that’s all kind of like, it’s it’s all the same thing. And And so yeah, I do, Karen, it’s such a good point that like, the reason why we’re doing this episode is not to like shame anyone or like say what you know is wrong is that there’s more nuance to overtired than 15 to 30 minutes.
Yeah, I do want to say that, you know, with newborns. You know, they are sensitive to their awake window. And so if you are listening, and you have a newborn, that, you know, pushing them by 15 minutes, can make a big difference. Because that at that point, you know, when they get overtired, they do get quite upset, and they’re harder to put down and all of those things. And so it’s also dependent on the age of your baby on how sensitive they will be to the amount of time that you are increasing your week window. So the smaller they are, the more sensitive they’re going to be to to the time.
That’s a really good point. That’s a really good point. I do think newborns are a little more sensitive to the over tardiness thing. I mean, and that being said, I know how many newborns have we dealt with where their parents have been like, I’ve been trying to do anything possible to get the child to sleep for about four hours or so. So on that note on the myth of over tardiness, I hope that we were clear in dispelling that that, you know, even playing with your child’s wake window within an hour is generally safe. They might be fussy or going down. You might have some initial protests, do you do that body clock change? But overall, it shouldn’t be huge indicator of some massive over tiredness. eyes like what are some examples for you guys? I mean, Karen, you did talk about some over tardiness. A good example that I see of actual over tardiness is typically parents wanting to transition their child from two to one nap before the child is ready. And that is over tiredness. Yeah, that’s moving from I would rather a child have like a four and a half hour awake window potentially, then have to go to six to seven hours. That’s a huge jump. And then parents do it. And then sometimes parents don’t have a choice. So I understand that as well with like daycare. But sometimes you do it and then you start to see early mornings and yucky stuff, like lots of behavior stuff. How else is it showing up for you guys?
I just had a client who was four months, and mom really wanted her on three naps. But she was like a gold star on four naps. You know, and she as we know not consolidation doesn’t happen until between four and six months. But this baby would sleep for 90% of the time, she would have a two hour nap on her second nap. Oh my God, that’s incredible. And so two hours, right. And so it was just the, you know, when we were looking at the sleep chart, like she’s just sleeping so perfectly on these four naps, you know, I mean, this is this is what she needs. And when we tried to move her down to three naps, she had to go down for an earlier bedtime. She was up earlier. And when we’re talking about a four month old who’s starting their day, you know, at 6am, and you’re trying to only give them three naps. It doesn’t work. Yeah. It really doesn’t work. And then they’re fussy all the time. Yeah. So it’s also you know, we have to make sure that we’re not just looking at the age being like, Oh, they need to go down to three naps. Or you know, it doesn’t if they’re doing well with where they’re at, then keep them where they’re at. Exactly.
Yeah. I love that.
I just made me think of the three to two nap transition because I feel like the overtired his comment comes up so often when when moms are making that transition because it is a pretty big change going from three to two naps. And at that point, we are stretching this week windows a little bit, you know, in the right realm, so to speak. But for some reason that triggers a lot of moms and that I feel like that over tiredness, that fear is really prevalent when, when we’re going through that three to two now transition.
Totally. That’s a really good point. And I think that you’re so right on that three to two, NAB transition. It is that And then I also just want to say while you were saying that Karen, I was thinking of a client that I was working with, and they were really worried that through the transition, that it like the baby was waking at night for another reason I can’t remember like, I think it was around the eight month this was a few months ago. It was around the eight month time, so there could have been some night wakings due to just being eight months. But it’d be like, do you think it’s because we pushed the week window by a half an hour? And like, absolutely not. Like it would be so crazy to see that small, like significant push, impact your night so significantly. So you know, when we’re talking when you do read over tardiness can create night wakings we’re talking about that baby that skipped an entire nap. We’re talking about maybe moving a baby to a nap before they’re completely ready. We’re talking about that newborn who didn’t sleep all day, right? Like those. Those are overtired moments. For sure. I
tell my clients when they’re talking about on the go, right. And we’re talking about napping on the go, and some babies nap better on the go than others. And if you’re out for the day, and your baby doesn’t nap at all, and then you put them to bed at night. Yes, they may be overtired, and those may be the nights where you see a little bit more protest and going down you see a little bit more disruption in the sleep. But you know, you’re at home the next day, and hopefully they can recuperate over the next 24 hours.
I love that and and for all of you who are wondering, okay, like I really love this advice, baby’s asleep is amazing. You can head over to my Instagram because I am I think the week that this is published, I’m going to be publishing a sleep chart, go ahead and screenshot it, hold on to it, follow it as your child goes along. And I’m not saying everybody’s which their awake windows. But when there are problems. I would start there first, right? Like we’re only this is advice only if there are problems. If you’re a baby like me, we’re saying for naps. Maybe not what we see in most of our four month olds, but it works for that kid. So then we I don’t want to do anything different. And it’s like only if, hey, I have a problem. This is my problem. Is that happening and really push your weak window and you’re like, no. That’s tough. That’s tough. Um, okay, so we’re heading up to crap nap time, ladies. So I want to kind of conclude this. The idea being the myth of over tiredness is is only half of a myth. And it’s really important that you understand sleep pressure, and might my biggest piece of advice if you are worried about it, ask yourself this. Is my child napping period during the day? If the answer is yes, then that balloon is shrinking. So what we’re trying to avoid is a popping balloon. It is very unlikely that your balloon will pop from a little bit more air. So if your baby is napping, and they’re falling asleep, and maybe you skipped a nap, but they went in the car and they slept for 25 minutes, chef’s that’s great. Yeah, we’ve reduced that pressure. Let’s, we’ve reduced their pressure. Metaphorically. And literally. That’s right. I’m awesome. Okay, I feel good about that. That was that this is I feel like this we hit it. Any final thoughts on over tardiness?
I would just like I said, you know, if you said if your baby is having problems, you know, either falling asleep for their naps, or they’re starting to take really short naps, or you’re starting to see early morning wakes. Don’t be afraid to just extend that window. I promise you Nothing will happen. In fact, I think that everyone will be better for it. And always remember to give that change a few days, right? I know we want to see always results. But when it comes to baby sleep, we have to remind ourselves that our babies are not robots, or they’re not our alarm clocks. We just need to be patient with both ourselves and with them.
Yeah, perfect. And I think too, that we’re one remember that. Like you said, babies are humans, and they’re all different. And so you know, your baby may have quite a bit of a different wake window than your friend’s baby who is different than your baby. And also to try not to make your decision out of fear. Right like give it a try because you know the next day and a few days You can always bring it back down and it’s not gonna Yeah, when you’re right like this is it’s a really minute, you’re not giving them a tattoo. Like it’s, it’s okay, you know, they’re gonna be okay. And so well, you know, don’t be so scared about this. This is one of the in parenting. There’s so many things that we’re scared about. And there’s so many things we have to worry about. This is one that you can give it a try and move back if it’s Yeah.
I think we have to end the podcast right now, because that’s the best thing I’ve ever heard or was said on the podcast. We’re not giving your baby a tattoo. Please don’t we’re not advocating for that either. We’re not. On that note, everybody. Thank you again for listening to the slumber party party party podcast. If you like what you heard today, go ahead, leave me a review, hit subscribe. It really does make a difference in those lovely podcast providers, you know, pumping my tires to you getting more tired parents to listen to the podcast. So like, subscribe, please review. That’s huge. We have also opened the doors to our community, which is a great monthly opportunity to speak to myself, Emma and Karen on a daily basis. In our Facebook group, you can head over to the Episode Notes to find out more about that community. And as always, you can find us on Instagram at babies best sleep, and it can be found at @BBS_Emma. Karen can be found at @BBS_Karenn. So it’s like Karen, one extra n and you can head over to babysbestsleep.com/blog for more information on all of the lovely things that we discussed today. Thanks so much and sleep well!