The [Amazing] Benefits of Sleep

You, like many other people, probably think of sleep as a time when your mind and body rest and slow down, but in truth, sleep is a time when your body is working at a furious pace. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs.” It might surprise you to learn that how and why we sleep is still unknown to scientists, but they do know that sleep is required for us to remain functional and healthy. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of sleep, and why it’s not only crucial for your baby to get a healthy amount of sleep, but why slumber is vital for you as well.

benefits of sleep

Healthy Sleep Tips for Adults

I’m going to switch gears and focus on YOU. Are you practicing what you preach when it comes to healthy sleep? While my main focus is on helping families get their babies to sleep soundly, it’s still essential for you to get a good night’s rest. If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to fall asleep and get the requisite number of hours of sleep your body needs to perform, this post is for you.

adult sleep tips (more…)

Getting Your Partner Involved

Take a look at nights in your household. Are you and your partner sharing nighttime duty equally, or is one of you the go-to person for nighttime wake-ups, while other partner sleeps soundly and pinch-hits on occasion? If the latter is the case, don’t worry, it’s completely normal and I see it all of the time with the families I work with. However, today I’m going to talk about what we can do to get both of you on a level playing field with your baby’s sleep routine.

Before we get into the debate about dads and the term “babysitting,” I want to clarify that “partner” means “other party,” as in, the partner not most actively involved in baby’s nighttime wakings. In my experience, babies waking throughout the night typically are relying on external sleep props, and most often the sleep prop in question is nursing; this obviously leaves out dads.

getting partner involved

When nursing is used as a sleep prop, moms are often up and down throughout the night, shuffling between the bedroom and the nursery, or between the bed and the crib. When this is happening multiple times throughout the night, mom begins feeling the effects of the constant sleep disruptions, and baby is being deprived of the skills they need to be able to navigate, on their own, between sleep cycles.

After time, mom may become resentful, after waking for the umpteenth time during the night, listening to the sounds of their partner enjoying a restful night of sleep. And those middle-of-the-night nursing sessions can be brutal, not only because of the frequency and how disruptive they are to mom’s sleep, but because of how the mind wanders in those quiet, nighttime nursing moments. I can’t tell you how many times sleep deprived moms have confided in me about a deep resentment and frustration — even anger — with their partners, because they, alone, are in charge of nighttime wakings (while dads get to sleep through the night).

If you’re one of those moms, know that you’re not alone, but also know that so many of those dads feel helpless as well. In fact, many of those dads are incredibly supportive, but at a loss for ways they can help, apart from waking with their wives and keeping them company throughout the night — while this is sweet, it just means that both partners will suffer the effects of disrupted sleep, and that’s not good for anyone in the family.

Well, I’m here to tell you that sleep training can change your nighttime dynamics. No, seriously. You see, sleep training often goes smoother when the dad takes charge. Dads don’t have milk to offer, which babies realize, so this often is the key to breaking the association between nursing and sleep. When dads respond to babies’ calls in the night, they quickly learn to fall asleep independently. Dads get to become the heroes, and moms get to enjoy nights of uninterrupted sleep — everyone wins!

Take this former client, for example. She and her husband turned to me for help, with an 8 ½ month old baby boy who didn’t nap and was up multiple times throughout the night. The mom hadn’t had more than three hours of uninterrupted sleep since the baby had been born and was at her wits-end with fatigue. I quickly stepped in and ordered the mom to a different floor in the house, leaving dad to nighttime duty. This is what she had to say:

Before Jennifer came in to help us, I was delirious with sleep. After I forgot to buckle our son’s car seat into the car — for the second time — I knew that my lack of sleep had become dangerous, and it was time to do something about it.

When Jennifer told us that I would not be handling nighttime duties, my husband and I looked at each other in disbelief. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like not having to wake with my son throughout the night; my husband was definitely on-board and wanted to help however he could, but he couldn’t believe that our son could sleep through the night, either.

The first night of sleep training, both my son and I slept through the night. I would have slept longer, except my breasts were about to burst after six, glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep! My husband reported only two night wakings, both of which lasted less than five minutes before our son went back to sleep. Without me rushing in to nurse, he was able to navigate himself back to sleep, and I was able to reclaim precious hours of sleep myself.

Letting dad take the lead may be just what you need to get you and your baby into healthy sleep routines, but you have to be willing to let your husband step in. I’ll give him instructions for what to do throughout the night, while you just need to keep yourself sequestered and sleeping.


If you’re ready to take back your nights, give me a call so that we can discuss the best plan of action for your family!

Schedule a time to talk with me now!  

Can I Co-sleep and Sleep Train?

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog because you’re wondering if you and your baby can co-sleep and sleep train, it’s probable that something just isn’t working for you. If something’s not working for your baby’s (or your own) sleep habits, my job as a pediatric sleep specialist is to help you find what works. And if you’re not ready to make some major changes, you’re not going to like what I have to say. The short answer is that no, you can not co-sleep with your baby and sleep train.

co sleep and sleep train

Notice that I didn’t say that room sharing was off-limits. I’ll get to that later, but right now, I want to address bed-sharing and sleep training. Co-sleeping is a personal decision, and I work with families with all types of sleeping arrangements — my job is to address concerns and come up with solutions that work for both parents and babies. I find that those co-sleeping families who contact me are looking for one of two solutions; they either want to transition their child from their bed, or they simply want their little one to sleep better while bed sharing.

Personalized transitions

If you’re looking to transition your child from your bed, I can definitely help your little one make a smooth transition. My approach to moving your little one out of your bed, and into their own, is tailored to your family’s needs. I take a look at your baby’s existing sleep habits, their personality and temperament, and come up with a personalized plan to make your baby’s transition, from your bed to their own, work for the entire family.

Co-sleeping and sleep associations

Those of you who came to this article through an internet search, in hopes of finding a way to better streamline your baby’s sleep habits while bed sharing, are not ready for my assistance — and that’s fine! When you are ready to transition your baby out of your bed, give me a call and I’ll be more than happy to help.

But now you’re probably wondering why I can’t help you now. Let me explain.

The majority of my co-sleeping clients bed share because there is an established breastfeeding relationship. Co-sleeping makes mother’s breast accessible throughout the night, and as a result, the breast becomes a sleep prop or a sleep association. This means that each time your baby wakes at the end of a sleep cycle, they head right to the breast — hungry or not — to soothe themself back to sleep. The longer that association remains, the more difficult it is for your baby to be able to transition between sleep cycles on their own.

Think about it. You, perhaps unknowingly, have sleep strategies you employ when you wake in the night. Maybe you shift positions, re-adjust your pillow or blankets, or maybe you take a quick drink of water. Whatever it is that you do to get yourself comfortable enough to go back to sleep can be likened to your baby’s need to nurse themself back to sleep. And in order to break the association between nursing and sleep, your breast needs to be inaccessible to them.

Room sharing as an alternative

Remember when I said I didn’t rule out room sharing? While not ideal, those parents who strongly desire to stay in close proximity to their baby can set up a crib in their room, or attach a sidecar to their bed (but a sidecar may make it even more difficult to break the breast-sleep association). The most important thing is that you’re happy with your sleeping arrangements.

I will leave you with this — the longer a sleep habit persists, the more difficult it is to change. And the longer your child shares your bed, the more difficult it will be to get them to sleep on their own. But when they do make that transition, they’ll acquire the sleep skills they need to have independent, healthier, sounder sleep, which is especially important during the formative years.

If you’re ready to make a change, or are simply wondering if a sleep consultant is right for you, contact me to set up a complimentary 15-minute phone sleep assessment by clicking HERE.

BONUS: Did you catch my interview today with Jim Masters of CUTV.  If not, take a listen HERE.

Liberate Yourself From the Baby Monitor

You’re just drifting off to sleep when you hear a coo/ gurgle/ snuffle/ whimper/ sigh broadcast through the baby monitor on your nightstand (or in some cases, in your hand!). Trick question – what do you do? Do you a.) rush in to make sure that your precious bambino is okay, b.) remain awake and alert for a few minutes to wait for another whimper, c.) drift into a dozy-light sleep for the remainder of the night so that you can monitor the monitor, or d.) turn the monitor off, roll over and slip gracefully into and through several wonderful sleep cycles that night, waking rested and ready to take on the day?

Today I’m going to talk about liberating yourself from the baby monitor.

If you find that your sleep is suffering because you're alerted to sounds from the baby monitor, it's time to liberate yourself!

Don’t misunderstand me, baby monitors serve a great purpose, especially if you want to get some work done outdoors or have a soirée at the end of the drive with your neighbor while your baby naps. The parents I worry about are the ones who sleep with the baby monitor on their nightstand, volume loud enough to alert you to every sigh or snuffle their baby makes throughout the night. Hey there, I’m looking at you! Yes, YOU!

If you are sleeping on the same floor as your baby, and your little one has no medical needs requiring constant surveillance, I want you to turn that monitor off. If you feel that going cold turkey with your monitor is too difficult, then please, please do yourself a favor and turn it down.

Think about it. If you’re spending your entire night of sleep on-call with the monitor, being woken by the intermittent sounds your sleeping baby makes, you are not going to be well rested the next day. You owe it to yourself to turn that baby monitor off, especially if your baby is now sleeping through the night – you do not need it, and I would say that you’re likely sabotaging your own sleep by using it.

Video monitors are even worse, in my opinion. Not only are you drawn to the sound of your baby, but you now have a video feed (with night vision!) you may feel compelled to monitor. If you truly have a concern, for fear of SIDS or another medical reason, then I do suggest using the baby monitor with sensor pad to put your mind at rest. I would simply urge you to resist the draw of constantly checking the monitor and allowing yourself to sleep while a high tech computer system monitors your baby.

Take one step closer to getting the healthy sleep you need by turning off that baby monitor. Again, if you need to ease into it, I suggest beginning by turning down the volume and turning off the camera. Once you liberate yourself from the draw of the baby monitor, your mind and body will thank you!

Baby Waking Too Early?

You’ve finally gotten into a groove, the whole house is sleeping great at night. Getting eight glorious hours of sleep has allowed to stay up past 9pm with your partner, enjoying some kid-free time. Just as you’re beginning to get really comfortable with this routine, you hear a cry. It’s 5:30am. As the days go on, your little one begins waking earlier and earlier, and you find yourself setting the timer on the coffee maker for 4:30am. Your baby is waking too early.

Morning wake time is getting earlier by the day and your baby is waking too early. These 5 tips will help you turn your early riser into a great sleeper.

If you’ve just begun The Sleep Sense Program, you’re used to your baby waking too early; early waking is pretty normal in the first couple of weeks, as your little one learns how to consolidate sleep. Don’t worry, the early mornings will become later as your little one becomes a master at sleeping.

If you’ve been working on transitioning your little one from being an early riser – with no success – give these 5 tips a try:

1. Make sure the room is dark enough.

I’ve stressed the importance of keeping the nursery dark for naps and bedtime, but you also want to make sure that the room is dark enough to facilitate sleep. You may need to adjust your window coverings with the changing seasons, as summer brings early daylight – a change in the lighting in the room, no matter how slight, may be enough to stimulate a wake up. My advice is too ensure that the room is as dark at 5:00am as it is at 3:00am.

2. Implement white noise.

Environmental noise is one of the top culprits of sleep disruption. Remember those early sunlight hours I was just referencing? Well, the birds will be up with the sun and they can get pretty noisy (so can the garbage truck that rolls by at 5:30am).

While I recommend investing in a white noise machine, you can easily use a fan to help block out any errant noises.

3. Remain steadfast with your minimum wake time.

Pick a minimum wake up time (for me it’s 7:00am) and stick to it. It’s amazing how the time can creep up on you when you relax your minimum, allowing for ten early minutes. Before you know it, those ten minutes turn into twenty minutes, and then an entire half hour earlier. Pick your minimum and stick with it.

4. Take a look at your bedtime.

Many parents are taken aback when I tell them to move their child’s bedtime earlier. The fear is that moving bedtime earlier will create an earlier wake time. The reality is that their child is very likely waking early due to overtiredness. Try moving your baby’s bedtime just 30 minutes earlier and see if it makes a difference in his morning wake time.

Much like sleep training, you need to give your baby time to adjust to changes in her sleep schedule. If you put her to bed early one night, and don’t see any change in her wake time, don’t give up! Allow two weeks before trying something different.

5. Be aware of sleep associations.

Does your baby get fed as soon as he wakes up? If your baby loves to nurse, and nursing has played a large role in his sleep associations, he could be waking early because he’s looking forward to nursing.

Just like bedtime, it may help to put a little distance between wake time and first feed (or whatever your baby is anticipating first thing in the morning). Change a diaper, sing a little song or dance and then transition to nursing/feeding. Having a short break between waking and feeding can help break the association.

Hang in there and remember that you’re doing a great job! If you need more suggestions or a customized plan for you and your little one, please give me a call.

Three Myths About “Sleep Training” Your Baby

This is for all of the parents out there who are apprehensive about sleep training, or simply can’t imagine it being a smooth process. Like anything, the best things in life are earned, and if you’re having trouble helping your little one develop a rhythm of healthy sleep habits, common misconceptions about sleep training can only serve to hinder any progress. When I hear arguments against sleep training, it seems that three myths prevail:




Who loves, cuddles, snuggles, feeds, plays, changes wet diapers and nurtures your little one? You do! When most of your baby’s day is spent being cared for, do you really believe that a week of sleep training is going to negate everything else you do for her?

Making changes to a sleep routine, no matter the age of the person, will likely be met with some resistance, and change can often be difficult. Will your baby be a little unhappy that you’re no longer rocking her for an hour to put her to sleep? Likely, yes, but once she falls into a healthy sleep routine and begins getting the sleep s/he needs, you’ll more than likely have an even happier baby than before!


Perhaps the number one misconception, in terms of sleep training, is the idea that babies are left to cry, and cry…and cry, until they are so exhausted that they fall asleep. Folks, this couldn’t be further from the case. Let me be perfectly clear, the Sleep Sense Program is not a “cry it out” program; in fact, you can remain in the room with your little one if it makes you more comfortable.

Babies communicate through crying, and when you change their bedtime routine they’re communicating their confusion. Think about it, you’ve been rocking your little one to sleep each night, and gently placing her into her crib once she falls asleep, of course she is confused! The good news is that your tired arms will get a rest and your baby will likely only take a few days to get over her confusion. Children adapt to change quickly and your little one will be getting herself to sleep calmly in no time at all.


Let me allay your fears: there is no evidence that sleep training produces any long or short term psychological effects on children.

Will there be crying? As I previously mentioned, your baby will likely be confused by the changes you’re making to her sleep routine, which can be anywhere from five to forty minutes of crying. Again, if the thought of your baby crying makes you cringe, you are more than welcome to remain in the room with her. The big picture is that it will only take a few days, with a bit of crying, for your baby to learn to fall asleep calmly and independently; the “stress” felt by your baby is minuscule in the grand scheme of things.

You can choose to do nothing. You can continue to rock your baby to sleep, rushing into her room anywhere from one to ten times a night to rock, nurse, or bounce her back to sleep. In this scenario, neither parent nor baby gets healthy sleep, depriving one or both of them of the sleep s/he needs to feel rested and refreshed. This can go on for months, and even years, creating poor sleep habits that can affect your little one later in life; there is evidence linking poor sleep with difficulty focusing in class, and even obesity, in school age children. The slew of problems associated with unhealthy sleep, and the trickle down effect, seem more stressful to me than a few fussy nights!

If one or more of these sleep training myths has hindered you from contemplating making simple, yet effective, changes in your little one’s sleep routine, I hope I’ve put your mind a little more at ease.

Where do you start and how do you begin making changes towards ensuring your baby adopts healthy sleep practices? Call me for a Complimentary Sleep Assessment so we can get acquainted and to discuss your baby’s sleep habits!

5 Ways Parents Sabotage Their Baby’s Sleep


Your baby’s first year is typically marked by a blur of amazing milestones, and a healthy sleep routine is often the most difficult to master. Many parents are often surprised to find that they are often the cause behind their little one’s sleep difficulties. Today I’m going to share five ways parents unintentionally sabotage their little one’s restful sleep routine.

Don’t Be a Night Owl

With many parents working long hours, it can be tempting to keep little ones up late. Many parents will push back baby’s bedtime in order to spend a little more time with him/her, with some parents going so far as to wake their little one to fit in a snuggle. It can be tempting to push back bedtime, but you and your baby will be happier when you’re all well rested. Set an early bedtime and enforce it nightly.

Set a Routine…and stick to it

An integral part of your baby’s sleep patterns is teaching him/her when to sleep. By setting a sleep routine, your baby will know what to do and when to do it; this goes for naps and bedtime. Instead of hoping your baby will master the art of expecting the unexpected, set a sleep routine that leaves out the guesswork. Your routine can be as simple as setting bathtime for six o’clock each night, and running through a familiar BATH-BOTTLE/BREAST-BOOK-BED sequence. By six-thirty, your baby knows that it is time to sleep.

Help Your Baby To Peaceful Sleep
Help Your Baby To Peaceful Sleep

Don’t turn ON the lights!

Newborn and infant nights are marked with feedings and diaper changes, but those sleep interruptions don’t have to last an hour or more. The fewer stimuli you present during the night, the quicker your little one will fall back into a restful sleep.

No Midnight Dance Parties

It can be tempting to rock, bounce, walk, sway, and cajole your baby, in an effort to get him/her back to sleep in the middle of the night. Not only do some of these actions stimulate your baby into a more wakeful state, but you’re also sabotaging your little one’s ability to learn how to soothe him/herself back to sleep. Treat sleep like any other skill you practice with your baby during his/her first year; learning to sleep is a skill just as important as learning how to eat from a spoon, grasping objects, or even crawling. Save the dance parties for daylight hours.

Save the Helicopter for Flying

As tempting and instinctual as it is to rush to your infant’s crib at the sound of every mewl or whimper, try to give your little one time to soothe him/herself. Sleep is a skill, and babies need the time to learn how to effortlessly glide from one sleep cycle to the next. When parents rush in at the slightest peep, they are unintentionally disrupting a learning process [that adults take for granted]. When you hear your baby stir in the night, pause for a couple of minutes to allow your little one to soothe him/herself into the next sleep cycle.   As parents, we’re attuned to the needs of our children, and fostering healthy sleep habits is of the utmost importance. If your nights are disrupted, or bedtime is a battle, remember these five tips and get back on the road to restfulness.   Are you ‘0’ for ‘5’? Keep up the great work! Are you unintentionally sabotaging your little one’s sleep? A few adjustments will get you back on track.  Not sure where to start?  Contact me!   I want to hear from you!

Child Sleep Tips to Move Bedtime Earlier for the Start of School

My blog post this week is to help move bedtime earlier for the start of school this fall.  This school year my newly minted five year old daughter Lizzy will be starting Kindergarten.  How did this happen.  Just 5 short years ago she was a tiny adorable newborn with a set of lungs that could wake the dead.  In what seems a blink of an eye, she has grown into an amazing young girl and now is preparing to make the big leap to riding a school bus and continuing her education.  And boy is she ready (read insanely excited).

One of the responsibilities that I have as a mom is to make sure that she is ready for this new chapter in her young life.  I need to make sure we have purchased a new back pack, new clothes, new shoes, a year’s worth of school supplies and that we both know where her bus stop will be.  But another and equally important responsibility is to make sure that Lizzy is physically and emotionally ready for the first day of school.

One way I can ensure this is that she is getting her necessary 11 – 12 hours of sleep each night.  This all starts with an age appropriate school year bedtime.

During the summer months, like many families everywhere, we, pushed bedtime back a bit to accommodate the longer sunshiny days.  There is so much to see and do during the summer between running and playing and trips to Grand mom’s pool that we need an extra hour or so to accomplish it all.

So now this leaves me with a daughter who is able and expecting to stay awake until the sun begins to set.  What’s a mother to do to correct this before school starts?  She will need to wake up earlier in the morning to get ready for school as she is not a child that can be rushed in the morning.  Lizzy loves to slowly acclimate to the day ahead and as hard as there is no pushing her to move faster.

Well no fear if your child is similar to my Lizzy, here is a gentle solution that will slowly acclimate their young little bodies to an earlier bedtime and hopefully  keep the first weeks of school mid week meltdown to a minimum.

First thing that needs to be done is to make sure you have good black out shades installed in their room (I have blogged about the importance of black out shades in the past for healthy child sleep habits).  The brain (and child) can become confused as to what to do if sunlight is still streaming through the windows when the body is being tucked into bed for the night.  If the room in which the bedtime routine is taking place is appropriately dimmed prior to the start of the bedtime routine, your child’s body will pick up on bedtime cues and continue to release melatonin into the system.

You will also want to (if you haven’t done so already) limit screen time before bed.  This includes TV, iPads, tablets, smart phones and computers.  As I have discussed previously, all of these devices emit blue light which acts as a stimulant to the brain and for many children can make it much more difficult to fall asleep at bedtime.  My advice is to turn all of these devices off at least 45 minutes prior to bed and spend time together as a family doing something a little more low key.

The next order of business is to slowly begin moving bedtime earlier by 15 minutes every 3 – 5 days.  What this does is gently allow your child’s body to adjust to an earlier bedtime rather than go cold turkey the night before school starts and they are bouncing off the walls and full of energy when you are trying to calm them down for bed.Start of School - healthy child sleep tips.

Sound familiar?  Continue moving  your child’s bedtime earlier in 15 minute increments every 3 – 5 days until you have reached your desired school year bedtime.  Many children can make this adjustment easily by moving bedtime every 3 days, but for the little ones who need a bit more time to adapt, you’ll want to stick to the 5 day plan.

While making this adjustment, be prepared for your little ones to push back on what you are trying to achieve.  It’s in their nature and should be expected.  Just remember to stand your ground and stick to the plan.  As long as you are consistent, they will see there is no wiggle room and cease protesting.

And finally, be sure to build excitement about the school year ahead and all the new and great experiences that your child will experience.  I for one am treasuring the time with my Lizzy.  She is so excited about Kindergarten and I am going to enjoy this because I know eventually, years down the road, the beginning of the school year will be met with lackluster acceptance rather than the bubbling enthusiastic daily countdown we are dealing with currently.

Sweet Dreams everyone and we’ll be seeing you at the bus stop.  J

Healthy Sleep Habits for The Toddlers – The Tornado Known as Katie

Encouraging healthy sleep habits in a toddler leads to a child who is curious, engaging and ready to take on the world because the are well rested and able to learn.  The world is their Oyster!  Speaking of well a well rested toddler, would you like to see the latest work of art from my youngest daughter?  I speak of the little 2.5 year old Toddler Tornado that we affectionately call Katie (or Catherine Grace) if she’s really reaching F5 territory. Well, if you glace below, you’ll see the absolutely lovely purple sharpie creation that dear sweet child left for me on one of my kitchen cabinets and part of the wall while I stepped away for no more than 2 minutes to quickly get myself dressed so we could start our day.  Apparently, it was 2 minutes too many and just enough time for Katie to procure said purple sharpie from goodness only knows where and scribbles with a flourish that Picasso would be proud of.

Katie's  Artwork

Beautiful isn’t it?  Katie was quite proud of it as well until she saw my reaction.  Mine was a Home Alone hands on either side of the face reaction while I was saying in quick succession, “Oh My Gosh!  OH. MY. GOSH!”  I’m  fairly certain that she thought I had lost my mind.  “Oh Katie what did you do?” I asked as I tried to reign in my emotions and not to sob like a baby cry.

Her response, now deflated of all confidence, “ I drawed for you.”  Well, obviously!  Rapid fire quick I started asking where did you find the marker…WHERE IS THE MARKER?  A clear panic in my voice as I thought what else she could have beautified.  Looking back, it wasn’t one of my best parenting moments.  But it was PURPLE PERMANENT MARKER!  And yes, you can get most of it off with rubbing alcohol and a little elbow grease, but alas, that cabinet and wall will need to be repainted.


It’s been a learning experience for all of us.  Now all markers have been gathered and stored on the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet.  Safe for only about a month or two max knowing Katie.   But lives are full of learning experiences aren’t they?  And while I have learned to never under estimate a highly intelligent and curious toddler, my dynamo of a toddler has learned quite a bit in her first 2.5 years.

Encouraging Healthy Sleep Habits: A New Beginning = A Second Chance

father holding newborn baby
father holding newborn baby

From the moment that my second daughter was born I vowed that I was going to do things differently and not fall into the painful, sleep deprived patterns that we found ourselves in with the birth of my first daughter whom we affectionately call Lizzy.  I’ve written about my sleep deprived experience with my first daughter in an earlier post (read all about it HERE) and how I found my way back to the land of the well rested.

So when Katie was born I knew I didn’t want to slide down that slippery slope again.  We were going to practice healthy sleep habits right from the start. Now that doesn’t mean that we jumped into sleep training a newborn.  That’s crazy talk!  But what it does mean is respecting Katie’s need for sleep and being sure to allow her the time to slowly learn how to self soothe and put herself to sleep unassisted.  As amazing as it may sound, often times I laid Katie down for her naps awake in her crib and gave her time to try and put herself to sleep.  And you know what…most of the time she was successful.

Of course, if ever she was having difficulty completing this task I would step in and help her along.  But from the first week of life (and after leaving the NICU at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia), we slowly introduced healthy sleeping and eating practices.  And, well, Katie thrived and grew fast.  During the day she took awesome naps and was happy and content.  At night, when she woke up to eat I made sure that I continued to foster healthy sleep and eating habits for a newborn and avoiding common nighttime feeding mistakes.  And slowly but surely over the course of the next 12 weeks,

Katie settled into a predictable nap time and bedtime routine and would drift off to sleep totally on her own.  Better yet, she also now was only waking once a night to feed.  Yay for longer nighttime stretches!

But that’s not to say that there weren’t some bumps along the way.  Of course with age, sleep migrates from that of a newborn to that of an infant and often that is when families will call me in a panic asking what happened to their awesome easy sleeper.

And our Katie was not immune to the sleep disruption during these changes. But that is a story for another day and I will continue with that part of the story in next week’s blog post. Until then…Sweet Dreams!