The news of a Fox 29 producer having a baby provided the perfect segway for your own sleep coach for baby to be featured in a sleep segment! I was honored to be invited to Good Day Philadelphia to discuss how to sleep train a baby, but don’t be mislead by the segment’s title — “Techniques for Establishing a Sleep Routine with a Newborn.”
Newborns not doing anything wrong
As I shared with Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley, in response to Mike’s question, “What’s the number one thing we do wrong when it comes to getting kids to sleep,” newborns aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong.
With a newborn, there’s really nothing wrong. You just do what you need to do to get the baby to sleep. And as the baby grows older, they have the capability to go to sleep independently, usually by about four months. When this doesn’t happen, Philadelphia-area parents hire me to teach them how to sleep train a baby.
Hiring a sleep coach for baby
The road to my intervention is pretty similar with the majority of my clients. What parents often find is that they get stuck rocking baby to sleep, feeding them to sleep, and with some families I’ve worked with, driving their little ones around in a car endlessly at night trying to get them to sleep.
Those are what we call sleep associations or sleep props, and those are the things that cause babies to continually wake during the night. It’s my job, as a sleep coach for baby, to identify these sleep associations and work to ease them out of the sleep equation.
How to sleep train a baby
One key component to having a great sleeper is having a great bedtime routine. Babies thrive on consistency and predictability. So if you have the same thing happening every single night, in the same order, they will get the signs, cues, and signals they need to be able to fall asleep independently.
Simplified bedtime routine
Keeping your routine simplified, in addition to remaining consistent, is the key to a successful bedtime routine. Here are some the steps I recommend to clients:
1. Feed, bathe and change baby’s diaper
2. Apply lotion and give a light massage to promote bonding and relax baby
3. Dress your little one in pajamas and a sleep sack
4. Read for a few minutes
5. After the book is finished, turn off lights and turn on a white noise machine
6. Hold baby by the crib and sing a song or place baby in the crib, sing a song, and quietly leave the nursery
I always recommend reading as part of the bedtime routine, as it helps babies wind down and helps create lifelong readers.
The beauty of this routine is that it is easily adapted as they get older, and also works for sleep training toddler. If you think you could benefit from hiring a sleep coach for baby, I offer a complimentary sleep assessment call to see if sleep training is right for your family.