Last week, I had the privilege to participate on one of HuffPost Live’s segments called “Sleep Like a Baby” and it was hosted by Nancy Redd, mother of a 1 1/2 year old. Also in attendance: Dr. Harvey Karp, Sara Marannis, and Edwin Iguina. Here is a recording of what you may have missed:
On the segment, I was able to (virtually) meet Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block materials. It was neat to (virtually) meet him as his 5 S’s were great for my son when he was a newborn. Once he outgrew the swaddle and we were tired of swinging and rocking, we needed to “graduate,” but I highly recommend his 5 S’s for newborns.
Also on the show was Sara Vander Schaaff, whose baby, at 3 months old, stopped sleeping well (we know why and if you’ve read this site enough, so do you!) and still wasn’t sleeping well until 2 1/2 YEARS old. You read that right. And, it took almost passing out at the gym for her to seek help. She ended up seeking the advice of a child psychologist and finally helped her daughter sleep. This brings us to your first lesson to take away from the HuffPost Live segment:
Lesson 1: Babies don’t always “outgrow” sleep issues, but the solutions you use at 3 months would be far different than a 2 1/2 year old. She went through many stages over that time.
Then, there is Edwin Iguina (aka Eddie Potatoes) who has a 3 week old whose waking every 3 hours to breastfeed. He and his wife are EXHAUSTED (and rightfully so)! Their first child, now 1 1/2, never did this, so it is new territory. And, for all of you who have two children, you know that getting up with a baby at night is doubly tiring when you’re keeping up with a toddler during the day! (Don’t get me started on the times they both wake like some of our clients who come to us with two children not sleeping!) However, you know my stance on night feedings, particularly breast feeding ones, that you would never night-wean at 3 weeks. Feeding every 3 hours for a breastfeeding mom still establishing her milk supply is a must. But, it doesn’t mean she won’t quickly adjust within the next few weeks and sleep through the night (the technical definition of 5 hours straight, I mean). Here’s your next lesson:
Lesson 2: Some “sleep problems” aren’t fixable and you have to set your own appropriate expectations. It’s completely normal for a 3-week old to breastfeed every 3 hours all day and night. They are growing FAST! Heck, at this age, my sons had trouble going more than two hours (believe me, I tried)!
And, then there’s me…whose spirited son woke every 1-2 hours all night long, who ended up co-sleeping out of necessity, and, once I started to figure things out, inspired The Baby Sleep Site. Please note that on the event, I failed to provide the information that there ARE ways to safely co-sleep like the majority of the world. Here’s your final lesson:
Lesson 3: Co-sleeping works great for some, not for others, but finding the solution to your baby’s sleep problems (even if you want to continue co-sleeping) isn’t always straight-forward. Your baby’s temperament and personality will matter. And, then even after you’ve helped him establish healthy sleep habits, seen him read at a fourth grade level when he’s only in first, and created an entire website about his sleep problems, when he’s 7, he still may say “sleep is boring” and he’s “allergic to sleep.” And, when his little brother sees his mom say it on HuffPost Live, he’ll say “Sleep is boring.” too. Oops!