Sophie’s Baby Sleep Story [VIDEO]

Readers, meet Sophie! Fashion stylist, mommy-extraordinare, and blogger at Eenie Meenie Bambini, Sophie is also a former client of The Baby Sleep Site® Recently, Sophie took the time to sit down and write out her sleep story – and she also took the time to film a short video for us!

Read on, and hear Sophie’s compelling sleep story. Hear about her harrowing struggles to help her daughter Coco sleep. Hear about the toll that sleep deprivation took on her life. But not only that – learn how she got help. Learn the steps she took to reclaim her sleep (and her sanity!). And watch Sophie herself tell you about her experiences working with The Baby Sleep Site®!

Don’t forget to scroll to the end of the excerpt, to watch the video and hear from Sophie herself!

From Total Sleep Deprivation To Peaceful Nights – An Excerpt Of Sophie’s Sleep Story

“By the time Coco was about 6/7 months, my world was upside down. I was fighting Sophie's Baby Sleep Storycrushing exhaustion on the inside, but having the “mother’s energy” to still keep going strong with a smile on my face 80% of the time. However, my patience level was ice-thin, I was becoming increasingly emotionally vulnerable, and if you were to make me angry for any reason, I’d probably cry, while if you woke my sleeping baby, I was a ball of fury. I became very controlling about everything around Coco’s sleep. I put so much effort intro trying to make her sleep that I began to feel convinced that no one else could do it right, and if they did try to put her to sleep, they would do it differently than the book I was following at the time – and somehow that would mean taking a giant step backwards in her sleep training. We literally had a “no go zone” once she was asleep, because the lightest footstep would wake her up, and I’d lose my mind. As you can image in, my relationship with my husband was not the easiest at this time, either.

I felt so alone in dealing with this – like no one quite understood the suffering I was experiencing. I kept saying to people, “You have no idea what happens when you have not slept more than 3 hours in a row for over a year; you really start to lose it slowly!” On top of all this, I was supposed to be running a household and having some semblance of a career. My husband was always supportive of my efforts; he never expected anything of me during this time, as he knew I had nothing left to give -no was was I putting dinner on the table!

One day, out of sheer desperation, my mother and I stayed up late scouring the internet for more sleep answers. By some miracle, we came across The Baby Sleep Site®…”

Read the rest of Sophie’s sleep story here.

Need Baby Sleep Help Yourself? We Helped Sophie, And We Can Help You!

Whatever your unique situation, if you are struggling with your baby’s sleep, know that we can help you with your particular sleep challenge. We are committed to customizing our methods to match you parenting style and goals. If you are ready to work on your little one’s sleep, and to get a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that will work for your family, the first step is to browse our extensive list of package options and select the one that looks best for your situation.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

 
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bss_ebook_freeguide_leftWant FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
 
 
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.

A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
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Baby Night Feedings: How To Know When They Are Necessary

 
How To Know When Baby Night Feedings Are Necessary


 

Water is wet. The sky is blue. Babies eat at night. These are basic facts of life.

Except that last one isn’t quite so straight-forward, is it? I mean, yes, newborns eat at night (a lot), and even as they grow, babies need to eat at night for awhile – night feedings help to ensure proper growth and development.

But what about unnecessary night feedings? You know – those ‘feedings’ that are actually just nursing or bottle-drinking for comfort? Those ‘feedings’ that last 2.2 seconds before your baby is conked out again? Those feedings that happen 20 minutes after the last feeding ended. Yes, night feedings are necessary, but how can you tell when night feeds are necessary, and when they are not?

Read on and find out!

Baby Night Feedings Are Probably Necessary When…

  • …your baby stays awake for long periods if you don’t feed. A baby who fusses or cries persistently if he’s not fed is likely hungry, and needs food. This is a pretty reliable sign that your baby’s night feedings are likely necessary, if you’ve ruled out poor sleep habits.
  • …your baby is not eating enough during the day. Some babies get in a bad pattern of eating little and sleeping lots during the day, and then waking often and feeding a lot at night. In this case, a baby technically does need the night feedings – but the larger goal should be to reverse the pattern, so that most feedings happen during the day! You can download our free guide, 5 Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night, for more tips on how to reverse that kind of eating/sleeping pattern.
  • …after feeding, your baby sleeps soundly in 3-4 hour stretches. A baby who wakes at night, takes a full feeding, and then goes back to sleep and sleeps well was probably a hungry baby who needed the feeding in the first place. :)
  • …your baby is a good self-soother who can fall asleep independently and goes back to sleep without help after a feeding. This may be the best sign that your baby’s night feedings are necessary. If your baby has overcome all his sleep associations, is able to fall asleep without your help, and goes down awake in his crib after a feed (and is then able to put himself back to sleep), you can rest assured that the night feedings likely necessary.

Of course, age is a factor in night feedings, too. Newborns and young infants must feed at night in order to grow and develop properly. And it is perfectly normal for babies to feed once per night up until 12 months old (although we do recommend an attempt at night weaning at 9 months). So keep your baby’s age in mind, when looking at the factors above. Not sure when your baby should be feeding at night? Check out our sample schedules by age for night feeding tips.

Baby Night Feedings May Not Be Necessary When…

…your baby is using waking out of habit (not hunger) and is using night feeds to soothe back to sleep. Only one point necessary in this section, because unnecessary night feedings are pretty straightforward. (At least, they are straightforward to understand – actually fixing them may be more challenging! 😉 )

Unnecessary night feedings are unnecessary because your baby is using them for soothing and comfort, and not for food. The scenario goes something like this: your baby wakes during the night and is unable to fall back to sleep without help. So she cries for you, and you offer a feeding (because you think she may be hungry). She feeds for a short time and then falls asleep mid-feed. You lay her back down to sleep carefully (so as not to wake her up). But then, just a short time later, she’s awake again and crying. So you repeat the process. You may do this 6, 7, 8 times each night (or maybe even more!)

THIS right here – this pattern – is the #1 sign that your baby’s night feedings are probably not necessary. There are exceptions to this, of course, but by and large, this pattern represents a sleep problem that will need to be fixed eventually.

How To Stop Unnecessary Baby Night Feedings

Feeding ScheduleIf, after reading this, you feel confident that your baby’s night feedings aren’t necessary, the question remains: what should you do about it? How can you solve this problem?

That’s up to you, of course; there are many ways to sleep train your baby, and change her sleep associations so that she is able to fall asleep without help and stay asleep until she is truly hungry and ready to eat. But sleep training can be an overwhelming task. That’s why we created The Baby Sleep Site®, and it’s why we are here to help! If you want personalized help for your baby’s sleep, from a trained sleep consultant, browse our list of consultation packages and and choose the one that looks best for your unique situation.
 
Click here to learn how you can connect one-on-one with a sleep consultant.

Or, if you’d like to know more about how our system of personalized baby sleep help works, Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Questions about your baby’s night feedings? Ask them below! Sleep training tips for other parents? Offer them – we love to hear your insights!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.
 

7 Reasons You May Need Personalized Baby and Toddler Sleep Help

7 Signs You Need Baby Toddler Sleep Help From A Pro

Every family is different, aren’t they? Different lifestyles, different priorities, different philosophies, different goals, different values…in my opinion, all these differences are what keep the world an interesting place!

And it’s because of all these differences that we’ve structured The Baby Sleep Site in the way that we have. If you’ve been a reader for long, then you know that we have all kinds of different resources available. Lots of those resources are what we call ‘do-it-yourself’ resources – they are designed to give you tips, techniques, and tools that you can put to use on your own, in order to solve your baby’s sleep problems.

But we have another kind of resource, too, and it’s a truly unique one. For parents who don’t want a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach, we offer our consultation services. Our consultation services allow parents to work directly with a trained sleep consultant – the consultant crafts a Personalized Sleep Plan™ and then helps the parents implement it at home. While mom and dad are still doing the ‘work’ of sleep coaching, they have the support and guidance of the consultant, and if changes need to be made to the plan, or if bumps in the road come along, the consultant is there to show mom and dad what to do next.

Sometimes, parents have a hard time knowing which ‘path’ is right for them – do they take the ‘do-it-yourself’ path, or do they opt for the ‘personalized help’ path? The answer is different for different families, of course, but we can usually tell which families will be able to get by on their own, and which families will likely end up needing personalized help.

And that’s the topic of today’s article – 7 reasons you may need personalized help.

7 Reasons You May Need Personalized Help For Your Baby or Toddler’s Sleep

Remember, this isn’t prescriptive – YOU get to determine what kind of help you need, not me! You know what’s best for your baby and for your family. :) Rather, this list is meant to be a help to those families who want to work on sleep but don’t know where to start, or who are struggling with their babies’ or toddlers’ sleep and don’t know what to try next.

  1. Your baby or toddler has medical concerns – If your baby or toddler has health or medical concerns, you might want to consider getting personalized help. Little ones with medical issues often need a customized sleep coaching plan that takes into account their unique health needs, and is created with a healthcare provider’s recommendations in mind.
  2. Your family has a unique lifestyle – Not every parent works a 9-5 schedule, and not every family lives in a traditional home. Our work with families over the years has shown us that there are as many ways to live as there are families under the sun! We’ve worked with parents who do shift work, families who live in multi-generational homes, families who travel overseas on a regular basis…you name it! And in unique situations like these, personalized help can be a real life-saver for parents. It makes a world of difference to have a sleep consultant understand your unique lifestyle and made sleep recommendations that will work with that lifestyle.
  3. You have twins or multiples – The traditional wisdom about baby sleep coaching definitely needs to be tweaked and modified for families who have twins or multiples! The basics still apply, of course, but when you have two babies waking each other up, or who are operating on different schedules, it helps to have a consultant standing by who can put a personalized spin on those sleep training basics.
  4. You want to keep breastfeeding during sleep coaching, but have concernsBreastfeeding and sleep coaching really can go together, as Miriam (our sleep consultant who’s also a certified lactation consultant) has explained before. But if you have any breastfeeding issues that may impact sleep training, or if you are concerned about your milk supply during the sleep coaching process, then it may be a good idea to go with personalized help – perhaps one of our sleep coaching packages that offer special breastfeeding support. A consultant can take your current feeding schedule into account when developing your Personalized Sleep Plan™, and can make recommendations that will improve sleep while also ensuring that you are able to continue breastfeeding easily.
  5. Your toddler has significant sleep issues, and has had them since birth – This is not to say that parents of toddlers can’t solve their sleep issues without help – in some cases, they can! It’s just that it tends to be harder to sleep coach a toddler. Why? Because toddlers can walk and talk – and because they tend to have very strong wills! This means that in addition to all the work of sleep coaching, parents of toddlers often have a battle of wills to deal with, when they begin to work on their toddlers’ sleep. Plus, if your toddler has had napping issues and night-waking problems since birth, she’s had plenty of time to form deeply-ingrained sleep habits, and those can be tough to break. Toddler sleep coaching also tends to take a little longer than baby sleep coaching. For all these reasons, it may take a consultant helping you along through the process, and providing support and encouragement, in order to see real progress with your toddler’s sleep.
  6. You are committed to using a no-cry or low-cry sleep training approach – Again, sometimes, parents are able to sleep train on their own, using no-cry or low-cry approaches. But using gentle methods like these tends to be more involved for parents – there’s more ‘work’ to do, in some ways. And gentle methods typically take longer to produce results. For these reasons, parents can quickly become discouraged when using gentle methods, and can feel like all their effort is for nothing. In cases like these, personalized help from a consultant can make all the difference. A consultant can customize a no-cry or low-cry plan to fit your goals, and then can help you make adjustments to it as necessary. Plus, there’s as lot to be said for having someone you can just vent to, and who will listen and sympathize and encourage you!
  7. You have already read/tried everything, and nothing has worked – You’d be surprised how many of the families we work with fall into this category. We always say our clients are a smart bunch – usually, by the time they come to us for help, they’ve done quite a bit of sleep research already! Unfortunately, though, having loads of information doesn’t always mean that sleep coaching will be easy. If you feel like you’re at your wits end and have tried everything you can without success, you may want to consider personalized help. A consultant will be able to organize the information for you in a new way, and will provide a fresh perspective on your particular situation. And that can make all the difference.

Nicole’s Note:
“One other reason is when you don’t have much support at home or you need additional support. We work with families where Dad is gone a lot (usually working) or isn’t as involved in the daily activity and we also have families who have moved far away from extended family and need additional support. We become a part of your ‘village.’ :)”

Ready to get personalized help for your baby or toddler’s sleep? Our sleep consultants are standing by! Browse our list of consultation package options, make your choice, and after you purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

How are you tackling (or how have you tackled) sleep coaching in your family? Do-It-Yourself, or With Personalized Help? Have any questions about getting personalized help for your baby? Share them in the comments section below!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.
 

Getting Your Baby to Sleep in the Crib

When you were pregnant, you probably took great care in designing your baby’s nursery and carefully selected the best items for your baby registry. One of the most important things in the nursery is your baby’s crib. After all, she will sleep in her crib for 2 to 4 years, right?

Unfortunately, for some of us, sleeping in the crib is just a nice dream. After you had your baby, you might have purposely decided to keep baby in your room in a co-sleeper bassinet and imagined transitioning her to her own room and crib around 6 months old when she was sleeping through the night. When she turned 6 months, you might have learned it’s not that easy to transition baby to sleep in her crib and I’m here to help!

One thing I want to emphasize is that only some people can sleep anytime, anywhere. My husband happens to be that way (as I’m typing this, he just started snoozing on the couch next to me). Only some of our babies will sleep in a stroller (my boys are NOT among them!) and only a few will transition to sleep in a crib without a hitch. For three days my younger son slept in a Close and Secure Sleeper in our bed and then we put it into the crib and it was an easy transition. My older son (who inspired this site) was not so adaptable, which is why I did make a whole site about baby sleep. 😀

When your baby is a newborn, she might not sleep in her crib because it’s far away from anyone who she seeks comfort from, mommy and daddy. And, it might seem too big compared to the womb, especially if she isn’t swaddled.

Months later, now your baby won’t sleep in the crib because it’s the equivalent of you going to sleep in the guest room. It is only her bed because you said it’s her bed. Your nursery might be beautiful, but to her, she may as well be in a different house when she’s trying to sleep in “her room”. Some adults can’t sleep well in a hotel (even the nice ones) for the same reason: It’s not your bed.

Once again, sleep associations come into play in how your baby knows how to fall asleep. Does she need to move to sleep (via rocking chair, bouncing ball, or bouncy seat)? Does she need to suck to sleep (via pacifier, nursing, or bottle)? And, is she in a comfortable place to sleep? Up until now she hasn’t slept in her crib, so why would that be a comfortable place today just because she turned 5 or 6 months old?

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep in the Crib

The #1 goal in helping your baby sleep in the crib is to make it feel like HER room and HER bed. Here are a few tips you might consider:

• Consider putting YOUR bed in HIS room for a few days.
• Make sure you spend non-sleep time in HIS room
• Have him sleep on his own crib sheet for a few days, so it has his scent
• YOU sleep on his crib sheet for a few days, so it has YOUR scent
• Give it time. Don’t expect it to go perfectly the first day. It might take a few days to a couple of weeks, but the first few nights will most likely be the most difficult. Expect it to be rough and he might just surprise you, but do expect it to take work. Only some will have an easy transition.

One thing you want to do is make sure your baby knows how to fall asleep on his own, FIRST. Otherwise, you are simply going back and forth from your room to his all night, instead of reaching over a foot or two (or if you are co-sleeping, maybe just a few inches). Even if your baby is sleeping great in your room, if she has trouble adjusting, make sure you are sensitive to the fact that this is a new place for her and don’t just let her cry it out. Some babies actually sleep BETTER, immediately, once they are in their own space, not smelling Mommy’s milk or hearing Daddy’s snoring all night long.

If you need help in getting your baby to sleep, please consider our 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep e-Book (plus bonus materials) or our baby sleep consultations, where I will work with you on a personalized sleep plan that you can feel good about for your unique baby and your unique situation. If you have a toddler and are looking to transition from co-sleeping to crib or co-sleeping to bed, please see our 5 Step System to Better Toddler Sleep.

How Did You Get Your Baby to Sleep in the Crib?