Ready to Sleep Better?
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
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Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Hello, Courtney Zentz here from the kids sleep show. Thank you for joining. We are in day 14 of quarantine, here in Philly. So hopefully all of you are staying home and staying healthy. During this crazy time. I’m bringing you today a bit of information around short naps, I feel like if you’re stuck at home with your little ones, there’s no time like the present to get your naps sorted, and figure out what you can do to help them align and to become longer and more consistent during the day. So what I want to do is talk to you a little bit about the frustration that comes alongside of short naps, but also help you to understand when they should align and how long it should take them to get there. So that everybody’s got the same expectations around these tricky little buggers have a nap, especially that whole first year. So from a duration standpoint, the first few weeks of life, you’re going to have a lot of sleep happening all of the time, right, there can be some long naps, some short naps, and somewhere around three to four months, you’re going to notice that things are going to begin to change, you know, children are going to go from two stages asleep to cycles of sleep. A lot of people refer to it as the four month sleep regression. I typically refer to it as you know, babies starting to recognize there’s more happening in the world. So with that comes, you know, kind of a change in the naps as well. They’re no longer sleeping the whole day. And the whole night, they’re kind of now starting to figure out, hey, it’s day time, I want to be around and start to engage a little bit more and you know, begin to rest in more of a schedule versus just kind of whenever they feel like it every 45 minutes. So what starts to happen is a lot of times parents are going to get frustrated with the duration of naps. or, frankly, you’re just struggling to figure out how you get your little one to sleep more than 30 or 45 minutes. Okay, so we’re going to chat through what those common things are today that cause it, and then want to make sure that you’re aware of how to fix it. So the first thing that can happen as it relates to short naps is going to be making sure that your little one is not becoming too drowsy. During a feeding, you know, I talked to a lot of families about having this eat play sleep type of routine, because that means that food is happening after a baby wakes so that they’re waking refreshed, they’re ready to eat, and they’re ready to tackle the day. Okay, so if your routine is that, you know, it just so happens that they do eat before they go down, you want to make sure that the feeding, they’re taking, they’re not becoming too drowsy during, if they become too drowsy and you’re putting them down, it’s likely going to help to recharge their battery of it, which is going to lead them to a much shorter nap. You also want to make sure that they’re going down awake, because even drowsy but awake can also sometimes do it is it that like stage one, you know, light quiet alert stage, you want to try to avoid so you want to make sure that they’re they’re fed, they’re wide awake, that you’re giving them a nice burp and that they are you know good and ready to go down but they’re going down awake. Okay, one of the ways to mitigate the challenge of falling asleep is going to be to feed them actually just in a diaper. Okay, so take them out of their pajamas if you’re going through the whole nap routine. And you’re typically going to change them before they go down. Don’t put them back in their pajamas until after you’re done feeding. That’ll help ensure that there’s a little bit of a chill in the air to make sure they stay again awake for the feeding. They’re getting a nice full feed their birth, then you put their jammies on and let them go down awake. So that’s going to be the first thing right because sometimes again, if they’re too drowsy, it’s recharging their battery a bit. So they’re taking a quick power nap and then they’re shooting right back up. Okay,
the next thing that you’re going to look at is around feedings are they getting enough to eat, you can always try a top off feeding about 45 minutes before their nap. You know, just making sure again, that they’re staying awake during the feeding, and that you want to make sure they’re not waking because of hunger. You know, typically I say every three hours is an appropriate timeline for little ones to be eating throughout the day. So you know sometimes it’s hard to tell I’m feeding and naps. So just make sure that you know that they’re not waking from a nap standpoint because of hunger. And if they are, if they’re struggling, you know, be sure to join my slumber Made Simple Facebook group I do Q and A’s every Friday, and we can chat through it right? If you’re running into a unique situation, and you’re just not sure where to go. Join me out there. Okay. The next thing you want to look at is making sure they’re actually tired, right? Have they built up enough fatigue? Now? You’d be? You’d be surprised, right? for babies kind of under the age of one, you want to make sure that you’re knowing and recognizing when they are ready to go down? Are they getting a little bit glassy eyed? Are they starting to kind of slow down a little bit, that’s typically the signal that they’re ready for the naps. Okay. out on my website, if you go into the banner section, there is actually something called a schedule generator, that schedule generator is going to help you to see what kind of an ideal day looks like based on their age. So you can start to understand what the day and the structure should look like. But sometimes babies are going to show signs due to boredom. And I mean that like honestly, the nicest way possible to tell a parent like hey, I think your kids just bored. But sometimes if they’re just sitting in your lap, or you just set them in the swing to go to the bathroom, but the swings on, and they’re strapped in and they’re moving and they pass out Well, obviously, right? It’s motion sleep, or, you know, frankly, they’re just a little bored. So Pinterest is a great place for that, to look for different sensory activities that you can do for any age of a child to make sure that they’re not becoming so tired, or so bored as a result of, you know, not doing a ton, you know, give them some activities around stimulation, to try to see if that helps to make sure that they’ve built up enough fatigue, or what I call sleep pressure to be able to go to sleep, the vice versa of that is going to be making sure that they’re not going to bed when they’re not ready to yet, right. So the timing of your day, and the awake windows for your little one is going to be super important. Okay, make sure that they’re not under tired. If you notice that you’re putting them down, and they’re sort of just playing for a while in the crib, or, you know, it’s taking them a while to unwind, and then they’re fussing, you know, it may mean that you have to push their nap another 15 minutes out to see if more awake time is actually going to help right. So your benchmark that six months is roughly about two and a half to three hours of awake time. So use that as sort of your gauge as to where you’re at with your little one. To make sure you know, at four months, it’s somewhere around 90 minutes to two hours, at you know, nine to 12 months, it’s certainly three to three and a half hours of awake time between naps that your little one should be getting, again, exercise, right make sure the next thing that we want to talk about is how much exercise they’re getting. So are they doing tummy time and Mat Time that builds a little bit of a fatigue to help them be ready to sleep, to burn some of that energy and to be ready for a rest, right? They haven’t done much in between sleeps, they may just not be tired, right? So their body’s gonna tell them that they need to sleep because of the
of things, you know, but from a movement, exercise and usage of the body that that’s something you want to pay attention to. So just definitely make sure that they’re getting enough exercise between their naps and you know that they’re they’re doing their tummy time and they’re practicing their role in or practicing, you know, crawling or standing up. Because that is certainly going to also help them to be ready to get a good night or good afternoon nap and ready for rest. Next thing I want to talk about is are they overstimulated before nap. So you want to make sure that you do have a good routine from a wind down perspective, somewhere around five to 10 minutes is typically good singing songs, reading books, even doing a walk around the house can help them to wind down to make sure they’re going into their room. It’s a little bit dimmer, you know, they’re not having like a crazy dance party before they’re getting ready to go down for their nap. And the final thing I want to talk about is kind of the motion sleep as it relates to things like a car or a stroller. Sometimes if they do have, you know, a five minute power nap from Target, they’re actually not as tired because their brain is going to think they slept even though their body knows that they didn’t. So you want to pay attention to things like that. I often tell families like when it is safe for a baby to have food. giving something like a teething cracker or a you know some yogurt bites or a pretzel or anything like graham crackers I used to give my kids to keep them awake when you’re trying to go from point A to point B it’s around naptime, but it’s like a five or 10 minute drive. So you know I’ve had clients tell me that they carry things to like poke the baby was you know, while they’re driving, I’m like that’s probably not safe for either of you. You know, but you really just want to avoid that motion sleep because very quickly, they’re going to be in the car. And they’re going to pass out my little ones when they were young, we used to live about a mile from church and on Sundays, I would drive literally from church at like, probably 1111 o’clock or so by the time we left, and we would literally go a mile and a half up the road, and my daughter would always fall asleep, like, dang it, just get home, you know, like, I need you to go to sleep at home, not in the car. Sometimes it was unavoidable and I’d literally sit in my driveway for an hour and a half, you know, doing something with clients or working on social media just so she could get the sleep because I knew if I woke her, she wouldn’t go back down. So, you know, try to find something where if you can avoid the five minute nap you do. But if you also are struggling with naps, sometimes using the car or using the stroller are okay, because it’s going to help you to get one longer nap in the day. The biggest thing with sleeping kids is that they’re getting asleep in the daytime. Right? So if they’re meeting their goals and requirements in the day, from a total sleep need standpoint, they’re not going to go into bedtime. overtired, overtired and your children is the devil at any age, right? Whether they’re two months or two years, or 12 years, right? You don’t want kids that are overtired. It causes night terrors. It causes trouble settling, it causes false starts, it causes a whole bunch of protests, upset and tears causes short naps, like the first thing I always ask clients is like, are they overtired? Because most situations lead back to that. So sometimes it’s not about being perfect. And having these three beautiful naps in the crib. It’s about doing what you have to do to make sure they sleep because that’s going to be the most important, you know, and I always stress that with clients because I think that there’s so much pressure on us as parents to be perfect. We’re not just getting them sleep is going to do what you need to do to take the edge off naps come in time. They are honestly the hardest part of working with a family because they only happen one time a day. There’s one first nap of the day. Versus like overnight sleep. I’ll have your kids sleeping through the night in a couple days. That’s the easy part. Right? The naps are the harder part, frankly, because they only practice the first nap one time a day. So whereas like after a week, they’ve practiced overnight sleep and cycles about 100 times the naps, they’ve only practiced seven. Right? So naps can take a couple of weeks to show alignment. When you start working with it. Be patient Don’t be frustrated. Again, I’m always out here doing live q&a is in my slumber Made Simple groups. So be sure to join us out there. I do. Save your sanity boot camp. I kick one of those off every couple weeks. You can find out more information on my website about that right at the top in the banner, there’s a little spot you can drop your email in and join us. We are doing a ton of stuff here at tiny transitions about promoting and servicing your need for more sleep. This is so important in a time where I think we’re all a bit tired we’re all a bit stressed right? sleeps gonna be the best thing you can do for your immune system and for your little ones.
So start with the tips that I gave you today around naps. If you’re still struggling join me out in my q&a sessions in the slumber Made Simple group or feel free to set up a call we offer preliminary sleep evaluations. We’ll jump on the phone for 30 minutes, you can tell me a little bit more about what’s going on. You can talk to Rosie, you can talk to Jessie, anybody on my team is going to be more than happy to chat with you about what’s happening. See if we can offer up some tips that will be all you need. Or, you know, if you determine you want to work with us in the private capacity, we’re always here to service those needs as well. So give that a start. It’s been awesome chatting with you today. Hope you’re finding so until next time, Sweet dreams and we’ll chat soon. Bye for now. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleeper not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transitions.com forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.