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.
so much for joining. Welcome to the good sleep show. My name is Courtney Zentz. And I am so excited you are here to chat about sleep. And this week, I am chatting to you about why night weaning fails. So probably the number one question that as a new parent you get is Oh, does your baby sleep through the night? Or, Hey, how are they sleeping? Or hey, are they still eating at night? Right. And I think that that’s really a loaded question as to when your little one should sleep through the night. Which is why I want to talk about night weaning how you do it, what it looks like. And frankly, when to know that it’s time to give up that feeding. So the first thing that I want to chat a bit about is kind of the age of your baby. And when their body in theory should be able to go the whole night with out milk. Okay, so the first thing is going to depend on obviously consulting with your pediatrician, okay, every baby’s different developmentally, with the weight on the curve, what it looks like their eating habits and such. So that’s going to be the first part of this right is always, first and foremost talking to your doctor about whether or not your little one should, you know, be able to handle the ability to go through the night. I frankly have clients with three month olds that sleep for 12 hours at night. And I have six month old clients where we still keep feeding in because it’s justified. And the examples there are really it depends on the baby, right? So part of the private coaching that I do is uniquely looking at each family, their situation and what’s happening. The first thing that you need to look at when you’re trying to figure out if you’re ready to night wean is how much milk are they getting? Right? So babies need 24 to 32 ounces of milk is like the average range in a 24 hour period to grow, quote, I don’t wanna say like, appropriately, but that’s kind of the range that the AAP sets up as far as answering the question, you know, how much milk should my baby eat in a day? Okay, so it’s 24 to 32 ounces. So now, as a parent, you’re saying, Okay, I need to make sure they’re getting 24 to 32 ounces, and I’m feeding, you know, eight times a day, six times a day, 12 times a day, we feed on demand, whatever that looks like, right? Whether you’re nursing, bottle feeding breast milk formula. As a parent, that’s the first big sort of puzzle piece, that as a sleep consultant, I’m trying to figure out for you as a parent, right? So that’s always my first question is like, what is their intake look like. And the reason it’s important is because again, I have three month olds that are, you know, socking back 36 ounces of milk in the day, just fine. And you know, they’re sleeping through the night. And then I have, you know, moms who were nursing, you know, they kind of know that there’s certain spots in the day where their supply dips a bit. They’re genuinely concerned about them being hungry. So a feeding still make sense, just based on the output of a mom’s, you know, milk as far as how much they’re getting, right. So that’s the first part of the puzzle is if you’re trying to figure out like, Hey, is my baby ready tonight wean, you have to see how much milk you’re giving them. Right. So whether it’s through weighted transfers, perhaps it’s going to your pediatrician and asking if you can do a way to transfer in the office, go into a nursing or lactation counselors support group where they offer like free weighted feeds. I bought a scale frankly, like I was that person who, you know, because of my background, and because of I’m a lactation counselor as well. Because of that, I wanted to know the exact intake that my kids were taking from the bras. So I bought a $70 scale off Amazon. It’s super sensitive, it works great. And I was able to know from day one, how much milk my little ones were getting in the day to make sure that I you know, did my best to regulate maximizing that in the daytime hours through the breast through the bottle. And then through formula if it was needed, you know, as we you know, kind of grew the weeks together. So the first thing you want to do is understand what that intake looks like, right? So you can do either. If you’re exclusively nursing, and you are pumping, what you can do is you can just do a whole day where you’re expressing milk and doing just bottles, right? If baby takes bottles, then you’re able to know exactly how much intake they’re getting. So you can know what their nights going to look like right? If you’re done at seven o’clock, they’re ready to go to bed and they’ve only had 24 ounces of milk that day. They’re likely going to be up for probably like at least one feed in the middle of the night just based on that. Number, okay, if your baby’s going to bed with 36 ounces of milk, I can tell you pretty much with certainty, they’re waking in the middle of the night because of a habit, right. And so that’s where using the bottle even for just a day, I’m not suggesting like you quit nursing and, you know, go straight to bottles. I’m just saying like that knowledge is power when it comes to intake, because that’s the single biggest thing that parents worry about, right? Like, when should my baby sleep through the night, I mean, I talked with a 16 month old mom, the other day that I’m just starting to work with whose babies still eating three times a night like that is a habit based feeding, like, you know, at that age is habit based feedings. And, you know, we need to break that habit. But we also have to look at the fact that three times a night they’re eating, probably 50% of their intake at 16 months old is happening in the overnight hours, like, you can’t just nor do I rip that out, like mostly consultants will just be like, Alright, they should need and then we rip those feedings away the first night you sleep train. And you know, your baby will cry for like a couple hours because they’re hungry, right? They’re used to eating so like, it’s very thoughtful in how I work with families to shift milk deliberately into the daytime when we start and to gradually wean off of those overnight feeds when you have a situation like that with a child who, you know, they’re eating out of habit, but they are getting food intake from it right 50% of their their intake. So we’ve got to be very thoughtful in how we make that shift and transition, while still seeing forward progress. So your intake is the first big factor of you know, when it’s time to night wean right, once they get 24 to 32 ounces in the day, they’re pretty good to go through the night, you know, without needing that particular feeding. That’s where you start to get into the wanting right I use the phrase want versus need a lot in my private consults with clients. Because a lot of times what happens is, you know, what started out as a true need baby was hungry, turns into a want because it becomes habit, right? The only way they know how to sleep is to be nursed to sleep or to be fed to sleep with a bottle or to be rocked to sleep after they ate or, you know, to fall asleep on the breast and then have mom or dad do you know a ninja transfer into the crib or bassinet, like after they’re already asleep, right. And so that’s where, you know, when you start to get into like, Okay,
we’ve got food check, we’re good there, we know the intake is good, that’s when you start to get into those need based things where they don’t actually, you know, need the milk, they want the milk. So it changes and it also changes kind of how we have to work with families to figure out the best way to move that milk into, you know, the daytime and break the habits that have happened, as it relates to you know, wanting to eat or frankly, any type of support they’re looking for whether it’s nursing, to sleep bouncing, to sleep rocking, to sleep, you’ve got to start to decouple the word to sleep in everything that you’re doing. foundationally guys, sleep is a skill
right? The day you’re born, you know how to sleep, right? You’re born with a blank slate, every baby, no matter where you are in this world is born with the ability to sleep. Okay. And so I’m sure somebody could probably Google some weird disease where you don’t sleep. But I would say every baby in the world is born with the ability to sleep right? What they are not born with is the learning of how they fall asleep. Okay, so think about your little one, the first time they sit up, the first time they stand up or pull themselves up, like on the dining room coffee table, right?
They don’t just start walking around the coffee table that takes a couple days, the first time they pull up, they’re kind of standing up for a second, they sort of almost get scared like, Whoa, what just happened? How did I do that? Right? And then by the end of the week, they’re standing up for you know, 1530 seconds, another week later, they’re cruising around that coffee table. That is a learned skill. Okay. I will tell you I teach sleep as a skill set. Because it is right people can teach their child from birth, how to be a good sleeper without bad habits, because you’re not using things as mechanisms to fall asleep. If you teach a baby from birth, to go to sleep independently, that they actually have the ability to do so. Right. They learn the skill early, you’re never going to need to quote sleep train them. The problem is like we come home from the hospital. And, you know, I think the only thing my hospital checked was that my my son was strapped into his car seat. And then it was pretty much like, you know, good luck raising this small human like, there’s no help for you. You know, so, you know, as new parents, we don’t get training on anything other than how to strap a kid in a car seat and it leaves you sort of doing what you can in that first six eight weeks is like survival of the fittest, right? Just get them sleep, make sure they’re fed, make sure they’re changed and figure it out later. And that trap sort of causes you know what, six 810 12 weeks you’re going okay, like Something’s got to give here. Because this stuff doesn’t seem right. You know, and that’s where, you know, when I talk with families, they always, they always are, you know, sort of curious, like, what’s the right age to sleep train. And frankly, like, I work with a lot of newborn clients, because you can. It’s not sleep training, like people think what I do is like, tell your baby to sit in a crib and cry it out all night like that is the furthest thing from what I teach families, and how it is that we work together in building good sleep habits. Like it’s not about crying it out or what method or approach you use. It’s about teaching foundationally, what’s happening with your baby, what’s going on with their age, and then ultimately, like how it all comes together? Right? If your naps are screwed up, if your night times are a mess, if your early wakings are happening, like there’s all these things that are Domino effects, right? Like if you have crappy naps, that’s gonna cause a rough bedtime, which means they’re overtired, which likely causes multiple night wakings. And as a parent, you’re trying to sit there at three in the morning and go Alright, well, what do I do, the only thing that seems to calm them is if I stick my boob in their mouth, or if I rock them back to sleep, or if I bring them into bed with me. And you know, before you know what you’re in this bit of a pickle, as it relates to the sleep habits that your little one has. So sleeps a skill, right, you can teach a little one to sleep well, at, frankly, any age. And there are some clients that I work beautifully with where we keep night feedings in because it’s appropriate, right? Like this is not some one size fits all feedings must go in order to sleep train, like, you can absolutely have a child and you should, depending on their age, have a child that goes to sleep independently wakes to eat where appropriate, and then puts themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night, until either the morning or the next time they’re set to eat. And what that does is it naturally creates good sleep hygiene, which helps them to consolidate the sleeping into, you know, that longer stretch as their body is ready. Every baby’s different, right? When should they sleep through the night? That question is like, well depends man like, again, I have three month old clients that sleep through the night and I have six month old clients that need to keep feeding in because the intake is such that they have to keep feeding in because the baby’s hungry, right, like, so it totally depends on your little one and the unique situation that they’re in. You know, I do recommend that, you know, you talk with your significant other power partner spouse, or what have you around the sleep arrangements as well. Because if you have your little one room sharing with you, they are loud, right. So making sure that you’re kind of setting up an environment that is conducive to allowing them to get good sleep, right, but also allowing you to get good sleep, there was someone that was in my free summer slumber Made Simple Facebook group. And they were asking questions about their little baby who sleeps in the same room with them waking a couple times overnight, but the husband sleeps with the TV on all night. And I’m like, well, that’s annoying, like, you know what I mean? Like a baby’s not gonna sleep well in that situation. And if that’s the case, either your husband has turned the TV off, or the babies got to go in their own room, because they’re not getting into that deep state of sleep that’s restorative for them. The most restorative part of a child’s sleep is actually like the first five hours of the night. So it’s like kind of an interesting little fact that, you know, that first five hours is the most restorative for them and for adults as well. So you don’t want to shortchange them, that restorative sleep because even if they make up the hours, they’re not making up the restoration part of the sleep, depending on how each day is looking. And that’s where babies get this like kind of chronic sleep debt going. And they struggle, you know, for months or years with, you know, sleep challenges, sleep disturbances, and really that inability to get into the deep consolidative and restorative sleep. I mean, that’s like a you know, when you’re sleeping, your body is basically editing,
right. So think of it that way, like all day you’re recording, you’re recording new information, you’re recording new knowledge and facts and memories and such right and then in the overnights your body’s essentially cleaning out their trash, right? It throws away the stuff it doesn’t need, it keeps the stuff that it does. And that’s when you know that sleep is super important because that’s when memory consolidation happens in such an you know, for kids as they grow. Right, that’s super important. So when it comes to when your child should sleep through the night, just to recoup the next things you want to do first
Join me for my savior sanity boot camp. It’s a free boot camp, it’s in my group slumber made simple to free Facebook group.
It’s a five day training each day is probably like 30 minutes of education, and then 30 minutes of a q&a at the end of each session. So I’m out there live, you see my face, I’m there I’m answering questions. we’re engaging. It’s a very different approach to you know, teaching.
First things first is join there because I go into a lot more detail than I do here on the podcast about what this all looks like and how it comes together for your little ones regardless of age, right I you know the sessions really appropriate for like four months through kind of four or five years old, believe it or not, and we do a lot of breakout sessions with different ages and different challenges and stuff. So Deaf Join me out there because I’m going to teach a lot more about this. The next thing you want to look at is intake, figure out how much intake your little ones getting. Depending again, if it’s exclusively breastfed, if you’ve got formula, if you’ve got breast milk that’s pumped, if you’re not pumping, if you are pumping, right, figure out a way to see what you are measuring, so that you can understand how much baby’s getting that’s the first factor in whether a baby’s eating for habit or hunger in the overnight hours. Okay, once you have that number determined, you then have to make a plan of action, right? That plan of action is going to be like Alright, what do I do? And how do I approach this to know whether it’s a habit or a hunger based waking if it’s an overtired, waking if it’s a teething waking, and frankly, a lot of that is what comes with the private coaching in how I design programs based on uniquely what’s happening in your home, who’s in charge who’s helping what it looks like. So you definitely always have the option to set up a free sleep evaluation, if you’ve kind of thought about exploring sleep coaching, but you haven’t gone, you know, gone the full gamut yet. You know, we’re always happy to spend some time on the phone chatting through what it looks like. But you want to assess their you know what, what the day looks like. And then really make that plan and stick to it. Consistency is the biggest thing. And I think the hardest thing for many families, life’s crazy. Life is very busy right now is actually the best time to work with families, because you’re all stuck at home. Right? I’m in Philly, it’s still yellow here, we can’t do anything. You know, outside of the one trip in four months I’ve made to Home Depot and you know, the instacart that shows up at my door every two days. You know, God bless the workers that are that are out there. That’s all we’ve done, right? Like, my kids just this week are starting summer camp. And you know, they couldn’t be more excited to get out of the house. But But yeah, it’s like life still a little crazy little slow for many. And you know, we’re not yet here in Philly back to green, or in any sort of normalcy. So, you know, it’s a good time to definitely explore the options and you know, I say consistency, because that’s the biggest thing people struggle with, right? You try something for a day or two. And if you’re doing it wrong, it’s not gonna work. Sleep is complex. Frankly, there’s a domino effect. It’s a jigsaw puzzle. And if you’re missing a piece of that puzzle, it’s never gonna come together and it’s usually a lot more tears, unfortunately. So please know that there are resources out there to help you. And I invite you to send me a direct message. Find me in my facebook group slimmer Made Simple. I’m on tik tok. I’m out on Instagram. I mean, you name it tiny transitions. I’m here happy to help you. And as a reminder, I do weekly live q&a is out in my slumber Made Simple group as well. So if you’re listening to this, and you’re thinking, shoot, I am stuck. And I don’t know where to go. Join me out there. I love it. I am on camera live every Thursday 11 o’clock, where I go through all your questions. So with that, hopefully this answers some of your questions about why night weaning fails and whether or not it’s time for your little one to sleep through the night and to get that sleep that they need and deserve. hope everybody stays well stays healthy. And we will see you next time on the kids sleep show. Thanks for listening. 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.