Episode 76 - Co-Sleeping and Sleep Training
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Episode Highlights:

  • Sample Scheduled for every stage of naps to adjust with ease
  • Understanding how to adjust and how long it will take to go back to “normal”

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Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.

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, Happy Monday, everyone.
And welcome back to the kids sleep show. My name is Courtney Zentz. I’m the founder of tiny transitions. And we are a pediatric sleep coaching agency. based out of Philadelphia, we support tired parents all over the world, to ensure their little ones get some rest. And I’m so glad that you were able to join us here it is the day after Easter when this is going live. And I have to pick my kids up today, they spent five days with my aunt. So they’re pretty excited about coming home and seeing mommy but we had some work to do with a leak and some renovation stuff. So my husband and I were very, very busy for a couple days doing that kind of stuff. But we are here today to talk all about co sleeping and chat all about whether or not you can successfully co sleep and still have a child that sleeps well. And the answer is in the kind of quick and dirty sure if cosleeping works for you. And that’s a choice that you’ve made as a family and everybody’s getting the rest that you need, then go for it. Right? If it’s working for you, there’s no sense in changing it. If you’re happy with that arrangement, everybody gets a little bit of rest and wakes up to feel refreshed. The point in which I hear most parents reach out to me is that they’ve kind of hit the end of that road. They say you know what, Courtney, it was working for a bit. Or frankly, you know, they’re going to go for their learner’s permit. So it’s time to get them out of the bed here. You know, we need to work on getting back in touch together as a partner, you know, I haven’t slept in the same bed as my husband or wife in 18 months, and I missed them and I miss our relationship. And I feel like things are struggling a bit. You know, those are a lot of the different conversations that I have with parents on a daily basis. And the first thing I want to say is you do you if co sleeping today is working for your family. And that is a choice that you have made Go for it. I have not as a personal opinion, a fan of CO sleeping for children under the age of one for sure. Because it’s dangerous. It’s not safe. It’s not recommended by the AAP. There’s a lot of different stuff that can go wrong in those situations. And while Yes, a lot of people have done it doesn’t mean that it makes it safe. Because there’s really just a lot that can happen. And I see far too much in this industry to change my opinion on that. But you know, when you get over into the toddler age, right, and your little one can hop out of the crib and suddenly walk down the hallway and go Hey, Mommy, can I come in? Right? I fondly remember as a child. I don’t know how old I was. But I remember every night I slept in my parents room, I inevitably kicked my dad out. We had a waterbed at the time. So you know, the thing wasn’t exactly like smooth, getting in there. But it was hot and cozy. I slept in the middle of my mom and dad. And I like I said, I don’t remember how old I was at the time. But I just remember thinking like, Damn, I like it in there. It’s cozy. And so I would go in there every single night. I wasn’t scared, I would just simply go in and say, Hey, can I come in? And I finally remember tapping on my mom and saying, Can I come in? She would say yes. And I would climb in bed. Right. And that lasted for a period of time. I like I said, I don’t recall how old I was. But it was not out of anything other than I liked it in there better, right? I deal with a lot of kids who frankly, like it in there better and who you know whose parents are tired, everybody’s working. We’ve all been home the past year, there’s a lot of added stress in the family life. And you know, sometimes it’s just an easier choice to say get in here versus, you know, fight five or six times a night a little one climbing out of bed and walking down, you walk them back, they cry, we do it again, you know when you kind of rest and repeat if you will. And that can get exhausting, especially night after night. So parents choose to co sleep and now you’re in this pickle going alright, I got to get you out of this bed and whether they’re going back into a crib, because they may be, you know, still a toddler and it’s appropriate or whether they’re going back into their bed. That you know also is a transition that a lot of parents make and we do it with success. You can’t really easily do co sleeping and sleep training. Right? And I know that I wish I had a magic wand and that was possible. The problem is that children look at consistency, right? They want to understand what the expectations are like where am I expected to sleep tonight, right? And if they know that you’re willing and able to let them in your bed just like I did as a kid. Why not right? Like, why wouldn’t I want to go down and cuddle next to my mom and dad and this warm bed that’s cozy and comfy where I can feel safe and secure in their room versus in my own room. Now with full disclosure. I must have been a little bit older when we did this. Because I vaguely remember being totally afraid of Freddy Krueger and Jason. And I was young enough that I don’t remember how old I was. But I was old enough that my brother who was older was watching it. And I was like, I can watch this too. And it scared me for years and years and years and years and years to come.
Because those movies were ridiculous. And so I don’t like I said, I don’t know how old I was when I was doing this. But you know, at some point, I either just stopped on my own or my mom said, you know, get out of the bed. But regardless, it’s one of those things where children like expectations, right? So if you set a boundary, and that boundary gets broken, kids know the boundaries, breakable. Right? So the first thing you need to do as a family is discuss as a family, like what the expectations are around sleep and make sure everybody’s on the same page. Because you can’t have a child that one night is allowed in the next night isn’t one nights allowed in the next night isn’t because you know what happens, they’re gonna wake every night, hoping that they that tonight’s the night that they can get in, or that they catch you just enough times that you’re going to say, fine, just get in bed, because we all need to get some sleep, right. And sometimes that does happen. But you know what, you set a bar, and then they know like, well, if I just keep asking, they’re just gonna let me in. And so you have to be very clear on the boundary, you need to draw the boundary as a family and say, Look, this is a place for you know us to sleep not for you. And here’s what that looks like, right? And then in the middle of the night, when they wake, you have to starve out that behavior, right? This is not sleep training, when you get to the age in which a child kind of understand that they they’re choosing to want to go into your bed, right? It’s more of a behavior where they know if they do a certain thing, they get a certain result, right? with babies, it’s a little bit different, because they don’t cognitively completely understand. But they do know that if they cry, for example, you’re going to pick them up and take them into your room potentially. Right. So then they know that crying yields them going into your room. So you know, with all children, there’s that boundary that you have to draw first to say, look, you are either welcome or not welcome in our bed, right? And if you’re not welcome, where are you going to sleep. Now for babies, I obviously the crib is the most appropriate, I find things like a pack and play or even a bassinet, frankly, they just grow out of too quickly. So it best to get them the most comfortable with the crib. And, and then with toddlers, it’s either going to be a toddler bed, or it’s going to be a full size bed. And there’s expectations that they are to sleep in that space. And that’s really the only space of choice that they have. Right? When your child wakes in the middle of the night and expects to come in and co sleep with you. That’s where you have to change the expectations, right? kids do things based on the expectation. So the expectation is that there’s still a tiny bit of a chance that you’re going to be able to get into that bed like you’re going to try for it for sure. Right. But after about two or three days for younger children kind of under 18 months. And after about a week for toddlers who I would say over 18 months, they are going to understand that this is just the new line and it’s just the new way that it is. So oftentimes like parents flip flop between we’re going to go sleep tonight and we’re going to try not to tomorrow and we’re going to co sleep again and then we’ll see how tonight goes and kids just it’s like wishy washy, right. Like they don’t understand what the boundary and expectation is. Even with sleep training, right? I deal with so many parents who, you know, they come to me and they say Courtney, we tried verbalizing, we tried crying it out. We tried check ins we tried staying in the room. We tried picking up we tried putting down we tried this way. We tried that way. We tried the swaddle, we tried this swaddle, we tried that wearable blanket. We tried a pillow we tried no pillow, right? You just tried like 100 things your kids like what the heck are you doing, man? Like, I don’t know what you expect from me. This time you feed me this time you don’t this time you pick me up this time you don’t this time you rock me this time you don’t This time, it’s mommy this time it’s Daddy, this time I get a boob this time I get a bottle, right? Every single kid every single time your child wakes, regardless of their age, they’re going What am I going to get? Right? What am I going to get this time? And I you know, I think that’s confusing for kids, especially under 18 months who do still have the aspect of learning, right? When you get over 18 months, it’s typically a behavior, but under 18 months, they’re looking for the expectations and you’re trying to balance that for them. Right. So the important thing is that you set the expectations as a family, but then you have to be consistent in your follow through. Okay. And frankly, this is where a lot of people go wrong or they do something off or they kind of give up because they’re not seeing success. You know, when I equate what I do in the world of you know, sleep training to kind of that have, for example, a personal trainer, right? Or even like a life coach, right? You know that by going to the gym and exercising five days a week, you’re going to lead a healthier life, right? You’re going to have a healthier body, you’re going to typically have other habits that stem off of that like healthier eating, you’re going to typically get into Feeling good. So you’ll have those positive endorphins from the exercise, maybe you’re trying to build some muscle tone, or lose weight or whatever, right? We all know how to do it. But it’s the actual execution of the Act and the follow through, that many of us struggle with,
right, the accountability part of it, you can’t just go, you know, what I know I need to do this and show up at the gym, and then you know, stand there, you’re not gonna lose weight, right, you’re not going to gain muscle mass, you’re not going to calm anxieties, right? Whatever you’re trying to get out of that exercise, you have to have a plan, and then you have to be accountable to the plan. And sometimes parents aren’t accountable, we’re not accountable to ourselves, because we don’t have the willpower. And that’s not like a knock on anyone, I just, you know, it’s one of those where we, we as humans, right have to have the willpower. And frankly, the confidence to know what we’re doing is the right choice. And then the ability to follow through on it. Often parents are kind of googling one thing blogging, one thing, checking other parenting groups, you know, reaching out for bits and pieces of information. And all you have are just a couple parts to the recipe, right? But if you’re missing a couple pieces of the recipe, that cakes always gonna come out a big fat flop, right. And so just like working out where a trainer provides you with the plan, and then works you through it from an accountability standpoint, I’m kind of like a personal trainer for your kids sleep, right? I’m gonna give you the plan. We’re going to work through it together based on what your unique situation is just like working out. And then I’m with you to help you be accountable, but also to provide you with the consulting and coaching along the way that is going to get you to success, right? I mean, I think a lot of times, parents, you if you’re listening to this, your little ones probably struggling, right? Like, what have you done, where you’re consistent, and you can say with certainty, right, you’re consistent, and that it’s the right thing, a lot of people are consistent, but they’re doing the wrong things. So then you’re not going to get to success, because you have the wrong program, you have the wrong path, you have the wrong thing, or timing or approach that you’re doing that isn’t fit for your child’s age or their unique challenges, right. So if you’re co sleeping today, and you’re listening to this going, alright, like I miss my husband or wife, I miss my partner, I miss my bed, I frankly miss some alone time. You know, I miss my son getting a full sleep, or my daughter getting full sleep because they’re restless all night. So I know that they are not feeling well. And they’re not sleeping well. And that’s what they need to grow and develop like, it’s okay to pause and go, you know what, I’m going to take that next step right and make changes. And the first thing you want to do, as I mentioned, is build that plan, like what is the family are you going to stick to right? then figure out when you’re going to start and what the actions are around what needs to change, right? Maybe it’s some conversations, if your little one is older to say, hey, tonight’s the last night, you’re welcome in our bed, the expectation is you sleep in your room, right. And when they wake in the middle of the night, you have to stick to that, you know, you’re not welcome in here. And so you have to go back to your room. And it’s obviously not going to be as easy as they high five, you and walk back, right. But that’s what I work with clients on the different strategies based on, you know, the protests and upset that comes along with it. Because they’re pissed off, they want to get in your bed, right, whether they’re a baby toddler, a school aged child, like they know what they want, and they’re not going to get it. So you know, being able to kind of stick to that plan that you determine as a family and then execute through on it. And give yourself some grace and patience with this. Right. As I mentioned, it takes about three to five days for infants. And it takes about a week for toddlers and school aged children to understand what the new expectations are, you’re wiping the slate clean and redrawing the boundary lines, right. And just human nature is going to be that we’re going to check a boundary check a boundary check a boundary and just push to see if that boundary is still there, or if at that point has moved. And so you need to make sure you’re paying attention to that. You know, and that ultimately, you’re confident in what you’re doing. If you’re wishy washy, I’ll tell you right now you’re going to fail. And you’re going to have a lot of unnecessary tears, right? When you’re ready. And that point is going to be when you as a family or you individually decide you’re ready, go for it and then just stick with it and be consistent. And know that you know, there’s folks much like myself or other professionals in the space that can help you on the journey. So it doesn’t have to be so scary, so unknown. You know, and so tear laden that, you know, so many families talk about they they try, they try they try and then they seek help and you know, avoid that and let’s get you sleeping and sleeping well I just finished with a beautiful 18 month old who hasn’t slept in her own room for 18 months co slept with Mom Mom is really tired and is doing beautifully and the parents were like this is a dream like I you know, I feel amazing. I She’s amazing. She’s feeling so much better behavior so much better. And you know, she’s like, I honestly didn’t think it was possible. 18 months I’ve had clients come to me with pediatricians who say, basically tough you’re stuck with this now for the next five years and that is like the worst advice ever for me. pediatrician you’re not stuck, like you can fix anything. It’s a habit, right? These are behaviors that change. You know, if your kid eats a brownie for breakfast every day, it doesn’t mean they’re stuck eating a brownie for breakfast the rest of their life, you say you’re not having a brownie for breakfast, you’re gonna have, you know, some oatmeal, right. And, of course, they’re
gonna be pissed for a couple days, because they don’t like that change a brownie is certainly better than oatmeal, but you know what they get over it, right? Because the new expectation is either eat the oatmeal or don’t eat at all, I don’t really care, right? That’s your choice. And a lot of it comes back to the empowerment of children making their choices heard, and helping them to feel empowered, which is part of what I do in my coaching, right, helping them to be in control, even though you’re the one really driving the bus. And it works beautifully. Because you have children who very quickly respond and feel better, they eat better, your nursing supplies better, their behavior is better, their naps are better, right? All of this, just as the result of making a change and being consistent in that change. Again, cosleeping is working for you, that’s fine, go for it. If everybody’s getting the right amount of rest, and you’re all happy with that. There’s nothing that says you have to stop, you stop when you’re ready. And when you’re ready, you’ll know. And that’s where you reach out and say I’m ready and I need help. And you know, we’re more than happy here to always speak with you on the phone and talk with you more about the coaching programs here that myself and my team do and working with families and you know, just commit to it. Know that you can do it. Every child has the ability to get great sleep. And we’re always here to support you as sleep consultants on your journey to sleep. Sleep is a gift and I want to give you that gift and your confidence back in parenting. So please reach out. Thank you so much for listening. Good luck on your transformation, from co sleeping to grabbing that bed back and reclaiming it for yourself. I hope everyone has a beautiful week. And if you have any questions, be sure to join me out in my free Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. We are always out there to answer your questions. Every Tuesday I do a live q&a where you can pop in and ask the questions you have around your sleep struggles and I’m always doing free trainings and lots of good education out there for you to build amazing sleepers from birth. So I hope everyone has a great rest of the day. Thanks so much for tuning in. Until next time, enjoy your children. Enjoy your family and leave the rest to me. 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 together 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 transition stuff comm 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.

Resources: Read the Blog on Traveling and Timezone Hopping with Children Free Sleep Training Workshop – Making Over Bedtime Episode Highlights: Sample Scheduled for every stage of naps to adjust with ease Understanding how to adjust and how long it will take to go back to “normal” Ready to Sleep Better? Book a Call Podcast […]

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