Episode 85: Supported Sleep vs. Independent Sleep for Naps to Keep Baby Sleeping Through the Night
0 Items


Episode Highlights:

  • Live a 80/20 balance when helping baby settle with good long naps 

Ready to Sleep Better?

Podcast Episode Transcripts:

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

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, everybody.
Welcome back to the kids sleep show, Courtney Zentz. Here, the founder of tiny transition, sleep consulting, and I am excited to jump in today and talk to you all about supported maps and whether or not your supported maps are good, or they’re causing a little bit more sleep derailment than we need in the home. So, a lot of times when I work with clients, we talk more and more and more about this balance of daytime sleep right? How much sleep should your child get?
How should they be getting it? Is it okay that I support them to sleep? Right. So I think there’s also a misconception that when you quote sleep train a child, you’re never ever, ever, ever, ever allowed to have a cuddle nap, a snuggle nap, a supported nap, a nap in the car, a nap in the stroller, and one of the things that I do differently at tiny transitions is frankly, reality of everyday living for parents, right? You’re not going to be home 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the rest of your life for the baby to make sure that 100% of their naps are in the crib. So I’m going to spend today talking to you all about supportive naps, what it means to create good sleep habits, but also how you balance being able to have supportive naps in there where it’s necessary and not derail any progress you have with your baby sleeping through the night. And with your child having a good solid bedtime before they get overtired. So the definition to start of a supported nap or supported sleep for bedtime, overnight naps, really it doesn’t matter is the ability in which you’re doing something to help your child fall asleep. And I’ll give you some examples from current sleep clients of mine who had this challenge coming into working with me in the private sleep coaching. So first bouncing to sleep. I’ve had several clients that have to bounce their baby to sleep for several hours, every single time they wake for every nap for every bedtime. I had a mom that was like my thighs are amazing. But I’m really sick of bouncing. So bouncing to sleep rocking to sleep, right? Walking to sleep. So wearing a baby, right? That’s motion sleep. Just frankly driving right driving is sort of a disassociated motion sleep, but it’s still motion sleep. And yes, kids always do sleep better. When there’s motion in the stroller in the car when they’re wearing you. Or when you’re wearing them not when they’re wearing you. That would be awkward. But even things like laying on the couch with baby on your chest, right? I used to love those cuddle naps where I’d be you know, maybe watching the news watching TV. And my newborn would be laying on my chest and just sleeping and going up and down. And oh my gosh, the baby smell like I totally missed that. And those are all types of kind of supported sleep, right? The first three months of life, if all you’re doing is supported sleep, there’s some kind of magic light bulb that goes off for many parents and they’re like, wait a minute, at four months now, Billy won’t go to bed unless I’m rocking, bouncing, driving, moving doing wearing, because they don’t know how you spend all this time doing supported sleep right? weeks, months, years, because that’s the only way they’ll go to sleep. That’s because it’s the only way you’ve ever taught them. Right? When you fundamentally look at sleep and children, it’s a skill set. So just like the first time a child sits up, just like the first time they stand up, right, they don’t just stand up and start walking. You know, they’re usually kind of around something like the coffee table and they pull themselves up. And then they walk a little bit and fall down. And then they walk a little bit more the next day and fall down. Right. And then by the end of the week, they’re cruising around the coffee table. That’s a skill development, right? That is sleep coaching, okay, you’re teaching your child to possess the skill of independent sleep, but they don’t recognize they have the skill and I use the sort of analogy of screwdrivers, right you have a Phillips head screwdriver and a flathead screwdriver. Okay? If you don’t know what they are, Google the difference and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Right? So if you take a Phillips head screw, and you have a Phillips head screw that needs to be a little tightened in the wall, right? Most babies are pulling a flathead screwdriver out that’s supported sleep, rocking, bouncing, feeding, nursing, driving, whatever it is, right? That flathead screwdriver, it will work on a Phillips head screw. Okay, it does the job. But it only kind of does it haphazardly, right. Once you teach a child that they actually possess the ability to fall asleep independently. It’s like they grab the Phillips head screw and or screwdriver and all of a sudden, right they can just put that screw in seven times as fast. It’s the same asleep coaching, right? People use support and sleep because they don’t know what else to do, this baby will not sleep unless being held, this baby will not sleep unless being rocked. My toddler will not sleep unless we are driving, right? Like, you have to look at it and go, Okay, that’s what they’ve come to learn. Now we have to teach them that they actually possess the skill, they don’t even recognize it right? When I work with clients, depending on the age of your little one, we don’t just plow right into oh my gosh, 100% unsupported Worsley training right away, right. And here’s why. Mostly consultants do that. Most of the people that are out there in this space, they have you for two weeks, they basically only talk to you through like text messaging, or maybe one phone call a week. And that’s it. And so they don’t really have time to coach you every day like my team does. Every day through the phone through email through WhatsApp, however you want to talk to us every day, we’re available. And the reason is, we do things more gently. And frankly, more effectively. When you walk in on day one and tell him mom, we’re going to rip out all your night feedings, we’re going to rip away all these props at bedtime. Oh, and by the way, all your naps today are going to be unsupported. You’re going to have a child, frankly, that cries for hours. And that sucks. And you know why the sleep consultant doesn’t care because they don’t have to sit and listen to it. You do, right? The way I work with families. And the way I teach my team, the slumber squad to work with families is in a much more gradual, but forward momentum pace, right? You can treat a nap and teach that map as supported. Like you can treat the snap as supported. The next one’s on supported the next one supported the next one’s on supported and then still have a child who settles independently for bedtime and sleeps through the night. Okay, so when you’re starting to try to figure out how do I teach an unsupported nap? How do I get my child to settle unsupported at bedtime? gradually, right, and here’s a sample of kind of what I mean with when you’re looking at naps, what you would do. Alright, let’s assume you have a four month old and you’ve just gotten through the four month sleep regression, they’re finally starting to sleep a little bit again, you’re feeling pretty good, you know, maybe they’re waking wants to eat otherwise, they’re going down. All right now you are still having to support them a bit. But for naps, you’re 100%, rocking, bouncing, driving, doing whatever, right? When you’re trying to work on naps, to fix that ability for them to settle independently for their naps. I always encourage clients to work with the first nap of the day, because that’s the easiest and most consistent from a timing standpoint, right? So you’re gonna lay your little one down at four months of age, they’re probably awake about an hour and 50 before you lay them down, right. So when you lay them down, awake, okay, you’re gonna offer support and comfort in other mechanisms. So maybe today, you’re rocking a little bit back and forth on their chest and they fall asleep. Tomorrow, you rock a little less the next day you rock with, you know, just a hand. The next thing you have your hand is on them but not moving. The next day, your hand is on their Pinky, and they’re holding it and you’re gradually weaning off of support. Okay? Now you’re still supporting them to sleep, but it’s a slow withdrawal over the course of a couple days, that makes it much more palatable. Do I have clients that call me and say, Courtney, when we start sleep training tonight, I want you to have this baby sleep by Sunday, I have to go back to work on Monday. Great, that’s a little more of an aggressive approach, we can do it. And we do do it if clients asked for that fine. And you know, we kind of rip the band aid off. But in this approach, you don’t have to like it’s very gradual in the progress because once your child recognizes that they possess that skill of independent sleep, it’s repetition, it’s practice, the quicker they do it, the more they do it, the easier it is right. And I’ll give you an example from my last podcast episode. If you listen to the one on pacifiers I talked about a client who was kind of going back and forth with me a little bit on getting rid of it, they were kind of hesitant. I’m like, I can tell you as a professional. We’re not going to get to your goals when we keep that pacifier because it’s a prop. And so they kind of went for a couple days, Rogen may you know and then they circle back around and we’re like, you’re right, the pacifier has to go like okay, now you’re ready. Sometimes people aren’t ready right away. That’s okay. We still made great progress in a lot of other areas. When they finally pulled that pacifier though, they got that, you know, golden metal that they were looking for as far as like how their child sleeps, who’s three and a half months old settles independently for all naps, goes to bed without a single tear sleeps wakes at once at night, and is sleeping in until the morning, right? So that is something where when you look at the nap structure, okay, that first nap is going to be an unsupported nap. That’s how we start to teach. But we only do that after we have really clean good sleep hygiene with bedtime and overnight. I don’t start working on naps with clients until week two, the entire week one when I work with someone in sleep coaching, it is basically 100% bedtime and overnight we’re we’re building a skill set right? All of your naps are supportive. Okay. And you don’t have any derailment and success. Okay, I’ve done this for 1000s of people. So my bedtime and overnight is where we started week one. And then in week two, I started to work with you to gently bring in naps because it’s a skill. Once they develop the skill with bedtime and overnight, the naps become much easier. So you start with that first nap of the day and you gradually wean off of it, right? The second nap of the day, I do support it initially go for a walk, get some fresh air for yourself, mom. And for your little one, maybe you got to go for a drive to the doctor’s to target I used to drive just to like walk around the mall when I had mine. Right. Then the third nap, we’re going to do unsupported. And then depending on that duration, the fourth nap is going to be supported that way we’re doing two things. We’re teaching independent sleep. But with the supported sleep, we’re balancing getting the right amount of sleep for your child because if they go into bedtime, overtired, the bedtime is going to stink. The overnights are going to stink, and you’re going to have early morning wakings. This
is my other problem with sleep consultants. They do everything at once. And it takes you like a week to get out of this dumpster fire because children are chronically tired. They have bad naps, because you’re trying to force it all on day one, then they have a bad bedtime because they’re overtired, then that bad bedtime leads to more and longer protests overnight, and then they’re getting up at 5am. And then you go into day two, and you’re like, crap, I got to do this again. And the sleep consultant like Yep, just stick with it three to five days, like, yes, that works. But it sucks as a parent, right? Like, no parent wants to do that. When you work with us, like we’re very gradual in our approach, and we’re very deliberate. And what we’re doing for all age children, right? When you start looking at that supported sleep, like that’s a prop, right. And kids can have a balance of supportive and unsupported sleep and still be good sleepers at night, where you get into the challenge with supported sleep is overnight, right? If your child is relying on something to fall asleep, every single time they wake overnight, they’re usually looking for the same thing, rocking, bouncing, feeding, motion, holding whatever it is, right, that’s supported sleep, you got to teach him the skill, you got to show them that they have the right screwdriver in order to put the screw in. Right. So with the overnight hours, the biggest thing is consistency, kind of working with your little one. And you’re doing a little bit of a dance these first couple days to figure out like, hey, do you want me to touch you? Do you want a little support with head rubbing? Do you want me to pet your butt? And people say well, doesn’t that turn into another prop? No, because you’re not doing it for the next three years. Over the course of a few days, you’re doing it less and less each and every time. And I use the analogy of like, you know, being addicted to something right? You can go cold talk cold turkey, my girlfriend is so addicted to coffee that if she doesn’t have coffee, she gets a headache, right? Well, she doesn’t like that. So you know, there’s kind of two options. You can either stop drinking coffee, cold turkey, go through the withdrawal that your body is having. And then you know over time, forget you ever liked coffee, or every day, maybe you add a scoop of decaf on the first day into the regular. And that gives you a little less caffeine, right where you drink one less cup. And then the next day you drink you know another less copper add two scoops. So then you’ve got kind of the half and half coffee, right? So over the course of a couple days, you can get yourself either off coffee or to all decaf, if you will, which I’m not sure was any better, because it’s probably all chemically processed at that point. But you know, you can get yourself kind of off of it without going through a heavy withdrawal. Sleep training is the same thing, guys. Like it’s not, you know, yes, there is cry it out. I don’t teach that. Yes, there is the shuffle. Yes, there is interval based check ins are the Ferber method, right? You can Google sleep training methods, they’re not secret, okay, your success is the execution of the entire program, the sleep training method is probably 60% of the approach of an entire program. Okay. And if you’re missing 40% of that puzzle, it’s never complete. And you’re going to have a lot more tears, a lot more frustration, a lot more protests, a lot more short naps, a lot more fighting, and a lot more frankly, questioning what the hell you’re doing.
What am I doing?
Is this right? I don’t even know. Right. So when you talk about supported sleep, you can have a balance of it, you can go to the baby shower, and you can have your mother in law, hold your little one for three hours and take a nap cool. Just don’t do it every day, use the 9010 rule, right? Like I tell all my clients, I’m like you got 9010 freedom, you want to 9010 go out 9010 you know, 90% of that sleep should be in the space that you want them to be 10% out and about. And I think that’s realistic, right? I can even say as much as 20%. Right? Like, just use balance with it. If your child is out and about every day for every nap they’re never going to learn, right? And then you expect them to like lay down in their bed and go to bed. Like Yeah, good luck. You know, it just doesn’t work that way. Like kids are creatures of habit, but they can be pliable, right? The biggest and most important thing that parents don’t recognize is overtired. I would far 100 times percent. Make sure that a child gets sleep any how they can versus having a child They’ll be overtired, okay, because when they’re overtired, it triggers adrenaline and cortisol, which struggle stress triggers, trouble settling triggers, overnight. wakings triggers early morning wakings trigger shorter naps, like overtired the devil. So 100% of the time, get them to nap, right? But know that your goal is to get them in that crib. So you can lay them down in high five and walk the heck out, right? I started with a twin mom two weeks ago, and she’s like, I am going crazy. She has three kids, they have some help. But she’s like, I’m with these twins all the time. And they just like I can’t get anything done. And I’m overwhelmed. And they’re like four months old. At this point, they should be able to do this. And by the end of week one, she goes, I just set both of them in the crib, they fell asleep, and I’m watching trashy Bravo TV while eating like popcorn. And then she’s like, I haven’t sat down in four months. And so like that was a super huge win for me as a sleep professional. But it was also a super huge win for mom, like she got some time back to herself to get things done. and not worry about having to walk around the house of the baby or know that they’re only going to nap for 20 minutes, and you can’t get anything done. Because in 20 minutes, you got to go pop the pacifier back in right? Look at what you’re doing in your day. Okay, and I want you to think about like, what are your ideals, and then call me, okay, you can call me, you can email me, you can send me a direct message through social media, you can jump out to my Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. There’s a million different ways that you can get in touch with me out on my website, you can just request to kind of schedule a call with someone, whether it’s me or my team, like we’re here to help you. And we always talk through your goals. Okay, the first thing is the accountability that myself and my team set and the goals that we’re going to set for you that we’re committed to. So give us a call and set up a time. And let’s chat through what you want to get accomplished and where you’re struggling. And we’ll put a plan in place. And we’ll work with you every single day through it. We are one of the only sleep coaching companies in the country that lets you talk to us on the phone every day. WhatsApp every day, email every day as much as you want. Because we’re here to support you in a very different way than many sleep coaches out there. And you know, a lot of people look at me and say, you know, you’re not the cheapest, but you’re the best. And that’s right, because you get what you pay for in this space. And I want to set my clients up for long term success. This isn’t about sleep training, or coaching a baby for 234 weeks and then being like see a piece out, guess what, 234 months, you’re gonna have a struggle somewhere, right? And so what I aim to do with my team and with this company is to set you up for long term success. Okay, through coaching, education, ongoing support, like we have so many different ways that we continue to educate you in sleep coaching as your child grows, regardless of age. Okay, so hopefully, you’ve got some light bulbs that have gone off, and you think you know what, maybe I’m doing a little too much support for stuff. Let me solve this now so that I can enjoy things and have sleep fixed by the Fourth of July. I am telling you that you can believe in yourself, take action and know that I’m here to help you every step of the way. Thanks so much for tuning into this episode. I hope everyone has a beautiful rest of the week. Until next time, 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 sleep or 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 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: Slumber Made Simple Facebook Sleep Community Episode Highlights: Live a 80/20 balance when helping baby settle with good long naps  Ready to Sleep Better? Book a Call Podcast Episode Transcripts: Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors. Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around […]