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.
welcome to the kids sleep show. My name is Courtney Zentz, the founder of tiny transition sleep consulting and I am so excited that you have found my podcast I put my heart and soul into working with clients all over the world to build healthy sleep habits. I’m super excited you are here joining me today as i talk all about supported sleep. So first, I want to start with the definition of supported sleep. And that is where you are doing something with the word to sleeping it sounds pretty obvious right? rocking to sleep nursing to sleep feeding, to sleep, bouncing to sleep driving to sleep, you name it, anything with the word to sleep in, it can slowly but very, very, very problematically become an part of your day that you just don’t quite know what to do with you’re trying to balance having this baby who needs to take a nap because you can physically see that they’re tired, but you don’t quite know how to get them to do it without that supportive sleep. You know, I often laugh because I see a lot of clients that pay 15 $100 for a bassinet that moves every single time a baby cries, that’s not normal. And here’s why. Because after the first eight weeks of life, your baby moving every time they try to focus a little bit, it’s going to create a reliance on that motion in order to go back to sleep. So that’s a really good example of from the foundation, creating a good healthy sleep hygiene without that supported sleep needed. Right? supported sleep is anything that’s going to help that child to get the sleep and there’s definitely a balance to when your child needs to take a nap and you got to do whatever you can to get them there and just helping to ensure that you’re teaching your child how to sleep independently. Right.
So just to recap, supported sleep is really anything where the word to sleep is in there rocking, bouncing,
playing, laying co sleeping like anything where you’re doing whatever it takes to get that child to go to sleep now. Is it okay? To do it sometimes? Absolutely. Is there a balance to when you need to begin a deliberate transition off of supported sleep? While supplementally teaching your child the skill of independence sleep? Yes. And I’m going to talk with you about that timing. So first, what you want to look at is the age of your child, if you’re listening to this podcast, it’s likely that you have a little one under the age of five years old. Okay, when you have a newborn, we’ll start there. Supported sleep is pretty common because frankly, your little ones tired, right? They may nurse or take a bottle and just pass out in your arms, cut skin to skin is amazing for them. And it’s really actually kind of quite nice for you with a new baby to get those cuddles in. There’s nothing at all wrong with that. And in fact, I encourage that. Where you want to look at it is after about eight weeks, right? is where your child goes from this newborn stage into infancy. And if you have never ever, ever done anything at all, to help your child to learn how to fall asleep independently, you now have a habit, right, because they just spent the past eight weeks of their life thinking that the only way they fell asleep is with that prop nursing, bouncing, rocking, feeding whatever it is that you’re doing with your baby to get them to sleep is how they now perceive that they go to sleep, right? I work as a sleep coach with a lot of newborn babies. And here’s why. I’m not sleep training a newborn, that’s ridiculous. You are teaching how to build a solid foundation from birth with good sleep skills, never needing to cry it out, never needing to formally sleep train, you’re just simply teaching them that they actually possess the stability from birth. And we have to make sure we show them how to do it. So if they’re just not getting used to rocking to sleep or bouncing to sleep or nursing to sleep, it’s just a tool in the tool belt that so many parents don’t really think can be taught. People say to me, like are you sleep training my newborn? No. Right? We’re going to sleep train after four months of age because that’s really when the word sleep training starts to pop around. But I work with hundreds of clients that are newborns. They never need to sleep train. There’s not tears shed at all. But you teach your newborn how to have good solid sleep from the time they’re born. And you know Need to sleep train them ever. And it’s a glorious thing. Right? supported sleep can be used in balance and moderation, just like anything else we do as parents, right balance and moderation. It’s absolutely okay. And I would actually always encourage supported sleep, if your child needs to get a nap. And maybe they’re in a location where it’s not possible. Perhaps you’re out and about, right, maybe you’re at a festival, and you’re walking around with your baby and you’re like, well, I don’t have anywhere to put them to sleep. So I’m just going to carry them or wear them and they’ll fall asleep in my chest. Great, fine. That’s no big deal, right? Don’t do that every single time they go to sleep for the first eight weeks of life, right? So it is 100% Okay, because I would far prefer that a child get some sleep that even is supported versus no sleep at all, because that creates an overtired child. It then triggers adrenalin and cortisol, it becomes hormone soup in their little bodies, they fight sleep, they fight naps, everything short. Bed times of tear Fest, there’s 15,000, overnight. wakings. Right. And everything is a little bit of a mess in the morning at 4am. They’re ready to go. Okay, so I would 100% tell you that supported sleep for nap every single time over overtired I would take Okay, what you need to do is start looking at some aspect of a threshold, right as a newborn, you want to start with one nap a day in that crib or bassinet, where your child is settling independently for sleep, usually between about 45 and 60 minutes. That is your first goal
coming home with a newborn, get them one independent nap a day in the crib or the bassinet. Okay, that is teaching them the skill of independent sleep.
And then as that skill set grows and grows and grows, it then tails into the second nap, the third nap now there’s settling for bedtime. Now they’re sleeping longer stretches at night, right? It’s a chain reaction, because they actually recognize they have this tool in their tool belt that some other babies don’t frankly, have because parents never teach them that the tool exists, right? At four months of age, a couple things happen. First, your child is going from stage based sleep to cycle based sleep. It’s often where you see things like the four month sleep regression. That regression is because for the past 12 weeks of life, you did all these things to get them to sleep, and now you’re expecting them to go to bed without
it. They don’t know how they don’t
have the skill. Right? You never taught them. So yeah, your sleep training them because they don’t recognize that they possess this tool and they perceive the only way they go to sleep or go back to sleep is with your help. Right? So you can work with children, right? between four and 18 months. It is sleep coaching, right sleep training, there’s some aspect of changing a bad habit that you have to fix, right. But about four months of age, you know, a couple things are happening, kids are a little more like awake, alert and aware. There’s some cognitive development, their naps are going to begin to consolidate, they now have a circadian rhythm because they’re sleeping in cycles, not stages. There’s a whole bunch of stuff that really happened around four months, that is a big common cause of the form of sleep regression. But in almost every single case, you also have a child who doesn’t settle independently. I work with a lot of newborn clients, and they never experienced the form of sleep regression. You know why? Because they have the ability to sleep, they know how to sleep. So all these developmental things happen, and they sleep and they sleep through it. And they sleep past it, right? There’s a lot of people I see in parenting groups who almost wish asleep regression, right? They’re looking at their app, and they’re like, Oh, my gosh, it’s, um, this day or this week, and we’re entering this leap. Like there is some validity obviously, to the science of those leaps. But it does not correlate to disturbed sleep in every case. And actually many cases, I feel like sometimes as parents, you will yourself into a terrible situation. Because you’re sort of looking for something not really taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture of can your child actually settle themself to sleep right? When it gets after 18 months of age is when you actually have supported sleep that turns into a behavior right? I need you to lay with me. I need you to get me another drink to give me one more hug. Right. These are all behaviors that are causing your child to stall that stalling usually leads to overtired that then triggers adrenalin and cortisol, your kids get amped up, take some three hours of tears to go to bed, and then they’re up the crack down before the sun, right? That’s a behavior based change. But that is also addressed in my work with toddlers and school aged children as a sleep consultant. But we’re approaching things differently traditional sleep training methods for kids over 18 months of age, they aren’t going to work. So if you bought something like taking care of babies or little Z’s, and they’re talking about interval based check ins or staying in the room with a child from a sleep training standpoint, you are not going to be able to leverage that type of approach if you will, with a toddler. Okay. I work with a lot of clients who may be purchased those programs with newborns. And they really got stuck because they’re like, well, now what what do I do? You know? So it is a totally different approach when you get over 18 months of age because you’re dealing with behavior, not an actual developmental gap in the skill of how to fall asleep. Okay. So the problem with it, when you have supported sleep and you have too much supported sleep is it causes a couple things. First, their naps don’t consolidate, because if they’re rocking to sleep, and they wake up after one cycle, they’re going to expect to get rocked back to sleep, right. So they’re never going to be able to consolidate their naps. When you have unconsolidated naps, that tends to lead to a deficiency in daytime sleep, which leads to overtired at bedtime. So not only do you have to support them to sleep, but they’re pissed off in crime, right? That also can tend to lead to multiple night wakings and early morning wakings. And you get into this vicious cycle, it causes worse and more like prolonged and long sleep regressions. And it really just is a dumpster fire on all the cords, right? Kids have the ability to sleep, I see it in families I work with all the time they come to me with the craziest of issues. And then a couple days, our kids are sleeping through the night and they’re like, dang, why didn’t I not reach out to you sooner? You’re amazing. There’s a reason we have so many five star Google reviews because I’m good at what I do. My team is good at what we do. And we support clients in a very different way, with a very specific program that’s also broken into sleep steps as I refer to it to ensure that we’re doing things gentle, but effectively and making that transformation and helping your child to settle for bedtimes to settle for naps to sleep through the night and do all those things that as parents you’re hoping for. Okay. How do you balance supported sleep because it is necessary, right? Even in some of my private clients, we don’t just rip the band aid off and say go away and everything’s on supported. Because again, while the child is learning the skill of independent sleep, you have to make sure they don’t get overtired. Okay, one of the biggest mistakes is parents try to sleep train a child off of a method, they googled and they’re missing 65% of the puzzle. You know, it’s not just the method, there’s a lot that goes into it. So what you need to do is balance first making sure that you have the right daytime sleep. And I’ll give you a great example of a five
month old or a four month old, right, who’s taking three or four naps a day, you definitely want to always make sure that first nap is unsupported because that’s the easiest to get success with,
And then you want to build on it, I would say the second nap you do support it, right gives you a chance to go out for a walk, maybe the nanny can do a little cuddle nap or drive, maybe you got to pick up the older one at swim
it might be, that second one can be supported. So if the first snap that’s unsupported, so probably be about 45 minutes at the age of four months, right. And then the second nap will be supported, which is always going to be a little bit of a longer sleeve, right, because it’s motion based. So you know, maybe we have a two hour nap there. Well, then the third nap, you’ll want to try to do unsupported again, probably another 45 minutes. Totally Okay. And then the fourth nap, which is usually the toughest one of the day because it’s at the end of the day kids are tired, they’re hungry, they’re a little bit imbalanced, right. So that’s often the one where I’ll say don’t do that one support it as well. So we can make sure we get a good solid rest going into bedtime. You do not want an overtired child going into bedtime, trying to learn how to sleep independently that first night because they’re going to cry for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours. And it’s not necessary, right? You have to balance the daytime sleep to ensure the right amount of sleep at the right times in the total duration. And as they get better with that skill, and it sharpens sharpen sharpens, the support that you’re providing is going to be less less
So does that make sense? You have to make sure there’s always this balance, right? And making sure that your child first has the skill of independent sleep. And then second, that you’re methodically balancing all of their naps throughout the day, is something that I would say would be the first step in your journey to better rest. And if you’re just like Courtney, I don’t even know where to begin. And I’m tired and strung out and I don’t even know who to call or what to do. Reach out to us we offer free discovery calls myself or a member of my team will chat with you to understand what’s going on and help you to fix your child’s sleep. That’s what we do. We are child sleep trainers, we make sure that we fix your issue. We read your unique goals and we do it gently but effectively, okay? So just jot that down and make sure that you check us out at tiny transitions comm because we’ve got a lot of great resources. But in addition, we offer calls to chat with you and see if you’re even the candidate for sleep coaching. I talked to a lot of folks every week that don’t need to hire me. And unlike some sleep consultants out there who will just try to crowbar you end up booking a program with them. We don’t do that here. We’re a very different type of sleep coaching company. And so, again, our reviews our customer service and the way we support families is vastly different. And we’ll talk to you It may just be a quick little tweak that you need to fix your child’s sleep, and we’ll tell you how to fix it. And then we’ll tell you to go on your merry way. And if there is a point in the future where you do need to hire a sleep coach, you’ll come back to us because you know what we helped you out before. And we’re good at what we do. And this time, you may need more of that private coaching that’s available from myself and my team. So start with balance, right? And then assess whether or not you need to fix it right now. If you have a newborn, and you’re catching this and you’re like, do my best Courtney. But I’m all strung out pretty much postpartum. Feel like hell, I’m still wearing a nice diaper. Do I really need to get into this? No, you’ve got that first eight weeks to start playing around with getting an independent nap. Okay, that’s going to be the gateway into better sleep. And if you find yourself now at seven months going, Oh, why didn’t I do anything, then this is going to be a nightmare. Connect with us because we’ll talk to you about our sleep coaching methods, our unique and proprietary sleep steps that we use with families and ultimately we’ll talk about your goals, what do they look like so that we can make sure we’re aligning a program that suits your needs the best. I look forward to chatting with you absolutely. So much more on this topic out in my facebook group called slumber Made Simple. I’m out there each and every week doing live Q and A’s and free trainings and all this stuff to build a real sense of community, and also to ensure that parents are getting the resources that they need that most don’t have access to. So thank you so much for tuning in. Until next time, have a beautiful day and leave the rest to us.
Hold on one more thing before you go. As the value 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 transition stuff comm forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made
drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait
to see you there.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai