Co-sleeping and sleeping through the night

Kim West, nationally esteemed sleep expert and social worker, answers questions that parents commonly have about co-sleeping and how to effectively get your infant to sleep through the night.
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Co-sleeping and sleeping through the night

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So I am commonly asked do I have to stop co-sleeping in order for my child to sleep through the night. And that´s a great question. And the answer really is no. You don´t have to. If a family is co-sleeping and even nightnursing throughout the night, everybody is happy, mom, dad, and child. And everyone is getting good sleep, then you don´t have a sleep problem. So you can continue to co-sleep. But if you are having a sleep problem and you are awaking up a lot and your child is waking up a lot and you are co-sleeping, then a lot of parents, they are practicing reactive co-sleeping. I am only co-sleeping because I have no idea how to get my child to sleep and back to sleep other than bringing them into the bed and nursing them back to sleep, which is a very different question and problem. If you want to continue to co-sleep, you have to remember that you just have to teach your child to put themselves to sleep from a wakeful state so that you don´t have to go to bed at seven o´clock at night also. So if you have a baby, you can get a co-sleeper in arm´s reach, attach it to your bed or bring a crib next to your bed and put the baby in it awake and soothe them and stay with them. And then, when you come back to bed later in the night, you can bring them into the bed or bring them into the bed, feed them and put them back into the co-sleeper. So you really don´t have to end co-sleeping in order to instill good sleep habits in your child and in your family.

Kim West, nationally esteemed sleep expert and social worker, answers questions that parents commonly have about co-sleeping and how to effectively get your infant to sleep through the night.

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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