How to get your baby to sleep

Julie Wright, MTF explains what parents should pay attention to when trying to get babies to sleep.
How to get your baby to sleep | Kids in the House
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How to get your baby to sleep


- Well the first question to ask always is "How old is your baby?" We want to make sure that we are connecting with what your baby is capable of in that developmental stage We don't wanna push a baby and force them and train them Train is a word that I would never use around sleep because we're naturally geared to sleep. At the same time we don't want to continue helping a child sleep beyond the point where they don't need that help anymore. That's where most of the trouble comes in where parents are given a lot of support during those early months for how to soothe their baby. But they're not given a lot of instruction for how to gradually back off from that soothing so that their child can show them their unfolding capacities So one of the things we outline in great detail is how to do that. We call it the curious stance and what it looks like is being attuned to what your baby may be able to do tonight that she wasn't able to do the night before and if I can teach this to parents early enough I never need to do anything more dramatic So what this might look like is, say your baby wakes in the middle of the night at a time when they're not used to feeding. So maybe it's midnight and they're not used to having their first feed 'til two a.m. What the curious stance would look like is that you go into the room and instead and swooping in and picking them up and bouncing them or feeding them right away you'd start with the very least intrusive thing you can think of, which might just be your presence might be the sound of your voice Might then move on to a little pat, or a jiggle, or a shush and we call this the soothing ladder So you're gonna start at the bottom of the ladder and see how far you need to go you might put the pacifier back in at the very top of the ladder is picking up your baby. And at the very top of the ladder is feeding your baby. What this soothing hierarchy does is it gives you the ability to find out what you're baby's capable of Because our babies grow and change so fast. So these are some ways to think about how your baby grows into sleep.

Julie Wright, MTF explains what parents should pay attention to when trying to get babies to sleep.


Expert Bio

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Julie Wright, MFT

Psychotherapist & Author

Julie Wright, MFT is a marriage and family therapist with an extensive background in infant mental health and early childhood development.  She trained at Cedars Sinai Early Childhood Center and co-developed a program for parents and babies from 0-3 at LA Child Guidance Clinic. Julie specializes in mindful parenting, sleep issues and attachment theory.  She also works in private practice with infants, children, parents and adults.  Julie lives in Los Angeles with her son and often visits family on the east coast.

Julie has written the book, "The Happy Sleeper," Penguin 2014 with her colleague, Heather Turgeon, MFT. The Happy Sleeper gives the topic of baby sleep a fresh perspective. Their approach moves beyond old school ideas like “sleep training”—it’s grounded in research and shaped by new thinking. The Happy Sleeper gives you a clear, easy-to-follow system for transferring the role of independent sleep to your capable child, as they have done for thousands of families in their clinical practice.

More Parenting Videos from Julie Wright, MFT >
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