Getting your baby to sleep through the night

Sleep Expert Jill Spivack, LCSW, shares advice for parents on the best methods for getting your baby to sleep through the night
Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night
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Getting your baby to sleep through the night


How to get babies to sleep through the night. That's a great question and we use the acronym BEDS as a way of remembering this easily. B is for having a good solid bedtime routine prior to your child going down at night. So it would be a 15 to 45 minute winddown of relaxing activities in the same environment where they sleep at roughly the same time every night and at the same relative order; okay? E is for environment, having a good solid quiet dark environment. We want to avoid any light intrusion, any noise intrusions. We may need to use a little bit of white noise. Don't want to have Disneyland in their cribs. So you want to take out all stimulation from their crib and just keep it mellow and calm with maybe a little lovey, and that way you're creating a peaceful environment. The D is an important one; putting the baby down awake. When babies learn how to sooth themselves to sleep and when they wake in the middle of the night can sooth themselves back to sleep, it will erase most sleep problems in the world. So really, we want to allow our babies to learn how to self sooth to sleep when they go down and go down awake. The fourth thing is S is for schedule, having a good solid schedule for your baby. Lot of moms hope that if they put their babies down at 10:00 at night, they'll just sleep 11 hours till 9:00 in the morning and they'll be so thrilled because they will be able to sleep in every day. Doesn't usually work that way with young children. Young children like to go to sleep much ealier than that. So we have to sort of accept the fact that we're probably going to have our kids down somewhere between seven and 8:00 p.m. and they're going to sleep, going forward, 11 or 12 hours. They're going to sleep till somewhere between six or seven in the morning. We're doing really well if we hit seven. The other sleep stealer that we talk about in our book and DVD and everything is night noshing and dealing with night noshing. Some babies still need to eat in the middle of the night when they're nursing and they're smaller and maybe if milk supply is low we want to keep the demand on the breast feeding in the middle of the night, but when babies hit, usually, about six months and over 15 pounds most babies can be weened from most feedings in the middle of the night and just take all of the milk during the day. And that's one of our goals in getting children to sleep through the night.

Sleep Expert Jill Spivack, LCSW, shares advice for parents on the best methods for getting your baby to sleep through the night


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Jill Spivack, LCSW

Sleep Expert

Jill Spivack, LCSW, completed her graduate studies at the University of Southern California. She developed an expertise in parenting while working as a psychotherapist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Early Childhood Department. Jill, a mother of two children, went on to develop a sub-specialty in pediatric sleep disorders while working in New York City at a parenting center after experiencing sleep problems with her first child. In 1999, upon returning to Los Angeles, Jill co-founded the pediatric sleep firm Childsleep.

Recognizing that today's parents were lacking the essential support, education, and sense of community they sought to do their best, Jill was inspired to co-found Sleepy Planet.  Offering a wide variety of services, Sleepy Planet helps parents of babies, toddlers, and young children with behavioral sleep problems through private consultations, and provides parent education, psychotherapy, and professional presentations on a wide variety of topics, including the transition to parenthood, child development and behavior, sibling rivalry, marital issues, and how to balance work and family. In addition, Jill holds weekly groups for new and second-time mothers to allow parents to share experiences and emotions, ask questions, and support one another through the journey of parenthood. 

Jill is also the co-creator of The Sleepeasy Solution, a book and DVD that show parents how to break difficult sleep habits without breaking their hearts in the process.  She has been featured in a variety of media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Variety and has appeared numerous times on The Today Show. She is also a co-consultant for Pajanimals, a new television project with the Jim Henson Company airing on PBS Kids Sproutthat features four adorable puppets who model for preschoolers, the skills they need to manage the various emotions and issues that they confront in early childhood. 

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