Comforting a fussy baby back to sleep

Sleep Expert Jill Spivack, LCSW, shares advice for parents on the best method for comforting your fussy baby back to sleep
Comforting a Fussy Baby Back to Sleep
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Comforting a fussy baby back to sleep

When babies are fussing at night, I think one of our instincts is to just rush in and feed them as quickly as possible. I know that I was such a boob mom for a while and I would try to just feed, feed, feed. It was just always hunger. But the truth is that a lot of times babies are waking not because they are hungry but because they need to be helped in resettling. And so that sometimes can be done with a pacifier, with putting that in for them if they are little. It can sometimes be done with swaddling or reswaddling them. It can sometimes be done with some motion or sitting on a bouncy ball and going up and down like this. There are a lot of different ways to sort of run in and try other things before you ultimately feed. And if you can hold back a little bit, then maybe your child will not be tanking up all night long, but just at certain key times when they really do need to be fed.

Sleep Expert Jill Spivack, LCSW, shares advice for parents on the best method for comforting your fussy baby back to sleep


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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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