The importance of self-soothing

Watch Jill Spivack, LCSW's video on The importance of self-soothing...
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The importance of self-soothing

It is so important for children to learn how to self-soothe. Ultimately, if they don't learn how to self-soothe, they have to rely on someone externally to help get back to sleep. Children go through deep and light phases of a sleep a night. They go into three to five light phases of sleep, where they wake up partially, they check their environment, and if all is well, and everything is the same and they know how to self-soothe; they put themselves back to sleep. For children who wake up three to five times a night to check their environment and go, "I'm awake and I don't know how to put myself back to sleep." They are helpless. They don't know what to do to get back to sleep, so they signal. They signal somebody externally, mom or dad or whoever is there. "Help. I'm awake. I want to go back to sleep and I don't know how. Get in here right now." It creates a really helpless situation to be in. Over time, to be a good sleeper, you have to be able to relax yourself at night without a lot of assistance.

Watch Jill Spivack, LCSW's video on The importance of self-soothing...


Expert Bio

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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. 

More Parenting Videos from Jill Spivack, LCSW >
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