Sleep Training Methods

Sleep Expert Kim West, Child Psychiatrist Joshua Sparrow and Pediatrician Robert Hamilton talk about different sleep training methods.
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Sleep Training Methods

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- So I'm asked all the time, "So, Kim, what is the most successful sleep training methods 'cause that's the one we want to do". And if you look at the science, the science says, it's extinction. Put the baby in awake. Leave the room. They'll cry, of course. Don't go in all night long. The problem with that, is well, sometimes it doesn't work. Number one, but the primary problem with that, is that most of the parents that I work with can't do it. It breaks their heart. And so they go in, and they start being inconsistent. And they cause more problems. So if that's the case, that the key is to be consistent, then I'd rather teach parents how to do that. So the real answer is that you have to pick the sleep coaching method that is the right match for your child's temperament and your values, and i.e., the one you can follow through with consistently. And that will be your key to success.

- These days, so many parents are worried about getting their babies to sleep. And I think one of the reasons is that so many parents are away all day, and don't get enough time with their babies. And so even though they're tired, and they want their baby to sleep so they can go to sleep, sometimes they probably also want the baby to stay awake, so that they can have more time with the baby. And when that happens, we end up stimulating the baby more. We end up engaging in more exciting kinds of play 'cause we're having so much fun, finally, to get a little bit of time with the baby. So what helps are routines and rituals that the baby comes to expect, that are quiet and calming and settling and soothing. Good night rituals, good night stories, with soft voices and dim lights that really signals to the baby: This is the time when we relax and get ready to go to sleep.

- At five months of age, I tell mothers, is that you need to get your child to go to bed awake. And what I mean by that is you go through your whole nighttime routine. You bathe them. You feed them. You change them. You sing to them. Reading to children, the rhythm of your voice, the sound of your voice, you pray with them. You do the whole ritual, if you will, of an evening. And you turn it all down. You turn the lights down, and you have that wonderful, tender moment with your baby. But before they actually fall dead asleep in your arms, you put the baby down. You depart the room. It may be your bedroom. But you go out in the living room, or whatever. They're gonna cry. They're gonna cry, and I let a five-month-old baby cry for three minutes, maybe five minutes. Short time. So I tell my moms, "I know other people would disagree. That's fine". I say, "Pick up your baby. Hold your baby. Comfort them. Calm them down again". And it may take awhile. It may take another five, ten minutes to kind of bring them to that quiet state again, where you can then, again, before they fall asleep in your arms, okay? You, again, put them into the crib. Again they are cognizant. They're not ready alert. But they're aware of the fact that they're going to bed. They may cry again. I'd let them cry three to five minutes, three times in a row. Three to five. Three to five. Three to five. Then I extend it to seven to 10. Okay? Same evening, okay? But we're training now, okay? Do that three times in a row. Then I go 12 to 15 thereafter. By four to five days, look, children are very bright. They figure it out very quickly. And if you tell them, "You know what, honey? We love you with all of our heart, but we're gonna teach you how to go to sleep". You know what? They figure it out.


Sleep Expert Kim West, Child Psychiatrist Joshua Sparrow and Pediatrician Robert Hamilton talk about different sleep training methods.

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