Differences when sleep coaching an adopted baby

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Differences when sleep coaching an adopted baby

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When you have an adopted baby that you want to sleep coach, here are some things that I'd like you to consider. Number one, I'd really like you to have enough time with your baby so you really feel attached. So it might not be right away. It might even be 6 months to a year after you've adopted it. A lot of it depends on how old the baby was when you adopted. And then you also want to make sure of course that all underlying medical conditions if there are any have been ruled out, are treated. Sometimes adopted babies have to have other kinds of therapies. And so we want to have the team that might be working with that child and you as a family all in sync and ready to go in saying, yep, this baby is ready. The attachment is strong between parent and child and we can begin a sleep coaching process. And I really feel strongly about this population being gently sleep coached, not cry it out. I really don't even recommend graduated extinction. I think it's much better to do something gradual where you stay with them, offering physical and verbal reassurance and then you slow move out over time to support that attachment.

Watch Kim West, LCSW-C's video on Differences when sleep coaching an adopted baby...

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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