Sleeping after nursing transition

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Sleeping after nursing transition

So let's say your 7-month old baby, you've been nursing and holding to sleep, and it's always gone pretty well to just sneak her into the crib and she sleeps nicely throughout the night. And all of a sudden now you notice that when you're doing that she starts to wake up. That's actually quite common. I always think that the child is really learning. Oh my gosh. I know what you're going to do. You're going to get me nice and drowsy and almost asleep and then you're going to put me down. And I don't know what to do. I don't know how to put myself to sleep when you put me down. So really that's a signal to you that you need to teach your child how to put themselves to sleep. So you can no longer rock them to sleep, which is kind of sad. And you can start off by having your nice routine, but not tricking them into thinking oh I'm going to get you almost there and then put you in the crib. So maybe you'll have the lights on. You'll have either bottle or breast feeding. You could even do a short song, a story, depending on the age of your baby. And then kisses, lights off. And into the crib. Awake enough so that they know they're being put in there, and they're not being tricked. And then you can either stay with them, which is usually what I recommend, and offer physical and verbal reassurance until they're asleep. And then you leave the room. And then slowly over time you do less and less and you begin to move out of the room to the point where your child knows how to put themselves to sleep.

See Kim West, LCSW-C's video on Sleeping after nursing transition...


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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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