When you don't want to lay with your child until they sleep

Watch Video: When you don't want to lay with your child until they sleep by Kim West, LCSW-C, ...
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When you don't want to lay with your child until they sleep

Let's say you've been lying with your 5-year old for several years at bedtime, and every time maybe even when they wake up in the middle of the night, and you've just had it. You just don't want to lie with them anymore. Because lots of times it takes longer and longer for them to go to sleep and you're just losing your patience. I don't think it's necessarily really fair to just say, that's it. I'm done. Good luck. I think you can try it, but I think you'll have more struggle with your child. I would recommend that you have a family meeting. And you have to say, today mommy talked to the sleep lady. You can blame it on me. It works really well. And she told me that I can teach you to put yourself to sleep without lying down with you so that you can learn how to put yourself to sleep and sleep all night long in your cozy bed. So I'm going to stay with you while you learn. So I would tell you to make a sleep manner chart. Maybe cooperates at bedtime. Lies quietly in bed. Stays in bed all night long until the wake up light or alarm clock or whatever it is that you do in your family to get ready to get up and go to school. And then I'm going to go to my room once you're asleep. So again I would start on a night when you're well rested and you have a good bedtime routine, not 10 o'clock at night. And you go over the sleep manners. And this time you sit up next to their bed instead of lie down. So you have your bedtime routine. And you say, I love you honey. Remember our sleep manners? Mommy's going to sit here. So we're all done rubbing back, hair twirling, whatever our sleep crutch was, and I'm going to stay here until you go to sleep. So not a lot of dialogue. Maybe just a little shush. It's okay. I'm right here. Until they're asleep. And then you do that every single night for 3 nights. And then you continue to move your chair out of the room until they've completely incorporated the skill and they can do it independently, which should easily happen within 7-10 nights.

Watch Video: When you don't want to lay with your child until they sleep by Kim West, LCSW-C, ...


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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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