Ten steps to take before sleep training

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Ten steps to take before sleep training

So a lot of times parents will call me and say, you know what? We started last night sleep coaching our child at 2 in the morning. And I'm always like, ah! No. There are some steps I want you to do before you start sleep coaching that will make you more successful. And here they are. So first I want you to talk to your pediatrician. I want your pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical conditions that my be causing your child problems going to sleep and problems staying asleep. I also would ideally like you to keep a couple of days of logs so that you can get a feel for around when do they nap, how long do they nap, what time do they usually go to bed, when do they usually wake up, particularly if they're not with you al day. So we want to have a good sense of that. And then if their wake up time is all over the clock, which I definitely see this. Sometimes they sleep until 6 and they start their day. Sometimes 9 a.m. they start their day. And you want to regulate it. Somewhere between 6 and 7:30, so we have a good sense of our 24 hour schedule that we're going to build. I want to make sure everybody's on the same page. Caregivers, whoever's with our children weekends, nights, during the day, that everybody's together. And I really want the plan made during the day, not in the middle of the night. And then I want you to be prepped and have a great day of naps on our big day so that we can have a well-rested child when we're facing bed time. And then finally, I really want you ideally to dedicate 3 weeks in your schedule where there's not traveling, super late nights, big events and holidays that are going to interfere with our sleep coaching success. So once we have all of those things done, then we can put a great realistic date on the calendar and get started.

See Kim West, LCSW-C's video on Ten steps to take before sleep training...


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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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