Amount of crying during sleep training

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Amount of crying during sleep training

I find that there's a couple of factors that affect the amount of crying that a baby does during sleep coaching. The first one is age, which makes sense. So the older the child, the more capable they are of sort of fighting the new plan and the more likely they are to cry more, and of course, have words if they're older children. The other one is how inconsistent you've been as a parent. SO if you've tried to sleep coach your child multiple times and you've been sort of all over the place in your approach, you're going to see more crying; that just naturally happens because it's like your child saying, "Oh my gosh, what are we doing now and how do we go back to that other thing we used to do?" And so you'll see more crying. I actually call it shrieking; they tend to shriek when a parent has been really inconsistent, which again happens when we're tired and desperate. The third thing that I find affects crying is temperament, which makes sense, right? So there's some kids who just kind of dig their feet in, I call them alert children. They tend to be linked to a slightly higher IQ, they tend to reach physical milestones earlier and they tend to have trouble shutting the world out in order to go to sleep. Not because they don't need more sleep, but they just have a harder time going to sleep. And they tend to know what they want, when they want it, and they're willing to hold out until they get it. So those are kids where you have to be on your toes as a parent and really consistent once you get started, and then I find that they're great sleepers. You just have to get through that initial really tough spot. So those are what affects crying.

Watch Kim West, LCSW-C's video on Amount of crying during 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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