When is a good time to contact you about my baby's sleep?

The best time is before baby arrives! That way you armor yourself with all the knowledge about sleep development, when and how to shape sleep, before you are sleep deprived.

The second best time is prior to six weeks adjusted age.

 

However, if your baby is already here and you are past that time frame, hope is not lost! You can still help your child get the best sleep possible at an early age.

Does this mean I won't have to deal with exhaustion?

Generally no. It depends on each person's situation and individual baby. However, note that it is normal to get little shut eye during those first few weeks. Babies are born with an immature circadian rhythm. This means sleep is unorganized. Thus, their sleep is very unpredictable.

 

However, you can armor yourself with knowledge regarding newborn sleep development so that you can set realistic expectations, know what to implement early on to make the future a little easier, and understand when and how to create the components conducive for sleep. Increasing your chances of reaching better nights of rest sooner rather than later.

Does this mean I can get my newborn sleeping through the night?

That depends what sleeping through the night means to you.

The answer is maybe. Some babies will drop all night feedings by eight weeks on their own. I highly advise that you set yourself up for realistic expectations that this might not be the case. I generally do not see night feedings naturally drop until about six to nine months for babies who are able to independently fall asleep.

Now for some sleeping through the night means an 8-hour stretch. For others it means their child only wakes to feed and is able to sleep the rest of the night. These are absolutely realistic expectations for a newborn who is gaining weight appropriately and is eight weeks or older.

Does this mean I can get my newborn on a schedule?

Maybe. But to set realistic expectations, no. At least not right away. You will see a pattern for your child's wake window, but you won't see a schedule start to form until about sixteen weeks adjusted age. This is often around the time that people refer to as the "4-month sleep regression." However, I like to call this a "sleep leap" as your child's circadian rhythm is maturing with the architecture of the sleep cycles changing. It can take up to about six months adjusted age for a schedule to consistently take place. However, note that you can shape sleep overtime with your newborn, making the unfolding of the schedule more noticeable and possibly occur earlier.

Does this mean I have to leave my newborn to cry?

No. However, it does not mean that your newborn won't make any noises and will never cry. 

Isn't this the same thing as sleep training?

No. Shaping sleep for your newborn provides a gradual approach. Part of that process is becoming attuned to your baby's needs. You provide food when your baby is hungry. Sleep shaping is providing the opportunity for your baby to sleep when tired. By providing your baby with occasional space instead of interfering with the sleep process due to every random noise, you allow your child to practice those sleep skills early on in life.

Will I have to withhold feedings from my baby?

No way, José. We want to make sure your baby is getting the calories needed to survive and thrive. However, part of this process is staying attuned to your baby's needs. It will require that you pay attention to your newborn's feedings and wake windows so that you are not mistaking a hungry baby for a tired baby. This is where understanding sleep development comes in handy!

When is a good time to start sleep training?

 

Once your baby is sixteen weeks (adjusted age) or older.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss my answers, please, feel free to reach out. To chat, book a 15-minute phone call by clicking here.

FAQ

Newborns

When is a good time to contact you about my baby's sleep?

The best time is before baby arrives! That way you armor yourself with all the knowledge about sleep development, when and how to shape sleep, before you are sleep deprived.

The second best time is prior to six weeks adjusted age.

 

However, if your baby is already here and you are past that time frame, hope is not lost! You can still help your child get the best sleep possible at an early age.

Does this mean I won't have to deal with exhaustion?

No, It does not. It depends on each person's situation and individual baby. However, generally the first few weeks are  a hurdle to get through. It is normal to experience little shut eye during that time. Babies are born with an immature circadian rhythm, meaning sleep is unorganized and unpredictable.

 

However, you can armor yourself with knowledge regarding newborn sleep development so that you can set realistic expectations, know what to implement early on to make the future a little easier, and understand when and how to create the components conducive for sleep. Increasing your chances of reaching better nights of rest sooner rather than later.

Does this mean I can get my newborn sleeping through the night?

That depends what sleeping through the night means to you.

The answer is maybe. Some babies will drop all night feedings by eight weeks on their own. I highly advise that you set yourself up for realistic expectations that this might not be the case. I generally do not see night feedings naturally drop until about six to nine months for babies who are able to independently fall asleep.

Now for some sleeping through the night means an 8-hour stretch. For others it means their child only wakes to feed and is able to sleep the rest of the night. These are absolutely realistic expectations for a newborn who is gaining weight appropriately and is eight weeks or older.

Does this mean I can get my newborn on a schedule?

Maybe. But to set realistic expectations, no. At least not right away. You will see a pattern for your child's wake window, but you won't see a schedule start to form until about sixteen weeks adjusted age. This is often around the time that people refer to as the "4-month sleep regression." However, I like to call this a "sleep leap" as your child's circadian rhythm is maturing with the architecture of the sleep cycles changing. It can take up to about six months adjusted age for a schedule to consistently take place. However, note that you can shape sleep overtime with your newborn, making the unfolding of the schedule more noticeable and possibly occur earlier.

Does this mean I have to leave my newborn to cry?

No. However, it does not mean that your newborn won't make any noises and will never cry. 

Isn't this the same thing as sleep training?

No. Shaping sleep for your newborn provides a gradual approach. Part of that process is becoming attuned to your baby's needs. You provide food when your baby is hungry. Sleep shaping is providing the opportunity for your baby to sleep when tired. By providing your baby with occasional space instead of interfering with the sleep process due to every random noise, you allow your child to practice those sleep skills early on in life.

Will I have to withhold feedings from my baby?

No way, José. We want to make sure your baby is getting the calories needed to survive and thrive. However, part of this process is staying attuned to your baby's needs. It will require that you pay attention to your newborn's feedings and wake windows so that you are not mistaking a hungry baby for a tired baby. This is where understanding sleep development comes in handy!

When is a good time to start sleep training?

 

Once your baby is sixteen weeks (adjusted age) or older.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss my answers, please, feel free to reach out. To chat, book a 15-minute phone call by clicking here.

4-Months & Up

When is a good time to sleep train?

Sleep training becomes an option when your child is sixteen weeks adjusted age or older.

Choose a two-week time frame when you will be able to be flexible for your child while improving sleep. This means that you plan to stay at the house to work on naps when needed, won't be distracted by guests or other projects, and won't be vacationing. Basically a time when you don't have a busy schedule.

Does this mean I will be glued to the house forever?

No. Once you sleep train, you will know your child's biological schedule and can make plans to get out of the house and live a normal life around naps and bedtime. However, you will want to continue to preserve nap times and bedtime to help your child continue to be a happy sleeper.

Does this mean I can get my child sleeping through the night?

Yes. That is if you are willing to commit to the proces, your child is developmentally ready, and your child has no underlying medical issues.

I highly suggest speaking to your pediatrician to make sure this is the right option for your child's growth and development. If you are breastfeeding and have a long term goal to do so, discuss this with your pediatrician and IBCLC. We can all work together to bring about healthy sleep while also preserving your milk supply.

Does this mean I have to get rid of all night feedings?

No. You can teach your child to sleep well while still keeping night feedings.  

 

You and I will discuss what option would be best for you and your child. We will take into consideration what your pediatrician and any other professionals suggest is best for your child.

 

Most children will naturally wean from night feedings on their own once they are falling asleep independently. However, if your child is older than one year of age, we will want to drop all night feedings and encourage calorie intake during the day.

When can I expect night feedings to naturally disappear?

I generally see night feedings naturally drop between six and nine months for children able to independently fall asleep and transition between sleep cycles.

Does this mean I can get my child on a schedule?

Yes, if your child is older than six months adjusted age.

 

For children sixteen months adjusted age and older, the circadian rhythm starts to mature and biological times become more prevalent. A schedule will start to develop around this time and become more solidified around six months of age.

Does this mean I have to leave my child to cry?

This will depend on the type of response and involvement you choose. During our consultation, we will discuss all of your options. However, no matter which option you choose, crying to some extent at first is expected as this is change for your child.

 

The key to sleep training, no matter which method you choose, is to be consistent so that your child can adjust as quickly as possible by picking up on the new pattern.  

 

Although crying might occur, it is not long-term. 

Will I get to keep sleeping with my child?

No. However, this does not remove the possibility to room share if this fits into your parenting philosophy and/or current life circumstances.

If sleeping in the same bed as your child is something you want to continue to do, I am not the sleep consultant for you. However, I would be happy to refer you to someone else.

I am obligated as a Certified Child Sleep Consultant to encourage families to follow the safe sleep guidelines from the AAP. Please, note that co-sleeping can mean several things. Co-sleeping but in separate sleeping spaces (also known as room-sharing) is suggested for children one year and younger with it highly recommended for six months and younger. However, bed-sharing is NOT suggested as this highly increases the chances of SIDS and preventable deaths. When working with me, you will be required to sign an agreement that includes a statement that says you agree to follow the AAP's guidelines for safe sleep.

What are the main reasons that sleep training won't work?

Inconsistency.

Interruption from parents being too involved with the sleep process.

A busy schedule that doesn't preserve naps and bedtime.

Napping on the go.

Underlying medical issues, which is why I highly suggest you check with your pediatrician prior to starting sleep training. On my agreement form, you sign a statement confirming this has been done.

After the Stork, LLC

Your CHILD is worth it, your FAMILY is worth it, and YOU are worth it.

megan@afterthestorksleep.com

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