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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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Sleep question. My daughter is currently sleeping from 1

Customer Question

Sleep question.

My daughter is currently sleeping from 1 am to 8 am, thanks God for this. But thing is my friends are telling me I should train her get herself to sleep instead of holding her in our arms to sleep / nursing her to sleep (which both ways me and my husband are using). Can I have your piece of advice? To me I see that she just does not know how to get herself to sleep. She can stay active from past feeding to the next feeding (3.5 hours apart).

Thank you so much. :)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.

earthsister :

Good afternoon, may I be of assistance?

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

Welcome back and thank your for requesting me. You are asking all wonderful questions and there are many different views on sleep training out there and no one way is the right way. It all comes down to personal choice and styles and what works for you and your husband. There are some families that have their children in the beds, there are others who use cry it out, there are some that rock...it becomes a personal choice.

My opinion as a Social Worker and Mom is helping your baby to learn to sleep on their own is a wonderful way. Learning to sleep on your won takes practice and patience on your part. Imagine yourself when you wake up at night feeling a bit restless...wouldn't it be nice if someone would come and rub your back until you fell back asleep? Of course it would...but what happens on the night that the person can't come and rub your back? Most likely you wont sleep. But if that person came in periodically at specific intervals, and gave you some gentle reassurance you might be able to drift back off and then at some point not even need the gentle reassurance.

There are many schools of thought that suggest true sleep training shouldn't begin until 3 months when your baby can go for longer periods without a feeding. Yours is sleeping well for these hours but yes she has gotten used to the rocking and the nursing. Sometimes at this age we just do what we have to do so they can sleep and we can too. It is exhausting and your marathon has just begun.

If you gently want to start some mild training here are my thoughts. Make sure she sleeps in the same place every times she sleeps....no wiggle room there. If it is in a crib in her room then every nap and nighttime sleep should be in the same place. If it is in a bassinet in your room then fine as long as that is where she sleeps every time she sleeps.

She has gotten used to the nursing and the rocking so you can still do this but don't let her fall asleep like that. As you see her get sleepy place her in her crib and give a gentle pat or rub on the back and then walk out of the room. Most likely screaming will ensue, but that is okay, she is not in pain. At this age because she is so young, I wouldn't wait for more than 3 minutes before you return for another pat or gentle rub. The 3 minutes will feel like 3 hours because it is agony for YOU. She is doing what she is supposed to so no worries. Repeat this over and over without deviation and every few nights you can extend the time before going back in by one minute.

It isn't easy but it can be done and we have all survived. I did it and it was excruciating...but that brings up a another point. If there is one of you who can tough out the screaming a bit better then that is the one who should handle it all. My 3 year olds sleep through the night from 7-7 and have been since they were 5 months old.

Remember she is still young but you can gently start to encourage her to sleep on her own. And don't forget the old adage....'anyone who has said they slept like a baby has never had one.' :-)

I know that you requested me directly and I am glad to respond. Please write for Jen when responding. I look forward to hearing back.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.
Please excuse me for intervening, I did not know there was a specific request on this question. I only saw it available through my email, and when I pressed the link, I was opened to the chat. I ask that you do not accept my previous question, as I failed to exclude the "ACCEPT" button, seeing that I was only making an introduction. I hope everything works out for you. If you would like any additional insight, from the point of view of a mother of twin breastfed girls, please let me know. Thank you.
earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience: Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
earthsister and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the confusions, I didn't know this would end up in the open discussion section. I was actually on a conversation thread with Jennifer on parenting questions, the sleeping question is a continuation new topic. I thought opening this new topic in the textbox under Jennifer's profile would go direct to Jennifer only, but turns out not. :(

Anyways thank you earthsister so much for helping! :-)

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
I am here. I am so sorry...it is not your fault that there is confusion. The above expert came in before realizing that you had requested me and stepped out with grace once she realized.

So I am here....and since there are a few in the mix, just write for CoachJenK and I will get it.

To clarify a bit further...if you request me...I have a certain amount of time to respond, so if I am not at my computer in my office then after a few minutes the question becomes open to others. If you are desirous of only working with me all you need to do is let them know you are waiting for me to respond. I am usually close by and it rarely takes more than a half hour to respond even if it is to tell you when I will be available if I am not at that exact moment. Hope that all makes sense.

So always put my name at the beginning so it is clear you want me and if the question becomes open and you want to wait for me then just let the other expert know that. I should also say that if you and I are in a chat and another expert comes in, the chat ends and the only way to get back to chat is by you starting a new question with my name at the beginning. I hope all of that makes sense. Please only click accept or provide feedback when you are satisfied with an answer that has been given to your question.

Please do not click accept on this current response from me...you have already paid me. Thank you and thank you for the lovely feedback. I am here always.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is for Jennifer (CoachJenK).
=================================

Thank you so much for helping me even on how to use this site. You're always so helpful! Just hope I didn't cause any one of you confusions or trouble.

Thank you you really encouraged me to try gently training her now. Thanks for telling me I should train her in the same sleeping place.. cos I usually move her around.
Yes I'm going to try your advice! :)

One thing i want to ask further : She usually stays awake and alive after feedings, and can "play" by herself for over 1.5 hour in bed. After this long time she will start crying. Should I wait until she start crying, or should I go straight to the rocking/nursing a little bit first, make her feel sleepy, then put her to the bed and start the training? What are some of your thoughts? Thanks so much really!

Btw, I'm bit confused on when to click the "Accept Answer". So now I should click on "Reply to Expert", is that right? And the thread can end without a "final" accept answer, is that right?
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
No worries. You haven't caused any issues whatsoever. Yes, you click reply to expert so that I can read your response and when you are satisfied with an answer I give then you click accept and I am paid. I asked you not to accept the above answer because you shouldn't pay for the confusion that existed. But moving forward, when we work together and you are satisfied then you click accept. It is always voluntary.

You bring up another great question....she may not be ready to sleep after the feeding so I am wondering if you begin to move the feeding a little earlier and then get her into a nighttime routine and doing the same thing every night so that she begins to learn that this is the routine and you are preparing her for sleep. The fact that she can play on her own like that is great. She then cries because she is tired and she has gotten used to you rocking and then possibly nursing her until she falls off.

So even though she is young I would still suggest getting into the same routine night after night....same times for everything, bath, feeding, singing etc.

She is going to bed late now an I would try to get that earlier...and you can do that by every few nights moving it up by 15 minutes. Yes she might get up a bit earlier but we want her system to start to get used to night and day.

So for example, 8pm....play time....read a book, play with mobile....bath time, feeding, burping, cuddling, rocking singing...diaper change. swaddle her. place her in crib....rub her back for a brief few moments. Mommy loves you. Leave the room.

If she cries go back in 3 minutes...pat her, mommy loves you and leave the room.
Give her that reassurance that you are there and she can do it. Its up to you, but if you pick her up she will learn that crying in her crib gets you to pick her up, but if you just come in for a minute with a loving pat and a reassuring sentence she learns you are there, you respond to her needs but it is now time to sleep.

She is learning safety in the world by this and also safety with you and also reliance on herself to be able to do it. Remember she will cry...this is new for all of you. Routine routine...did I say routine? :-) Babies and children thrive on it and come to rely on it and that is what helps them to feel safe and secure as they don't need to guess what is coming next.

As you know mine are 3 and I still dont deviate...dinner, bath, books, bed. They only get up if they aren't feeling well. Otherwise nitey nite and it's mommy time! :-)
And yes, smae place for sleep no matter when. Imagine you had to sleep somewhere different each time? You probably wouldn't sleep as well. Routine, routine, routine. Did I say routine? Oh yes, I did AGAIN. Get my drift?

Again I am always here and I enjoy working with you so please ask away. You will also learn that once you think youve got it, she will enter a new phase and you will be guessing once again. you are not alone. and for you? Get sleep when you can and do things for yourself too. That makes us all better Mommies.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

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