As a sleep deprived new mom, I remember trying so many different things to get my boys to sleep better and longer. Some things worked fantastically – like swaddling! – but others, not so much – like sleep training. I 100% failed at that! While learning through trial and error is a huge part of parenting, it no longer has to be for getting your baby to sleep.
We are thrilled to introduce Nicole Johnson, the lead Sleep Consultant and owner of The Baby Sleep Site ® who shares her expertise with our Cocommunity. Today’s blog is a gift to all new parents who are looking for some practical advice around helping their baby sleep soundly.
Introducing Nicole Johnson -
Lead Sleep Consultant & Owner of The Baby Sleep SiteⓇ
Hi Nicole! I’m so excited to be featuring someone with your experience on the subject of baby sleeping in our blog. I know our readers will soak in every bit of advice you have to offer!
Question: Could you tell us a little about The Baby Sleep SiteⓇ?
Answer: The Baby Sleep Site® was founded in 2008 as a website to learn more about your baby’s sleep, toddler sleep, feeding and sleep schedules, sleep coaching, baby temperament, and more. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work with every baby so you can consider us an extension of your village. The Baby Sleep Site now enjoys over 1,000,000 visitors each month with over 300 articles about baby sleep, numerous e-Books, and sleep consultation services during which we work one-on-one with individual families to find the right solution for their unique situation and parenting philosophy.
Question: What exactly is a Sleep Consultant?
Answer: A sleep consultant is a professional who works personally with a family to come up with a solution to solve their immediate sleep problems and promote long-term healthy sleep habits. Sometimes you are too close to your situation, too exhausted, or lack enough experience to solve your own sleep problems. A sleep consultant can draw on years of experience with hundreds and thousands of families before yours, something a friend or family member does not have. Working with a sleep consultant is often the fastest path to a better night’s sleep since we live and breathe this daily.
One of our core products at Coco Moon are our baby swaddles. Months of research went into creating the perfect baby swaddle combining beautiful design with the right fabric and sizing. We wanted our swaddles to be as much a keepsake as a functional essential helping parents calm their newborns.
Question: Nicole, would you share your views on swaddling with us?
Answer: The Coco Moon swaddles indeed have very unique and beautiful designs! At The Baby Sleep Site® we are big proponents of swaddling. We see it time again that swaddling helps newborns and younger babies sleep much better (and longer) when their moro reflex is still strong. Since swaddling mimics the cozy feeling of the womb, it’s the next best thing to give your baby the feelings of security so he or she can sleep soundly.Question: As a Mom of two I know first hand how hard it can be to establish a sleep pattern for a baby! So many people offer advice, but research tells us each baby is different and there is no ‘one size fit’s all approach’ to establishing a baby sleep pattern. What are your thoughts around this?
Answer: I couldn’t agree more! No two babies are alike, not even identical twins in my experience! I can’t tell you how many moms have come to me with their second, third, or even fourth child who has sleep challenges. It is very important to find a unique solution for each individual baby. Not all babies need the same amount of sleep, can stay awake for the same amount of time, or stop feeding at night at the same age. We strive to find the right approach, schedule, and strategy for each baby.
Question: We have a wonderful parenting community at Coco Moon and we often hear from sleep deprived parents who are still waking a few times a night for their toddler. Could you offer our tired parents your top 3 tips for getting their baby to sleep through the night?
Answer: I would love to! My top 3 tips to help your baby sleep through the night are the following:
- Be cautious about the schedule because overtired babies tend to have more trouble falling asleep, wake more often, and wake earlier the next day. Our bodies release hormones to fight fatigue and give us a “second wind.” Avoid that by adhering to an age-appropriate schedule though it doesn’t have to be strict. In fact, some babies aren’t ready for a clock schedule until 6 months old or older.
- Start a bedtime routine early. A consistent routine will set the stage for sleep and help your baby relax when sleep is on the horizon. When your baby knows what to expect, he or she will be able to fall asleep faster and easier.
- Soothe your baby until he or she is drowsy and try to put the baby down a little awake. Although it might not work perfectly every time, if you try this enough, your baby may be able to learn how to fall asleep more independently and sleep in longer stretches at night and take longer naps. Always remember, you fall on your bottom many times before you learn to walk. That doesn’t mean you aren’t learning skills you need to be successful one day!
Question: I’ve heard so many wonderful things about your sleep plans, would you tell us a little about your popular Express Sleep PlanⓇ?
Answer: Sure! Our Express Sleep Plan® is a budget-friendly custom sleep plan created for your baby based on a short survey you complete. This is an automated product, so it’s not quite the same as working with a sleep consultant, but if you need a plan to follow, it can be a great tool in your toolbox! Our Express Sleep Plan is based on my experience as a sleep consultant of over 10 years and will guide you based on the answers you provide the program. If you need additional help or have questions, we are only a click away!
Question: Your website offers some amazing free resources for parents who need support to help their baby sleep. For parents with newborns, which of your ebook’s would you recommend they first read?
Answer: Yes, our core mission is to help as many parents we can and not everyone will need or want help from a professional. After all, some babies are naturally good sleepers! So, yes, we have a lot of free resources because we can’t possibly help a million people personally each month! ☺ The free e-Book I recommend for parents who are expecting or have a newborn is called 15 Baby Sleep Facts New Parents Need To Know. It is a great start to understanding how your newborn sleeps and what he or she needs to become a good sleeper.
Nicole, thank you so much for sharing your sleeping insights with us. I know the expertise you have shared will be so valuable for our parenting community!
You’re very welcome! And, thank you for asking such great questions. We are here for you and your community every step of the way!
Is your baby having trouble sleeping? I recommend you visit The Baby Sleep SiteⓇ for some wonderful sleeping tips and free resources. I know you will love it as much as I do!