Friday, April 17, 2015

What's with the 4 month sleep Regression?!

 Many babies increase their waking at night around the 4 the month.  They seem more distracted and sleep goes out the window.
There is tons of brain development going on in their little head. 
The vision changes. Your baby can now see farther away and with all the added detail to her world,  she is more perceptive and therefore more distracted.  
Sleep falls apart and naps are hard to get and often feeding is harder as she is more easily distracted.  
This is when the baby is ready to lean sleep skills. Previous to this, sleep is innate. Either she can do it or she can’t. Sleep self soothing is a learned skill. This skill enables her to relax and organize  her body to sleep when she is tired and it also helps her to better manage her emotions when in stressful situations. This doesn't mean you have to jump into sleep coaching, many parents wait until after 6 months, hoping it will get better all on it's own.  Sometimes it does.  It's all about temperament.
Many parents tell me their child’s temper tantrums stop and their child is more even tempered once they are able to sleep without a sleep crutch. So, your child is reaching this time. It’s very exciting and frustrating at the same time. If you want to do sleep training, it’s still a good idea to wait until 6 months if you are going to follow a book. If you need better sleep now, that’s where I can help. To do something gentle like I do, your baby still needs to be at least 18 weeks old and at least 2 weeks into the more distracted phase of the 4 month sleep regression and you would want to maintain appropriate night feedings as part of your plan. 
Until you have a plan in place that you feel confident in and can be consistent about, keep doing what ever crutch gets you both as much sleep as possible. Swings, nursing, co-sleeping, rocking etc. these are blessings until you are ready for change. Please check out my website and read the success stories of parents going through what you are going through.  I have recommended books and a blog on there too. 
I wish someone has explained it to me when my babies were that age.

For sleep consultations, visit
Tracy Spackman is a certified gentle sleep coach. That means she will teach you how to help your child sleep through the night without doing Cry It Out.
Free 15 min sleep assessments. Call 602-524-7610

Monday, April 13, 2015

What age can you send kids to put themselves to sleep?

It's always a good idea to take your kids to bed instead of sending your kids to bed. 

I was able to make the switch by the time my older children were at the age 10 or 11 years old. Before that, bringing them to bed was the beginning part of some sweet family rituals that prepare them for life success.

For my 2 youngest boys, I helped them brush their teeth and then we moved on to me reminding them to brush their teeth.  I started reading them stories and now, after tucking them in, they read for a short while until it's lights out time.  If I try sending them to bed, they just play, fool around and make a mess. 

I remember an episode of Super Nanny I happen to see and she told that mom she was not helping the situation. The program showed a video of the mom yelling at the kids to go to bed while she watched TV. Over and over again. Of course the kids didn't listen. Super Nanny suggested she "take" them to bed instead. It's a great suggestion for all of us.

Check ups will still be needed after you pass this milestone but it really is fantastic to send them to bed when they are old enough to do it all themselves but it comes after many years of doing it together.

Tracy Spackman is a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach in Phoenix Arizona.  Join her Gentle Sleep Support Facebook Group Called "Sleep Sister-Get Quiet Nights"

Tracy Spackman

Certified Gentle Sleep Coach