After working with hundreds of families all over the world there are plenty of stories I’ve collected! Stories of sleep success, amazing growth spurts, marriages re-connected…but also stories of stubborn parents!! I mean, it’s true. Working with tired parents is…hard! Making change is…hard! And to help you see the BEST sleep success, I have to let you know how to avoid poor sleep!!
This week I’m sharing the 10 Things My Clients Try To Hide From Me. (Juicy title, right?!) So with open arms and ears…let’s dive in!
About 4 months into your baby’s life, you have totally gone past the honeymoon phase and you are working hard with your baby. I have this photo of Chad holding our oldest daughter Ellie around this time. I remember this exact moment so vividly. Her face was just sheer exhaustion, and Chad’s holding her on his shoulder and her face is looking up at me so helpless and exhausted. I remember she was crying for hours and hours on end, and what I didn’t realize was that she should have been asleep. Chad and I took turns guessing what was wrong…and I don’t have to tell you that a crying baby brings SO much stress to a couple. I shouldn’t have been trying to make her happy, or trying to feed her, she just was purely exhausted. I realize, looking back, that our marriage was suffering because we were completely in disagreement about what should happen.
This is what’s happening with my clients. I come into a home and they are very quick to admit that yes, their child needs sleep, we need help, we need change, our marriage is suffering.
But what they aren’t sharing with me is what happens at 2 AM.
At 2 AM Mom and Dad are at total odds.
Dad maybe wants to take a more aggressive approach to sleep training and mom wants to try something softer. Mom was going to try and power through alone based off a blog she read, but dad wanted to be more involved… so here we are at 2 AM with mixed solutions and mixed effects of sleep training.
The problem is, when mom and dad are on different pages, everything is inconsistent.
It’s not fair or helpful to your child.
The weird thing is, sleep is the most consistent thing in your life. You’re going to sleep from when you’re born to the end of your life. Don’t you think we need to get a consistent approach to resolving it? Otherwise, I guarantee you’re never going to see results by doing things differently.
The second thing my clients hide from me is that they don’t have any tolerance for listening to their baby cry. Let’s be real, nobody likes to hear their child cry. Nobody likes to hear a newborn baby being upset and nobody likes to hear your 5 year old crying and whining.
But, I’m willing to bet that you also would like a good night sleep. Surprisingly, this is the second thing my clients try to hide from me: Their ability to handle crying.
So, let me invite you into the beginning of pretty much every call I have with a family.
They open up with saying, “Becca, I will do anything to get my kid to sleep.” But ironically, they are the ones crying for help. Mentally, mom and dad are ready for the change, but physically and emotionally they are dealing with a lot of protest in the moment, and that always holds them back.
Why is that? Well, because it’s a new experience. No one explained to you why this crying is happening, and you were not really taught and given the tools on how to manage it.
So, let’s be real. Crying is something nobody enjoys. Nobody likes to hear their baby be upset. You should not experience night, after night, after night of crying.
I tell my families they have a decision to make:
“Do you want to endure relentless crying night, after night, after night as you go through trial and error with no action plan?
Or do you want make progress with limited and controlled protest and gain the confidence and power to get through a knowledgeable plan and support?”
Because if that’s so, your child will sleep well.
If my clients didn’t work with me or they didn’t take my newborn course, there are a lot of exhausting habits that mom and dad are going to have to change. And when you change habits…your child notices, and protests!
So, it doesn’t matter if you are one day old, or seven years old, nobody likes change. And pretty much everyone expresses change by crying.
Moms and dads honestly are both equally guilty of this. They hide their fear of crying from me making really sure that they’ve got a game face on. They are ready to go! But I typically get clued in on night 3 or 5 of the plan… and they confess that you know what, one of us just really cannot handle this.
Honestly, when I go into someone’s home that’s when they really open up and share that either Mom or Dad can’t handle crying. But you know what? The dads quickly have become my biggest advocate of a sleeping baby. Why?
Because dad is so ready to spend time with his wife again. When you realize that you get to have time together every night…that’s what makes it worth it. And knowing that you get to enjoy your baby the next morning because they are sleeping well.
This is one that I am most passionate about speaking truth into!!!
After 4 months old, your baby does not need a pacifier anymore.
I know! Ah! Shock and horror! Because we see 3-year-olds walking around with pacifiers, and it kind of becomes this cultural norm… but it really shouldn’t be. There are two big reasons I like to ditch the pacifier after 4 months old:
Causes Broken Sleep: If you’ve been using the “scatter technique” you know this truth!! This is a technique where you take pacifiers and sprinkle them and scatter them all over the crib in hopes that your baby will wake up, grab one, pop it back in its mouth, and go back to sleep. That’s not really happening. Let’s be honest. You’re rushing down the hall to plug that pacifier back into your baby’s mouth before they start crying! Now everyone is getting broken sleep! Broken sleep simply means the natural sleep cycles that are supposed to be all connected and flow together are being broken by these paci runs! We only get the fullest benefits from sleep when we have a full, unbroken night of rest.
Speech Delay: Babies are going to make noises. They are going to be whiny. They are going to cry. Things are going to happen, and we can’t continue to plug them up! I am a huge advocate of having a voice and that starts…when you’re 4 months old! You can find MORE about the Speech Delay here!!
Did this surprise you?! I know! It’s the #1 registered item and it’s also the #1 product when you search for “how to get my baby to sleep”. So, let me just save you parents a whole lot of misery by saying… please avoid the Rock ‘n Play!! First- let’s look at the name.
Is it called the Rock ‘n Sleep?
No. It’s called the Rock ‘n Play.
It’s actually not meant for a full night’s sleep or really for a nap solution, but of course, it is the #1 product that I find that newborn parents and even 4-month-old parents are relying on to get a good stretch of sleep in.
Now, I completely understand! It’s all the reasons that I don’t like the Rock ‘n Play is the reason that your baby likes the Rock ‘n Play. The way that it cradles your baby, it makes them feel like they are being held, which of course means that you don’t have to hold them all the time! But because of this, it actually is now known for the torticollis syndrome. (SEE LINK HERE) So I really need to make sure that your baby can move, can get comfortable, and can actually start to move and manipulate his or her body to find self-soothing tactics. That’s where things begin. And we don’t want to make your baby feel constrained or feel like they can’t start to become self-soothers and independent sleepers!
Okay, if you thought these 4 things my clients hide from me were good, ya’ll you’ve got to get the entire list, 10 things my clients try to hide when we’re working together.
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