Christine Lawler is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, mother of three (soon to be four!), lover of sleep, and founder of The Peaceful Sleeper, a sleep consulting company. She started The Peaceful Sleeper for two main reasons: she recognizes how critically important sleep is in all aspects of life, and she believes that many parents are under-informed or feel unnecessary guilt when it comes to sleep training and sleep coaching your baby. Chrissy has been practicing therapy for 10 years now, and slowly started to realize that sleep issues were a common thread among all of her clients. So, she got some additional training in advanced sleep medicine and learned that many of the mental health challenges parents and their children face today stem from inadequate sleep.
After having babies herself, Chrissy realized that she functioned 1,000x better when she had slept. Chrissy read every book she could get her hands on about sleep training and realized that, though there are differences with every baby, there are a lot of universal truths about getting babies to sleep well and there are about a million reasons why it’s important that they do so. Her goal as a sleep consultant is to take the stress out of sleep training and get everyone in the family a good night’s rest!
If you have questions on how you can start to sleep train your baby, you’re in luck! Christine has answered some of our questions on sleep training and how your baby can get a good night’s sleep!
Crane- What is the best way to keep a baby sleeping through the night? Is it possible?
Christine- Yes! It’s totally possible. Optimizing daytime sleep, preventing over-tiredness, ensuring good, full feedings, and teaching baby to initiate sleep independently are huge pieces of the puzzle.
Crane- What is the ideal set-up for a baby’s sleep area?
Christine- Quiet, dark rooms are best. I recommend using white noise and blackout curtains to eliminate disturbances that could wake them from naps, and transition babies to their own room when they’re ready.
Crane- Do you recommend for parents to check on their baby during the night?
Christine- Get a good quality video monitor. There’s no need to go in and check on them, but having the ability to see and hear if there are any problems is definitely a good thing. Always keep the crib clear of any blankets or objects, and if you want to practice extra precautions, there are oxygen monitors you can put on their feet or mattress pads that can alert you of any problems. (However, I hear these devices can be glitchy and cause parents unnecessary moments of panic)
Crane- How many hours of sleep should a newborn be getting?
Christine- About 16-20 hours a day
Crane- What is a trick you have used that helps a baby fall back to sleep?
Christine- I love the eyebrow stroke! Gently trace their eyebrows with your finger or start at their hairline and go down to the bottom of their nose gently. It’s relaxing and encourages their eyes to close.
Crane- When the baby sleeps, even in the middle of the day, should the parents try to sleep too?
Christine- That’s great advice for first-time moms with tiny newborns. Unfortunately, once you have a toddler at home too, there’s no “sleeping when the baby sleeps”. But if you can catch a nap that first month or two when your nights are so disrupted, then do it!!
Crane- How often should a newborn eat throughout the night?
Christine- Generally brand new babies eat every 3-4 hours at night. After the first month hopefully those stretches of sleep are closer to 5-6 hours
Crane- Is there a correct way to swaddle your baby for sleeping?
Christine- Yes! Check out my swaddle tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrLODgo_JdY
Crane- Should new parents be tracking their baby’s sleep schedule?
Christine- Yes, mostly to learn patterns and make sure baby isn’t getting over-tired.
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