I love my clients.
I love chatting with them, love their successes, love seeing pictures of their babies, love hearing from them again down the line.
I love how dedicated they are - to themselves, to their children, to their families.
I love how they want to GET. THINGS. RIGHT.
And that's why I know it's so frustrating when, sometimes, I just give a "fuzzy" answer to their questions. "Well, it depends..." or sometimes a straight-out, "I can't answer that for you."
But the thing is this - You are the expert on your baby. I've got loads of experience behind me and have worked with more children than you'll ever have - and more children than all your children combined will have! - so I've seen quite a lot. But I don't know your baby and your family half as well as you do. Or even a quarter as well as you do.
So here are some questions you're going to have to answer for me:
Now. Last week. Tomorrow. Next month. I don't know!
Personally, I love starting right from the get-go. The KinderWink Method for Newborns (what I do with my prenatal and postpartum clients) has been molded and modified and refined from working with client after client. The more families I worked with, the more I learned about how to make the newborn stage as smooth and successful (sleep-wise and other-wise) as possible.
The babies I work with are calmer during the newborn period, and also know how to put themselves to sleep, making both days and nights easier.
But it's still a lot of work. Especially in the beginning.
Some moms will prefer to just wing it for the newborn stage and then "sleep train" once the newborn stage is over. Some prefer to co-sleep for the first 3, 6, 12 months, and then master independent sleep. Some don't have the option of doing anything till months or years down the line.
Bottom line: what will work best for you and your family?
Never. At birth. 8 weeks. 6 months. 1 year. I don't know!
The AAP recommends 6-12 months of room-sharing. But I know loads of people that that doesn't work for. Some of my clients have their babies in their own bedrooms from birth. Some of my clients have 8 month olds and nowhere else to put them.
When it works for you to move them out, move them out.
If you're planning to move them out during the newborn stage, 6-8 weeks is what I recommend for my clients. It's that sweet spot where you're not waking as many times a night any more (most 6-8 weekers that I work with are down to about 1-2 nighttime wakings), but they're not aware enough to realize that they're moving to a new room.
I was planning to move my baby out then, but loved having him in my room too much. I was waking when he woke up and would make little mouthing noises and movements - before he'd even cry! - and loved it. So I kept him in till he was 3 months old. When he woke just from me walking into the room.
Boy did I regret it! He was so much more aware already, and he gave quite some protest at being moved into a different sleeping place (you can bet he knew what was going on!)
Bottom line: Do what works best for you and your family.
Of course. Of course not. Well, sometimes. No, never. What do you mean - ALWAYS!
I've gotten LOADS of comments about how "x way is the best" or "I just wear my baby in a sling all day long" and my response to all of those is: "I'm so glad you found the right way for you!"
Because there is no single "right" way; there are so so many ways that you can be a mother.
So the question I always ask potential clients is: is this working for you?
If yes - GREAT! You nailed your sweet spot. Keep doing it.
If not - Well, as Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." It just don't work that way, hon! If what you're doing is not giving you the results you want, it's probably time to change up your game.
That being said, I highly recommend doing all of those things during the very beginning of the newborn stage -- if it works for you. (It did not work with my prop snob)
Bottom line: If it's working for you, keep doing it. If not, change it up.
Again, an "iffy" topic. I've got a whole blog post on it HERE.
But you should know that it's not just about when YOUR BABY is ready to drop night feeds - this is a two person relationship! It's also about when YOU are ready to drop night feeds. Which is why my EBF baby was sleeping through the night about 1.5 months before the time I recommend dropping them.
He might cry, kvetch, whine, pout, or just fall asleep.
She might take longer to fall asleep, wake up more at night, wake up earlier in the morning, or have a shorter nap. Or she might sleep just fine.
Every baby is different.
But you'll know. Once you know what "well-rested" looks like for your baby, you'll know what overtired looks like too.
Both. Neither. Either or.
Many of my newborn clients find it easier to put the older ones in first before the baby. But if Hubby is doing the older ones, then sometimes it's easier to do them all at once.
But are you doing bedtime by yourself? With help? How many kids? How many can you manage to bathe and put in bed all at once? Is it easier for you to have a potentially more-flying bedtime and be done quicker? or a little calmer and have it take longer?
Remember that all of your children below the age of 6 or so should be going to bed between 6 and 8 (you can read more about that HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), so what will enable all of your kids to go to sleep at an age-appropriate time?
Bottom line: ... you got it. Do what works for you :)
Of course, there are more questions than that, but those tend to be the ones I get most often.
What other questions do you have about your baby's sleep?
Post them in the comments below!