Rank #1: Q&A: Co-sleeping, Sleep Associations, and Older Kids – EP 20
Podcasting is great because we basically get to opine on whatever topic strikes our fancy. But we’ve committed to periodically do reader/listener Q&A episodes to ensure that we’re hitting topics that are also interesting to you. While we get more questions than we can possibly answer, we’ve culled some great ones here that I particularly love because they’re so relatable and, frankly, funny. Sometimes, when you’re in the thick of it, it can feel like everybody else has figured out all this stuff and you’re the only one silently struggling in the middle of the night. But I promise – you aren’t. There are thousands of people listening to this podcast who are exactly where you are, as perplexed as you are, and who will breathe a brief sigh of relief to hear your story and know that they aren’t alone. In this episode Ashby and I answer questions that deal with some fairly ubiquitous challenges including: * What to do when you want to stop co-sleeping with your older baby (:44) * How to break out of a situation where baby will only sleep with an “insane amount of bouncing” (5:45) * Why your toddler is suddenly fighting sleep at bedtime (11:33) * Why your 6 month old demands to nurse 10x a night (18:23) * What to do when you want to stop co-sleeping with your preschooler (23:15) * How to night parent an independent sleeper without undoing the independent part (29:44) * How to not get turned into a puddle when your partner is AWOL and sleep is a mess (34:55) As mentioned in the episode many of these questions relate to a common core issue: sleep associations. Although the questions demonstrate how sleep association issues can manifest in vastly different ways, it is almost always the root issue. And often the answer is this. Take a listen and let us know what you think! Got a question for a future Q&A episode? Fire away at firstname.lastname@example.org. Podcast Sponsor And we want to give a shoutout to our new podcast sponsor, the Reverie power bed! After you have kids your bed turns into a home base: the place you sleep, night parent infants, read books with older children, gather for family movie night, etc. The Reverie power bed can make your existing bed more comfortable for sleep. You can raise the head of the bed for easier night feeding/nursing. You can adjust the bed to aid in C-section recovery. Got swollen ankles? Raise your feet while you sleep. There are loads of ways this can help make your bed more comfortable and more functional for your whole family. Check them out to learn more or follow them on Twitter or Instagram!
Rank #2: Breaking Down Sleep Schedules and Wake Times EP 5
This podcast is a continuation of the Baby Sleep Power Tools Part 1, focusing specifically on sleep schedules and wake times. Many parents will bemoan the fact that in giving birth, they’ve become full-time Nap Police, a job that is unpaid, unrewarding, and unwanted. Being the Nap Police is also enormously isolating: you can never leave the house because it’s always time for the next nap. If being the Nap Police is such a terrible job, why would you agree to become one? Because it’s essential to good sleep. Wake Times Matter You can use all the Power Sleep Tools but if you are trying to get them to sleep when they’ve been awake too long/short they’re going to struggle to sleep and no amount of swaddling or white noise is going to change that. Mastering the when of baby sleep is foundational to getting them to sleep. In this podcast we break down everything related to sleep schedules including: * Why naps happen. * Why wake times matter. * Cat naps/car naps/boob naps, beneficial or bane of your existence? * When are crap naps a problem vs. just a bad day? * Why you want your child waking up at the same time every day. * Should you be using wake times or “by the clock” strategies? * What will happen if you blow off bedtime? Links and further reading: We don’t specifically outline wake times by age in the podcast, but that issue is covered in great detail in these posts. Baby Sleep What is Normal? Are you keeping baby awake too long? Bedtime what time? Ultimate guide to vanquishing short naps If this is helpful to you please head on over and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes! Additionally in future episodes we’ll be answering reader mail, if you would like to submit your question, feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com. Cheers and thanks for listening!
Rank #3: 7 Unhelpful Baby Sleep Myths – EP 19
I often see smart thoughtful parents getting tripped up by the same stumbles time and again. These sleep myths or pervasive beliefs, for lack of a better word, that push parents to do things that are at times unhelpful or even self-sabotaging. Or they over-complicate something which, let’s be honest, is already plenty complicated. And these come up constantly. I’m not sure where these sleep myths come from but they float around like a persistent moth trying to land in your soup. Some are contrary to biology. Some encourage you to worry about things that aren’t worth worrying about. And some propose to solve problems while actually creating different problems. This podcast is longer than most, clocking in at a hearty 48 minutes, but it’s worth it. In this episode we’ll break down the following pervasive beliefs, along with analysis and recommendations of what you should do instead: 7 Baby Sleep Myths * The solution to all your night woes is to cap naps. * Your child is waking at night because they’re overtired, move bedtime earlier. * Naps will improve you use somebody else’s sleep schedule. * A By the Clock (BTC) sleep schedule will fix it. * Everything would be fine if you militantly wake up at the same time each day. * Your child isn’t sleeping because the crib is uncomfortable. * The Dr. Jay Gordon method will fix everything. As mentioned in the podcast, there is a wide range of normal answers to the question, “How much sleep does my child need?” I pulled together this handy visual from the National Sleep Foundation’s findings. Additional Reading Total baby sleep duration ranges Suggested wake times Normal baby and toddler sleep durations Why baby hates the crib Please note: Podcasts take an enormous amount of time to create/edit (yes, even our hella-amateur one!). If you like them and want to let us know that we should continue, please head over to iTunes and leave an honest review! Much appreciated!
Rank #4: The Newborn Sleep Podcast EP 2
In this episode we discuss newborn sleep, although why would be because let’s be honest here, newborn babies don’t sleep. At least not in the way you might hope. Newborn Babies are Mysterious When my first was born I was given the advice, “Follow his lead! He’ll let you know what he needs!” Really? Because he was generally fussy and I could never tell if he was hungry, tired, bored, gassy, or some combination therein. Truthfully the whole thing was baffling and I spent my first few months as a new Mom exhausted and confused. If you’ve ever felt this way or are currently feeling this way, join us for our Newborn Sleep Podcast where we demystify newborn sleep by breaking down: * What exactly is normal for newborn babies? * Do you have a loaf of bread baby? * What is colic and when does this hellishness come to an end? * What is this reverse-cycling you keep hearing about? * Why is newborn sleep so challenging? * What are your key strategies for navigating the the newborn phase? * Plus pro tips from experienced Moms! Take a Listen! Let us know what you think and leave us a comment below! If you have a specific question or issue you would like us to tackle in a future podcast episode, feel free to drop it in a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers and tally ho!
Rank #5: Essential Baby Sleep Power Tools EP 4
Raise your hand if you are or have been a new parent who is surprised at how hard it is to get your newborn baby to fall asleep and stay asleep. I thought newborns were like a loaf of bread, you carry them around and they’re cute and squishy and they just sort of…fall asleep periodically. (I was wrong about a great many things.) The truth is that for most of us, getting a newborn to sleep is enormously difficult. However it becomes vastly less difficult, when you embrace the Baby Sleep Power Tools. I realize your time is limited so I’m going to use this graphic to indicate those podcast that are essential listening. Which is not to say you shouldn’t listen to all of them, but if cuts have to be made, don’t cut this one! This is a huuuge topic so we’ve broken it up into two parts, this one will cover: * What are the criteria to be a Sleep Power Tool * YOU are the ultimate Sleep Power Tool (which gives you a great and terrible power) * Three Power Tools all parents of newborns should use * One Power Tool that some parents of newborns should use * A fantastic resource on sleep Power Tools – Dr. Harvey Karp (more on that here and here) * Which Power Tools are for newborns and which are for babies of all ages Baby Sleep Power Tools is a 2-part series. Most of the tools discussed in Part 1 apply to younger babies (newborns up to 6 month olds) however Part 2 applies to all kids, including toddlers and preschoolers. You won’t want to miss out on this series so make sure you subscribe on iTunes so you get notified when the next episode is available (approximately 2 weeks from now!). In the meantime let us know what you think in the comments below, or share a question or topic idea for future podcasts with us at email@example.com. We are live on iTunes so please subscribe and leave a kind review! We’re new to this but have great plans and we hope you’ll join us. Tally ho!
Rank #6: Why I Won’t Be Using the Term CIO Anymore – EP 15
I’ve been using the term CIO or Cry It Out for years. I’ve never liked it. It’s pejorative. “Oh…you’re one of those CIO parents. Whelp I’m not, because, y’know, I’m a good parent.” It’s largely meaningless. And in some parenting circles even the faintest mention risks getting you banned from the group. It also doesn’t really mean anything. I’ve tried to define CIO or minimally bring some clarity to the discussion. But even with millions of readers annually, CIO remains a vague ill-understood concept to most people. And it’s ugly. It’s plain ugly. In case it’s not clear, I’m not a fan. And going forward, I won’t be using it anymore. Sleep Learning Independence Plan In this podcast we delve into the history of the term CIO, unpack some of the baggage related to the term CIO, and how the ambiguity of what it means muddles our thinking about sleep and parenting. There is a better option than CIO and we discuss it fully in the podcast. Hint: it’s this. What it means and why it’s the new cool thing is covered in greater detail in the podcast. Further Reading First use of the term CIO from The Care and Feeding of Children (written in 1894.) What sleep training is. What other parents have to say about it. No sleep training is not child abuse, not even remotely. Yes there is a book. It’s not quite ready, but almost. Take a listen, let me know what you think. And I hope you’ll join me in embracing SLIP. SLIP into bed, SLIP into sleep, see how nicely it rolls off the tongue?
Rank #7: The Swing Method and Pick Up Put Down EP 8
There’s been a theme running through our podcasts and no it’s not my propensity to say “um” a lot. It’s that establishing independent sleep is crucial. Not easy, but essential. While there are many methods to foster independent sleep, this episode focuses on two: the swing method and Pick Up Put Down (aka PUPD). The Swing Method Baby swings for sleep are not sanctioned by the AAP and shouldn’t be used for preemies or particularly small newborns, so check in with your pediatrician first. But for parents of older babies, the swing can be an invaluable tool to help your child sleep better. This is hugely effective for motion junkies (hint: if you spend 6 hours a day bouncing your baby on the yoga ball, your child is a motion junkie). And while improving the quality of your baby’s sleep is a laudable goal, the swing also provides a solid path to teaching your child to fall asleep without you. Pick Up Put Down Popularized in the book No-Cry Sleep solution, this method involves doing whatever you normally do to help calm your child but putting them down before they’re actually asleep (this is the “pick up” portion). If they get upset you pick them back up (aka the “put down” portion). Repeat until they fall asleep without you. This podcast will provide a detailed overview on: * How to use these methods * When to use these methods * Which one might be best for you * What you should expect to see happen * How to tell if it’s not working for you Additional Reading Dr. Karp on babies sleeping in swings How to wean your baby off the swing Tools to make the swing even more awesome More on making gradual changes to your bedtime routine Let us know what you think and leave us a comment below! If you have a specific question or issue you would like us to tackle in a future podcast episode, feel free to drop it in a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t miss out on future episodes, subscribe on iTunes!
Rank #8: Becoming a Parent: Guilt, Failure, an Unrealistic Standards: EP 21
Most people use the 9 months of pregnancy as a time to learn how babies work (generally) and stock up on essential baby gear so they’ll be ready when said baby arrives. The fact that you will become a parent, and this is likely the largest, most abrupt, and often challenging transition you will ever undergo in your life is barely considered. And let’s be clear, becoming a parent is a massive, wondrous, and immensely painful transition. It is a physical, mental, and emotional transition on the highest order. Which we give nary a thought until it happens. Then BOOM. There it is. Recently the transition to parenthood has been discussed in major news outlets (The Goddess Myth by Time and The Birth of the Mother by NYT). The titles somewhat unfairly focus on “mothers” but the reality is the issues apply to all parents (yes Dad’s struggle too!). In this episode, Melissa and I break down some of the themes of becoming a parent including: * The identity transition * How learning from or parents about parenting helps (or hurts) * Cherishing every moment * The fantasy of parenthood * Parental guilt * What can we do to help ease our way through this transition Links to Additional Resources Stay At Home Mom Guilt (Melissa’s blog!) Confessions of a Domestic Failure Take a listen here or check it out on iTunes! Got a question for a future Q&A episode? Fire away at email@example.com. Podcast Sponsor Check out the Reverie power bed! After you have kids your bed turns into a home base: the place you sleep, night parent infants, read books with older children, gather for family movie night, etc. The Reverie power bed can make your existing bed more comfortable for sleep. You can raise the head of the bed for easier night feeding/nursing. You can adjust the bed to aid in C-section recovery. Got swollen ankles? Raise your feet while you sleep. There are loads of ways this can help make your bed more comfortable and more functional for your whole family. Check them out to learn more or follow them on Twitter or Instagram!
Rank #9: What You Need to Know to Diagnose Your Child’s Sleep Struggles EP 6
This podcast is essential listening. Full stop. If you want to figure out why your child isn’t sleeping this podcast is going to provide the foundation in sleep to diagnose your specific issue. The world is awash in baby sleep advice. You probably have 3 baby sleep books in your home as of this second. This is the 5th baby sleep website you’ve visited today (YES I KNOW YOU ARE CHEATING ON ME, I’VE MADE MY PEACE WITH IT). Facebook groups, Babycenter, Reddit, etc. we are drowning in resources providing us with insights into our baby sleep woes. Put them down for naps every 90 minutes. Pick up, put down is a lifesaver! It’s definitely a sleep regression! Probably teething? Maybe they need more exercise. Have you tried cutting out all products with sugar? Push bedtime earlier. Later. Nurse more! Nurse less! Offer a bottle! Put rice cereal in the bottle! The answer is co-sleeping! No. The answer is that you need least a general understanding of how sleep works, biologically, so you can wade through the piles of advice to figure out which applies to your particular situation. This podcast will provide you with a crucial understanding of sleep including: * How sleep develops from birth into a more mature sleep pattern around 5-8 months. * How nap sleep works and how it’s different from night sleep. * Why wake times are crucial and how to use them to maximize naps. * What is object permanence and how it’s keeping you up all night. * How to identify the sleep association that is leading to night waking. * Why “wait it out” doesn’t work. * How to use light exposure to help your child sleep better. In a nutshell, it’s everything you need to wade through the oceans of sleep advice and accurately identify which applies to your particular situation. If you find this podcast useful and you want to encourage us to keep it up, ratings and reviews on iTunes are always welcome!
Rank #10: Myth Busting Sleep Remedies – EP 10
Looking to help your child sleep better? Well I’ve got the solution for your sleepless woes! Step right into my tent here and take a gander at my surefire remedy for whatever sleep problem you have. Baby can’t fall asleep? Try essential oils! Lettuce baths! Teething got you a bad case of the crabby kiddo? Give amber beads or homeopathic teething tablets a try! Is baby hungry all night? Put a little cereal in their bedtime bottle! What? You don’t believe these will work as well as I claim? Well maybe you’ll believe Ashby and Alexis who separate fact from fiction in a podcast dedicated to myth busting popular sleep remedies. In this podcast we unpack the fact and fiction behind some of the most popular sleep remedies used by parents today. Which ones work? Which ones don’t? And which ones are potentially dangerous to your child’s health? Sleep Remedies Covered We dig into the evidence supporting the following popular approaches: * Amber teething necklaces * Homeopathic teething tablets * Essential oils for sleep * Lettuce baths * Thickened feeds or cereal in the bottle Do some of these work? Surprisingly, yes! Give it a listen to find out which ones do. And which ones we encourage you to avoid entirely (hint: there’s more than one). Additional Reading The science of amber beads FDA Warnings on Hylands Teething Tablets The FDA and homeopathic remedies Lavender oils and sleep What are lettuce baths anyway? The Effect of Thickened-Feed Interventions on Gastroesophageal Reflux in Infants Use of Thickeners in Milk for Healthy Infants Sleep and schedules How to make bedtime awesome As always, feel free to share any questions or comments regarding this podcast with firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find this and all of our other episodes at: Or share your perspective in a comment below!