4 Sleep Tips From the Sleep Lady

Get baby (and you!) to sleep with helpful hints from The Sleep Lady

Kim West HS September 12, 2017 by Kim West, LCSW

Making sure baby (not to mention mom & dad) are getting enough sleep is a tough task for most parents. How do you soothe your little one when they can’t tell you what they want? Kim West – aka, The Sleep Lady – is here with some tips and tricks. [insert praise hands emoji]

1.  It’s OK to Spoil Your Newborn 

At this stage, babies are not forming “sleep habits,” so feel free to use any and all ways to sooth your little one to sleep. Give these a try:

  • Rock and sway your baby (try swaddling first to improve the effect)
  • Use a baby swing with the seat reclined to get baby to fall asleep then (gently) move them to their bassinet or crib for a nap.
  • Baby is used to soft noises in the womb, try using white noise while your baby is swinging, jiggling or swaying.

2.  Keep on Moving!

Babies are used to motion – it might even remind them of the sensations and security of the womb. Skip the cardio and try walking or swaying with your little one. Or, try a swing like the Graco EveryWay Soother, which has 16 different soothing motions and white noise. 

3.  The Long-Awaited Sleep Schedule 

After a few months, a baby’s internal clock starts to develop (finally!). Keep your eyes peeled for new patterns and baby’s sleep cues – like yawning, staring, fussiness, eye rubbing or hand sucking – as it may be a good time to begin a regular sleep routine. Stay strong though, naps are often the last to develop consistency in timing and length.

  • Pro Tip: Try using a pacifier for sleep only and practice other ways to sooth during the day.

 4.  Decoding Baby’s Different Cries

Babies cry when they’re uncomfortable, bored, overstimulated, and yes, when they’re sleepy. If you think your little one missed their last nap and is too riled to settle down, try these calming techniques:

  • Take your baby to a quiet room and dim the lights
  • Place your baby in a swing, especially one with multiple motions
  • Use a football hold and sway
  • Swaddle your baby
  • If you’ve noticed your baby’s crying increases after feeding, or crying remains constant, check with your pediatrician to make sure your little one doesn’t have an underlying medical condition, like reflux, that might be causing discomfort.

About Kim West: Kim West is a mother of two wonderful daughters and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for 25 years. Known as The Sleep Lady® by her clients, over the past twenty years she has helped tens of thousands of tired parents all over the world get a good night’s sleep without letting their children cry it out alone.