Sleep coaching siblings at the same time

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Sleep coaching siblings at the same time

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So let's say you have an 8-month old who doesn't sleep through the night in a crib in one room and a 3-year old who also doesn't sleep through the night and you've finally said, that's it! I finally have to teach my children how to sleep through the night and put themselves to sleep. And you think, how am I going to do that when they're in two separate rooms? So first, the best, the ideal I think would be if you divide and conquer. So both parents are home. You pick a night when you're both home at bedtime, even if it's on the weekend, and one is with the baby, and one is with the 3-year old. And the same for throughout the night. You bring them back. You tend to the baby. And you sort of are a united team. So let's say either you're single or your partner's not available at bedtime, then I would say could you get a friend? A sister, a grandmother, somebody to help you at bedtime to be with the 3-year old, and you handle the baby. And once the baby's asleep, you take over with the 3-year old, and your helper, your friend can go down in the living room and you be forever grateful for them. So that would be another option. The third option is, let's say you don't have a friend or family or someone close by. And that's not uncommon. So then what I would tell you to do is I would tell you to set up the 3-year old. Have a little book. You could also have a baby book a little bit before for the 2 of them. And you could say, okay, sweetie. Now mommy is going to put the 8-month old into their crib. Why don't you look at a book or play quietly in your room until I get back. So you go put the baby to bed. And then lots of times we cannot leave our 3-year old for an hour or more while we're teaching our baby how to put themselves to sleep, because gosh only knows what they'll get themselves into. And we'll have to leave the baby and check on them in intervals. 5-10-15 minute intervals. So you go back. You finish starting a story with your 3-year old. And then you say, remember, mommy has to go teach the baby how to put themselves to sleep. Just like you're learning. And you run, you go do a quick check. You come back. And you do this until the baby's asleep and hopefully you can finish the story with the 3-year old and stay with them as they learn to put themselves to sleep.

View Kim West, LCSW-C's video on Sleep coaching siblings at the same time...

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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