Database Name: dbwzecoixet92g my-sleeping-baby-transcript – A Dad’s Path

#63 – My Sleeping Baby


Today we speak with Eva Klein. Eva is a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant and founder of MySleepingBaby.com. Eva also offers a free online training for A Dad’s Path listeners. You can find it here: https://mysleepingbaby.ac-page.com/registration-page-v-2.

Highlights Include:

  1. The importance of sleep for parents and their babies

  2. The challenges of being a sleep-deprived parent

  3. The potential benefits of seeking help from a sleep consultant

  4. Strategies for improving infant and child sleep

  5. The impact of sleep on overall mental and physical health

  6. Balancing the demands of parenting and maintaining a career or other personal goals

Enjoy this eye-opening (and then hopefully eye-shutting) conversation!


Like this episode? You can check out more of our Dad Podcasts.


Will: Hello and welcome to another episode of A Dad’s Path podcast. I’m Will Braunstein. Today I’m here with Eva Klein, a certified infant and child sleep consultant and founder of My Sleeping Baby.com. After having one baby who slept well like a baby, her second was the opposite. I’ll let Eva pick up the story from there. Welcome, Eva.

Eva Klein: Hi, Will. Thanks so much for having me.

Will: Thanks for coming. Did I get that right? One was an easy sleeper, the other–

Eva: 100%. You got it. Bang on. Baby number one was one of those babies that just makes you look like the best parent in the entire world. [chukles] Like you just got this all under control and you’re a genius. Then a couple of years later, when my middle child was born, that was when I went, “Oh, this is what everyone’s talking about when they’re talking about babies who cry all the time and need to be held constantly and don’t sleep and don’t exactly make you feel like the best mom in the entire world either.”

She was that baby that accidentally got me into the business of sleep consulting because when she was four months old, she was that baby that did not sleep and was waking me up every 90 minutes all night long. Despite the fact that I live in Canada and was on mat leave at the time, I still did not feel like a normal functioning human despite the fact that I wasn’t going to work, that I was home, but I still just felt like a shell of myself. That’s what accidentally got me into this. Here I am today. That middle child of mine is now nine. [chuckles]

Will: Oh, awesome.

Eva: Then we had a third, a few years later who’s now four.

Will: You said some really interesting things there because sleep is obviously so important for you and for us. We don’t get enough f sleep, we just can’t act normal. Then obviously for our babies, the same thing. If they’re not sleeping, then they’re not going to be feeling good. You said something which I think is really touching that it makes you feel like you’re not a good mom or you’re not a good parent. I think that’s a easy trap to fall into just for first-time parents here, first-time dads listening. You’re like, “What am I doing wrong? This baby’s crying all the time, da, da, da, da.” It’s just that’s not true.

Eva: No, 100%. At the same time though, I will say that given that I was so sleep-deprived at the time, I knew that I was not the best version of myself for my baby, for my toddler, and for my husband. I was literally in sheer survival mode just trying to keep my head above water. 100%, it does not make you a bad parent whatsoever to not know what your baby needs every second of every day because some of these babies are very difficult. Some of these babies can be really challenging to figure out why they’re crying all the time and why they won’t sleep and why they won’t eat. Why all these things are happening?

That’s definitely not your fault whatsoever. Nor is it your fault that you are chronically sleep-deprived and you can barely recognize yourself. At the same time, I wasn’t willing to just accept that as my indefinite reality just waiting for the baby to outgrow this. I couldn’t live like that in the grand scheme of things. That’s why I took matters into my own hands and figured out what was going on so that I could feel like a normal functioning human again.

Will: Good for you. What training did you do? How did you become a expert here?

Eva: Basically what I decided, when I had this eureka moment [chuckles] and I remember calling my husband at the office and telling him, “I think I want to launch a side business to become a sleep consultant.” A side business given that I was a lawyer, I am a lawyer still, I’m a member in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada [chuckles] still, otherwise known as Ontario.

The idea was never for me to leave law because who the hell does that? Only crazy people will do something like that. It was just meant to be a fun side gig, that’s all. What I ended up doing was I was on mat leave, I had a 12-month maternity leave. I had about six, or seven months to be able to dedicate to a certification program. That’s what it was. It was an online certification training program that I was able to go through on my own time while the baby was napping and when she would go down for the nights. By the time she was one and I went back to work, I had this side business launched.

The real training from there, I would say is the 2000-plus families that I have worked with [chuckles] over time because really the vast majority of what you learn in this thing is on the go, on the job, seeing day in and day out what’s working, what doesn’t work, so that you just get better from there.

Will: I’m sure with all that experience, that’s worth its weight in gold. Sleep training’s one of those terms a lot of us have heard, but maybe don’t fully understand what it means. Is it kids of all ages? Could you talk about what it is and start there?

Eva: That’s a great question. I define sleep training as teaching anyone, teaching a baby, a toddler, or a preschooler, how to sleep independently. The reason why we sleep train and we teach our little ones how to fall asleep without help is because how we fall asleep initially is often what sets the tone for the rest of the night. If a baby, for example, is falling asleep needing to be rocked, needing to be held, needing to be nursed, bottle-fed, or maybe you have a preschooler that needs you to lie down next to them in bed until they fall asleep, there’s nothing inherently wrong or bad about any of this.

I just want to preface this by saying that there’s no judgment here whatsoever, but from a sleep standpoint, if your goal is to be able to maximize your little one’s sleep, get proper stretches when they’re younger, get them sleeping straight through the night when they’re older, that’s likely going to get in the way of things because there’s nothing stopping your little one from waking up at the end of a sleep cycle throughout the night needing you to come back and help them go back to sleep. Versus when they know how to fall asleep on their own to begin with, just like you and I. It means that they can then learn how to keep themselves asleep the way that you and I can.

When we wake up at the end of a sleep cycle, we don’t even remember, most likely, we just roll over and go right back to sleep. That’s ultimately what my people want for their little ones so that they’re either sleeping straight through or just waking up to eat only to then go right back to sleep until the morning. That’s what sleep training is in a nutshell. A lot of people think that it needs to involve putting your little one in their crib or bed, say goodnight, leave the room and just not go back in and just let them scream their brains off.

I want to just address that for a second and make two very important points about this. Number one, and that is that teaching your little one how to sleep independently does not need to involve doing something cold turkey, like putting your baby in the crib and leaving. There are many other approaches that you can use to get you from point A to point B, like a gradual withdrawal method where maybe instead of rocking your little one, you’re sitting next to them until they fall asleep. Supporting them through this process, gradually moving further and further away with time.

You could also use a time check system where you put them in the crib, you leave, but then you check on them at certain intervals. Your little one does not need to be going through this process completely alone if that feels outside of your comfort zone. Then at the same time, when it comes to those night wakings, a lot of people will say to me, “I don’t want to be getting rid of my little one’s night feeds. He’s only four months old, he still needs to eat at least once.”

I would agree with that. That the vast majority of those four-month-olds still need that one feed sometime in the middle of the night. We can still sleep train your little one while respecting any nighttime nutritive needs they might have. That might also involve weaning them off of some of the unnecessary feeds that they’re waking up for. I can tell you from personal experience that waking up with your four-month-old once a night versus five times a night is a different ballgame.

That’s what I want to emphasize here is that there’s no one size fits all approach. There are many other options than just cry it out. Sleep training does not need to involve removing all of your little one’s night feeds if they’re not ready and if you’re not ready.

Will: I appreciate that. How long are sleep cycles? It feels like something I should know. Is it different for adults and kids and babies?

Eva: On average, an infant’s sleep cycle is about 45 minutes long. Anyone listening to this is going, “Oh, is that why my six-month-old only naps for 45 minutes on the dot and then wakes up?” The answer is yes. That six-month-old that we’re talking about here, if that six-month-old is not falling asleep completely by themselves, then it means that there is a higher likelihood that they’re going to wake up after only 45 minutes because at the end of a sleep cycle and they don’t know how to put themselves back to sleep without help. A toddler preschooler sleep cycle is typically about 60 to 75 minutes long and an adult sleep cycle is about 90 to 100 minutes long.

They all follow a similar pattern of starting off in lighter sleep, transitioning into deeper sleep, and then transitioning back into lighter sleep before either putting themselves back to sleep or waking up.

Will: Thank you. That’s really interesting. Another specific question actually, what about pacifiers? You mentioned rocking, things like that. Are pacifiers okay or is that the kind of thing–?

Eva: Good question. The answer is it depends. This is like the annoying lawyerly answer, but [chuckles] I’m happy to elaborate. Generally speaking, I’ll tell you that I’m a really big fan of pacifiers. All three of my kids slept with a pacifier until they were three and three and a half respectively. Pacifiers are a really helpful tool for newborns in particular because newborns are born with what’s known as a sucking reflex where if they suck on something like a pacifier, it naturally helps calm their little nervous system and it really helps them relax.

A pacifier is a really great tool to help a baby calm who is otherwise very fussy. Pacifiers are also really great for those older babies and toddlers and preschoolers for the exact same reason because it is inherently calming to them. It can provide them with a lot of comfort at night when they’re going to sleep. The one timeframe that pacifiers can become problematic in the sleep department is in that four to eight-month age range. I’ll tell you that of my three kids, the pacifier did become a very big problem for one of them.

The other two, it did not become a problem but it did become a problem for that middle child that I was telling you about that was waking me up every 90 minutes all night long. You see, the reason why it can become a problem in that age range is because that’s when your little one is transitioning to those sleep cycles. As a newborn, they’re not cycling in and out of deep and light sleep, not just yet. When they get to that four-month mark, that’s when the transition to adult-like sleep begins. A four-month-old, five-month-old, six-month-old, seven-month-old, et cetera, is going to have the awareness about how they’re falling asleep initially, ie, with a pacifier.

Then the problem is that if the pacifier falls out, they don’t have the fine motor skills to be able to replace it on their own. That’s when you could get yourself into trouble needing to find that pacifier and put it back in their mouth all night long to help them go back to sleep. With my first and my third, that never actually became a problem where they were four or five months old, were falling asleep with the pacifier, no problem. Or maybe they would go down with it, it would fall out at some point and it didn’t disrupt their sleep.

My middle child on the other hand, would wake up every 90 minutes for me to put that pacifier back in her mouth. You’re asking me, is the pacifier a problem? It depends. When your little one is waking you up every 90 minutes all night long, I would argue that it’s a problem. [chuckles] In that situation, I had no choice but to chuck that pacifier out the window because it was either going to be myself or the pacifier, so I chose the pacifier. I will just also emphasize that I kept it for the daytime because it’s still a really helpful tool when your baby is awake and fussy or in the car or in the stroller and tends to get cranky. It’s very helpful in that sense.

Plus, by the time she did reach that eight-month mark, her fine motor skills became a lot stronger that I was able to reintroduce the pacifier for sleep at bedtime and nighttime. It wasn’t a problem because she was able to retrieve it on her own and then from there, she slept with it until I got rid of it when she was 31/2 and more than ready for it. Overall, I am a very big fan, as long as it’s used as a tool and not as a crutch, meaning you don’t want to find yourself constantly putting it in your little one’s mouth, then that’s obviously causing problems in the sleep department and we don’t want that.

Will: That makes a lot of sense. That’s a great answer. Thank you. Great distinction of where your child is in their sleep development. I guess what age on average would you suggest starting someone with sleep training? Would it be four months, five months, then that early or earlier?

Eva: That’s a good question. Generally speaking, the answer is when you are ready. When can you begin to sleep train your little one? 16 weeks and up is absolutely when if your little one is relying on a lot of help to fall asleep, we can jump in and intervene and begin to introduce independent sleep skills by that stage. That being said, I wouldn’t say that you should, and again, this is like you can take the lawyer out of law, but you can’t take the law out of the lawyer. My apologies for being nitpicky about the language, but the language is very important. Could versus should versus would.

I would never say that someone should be doing anything at any stage because it’s not for me to tell someone whether or not something is working. When should someone intervene and make changes? When the status quo is not working for them and they’re not happy with the status quo and they want to introduce some new routines and get their little ones sleeping like a champ. I do just want to also emphasize though that just because we can’t do any sleep training with newborns, with the little ones under the age of four months, it doesn’t mean that we can’t introduce healthy sleep habits from day one.

In fact, I actually have a newborn sleep program that it’s called Getting a Head Start All About Newborn Sleep. It literally teaches parents how to set their little one up for success from the very beginning so that you can hopefully first of all, make the newborn stage as manageable as possible from the very beginning. Limit crying, improve daytime feeds, get actual chunks of sleep in from the very beginning so you’re not running on empty. Then from there, hopefully, avoid future problems down the road. Everything in that program, that program was inspired by my third baby, my son JJ because he was my first baby that I had as a sleep consultant.

I had already been doing this for four or five years before I had him. He was my little guinea pig that I was able to apply everything that I had been teaching to thousands of families to my own baby. Not to toot my own horn, but I will just say that by the time he was six weeks of age, he was consistently sleeping eight-hour stretches day in and day out at nighttime for me. When I posted about this in my Facebook group, a lot of the moms in my group were like, “Say what? What is this? Teach me this. How do I do this? I also have a six-week-old and he’s waking up every two hours. What’s the secret sauce here?”

That inspired me to basically create a program so that you don’t just have to live through the equivalent of a dumpster fire for four months before you can actually make changes. The reality is that with him, I didn’t even have to do that much of any sleep training because of what I introduced to him when he was just a few weeks old.

Will: No, that’s fantastic. I know you also offer a free masterclass for our listeners, so I’m going to put that in the show notes as well.

Eva: Amazing.

Will: Because you’re right, the earlier you start, the better. Developing any kind of habits, whether we’re talking about food or sleeping. Sleep training tends to be, again this stereotype which I do on every show more led by the moms. If that’s something that as dads we can come in, not necessarily leading but with more information and resources like your site, mysleepingbaby.com or there’s a lot of resources. I think doing that research is worth its weight in–

Eva: For sure. 100%. Especially if mom is breastfeeding for example, and she’s the one doing all the night feeds because she’s breastfeeding, she’s going to be a lot more tired the next day and probably way too bleary-eyed to be doing any research. I think that dad can play a really important role here in coming up with a plan because hopefully in that situation, dad’s brain is a little bit more filled [cuckles] the next morning than mom’s is. Then you can come up with a game plan to be able to tackle what’s actually happening.

The other thing that I tell even for all families across the board is that I always strongly recommend that both parents be involved with this process to a degree. Obviously, it’s going to look different from family to family, just based on dynamics. The reality is that we don’t want your baby or toddler or preschooler to think that whatever changes we are making only apply to mommy and not daddy or vice versa. They need to understand that they apply to both parents here and that there is consistency across the board so that the message is clear and everything goes as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Will: I like that. Absolutely. I push that all the time. Dads need to be involved just as much as moms. That’s awesome.

Eva: 1000%. Even if mom is continuing to breastfeed, that practically speaking is likely going to mean that there will be a breastfeeding session involved with your little one’s bedtime routine but it’s not going to be the entire bedtime routine. It’ll likely be near the beginning but then afterwards there’s still the bath, pajamas, a story, a song, some quiet play, whatever your routine looks like, and then placing your little one into their crib or bed depending on the age and stage is something that dad can and should be doing just as much as mom.

I find that for the breastfeeding moms in particular who are just feeling so exhausted and depleted from feeling like a cow, first of all, feeling it’s just this all-you-can-eat buffet situation and that they are stuck at home, can’t go anywhere because they’re the only ones that can get baby to sleep. When I assure them of this that not only is this a change that is possible, it’s what I recommend, it’s oftentimes such a relief for them to hear that these changes will give them the freedom to be able to not be home at bedtime sometimes.

Let dad give the baby a bottle instead and then do the rest of the routine on his own or maybe mom breastfeeds, hands baby off to dad. Then is able to go to her yoga class and then dad can take over because dad is just as competent of doing this as mom is when we’re making these changes. For the moms that are not happy with the status quo, it can be such a massive weight lifted off their shoulder to hear this.

Will: Thank you for that. Going back to the age, you start with sleep training, it could be 16 weeks and up and I’ll just say the dads I’ve spoken to and from my personal experience just anecdotally all that, every dad has said something similar which is, I wish we started sooner. [chuckles] That might be something just also to keep in mind-

Eva: 100%.

Will: -ideally before the dam breaks because that’s when it often is, like, “We’re not sleeping, da, da, da da.”

Eva: Why did we wait this long? Very often I’ll hear parents naturally they’ll feel hesitant, it’s a change. They know their little one’s going to be upset. It’s not enjoyable to have your little one upset making these changes. Then you’re absolutely right that once we’re done, they say the exact same thing like, “Gosh, I wish I hadn’t waited this long. That was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I could have been sleeping months ago if I hadn’t pushed this off.”

Will: That’s the amazing aspect. Again, just to generalize, how long does the initial sleep training take? You have a baby’s up in the night, I know there’s going to be a wide range and there’s learning that happens and coaching but just in terms of the actual night one tonight X, how long is that?

Eva: When everything is done consistently and correctly, and that’s important because a lot of people will say, “Oh, I tried doing X, Y, Z and I stuck with it consistently for five days, 10 days a month and we were still getting tons of crying at bedtime.” Consistency is only going to get you so far if what you’re doing also isn’t correct. It needs to be addressing your sleep plan. Whatever it is that you are implementing needs to be properly addressing all the puzzle pieces simultaneously.

It’s not just a matter of putting the baby in the crib and executing a sleep training method of choice because everything leading up to bedtime needs to be down pat first, otherwise the sleep training might be bound to fail before it begins or it’s a crap shoot at best in terms of what it’s going to look like. When things are done with an infant consistently and correctly, we typically see massive changes within a week, if not less of beginning. I’ve got a mom with five-month-old twins on the go.

They’re five months corrected. They were born premature. Typically with premature babies, we go by their corrected age because that’s what they follow in terms of their sleep patterns usually. We just started the sleep training portion of things about four or five days ago and these five-month-old babies, both of them just slept 101/2 hours straight last night.

Will: That’s awesome.

Eva: It’s funny, they both slept, the parents did not sleep 101/2 hours because they both kept waking up over and over and over again. Is one of them going to wake up? Why aren’t they waking up? They’re afraid to go back to sleep because you know that 10 minutes later they’re going to wake up and they never actually did. This is what I mean where these are the types of results that you can expect to see in a very short period of time. That’s the truth. This is not the process when you’re dealing with a baby that should ever be taking weeks and months on end to actually complete.

With a toddler or a preschooler, it might be a little bit longer. It might be a two-week-long process let’s say because we’re dealing with a walking, talking human that has an opinion and knows how to tantrum at that point. That’s really their specialty at a certain stage and so they have more energy and wherewithal to push back against whatever changes that we are making. Of course, it means that we can support them and be there with them through these changes while remaining firm but it might just take a little bit longer.

Of course, still recognizing that a two-week-long period is a blip in your time span over the next number of years when it comes to how significant these changes are going to be when you actually make them.

Will: You brought up something interesting with preschoolers and toddlers. What are more subtle signs that you need some sleep training? Obviously, if your baby’s up every 45 minutes and you need to rock them, that’s clear but a preschooler, if they’re getting up at 4:00 AM or something I guess, what are signs that would be less obvious?

Eva: Listen, if you’ve got a toddler, a preschooler, let’s say, 18 months and up is what I define as a toddler and then preschooler is let’s say 21/2 to 3 and up, by that age, your little one absolutely should really be sleeping straight through the night, uninterrupted day in and day out. An average two-year-old usually needs about 11 hours of nighttime sleep and a two-hour nap. This is an average. Of course, you’re going to have some that need more, some that need less. It’s very rare to see a two-year-old that needs significantly less than that. No different than an average adult needs eight hours of nighttime sleep.

How often do you find an adult that really truly needs five? I’m not talking gets five, there’s a lot of those. How many of them are actually really, truly sincerely waking up completely well-rested after five hours? A teeny tiny segment of our population that is blessed with three more hours to their day than the rest of us have. A three-year-old. Just to give you context, usually needs about 12 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period. That might mean not napping during the day and then sleeping 12 hours around the clock.

It might mean napping 1 to 11/2 hours during the day and then sleeping 101/2 to 11 hours that night. How do we know if there’s a problem with your toddler’s or preschooler’s sleep? I guess the most obvious answer is you would know. If it’s taking you hours to get your preschooler to sleep because they’re not staying in bed and they’re running out or they need you to stay in their room and you’re in toddler jail for two hours while they’re falling asleep but still distracted by you but also need you in the room at the same time, that is likely something that you are going to want to fix.

If your little ones are regularly waking up at night, we’re not dealing with night feeds at this age anymore. That’s absolutely something that we can be tackling. You’re asking, what if they’re waking up at 4:00 AM for the day? In my world, 4:00 AM is nighttime. No questions about it. I know that there are some people out there that willingly get up at 5:00 AM to go for a run or whatnot. The only thing that would ever willingly get me up at 5:00 AM I guess is to catch a flight to Florida. Other than that, in my world, anything that is before 6:00, 6:30, 7:00 AM is absolutely nighttime.

If your little one is waking up at 4:00 for the day and not going back to sleep, that is very fixable because chances are your little one is not waking up at 4:00 AM well rested unless he’s going to bed for 5:00 PM the night before, which he’s probably not.

Will: Probably different issues then.

Eva: Which is likely not the case. I also just want to assure you that these are very common issues as well. They might not be talked about as much but they’re very common. I get almost as many parents reaching out to me for help with the 18 months plus age range as the 18 months and lower age range.

Will: Interesting. I have one last question for you, Eva. Sleep aggression. I’ve heard that term a lot. Can you help? What is that? [laughs]

Eva: A sleep regression is defined as a blip of some kind in the sleep department, usually caused by something developmental, that normally involves writing out knowing that the phase will come to an end very soon. For example, when babies reach that 8 to 10-month mark, there is a very well-known regression, that again, doesn’t always happen, it’s not this guaranteed phenomenon, that no matter what, your little one is going to turn 8 months old, and then it’s like, boom, he turns into a pumpkin, clock strikes midnight, baby turns 8 months old, turns into a pumpkin, regression hits.

That’s not the way that it works. In the 8 to 10-month age range, there’s a lot that your baby goes through developmentally, there oftentimes are huge bursts in gross motor development. They’re learning how to crawl, they’re learning how to sit out, they’re learning how to stand up. There’s also a very big burst in language comprehension. When there is so much going on in your little one’s brain, it can oftentimes overwhelm them and cause a bit of a blip in the sleep department.

The solution in this situation, is, feel free to offer your little one some extra support around bedtime, but don’t introduce new habits that you don’t want in the grand scheme of things because they’re going to end up sticking around. You give it a couple of days, and then boom, you have a brand new routine on your hands. Then there are some very well-known regressions that can happen. Again, they don’t always but they can happen when your little one is around 18 months, and then again, around two.

These are more behavioral, where now it’s like this is your welcome to toddlerhood or welcome to parenting a toddler, your toddler is now learning how to say the word no, or has mastered the word no, and is experimenting and seeing what happens when they push back at these boundaries, at these routines that you’ve got. My own two-year-old at that stage, my son, it was very cute, it was like E for effort, good job but you’re trying to fight the good fight and see what happens if you don’t cooperate at bedtime. I remember looking at him, and I was like, “You don’t know what your mommy does for a living, do you? You have no idea.”

Then I said to him, “This is going to make for a great podcast episode. Thank you so much, bad, because it’s great when I have my own real-life material to explain this phenomenon, and then what exactly I did to nip it in the bud as quickly as possible.” Those are very common. Now, I did not start with the four-month regression on purpose, the four-month regression should actually not be called a regression, even though it is technically titled as one. Because what happens around the four-month mark, as I said before, is that your little one’s sleep cycles mature and become more adult-like. They are now cycling in and out of deep and light sleep.

If you have a baby that needs help falling asleep, this development can cause lots of extra unnecessary night wakings. The difference between this one versus the other two or three I just mentioned is that these changes are permanent. It’s not a phase. The solution is don’t write it out, if sleep is becoming unbearable for you, this is when you want to address the root of the problem, which is a lack of independent sleep skills, and teach them those skills head-on, so you can make the situation better. Really, if I had it my way, I would call it the 4-month permanent neurological change to your baby’s sleep patterns but it doesn’t have the same ring.

[laughter]

Doesn’t have the same ring as four-month regression. I get it from a marketing standpoint, or a quick-witted title standpoint, it doesn’t hold up, but it’s much more accurate.

Will: That’s a great distinction for us dads to learn. There’s the four-month where it’s more developmental, and then after that, just real quick, I know it’s going to depend, but how long are those sleep progression phases? Is it a week? Is it a couple of days? I’m talking about the latter ones.

Eva: With the 8 to 10-month regression, I find that yes, it might be a couple of days, it might be a week. With the toddler ones, I know that my son kept pulling his stick, for lack of a better word he just kept– it was an on-again, off-again situation where it was over the course of I’d say two or three months, but it was much more of an off that it was an on because I would just nip it in the bud right away and not give into his shenanigans. Maybe he would give me trouble at bedtime for two nights in a row and then for two weeks, he would be okay again.

Then he’d give it another kick at the can a couple of weeks later, and then I’d nip it in the bud again. Then maybe a month later, he’d try it again. It was like that sort of thing. Because again, toddlers have a little bit more energy. Generally speaking, I will just say that the impact that a regression has on your little one’s sleep doesn’t just come down to how you address it in the moment, I would say it mainly really does come down to what your little one’s sleep was like before the regression hit. That’s the million-dollar question.

If your little one before this regression hit was normally waking up three times a night, then now that he’s learning how to stand up, and can’t sit back down, and is so beyond overwhelmed, that does have the potential to have your little want to go from three-night wakings to seven-night wakings. An eight-month-old, who was sleeping 11 to 12 hours uninterrupted, day in and day out, is not going to suddenly start waking up five times a night because he’s learning how to stand. He just won’t. That just really does not happen. That version of a regression might be it takes them a little bit longer to fall asleep at bedtime. It’s that sort of thing.

Will: Got you, understood. This has been super educational and really interesting. I’ve learned a lot. I’m sure our dads will as well but I know just scratching the surface. Like I said, you’re offering a free masterclass, which I really appreciate for our listeners, which we’ll put in the show notes, and you can go to mysleepingbaby.com. Eva, thank you so much for joining us.

Eva: My pleasure, Will. Thanks so much for having me.

Will: All right. Take care.

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