May 28, 2019
Are you crushing the nap schedule or is the nap schedule crushing you? Do you have the right bedtime? Does your child get the sleep they need? Many (and I do mean many) parents are getting hung up on concerns about how their child is sleeping when really the problem is the gap between reality and their expectation for what should be happening. If you don’t know what realistic expectations are, it’s hard to know how well sleep is (or isn’t) going. And answering the “what is realistic” question is harder than you think. This podcast episode will cover why realistic expectations are so challenging, what science and experience suggests are grounded expectations for the first year, and parameters to know if you and your child are on the right track. Full details are available in the episode with summary show notes are below. Where Do Sleep Expectations for Kids Come From? The shorter list is, where don’t they come from. Ask 3 people what normal sleep looks like and you’ll get 3 different answers. Some books suggest that your newborn should be sleeping 12 hours by 12 weeks. Others would tell you that waking to eat 3X a night by their 3rd birthday is a non-issue. Poke around well-intentioned comments in online communities and you’ll find unicorn babies sleeping 16 hours a day along with more challenging babies waking 8X a night and the casual reader has no good cues to understand which is a realistic guidepost for their child. Why Are Solid Guidepost So Challenging? Accurate and consistent guidelines for babies and toddlers and sleep are challenging for three key reasons: * Many expectations for baby sleep are based on old understandings/books on baby sleep. Our understanding of how sleep works and what normal looks like have evolved. * The normal range of sleep for most ages is +/- 3 hours. This is huge! * Certain developmental issues (the maturation of the circadian rhythm, consolidated naps) take time and some babies will achieve them sooner than others. A few readers have shared feedback on the book,“I wish it had more schedules/charts” but these are the reasons why concrete schedules/charts are a challenge. There is a wide range of normal! What About The Sleep Through the Night Guidepost One of the biggest guideposts parents are interest in is, “When will my child sleep through the night?” And to be clear there are a million things that can work against your child sleeping through the night. The lack of independent sleep is clearly the biggie. But if you establish independent sleep and gradually night wean (as outlined in the book), it is realistic for most kids to be reliably sleeping through then night by 6-9 months. And by STTN I mean sleeping solidly until a ~5 am snoozebutton wakeup. Normal Sleep by Age 0-3 months – total crapshoot 3 – 6 months * Less chaotic but naps still short/variable* Consistent bedtime* 0-2 feedings per night (sometimes 3)* Night typically 11 hours but can be as short as 9 or as long as 13 6-12 months * Naps more predictable* Consistent bedtime and morning wake time* Full night weaning (except for an early am snoozebutton) is possible here if you choose to do so* Move towards a more BTC approach happens organically during this time And know that no matter what you do there will be bad days or even bad weeks. Short naps and mysterious night wakings will plague even the most diligent parent.
March 29, 2019
This episode of the Precious Little Sleep podcast brought to you by the Precious Little Sleep Audiobook. Regular listeners might have noticed there haven’t been any new episodes for a while and the reason is because I’ve been busy recording my own audiobook. Not on my own of course, because my home recording setup involves string and duct tape which is why I the enlisted professional help of Egan Media. Recording your own podcast is to professional audiobook production as seltzer water is to wine. You sit here and talk slooowly and trying to enunciate like an adult. If you’re lucky you find a great guy like Joe who uses all that fancy tech to make your audiobook sound fantastic. Don’t ask me what any of that *waves hand* does. But it works! Needless to say I didn’t have time for both audiobook and podcast recording so the podcast when on a *ahem* brief hiatus. But now happily the Precious Little Sleep audiobook is finished so I can once more focus on podcasts. This one was particularly fun because I recorded it as a FB live event on the PLS Fb Page answering some great listener questions. As this was a successful experiment, follow me on FB if you want to participate in future FB live events! Listener Questions Vocalizing Throughout the Night 4.5months old baby, falls asleep independently (awake, in own bed, no pacifier) like a dream but has many night wakings. Cries for a few minutes (up to 15ish) and falls back asleep. Repeat several times a night. What can I do to help? The day starts at around 7/8, nap for 30 to 45 min, rinse and repeat. Stays up for closer to 3 hours before bedtime at 7/8. We change diaper, say good nights around the house, sing a song while being held, white noise, and put down awake. 4.5 Month Old Wants to Party at 2 am How to settle, wide awake 4 month old who after feeding at 2 am seems to think his parents should remember their student days and join him bright eyed and bushy tailed at a time even the owl has gone to sleep at. Then he after 2 hours when he finally sleeps he wakes every hour just to see if we still want to party. We do not feed him to sleep before bed . Have a routine that is followed like to military precision and put him down semi awake. He naps three times a day. He is down at 630 and up at 7am Which SWAP to Use for a Paci Loving 4 Month Old 4 month old, since birth I’ve been nursing to sleep at bedtime and for naps. We stopped swaddling as he started rolling over a week ago. He would not take a pacifier. 4 naps a day, no consistent length usually 30-40 min. We try for a consistent bedtime of 8 pm, but sometimes it shifts up to 9 pm if there is a 5th nap. He sleeps in the crib after I put him down fully asleep. He really depends on sucking and goes from sleepy to screaming in a second if put down awake no matter how much soothing. My question is which SWAP would you recommend to try first? Is 4-months too early for SLIP? 8 Month Old Eating Every 3 Hours – HELP!
February 15, 2018
A few months ago I finished my book, a 3.5 year effort of sweat, tears, and loneliness (writing is lonely business). But it was worth all the sweating and crying because now I am an author. When you are an author you get membership to secret underground writer clubs and everybody wants to be your friend because you are an author and are invited to all the best parties. Ok I’m making that up. But it’s still pretty cool. Being interviewed on Vermont Public Radio was on my “now I’m a new author” bucket list along with: * Wear fitted tweet jacket with patches on elbows * Learn to nod sagely with fingers templed on chin * Be recognized in public by “hey didn’t you write that book?” * Dance with Ellen None of those things have happened (yet) but award-winning journalist and podcaster Jane Lindholm graciously invited me to join her on Vermont Edition. In the interview we talk a little bit about me (seriously who the heck am I and how did we get here?) before delving into reader/listener questions about consistency, nap battles, independent sleep, big kids waking up at night, boundaries, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Jane graciously allowed me to share that interview here with you fine folks.
November 16, 2017
If you are like me you will avoid air travel with your children until they are old enough to vote. But most of you are far more courageous than I am in which case this podcast is for you! In this episode Elisabeth and Franny share their experiences and insights on navigating the friendly skies with a baby or toddler in tow including the following: * How many toys do you really need to bring with you? * Two words: hand sanitizer. * Have a plan but know that things won’t go according to plan. * There will be at least one diaper blowout on your flight. * Travel is parenting in another place. * Handling time changes when traveling. * Have a plan for naps on the go. * How much do you need to invest in specialized travel gear? * Setting expectations (hint: low, keep expectations low). * It’ll be OK! I giggled when Elisabeth admits, “I flew an overnight from Boston to Fairbanks with a 6 month old, optimistically thinking he’ll sleep the whole way.” I flew Boston to Paris overnight with a 2 year old similarly thinking it would be impossible for him not to sleep eventually, right? That the social pressure of a plane full of sleeping people might compel him to sleep. Apparently for both of us, our optimism was misplaced. The PLS Facebook group is full of people looking for the secret sauce that will guarantee you an easy flight with a baby or toddler but to the points presented in this podcast, there is no guarantee. There is just your best effort, positive thoughts, and the knowledge that good, bad, or otherwise, eventually that flight will be over and that someday, many years from now, you will look back and laugh about it. Take a listen here or check it out on iTunes! Got a question for a future Q&A episode? Fire away at 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.
November 2, 2017
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 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!
May 11, 2017
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 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!
April 20, 2017
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!
March 23, 2017
Babies have multiple hurdles to good sleep but by the time they reach their first birthday they’ll be Level 5 Sleep Wizards and y’all will be sleeping like sloths from there on. HAHA…no. Children are growing, learning new skills, have changing sleep needs, etc. and as such what worked one day might not work the next. Parenting is aiming at a moving target. In this episode Ashby and Elisabeth break down some of the big kid sleep stumbles that can creep up on you as your baby gets older. Topics Covered * Reasons why your toddler is struggling to fall asleep at bedtime * Strategies to deal with nightmares and fears of the dark * The value of rewards * Moving to the big kid bed * Making the entire bedroom into a crib * Why Elisabeth has a box with candy in it in her son’s bedroom (whut?!?) Further Reading * When kids stop napping * Using a toddler alarm clock * Moving your child out of the crib * When your kid won’t stay in the crib As always, feel free to share any questions or comments regarding this podcast with You can find this and all of our other episodes at:
February 16, 2017
Increasingly parents are using infant wearable monitors. These wearable devices are worn as a leg band, sock, or pinned onto the diaper, and claim to monitor your child’s wellbeing by tracking their breathing, pulse rate, blood oxygen levels, etc. Although they can’t outright claim to prevent SIDS, the marketing material strongly hints at, “Buy this and we’ll let you know if your child stops breathing during the night.” And that my friends, is marketing gold. Because there is nothing more terrifying to parents than SIDS and most people would gladly donate a kidney in exchange for a gadget claiming to protect against it. Two kidneys even. So while the category of wearable monitors is relatively new, there are many companies selling them (Owlet, Mimo, Snuza, Sproutling, etc.), and anecdotally, many parents seem to be buying them (despite the $$$ price-tag). But should they? Are they safe to put on your child? Do they work? And if it does go off in the middle of the night, what should you do? How will you know if it’s a technical glitch or a child in crisis? Recently, Dr. Bonafide of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia published an article in JAMA looking at infant wearable monitors. Dr. Bonafide was also gracious enough to join us for the latest podcast to help expand our understanding on these devices. Topics Covered in This Episode * What sparked Dr. Bonafide’s interest in wearable monitors? * What do we currently know about these devices? * What happens when the monitor goes off? * What is the AAP stance on infant monitors * What is SIDS vs. SUIDS? And what can parents do to reduce their risks? * What do parents who are using these have to say about them? * What are the potential risks associated with the use of wearable infant monitors? * How might these help infants who need medical home monitoring in the future? Further Reading The Emerging Market of Smartphone-Integrated Infant Physiologic Monitors Don’t Use Baby Monitors to Prevent SIDS Marketing wearable home baby monitors: real peace of mind? Check it out! If you’ve got any thoughts, as always, shoot us a comment below or email us at! [box type=”blank” class=”border-dashed2″] Dr. Bonafide is a pediatrician in the Division of General Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is also a core faculty member of the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focus has been on “alarm fatigue” – which is basically when monitors “cry wolf,” and practitioners in the hospital become overwhelmed with false alarms, and subsequently potentially miss those alarms that are more critical. [/box]
February 1, 2017
What do you do when you can’t find the energy to put together a fresh new podcast? ANSWER LISTENER QUESTIONS! Thanks to everybody who sent in questions, which were all thoughtful and interesting. I only tackled 5 today but keep sending in those emails because given the way I’ve been feeling there will be a lot of Q&A podcasts happening in the near future. Listener Questions * Joanna asks why her 7 month old still wakes up demanding to eat constantly all night even though she’s done all the right things? * Sheryl asks why her daughter goes to bed independently but absolutely refuses to go back into the crib (demands to co-sleep) after waking in the middle of the night! * Mei-Ki has a 6 month old who hates bottles but loves nursing frequently at night – HELP! * Sam is wondering how the circadian rhythm influences nap sleep vs. wake times. * Kristin chimes in with an older kid sleep issue, specifically how to get her 6 year old to stop waking up at 4:30 AM. Further Reading Why Night Weaning Isn’t Working How Sleep Works What to Do When Big Kids Wake Up Too Early How to Have Family Meetings Why Focus on Positive Reinforcement If you have questions for future episodes email us at If you have comments or questions on this podcast feel free to share them below! Keep on keeping on everybody!
January 18, 2017
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?
December 16, 2016
In this week’s episode, Elisabeth, Franny, and Emily talk about the logistics of feeding your child at daycare. Which seems obvious, you just feed them right? There’s pumping, and formula, and bottle feeding, and all the logistics needed to make those available in the right quantity. As your child grows you move on to solid food which means packing meal and getting them to actually eat it, etc. And there is the added complexity of the morning which involves feeding everybody, getting you and them dressed in something that is not “pajamas” or “Elsa costume”, and out the door on time. I listened to this podcast and what I hear is that these guys navigated various struggles (kids who wouldn’t nap at daycare, kids who wouldn’t eat at daycare, kids who won’t stop futzing around in the morning to go to daycare). That each child is an individual and each childcare facility is individual and the things that will happen there, good and bad, are different. So much of your individual experience will vary based on your child and your individual situation. Thus you embrace the good (kids are more likely to experiment trying new foods when you aren’t around!) and the bad (pumping!), and you talk to the nice people at the child care facility because they really do want to work with you! Favorite Quotes from the Feeding Your Child at Daycare Podcast * Total sleep matters more than the duration of a single nap. * What do we do when daycare says they need more milk? * I wouldn’t kill yourself trying to pump more. * What is reverse cycling and how do you not let it kill you? * Baby Led Weaning sounds like a fancy approach, but it really just means eating food like a normal person. * It’s amazing what your child will eat for someone who is not you. Additional Reading When Baby Eats All Night Slowing Down Bottle Feeds for Breast Fed Babies Paced Bottle Feeding (video) Paced Bottle Feeding (PDF) Starter Foods Idea Chart Starter Baby Foods Recipes Snack and Starter Meal Recipes Take a listen and let us know what you think!
December 6, 2016
For parents, going back to work presents the challenge of finding great daycare. Which seems like an enormous hurdle until you start daycare, at which point you realize the real challenge of daycare is getting your child to actually nap there. Napping at daycare (or not napping) is the bane of almost every working parent. Because it combines the not insubstantial challenge of fostering good naps with the bonus challenge of getting them to nap in a stimulating environment on a schedule that may or may not suit. It’s the baby nap challenge edition. Crap Naps at Daycare The most common issue with napping at daycare is that daycare naps are often short or nonexistent. See this highly scientific chart I just made up? But let’s be real, most kids don’t nap well at daycare. There are a few who take huuuuge naps at daycare but refuse to nap longer than 30 minutes when they’re home with you. But that’s the minority. Far more common is a child in a brightly lit room filled with toys and playmates saying, “I’m sorry, you expect me to sleep here?!?” Napping at Daycare And this is the primary issue that Elisabeth and Emily delve into in this podcast, answering questions like: * How do seasoned pros handle daycare drop off? * Should you train your baby to get used to sleeping in a bright light/noise environment prior to daycare? * Should you push for “catchup up” naps in the late afternoon or early evening? * Can you push bedtime earlier on crap naps day? * Do you have a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) Baby? * What you can control and what you can’t? If you have any thoughts or questions on going back to work feel free to share them here or email us at
November 18, 2016
Most of us are going to go back to work at some point. Some of us return to work sooner than we would like. But across the US and the globe, 60-80% of parents will head back to work eventually. And most people who go back to work will find themselves, at some point, freaking out about: * Finding great daycare * Coordinating with daycare providers * Providing adequate food/milk/formula for their child at daycare * Getting their child to nap at daycare * Getting their child to not nap on the way home from daycare * How to drop off their child without tears (theirs or child’s) * Working parent guilt This is the start of a 3-part series looking into and offering strategies to help working parents navigate going back to work that will address all of these issues. Finding Great Daycare This podcast is specifically about finding and working with a great daycare provider. How to find good local options? Is a large or small daycare center best for you? What are the state regulations around safety and oversight? How will naps be handled there? How should you communicate with your provider? What if your daycare isn’t the best fit for your family? Listening to this episode, a lot of great thoughts jumped out at me but this was my favorite: Check in with Elisabeth, Franny, and Katka who connect from across the globe (literally) to share their insights on navigating daycare with you. This series will continue (with other guest-hosts) with two more episodes looking at: * Napping at daycare and transitions (to/from/morning bustle) * Bottles, pumping, feeding, and other logistic issues at daycare If you have any thoughts or questions on going back to work feel free to share them here or email us at
November 2, 2016
Will changing the clock for daylight savings time muck up your child’s sleep? In a word: yes. Changing the clocks 1 hour means our body clock and clock time are no longer in sync. However there is a lot you can do to help you and your child navigate daylight savings with minimal disruption. In this daylight savings survival podcast we discuss evidence-based strategies to address the two major issues associated with fall/spring DST namely: * TOO early morning wake up (Fall DST) * Inability to fall asleep at bedtime (Spring DST) * General nap woes (both) Parents love pumpkin spice lattes, Netflix, and panicking about Daylight Savings. DST is not panic-worthy. DST is a few bumpy days, and you’ve got more tools to navigate those bumps than you think! In our daylight savings survival podcast we specifically address the two key tools you have to ensure that daylight savings doesn’t disrupt your hard-won sleep: schedule management and light exposure. We also talk about why I don’t yet have one of those fancy light-based alarm clocks and why I should. And why the illustrated Harry Potter books are worth all the moneys. But you probably already knew that. Further Reading Daylight Savings Savings Time Sleep Strategies Fall Daylight Savings Don’t miss out on future episodes, subscribe on iTunes! We’re working on a multi-part series for working parents, daycare, sleep, and much more. Feel free to share any questions or comments with us at
October 12, 2016
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 You can find this and all of our other episodes at: Or share your perspective in a comment below!
September 20, 2016
Got a question? Great – we have answers! We recently asked parents for questions and got ~70 but only had time tackle 12. Luckily, when you manage a Facebook group of 20,000 people you get a really good sense of the types of questions that are common to MANY PARENTS. So we guarantee that at least one of the questions addressed in today’s podcast is something you’ve wondered about too. Reader Mailbag Ashby and I tackle the following questions (they’re all great questions, but #7 is my favorite!). We also discuss sad mornings, nap yoga, and a number of other strategies that will help if you’re feeling panicky. 1:02 What to do when arm/legs get stuck in crib slats? 4:01 How do I get rid of the dreaded snooze button feed? 7:20 How to handle a baby who exhibits concerning behavior (vomiting, banging head, falling asleep standing up) at bedtime? 12:07 How to you foster independent sleep AT bedtime while maintaining a few feeds during the night? How do you know when to feed? 16:10 Why is my independently sleeping child up and screaming in the middle of the night for 2-3 hours!? 18:40 How do you salvage days when sleep is off to get baby back on track? 21:21 Baby has 3 hour wake time before 7:30 PM bedtime. Baby wakes up from last nap between 3-3:30. Now what? 23:00 How do you approach sleep with a late pre-term baby? 24:50 When do kids’ sleeping issues really end? 29:05 Why do babies persist with sleep associations even when they’re no longer part of bedtime!? 31:12 My 11 month old goes to in the crib fully awake 40 minutes after nursing and a consistent bedtime routine of nurse, bath, book, song, bed. No crying. He is still waking up at least twice to nurse. What gives!? 34:01 What do you do when your baby hates sleep so much that she starts to hate her bedtime routine? Additional Reading & Listening Why Night Weaning Isn’t Working Bedtime Associations and SleepWhy Your Child Isn’t Sleeping Understanding Sleep Schedules and Wake Times Wake Times – Targets by Age Should we make answering reader mail a regular thing? Yes? No? Let us know in the comments! If you have a question you would like to see answered in a future podcast, share it with us at Don’t miss out on future episodes, subscribe on iTunes!
August 19, 2016
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 Don’t miss out on future episodes, subscribe on iTunes!
August 4, 2016
Before you had a child, you were probably vaguely aware that kids woke up early. I mean, kindergarten starts early and children must get dressed because nobody is naked on the school bus. Then you had a baby. And you realized that early meant four in the morning. And this? This is too #$%* early. What can you do when baby wakes up too early? Why does baby wake up too early? Why does your toddler wake up too early? When does this nonsense end and what can you do about it? In this podcast, we wanted to share the magic secret to get your kids to sleep until 9 AM, but we’re saving that for the folks who send in 12 easy payments of $19.99 (KIDDING). Instead we’ll be talking about the primary causes of early wakings and tactics to eke out a little more sleep in the morning. Wakes Up Too Early Topics Covered * What are realistic expectations for morning wake time. * How independent sleep affects early wakings. * How sleep schedules and nap duration impacts early morning. * How and why to use snooze button feeds. * How and when to use toddler alarm clocks. * How to modify bedtimes and naptimes and light to shift the morning schedule later. Additional Reading What You Need To Know About Sleeping Through The Night Part 1 The Secret to Sleeping 12 Hours at Night Are You Keeping Your Baby Awake Too Long Baby Sleep What Is Normal How To Use A Toddler Alarm Clock Your Secret Weapon For Fall Daylight Savings Time 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 Don’t miss out on future episodes, subscribe on iTunes!
July 5, 2016
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!
June 10, 2016
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 Cheers and thanks for listening!
June 6, 2016
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 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!
June 2, 2016
I often do sleep consultations with families who are literally not sleeping. Like at all. Nobody is sleeping and everybody is crying. And yet when I suggest a change of strategy, that they need to do something different from what they’ve been doing, they balk. “Oh no, we can’t do that.What if things get worse.” Because no matter how bad things are, we’re terrified of making things worse. So I launch into the intellectual argument, “There is no worse, you’re living worse.” Which I, as a non-postpartum impartial person who sleeps soundly, can see clearly. But for the people who are in it, making change is terrifying. This isn’t specific to sleep, it applies to starting daycare, traveling with babies, really anything that causes a deviation from the fragile little groove we create as new parents. And it can be terrifying. And fear of change locks us into patterns, often exceedingly unpleasant patterns, for ages. However when you’re a parent, change is both necessary and inevitable. And as the Borg says, resistance is futile. Finding the Confidence to Make Change This podcast will cover: * Common changes and decisions we’ve faced or are going to face as parents. * How to know when it’s time to make a change. * Strategies to find the confidence to move through those changes. 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 We’re still new to podcasting and the whole team here hopes you’ll continue on with us on this parenting podcast journey. The easiest way to do so is to head on over to iTunes and subscribe. Positive iTunes reviews are always welcome 🙂 Cheers and tally ho!
June 1, 2016
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 Cheers and tally ho!
June 1, 2016
We’re podcasting people!!! (*Drops Mic*) (*Picks mic back up because it’s needed for podcasting*) Welcome to the Precious Little Sleep Parenting Podcast! We’re podcasting because it’s 2016 and all the cool kids are doing it. And also because it’s not always easy to read when you’ve got your hands full with a baby or two. So now you can choose to read or listen, or both. Because podcasting content won’t entirely overlap with the blog. What will we be podcasting about? Lots of fun stuff including: * Sleep * Parenting * Interviews with best-selling authors * Breaking down research * Anything else we find interesting and/or funny You’ll notice I keep using the word we. No, this isn’t the royal we but an acknowledgement that the podcast is a collaborative effort. I’ve asked some of the most smart and funny women I know to join me. We represent a range of cultures, continents, religions, and parenting philosophies. Our goal is to share different approaches and experiences in a conversational way while also staying true to our roots and evidence-based philosophy. You can read up on the Parenting Podcast crew here. Check Out the Inaugural Podcast This is a fun first episode. You’ll learn about: * Who we are * A sneak peak into our unique adventures with kids and sleep * What topics will be covered in the coming months * Our individual parenting philosophies, in haiku format Actually the haikus are my favorite. Because everything is better in haiku format. Like Elisabeth’s… Oh I can’t wait for you to grow up And then I think No I’m not ready 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 Cheers and tally ho!
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