Better Sleep Toolkit - Module 2

Before Your Consult

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Introduction to Sleep Basics

Sleep Basics is also known as Sleep Hygiene, though it has nothing to do with cleanliness. These are the key components for better sleep.  It may be helpful to put these in place before implementing you Sleep Coaching plan. Sometimes, just following these suggestions improves sleep right away. They are:

  • Sleep Environment
  • Bedtime Routine
  • Avoiding Overtiredness
  • Day sleep (naps) and night sleep schedules

Each section begins with an Essentials video that you should watch. Then choose from the supplemental videos those topics that seem relevant for your child and family.

Introduction to Sleep Basics (Length: 1:23)

Sleep Environment

Sleep environment covers the following topics about your child's sleep situation:

  • Lighting: Is too much or the wrong kind of light in your baby's room keeping them awake?
  • Noise: Are household noises disturbing your little one's sleep, or is it too quiet?
  • Location: Are you transitioning from co-sleeping to a crib or a bed?
  • Are there any other factors that should be taken into account, such as room sharing?

Watch the Sleep Environment Essentials video, then review the rest of the videos in this section for any topics that are relevant for your child and your family.

Sleep Environment Essentials (Length: 3:28)

Managing Light Exposure at Night (Length: 7:56)

White Noise (Length: 3:52)

Where Will Your Baby Sleep? (Length: 6:09)

Handout

Crib Acclimation Handout (pdf)

Crib Acclimation (Length: 4:01)

Bedtime Routine

Your child's bedtime routine is an important ritual for establishing your child's sleep expectations. It can be long or short, and should evolve as your child matures and their attention span lengthens.

Bedtime Routine Essentials (Length: 1:21)

Splitting Bedtime

Splitting Bedtime (Length: 1:53)

Avoiding Overtiredness

One of the main impediments to good night sleep is putting your child to bed when they are already overtired. This is a common issue and can be easily remedied by monitoring your child's nap times, nap lengths, and identifying their sleepy signs. The Avoiding Overtiredness Essentials video introduces these topics.

Avoiding Overtiredness Essentials (Length 8:28)

Wakeful Windows

These next four videos discuss Wakeful Windows, which are important to prevent overtiredness in your child. 

Video 1: Wakeful Windows Part 1: Avoiding Overtiredness in the Daytime (Length 5:06)

Video 2: Wakeful Windows Part 2: Applying Wakeful Windows to Naps (Length 5:09)

Video 3: Wakeful Windows Part 3: How to Determine Wakeful Windows (Length 2:03)

Video 4: Wakeful Windows Part 4: Managing Overtiredness at Day's End (Length 7:26)

The table and chart shown in the videos are also shown below.

Handouts

 

Avoiding Overtiredness in the Daytime (Length 5:06)

Applying Wakeful Windows to Naps (Length 5:09)

How to Determine Wakeful Windows (Length 2:03)

Managing Overtiredness at Day's End (Length 7:26)

 

Day & Night Schedules

In this first video, I discuss the importance of having a schedule for sleep during the day and during the night. Your child probably already has a natural schedule, even if they don't always follow it, or you don't follow it, because life gets in the way! Before you begin sleep coaching, you should track your child's schedule for a few days so that you have a baseline schedule and an idea of what your child's natural schedule currently is. This video is called Promoting Day & Night Schedules. See the Action Steps for more details.

The second video describes how to implement some Gentle Nap Strategies for daytime sleep. This is different than Nap Coaching. It is usually more effective to focus on night sleep at first using a Gentle Sleep Coaching Strategy like we describe in Module 5. I will provide more details on Nap Coaching in Module 6. But that doesn't mean that naps should be completely random! The Gentle Nap Strategies video describes some gentle techniques for shaping your child's naps in preparation for beginning a Gentle Sleep Coaching Strategy at night.

Handouts

Blank Sleep Log (pdf)

Sample Sleep Log (pdf)

Promoting Day & Night Schedules (Length: 7:00)

Gentle Nap Strategies (Length: 12:27)

Determining Your Child's Temperament

Every child is different, and one of the things that makes them different is their temperament. In these 4 videos, I walk you through the different attributes that determine your child's temperament. I pay special attention to Alert and Active Alert children, as those are often the temperaments that can lead to sleep challenges. I also describe how to score your child's temperament, and what the different scores mean in terms of choosing a sleep coaching method.

After watching the videos, you may want to use the Sleep Temperament Score Sheet handout to score your child's temperament. You can also score your own temperament and see how they compare!

  • Video 1: Understanding Temperament (Length 2:43)
  • Video 2: Temperament & the Alert Child (Length 7:52)
  • Video 3: Temperament Scoring (Length 4:35)
  • Video 4: Adapting to the Temperament of YOUR Child (Length 10:05)

Handouts

Temperament Scoring Chart (pdf)

White Noise Machines and Apps (pdf)

Understanding Temperament (Length 2:43)

Temperament & the Alert Child (Length 7:52)

Temperament Scoring (Length 4:35)

Adapting to the Temperament of Your Child (Length 10:05)