- +Do you believe in Crying It Out (CIO)?
Crying it out means different things to different people.
Most parents directly relate CIO with the extinction method (putting your baby down, leaving the room and not going back), and understandably they worry that this method will leave their child with a sense of abandonment. No one wants to be left to cry alone.
At Cheekychops, we take abandonment worries out of the equation. You do not have to leave your baby to cry alone. However, it is unrealistic to expect that you can change a baby's sleep behaviour without any crying. The amount of crying will come down to your baby's temperament and the type of sleep association(s) your baby has. But we can work with you to make the transition as quick and smooth as possible.
- +What method does your sleep program follow?
Cheekychops consultants don't have one method. We draw on a variety of methods and design step-by-step sleep plans that are personized for you and your child.
Once your book, we'll ask you to send us information about your family and we'll also ask you to work on a sleep journal for a few days, we use that information along with our consultation to determine our approach.
We'll talk you through our recommendations during the consultation. Clients don't have to do anything they are not comfortable doing and your parenting style will always be taken into consideration and respected.
- +When can I start teaching my baby to sleep through the night?
Babies usually need night feeds until they weigh close to 14 lbs (6.3 kgs). After that, they typically have the ability to sleep through the night with one feed. If your goal is to teach your child to sleep through the night, you may want to wait until they weigh close to 14 lbs (6.3 kgs) before booking one of The Sleep Packages.
However, babies under 14 lbs (6.3 kgs) can still be taught to fall asleep. If your goal is to start your baby off with good sleep habits, we can start working with you at any time (sometimes pregnant moms book Consult Calls before the baby is born).
Babies under 14 lbs (6.3 kgs) typically need multiple night feeds, so you are going to be getting up in the night, but if you want to start one of The Sleep Packages early we can help you foster positive sleep associations and bed-time rituals, and help you identify the right time windows for feeding so that you will be able to create habits that will work to your advantage long-term.
The best time to start is when you are ready to get on the same page and commit to making the changes your little one needs.
- +Is it ever too late for sleep training?
No, it's never too late. You can always make changes, but the baby/toddler's age will determine what the best method to use is, and how long the process will take.
Even adults can make changes to their sleeping habits, and likely in the process of helping your little one change his or her sleep behaviours, you will change a few of your own. Once children sleep better, parents sleep better, so start as soon as you can.
The best time to start is when parents are ready to get on the same page and commit to making changes.
- +How long will it take your sleep program to work?
It's hard to say. Until you start trying to change your child's behaviour, you have no idea how you or your baby/toddler will respond to the changes.
Although most habits take three weeks to change completely, some children will readjust in a few days while others may take longer. Still, most can adjust in three weeks, which is why our sleep packages come with three weeks of unlimited follow-up calls and email support.
The other big part of the package is your step-by-step sleep plan, designed specifically for your child, to address the sleep behaviours you need to change. We'll discuss the plan with you during the consultation.
Once you start, you will check in with us regularly. We'll be able to tell you if the plan is working the way we would expect it to, and adjust the plan where needed.
Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, children learn to embrace the new sleep habits within three weeks of follow-up support.
We can't guarantee a sleep plan because, quite honestly how you implement the plan is up to you. But we do guarantee that your Cheekychops consultant will work with you, support you and give you the best information to reach your goals.
- +When does the three weeks of The Sleep Package support start? And will I get cut off after 21 days?
When you book either The Sleep Package with Phone or Skype Consultation or The Sleep Package with In-Home Consultation, you'll need to send us some information about your family. We'll get back to you right away and send you a sample of a sleep journal, which you will use to keep a journal of your baby's sleep behaviours, food, moods, etc. When you send us back the journal to review, we'll design a step-by-step sleep plan that is specific to your child's needs.
We'll go through the sleep plan with you during our consultation. The three weeks of support starts once you have your sleep plan.
Changes can happen pretty quickly once parents commit.
If you and your partner aren't on the same page, or if one of you isn't ready to commit, you may not be ready to get started.
If you are ready, book the consultation - the sleep plan combined with the three weeks of support is likely all you'll need.
And if for any reason you feel like you need more support after your three weeks is up, or you want to check in with your consultant with a specific question, just book a consult call. You can buy 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour of time.
Parents often call us up months or even years after they've been through the program just to check in with questions like, "What should we do to get our two-year old ready to sleep on a plane?" or "Jayden was sleeping fine but all of a sudden he's waking up and coming into our room at night, what do we do?"
We're always happy to help.
- +I love co-sleeping and would like to continue to do so, I know that my child does not need to feed through the night anymore. Is it possible to make changes and continue to co-sleep?
Yes, our concern is less about where children sleep, than how children sleep.
You can make changes to your baby's sleeping habits and continue to co-sleep. It still involves making big changes at the start, but we'll walk you through that.
- +Does putting a child to bed earlier mean she'll wake up earlier?
The earlier children go to bed, the better they sleep in most cases.
In fact, it's a myth that the later you put a baby/child to bed, the later they will sleep in.
Children usually have a set wake-up time, and this time is often MUCH earlier than parents would like. But when children have late nights, they rarely sleep in. Some wake up even earlier. Either way, late nights pretty much guarantee the day ahead will be a wrangy one.
- +How can we get back on track after teething or illness?
There are times when little ones are teething or sick and they need you in the night. The bottom line is: When they need you, you should make them comfortable.
Regression usually seeps in when you revert to adding props in an attempt to put your child to sleep during stressful phases such as teething and illness.
If you get off track, you may have to do some retraining when your child recovers. Don't restart until you are confident that your child has fully recovered. At that point, if you need support, you can call us for a short Consult call to review your initial sleep plan and figure out how to get back on track.
- +At what age can siblings start to share a room?
We usually recommend waiting until the younger child has reached six months. A sibling who is in a bed could get out and put something in the crib that could accidentally smother a younger baby.
In addition, before siblings share a room, it's good to get both children sleeping through the night regularly. Aim to have them on similar wake-up and bed times, so that they are not disturbing each other too much.
It's also good to run some white noise so that any movement or sounds made by one can be masked by the monotonous sound of a white noise machine.
Cheekychops Founder Dawnn Whittaker's two children shared a room even when she had the space for them to have their own. They shared from the age of six months and three years until they were three-and-a-half and six-years-old. "I think it created a great bond between them, and I would often get up to hear them chatting and in one bed together. It's lovely," says Dawnn.
- +What is the benefit of white noise?
White noise creates a monotonous sound that blocks out other noises and creates a nice ambience for your baby or child to fall asleep.
White noise is beneficial for calming crying babies if you:
- travel and are sharing a room.
- live in a noisy house.
- have dogs barking in your neighbourhood.
- live downtown where there are many sirens throughout the night.
- have siblings sharing a room.
- +My baby has reflux and rolls around when I angle the crib, what would you suggest?
We suggest using a Guardian Sleeper to keep your baby positioned safely all night long. This allows you to angle the crib, keep your baby up right, safe and pain-free all night long.
- +How long should it take a baby or a toddler to fall asleep?
The time it takes to fall asleep is unique to every child and to the circumstances the night, however, the average is about 25 minutes.
- +Do babies sleep differently at different times of night?
Although research has discovered a great deal about what happens in the brain during sleep, there are still areas to be investigated. Here's what we know.
NON-REM sleep is broken into four distinct stages.
Stage 1 Drowsiness: This is not a true stage of sleep but a transitioning from being awake to being asleep. During this time, you may see your baby or toddler's eyes look blank, and they will open and close before closing and staying closed. As an adult, you feel as though you are sinking into sleep. You may still be aware of things going on around you but you may miss some things - part of a TV show for example.
Stage 2 Light sleep: This is the first true stage of sleep, but you or your child can be very easily woken up during this stage. The majority of infants are in and out of light sleep between 11:30 pm - 5:00 am.
Stage 3 & 4 Deep sleep: Stages 3 and 4 are similar stages and can be thought of as one. In this stage, the breathing and heart rate will be very steady. You are not easily woken up from this sleep. Babies often have their hands up by their head and there will be no eye movement. Interestingly, 33% of babies will sweat during this stage of sleep. Children spend the majority of the first part of the night in deep sleep (during this time, they often have a brief arousal within the first hour of being asleep).
REM sleep is when breathing and heart rate become irregular and daytime emotional experiences are put into long-term storage. Babies and young children, who have sleep associations, will wake up after a REM episode; and if the conditions from where, or how they fell asleep have changed, a baby/toddler will cry out for help to get back to sleep. REM sleep is often more noticeable during the lighter sleep phase of 11:30 pm - 5:00 am.
“Dawnn listened to our needs and learnt about our family dynamics. Within days of following her plan we saw immediate changes and within a week incredible results. A profound change had taken place in our home; our babies were content for the first time we could remember, our toddler was enjoying her brothers and my husband and I were smiling, laughing and planning family trips again.”
— Jackie Haines, mother of nine-month-old twin sons and a two-year-old daughter