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Expert Series: A Kiss Goodnight Sleep Consulting Expert Series: A Kiss Goodnight Sleep Consulting
I am VERY excited to be sharing my space today with Leslie Black, owner and certified sleep consultant at A Kiss Goodnight.  Leslie is... Expert Series: A Kiss Goodnight Sleep Consulting

I am VERY excited to be sharing my space today with Leslie Black, owner and certified sleep consultant at A Kiss Goodnight.  Leslie is kicking off something new for North Shore Mama, our EXPERT series, and I cannot wait for you to get started with our first expert… right now! I feel lucky to be partnering with A Kiss Goodnight on both a professional and personal level, because the tips she provides are invaluable to all parents out there with babies! :)

So without further ado, here is Leslie!


Why won’t my baby fall asleep?

Have you ever found yourself endlessly rocking your baby to sleep just to have him wake up right when you place him in the crib?

Have you tried driving to Squamish and back in the middle of the night and your baby STILL won’t sleep?

Were there things that used to put your baby to sleep and now they don’t work anymore?

If so, you’re not alone.

Most parents have found themselves in this situation and they can’t figure out why their baby won’t sleep. The answer is actually quite simple: your baby doesn’t know how to sleep. When babies are newborn or infants, we love to hold and cuddle them to sleep, they fall asleep while feeding or in the stroller while we take a walk. Over time, however, babies become dependent on these methods to go to sleep. If your little one cries each time they are placed in their crib, it’s because they don’t know what to do in there. They are used to movement or feeding to make them fall asleep, so they genuinely can’t fall asleep without some kind of assistance from you.

Adults and babies alike all have sleep cycles. While adult cycles are slightly more complicated, babies only have 2 stages of sleep: active and quiet and the cycle lasts about 45 minutes. After the quiet cycle ends, the baby must re-enter active sleep or wake up. A baby who falls asleep with our assistance, or a sleep “prop” (eg soother, lullabies, bouncing, rocking), usually can’t re-enter the active cycle. This is the reason many babies will only nap for a short period of time and wake up several times in the night, which most parents find frustrating.

While the answer to this question may be simple, teaching your baby to fall asleep independently can be difficult. Here are a few of my favorite tips on how to start your baby on a path to great sleep.

  1. Develop a consistent bedtime routine. A bedtime routine should last about 30 minutes and could look like bath, pyjamas on, feed, read stories and into the crib awake. This routine should be the same each night and it’s a great idea to take turns with your husband, partner or any other caregiver that helps you so that your baby can learn that the steps are the same no matter who puts them to bed.
  2. Give your baby an early bedtime. Most people think putting their baby to bed later will help them sleep longer, but usually the opposite is true. When a baby goes to sleep overtired, they are likely to have a rocky sleep and will probably wake up earlier. Most babies do well with a bedtime around 7:00pm (and then mom and dad can have some time to themselves in the evening).
  3. When your baby wakes in the night or from a nap, give them a few minutes (between 3-10 min) before you go to them. Many babies are actually stirring and not quite awake and can put themselves to back to sleep if given time.

For more tips on how to get your baby to sleep better, please visit my website to download your free copy of my top 5 tips.

*In honor of Mother’s Day, I am currently offering $100 off the price of a consultation or $50 off the price of a Newborn Package until May 19th, 2013.*

Sleep Well,

Leslie Black

Leslie Black is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology. She has lived in North Vancouver since age 7 and continues to reside there with her husband Jason and two young children William and Charles, along with their energetic companion Sully the Baoxer. Leslie has been a family counselor for 6 years, specializing in parenting. After successfully using the Sleep Sense Program to teach her boys how to be great sleepers, and working with countless tired parents who wondered how to get their children to sleep, Leslie decided to become a certified Sleep Sense Consultant. Website / Like Us On Facebook / Follow Us On Twitter

  • Laura

    May 16, 2013 #1 Author

    Hi Leslie, I am just wondering how to deal with a 15 month old baby who won’t drink enough bottle to satiate himself before bed. Often he will jump around and play for at least a half hour until he finally will drink a bunch more bottle and THEN go to sleep. I have tried not going in to give it to him, but he just won’t sleep until he has it, which of course doesn’t help that I brushed his teeth ages ago. Otherwise, he sleeps great (teething problems and/or peeing through his diaper problems aside!). He only has one nap during the day, so I know it isn’t a problem with his bed time or how much sleep he is getting during the day. He’s just naughty!


  • Andrea

    May 21, 2013 #2 Author

    How do i get my little one 5months to eat a full dream feed? We have a great bedtime routine, she drinks her bottle before bed around 730 and then i try to dream feed her between 10-11. However she will only have a small sip and then fully refuse. However around 3-4 shell wake up and refuse any consoling unless its a bottle however she will only have 2-3oz. I have diluted the amount of formula in the bottle and she still seems ok with this. I guess in the next few days we will try replacing just with water or get rid of the bottle completely.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thank you


  • holly

    May 23, 2013 #3 Author

    My 10.5 month old baby will be starting daycare in 1.5 months and we are on a 6am-6pm schedule. I have tried so many different things to get him to stay up later- but his interal clock is just set for 6pm. This schedule is wonderful and our baby sleeps great BUT with daycare coming he simply cant be going to bed that early, otherwise the daycare will have to put him down for bed there! ( bedtime routine starts at 530) any tips to gently transition to a later wake and sleep time. BTW – he also still naps 3 x a day with max wake time of 2.5 hours…also not ideal for a daycare that does 1 nap / day. HELP! :)


  • jeremy

    May 23, 2013 #4 Author

    Our baby is a great sleeper. Lately though she has been waking around 5am, 6am, and 630 – she doesnt seem too upset she just stays in her crib and talks, laughs, shouts out and sometimes gives a big cry out but doesnt seem upset…this can go on for upwards of an hour. I am not sure whether to go in and get her up or whether to leave her as its really too early for her to be up for the day. Trust me I have tried and she just yawns and rubs her eyes until the first nap. FYI- she is 11 months old, is teething & just started to trace along furniture.



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