What’s an Independent Sleeper?

Baby Sleep Goals: Creating the right sleep associations

The image most parents have of sleep training is a baby crying until he succumbs to exhaustion and falls asleep. However, sleep training does not have to be like that.

The main goal of sleep training is to help our children become independent sleepers. An independent sleeper is that who falls asleep on his own and puts himself back to sleep when he wakes up.

I would also add that a ‘real’ independent sleeper is so ‘for life’. This means that real independent sleeper will not need to be ‘retrained’ to sleep when he is moved to a toddler bed, starts preschool, is potty training, etc. In order to create a ‘real independent sleepers’, we need to help them establish the right, positive sleep associations.

Our children shouldn’t associate sleep with feelings of abandonment, fear, desperation, anxiety, punishment, excitement, or stimulation. Sleep should be associated with feelings of tranquility, relaxation, love, trust, restfulness, empowerment and peace. Here are some simple tips to help our children create those positive associations:

  • Establish and maintain a soothing and calming bedtime routine
  • Use bedtime for bonding
  • Help your child feel safe, secure and comforted in his crib/bed
  • Make your child’s room a soothing and calming place: dark, quiet, organized and safe
  • Avoid active playing, television, videogames and other exciting activities before bedtime Do not use the crib/bed for time-outs or disciplining

Children model our behavior, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep!

By Diana Gonzalez Blanco, B.B.A., M.B.A., is a Certified Youth, Parenting and Family Coach; a Baby and Toddler Sleep Expert; and founder of Smooth Parenting. Smooth Parenting is a baby & toddler sleep training consultancy and parenting coaching firm, that helps families around the world get a good night sleep and a peaceful, smooth and happy family life. Diana has an impressive track record of helping families teach their babies to sleep. Her approach to sleep training and parenting is gentle, progressive, effective, holds the wellbeing of the child first, and follows the guidelines provided by the American Association of Pediatrics.

For more baby sleep and parenting tips, sign up for Smooth Parenting’s FREE newsletter at http://www.SmoothParenting.com; and follow them on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/SmoothParenting

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Sleep Training Multiples

Tips to help multiples get a good night’s sleep

Healthy sleep habits are essential for our children’s development and for our own sanity! Here are some tips that parents of multiples can implement from day one:


  • Help them become independent sleepers. Allow them to experience the feeling of being drowsy but awake on their cribs; avoid creating negative sleep associations (rocking, feeding, patting, holding… them to sleep); and do not respond immediately to every single noise they make.

  • Follow a schedule. Your babies (and you!) will thrive on a schedule. Pay attention to your babies’ clues during the first weeks and pick a schedule that works for your multiples. An early bedtime (between 5 and 7pm) is an essential part of great schedule. If one of the parents (or both) get home late from work, do not keep your babies up to see them before bed, as you will all pay for it with a terrible night sleep. Instead, wake up early and play with them in the morning right after their first feeding.

  • Keep them synchronized. Once the right schedule is in place, synchronization is possible. Remember to wake them up for feedings when necessary; to put them down for naps and nights at the same time (one down, both down); and to be consistent. Synchronization usually comes easier with identical babies.

Sleep training multiples can be exhausting, but remember that you can do it, and that a good night’s sleep is as important for your babies as a proper meal.


Good luck!

By Diana Gonzalez Blanco, B.B.A., M.B.A., is a Certified Youth, Parenting and Family Coach; a Baby and Toddler Sleep Expert; and founder of Smooth Parenting. Smooth Parenting is a baby & toddler sleep training consultancy and parenting coaching firm, that helps families around the world get a good night sleep and a peaceful, smooth and happy family life. Diana has an impressive track record of helping families teach their babies to sleep. Her approach to sleep training and parenting is gentle, progressive, effective, holds the wellbeing of the child first, and follows the guidelines provided by the American Association of Pediatrics.

For more baby sleep and parenting tips, sign up for Smooth Parenting’s FREE newsletter at http://www.SmoothParenting.com; and follow them on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/SmoothParenting

What does ‘sleeping through the night’ really mean?

“Is he/she sleeping through the night?” is probably one of the most common questions new parents are asked. But, what does ‘sleeping through the night’ really mean? 12 hours, 8 hours…? It depends! It depends on the age, weight and development of your baby. If your child is healthy, developing and growing properly, this is what you should expect in terms of sleeping through the night.

Age Sleeping Through The Night (STTN)
Newborn 3 – 5 Hours
1 – 3 Months 5 – 8 Hours
3 – 6 Months 8 – 12 Hours
After 6 Months 12 – 13 Hours

Having said that, you may very well have a 2 month old baby sleeping 12 hours at night, or a 6 month old baby sleeping 8. Remember that these are averages, and there are many factors that affect each baby’s particular situation. The goal would be for our babies to be sleeping 12 hours at night somewhere between 4 to 6 months of age.

Baby Sleep Safety

We’d like to share with you some simple safety tips to have in mind when putting your baby to sleep for nights and naps. Many of them have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS*.
  • Put your baby to sleep on his back
  • Keep your baby’s face clear of coverings
  • Do not leave loose bedding, pillows, or stuffed toys in the crib
  • Do not over-clothe your baby, avoid overheating
  • Use a safety-certified crib (JPMA certified)
  • Have a firm crib mattress
  • Don’t let your baby fall asleep on the sofa, or untied on a swing/ bouncy seat
  • Maintain an appropriate temperature on your baby’s room (68 – 72 F)
  • Improve the ventilation in your baby’s room
  • Avoid exposing your baby to tobacco smoke
  • Offer your baby a pacifier (under 12 months old)

Educate babysitters, day-care providers, grandparents, and everyone who cares for your baby about SIDS risk and the importance of observing the advice offered here.

* SIDS: Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1 in which an autopsy does not show an explainable cause of death. There are no symptoms. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old. Though SIDS remains unpredictable, you can help reduce your infant’s risk.

    CityMommy Interviews Smooth Parenting

    Click here to go to the source.

    Interviewee: Smooth Parenting’s Founder & CEO, Diana Gonzalez Blanco, B.B.A., M.B.A., Y.P.F.C.

    1. Please tell us a little bit about your business/site?

    Smooth Parenting is an infant and toddler sleep consultancy and parenting-coaching firm. We provide a gentle and progressive approach to parenting and sleep training for children under 3 years old.

    Smooth Parenting’s goal is to provide parents with useful, direct and practical advice to help them become the parents they’ve always wanted to be, connect with their children, eliminate unnecessary fights and struggles, and enjoy parenthood. Smooth Parenting wants parents to have a ‘Smooth Parenting Experience’.

    2. How long have you been in business?

    I have been an independent parent coach and sleep training expert for many years, and have a great track record of helping families teach their babies to sleep, and help families be happier, more balanced and adjusted.

    I know how stressful parenting can be at times, especially when sleep issues arise. At Smooth Parenting, we develop a personalized sleep and schedule strategy for the families she works with, after analyzing their parenting preferences, lifestyle and family dynamics. Our approach to sleep training is gentle, progressive, effective, holds the wellbeing of the child first, and follows the American Association of Pediatrics guidelines.

    3. Is your business online, or a physical location or both?

    Smooth Parenting offers private by-phone or in-home consultations, as well as seminars, online webinars and private groups sessions about various parenting topics.

    4. What do you enjoy most about running your business/site?

    I enjoy all of it, although the best part for me is being part of the transformation of families. I love helping families improve their relationships, parents become the best they can be, and children become happier and better adjusted.
    I also value the opportunity to better balance my personal life, and to be fully involved in the daily lives of my daughters.

    5. Is there a favorite product or service that you offer?

    The favorite face-to-face services are our ‘In-Home Sleep Consultation’. We have an initial conversation with the family over the phone (or skype) learn more about their parenting style, children sleeping habits and needs. We then design a comprehensive sleep training strategy that will meet the family’s needs, current situation and parenting style. We share with the parents the recommended sleep training strategy and answer any questions they may have; during a 90 – 120 minute long meeting, at the comfort of their own home.

    The In-Home Sleep Consultation includes: (1) step by step sleep training strategy, (2) nursery assessment, (3) daily schedule, (4) recommendations for the future and (5) 2 weeks of support by phone or email.

    The favorite online services are our ‘Teach Your Baby to Sleep Webinars’. Webinars are live and highly interactive. You can attend from the comfort of your own home, with your computer. All the webinars include a ‘questions & answers’ section, in which you will be able to ask questions about what was discussed in the webinar, and about your baby’s particular sleep issues.

    The topics covered on the most popular webinar are the following: (1) Sleep needs by age; setting the right expectations, (2) Sleep tips and techniques for your baby and toddler, (3) Step by Step sleep training guide by age, (4) Schedules, (5) Nursery set up, and (6) Bedtime routines. This webinar is perfect for parents with children between 0 and 3 years old, and for expecting parents.

    6. Anything else you would like to share about your business? Being a working Mom? Etc…

    For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about children’s wellbeing, children’s rights, education, coaching and parenting. After many years working in the corporate world and graduating with an MBA from New York University; I decided to follow my passion and launched Smooth Parenting to help families have a better and smoother parenting experience.
    In 2009, I became the proud mother of twin girls, who are the loves of my life and have taught me more about myself, parenting and unconditional love that I could ever imagined.

    I am also the founder of Top MBA Mom, an online community for women who are mothers (or are expecting), and have earned or are earning MBA degrees. If you are one of us, I invite you to join us.

    Sleep and Travel

    Baby sleep and travel is the number one question we received during holidays and vacations. Will travel ruin my baby’s sleep habits? Will he/she be able to maintain the schedule? Should we maintain the schedule or just let him/her ‘run wild’? How do we adjust the schedules when there’s a time difference? How do we handle his/her jet lag? Could you share some tips about baby and toddler sleep and travel?… These are only a few of the questions we received, so I’m going to try to answer all of them in this post.

    1. Try to book an overnight flight, as it will be easier to get your child to sleep on the plane.
    2. Definitely keep your schedule (at local time)! You can move it 1-2 hours up or down, but you should maintain your routines and structure while on vacation. For example, if you’re traveling to Southern Europe from the States, and your baby’s schedule in the States is 6am to 6pm; you might be able to move him to 7am-7pm or even 8am to 8pm.
    3. The first day at your destination, try to get as much sunlight as possible, as it will help your baby’s body set into the new time zone easier and faster.
    4. During the day, try to keep your child entertained and active. Exercise and play will wear him out and leave him ready for a good night sleep.
    5. Do the naps! Do not think that skipping the nap will help your baby sleep better and faster at night. That’s a common misconception, as they will get to their bedtime overtired and it will take them longer to fall asleep.
    6. During naps and night, make sure your baby’s room is dark; and continue doing your naptime and bedtime routines.
    7. Try to ‘recreate’ your child’s current enviroment as much as possible: blackout shades, favourite blanket, same pajamas, nightlight…
    8. Do not introduce bad habits or poor sleep associations. Do not rock your baby to sleep, let him play longer than normal, let him sleep on your bed, let him watch TV before bedtime… do not create bad habits that you do not allow at home, and that you will have to take away once your return.
    9. Feed your child at the usual mealtimes. Try to choose healthy, filling options, junk foods will only make the problem worse.
    10. Expect that it will take your baby between 2-5 days to adjust to the new time zone, especially if there’s more than 4 hours difference. Plan your stay and return accordingly.
    11. The adjustment on your return will be harder than on your way to your destination.
    12. Keep your calm, stay possitive and consistent and have plan beforehand. You should decide on your schedule (local time) and how you’re going to help your baby adjust to the new time zone, BEFORE leaving.

    We hope this information was useful, and we wish you a great family vacation!