Chrissy Lawler helps out parents with the basics that they need to know about sleeping practices which they can then build on, based on intuition and the needs of their children.
Getting a baby to sleep is no easy task. Since babies have limited means of communication, a crying baby could mean they are hungry, tired, or even overstimulated. For new parents, it's case-by-case handling of the situation. Even experienced parents can sometimes struggle to get their babies to go to bed. Good sleeping habits are essential for a baby to grow up well. In the past, the tips and tricks of raising a baby were shared from generation to generation. But now thanks to the internet we have accessible experts like Chrissy Lawler who shares tips on infant care for free on social media.
Lawler is a mother of four and a lover of sleep. She took this passion to the next level by becoming a sleep therapist and has founded The Peaceful Sleeper where she shares her tips and tricks on how best to allow sleep to take over. She even shares "simple, effective ways to get your baby sleeping" on her Instagram page where she has over 180K followers. She spoke to Good Morning America about how putting a baby to sleep need not be a herculean task at all. By noting when a baby needs to go to sleep she says parents can help them drift off in mere seconds.
"Babies are not one size fits all and parents are not one size fits all," Lawler has said in the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok. Lawler tackles the sleep problem by helping out parents with the basics that they need to know. They can then build on it based on intuition and according to the needs of their children. The therapist then took a leap and got on Instagram when she realized her target audience was on the platform. Despite being a private person, she decided to share her valuable tips to help the "tired and overwhelmed" moms who came to Instagram for a break.
"I'm a mom of four and a sleep specialist so I am all about empowering women and parents and families to get good sleep because it benefits everybody's mental health and happiness," she said. In one of her sleep tutorial videos, she explains the tell-tale signs of a sleepy baby. "They will show very subtle signs that they're getting sleepy," she explains, "before they start to demonstrate those classic tired symptoms like fussing, grunting, and squirming. So, some of the things that you can look for to know when they're starting to get tired are red around the eyelids and eyebrows, some staring off, maybe a subtle yawn, and very early signs of fussing."
She says that we can't deal with sleepy babies the same way we deal with sleepy adults. In fact, is the exact opposite. "The biggest mistake that parents make in trying to get their babies to sleep well is assuming, 'If I can get my baby good and tired then they'll sleep better,' not realizing that's what I think will work for my baby because that's what would work for me." She clarifies, "Really with babies sleep begets sleep. The more they sleep the better they sleep." Lawler then demonstrates the snug swaddle method to put a newborn to sleep faster.
As for soothing strategies, in addition to the snug swaddle babies like to have something to suck on, Lawler states. "And then they like bouncing and swinging motions," she said adding that using the "shush" sounds as you bounce and swing helps them sleep better because it is like what they used to hear in the womb. Another favorite trick to get the babies to sleep is a very subtle eyebrow stroke. This helps them close their eyes naturally and helps them fall asleep faster. But the next challenge is to put them down in the crib without disturbing them.
"The worst thing in the world is when you finally rock your little baby to sleep and then they wake up the second that you put them down," Lawler states. To prevent this she suggests lowering them into the crib on their side and then gently allowing them to roll onto their back. She even provides words of encouragement to parents by telling them, "You are the expert for your baby and you can take what you love and leave the rest." Lawler also provides courses for infant care and self-care, apart from private consultations which you can book here.