Good Night, Sleep Tight: A Q & A with Kim West, The Sleep Lady
After almost 10 years, Kim West, AKA “The Sleep Lady” revised her book, The Sleep Lady’s Good Night, Sleep Tight. With exciting new and updated information as well as a fresh new cover and easy-to-read layout, it’s a must for any parent looking for baby and child sleep help.
Kim sat down and answered some questions about her new release. Read up on what’s new and why!
What prompted you to release a new edition?
A lot has changed in 9 years! Increased use of technology by children and parents, a better understanding of temperament and sensory processing — not to mention medical conditions that can affect sleep. There’s new research on emotional availability and its effects on bedtime and sleep in general.
I continue to learn what parents need to help improve their child’s sleep. Parents of children in beds wanted more techniques on how to help their child stay in bed, and in some cases how to help an anxious child separate at bedtime. There are a number of families who are safely cosleeping — and not telling anyone about it— who want to improve sleep in the family bed, so I added a section on that while still keeping and improving the chapter on how to end cosleeping.
What does the new edition of Good Night, Sleep Tight offer?
Good Night Sleep Tight still offers a practical, easy-to- follow, gentle system that will work for all families seeking peaceful slumber for their children, from birth to six years old. This includes understanding temperament to improve sleep, bedtime as a bonding time, tantrum tips, emotional availability, and much more.
You’ve included sample schedules for all age groups?
The Sleep Lady GNST using The Shuffle is one of the only sleep methods that addresses children all the way up to school-aged. I’ve included schedules for sleep, naps, and feeding reaching through preschool and beyond. This isn’t new, but it’s important because many sleep methods stop around the toddler years, while Good Night, Sleep Tight includes older children.
READ: Baby and Child Sleep: Sample Schedules From 6 Months to Preschool
The Bedtime Battle — we relate! What’s new there?
In the new edition, I talk about how to make bedtime more of a bonding time and less of a battle ground. I even go into detail on how to better handle tantrums, which I know is a hot topic around nap and bedtime.
READ: Preschooler Bedtime Battles: 11 Tips for Peaceful Evenings
Sleep training multiples seems impossible. Any new tips for that?
The 3rd Edition of GNST goes into more detail about how to sleep train multiples for both and night and naps. It details whether to separate them and when, as well as what to do when one wakes the other.
READ: Gentle Sleep Coaching Twins — Tips Just for Multiples
What about regressions caused by developmental milestones?
Learning to walk is one example of a huge milestone that can throw off even the best sleeper. Rolling, sitting up, pulling up, these are all major physical achievements that can cause hiccups. I help parents understand what to expect and how to keep it from derailing their sleep coaching.
READ: Sleep Regressions — What Are They, and When Will They End?
What does Good Night, Sleep Tight say about temperament?
Temperament is a highly important topic in sleep coaching. While a calm baby might learn to drift off on their own, a very alert baby might have significant trouble self-soothing. That’s why I delve into the different temperaments and how you can tailor The Shuffle to meet your baby where they are.
READ: Why Does My Baby Fight Sleep? – Sleep Coaching the Super Alert Child
Yes! Not only can it be done, I have included age-specific recommendations for babies from birth to four months, and more information for older babies. Some infants need a “long runway” to bedtime. That means they need a calm and soothing activity in the time before the countdown to lights-out. Yoga and guided massage are perfect calming activities for the “final approach” to landing in bed.
What about parents who aren’t ready to do The Shuffle?
There’s still valuable information in my new edition. A parent who isn’t quite ready to jump in can try a few baby steps beforehand.
For example, if your baby depends on you to nurse her to sleep every night, and you are not ready to put her down drowsy but awake, you can “switch negative sleep associations”. Stop one night and have the other parent rock her to sleep instead. Your child won’t be as attached to that new behavior, and that can make it easier to stop the rocking once you start sleep coaching.
What are some roadblocks to sleep training?
Most of the time babies don’t sleep well because they haven’t learned to fall asleep on their own yet. Certainly, an illness — even a small cold — can make an infant miserable. But for some, there is an underlying condition like reflux or sleep apnea that can cause disturbances. Conditions such as Sensory Processing Disorder and autism spectrum disorders can also cause sleep problems.
I have extended my chapter on medical conditions in the new edition and had it reviewed by a pediatrician. I usually recommend ruling out these conditions with your doctor before attempting sleep training, so this should help set people up for success with The Shuffle.
READ: 11 Common Sleep Problems and What to Do About Them
When and where can we get this brand-new edition?
Right here! It also happens to be my birthday, which was a total coincidence, but an amazing gift! And after many requests, I’m so happy to say it will be available on Audible. Get yours today, and grab a copy for your expecting friend — the value of this gift will far outweigh the cost.