Last updated on April 3rd, 2024

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Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

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sleepWhen asked the question “What is the best piece of advice you would give tired parents“, we received tons of responses and very good answers! Even though it was tough, we chose our 5 favorites. In the comments below, let us know which is your favorite using the numbers beside your favorite entry (ex: “My favorite is number 1”).
The best advice to tired parents is simple- think long term!  If you focus on the short term when you just want to get some sleep now, you’ll wind up creating bad habits and your goal will become farther away and harder to reach.  It will get tougher before it gets easier, but if you and your spouse/partner stick to your guns and focus on the long term goal of a good night sleep every night for you and your kid(s), you will be rewarded!
Kate C.

One of the best pieces of sleep advice I have learned is to go to bed one night at week when my kids do.  It is so tempting to stay up late for some quiet, “adult time”, but falling asleep at 8pm one night a week really helps catch up on some much-needed sleep.  Tired parents are just too tired to enforce rules with kids, so give yourself a break and get yourself a little bit of extra sleep!

Jennifer Eldredge
Be consistent.  Use the same soothing and bedtime routines. Even if they don’t always appear tired, follow a schedule that seems right for your child’s age and activity level. Always sleep children in the same place–ideally this is a cool, dark room with a noise machine. This environment is fairly easy to duplicate when travelling and is a much more effective than a stroller or carseat. Establishing healthy, consistent sleep routines may be your first chance to show some tough love-that you are the parent and you are willing to sacrifice any other plans to totally focus on what’s best for your child. When your children see you make sleep a constant priority, they do better with relaxing and accepting the needed sleep. Also, be consistent also when caring for yourself and child; sleep-deprived people need nutritious food and to only focus on the main essentials life.
Moira C. Silva
Being a mother of twins, I know how long those sleepless nights can be.  My best advice would be to make this a team effort with your husband or partner.  Even though we were exclusively breastfeeding, my husband would get up, bring the babies to me and change their diapers before putting them back down.  He couldn’t actually do much real work to help out with feeding them, but just having him there and knowing that I wasn’t doing this alone kept me sane.
Leslie Fox

My mom gave me great advice when starting out on the mission to sleep train my daughter.  She said, “when the parent decides, the child will follow”.  This made so much sense to me as I had half-heartedly tried several methods of sleep training with no success.  Of course I was not successful because I was not consistent with any of them.
I knew I needed to get serious and consistent so I sat down and thought about all the reasons I wanted to sleep train my child.  I visualized myself walking into my daughter’s room seeing her waking up rested and happy.  I thought about my day and  all the things that would improve if I was not waking up every two hours.  I jotted these thoughts down among several others and I would read them before bed each night.  Almost like a pep rally as I knew the night was going to be rough.  I stayed committed and steadfast to these visions and I am happy to say that I now walk into my daughter’s room in the morning and the grin that she gives me says she is thankful too!
Lauren Duncan

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Author: Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

My name is Kim West, and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. My sleep journey began when I started experimenting with gently shaping my daughter’s sleep by not following the conventional wisdom at the time. After having success (and then more success with my second daughter!), I began helping family and friends and my step-by-step method spread like wildfire, exactly like an excellent night of sleep for a tired parent should!