EverydayFamily Interview with Dr. Christina Gantcher: Getting Your Baby to Sleep through the Night
Getting your baby to sleep through the night is a huge milestone, not only in the life of your baby, but in your life as well. I don't think the importance of a good night's sleep can be overstated, so being able to get that for both of you should be of the utmost importance.
Recently, EverydayFamily sat down with Dr. Christina Gantcher, M. Sc., a sleep coach and in-house sleep expert for Gerber. She said that everybody has a different definition of what sleeping through the night is, but whatever that definition is (having your baby sleeping through the night or having your baby wake up for a quick feed and then going back to bed), it's totally based on the parents' expectations — expectations that exist because of how different all babies and their sleep patterns are.
Dr. Gantcher said that the variability in babies and in their sleep patterns makes it so there's not a one-size-fits-all answer, but she gave these four tips to help all babies and parents on a general scale:
- Be patient. Patience with yourself and with your baby is a must, and do your best not to compare your baby to others.
- Make sure that feeding comes first. All parents need to make sure that their baby is feeding at regular intervals and growing appropriately.
- Create a dedicated sleep space. Your baby needs to know from habit that the dark, quiet place that they're being laid down in is the place of sleep. Essentially, they need to think to themselves when they're brought into the room, “OK, it's sleep time.”
- Do some sleep conditioning. When a parent is ready, and they think their baby is ready, it's okay to put your baby down sleepy, but awake and see how much he/she can do by themselves so they can start putting themselves to sleep independently once a day.
For further help from Dr. Gantcher, you schedule a one-on-one consultation for help with your baby's sleep patterns. You can also schedule a consultation by calling 1-800-284-9488.
Christina Gantcher, M. Sc. is a sleep coach—and newest addition to Gerber’s panel of in-house experts—trained in the most extensive professional sleep coaching certification program available. Trained by Kim West, The Sleep Lady®, in her Gentle Sleep Coach program, Gantcher lectures on how to help your kids sleep, makes household calls, and creates a customized sleep plan for you and your children. She is a mother of two boys and lives in New York City with her husband, Mike Gantcher.