A mom of two has created a sleep training method that she says will get newborns to slumber for eight hours straight.
After trying different strategies to get her first born son, Sammy, now 3, to sleep through the night to no avail, Florida mom Karen Kirsner came up with her own formula, combining and reordering tried and true sleep training methods. Her strategy worked: Sammy slept through the night at 7 weeks old, and Kirsner’s second child, Adam, now 1, slept though the night at 6 weeks old.
In October, Kirsner, who spent 12 years caring for babies and kids as a babysitter and camp counselor, self-published a book about her strategy, The Baby ‘Fast to Sleep’ Formula, which shot to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list.
“I really wanted to be able to sleep at night,” Kirsner tells Yahoo Parenting. “Through trial and error, I realized that the best thing was putting [my kids] on both a feeding and sleeping schedule. It really helps if they’re full.”
The formula also involves what Kirsner calls “progressive watching,” where you don’t immediately respond to your baby’s cry. However, she points out that she’s not advocating the cry it out method — merely waiting before going in if it’s clear that the baby isn’t hungry or doesn’t need to be changed. “Instead of just jumping up the second your baby starts to cry, wait 30 seconds,” she says. “They just may have some gas.”
She adds: “Crying is a baby’s only way of communicating with you. So if they need you — if they need to be changed or fed — they will let you know. Otherwise, sometimes you’re creating a need and they get used to it. They think, ‘I make a noise and they come running.’”
As with some other sleep training methods, parents should slowly increase the time they wait before going in to check on a crying baby. “Start waiting for 30 seconds, then one minute,” she says. “By eight weeks old, give it five minutes.”
Little by little, Kirsner also recommends stretching out the time between feedings. “It can be as little as five minutes or half an hour, depending on your child because every child is different,” she says. “It’s slowly but surely.”
Kirsner says that parents who follow the formula from day one with their newborn can expect their baby to sleep 8 hours at night by the time they’re 8 weeks old. “I’ve had parents who did this with older babies who were struggling [with sleep] for months, and I’ve had people get results within two weeks,” she says.
Consistency is key, notes Kirsner. “You start to put the work in and then have a rough night, break the consistency, and you have to start all over,” she says. “Having a good support system helps and goes a long way.”
(Top photo: Karen Kirsner)