Sleep is like a Puzzle

Some of our children seem to fall into a good sleep pattern without much effort. The easy child goes to sleep without a whimper and sleeps through the night at a very young age. We wonder what we did right!

Then there are the other children who seem to fight sleep in every possible way. It is difficult to get the child to sleep and then multiple times per night the child is calling for you. Parent and child get more and more exhausted.

What is the answer? Unfortunately there is not an easy answer. I think sleep is like a puzzle. You must fit all the right pieces together to help that child sleep well.

puzzle pieces

What are the pieces?

1. The age of the child makes a difference. Sleep changes as our children grow and develop. For a newborn, sleep is very disorganized. At about 8 weeks the night sleep begins to lengthen. At 16 weeks the naps consolidate and more adult type sleep cycles develop. We have to adjust to the growing child’s  sleep needs.

2. Timing of sleep is important. The body develops a circadian rhythm at 16 weeks which means the body has time periods when it wants to sleep and times when the body wants to be awake. It is necessary to coordinate sleep with the times the body desires sleep.

3. The sleep environment needs to be conducive to sleep. We want the child to associate their bed with sleep. The bedroom should promote sleep for the child, not a play area.

4. What happens during the awake time determines what sleep time is like. The child must have proper nutrition whether that is nursing, formula or solid food. Sleep is effected by having time in the sun to help set their body clock. Activity during their awake time is necessary, but the child needs some calming activity prior to sleep.

5. Sleep leads to more sleep. How well the naps went effects how the night time sleep goes. Good naps lead to good nights.

6. Each child is an individual. Each child has their own likes and dislikes. Children have their own personality which affects sleep. Some children can easily handle changes in their life and other children resist any change in their schedule. Some children do not want to stop the fun activities of the day to sleep.

7. Parents have their own parenting style. We all approach parenting in a different way. There is not one right way to parent. Sometimes our parenting approach for one child might not work for our second child.

Fitting all these pieces together leads to good healthy sleep. It can be tricky to know how to do that. An educated and experienced sleep consultant can guide you through the process to help you find the optimum sleeping situation for your little one.

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Helping Babies Sleep

Arlene Fryling

Arlene is a registered nurse and certified sleep consultant for children 0-5 years. She has cared for premature, sick, and many healthy babies. For over 15 years she has taught expectant parents how to care for their newborns through classes teaching basic baby care, infant massage classes, and moderating support groups for new moms as they deal with parenting issues.

Infant Tummy Massage to Relieve Gas

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Testimonials

Adrienne G.
Adrienne G.
9 months ago
We worked with Arlene to sleep train our 22 month old son who had been bed sharing and nursing to sleep. She helped us develop a sleep plan that was specific to our son's needs. It addressed both his nighttime sleep and his naps. It really took the guess work out of the endeavor, because as a parent, even if you read all the sleep books, there are many different opinions and it is hard to know what is right. Arlene was attentive, flexible and available to answer all of our questions and concerns. I would highly recommend working with her! Our son now sleeps 11-12 hours a night and put himself to sleep on his own. Sleep training him has been a game changer for me (I sleep now too!) and for him. He seems well rested and his development seems to be progressing faster now too. His language skills are flourishing since he is getting better rest.
Ella H
Ella H
11 months ago
Arlene has helped our family tremendously with sleep. We were feeling like we were at the end of our rope not getting any sleep. I paid for Arlene's service in desperation at 4:03am one morning after waking up 3 times at that point. I spoke with Arlene the next day. We had a long conversation to help us understand the sleep patterns and what our child was going through at that specific point. We felt heard and felt that she understood what we needed and she set up a very detailed plan for us. I got started with the plan before details were emailed over. It was such a game changer in the first night. We followed her plan each night for two weeks and the progress that our child and us (as the parents) made in those two weeks were tremendous. We now have a child who doesn't need much help during the night and are seeing our child sleep more during nap times, too. Arlene exceeded my expectations. I've worked with a sleep consultant in the past and the level of care & work Arlene put in was so much more helpful. We highly recommend her services. She will get you and your child(ren) the sleep you need! Thank you Arlene
Begoña Cirera
Begoña Cirera
a year ago
Arlene helped me first with my first son who was 2.5 year old when I hired her. He slept with me during breastfeeding. He never wanted to sleep in his crib. I was due with my second, and I needed better rest, and had no clue how to get him to sleep away from my bed. I even had to sleep w him during naps, or he wouldn’t sleep. I had to walk him for hours to fall asleep every night. It was awful. Two weeks after Arlene helped us create a program for him, he was done!!! He was sleeping in his own room, all night (12+ hours) and he was SO HAPPY during the day. We learned so much, and all made so much sense. After trying methods and books, nothing worked. My son is almost 6, and he falls asleep at 7:30pm every evening, until 7:00am. As a parent, you know how precious those hours are. With my second one, I didn’t make the mistake of waiting until he was two to train him to sleep. By 3 months, we slowly started, with Arlene’s help. I never had to walk him or be there for him to fall asleep. He’s now 3, and he is a great sleeper, much better than his big brother ever was, still takes 90-min naps, and sleeps 11 hours a night. Every penny I spent to hire Arlene’s expertise is worth it. My only regret was not to look for her sooner. Lifesaver, 100%.
Amanda C
Amanda C
2 years ago
We just wrapped up our second time working with Arlene, and had another great experience! Arlene helped us sleep train our first baby a few years ago when she was 4 months old at the time. She was a terrible sleeper, waking up once every hour and needing to be rocked to sleep for what felt like hours and hours each day. I was a stressed, exhausted, and worried first time mom, and I was drawn to Arlene’s calm and experienced approach. She gave us an option for a gentler strategy that worked for us at the time, and was detailed and responsive in her sleep plan and attentiveness. Our daughter just turned 2.5 years old and is still a great sleeper. So once our second baby turned 4 months recently, we did not hesitate to work with Arlene again. We now have two rockstar sleepers in our household, thanks to Arlene! It means the world to us that she was there to help guide us, instill confidence, and most importantly, help teach our children such a valuable skill they will undoubtedly benefit from for the rest of their lives.
Abbey Stidam
Abbey Stidam
5 years ago
Arlene Fryling at Gentle Touch Sleep Time helped our son sleep, which helped us sleep! We were having trouble transitioning our son (4 months at the time) from his rock-n-play to the crib and our amazing sleeper since birth was all of a sudden not sleeping very much. Arlene talked with us about what was going on with his sleep and why the change in his sleep pattern. She answered all our questions and calmed our worries and frustrations. She came up with a sleep plan that worked for our family. She guided us every step of the way. He is now an amazing sleeper again! He is 18 months old and sleeps 12 hours at night and takes a 1 1/2 - 2 hour nap. He loves to sleep and never fights sleeping. I am so thankful we had Arlene Fryling help us and we were able to teach our son to sleep.