Breastfeeding, Bedsharing and Sleep Training

For many mothers, breastfeeding is the best way to help soothe their little ones to sleep. How does this impact hot button topics such as bedsharing and sleep training? If you choose to share your bed or co-sleep, how can you do it safely? What can you expect with sleep training and how can it impact the breastfeeding relationship you have with your child?

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Episode Transcript

The Boob Group
Breastfeeding, Bedsharing and Sleep Training


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC.
As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: Breastfeeding, bed sharing and sleep training are some of the hottest topics out there today in the parenting world. We might be crazy but we’ve decided to tackle them all in today’s episode. I’m thrilled to welcome a new expert to the show, Dr. Wendy Middlemiss – an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas.

Today, we’re discussing, “The Science of the Mother Infant Sleep: breastfeeding, bed sharing and sleep training.” This is The Boob Episode 78.

[Theme Music/Intro]

ROBIN KAPLAN: Welcome to The Boob Group broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. The Boob Group is your weekly online on-the-go support group for all things related to breastfeeding. I’m your host Robin Kaplan. I’m also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Centre.

Did you now know that all of our episodes are now free? Yes, we opened up our archives just for you – so that our listeners have access to all of our episodes anytime, anywhere. Just download them from our website or apps available on iTunes and Amazon Marketplace or subscribe to our podcast through iTunes and have our episodes automatically added to your account each week.

Today, I am joined by three lovely panelists in the studio. Ladies, will you please introduce yourselves?

CHRISTINA WILSON: My name is Christina. I’m 28 years old. I’m a stay-at-home mom and I have a son, Gregory that’s nine months.

STACY SPENSLEY: I am Stacy Spensley. I’m 31 years old. I’m a health coach and I have one son who is eight months old named Iver.

CHRISTINA WILLIAMS: Hi, I’m also Christina – Christina Williams. I’m 34. I’m in Medical Education. I have one daughter she’s 21 months.

ROBIN KAPLAN: I’d also like to introduce Mj, our producer. Mj, will you introduce yourself and tell everyone about our virtual panelist stuff.

MJ FISHER: Yes, well I’m Mj – a stay-at-home mom to Jason who’s 27 months old. Thanks to Robin, I have this amazing opportunity to help and support other mamas through their breastfeeding journey. I’m super passionate about breastfeeding and helping others so I’m really thankful to be here with you all.

One of my duties as the producer is to, “Bring you mamas into the studio.” As well as over the internet – our Virtual Panelists Program is a way for anyone to give their opinions and share experiences even if they can’t be in the studio. So, make sure you’ll like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter using the hash tag #boobgroupvp because on recording day, we post the same questions.

We ask our in-studio panellists so you can join the conversation. We can, may even read your comment in the episode and when you join the conversation, you may win a one month subscription to The Boob Group Club. So, come and share your stories while you are helping other mamas in the process.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome, thanks Mj.

Sunny: Hey everyone. This is Sunny, one of the producers on The Boob Group and before we get started with today’s show – we have a special interview for you. Dawn Alva is joining us. She is the founder of Rumina which creates some wonderful products for breastfeeding moms. So Dawn, welcome to The Boob Group. Thank you so much for joining us.

Dawn: Thank you for having me.

Sunny: So, tell us a little bit about yourself and tell us what Rumina is.

Dawn: I’m the founder of Rumina Nursing Wear and we design garments that transition from bump into your baby, designed for pumping enhance free. Pants free pumping and nursing. So, we have tanks and also bras so that helps when you’re on the go, you need to either nurse and/or hands free pump. It makes it easy, convenient and safe’s on.

Sunny: So, I’m assuming you’re passionate about your product; you’re passionate about your company. Tell us how it got started.

Dawn: So, I struggled with breastfeeding and pumping with my son six years ago. So, when I was out in the market looking for something that I could like actually do something else with my pants and hold these lovely funnels to my breast – nothing worked for me. My body type just didn’t quite spit the structure of the garments that were out there.

I wanted something that I could wear at work. It was very uncomfortable to get undress at work even though I have my lovely private room. I wanted something that was covering and layering. So, I work through different processes of putting my idea to paper. So, I designed a seamless, hands-free pumping and nursing bra so no irritation with the nipples and be able to easily quickly nurse and pump wherever you’re at.

Sunny: So Dawn, tell us a little bit more about the products that you’ve created that you’ve really liked.

Dawn: So we just came – I’m really excited. We just came out with a bra that is what we call, “Our Relax Cross-over Bra.” So, it has a beautiful design that layers under and has this V around your lovely breast. But, it’s hands-free and designed for maternity as well as the new post-partum when you’re engorge and sensitive. So, it has a soft jersey knit cotton. It’s seamless for no effort, no irritation, and no holes. It also transforms into hands-free pumping.

So, I’m still nursing my one-year old lovely little Beth. I really love being able to not to have to fuddle with any clips or clasps and I prefer a little bit of support while I’m sleeping. So, I can either just drop it down, no worries and no fuzz in the middle of the night –get back into bed as quickly as possible.

Sunny: I know because I’ve done that too with like you were talking about the clips and stuff and it feels like sometimes you either do spending so much time just to trying to set it up so that you can be hands-free. I’m like probably wasted so much time just setting this up as suppose to holding it.

Dawn: I love when our moms gives us feedback of [inaudible 00:05:58-59] and they need some supporting for the time as well as going to transition into work because juggling family, work and newborn – it’s obviously very, very challenging. We’re having something that can save your time quick and easy and makes you feel comfortable as I was going for, “A very functional garment.”

Sunny: So, how can people purchase these garments?

Dawn: Well, definitely come to We have some fun colours coming out over the course every month. So, it’s not just your traditional bra colours which we’ve been there for our tanks and our bras that’s far. So, you’re going to see some glorious blues and vibrant reds and I’m excited about that. So, you can go to our website. You can also go to Amazon and we also sell you different boutiques across the country.

Sunny: We’re going to encourage our listeners to go to your website because Rumina for moms, if you go over there and you enter promo code – Mommy Media, you’re going to receive 20% off on your entire purchase.

So, Dawn thank you so much for being here and for offering this great promo code for our listeners and promoting breastfeeding because sometimes it’s a challenge. We love that there’s products out there like yours that make it just a little bit easier.

Dawn: Thank you very much Sunny.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Today’s topic on The Boob Group is, “The Science of Mother Infant Sleep: bed sharing, breastfeeding and sleep training.” Our expert Dr. Wendy Middlemiss is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas. She is also the co-editor of a brand new book called The Science of Mother Infant Sleep: Current Findings on Bed Sharing, Breastfeeding, Sleep training and Normal Infant Sleep.

Hi Wendy and welcome to our show.


ROBIN KAPLAN: So, Wendy what is the most current research saying about the safety of bed sharing and how does this affect SIDS risk?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: Well the safety of bed sharing is a topic that came from a lot of research and a lot of attention. One of the most salient things to take out is all of the research as a whole is it that, “There are specific things that create risks for babies in any sleep setting.”

So, for a safe sleep really what you need to do is, “To protect an infant’s capacity to breathe” which means you have to keep their airway open – which means you have to protect their mouth and their nose and make sure that their neck isn’t tense. The other is that you need to protect their [unclear]. When we sleep, we have an [unclear] that it wakes us if there’s anything goes wrong.

In babies, that can be a compromised. If they are pre-termed babies, if they’re not feeling the mouth, if their mother smokes cigarette during pregnancy or after and it’s so really the research is on whole when we piece a part of all the pieces, points to some very constant and salient risk for infant. They aren’t necessary tied the location. They aren’t tied to what the infant needs to do to be healthy while sleeping.

ROBIN KAPLAN: What criteria should a parent follow if they want to make bed sharing safe?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: If they want to make bed sharing safe then they have to make sure that they are doing everything that is going to lead to those to protect those two elements of the infant sleep. So, to protect the airway, they need to make sure that the baby isn’t sleeping anywhere where they’re going to be something that will fall on your baby’s face whether it’s setting, whether it’s pillows, whether they’re rolling onto a pillow, whether they’re rolling up next to something that will change their breathing – that’s very important.

They should make sure that when the baby is sleeping that they aren’t sleeping on a pillow. The baby comes with their crane as such that it creates is on pillows. If you put a pillow under a baby’s head like an adult trying to sleep on two pillows with our chin’s going down – so that’s a problem. As mom’s are smoking they – the bed sharing really releases the space alternative a baby is arousal response to a physiologically not as strong as when babies are not exposed to sleep.

So, if they want to share sleep faces, they should make sure to protect that face for the infant. It’s the same type of recommendations that you would have if you were placing the baby in the crib. The baby needs to be in a position where they not going to where there are aren’t soft things that are going to keep them from breathing well and if they’re going to arouse – this is one of the things that are going to be overly hot.

So, blanket can covers are always a problem as well. In a bit within adult – there are some sheets and such you need to make sure that they aren’t going to be tangled. But those are the same types of concerns and steps you would take for a baby sleeping in a crib.

ROBIN KAPLAN: How does bed sharing facilitate longer breastfeeding duration?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: Well, it facilitates breastfeeding duration because it makes it very simple to breastfeed. A baby who is breastfeeding is likely to feed more often. With the mom there and the baby there together, that breastfeeding just very simple – putting the baby to bed very often when you’re breastfeeding, putting the baby to bed when you breastfeed and the baby falls asleep.

So, there isn’t really often the recommendations that come with separate sleep to create almost a necessary space between feeding and the infant sleeping and that could be a problem as well in regards to that long term breast feeding.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay and so, I’d love to open this up to our panelists now. Ladies, if you bed share, do you bed share all night or just certain times of the night? Christina?

CHRISTINA WILSON: We bed share. My son goes about 6:37 and he’ll go onto his crib until we go to bed at about 8 – 9, I don’t know these days. Then he’ll sleep with us for the rest of the night and then he’ll wake up about every hour in the crib. We have to see him back to sleep and then once we hit the bed, he out for the rest of the night.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, how about you Stacy?

STACY SPENSLEY: We do – when he was really little, we had a little kind of nest-thing that went in the bed and then now when we do – we did the same as Christina. We put him to sleep in the crib. He actually does pretty well in the crib but then once he wakes up to eat, a lot of times it’s hard to put him back in the crib after that.

So, he’s been rolling a lot lately. He’s just started crawling so, we try to put him back in the crib but after a couple of tries, we’d rather sleep. The more he sleeps, the more we sleep. So, we’d rather he was just asleep than he was asleep in the crib.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yes, absolutely. Everyone’s nodding. Christina, how about you?

CHRISTINA WILLIAMS: We are no longer bed sharing, We were until she was about 18 months old in which case we transitioned her to the crib for the most of the night. Now, still sometimes she comes into our bed sometimes but for the most part, she’s in her crib.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay and Mj – we have some virtual panelists who want to share what they’re doing?

MJ FISHER: A lot of the mamas are saying that they pretty much bed share all night long. One of the mamas said that, “She had Karen Sanders all night since we have since birth and she’s seven months now – she wouldn’t get any sleep otherwise.”

Another mama said – Stephanie Creed said, “When we did bed share, we did it all night. It was quite convenient for nursing in the middle of the night and virtually no crying from our baby girl.”

ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s absolutely true. Wendy, does bed sharing make it more difficult for the breastfed baby to sleep longer chunks at night? Do you find that children tend to snap throughout the night when sleeping in bed with mom?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: There is some indication that, “They will feed more often.” It’s not a problematic thing. If the baby is sleeping and waking and feeding, it’s often raise something to be troubled about could it may impact with their sleep and the duration of sleep. There isn’t any research suggest that if that’s the case. Certainly, there’s no issue around feeding through the babies, they don’t feed that way during the day.

Generally they feed, when they are more occupied to do other things. So, they doesn’t seem to be any definitive reason why that’s the concern. So, for many infants that will be the case. For many infants though – they bed share and they wake every two hours or every three hours. It will vary still from infant to infant.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, ladies do your children breastfeed throughout the night? Christina?

CHRISTINA WILSON: Yes our Gregory does. He’s constantly on the boob pretty much all night.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Are you getting sleep during this time?

CHRISTINA WILSON: Yes, a lot of it. When we go to bed, I mean I wake up maybe once or twice just to kind of flip over so he’s on the other so that I don’t get engorged. But yes, he munches all night.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, how about you Stacy?

STACY SPENSLEY: He does. My husband works late and so, we’re actually working on not having him feed a little bit less frequently just because I tend to have to put him back down. If I put him back down, he wants to nurse; where is it my husband puts him back down, he’ll actually go back to sleep. But, he tends to – once about, it’s usually around 4 AM. It’s probably his snack and pretty much constantly till 6 almost every morning.

ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you Christina?

CHRISTINA WILLIAMS: Not anymore. About around 18 months also when she stopped wanting to nurse in the middle of the night. She learned to take in a lot right before bed. I’ve noticed she would nurse for much, much longer and not wake to nurse. When we’re co-sleeping she would pretty much stay lashed on all night. If she came off, she would wake up. So, that was a little bit tough but I suffer through it for 18 months and now she sleeps.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, all right. Wendy, Kaye had posted on our Facebook page – what can I say to people who think I’m ruining my child’s chance of ever sleeping on his own or self-soothing while I’m bed sharing?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: There isn’t any research that suggested babies who are engaged in shared sleep is going to have problematic sleep patterns later on. Incidents take about the first two or three years to really settle into sometimes around 18 months is a common time for infant sleep patterns. Almost finish that this is how they’ve happen in sleeping while the parents are asleep.

Test them to put them down to sleep and then pick them up when they woke up when their parents are bed sharing with them or whether they were settling in a set of location from their parent’s bed. At about 18 months between 18 months and three years – almost all infants, the majority of infants will begin to sleep in a fairly set pattern.

So, really in terms of ruining your infant’s sleep – I don’t think that there’s any research that clearly supports that to be an issue. When you kind of use around see that’s on the other element to be – the more comfort a child has, the more independent they become later. That has to do with the Touching Theory, it has to do with synchronous. It has to do with many issues related to the neurology of that – to the developing system of social and emotional interaction.

So, if someone were to say that, “Definitely I would say, you know that doesn’t seem to be the case.” It doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s just that handy thing – particularly, if there’s an expectation that have been speak through the night at a very early time when it’s very easy to say that infant’s aren’t sleeping well by one year or one and a half year – is if they’re in a shared sleep situation and they’re waking more frequently.

Then they will be and they probably is – how they will sleep at that time but where they sleep that will later bed that’s not at all documented.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, well wonderful. When we come back, we will discuss with Wendy what current research is saying about sleep training and how that may impact breastfeeding rates. We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: Welcome back to the show. We were on the phone with Wendy Middlemiss who is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas and we’re talking about her book The Science of Mother Infant Sleep specifically bed sharing, breastfeeding and sleep training. So, Wendy let’s talk about sleep training trend.

Parents are exhausted, babies waking up multiple times a night – everyone just wants a decent amount of sleep. So many parents consider meeting with a sleep coach or a sleep trainer, what is the most common current research saying about sleep training and is there a difference between sleep training and crying it out?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: Well, I would just start as the last part of that question. Sleep training incorporates crying it out and there are many different models of crying it out. Basically, when people talk about sleep training – when they talk about control crying, they’re talking about more controlled comforting. They’re talking about, “Trying to extend the period of time and infant is required to settle themselves before they receive attention.”

When you have controlled crying, the way sleep training is very – had them very frequently thought off. It was to lead the baby near, put the baby down. If the baby is crying, you can leave the baby there unless there were some physical reasons. If the baby was in danger and then you would attend to the baby but then you will put the baby back down so the baby threw up or had some other sort of distress that needed to be fixed, you would fix it. The crying itself wouldn’t be a reason to go back to the baby – that would be unmodified control of crying.

Modified Control Crying is when you put the baby down. If they were crying, you attend to them in longer – with longer periods of time in-between and then there is controlled comforting. Controlled Comforting often entails some instead of just going back to – you can go back and you can pat the baby, rub the baby’s back or you can do some other sort of – you can go in and be present and then that comforting rather than the crying that you would address.

So, all of them is – they’re done incorrectly in terms of the actual behavioural modification steps that are required then babies will stop crying because it’s really – there’s an extension model when you’re extinguishing their crying by not attending to it, in any type of response or reinforcement. So the research is very clear and you will see this often stated that, “Over a short period of time, you can train – they don’t use the word train. You can teach a baby to fall asleep on their own without crying and that’s because you’ve extinguished the crying behaviour.”

The problem being to be at least during the time period where to see all the case that we have in any research and that’s research that I have done and I’m feeling, the time period when the baby is going to that distinction, their stress level remains very high. That means, “They have stopped crying but they are not feeling less distressed.” This is the logical science of stress which tells I still quite high. They don’t change during that process.

So, the baby then is feeling the stress but they’re no longer communicating it because the communication itself, the crying has been distinguished. So, the question is then of course whether that stress level remains and we don’t have any research that speaks to that as of yet. However it seems a very risky approach to an end. In any ending, everybody getting more sleep.

Now, sleep I’ll be the very first to say is a very important part of care-giving. Having a baby give you the stress that having parents that are rested is always very beneficial – but getting to it by sleep training probably isn’t the best approach. It really creates a situation that’s very unnatural for the infant that lack of response to their distress.

Then they’ll always to – if you picked that as a foundation then as a family, you can start to look at other ways you might be able to manage that night time care in a manner where everybody gets more sleep. But, we’re not starting with the sleep training but if you push that to the side until okay, that’s not – I don’t want to start there and you’ve looked back and there are other ways that you can create a good sleep environment.

Very often, one of the best ways that I’m doing some research with a woman in Australia – one of the best ways is to really become extraordinarily aware of their sleep signals. That might help them too what’s the most common for them and then that comes sometimes to facilitate that transition to sleep.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay and I do want to mention too because we only have 30 minutes – we will be doing a whole another episode on just all of these tips and tricks that Wendy has kind of outlined in her book as well. Ladies, have you ever tried sleep training? If you did, what happened? Stacy?

STACY SPENSLEY: We haven’t really tried it. We kind of read a couple of different techniques and we were like, “Okay, is there any way we can get this kid to sleep a little bit longer?” Again, my husband works late so when he pops up, he goes by about 7-7:30 somewhere in there. If he pops up at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 I’m the only one who’s there and I have to pump again at night.

So, it’s a little tough when he’s crying and I’m hooked up to my pump in the other room and all that stuff. But, everything – we’ve tried sneaking in and just patting and he’s not interested. So, if I pick him up – I usually end up nursing him back down which is fine.

Okay, I’ve mentioned earlier is now when my husband is home on his night’s out, then we’ll have him try to go in and soothe him and I’m the last resort. I don’t know if it’s helping him sleep longer but it’s helping me not have to go in every hour at least.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yes, how about you Christina?

CHRISTINA WILSON: It seems like Stacy and I are kind of in the same page. We did try crying it out and I think I lasted four minutes and like 50 seconds. I was in tears after about 30-45 seconds just knowing that I couldn’t go in and help him. After that, I swore it off and would never do it again. I mean, “Now, I’m just like he’s eventually going to sleep through the night and I’m not going to rush it.”

ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you other Christina?

CHRISTINA WILLIAMS: Sort of, so the situation we’re in is, “I have to go to surgery and I knew I was going to be on some pretty heavy-duty pain medication for a few weeks and wouldn’t feel comfortable bed sharing with her.” So, we went through a period where I stayed with her but gradually, very ever so slightly over a period about six weeks just move slightly aware from her, there were no tears. She have felt me in the room with her and we comforted by my presence and but without the big training sort of formal process around it.

That, I did after she night weaned herself. So, she wasn’t nursing over night. I kind of took those cues and that’s when I put off doing the surgery till I felt like she was in that place. When I did that, breastfeeding was really important part of it for me. I didn’t want to interrupt that relationship. So, what we did at that time was just sort of kept nursing and kept doing that but just having her feel my presence with just a little bit more space and she kind of look sometimes at me and then just go to sleep.

Now, she goes to bed without me in the room for too long. I stayed with her and comfort her and put her to sleep but I don’t have to stay in there for hours and hours like you see in sleep training situations.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yes, okay. Mj, what about our virtual panellists?

MJ FISHER: We have Anne Lunenburg Hamilton commenting about sleep training. She said that, “She did with her oldest. It worked she said but she regrets it. She’s much more insecure than the one that they let sleep with them for four years.” So, that was kind of interesting.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Wow, my kids too are almost seven and eight and sleep training is huge like at that point, something recommended by the doctors. It’s interesting, I sobbed and I sobbed and sobbed for days doing it. I look back and like, “What was wrong with me? Why do you do that?” But again, as we’ll talk about a little bit – the power of the health care provider can be, there’s the White Coat Syndrome can be very powerful as well.

Wendy, how can sleep training affect I guess negatively affect breastfeeding if families are trying to keep breastfeeding going throughout the night but then, they might start weaning maybe a little bit earlier or how can it affect it?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: Well, I think a part of this – part of some of the things that the moms were mentioning is that, “It is very incompatible for training and this idea of not being present because part of any sleep training, part of any teaching the baby to settle by themselves is to remove people from that transition to sleep.”

So, you could breastfeed right before putting them down but then, there in the night you would be very hesitant to breastfeed them when they woke because you really want them – part of sleep training has been settled back to sleep as well. So, that really takes the moms out of easily having a place in that constructed sort of setting.

As the moms are saying, “It doesn’t feel natural to a very uncomfortable and it is very easy to listen to the advice of somebody such as they – well, medical professionals certainly. But for breastfeeding, it makes it a very difficult situation because breastfeeding involved in gauging as exactly what uncontrolled sleep, it’s trying to end.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Wendy, you mentioned in your book that parents often hear recommendations from health care providers regarding when a baby should be sleeping through the night – or doesn’t necessary need to feed during the night anymore. So, I would love to buzz some of those myths by – what are normal sleep patterns for children throughout the first two years and when is it “normal” for a child to stop feeding during the night?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: Well, sometimes in between here maybe around two years to stop feeding in the night. It depends on how they’re just still breastfeeding. It will decrease that breastfeeding and breastfeeding during the night, the stomach – when they begin to engage in eating solid food because they will get more different sort of nutrients from the solid food.

For sleeping through the night, babies will – are might, are going to be very fluctuating in their sleep patterns for the first four months. They will change very frequently for the next through their years of 18 months of age. But, babies before four months of age are very likely to wake during the night and they are well from six to eight months of age and to 12 months of age.

There are times where they will start to sleep and because of developmental issues or whether those are cognitive nor intrinsically given or question emotionally driven, there will be reasons that they will wake more often again. So, it’s very flexible. You can almost hand on that until 18 months of age – by three most babies will be settling through and sleeping through the night not eating through the night – that sort of thing.

I’m not even through the night, earlier than that. But, these babies who are still waking at 18 months of age are still feeding during the night at 18 months of age. At the age of five – slightly over than that, we’ll not differ and how they sleep or eat in comparison to other babies.

ROBIN KAPLAN: okay, so you’re saying, “In the future, it’s not like they’re setting up bad patterns.”

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: No, it really doesn’t seem to be. Some of the most recent research and I think we outlined one of the chapters in the book. But, there’s a longitude in those studies that’s been a beautiful in terms of the information that it provides and when you look at that information it shows that, “By 18 months of age, once babies were sleeping pretty much the same. By three years of age, significant majority of them are sleeping through the night.”

It reflects with how they began. The mama said, “When one figured, they started sleeping too.” That literally probably is the case for the most infants.

ROBIN KAPLAN: How do these recommendations from the health care providers affect the parents’ decision making about sleep training and night weaning?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: The health care providers are most likely to solve AAP recommendations. Most of those recommendations are going to look towards definitions of sleep wait and see the number of times babies sleep at night to define healthy sleep. As well you’ll have recommendations for solitary sleep.

When you put all of them together, the message that you’ll get will be, “Focus on the idea of having the infant sleep the long periods of time as early as you can and developmentally that’s not the most crucial issue in these very early months.” Those crucial needs in those very early months is the responsiveness [inaudible 00:33:50] between the baby and the care provider.

That actually provides a stronger foundation for later healthy development than what other ways. But, there are medical community doesn’t spend a lot of time teaching paediatricians about social emotional development. So, it isn’t really a place where they’re going to start for and answer the discussion.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Ladies, what did your paediatrician say about night wake and night feeding – do this affect your decision with night time parenting? Christina?

CHRISTINA WILSON: Well, we have a doctor’s appointment on Monday so we’ll see how that goes. But, six months – she sleeps through the night and at this point, we were become bed sharing. I didn’t mention that. She’s like, “He’s old enough now. You can start thinking about sleep training if that’s what you decide.” I just, “Good. Glad, glad you said that but, we’re just going to continue doing what we’re doing.” So, we’ll see on Monday what goes though.

ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you Stacy?

STACY SPENSLEY: So, our pediatrician’s office has a little checklist that you fill up before you go in and see the doctor. They kind of lead you to get the right answers, the kind of red flags. But one of them is, “Is your baby sleeping through the night and you’re suppose to check yes.” He had previously, its five to six hours or whatever. It’s just at six month appointment he had really bad pharmacy progression and he hadn’t been. So, I checked no.

But, he didn’t really say anything. So, it’s like he gets as much sleep as he seemed to need and clearly, I have a 22 pound few month old and he’s not starving. He survived. He’s very happy. So, I’m more worried about how he is that what the doctor says he should be.

ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you Christina?

CHRISTINA WILLIAMS: My doctor was always really supportive. Nursing through the night and was never concerned with her night waking. She wasn’t keen on bed sharing. I told her that’s what we’re going to do anyway – end of discussion. But, she was always very supportive of breastfeeding as often as possible.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Mj; any virtual panelist sharing any information?

MJ FISHER: Yes, Pricilla Amy – I love her comment. Why would I ask my pediatrician permission to feed my baby? She says, “That’s nuts. I fed her when she was hungry.” Amy Mowers, she says, “She suggested we try to cut down our night time’s feedings so that we wouldn’t create habits. I smiled and kept doing what work for us and that is listening to our baby’s and giving him what they need.”

ROBIN KAPLAN: It sounds like we have a lot of intuitive parents in the studio as well as online. Well, thank you so much Wendy and to our incredible panelists for discussing this very important topic that is pretty much on the minds of all parents of small children. Clearly, this is such an involved topic so we plan on having Wendy back on the show to discuss ways to call a crying baby and have a more peaceful night sleep based on the research discussed in her book. So, thank you so much Wendy. We so appreciate your time.

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: It’s been a pleasure – a lot of wonderful moms that are participating.

ROBIN KAPLAN: I know aren’t they great?

WENDY MIDDLEMISS: Yes, they are.

ROBIN KAPLAN: For our Boob Group Club Members, our conversation will continue after the end of the show as Wendy will discuss her top five tips for making decisions about night time care. For more information about our Boob Group Club, please visit our website at

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: So, here’s a comment from one of our listeners. This is from Maria and this is what she wrote: “Hi Robin and company. I just want to let you know that I’m a regular listener to your radio shows. I live and work here in the west of Ireland. I’m sure you know what a great support you are to breastfeeding moms. I am still breastfeeding my soon to be 15 month old little girl. I was hoping to breastfeed to about 12 weeks to give my baby the best possible start in life.

From tuning in regularly to your show, I got a lot of information, inspiration and motivation to keep on going and I can’t believe it’s still working out. I have a bright, healthy, happy little girl who loves to breastfeed. Thanks so much for everything.”

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to The Boob Group. Don’t forget to check out our sister show, “Preggie Pals for expecting parents” and our show, “Parent Savers for moms and dads with newborns, infants and toddlers.” Thanks for listening to The Boob Group, your judgement-free breastfeeding resource.

This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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