We here at Juno spend a lot of time thinking about sleep: how to create a healthy sleep environment, how to help your newborn establish a routine, and how as parents, to get as much shut-eye as we can! We know our bassinet is just one part of the equation and that many additional factors impact sleep for young families. We’re always interested in new innovations made to help parents, and the Smart Sleep Coach App is our favorite baby sleep coach app, thanks to the easy sleep tracking and the additional support and expert guidance it provides. We sat down with Chief Sleep Consultant Mandy Treeby at Pampers to pick her brain for more tips and advice.
Q: What led you to a career in infant sleep?
A: I experienced terrible sleep deprivation with my first child. It was so tough. As a working mom, there were days I went to work and honestly didn’t feel like I could focus – I was just so tired. I read every book, took all the blog advice, tried all the methods. Eventually, through sheer determination, trial and error I managed to sleep train my daughter and subsequently my son – but it wasn’t easy.
Working on the Pampers brand, I’d spend thousands of hours in product research, talking to new parents and almost every single time they’d share that their biggest challenge was sleep. I started to question – why are so many parents struggling with their baby’s sleep? Why has no one found a solution to this problem? I was on a mission to solve sleep!
I became a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, working to conquer sleep challenges for hundreds of families – seriously there is nothing more rewarding than helping a family get sleep on track. But as a consultant I could only really help a handful of families – I wanted to help thousands of families. So I teamed up with a few other parents on the Pampers brand – our goal was to make quality sleep consulting accessible to all. Together, we created the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers: a personalized sleep coaching program, in an easy to use app.
Q: What is the most common misconception about infant sleep that you hear from new parents?
A: That sleep training = Cry it out (CIO). So many parents reject sleep training because of this misconception. It’s true that the act of falling asleep is a learned skill, babies need space and time to practice and that will inevitably result in some protesting – but just like there are many ways to learn to ride a bike, there are also many ways to sleep train. Some methods are more hands off and some are more hands on – all will result in your baby sleeping better, one approach may just take longer than another. The great news is that the Smart Sleep Coach covers the full range of methods – so you’ll always find one that fits with your baby and parenting approach.
Q: What sleep scenarios is the Sleep Coach app best suited to help with?
A: Whether you’re bringing a newborn home from the hospital and are simply looking to instill healthy sleep habits from day one, and start to establish routines or you have a baby 4-24 months old who is waking a lot at night or fighting bedtime or perhaps will only fall asleep if nursing or being rocked – the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers can help you.
Q: What are the most important ingredients to create a healthy sleep environment for babies?
- Safe: A crib or bassinet that is clear of blankets, soft toys, pillows and bumpers with firm mattress and nothing more than a well fitted sheet.
- Pitch dark: for both naps and bedtime – I recommend blackout shades or curtains. If you must use a night light consider one with a warm, red hue.
- Cool – 68°F (max 72°F). Many baby monitors offer relative room temperature and humidity readings.
- Quiet while maintaining a steady background noise. A white noise machine running at 50dB (the maximum level recommended by the AAP) is ideal.
Q: Parents need help with sleep, too! How can new parents make sure that they are getting the rest they need?
A: Our deepest and most restorative sleep happens before midnight. In fact it is the only NREM (deep sleep) we get all night. So when you’re feeling sleep-deprived, treat yourself to an early night. You’ll catch up on some much needed Zzz’s and your body will thank you too. Even if your baby is waking a lot in the middle of the night, you will have had some of the best sleep your body can get in that run up to midnight.
Q: Where can we learn more?
A: Check out our Smart Sleep Coach app and continue to read more about "The most common fears of new and expectant parents" by Mandy.