Thursday, January 12th – Jenni June gives expert advice on The Doctors TV Show!
Be sure to watch THIS one! It’s unbelievable!!
After thorough vetting from the producers of the TV show, The Doctors, I was chosen to come on the show and share my professional opinion on a very controversial article in Redbook magazine, “I Paid Someone to Sleep Train My Infant While I Went on Vacation“.
Did you read that? Wow. Would you ever do anything like this with your 3 month-old infant? Not me. Nor could I be offered any amount of money to do this for a client. Here’s why:
- Babies this age, should never ever be formally sleep trained. Babies are not born with a circadian rhythm and are unable to produce enough melatonin on a timed basis at 3 months to even biologically pull off sleeping through the night (10+ hours) or taking regular restorative, scheduled naps. If a baby this young does this consistently, it is pure luck, and their parents paid off the “sleep gods”, for sure!
- A professionally certified sleep consultant should never come in and do the work for the parent. It is vital to infant mental health that the securely attached parent be present and hands on with the child throughout this process, buffering and supporting the child through the temporary stress and struggle of adapting to a new routine, environment and parenting responses. I provide in home overnight services, but I am there only to coach the parent around the clock and provide the much needed emotional and educational support they need to correctly discern the difference between tears of temporary struggle vs. tears of suffering. I teach them the correct responses, how to perform proper sleep hygiene pre-routines and their chosen behavioral method. It’s the difference between giving a hungry person a fish, vs. teaching them how to fish.
- FACT: Sleep training is 90% training the parent and only 10% training the child. Sleep is a natural biological drive and necessary for survival. The child is the easy part in this process. Unfortunately, parents are sadly ill-equipped with pediatric sleep science education (as are most pediatricians!). Many find themselves succumbing to myths, guessing, and several dozen scary internet stories: the recipe for a perfect sleep storm. When the sleep deprivation mounts to intolerable and dangerous levels, parents end up doing things they’d never dreamed they’d do just to survive their own sleep deprivation (which is what led the mom in this article to hand her young infant off to a doula to sleep train, while she made a run for it). As harsh as that seems, we musn’t judge her. These were her survival instincts and impaired judgment under extreme sleep deprivation. It’s a medical fact that even one night of fragmented sleep or prolonged wakefulness impairs an adult the same way two back-to-back cocktails does at happy hour. We aren’t supposed to drive under such conditions, but we parent and care for babies under this level of impairment — and worse — all day long!
I loved the compassionate and intelligent conversation that took place between The Doctors during this segment on the show. It was a privilege to be called upon as an expert amidst my wonderful peers and colleagues in Los Angeles.
I hope you enjoy the show!
Learn more about Jenni June’s Sleep Training Services:
Written by Jenni June Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, Lactation Counselor and Mom of 4!