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The sleep episode: For both you and your infant

©MFMER

Fact: babies actually sleep a lot. And moms can, too. Co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D., discuss how to make both things happen on the regular, with help from special guest Jay Homme, M.D., pediatrician at Mayo Clinic and father of six children. To discuss:

*          Sleep patterns developed even before birth

*          Crib safety

*          Sleep plans: pros and cons

*          Soothing a fussy baby

*          Interrupted sleep

*          Returning to work

*          Sharing the work with a partner

Listen: The sleep episode: For both you and your infant

Read the transcript:

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Moms podcast. We’re having candid conversations and answering difficult questions about pregnancy, raising kids, and everything mom-related. I’m Dr. Angela Mattke, and I’m a mom of two and a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minnesota. My co-host is Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, who’s a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Mayo Clinic, and is also pregnant.

On today’s episode, we’re going to try to convince you that having a baby doesn’t mean saying goodbye to sleep forever, although it might feel like it for a while. We’re also going to review understanding of the science of infant sleep, especially in the first year of life, and how to prevent common sleep problems while you go through this journey. We’ll talk about appropriate sleep routines for infants, and why sleep training for a baby and trying to get them to sleep through the night by 12 weeks of age probably isn’t the healthiest thing for your baby, and probably isn’t a realistic goal. We’re going to go over bad sleep habits to be avoided, and also how to deal with the haters and the Judgy McJudgy people about your infant’s sleep routine. So Nipunie, have you had any thoughts about sleep, and are you ready to not sleep for a long time?

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yes, Angie, this has been one of the things that has already started weighing on me. I guess I was a bit naive in that I thought the sleep deprivation started after the baby came, but now in the third trimester, I think I’m already going to be going into this without having had a good night’s sleep for a while. Definitely something that’s been on my mind already, even though the baby’s not here, thinking forward to returning to work afterwards and how to function on limited sleep. Definitely excited to hear any tips that you have to make this period a bit easier. I know we’re in for some challenges, but if there’s anything that might be helpful, I’m all ears.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

I have no tips because I don’t remember that period because I was so sleep-deprived. No, I’m just kidding. I have some tips. I have some things that hopefully you won’t do that I did, and you can avoid those. And I also am bringing on a guest: Dr. Jay Homme, who is a pediatrician and adolescent medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. Also a father of six, who has sleep trained many children and has dealt with sleep deprivation probably for a lot of years as he’s raised his children. Dr. Homme, thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr. Jay Homme:

Yeah. Thanks for having me. It’s fun to be with you.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yeah, absolutely. You mentioned, Nipunie, that you’re going to be going back to work, and you’re probably going to be sleep-deprived. You’re wondering when do babies actually start sleeping?

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah, I think I’m already imagining. I’ve gotten all sorts of social media advertising for different gadgets and devices that promise me they’ll make the baby sleep. I’m already imagining myself at three in the morning buying these things impulsively online. Definitely something that’s been on my mind.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yeah. There’s no magic bullet to getting your kids to sleep, but I also think [it’d be good] to start with realistic expectations about what is normal for infant sleep. Dr. Homme, do babies sleep at all ever in the beginning? I felt like in the beginning, they would only sleep when I held them.

Dr. Jay Homme:

Yeah, I think there’s a sort of misperception that babies never sleep. Babies sleep a lot. It’s just how they sleep and where they sleep is really kind of the crux of the matter. I think it sounds like you’re already getting a little bit of cues on this heading into the third and through a third trimester. A lot of moms are awake a lot at night. It’s harder to sleep, but your baby even gives you little clues of what their pattern might be like. When are they most active inside you? I’ve had plenty of parents say, “My baby’s awake from 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM every single night.” And I said, well, when was your baby kicking you inside you?” And they said, “Oh, 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM.” Babies have patterns as well.

Normal term newborn babies will sleep 20, 21, 22 hours a day. But again, it’s where do they sleep? We’d love for them to sleep by themselves and let us sleep, depending on how long they sleep, but it’s very, very normal for them to sleep short periods of time. That can range anywhere from an hour to, if you’re lucky, up to three hours, but in the first few days or weeks of life, we actually don’t want them sleeping more than about three hours because they need to feed. We need to get them up. That’s very important. We need them gaining weight and moving forward. As they’re doing well with that, then it’s actually nice. It’s permissible for them to sleep longer periods of time, ideally when we want to be asleep. There are things that we can do, and we can talk more about some of the tips and strategies that can help, but there’s a misperception that we get our kids to sleep. We don’t get them to do anything. We can help them learn strategies to do things. And we can queue off of what some of their natural tendencies are as well. Some babies are naturally better sleepers, meaning that they tend to sleep at times we want them to sleep and for durations we want them to sleep. Some babies are naturally not great sleepers. But think about ourselves. We’re the same way.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Absolutely. I like how you brought up where to sleep. Nipunie, have you started to think about where your baby’s going to sleep, and have you purchased anything yet?

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

I still haven’t purchased anything, but we will have the baby in our room to begin with. Our place that we’re in right now is relatively small. The only spare room we have is upstairs on a separate floor. So that obviously wasn’t going to be practical for the beginning. And so yeah, we’re going to have the baby in the room with us to begin with.

Dr. Jay Homme:

I think that’s great. That’s one of the things we actually have some fairly clear recommendations about as pediatric providers, is that we want babies in the first months of life sleeping somewhere near their parents but generally not with them. And we want them sleeping flat on their back. A crib or a bassinet nearby, certainly in your room, is a good, safe way for babies to sleep. It’s also helpful so that you can attend to things like if it’s time to feed or if it’s time for a change, if they’re nearby.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

You know, there are a lot of really expensive cribs out there that say that they’re going to do everything except like change your baby and feed them. But I’ll take care of all the feeding and stuff like that. Is that really necessary? Or what are your thoughts on that, Jay?

Dr. Jay Homme:

The short answer is no, it’s not necessary, but like anything else, if you want to pay for a bunch of amenities, just buyer beware — you can spend all you want on something, and your baby’s going to be like, “I don’t care.” You know, they don’t consciously think that. I tell parents, “Babies aren’t consciously trying to make your life miserable. That’s not what they do. They’re just being babies, you know?”. Some cribs vibrate and some cribs have soft noises. If your baby likes vibrations or soft noises, that might be great, but your baby might hate soft noises or vibrations, and you paid for a bell and a whistle that you don’t even use. I’d say start simple. If you want to or need to become more complicated, go for it because sometimes you look at, “Why do I have this thing? Why did I spend all this money on this thing? It doesn’t do what it said it would do.”

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Along the same lines, one of the things that they seem to be marketing hard at pregnant women are these monitors. Devices you can use to monitor your baby’s breathing and heart rate. And there’s even like a bedsheet that monitors how they’re growing. Are those things necessary? What are your guys’ take on those extra devices? Do they help? Do they make your baby safer?

Dr. Jay Homme:

Well, I think some of it is thinking about, “What’s the purpose of that?”. Now, if your baby’s in a separate room and you want to be able to hear them if they’re crying, and you can’t hear them, then something like a monitor can be very, very helpful. If your baby’s right next to you, you know, that’s what you’re there for. I think some of these things are a little bit fear-based, and there are real fears. We recommend sleeping on the back. We recommend not having passive smoke exposure. We recommend several things to try and decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, which is very rare to begin with but is frightening to parents. And there are things we can do about it. One of the things that has not been proven to help that at all, are monitors. Some babies have special healthcare considerations where something like a monitor may be needed, but for the majority of healthy term babies, monitors are not needed to keep them safe.

Monitors might be a convenience, but sometimes monitors turn out to be like a thorn in your side. They’re always going off, or you hear every little sniffle or whimper. Then sometimes, actually, they condition us to respond to things we don’t need to respond to, which in turn causes our babies to keep doing things that they don’t need to do. Some babies will learn to self soothe, self-regulate; they don’t need us to jump up and attend to every little thing. If we hear it on the monitor or see it on the monitor, we might do things they don’t actually need from us.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Great. I know you guys have obviously been through this with your own kids and probably have a variety of different experiences, but tips for soothing a fussy baby, just getting a baby down to sleep. What kinds of things have you found work best?

Dr. Jay Homme:

Well, babies tend to like routines. Again, initially, everything seems very dysregulated, but over time they tend to follow some patterns and some routines; they tend to eat around the same time. They tend to poop around the same time. They tend to get sleepy around the same time. And rather than trying to bend them to our will, maybe we can follow some of their cues and then make modifications from that. Short but predictable bedtime routines that often, when they’re young, involve some type of feeding and then, often they like to be swaddled or snuggled and then laid down on their back somewhere near. There are times when it’s like, if I don’t hold them, they won’t fall asleep. But the longer you continue that, the longer they’ll have that association. In the first weeks or month or two of life, you can’t spoil your baby.

You just attend to their needs, but you can start things. You can start patterns, you can develop habits that later on, you wish you didn’t. If you say, “Well, they fall asleep every time I take them for a ride in the car.” That might be nice in the summer or fall in Minnesota, but it ain’t nice anymore in the winter. And I don’t want to do that anymore. Think a little bit ahead when you try and start new things: “Is this something I think I want to keep doing long-term or is this something where I’m just trying to survive right now?”. Don’t continue those survival things if it’s not something you want to do long-term.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yeah. I love how you talked about at one point with me, babies don’t read books, and there are a lot of books out there that’ll be like, “Get your baby to sleep by 12 weeks of age through the night.” And that’s not physiologically normal, especially for a breastfed baby, to be sleeping through the night at 12 weeks of age. I really want to discourage parents from that as being a normal expectation. Sometimes there’s a unicorn baby that comes into my office, and I’m sure Jay sees this and they’re like, “Oh, they’re sleeping through the night.” And then the first thing I think is, “Oh my gosh, are they growing?”. Because usually, babies need to feed every three, maybe four, sometimes two hours, a night in the beginning to get enough to feed.

They need to be fed very frequently. So I’ll look at their growth chart and I’m like, “Okay, they’re growing. This baby is a unicorn.” Most babies do not sleep through the night. Then the first thing I say to that parent is, “This isn’t probably going to last.” Usually, those babies almost very predictably – and I always ask the parents at four months – “Did they have a sleep regression?”. It usually happens around four months as they start to develop this separation sort of experience: they woke up, you were there, you’re not there, and they don’t know how to put themselves back to sleep. At some point, all babies are going to have to learn how to put themselves to sleep. And that’s a really good, I think, resiliency tool that they have.

I kind of sell it to parents as, “You want to have a resilient child, right?”. Well, it starts early. But it shouldn’t start as early as eight or ten weeks, of you starting to sleep train them and not attend to their needs. Like Jay said, they need to be fed. That’s a normal physiological thing. Now, if they’re six months old, eight months old, and you’re feeding them every time they cry when they wake up at night, they probably don’t need to do that. And we can get into more of that later.

Dr. Jay Homme:

I really agree with that. There are normal developmental stages and phases, and there are windows of opportunity to help. I think sleeping is actually one of the first parenting opportunities. As a parent, we are helping them learn something that they didn’t know before. And there’s a window for a lot of babies around maybe two to four months. I think around four months is a nice time to help them learn to transition to sleep, not being held, not actively being fed because we all wake up at night. Babies are no exception to that. Early on, their waking may mean they need something like being fed or changed. Later on, their waking is just a normal part of sleep physiology. We have different sleep phases. But if they learn the skill or the ability to help them transition themselves back to sleep, that’s a skill, and it’s a gift to them, but it’s also a gift to us.

Sometimes I think parents feel guilty, like, “I’m just being selfish. I just want me to sleep.” In reality, we’re helping them learn, as Angie said, something that is good for them long-term. I think we all have our routines. When I wake up at night, I usually kind of peek at the alarm clock and say, “Do I have to…is it time to get up? Nope. Do I have to pee? Yeah. But is it bad enough to get up? No. Okay. I’m going to go back to sleep.” You know what? We all have our routines. Your child eventually will need to learn what their routine is to transition from wakefulness to sleep independent of you.

Again, in the first days or weeks of life, that’s too soon. That is too soon. But you can miss the opportunity. If you’re waiting until nine or 12 months and they haven’t started that process, now they do things like pull themselves up in their crib, but they can’t get themselves back down. Now we can’t expect them to be able to do that. They need something that they cannot do. There are some of those opportunities, and thinking ahead, planning ahead a little bit and then asking for some advice. As Angie mentioned, there are books all over the place, and they say, “This is the one way.” No, that’s the one book, but there are general principles. And those are the things that you can try and decide, “How do you apply those general principles in your specific situation?”.

INTERMISSION

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Are you thinking about getting pregnant, or maybe you’re a current mom-to-be, or you’re like myself, in the midst of raising kids, and you’re looking for practical, evidence-based advice from Mayo Clinic experts? Mayo Clinic Press has got you covered. We have a series of four books, starting from Fertility and Conception to Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, Guide to Your Baby’s First Years, and the last book in this series, the one I was the medical editor of, Guide to Raising a Healthy Child. You can find these amazing books from Mayo Clinic Press wherever books are sold, or on the Mayo Clinic Press website.

BACK TO THE SHOW

Dr. Angela Mattke:

This is the perfect time to start talking about when your baby can start to sleep through the night. How do you help teach your baby, like you said, that they can sleep through the night? I like to use the phrase, “They can do hard things, and they’re going to be better for it.” Jay, what are your thoughts on that? I know that sometimes people have a little bit of a difference about when the exact age is to start sleep training.

Dr. Jay Homme:

Well, some of this idea of sleeping through the night — what does that even mean? Early on, when you’re getting two or three hours at a time, to get four hours seems awesome. It’s more of a progression as opposed to all of a sudden. Babies, over time, will learn to and be physiologically able to sleep longer periods of time because they don’t need that feeding. Breastfed babies — this is one of the things — breast milk is just digested very quickly. And so, it’s more common for breastfed babies to have more frequent feedings for a longer period of time than babies that are formula-fed. That’s not a reason to choose formula over breast milk. There are lots of benefits otherwise, but just expecting. I tell parents it’s very, very normal, even at two to three months, to still be waking every three to four hours to feed. That’s normal, but by four months or so, generally, even breastfed babies can go four, five, or sometimes even six hours between feedings at nighttime.

Now don’t have them go that long during the daytime, because they need a certain amount of feedings during the day. The things we do during the daytime can help at the nighttime as well. More frequent feeds during the daytime — they can spread it out. That’s generally a reasonable time around four-ish months of life, helping them learn. Short, but predictable bedtime routines that end with them entering their sleep space, whether it’s a crib or a bassinet, independently. Now that doesn’t mean they don’t have anything. If they like swaddling, swaddling is fine. If they’re a pacifier user, a pacifier is fine. Sometimes, I remember very well – because I did this in our house most of the time because my wife was doing pretty much all the other things. She just had a heart for the baby. She didn’t like hearing them cry.

I said, “Go somewhere where you can’t hear them and I’ll take care of this.” As if I can just do anything, but no, we applied some principles. I put them down and sometimes at first, maybe I’d have to stand there with my hand on them for awhile and maybe they’d fall asleep. I just had my hand on. Then eventually, maybe, I’m standing next to the crib after a few nights, and then maybe, I can leave the room. There is this idea that we just let them cry it out. There is no well-respected professional that says, “You just let your baby cry forever. And they’ll eventually fall asleep’. They will. They will eventually, but that’s not the strategy attending to their needs. If you lay them down, and there’s a cry period, expect that. That’s normal, and you can give them a period of time, somewhere between five to seven minutes.

I always would wear a watch because five minutes of your baby crying feels like 50 minutes, and you just know, they’re going to be okay. You can go back and you can gently reassure, “Mommy loves you. Daddy loves you.” Then you walk away, and if you can extend those intervals, if you do that several nights in a row, generally, the crying episodes for most babies get less and less. It’s kind of an extinction model of doing it, but it doesn’t work for every baby. Your child’s sleep is not a mark if you’re a good parent or a bad parent. It’s a parenting opportunity. And sometimes you need help, and there are times where things just don’t work out well. And you ask for advice from others.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Absolutely. I think the biggest advice I would give is my mother guilt about not being there for my baby and working full time, especially with my first child. I felt like that was the only time a day I had to spend with him. When he wanted to nurse, I let him nurse, and pretty soon, I was a zombie walking around, and it was, like, nine months. And what was I doing? He was regressing in his sleep. Well, of course he was regressing because he had a sleep onset association. He needed to nurse and be with me to fall asleep. I had created this opportunity to try something different with my kids because I realized it wasn’t sustainable. I couldn’t keep working. I couldn’t keep taking care of my kids. I couldn’t take care of myself anymore because he was waking up every two hours to sleep. And so that’s when we started our sleep training. With my second child, the day he turned six months old, I was like, “Well, this is a great time for us to start sleep training a little bit more than we have.” Like you said, we had started to do some of the things around four months, but by six months, I was like, “You know what? We can make it. We can make it a lot longer than what we’re doing right now.”

Dr. Jay Homme:

Well, and Angie, I think that’s a great example about how you need to apply principles to your specific situation. In your situation, you wanted to breastfeed; you wanted to have your baby with you, but you also wanted to go to work and function. How do you balance those things? I ask parents, when I ask about sleep things, if things are going a particular way. I ask them, “Is this a problem for you? Is this something you want to talk about?”. And some of them say, “Nope, we’re good with this.” All right. We’ll come back to it later. And others say, “Yeah, I really need some advice on this now.” So there’s not a date. There’s not a specific age where it must be. But there might be a time in your life where you say, “Now it’s time.” And there are opportunities and windows. Sometimes there are things that are easier to do. Sometimes it’s a lot harder, but there are always opportunities to help our children learn to sleep in ways that are good for them. And in many, many ways that are good for us.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

One thing, I think, as a nursing mother, a lot of times, babies fall asleep when you’re nursing. So you don’t get that opportunity to lay them down to sleep while they’re still awake and where they learn that process of putting themselves to sleep. I think during the daytime is often an opportunity where they can really learn this skill, because even when you lay them down in the crib, sometimes they don’t wake up at night. You don’t necessarily want to go wake a sleeping baby up, right? Because that is the golden rule: you don’t wake a sleeping baby up in most situations except to feed in the very early couple weeks of their life. But I think it sometimes is easier as a parent. You’re more resilient during the daytime because you’re less exhausted in the middle of the night. You’re willing to just do whatever humanly possible to get them to sleep so you can sleep. Sometimes it may be easier for parents to start some of those sleep training skills with nap times and early on. They can build up some of their own self-soothing skills to be able to put themselves to sleep. Did you do some of that as well, Jay?

Dr. Jay Homme:

Yeah. And I think that you’re right, the middle of the night was when we’re like, “Oh, what does it take here?”. But really, I think one of the critical times, if you’re going to help your child learn to transition to sleep, is practicing some of those things during the daytime. But really, the critical thing is: when is that first “going to sleep?” You know, some babies, it’s seven o’clock or eight o’clock or whatever. But that first time where they would typically have a longer sleep stretch. Maybe they sleep the four or five hours, you know, whatever you consider “bedtime” is. Now, they may wake up in the night, but if you try and fix the middle of the night without actually working on that first bedtime, that’s sort of self-defeating. So that’s the time. Don’t try and fix the middle of the night; work on that first bedtime, help them learn to transition at that point because then you can apply some of those principles in the middle of night – meaning do as little as possible for them or with them to help them transition back. But if you try and fix it in the middle of the night, it doesn’t work.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Some of those self-defeating and sabotaging efforts are also when you’re not on the same page. Nipunie, I recommend that you and Thomas talk about how you’re going to approach sleep. And as things change, continue to have those conversations so you’re doing the same thing, but that goes with a lot of stuff in parenting, right, Jay? Like being on the same page because if one of you is doing it one way and the other one’s doing it the other way, the kids are always going to know they can do whatever they want. And they’re going to get their way.

Dr. Jay Homme:

Yeah. This is one of those times like if one parent says, “I want to hold them until they fall asleep and then lay them down or I want to lay down in the bed with them, and the other says, “Well, I don’t want to do that.” You have to have a conversation around that because it’s inconsistency. We’re not talking rigidity, but consistency. Children tend to do better with consistency, not rigidity. And this is one of those times — what do we want for our child’s sleep, and how are we going to approach it? And there are also, I mentioned, developmental phases or times where it’s a little easier or a little harder, but there are also times where you have to look ahead. What’s the week ahead? Is this going to be a really busy week at work? That’s not the time to start trying to help our children learn to sleep. Or are we going on vacation in two weeks to see Grandma and Grandpa? The things that will disrupt this, you might get it going and you might get under handle, but when your child gets sick or you go on vacation or travel, something like that, it almost resets things, and you have to start over again; but usually it takes less time to get back on track.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

I say the same thing to parents. I must have learned this all from you, Jay!

Dr. Jay Homme:

I probably learned it from you, Angie. You’re really good at stuff.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Nipunie, what other questions about sleep do you have for us?

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

This is great. So much practical advice. I’m making note of all of it. I guess, we’ve talked a lot about babies who may be hard to get down to sleep. Is there such a thing as too sleepy, or when should a parent worry about their baby if they’re sleeping too much?

Dr. Jay Homme:

I think Angie mentioned something that’s pretty important. Some of the pillars of pediatrics is growth and development. We’re looking for normal growth and normal development, and too much sleep can disrupt both of those things. But in particular, too much sleep early on can disrupt that growth part. Are they growing appropriately? That’s a time where I think if your baby is not growing appropriately, sleep might be part of that, and that’s worth discussing. Other times, potentially, it can be a sign of illness if there’s a sudden change in your baby’s sleep patterns. If they’re suddenly sleeping a whole lot more, and there’s some other sign of illness, potentially they may have gotten into something; maybe there’s a toddler in the home and there’s something around and all of a sudden, why are they sleeping so long? Sudden changes in sleep duration should probably get your attention and make you wonder about what’s going on too.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Alright, Jay, I thought maybe we can do a quick rundown of bad habits. There’s a breakdown of these. What are some of the things do you really recommend avoiding?

Dr. Jay Homme:

Well, I’m going to start with something that I don’t know if it’s the baddest – is that a word, baddest? – habit, but things that would be unsafe related to sleep. We recommend independent sleep spaces, close, but independent, but some families do choose to co-sleep. My wife and I, we did that at times, but there are ways that it becomes unsafe. If parents are excessively sleepy, if there are issues with intoxication, there are certain sleep spaces like couches that are unsafe compared to a nice bed. So that’s a bad habit. Don’t start sleeping with your child on a couch when you’ve been drinking. I mean, that’s sort of an extreme example there, but those are things that are unsafe. Now letting your child sleep in an area where, as they’re starting to be able to roll or move around, that they could fall from, we want them in a safe place as well.

Other potential bad habits are, again, some of these associations we’ve talked about a little bit. If they always need a bottle to fall asleep, and you give them a bottle in bed, well, that can create other issues like problems with teeth or excessive weight gain. In general, we want them sleeping, not feeding and trying to sleep at the same time. That’s a habit I would really try and not start, or stop if it’s going on. There’s this bonding time, and it’s sort of a nice thing to sleep with your child sometimes, but ultimately, most people sleep better if they have it independently. Now some of us as adults, we choose to sleep with somebody else. That’s kind of what we signed up for here. But over time, generally, children should have their independent sleep space, and that takes work sometimes. I’d say usually I would consider it…I don’t like to use the word “bad” habit, but maybe something to avoid is consistently sleeping with your child as they’re getting older and older because most of the time it’s either related to something else — that, maybe I’m wanting something from them. I really shouldn’t be asking for or needing in terms of that closeness or companionship, or sometimes you’re going to get to the point, oftentimes of, “I don’t want this anymore.” And now, how do you get out of those things? Thinking a little bit ahead. What do we want long-term? What’s our goal long-term for sleep and sleep space? Those are a few things I would consider habits to avoid.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Well, that was such a great discussion on sleep. I think I had some flashbacks of my own child-rearing and trying to get my kids to sleep, and things I really wish I would’ve known before going into it. Hopefully, this was helpful for all of our listeners. Dr. Homme, thank you for joining us again on this episode. Your advice is always so spot on.

Dr. Jay Homme:

Well, it’s fun to join you guys. And again, I mentioned things like general principles, and everyone can say, “Well, in this situation or that situation…”. Sleep is great for when you can get it. There are a lot of things we can do to be helpful. But again, it’s not a marker of if you’re a good parent or you’re a bad parent, so don’t internalize it in that way. But prioritize it.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Absolutely, prioritize it for yourself and your child. Thanks everyone for joining today. Make sure you don’t miss any of our upcoming episodes by subscribing and following along on either Apple Podcasts or Spotify. If you enjoyed this episode and you want other moms out there to hear this valuable information, make sure that you leave a review wherever you listen. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time.

Angela Mattke

Angela C. Mattke, M.D.

Dr. Mattke is the medical editor of Mayo Clinic Guide to Raising a Healthy Child and  a pediatrician in the Division of Community Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

Nipunie Rajapakse, M.D.

Dr. Rajapakse is a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her clinical focus includes management of pediatric infections. Her primary research interests include studying ways of optimizing antibiotic use in children (antimicrobial stewardship) to decrease antibiotic resistance and other harmful effects. She has worked for the World Health Organization and has an interest in global health and outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases.

Jason (Jay) H. Homme, M.D.

Dr. Homme is a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His clinical and research interests include diagnosis and treatment of the common condition of group A streptococcal (GAS) pharyngitis (strep throat). Additionally, as program director for the Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine Residency at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Homme aspires to provide the highest quality training experience possible for the pediatricians of tomorrow.

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