Sleep Training With Juniper // Featuring A Q+A With Abby Sharpe From Sleep Baby Consulting


Sleep is crucial - and all the parents everywhere said amen, am I right?! You hear a lot from others while you’re pregnant about sleep and to enjoy it while you can before the baby comes. I mean, as new parents, heading into having a baby we expected our sleep to change and be a huge adjustment. We have definitely had some ups and downs with Juniper’s sleep and I am happy to share a little more about it with you all.

Why We Chose To Sleep Train

There are many reasons why we decided to finally do some sleep training with Juniper. Our biggest reason was that Juni was not getting the proper rest she needed. I could get into so many details in what lead us to sleep training but I will try and stay to the point here for you guys. Along with Juni not getting proper naps or night sleep, even when being on a set schedule as well as a consistent sleep time routine, Dan and I were barely getting any rest as well. For those who know me, know I have dealt with a lot of crazy painful postpartum health issues since Juni has been born that we are still sorting out. The lack of sleep for me was really affecting those issues even more as well. It also made it difficult to stay structured and that causes a lot of unpredictability when your baby isn’t sleeping.


A Little Bit About Juniper’s Sleep Pre-Sleep Training

Juniper’s sleep wasn’t always bad. She was a fairly good sleeper as a newborn and soothed easily with a pacifier for months but Juni has never been a very good napper. Her naps have always been really short or broken. When we transitioned her to her crib at 6.5 months, it was surprisingly a smooth transition, for a little while at least. She slowly but surely started having a harder and harder time with her sleep. She suddenly needed a lot more soothing to fall asleep.

We would hold her, sing to her and rock her while she had her pacifier and that worked for a couple weeks, until it didn’t anymore. The rocking seemed to get longer and longer. Then all the sudden she didn’t want a pacifier anymore. She refused to take one and would cry if we would try and give it to her. This made it even harder to rock her to sleep. The time I would spend trying to get her to sleep would always cut into her nap times because she would have a hard time falling asleep. Also, at first she would let us lay her in her crib, then it came to a point where it was so difficult to lay her down without waking her up. She would cry and be so upset and we would have to pick her back up, hold her and rock her until she was asleep enough to put her back down. Sometimes she would go down and sometimes she wouldn’t. Sometimes for her naps we would have to hold her through the entire nap just to make sure she got some sleep.

Every day was different, every nap was different. For the most part, we had reached a point at 7.5 months where her nighttime sleep wasn’t too bad. She was only waking up once or twice to feed and then would mostly fall asleep after she fed. We were more concerned about her naps though and not getting the sleep she needed. We were also so exhausted from bouncing and rocking for long periods of time, which my body couldn’t physically handle (I had gallbladder surgery postpartum). It really put us in a position where we were limited to who else could actually put her to sleep or get her to sleep and we were limited on where we could go or what we could do because she wouldn’t really nap anywhere else like a pack and play. Then with moving and teething and so many things going on, her sleep just got even worse and we found that nothing was really helping to soothe her, she didn’t want a pacifier, she would cry and kick and fight the rocking and signing and I was so desperate to help her get sleep. I started to nurse her to sleep for her naps and at this point she was about 8 months. We were in the middle of moving and she was teething and I just wanted her to feel as comforted as possible through that transition.

Moving was a rougher transition for her and like every other soothing technique we’ve tried, it wasn’t so bad in the beginning but it just got harder and harder. It got to the point where she would sometimes not even fall asleep nursing and I would have to try and rock her for over an hour and I would spend most of my day exhausted just from trying to get her to go to sleep and she would only nap for 15-30 mins. My work suffered a lot since I didn’t have any time to do it and I was just physically drained. I had many breakdowns and tears feeling so defeated from trying so hard and still not getting any results. I was so stressed and worried watching Juniper still not get the sleep she needed.

There was a weekend that Dan had to go out of town for a couple nights and I decided to stay over at my parents house. I was already worried she wasn’t going to sleep and sure enough she didn’t. It was, to this day, the roughest night I had ever had with her. We were both so exhausted from no sleep and this was the pivotal night that I decided we needed to do something about how we are approaching sleep.


Abby To The Rescue

Let’s face it, sleep training is one of those topics that’s a little intimidating to even chat about sometimes. When I would think of sleep training I immediately would think I have to do the “cry it out method” and I would get scared knowing I just wouldn’t be able to handle it. Silly, I know because there are other effective techniques out there. I would just get so overwhelmed with generalized information and I am just the type of person who loves to have a little guidance from someone I trust. This is why I was thrilled to get connected with Abby Sharpe from Sleep Baby Consulting. I really wanted to learn more about baby sleep and chat openly about where we were at personally. I immediately loved Abby! Within the first few minutes you can just tell how passionate she is about helping parents and their little ones get the proper sleep they need and she genuinely cares about where you are at no matter what age your child/children are.

Why We Love Abby From Sleep Baby Consulting

First off, Abby is by far the sweetest person on the planet! I feel like I just made a great friend by going through this process with Abby. You can clearly see how much she loves what she does. One of the biggest things we wanted when heading into sleep training was to have a gentle approach. Every baby is so different and we loved that Abby honed in on who Juniper was, her sleep history and created a plan individually that would be best for her AND us. During our consult, she was super informative on all things baby sleep which was educational for both Dan and myself. She even still continues to pour out her knowledge to us on a daily basis! Abby made us feel heard and made us completely comfortable in any decision we made. Her approach and all techniques used were adjustable and gentle and we are so appreciative for that. She also couldn’t stress enough to us that there was flexibility to make us the most at ease with the process. Abby has been such a huge support and has offered a great amount of encouragement along the way. She has been so hands on, intentional and made herself available to us with any and all of our questions or concerns.

What To Expect With Sleep Training

Abby did their advanced package with us, which you can find out more info on all of their packages {HERE]. When heading into sleep training we really didn’t know what to fully expect, so if you are thinking of starting the sleep training process here are a few things that are helpful to know:

- Consistency- This is definitely key and the winning ticket advice right here! Expect to be and stay consistent!

- Support needed- Have people around you who are going to support you. Abby is a huge support and encouragement and it helped so much that Dan, our families and close friends were a huge help and support.

- It’s not always easy- There were/are still some days that were hard in this process and that is ok.

- Be on the same page- Whether it’s your spouse or parents or babysitter, make sure whoever is helping put our baby to sleep is on the same page as you, it falls right in line with being consistent!

- Every baby/child is different- Remember that every child is different and some kids require different methods or routines or even adjustments to the routine along the way.


Results Of Sleep Training

We are so thankful we are at a place now where we are confident in how to navigate Juniper’s sleep. Without giving away all of Abby’s secrets, I can truly say she helped set us up for success. We started seeing results with Juni after only a couple of days which is amazing! Some of the main things Abby helped us with was getting Juni out of her sleep debt, helping us gently navigating to stop nursing to sleep as well as offering ways and tools to help and teach self soothing along with independent sleep. She also taught us ways to comfort and calm Juni that we hadn’t tried yet which was so helpful. Right now, we have officially all slept through the night from 7pm-7am for the last two months now without any wakings! Juniper has two set naps times that are consistent and she does really well for. We are so shocked with how well Juni has responded to learning to sleep like a champ and we are all better - and less tired - people because of it. Juniper is honestly a new baby and having her get the proper and efficient sleep she needs is a huge game changer for her. Nighttime sleep and naps don’t have to be stressful! If we knew there was someone like Abby to guide us and give us gentle approaches to sleep training then we would have done this a lot sooner! Overall we are so thankful for such a positive experience with Juniper!


Q+A With Abby Sharpe From Sleep Baby Consulting

Tell us a little bit about you!

Hi!! My name is Abby Sharpe and I was born and raised in North Carolina! I just moved back to NC after spending 7 wonderful years in Charleston, SC while my husband completed medical school and residency! We have 2 precious little boys, Bennett (3.5) and Luke (1.5). When I am not talking about sleep, I love to make family scrapbooks and read!

What inspired you to get into sleep consulting?

When I was pregnant with Bennett, I did so much reading about infant and baby sleep. For as long as I can remember, I have loved to sleep (don't we all?) and knew that I wanted Bennett to be a good sleeper for my sanity and because it is so good for him as well. I worked really hard teaching Bennett positive independent sleep skills and would scour the internet, books, anything I could to learn more about infant and baby sleep! Once I was pregnant with Luke, I knew I wanted him to learn to sleep as well. People would tell me that there was no way I could have 2 great sleepers, so I sort of took that as a challenge and taught Luke how to sleep well too! After that, I started helping some friends that recommended I look into it for a job! I was so lucky to find Elizabeth, my boss and now great friend, who had started a sleep consulting company. We met together and as they say, the rest is history! I started working at the greatest job in the world!

How long have you been a sleep consultant for?

Almost 2 years!!

What is your favorite part about being a sleep consultant?

This is so hard to answer. I love my job for soooo many reasons. I love talking with moms. I love getting text messages saying their baby slept all night and that they haven't felt this good in a long time. I love hearing moms tell me their baby seems happier, that they are able to enjoy alone time with their husband in the evenings, that they are finally sleeping themselves and able to enjoy their baby more. Sleep is so vital for all of us, and I love helping educate mamas about how to help their little ones sleep better. It truly is the greatest job ever!

Q+A From Instagram - For Abby From You Guys!

Thank you all so much who submitted some of your sleep questions over Instagram! I am so excited to have Abby here to answer some of them for you guys! Keep in mind that Abby did her best to answer some of these with the info given. Because sleep is so intricate, some of these questions she would definitely need to know a little more info for but tried to help as much as she can.

What should a bedtime routine look like?

You want something that will help calm your little one down! It doesn't have to be anything extravagant at all! You want the time to be sweet and a positive experience for you and your little one. Definitely be consistent and do the same thing every day so they can recognize a pattern and know it is time for bed. Here are 2 great video to watch to help with this question too!


When should we start to sleep train?

I do not think it is ever too early (or too late!) to start teaching little ones independent sleep skills!

Is sleep something that can be taught?

Yes!! This is one of my favorite questions!! I truly believe all kiddos can learn to sleep!

How do I drop the 1am feeding?

I would need to know a lot more information to be able to help with this one unfortunately! Sleep is so intricate and a lot of different factors impact nighttime sleep. There are a few methods out there and I would love to help you drop that feed!

How dark should my baby’s room be?

We recommend that your baby's room is as dark as you can get it! Darkness can help their little bodies get into a deeper sleep and prevent unnecessary wakings!

What is your advice on sleeping for a “busy, out of the house” day?

I know these days have to happen, so focus on feedings and try to get naps as you can! If you can get one good nap at home, I would suggest doing that!

For a 3 month old, how many naps should he be taking?

Probably close to 3-4.

How much sleep should a newborn be getting?

A lot! Try feeding every 2-3 hours and let them sleep between!

How do you transition from sleeping and nursing in bed to to the crib?

It is never too late to make this switch! There is so much that goes into sleep that I would need to know some more information before really making recommendations on this. This is an example of what we would love to work one-on-one with you to develop a plan that is best for you and your family.

Do you have any tips on going from 3 naps to 2?

Yes! check out this video!

How do you adjust sleep when going on a vacation? Especially with a time difference?

Depending on how long you are gone and how much of a time difference, I would probably switch to the new time zone! Here's a great video on traveling with babies!

How do I stop nursing to sleep?

I would try to keep baby awake! Tickle toes, leave the lights on, change diaper afterwards, etc!

What sleep props do you recommend / not recommend?

We aim for completely independent sleep so anything the baby can reach or access themselves is a great thing for sleep and anything they need you for could impact their ability to sleep independently.

What is the age cut off for sleep training?

There is no cutoff! It's never too late!

What if you are traveling and its not dark enough in the room and your baby doesn’t sleep?

We love the Slumberpod! Also, check out our video on traveling with babies HERE!

Is a sleep sack needed for a toddler in footless long sleeve sleeper in a warm room (72 degrees F)?

I don't think so! If you are cold and depending on age of the baby, you could add a blanket!

I’ve been co sleeping since birth, and she wakes up a lot through the night to nurse for a few seconds and refuses to sleep anywhere else. What are some tips to start doing to transition baby to the crib?

You got this mama! Honestly, a lot can go into this, so I would want to talk to you personally so I could help you through it and know you and your baby!

My baby is 9 months and has inconsistent nights, sometimes the baby sleeps 10 hours straight and others wakes up multiples times and we have a consistent bedtime routine, tips?

I would probably check waketime windows and make sure baby is putting themselves fully to sleep! This is another situation that might require some digging to find the reason for the night wakings!

We have a set bath time/bedtime routine with our 11 month old, we would love some advice on helping her sleep through the night with out any wakes. She wakes up twice a night to feed and easily goes back to sleep.

Try to make sure baby is going down fully awake! There is a lot that impacts sleep, so this is a situation where I would like to work one-on-one with families to help them get their kiddos sleeping through the night.

If we co sleep with our child in the same bed can we still sleep train? (10 month old sleeping from 9pm-7:30am and wakes every two hours to feed and little and goes back to sleep - not for “crying it out”).

I don't love crying it out either! I feel you on that. We do recommend giving baby their own space when working to sleep train.

Advice on early wake times! My daughter sleeps for 9.5 hour stretches and is awake at 4:30am to start the day regardless of what time we put her down. We put her down at 7pm, how do we get her to sleep at least until 6am?

Check out our video on early morning wakeups HERE!

Would love tips and gentle techniques on helping my 3 year old stay in her own bed instead of co sleeping.

Three year olds are special! I would develop a plan and routine and stick with it!

Right now we are transitioning our 12 week old to a crib. He went from sleeping 7 hours to now only sleeping 2 hours before wanting to feed again. Wondering why the change in sleep patterns and if there is anything we can do to ease the transition?

I love this question. Twelve weeks is my favorite to work with. Baby sleep changes a lot around that age and its when we see a lot more frequent wake ups if baby is using props to go to sleep. I would love to work with you through this as there are many factors that affect sleep!

To check out some more info or get in touch with Abby from Sleep Baby Consulting, you can click HERE to find the website!