Matthews revealed in a Sunday Instagram Q&A that when daughter Sterling was 9 weeks old, the couple enlisted the guidance of 4TheLoveOfSleep, a company run by certified registered nurse Jenna Artis. “I reached out and talked with the sleep coach!” Matthews wrote. “She came in and worked with Sterling for three days to start the process! It was a lot at first and at one point, I thought I couldn’t do it so for a few days I took her off the schedule and it went back to a mess.” However, when Matthews renewed the routine, Sterling became “the happiest best baby and sleeps a full 12 hours at night. Can’t ask for much more!”
Sleep training is the act of teaching a baby to fall asleep alone, without the assistance of a parent. “Essentially, you’re getting your baby to realize that they can put themselves to sleep or self soothe,” Dr. Noah Schwartz told the Cleveland Clinic in May. “It’s a development skill they will need to learn.” He added that babies have typically developed the ability to self-soothe at 4 months (that’s also when sleeping patterns develop) and are no longer feeding during the night, although some infants start sleep training earlier or later. Others don’t sleep train at all. According to the organization, babies typically start sleeping through the night at around 6 months.
Matthews did not say which training she used (and a representative of 4TheLoveOfSleep did not immediately return SheKnows’ request for comment), however, common sleep-training tactics range from “Cry It Out” a.k.a., “Extinction Training” (allowing a baby to cry themselves to sleep without parental intervention), the Ferber Method (a more supervised version conceived in 1985 by pediatrician Dr. Richard Ferber, who later claimed his theory had been misconstrued by the public), and other tricks that involve periodic pop-ins. Although parents tend to feel strongly about sleep training as a whole, science has not yet deduced whether it’s beneficial or detrimental to infants.
In her Stories, Matthews also shared that Sterling’s bedtime routine (bath, PJs, feeding, and book) begins at 7:00 p.m. While Sterling sleeps in a crib at night, during the day, if the family is not home, she naps in her stroller, soothed by a portable sound machine and a cover for darkness.
Although Matthews opened up about topics like breastfeeding (“Once I started a schedule it got so much easier and now is a breeze”) and offered encouragement to fellow moms (“You got this”) she is protecting more private family moments. When a fan wrote, “…Post the mama struggles too…You post as if it’s always perfect,” Matthews replied, “Yes, I have them. But I choose not to talk about them here. That’s my own personal choice. I try not to make everything seem perfect, I’m sorry if I do, cause you’re right. That’s not the case about everything.”
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