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SUMMARY- Join Carly as she hears Tracy Cassels' story of growing up being responded to, and responding to her siblings and how that armed her for her own parenting journey. Tracy discusses the pressure felt as a new parent, even armed with her own experience and research, as well as how sleep has looked for her family as it has grown and changed over the years. Her biggest tip for a new parent? Hold your baby...

Tracy also has her own podcast mentioned in this episode, you can listen here.

Full Episode Transcript: 

Carly:

The Beyond Sleep Training Podcast- a podcast dedicated to sharing real tales of how people have managed sleep in their family outside of sleep training culture because sleep looks different with a baby in the house and because every family is different there is no one-size-fits-all approach to take. 

I’d like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which this podcast is being recorded, the Kalkadoon people, I pay my respects to the elders of this nation and the many other nations our guests reside in from the past, present and emerging. We honour Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, water and seas as well as their rich contributions to society including the birthing and nurturing of children. 

Carly:

And welcome to The Beyond Sleep Training podcast. I’m your host, Carly Grubb, and today’s special guest is the wonderful Tracy Cassels, PhD, somebody I admire hugely for her work in this parenting space. I can credit Tracy with so much of my sanity and understanding of my children’s behaviours, and I’m actually pretty much forever grateful for Tracy gracing the earth. So, thank you for coming along Tracy. A true blessing.

Find Dr Tracy Cassels work here

 Tracy:

Thank you. Oh, well thank you.

 Carly:

And I’ll have to… I just, you’re a very knowledgeable and skilled woman, so I’d love to give you a proper introduction and let everybody know that you’re the director of Evolutionary Parenting, a resource you founded back in 2011 after you gave birth to your first daughter, Maddy. And it began whilst you were in graduate school and continued and grown as you completed your PhD and moved towards more direct work with parents and families, which we at the Project have utilised many, many times. Tracy is one of our favourite people to send our families to, because we know that the person they’re going to actually meet at the other end is someone who’s going to align well with their values. Tracy has a Bachelor of Arts - oh my gosh, I’m reading these things here and I’m having trouble today with my brain – in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD in Developmental Psychology, also from the University of British Columbia. The focus of your dissertation was on empathy and theory of mind in young children, which is another thing that I love about you. Thank you for your work in that. She’s been published in many peer-reviewed journals, including the Psychological Assessment, the PLOS One, the Personality and Individual Differences, Midwifery, and many more. So, massive introduction, Tracy.

 Tracy: 

Thank you.

 Carly: 

You also live in Canada.

 Tracy: 

Yes. I am Canadian.

 Carly: 

We were just discussing huge temperature differences. I live in the very hot Australian outback. You live in the icy cold Canadian…

 Tracy: 

Yes. Although we’re getting warmer. We do get summer here. It’s kind of, you know, not… we’re not always cold, just over winter. So, we’re coming out of it now, which is nice. But yeah. So, thank you. And thank you for all you do, because the Beyond Sleep Training Project and Little Sparklers and everything is just such an invaluable space for families. Like, I have always said we need spaces like this because the peer stories and knowing you’re not alone is probably the most valuable thing we can do for families in the space of sleep and parenting more generally.

 Carly: 

Oh, thank you. And it’s, like I think that’s part of the space we created, was actually doing what we’re about to do with you and the story-telling, because it puts such a… a practical, real sense behind the theory of how you can possibly parent without sleep training your children. Because it sounds… I know though, I was very much in that case. It’s kind of like, well, that all sounds great now, but how’s it going to look, you know, in two years or even, you know, sometimes when you’re deep in it, how’s it even going to look in 3-months, 6-months? Like, it all feels very heavy. So, I’m hoping with the podcast and being able to hear peoples stories we actually can break through some of those barriers for people too. So, thank you for coming on.

 Tracy: 

Well, yeah. It’s going to be interesting. I’m so used to talking science. It’s a whole different realm here. But I think, as I said, a totally valid and needed one. So, it’s a good space to have it.

 Carly: 

So, I’d love to hear how you came to your sleep approach with your family.

 Tracy: 

Well, I should start, because I think like everything, it starts with my upbringing. And you know, so many times I think, just to share, that I know a lot of families struggle beyond sleep training because that was their [5:00] reality. That was what they grew up with. That was… and so it comes at them from various angles. You have grandparents and aunts, uncles, you know, your own parents telling you that this is just what you have to do, and so it goes. And I was actually very blessed that I did not have that. So, I think my story often differs from so many because when we talk about sleep, and we can talk about privilege in many regards when it comes to sleep, I was so obscenely privileged for the way that I was raised and what I witnessed being raised. So, my mum responded to every cry of mine. I mean she said she was exhausted because she’s still at that point, I was in a crib in my own room downstairs from her, but she came very time and had to deal with it and everything. And she did. And so, but… so I just, I’d never co-slept, I never had that experience right off as a personal experience, but I never… she never left me to cry. That was just not in her bones at all. And then, and she was left to cry. So, I actually, you know, one of the things we were chatting about right before was this whole epigenetic and generations going down. So, unfortunately her experience was quite different, because being a child of the 50s and 60s, what was the advice then was pretty much to not pick up. And she grew up in the United States, and the doctors’ advice then to my grandmother was do not… do not respond. Do not pick up. Do not, you know. I think at one point it was my grandmother told me, you know, you should pick up your baby once every 4 hours. That was enough touch for them and nothing else. They have to learn to settle on their own. And, you know, my mum was honest about struggles she had from that. And it was hard. And my grandmother acknowledged later in life how horrible she felt doing it. She felt she was not a good mother from having done that. And that was a really, I think, impactful experience for my mum, coming to the table there. So, when she had kids she just right off the bat was ‘I’m not doing this. That is not what I’m going to do’. So, she started with just responding, and that was great. And she was surrounded by a lot of probably hippie people at the time. You know? She had a home birth with me, which was completely, you know, off the cuff. She had a midwife. Luckily she had a doctor who lied and said he was the one that delivered me and vouched that she had to be at home for whatever reason. And so, it was all, you know, under the radar there. And she kept kind of becoming part of this movement of these kind of hippie-ish mums.

 And so, my brother was next in line, and luckily I have really big age differences, and this makes a big difference as well. So, I am almost 8-years older than my brother. So, I remember his birth and I remember his babyhood very, very well. And again, he started in the… in the crib, but she found at a pretty young age that he did a lot better if they fell asleep together just lying on a mattress she’d set up in the room there. So, she kind of started that little co-sleeping bit and it was just… but just to get him to sleep, and then she’d transfer him in and that was that. And then fast forward. So, that was his upbringing, and he was, you know, in the crib but happy, but started out with a bit of that co-sleeping, and again always responding. All the cries, all the time, always answering them.

 And then my sister came along when I was almost 14. And she was a surprise, and a lovely one too. We’re all very happy she came along. But by now my mum had really shifted, and I think it was a combination of her mindset towards it and her age. She was 42. You’re not quite as active and energetic as you are. And so, you know, she still had a crib for my sister that she napped in, but they were co-sleeping right from the get-go all the time, planned, every night. And I watched that continue for years. You know, to be honest when I think about my sister, she must have been, I don’t know, closer to 7 or 8 when she went into her own bed in a room. So, it was just that was their… they were there together, and it was awesome to see.

 And again, all the responsiveness, which she then passed on to me with my sister because of the age. So, my sister was very colicky. You know? Now I know what I know I would have probably had my mum do a whole lot of other things, but she just didn’t know, but she’s like, ‘I’m responding.’ And so, we used to take turns with the crying, because she could cry for hours. And if I was home my mum would be like, ‘We’re tag-teaming out.’ And she would hand me my sister, and I knew I was doing what I could. I would hold her. I knew I wasn’t even expected to make her stop crying. I just knew the importance was that someone was holding her. And that was really profound [10:00] for me too, because here was someone who was my mum at a breaking point at times from having held this screaming baby for two hours in a row, and even then she was not going to put her down and leave her to her own devices. Even though she wasn’t able to soothe her at the time, she didn’t know what was wrong, but that was it. And so, she’s like, ‘Now, you take over.’ And I would hold her.

 And I still have memories. I had – I’ll date myself here – I had a Walkman at the time. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s an old gadget in which you play something called a cassette tape. And you can have mix-tapes, which is what I had, which is like a playlist but of random songs that you have recorded onto your tape. And I loved my Walkman, and I would play my music on that. And eventually a Discman and stuff came along, and I had those too. And again, another old piece of technology that still exists, but they’re very cool. You could probably see them in museums soon. But that was my… I would sit and just listen to my favourite music while holding this crying baby, and my music calmed me. It kept it from getting, you know, too much overwhelming for me. But that was my… that was how I approached it.

 So, by the time, you know, you fast forward, I’ve had that experience kind of in these formative years where I’m learning about caring for babies. And I baby-sat a ton and, you know, luckily I only had one family I knew that did cry it out. And I just didn’t do it. They wanted me, you know, they said you can, but they also understood that I didn’t. So, when I put those kids to sleep, I mean even the older – I had families where I fell asleep with the kids, and they’d come home, and I’d be like cuddled up co-sleeping with their child. Like, ‘Sorry, sorry. I fell asleep there. I didn’t mean to.’ And they were all lovely and non-judgemental about it. But, so then by the time I had kids I kind of knew… it was interesting, because as much as I wish I could say there was no hesitation in my mind and I was just going to co-sleep, the fear-mongering that goes on around it is still there.

 So, despite having the evidence, you know, growing up with it, despite having read the science on it and knowing how to read it and the safety, there is that voice in the back of your head that tells you that this is not what you’re supposed to be doing because, you know, no one around you is doing that. And so, we looked, I remember taking my husband to look at co-sleepers and, you know, gadgets galore to try and make it safer in the bed and everything. And, you know, we did buy a crib, not that I planned on using it right away. We bought one that converted to a toddler bed, because I thought – and then converted to a full-sized bed for like down the line – so I thought that would just be cool to have something from babyhood on. And I did think like my mum, maybe, you know, napping in the crib would be something that would happen because that is again what I grew up with. Right? Like, even my sister. They co-slept, but my mum didn’t nap in the middle of the day. So, that was a great, safe spot to put baby down and go from there. And we didn’t end up buying any of the weird gadgets to go in the bed. It was just like, none of them spoke to me. I kept looking and they seemed less safe than how I would set up my bed. So, that became kind of that - this isn’t working. And then my daughter was born and, you know, back – she was born in 2010. So, EP started in 2011, but it was she was born in 2010 and she… she’s an orchid and a really, really high needs baby. The idea of sleeping anywhere but touching me just was not in the cards… right off the bat. That was absolutely not going to happen. I still remember even in the hospital, because I’d planned a homebirth, but we had to transfer, so she ended up being born in hospital. And the very first day, you know, they have to wait. I haemorrhaged. I have… both my kids, I have post-partum haemorrhage. But not… I mean I felt fine, but they were all worried and, you know, they make you stay there for a bit.

 And so, she was born at 5 in the morning, and we finally got home. We went home that same day, but I had to spend the entire day there, and I was… we left because I was insistent upon leaving. But I was – and had my midwife’s okay. I realise how that sounded. I did not just walk out without, you know, a medical clearance here. But she… I wanted her on me there too. And in the hospital they don’t really go for it. They had these lovely clear plastic bins that I was supposed to put my baby into after my daughter, and that was not okay with me. But I also needed to sleep, and this was something that needed [15:00] to happen. And I again, as luck would kind of intervene, the nurse-on-call at that point came in and just said… she just listed off all the big risk factors. She’s like, ‘You’ve got none of them. Sleep with your baby. Just, you know, put the sides up. You’ll be fine. I’ll check on you, but what I have to do is I have to put the… on the notice on the door I have to put do not disturb, because if anyone else comes in and sees it that could be a problem.’ So, this was, she was like, ‘I’m going to put it up, and it means you may miss the hearing screen. We may have to go in a couple of days and do that separately.’ I was like, ‘Great. Absolutely. Like, I’ll take her somewhere to get a hearing screen. That’s not a problem.’ And so, she did.

 And that was again just that reassurance again from someone else. So, it’s like, ‘You’re fine. Go ahead.’ So, we got home and from day one she slept with me all the time, and it was, you know, I guess I’d never even thought about sleep training because it wasn’t on my radar. I learned very quickly that the crib was very useful for laundry and the storage of anything I needed to pick up and throw in. I don’t believe she ever went in it. Not once. Not even to play. Not even… because by the time I would have put her in it it was so filled with crap that I’m not sure she would have fit in it.

 Carly: 

Wasn’t safe anymore. (laughs)

 Tracy: 

Right? This isn’t going to work! (laughs)

Carly: 

No.

Tracy: 

Plus, what am I going to do with all the crap that’s in it? I’m not taking that out. So, that became, so that was her, you know, from the start there was just no… just everything went together to make that work for us right off the bat. And so that was… and we had lowered our bed to the floor, and it was all that stuff we did. Again, I had the benefit of the resources and the knowledge of how to make it safe. And so, I did do that, and I made sure of doing that, and it was, you know, I… Well, I’ll get to my son and then I’ll get to where we are now. But it just worked for us. It worked great. And, you know, she… she was wonder… I mean she woke a lot. She needed a lot. But at no point did I think I had to sleep train. I think at that point I knew enough to know, A. that was never going to be for me. I am just… that wasn’t going to happen. All of my experiences to date just validated the importance of their cries and the need to respond. And then her temperament I also know never would have taken to something like that. You know? You think about babies are unique, and I know some people say, ‘Oh, my baby fussed for a few minutes and then they were fine.’ That’s their story. That’s their experience. That would not have been my daughter. In no way, shape or form would she have just quietly fussed for a few minutes and gone to sleep without me. I would have broken her. Like, we talk about it – my husband and I – it would have broken her. And that is just, that is who she is. That is her temperament. And we were not going to break our baby. And I don’t think, you know, that’s all that needs to be said about her temperament there. But that is, it was not going to happen.

So, we plugged along co-sleeping regularly. And then my son came along 5-years later, almost 6-years later actually, 5-and-a-half. And we were still co-sleeping at that time. And I will say actually up at that point I went into labour at about 1am with him, and so that was probably the first night that we weren’t together all night. You know what I mean? For a certain point till the morning? I’d never been away from her either. For all those years I’d never gone. Any time we travelled we travelled together. We had slept together, you know, up… every single day at that. And it was… that was my first time kind of – but I was in the house, so it wasn’t a big deal. And she was sleeping through at that point, so she kind of woke up in the morning of like, ‘Oh, there you… okay. This is what’s happening.’ And he was born at home, which was lovely. So, there was no fear of being apart from her for any longer or anything like that. She did leave part way through because she told me I was making too much noise and she couldn’t watch her shows very well. So, it was fine. She went over to a neighbour’s house, one of her best friends, and played there until my husband went to get her later. And you know, similar I think, by the time number two comes along there is… the pattern’s set. I’m not doing anything different. And I knew again the research on co-sleeping with a sibling and keeping the sides safe. So, I had, you know, one side for him, one for her, and that got hard to navigate a bit. That was probably the biggest struggle to kind of deal with was, you know, I nursed both sides with him, but on one side I had to stay awake to make sure I could [20.00] transfer him back over to the other side.

 Carly: 

I remember that well.

 Tracy: 

Yeah.

 Carly: 

Yes, it’s definitely… It’s like a… But I don’t know about you, but I found I had like Spidey senses tuned to the max when I put babe on that side.

 Tracy: 

Yeah. I think I did too. To be honest it feels like long enough ago now I’m not sure, you know, that I fully remember all of it because – and he was also very colicky, much like my sister. We had bouts, and we discovered stuff that I was eating was actually posing a problem. And when I was able to eliminate some things it resolved. But it was a couple… few months of, you know, bouncing on a yoga ball with the baby who was screaming at the top of his lungs for 3 hours and me in tears, you know, thinking what have I done? I’m such a horrible parent. How could this happen? And so that was there, and that was the hardest struggle. But even then, you know, I was not going to leave him to cry. It was not. I’d been there. I did not go back and put headphones on and listen to music, which I should have done. I should have gone back to my…

 Carly:  I was about to ask you did you use your strategy?

Tracy: 

No, I didn’t, because it was my baby this time and I was just, you know, in that state of ‘I have to be able to fix this.’

 Carly: 

Yeah. Your heart would have been…

 Tracy: 

Right? I felt like I had to be there. But it was… which is funny, in hindsight I go back and I’m like, uh, I so should have. Because it really would have calmed me more, which probably would have helped calm him more because all of my hormones would have gone in the right direction, my cortisol would have lowered and everything, and that would have had potentially an effect too. But there we go.

 Carly: 

Did you have someone that you could hand him to? Did you have that support at that time? Or were you very much having to deal with it?

 Tracy: 

When my husband could, he would. But he was working. He had to be up early. And at that point he had to be up even extra early to pick up my stepson and take him to school every morning. And so, there was that issue of how do, you know, he’s got to get up and 6am and can’t really be up, and drive, you know, a distance to get him and go back. So, he was in the car a lot and I didn’t, you know, that… driving when you’re exhausted is such a danger, I was not ready to do that. So, this was…

 Carly: 

And icy roads too.

 Tracy: 

Yeah. This is just not something we were… I was comfortable with. So, on weekends, at night if anything happened, he was phenomenal. And just emotionally supportive too. And the other part that he did that was lovely was there was no judgement when the house was a mess, when nothing else was getting done, dinner wasn’t cooked, laundry wasn’t finished. You know, he understood all of it. It was, there was never a suggestion that I should have been doing anything differently. And that was probably emotionally so needed, because you feel like a failure as a parent at that time, that if I felt like I was failing everyone else as well that would have been bad.

 And he actually took leave for a bit, which was great, and ended up being able to take… So, in the first month when it was really bad he took some leave, but then was back at work for a bit, and then actually ended up taking a full parental leave that he has in Canada, so he got 8-months of parental leave, which was lovely. Because it’s split here between the parents. And because I had been doing my PhD I didn’t… I wasn’t eligible for it. So, he was able to take all 8-months that he had. 4-months are exclusively for the mother, and so – in Canada – and so… but again, I couldn’t take them because I wasn’t… I had been in school. That was separate and not something that you get paid for. So yeah. So, he did… he did 8-months, and then that was way helpful. Once he was there that was just brilliant and supportive, and I could nap. Then I could… He took my daughter everywhere to do all her stuff, and that was just so lovely to have at the beginning there.

 So, yeah. And so, my son entered the bed, the family bed, and we had the 3 of us. And I admit my husband at that point I think had been kicked out long ago. So, he was… And I guess I always want to talk to families about this, because I think there’s a big stigma around parents sleeping separate, or dad sleeping separately. Now, in our case what happened was my husband snores, and when my daughter at some point had been sick – and I can’t remember exactly how old she was – and he was like… No, she didn’t get sick. He got sick. And he was like, ‘I don’t want to infect her. So, I’m going to go sleep in the guestroom for… for that time.’ And I’ve never slept so well. It was like one of the best sleeps of my life. And he came back, he’s like, ‘Oh, how was it? Was it harder, you know, that…?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, [25:00] actually… um, slept great. It was awesome. So sorry.’ And so, actually what happened is that lovely crib that she didn’t go into we converted to the… a guest bed. We bought a good mattress and I’m like, ‘Well, you get it.’ And he got, that bed was for him. So, he has the crib bed. And we’ve tried at various times he comes back in for a bit, and I just - you know, when we moved from Vancouver to Ontario we all got back in the one big, family bed with my son as a baby and, you know, my daughter and my husband and me, and then the dog - that we’d just gotten a puppy because I don’t know what we were thinking. And that point, you know, again the snoring just got so bad that, you know, we stuck with it for a bit longer. This, I was, you know, like a couple of years he was back in with the whole family bed, and eventually again it was just I was getting resentful because when it started waking up the kids, that was a problem. And, you know, so fast forward to now and I am, you know, my daughter’s 10, turning 11. My son is 5-and-a-half, almost 5-and-a-half. And we – I sleep with both the kids. So, we still do the family bed. I admit we always thought, there was always these discussions going to be that when she’s 3 she’ll sleep in her own room, when she’s 8, when she’s 10, when she’s… We’re like, ‘I don’t know’, now. I don’t know. At some point something will hit, and she’ll want to go into her own room, and that’ll be fine. My son, you know, I see the importance to him of all of this too. Right? Like, she’s always been very clear about the need to co-sleep and that close proximity and how much she loves it. But even my son, he will now say to me if he’s mad at me about something, like, ‘No, I don’t want to do this.’ Or ‘No, I’m not doing that.’ Or he’ll even say things like, ‘I don’t like you. But don’t worry mum, I’m still going to sleep with you.’ And that…

 Carly: 

Thanks for just clarifying, babe. That’s so sweet.

 Tracy: 

That’s it. He just goes… But that is his go-to for everything now. He can be mad about anything, and but it always ends at there’ll be a pause. ‘But don’t worry. I’m still sleeping with you.’ As if that’s just immutable. ‘I can hate you in this moment. But I’m still going to sleep with you’. So…

 Carly: 

If that ain’t true love I don’t know what is.

Tracy: 

Exactly. So, you know. So, I guess we go to where we are now and it is, you know, my husband and I will share a bed again when he decides to get his big sleep apnoea machine thing going to help him. The kids will eventually end up out of the bed. I know that. I’m not under the illusion that I’m going to have a 30-year-old living at home and co-sleeping with me. But for the time being I’ve got to say I love it. It is such a wonderful way to reconnect. And I see it too with the kids. When I’ve had a long day, you know, I look at today for example. I had my… I started, I was in the office at 8am for calls, and now it’s 8pm here and I’m finishing. And I’ve had some bouts in with them, but there are days I don’t get to see them very much. And to be able to spend the night snuggling and holding and doing everything is really valuable to me. It’s something that I find quite beneficial for my relationship with them, for their mental health, for my mental health. And that’s… so, that’s where we’re at. That is – I mean my very long-winded, I’m sorry I just kept going here…

 Carly: 

No, no. It’s actually perfect. And I think it’s like a beautiful story to tell in that it doesn’t have that classic ending where, you know, so many families are wondering when their kid’s going to get out of their bed. And to hear that, you know, you actually still have a family bed, but it’s actually not in any way a negative experience for your family. I think there’s huge power in that too, because it kind of takes that sense of urgency out for people, especially those with younger, little people. This really… it’s okay. Like, I know for us, we kind of have a partial thing going on in our house where children migrate. It’s a bit of a musical beds situation going on at our house. But for us it felt right to also have their own spaces as well as they grew. But at the same time, I’m similar to you where it’s like when they come in at night it’s not in any way a problem. Like, it’s a sure sign that they just needed a bit of closeness, reconnection, and I’m okay with it too. So, I love that about it. Thank you so much for sharing that, Tracy.

 Tracy

Oh, thank you. And you know, I should say, we still do – just like you said with the space. Like, people always question this. I’m like, ‘No, no, no. They have rooms that are like theirs. It’s just they don’t sleep in them. Right?’ They’ve got [30:00] toys and desks and everything and under the sun, and all the games and all their stuff that they can go to. They call it their room. They have all that space. There are beds in them. They’re just not used beds. Well, they are used with all sorts of stuff on it, just the way the crib was. But it is, you know, and I imagine they will end up in those rooms at some point down the line. I say imagine because, as I said, I would have thought earlier. But who knows? This is something, and I always go back to the research on… I can’t remember the name of the tribe right now, but they looked at the ages of co-sleeping in one of the tribes that continues for quite a while. It might be the Akha. But anyway. And it was for boys they tended to stay close to mum until about age 8, before he would go off and then find their own little spot, still obviously within the tribal kind of co-sleeping area but find their own space. And for girls it was actually closer to 12, 13 that they stayed close to mum.

 Carly: 

Right.

Tracy: 

Yeah. So, there was into that early adolescence. So, it was like, I kind of look at that age range and I’m like, well, I think those are what my kids are going to do, and they’ll time up nicely.

 Carly: 

That’s what we’re heading towards.

 Tracy: 

Right?

 Carly: 

Yeah.

 Tracy: 

And they’ll both seemingly, probably get there at the same time, because they are just that 5 years apart. So, I might lose both at once, which would be a little traumatic. But we’ll see how that goes.

 Carly: 

That’s a bit tough on a mama’s heart there.

 Tracy: 

Right. Exactly. Like, two go. But we’ll see. I do keep that number in mind, because I think it is helpful to have, you know, in cultures where that is normalised, and where that is just the way that they sleep, we do see this longer term. And not all… not all hunter-gatherer cultures have that, but one of the things that does come up all the time is even when kids that are younger are being kind of pushed out from sleeping with mum, they go sleep with siblings. So, that sibling relationship becomes the comfort, and with each other and everything. So, keeping that in mind, pardon me, I think is really helpful for families to have with time.

 Carly: 

Certainly is. And I’m going to ask you, because we’re really pushed for time now, but I wanted to hear do you have a tip for the week that you’d like to share with people listening along?

 Tracy: 

Oh, my goodness. Hold your baby. Stay close. I mean really it’s – I know it sounds cliched, but the time does travel fast. Like, I look at my kids now and, I mean maybe you’ll be lucky like me and they don’t want to leave the bed and you still get all those snuggles and everything. But maybe they want to be out. And that’s the thing too is that the kids will do what they want to do in many… but they’ll let you know, and if you can respect that and follow it they will do it. But don’t lose that time, especially not when young. I mean there is absolutely nothing wrong with holding your baby for every sleep for as much as it works for you.

 Carly: 

I love that. And I love the way you phrased it as that you’re lucky that you’re little people still sleep and cuddle with you, because it is a positive thing. You know? You could make it seem like you’re being tortured by your older children, but in reality it’s just not actually how the experience plays out, and that’s something I think from a cultural perspective we can actually get our heads around. There’s a lot of positives to our children needing our closeness if we can embrace it in that way. So, thank you very much for that very positive spin, Tracy.

 Tracy: 

Oh, thank you so much for sharing these. It’s again, like I said, if anyone can feel positive about it I will feel good having shared. So…

 Carly: 

Awesome. Thank you so much. And I’m going to finish this up there but thank you very much for the time that you’ve spend with us. I know you’ve had a very long day, but we do love you so, and it wouldn’t have been the Beyond Sleep Training Podcast if you we didn’t have one of our favourite people on. So, thank you, Tracy.

 Tracy: 

Oh. Well, thank you.

 Carly: 

And if anyone’s needing support for their family as well I’ll be sure to drop Tracy’s Evolutionary Parenting links into the show notes so that you can find her. She’s got some brilliant work, and I absolutely love Tracy’s podcast as well where she breaks down a lot of different science that’s going on around parenting all from things like, what with there’s been bio-archaeological…

 Tracy: 

Yeah.

 Carly: 

What? Oh, now I’ve lost the word for it. Bio-archaeologists.

 Tracy: 

Yes.

 Carly: 

Through to… what was…? Oh my gosh. Carly’s brain has fried. I’m trying to think of some of the different types of science you’ve put on there.

 Tracy: 

Oh, my goodness, I have had dyslexia research just came out this past week on there. We have empathy researchers.

 Carly: 

Psychologists.

 Tracy: 

Yes.

 Carly: 

You’ve had ENTs.

 Tracy: 

Yeah.

 Carly: 

So many different people.

 Tracy: 

Awesome.

 Carly: 

So, it’s a brilliant podcast to listen to. So, if you’re looking for something else to subscribe to apart from our Little Sparklers and the Beyond Sleep Training Podcast one, Tracy Cassels Podcast for Evolutionary Parenting is an absolute killer. So, thank you again Tracy, and we’ll let you go [35:00] so that you can get back to your family. Thank you. Bye.

 Tracy: 

Thank you.

Carly Grubb:

I really hope you enjoyed the podcast today the information we discussed was just that information only it is not specific advice if you take any action following something you've heard from our show today it is important to make sure you get professional advice about your unique situation before you proceed whether that advice is legal, financial, accounting, medical or any other advice. Please reach out to me if you do have any questions or if there's a topic you'd really like us to be covering and if you know somebody who'd really benefit from listening to our podcast please be sure to pass our name along also check out our free peer support group the beyond sleep training project and our wonderful website www.littlesparklers.org. If you'd like even more from the show you can join us as a patron on Patreon and you can find a link for that in our show notes if listening is not really your jam we also make sure we put full episode transcripts on our little sparklers website for you to also enjoy and fully captioned YouTube videos as well on our Little Sparklers channel so thanks again for listening today we really enjoy bringing this podcast to you. 

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