30 Interview Questions to Ask a Birth Doula

30 Interview Questions to Ask a Birth Doula | Baby Chick

30 Interview Questions to Ask a Birth Doula

Over the years I have gone to hundreds of interviews as a doula. Some couples come to the consultation fully prepared with a list of questions ready to go, and others show up having no idea what to ask. It’s so important to choose the right doula for you and being prepared with the right questions ahead of time will help you choose the best support person. But how do you know who is the right choice?

First, you need to have a good understanding of what you want/are looking for in a birth doula. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, here are 30 questions that will help determine just that. I have been asked all of these questions and more and these are my top birth doula interview questions. These will help you get started and realize which questions are most important for you to ask when deciding on a doula.

The #1 question to ask before you even schedule an interview is…

1. Are you available for my due date?

You want to make sure that you aren’t wasting your time meeting with someone that already is booked around your due date or will be out of town.

2. How many births do you take per month?

Some doulas only take one client per month and others take 5 or 6 clients or even more per month. You may not feel comfortable with someone taking too many due dates in a month (since that increases their chances of needing to use their backup for your birth). I usually recommend that a doula take no more than 4 birth doula clients a month; that’s around one birth per week.

3. Do you have any other clients that have due dates near mine?

If they do have other clients that are due during your month, ask when their due dates are and if those people are delivering close to where you will be delivering. (Just in case that doula is going from one birth to another. I personally have had people that were due over a month apart go into labor on the same day, but other clients that were due just days apart deliver their babies on completely different weeks. You just never know!)

4. Are you going to be in town for my due date?

If they will be going out of town near or around your due date, you will want to ask for how long, how far away she will be (maybe it’s not a far drive), and how she handles births if she is out of town.

5. Do you have a backup doula? How did you choose your backup doula?

Doulas must have at least one backup doula. If the the doula you are interviewing doesn’t have a backup doula, do not hire her as your doula. You should always receive care even if your hired doula happens to not be available. You never know; she could get into an accident on the way to your birth, be severely and/or contagiously ill, could be stuck in a flood, etc. Things happen. You need to know who her backup is as well as how and why she chose her as her backup. It’s also nice if you are able to meet her backup in advance or at least talk to her over the phone.

6. Where did you receive your doula training?

I, personally, take my doula career very seriously and have invested a lot of time and money in my training and certifications. I felt that if I was going to make this my profession, I needed to treat it as such. I believe that all doulas should be trained and follow a code of ethics. (You’d be surprised about the number of doulas that choose to not be trained or certified.) There are so many doula trainings available now so become familiar with them — the ones the I recommend the most are DONA and CAPPA since they are globally recognized and respected organizations.

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7. How long ago was your training? What was required of you to receive your certification? How long did it take you to finish your training? Have you done any continued education?

Receiving a certification and continuing education is a great way to keep current on birth topics and stay familiar and knowledgable about new/different methods of support. However, as I said before, not all doulas choose to be trained or certify. She may have other experience though that equally qualifies her to do doula work. She could be an RN that worked as a labor and delivery nurse or she could be a retired midwife. I believe that even these women should go to a doula training because these roles are very different from one another, however, these women have a lot more experience than someone that has no labor support experience at all.

8. What is your birth philosophy?

This is always an interesting question and it could be answered in many different ways. There is no one particular right answer. By asking this question, you’ll find out so much about the doula you are interviewing. Your potential doula’s answer will let you know her passion and commitment to birth and it will help you form a wise opinion about hiring her for your upcoming labor and birth.

9. How long have you been a doula? How many births have you been to?

To some families a lot of experience is really important. To others, it may not be as significant. Some families want to feel confident that the doula knows how to best support them at their birth since birth can unfold in so many different ways. I will say though, experienced professionals all had to be beginners at some point, you know? Usually people with less experience have a lower fee which is great for families that are on a tight budget but are still wanting continuous support.

10. Have you had any children? If so, did your birth experiences influence you to be a doula? Why? What did you learn from your birth experiences?

Some women feel that they must hire a doula that has had a child themselves. To others, it’s not significant. I understand that it is nice to have that common bond, but having a baby isn’t a necessity to be a good doula. (There are plenty of great male OBs out there that have never given birth as well as great female OBs that have never had a baby). If the doula hasn’t had a baby, hopefully she has done additional trainings and is educating herself more on the process to provide better support and care.

11. Why did you decide to become a doula?

This is always my favorite question. You can tell when someone really loves their job when they tell you how they fell in love with their career as a doula.

12. What are your fees?

There isn’t a standard rate for doulas. Pricing could be as low as $300 (or possibly less if she is brand new) to as high as $2,000 or even more (depending on where you are located). Usually newer doulas charge less than seasoned doulas. No matter how new the doula is though, her time for training, remaining on-call and for providing continuous emotional, physical, and educational support should be compensated fairly.

13. What forms of payment do you accept?

Maybe they only accept cash or check. They may only accept credit cards or can send you an invoice via PayPal. This is good to know especially if you want to set up a payment plan.

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14. What is included in your doula package?

How many prenatal visits will you have? How long are your prenatal visits? Will you receive a postpartum visit after your baby is born? If so, one or two? Does their birth doula package include any of their other services? Maybe childbirth classes, massage or placenta encapsulation? It’s good to know what you are paying for.

15. What do you typically cover during your prenatal visits?

If your curious about the topics that they normally cover during their prenatal visits with clients, ask!

16. Where do we meet your clients for prenatal visits?

Some doulas will come to your home for prenatal visits. Others may be a part of an agency and you have to meet your doula at their office. Understand where your meetings will take place and if you need to prepare or bring anything with you.

17. Have you been to my hospital / birth center before? What were your experiences like?

There are certain hospitals that I have been to that I’ve had terrible experiences at. I can say the same thing about a birth center too. Asking the doulas what their experiences are like will give you a good idea of what your experience might be like. It will also show you how that doula handled those challenging births.

18. Have you worked with my doctor /midwife before? What were your experiences like?

The same thing goes for your care provider. Doulas are working with them constantly and they get to see behind the curtain/ what your care provider is really like. This can better prepare you for what to expect. Since they have the experiences, they can tell you what you can expect from your doctor or midwife during labor and birth.

19. When will you join me in labor? Would you come to my home first?

Most doulas will help you labor at home before you go to the hospital. They want to make sure that you don’t get to the hospital too soon. (You don’t want to get to the hospital too early to just be sent back home.)

20. How do you feel about cesarean births?

Doulas should be supportive of any and all births. There is no wrong way to have a baby. Everything is your choice. As long as you feel happy and satisfied with your experience, that was the right birth for you. Do not let a doula tell you that cesareans are all bad because that is definitely not the case.

21. Do you attend cesarean births? If so, how do you support women during a cesarean and after one?

If you know that you have the possibility of needing a c-section, it would be nice to know ahead of time how she can support you and your partner during this birth and recovery experience.

22. What if I labor longer than 12-hours or 24-hours? Will you still be there? Does the price change?

Personally, I charge only one package fee. Whether you have a 2-hour birth or a 48-hour birth, everyone pays the same fee. I don’t feel that it is right for a woman to worry about how much she is going to owe me at the end of her birth. She should not be staring at the clock between contractions. She shouldn’t be worrying about anything, for that matter! However, there are some doulas that will charge an hourly fee after a certain point. Be sure to ask this in advance.

23. What happens to my fee if there was no labor support provided? (In case you have a fast birth, an emergency c-section due to health reasons, etc.)

Some doulas replace that lost labor support time with a different service, like postpartum doula care or lactation support or massage appointments. Other doulas refund a part of their fee. Understand how she handles situations like these that are beyond anyone’s control.

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24. How long will you stay with me after I give birth?

It’s common for doulas to stay up to 2-hours (or even more) to help with initial breastfeeding, taking pictures for you and your new family member, etc.

25. How would you describe your support style as a doula?

This is a great question to ask to get a better understanding of how they like to work. Some doulas are better at being very quiet and provided a powerful silent, gentle and calm force. Others are better at being a coach or a cheerleader. And some will be like a mother to you, or a sister, or a friend. Know what it is that you are wanting, and look for the characteristics with each doula that you interview.

26. What do you typically do when supporting one of your clients during labor and birth?

It’s great to know the relaxation/coping techniques as well as the different positions that they use with their clients during labor. These answers will give you a good sense of how prepared they are to support you during your baby’s birth. (Do they use aromatherapy, massage, counter pressure, hydrotherapy, hot packs/ cold packs, pressure points, etc.?)

27. How do you feel about epidurals or any pain medication?

Some doulas only like to work with women that want natural births. If you are wanting an epidural or any other pain medications, you need to make sure that your doula is supportive of those choices.

28. Do you have any references? If so, can I speak with your references? If not, do you have any reviews that I can read?

Being able to read reviews or speak to other women that have used them as doulas is a great way to see if she will be the right fit for you. Most women will go in full detail about their doula and on how helpful she was at the birth. These always help when determining the right doula for you.

29. (If you are taking Bradley Classes or Hypnobabies/Hypnobirthing classes): How familiar are you with the childbirth classes that I’m taking? Have you supported anyone else who has taken these classes?

Most doulas are very familiar with all the various childbirth classes available. Ask if your potential doula has supported anyone using these specific techniques and what their experiences are. I recommend hiring a doula who is familiar with your chosen techniques and makes them a priority in your discussions about her role in how the birth could play out.

30. Do you offer any additional services? Have you done any other trainings?

Speaking for myself, once I realized that I wanted to be a birth doula, I decided to go to massage therapy school so I could better support laboring women. I then became a certified postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn educator, infant massage instructor and more! You may be finding someone who has received a lot of training and education in other areas and you could take advantages of their knowledge and other services as well.

There you have it! My top 30 interview questions to ask when hiring a birth doula. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these questions and if there are any other questions that you think I should add to the list. Please share in the comments below!

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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Any pregnant mamas out there relate?⁠
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A fabulous visual of cervical dilation. Women's bo A fabulous visual of cervical dilation. Women's bodies are incredible. 🙌💕⁠
Board by: @treasuresfromjennifer
📷: unknown⁠
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Comic from "Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts" @familiustalk @brooklyn_rabbit⁠
Words & 📷: @postpartumstress⁠
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#thisispostpartum #postpartum #postpartumlife #speakthesecret #postpartumdepression #breakthestigma #selflove #dailyparenting #honestlymothering #motherhoodunplugged #youarenotalone #motherhood #mothering #momlife #newmom #4thtrimester #fourthtrimester #postnatal #babychick #mommychick #postpartumstress
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ❤️ It is Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ❤️ It is the day Americans honor Dr. King's legacy and his key role in helping our nation get closer to its goal of equality for all. There are several important lessons from MLK that we can all learn from and teach our children. If you want to spread his legacy and honor this day, share these 12 lessons with your kids and let's implement them into our own lives. 💜 {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
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#MLK #MLKday #martinlutherking #love #martinlutherkingjr #ihaveadream #civilrights #peace #inspiration #equality #mlkjr #mondaymotivation #dream #quoteoftheday #mlkjrday #babychick #mommychick
It may have been a messy day, but you are doing so It may have been a messy day, but you are doing so well, mama. Take it day by day. Or even minute by minute. Things will get better. You are strong and you are a great mom. ❤️⁠
📷: @helenetheillustrator⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #newmom #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Crawling is correct. 🤣⁠ (quote via @mytherapi Crawling is correct. 🤣⁠
(quote via @mytherapistsays)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
When you wish you could buy half sizes. 😑🤣⁠
📷: @momhashtags⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #toddlerlife #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
TRUTH!⁠ 😂⁠ (quote via @nottheworstmom via T TRUTH!⁠ 😂⁠
(quote via @nottheworstmom via Twitter)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
We get that diapers and childcare aren't cheap and We get that diapers and childcare aren't cheap and bills really add up, but it doesn't cost much to schedule time as a family together. Get out of the house together and make memories. Whether you drive to the lake or your nearest beach or a cool park close by, spend time together. Invest in your memories. Invest in your relationships. Those will be the things that stay with you forever and make you the happiest and "richest" in the long run. ❤️⁠
📷: @momsgotink⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠ You k How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠
You know you have a newborn when _______.⁠
📷: @healthiest_baby⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
You’ve spent the past 9 months preparing for the You’ve spent the past 9 months preparing for the arrival of your beautiful baby. 🤰 Labor and delivery has come and gone. Now its time for your 6-week postpartum check up. 🏥  So much of life after delivery is focused on your new bundle of joy that you can sometimes forget to care for yourself. This is exactly why I believe the postpartum appointment is so important to you as a new momma – because it’s all about you! 💗⁠
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Sure, your provider loves to fawn over your sweet baby, but this appointment is about mom. How are YOU doing? Self-care is so important to your health and recovery after having a baby, so let this appointment focus on your well-being. 😊⁠
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Here are 10 helpful questions to ask when you see your provider at your 6-week postpartum check up. 📝 Your provider will likely cover most or all of these topics on her or his own, but use this as a guide to remind you to ask anything she or he doesn’t cover! {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @tailsandwings⁠
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#postpartum #postpartumlife #newmom #postpartumcheckup #postnatal #postpartumhealth #postpartumwellness #obgyn #4mind4body #momcare #motherhoodjourney #motherhoodlife #postpartumdoula #postpartumrecovery #mommychick #babychick
YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠ Go and find your troo YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠
Go and find your troop, your tribe, squad, village. Whatever you want to call it. Find people to surround yourself with who will support YOU, love YOU, encourage YOU as a woman and as a parent. Parenthood is tough. Especially when you feel alone. So find your village and love them hard. And from one mother to another, load up on wipes. Because motherhood can get quite messy too!⁠ 😉⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
An amazing story from a determined mom to breastfe An amazing story from a determined mom to breastfeed her #triplets. 💗 With hard work, determination, help and support, anything is possible.
Words & 📷: @triplets_and_toddler
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“I breastfed my first child so I knew I wanted to #breastfeed again. People were skeptical about me #breastfeeding triplets, and this drove my determination! 💪 My boys were born at 29+3 and therefore it was so important for them to have #breastmilk! 🤱
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After having an emergency C-section, I knew there was no time to rest, so I started hand expressing within the first hour. I set an alarm to ensure that I expressed every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours overnight. ⏰
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Being separated from my boys was hard so having pictures/video links helped whilst I expressed. Seeing my teeny, vulnerable babies in their little incubators drove my determination to provide them with my milk! I also rotated muslin squares between us so that I could smell them and vice versa. This also helped me whilst I expressed during the night away from my boys. Their smell on the swaddles kept me focused! 💙
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Twice during our #NICU journey my boys were split between hospitals over an hour apart! This was the hardest time and meant I was separated from 2 of my boys for a couple of days. During this time I kept up with expressing and ensured that all three of them had enough milk to take with them until we were all reunited.
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Looking back I feel it is my sheer determination that has really enabled me to successfully breastfeed my triplet boys! Not once have they needed donor or formula milk. It required a massive commitment both physically and emotionally but I am so proud of my achievement! My boys are now 11 months and are still breastfeeding." ❤️
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*This story is not to bring any mothers down that choose to formula feed. (I, personally, had to give my son formula at 7 months old!) We share this mother's story to inspire mothers and celebrate our victories! ✨
If you are having breastfeeding struggles and want to succeed, contact a good local IBCLC and receive support. Find new mom friends who are also breastfeeding who can encourage you. And if you choose to formula feed, we honor you too. 💕 #mommychick
WTF 😑⁠ (via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠ .⁠ WTF 😑⁠
(via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Repeat after me . . . 💗⁠ (quote via @friscoar Repeat after me . . . 💗⁠
(quote via @friscoareamoms)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #positiveaffirmations #motherhoodaffirmations
🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠⁠
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Your child’s mental health is fairly complicated. It's also critical to their overall health and wellness. We often think of mental health as it pertains to adults, but just like growth and physical development, research shows that mental health is something that should be considered starting at birth. ❤️⁠
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When children are very young, their brains are extremely sensitive to environmental stress. Toxic stress, defined as high levels of prolonged stress, can have life-long effects on children. Limiting stress for young children is critical for their early mental health. One of the most fundamental ways we can help eliminate toxic stress is by building a strong relationship foundation from the very beginning of their lives. Your relationship with your baby is an integral part of their sense of self-esteem, independence, and confidence; three key factors in mental health.⁠
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Building that relationship with your child can be broken down into four key concepts . . . {Click 🔗 in bio to find out what they are!}⁠
📷: @vlentine⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE bow that shows she's a girl . . . yet still somehow get's called a boy. 🤷⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤⁠
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If you’ve ever typed into Google, “Why won’t my baby sleep?” you’re not alone. In fact, you’re among thousands of other parents/caregivers who are likely as tired as you are. Chances are, if you have gone down the Google rabbit hole at 2:00 a.m. (or just asked your pediatrician for sleep advice), then you’ve most likely been introduced to the concept of a bedtime routine.⁠
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A bedtime routine can be an incredibly helpful tool in establishing healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene. Infants and young children thrive on routine; in fact, they are comforted by predictability (spoiler alert: most adults are this way, too!). Plus, a young mind is exposed to so much new information every day that it’s reassuring for a child to know that they can depend on certain events to have a predictable structure.⁠
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Bedtime routines are also a cue to their brains and bodies that sleep is coming. With a predictable bedtime routine, your little one will start to recognize the order of the routine and begin to anticipate what comes next. With enough repetition, this process happens automatically in a very Pavlovian way. A calm and successive routine will also make the onset of sleep come more easily. Can you imagine if you walked out of your workout and immediately someone told you that you had to lay down and fall asleep? This would be nearly impossible, and the same is true for our little ones. By allowing them some time to unwind, you are making the falling asleep process that much easier. Here are some tips on what to do for your little one's bedtime. ❤️⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @hannahxruth⁠
Article by: @ohbabyconsulting⁠
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#babysleep #goodnight #bedtime #bedtimeroutine #nightnight #sweetdreams #sleepconsultant #babysleeptips #sleepcoach #parenting #sleeptips #motherhood #babylove #sleeptraining #parentingtips #sleeping #toddlersleep #sleephelp #parentinghelp #sleepcoaching #parenthood #sleepdeprived #sleeptraininghelp #babysleepconsultant #babychick #mommychick #momlife
THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴 📷: @brit THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴
📷: @britt.kav⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #momhumor
It's the beeeeeessssttttt . . . 😬😑 (quote vi It's the beeeeeessssttttt . . . 😬😑
(quote via @smalltowntallgirl)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
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