We all know sleep is vitally important, which is why it can be a source of anxiety and stress for parents struggling to teach their sons and daughters how to sleep through the night. I’ve worked with children of all ages, from newborns to high-schoolers, in the field of education. After experiencing my own challenges in teaching my first child how to sleep well, I became a certified baby and toddler sleep coach in order to reach more people in need. Its for the best nights!
Raising kids is a high-stakes responsibility, and in this age of social media and easy access to information about anything and everything, parents are easily overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and inadequacy. As a sleep consultant, I see this all the time from parents whose babies aren’t sleeping well.
One of the other major contributors to the, “I’m doing something wrong,” sensation is separation anxiety; that oh-so-challenging part of a child’s life when they start to completely flip their lids whenever Mom’s not around.
The thought process, it would appear is one of...
Daylight Savings Time is a bi-annual event that sparks dread, confusion, and even fear in parents' minds. The idea that their hard work getting their child to go to sleep at the same time every night and take good naps, could all go down the drain by simply changing the clocks by an hour. It sounds so unbelievable, that an hour can cause so much stress. But every parent knows that even a measly hour can derail their child's good sleep habits because with this particular time change, happening March 11th, 2018, the sunlight changes as well, with having longer daylight hours and "shorter" nights.
The other day, I was browsing through Facebook and I came across this brilliant video of a author giving an analogy for parenting teenagers, and how it's like a roller coaster. While my two littles are many years away from entering their teenage years (thank goodness!), I couldn't help but watch the 90 second video. I'm so glad I did, because in this video, I heard a message that I find myself telling parents when we're embarking on their child's sleep journey -
Watch the video to see what I mean.
Most of us consider snoring just a normal part of life. Maybe we have a partner who snores, or a Grandpa who falls asleep in his easy chair and snores so loud it’s hard on carry on a conversation in the room. We think of it as a common condition, and while it might be irritating trying to sleep beside a snorer, it usually isn’t anything to worry about.
But is snoring normal for young kids?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most children snore once in a while, but only 10 percent snore on a regular basis, compared to 30 to 40 percent of adults. Snoring is caused by a lack of air moving freely through your nose and mouth during sleep. In adults, it often happens when the airway narrows because of an awkward sleeping position or because of abnormalities in the soft tissue of the throat. It’s less common in kids, so if a child is snoring, there’s sometimes another reason for it.
This week’s question comes from a call I had with a family this past week.
“My 11-month-old goes to bed with a bottle and wakes for a bottle in the night. How do I break her of this habit?”
Good question! When you put your baby in bed at night, it’s fine to include the bottle in her routine. You could start with a bath, and then pajamas and then her bottle and a story or two. Having something in between the bottle and going into their bed is REALLY important, as you want your baby to stay awake during their bedtime routine.
Today, I have a question from a mom who downloaded my free 5 tips from my website. She writes, "I've been working on implementing your tips for about a week now, but I'm having a really hard time keeping my baby awake through her bottle at the bedtime routine. What can I do?"
Well, that's a great question. Really, when you're working on helping your child sleep well, the number one rule is to make sure that you keep your baby wide awake through any feeds. That's the breast or the bottle.
This week I wanted to talk a bit about the bedtime routine, and the number one mistake parents make when they are creating a bedtime routine. Nowadays, if you go to any baby site on the Web, search “my baby won’t sleep,” or whatever you’re looking to resolve in regards to sleep, almost every single site will tell you about the importance of a bedtime routine. I absolutely agree!
I think a bedtime routine is a crucial first step in creating predictability to your baby and teaching your baby that it’s time to make that transition from day into night. Even adults have routines. We all do things in the same order before bed every night. Without them, we would feel a little anxious or out of sorts, and it would be harder to sleep. So it definitely is important, but there is one mistake that parents make.
Do you want to know something that really gets me fired up?
It’s when Moms (either online or in real life) are talking about sleep, and I hear comments like this:
“You should just enjoy getting up to nurse all night – someday he’ll be all grown up and you’ll miss it.”
“It's all part of having children. Going without sleep is par for the course!”
Or my all-time favorite…
“Well, you’ll just have to figure out how to deal with it!”
With the holidays approaching, many new parents who have recently gotten their babies sleeping on a schedule are worried that they might regress a little over the holidays.
And I can assure you, those fears could not be more well-founded.
Between the travel, the excitement, the constant attention and then travel all over again, the holidays are the single easiest way to throw all of your hard work out with the wrapping paper and turkey bones.
But I’m happy to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way! With some strategic planning and an iron will, you can keep that carefully orchestrated routine running just the way you did at home.
That’s right, I said it. Your baby will never sleep straight through the night.
And neither will you, for that matter.
In fact, pretty much anyone who isn’t heavily sedated before going to bed can expect to wake up multiple times in the night.
This isn’t due to stress, caffeine, lack of exercise, or any other factors that can contribute to a lousy night’s sleep. It’s a normal, natural part of the human sleep cycle.
As the parent of a new baby, the number of questions you’re going to find yourself asking are, to put it mildly, astronomical.
The old saying about babies not coming with instructions has cemented itself in parental lore for a good reason. Even after spending nine months doing endless research on what to expect when baby arrives, as soon as we’re sent home from the hospital with our little ones, there’s an unavoidable feeling of unpreparedness.
Every baby is different, after all, so no manual, no set of instructions, no amount of coaching from friends and family, is going to prepare you for your child in particular. And since this is just about the biggest responsibility that a human being can have, to raise another living person, we feel an incredible obligation to get it right.
In the beginning, most babies sleep. A lot. Of course, with just about any scenario, there is always a few exceptions to the rule, in this case, having a newborn that doesn’t sleep much at all. However, for the sake of the topic of examining the 4 month sleep regression stage, we will focus on the babies that slept a lot the first 3 months of their lives, to all of a sudden, not sleeping well at all.
Many parents chalk this up to a sleep regression, as if it’s a way to explain why a child, that had seemingly mastered a skill, isn’t quite so good at it anymore. However, a question I like to ask parents who label their child’s sleep struggles as a regression is, “If your child had been doing so well and “practices” sleeping every day, how would it work that their sleep would get worse?”
Is it possible that it's not a regression after all? What if I told you that it is actually a sign of transition?
I love the changing of the seasons, particularly what happens during the fall season - the changing of the leave, warm cups of hot cocoa, snuggle hats and mittens for me and my littles. It's such a great and cozy time of year!
However, one particular event that happens during the fall that I don't enjoy is Daylight Savings Time, the event in which we turn our clocks back one hour. When this time change happens, this year on November 5th, it feels like it is dark, ALL OF THE TIME. Additionally, I also don't like the impact it has on my littles and my families' littles. Moving the clocks back just one hour can really affect their body clock and sleep schedules!
Luckily, I have five tips that you can use to help navigate the time change and help make it less stressful for you and your littles.
Introducing the Overtired Series - examining what being overtired looks like in littles and how to stop it from happening.
In my line of work, this question comes up constantly: "How do I tell if my child is overtired? They never want to go to bed when I tell them to." or "It takes forever for my child to fall asleep at night, are they really tired?"
I hear you and completely feel your pain.
As adults, when we are tired, we exhibit, what we feel are typical, behaviors showing our fatigue. We generally start quieting down, not moving as much, start doing quiet activities, find yourself craving a snack, and get ourselves ready for bed. This makes sense right? When it's time to rest, we start doing things that helps us get ready for rest. Kids? Not so much.
While it does happen, it is pretty rare that a child who is tired will just quietly start getting themselves ready for bed and put themselves in bed with nothing more than a sweet hug and kiss from Mom and Dad and its lights out.
Wouldn't that be nice though?
In recent years, co-sleeping has made a large resurgence in new parents looking for ways to be close to their child, in terms of bonding, physical contact, and ease of care. While in terms of attentive parenting, it is encouraging to see more and more families strive to develop close bonds with their infants, it is also quite troubling at the amount of misconceptions that are floating around about bed-sharing. From a variety of well-meaning sources, such as KellyMom, LaLeche League International, Dr. Sears, and anthropologist James McKenna of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, there is an abundance of false platitudes that bed-sharing with your baby is "perfectly fine if you do it safely".
Let's be honest here.
There is no way to make bed sharing safe enough without putting your baby at a real risk of suffering a preventable sleep death in your own bed.
In the efforts to educate parents about babies and safety, organizations and associations have tried to come up with catchy acronyms and short, memorable sayings to help highlight the main point of the recommendation being imparted while making it easy for parents to remember.
Among some of the catchy phrases and acronyms that you may be familiar with, such as "stop, drop, and roll" or TICKS (as it applies to babywearing), one that was developed for sleep is ABC - Alone on their Back in the Crib.
A = Alone
B = Back
C = Crib
Since this acronym has been developed and marketed in 1992 by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we have seen Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rates drop. In 2000, the rate had dropped 50 percent.
During the summer months, it is easy to slip into "vacation mode" even after a busy day at work or a hectic day running around at home with the kids. The weather is ideal most of the time - it's warm and the sun is out. There are activities and events to do - BBQs, games and events, treks to the beach or the park, taking the dog for a walk, or enjoying a bike ride. Depending on where you live, this type of weather is very temporary - so it's easy to want to cram everything in and make the most of the summer months. Having been there, I'm here to share with you, a PSA about the importance of keeping to your child's schedule, even during the summertime.
It is something that I learned firsthand.
This is such an exciting time for Sleeping Littles! One year ago, we officially opened our doors to work with families after doing so on the side for the past five years. This year has been an incredible learning experience and we are so excited for what the future will bring!
As a result, we are celebrating our one-year anniversary in a huge way: A sleep package giveaway!
One lucky family is going to win a sleep package from Sleeping Littles - this means that you will receive the same high quality sleep package services that many of my families have benefited from and will see amazing results in the form of a child who sleeps so much better in three weeks or less.
The giveaway includes:
What Do I Do?
If you want your chance at winning this fabulous prize, you need to make sure you meet the criteria:
If you know of someone who may be interested in applying, do not hesitate to share the giveaway with them and help them have a chance of getting on their way to better sleep!
Please note: This giveaway is for a standard sleep package as listed on our Packages page. Any additions, including text support, in-home consultations, half-night, or overnight packages is not included in the giveaway and will require payment in order to receive the additional support services.
The giveaway ends May 6th, 2017, so hurry up and get your application filled out to have your chance at winning!
Have a great week and good luck!
It’s a well-known fact that sleep is important to your health, whether you’re young or old. However, the value that sleep has on the younger ages; especially in babies, toddlers, school-aged kids and teens is even more so. Sleep that is inadequate, in terms of quantity and quality, can adversely affect one’s development and growth. It has also been learned that children who don’t sleep well are more likely to have issues with behavior issues, obesity, cognitive development and other serious issues.
This coming Sunday is Daylight Savings Time, and as the adage follows, we “spring” forward and move our clocks an hour ahead. The changes in time can create anxiety for parents of young children who are greatly dependent on a routine-based schedule that follows consistent sleep times everyday. It’s proven that children thrive better when bedtimes and naptimes are structured and consistent everyday, so it is no wonder that a change in time can throw a wrench in parents’ best-laid plans and increase the worry that the hard-earned sleep schedule could be derailed.
As a parent, you want to provide the best for your child. You want them to have the best education, healthiest foods, be active and strong, strong immune systems, and every advantage that we can afford to give them. Parents also want these things to happen with the best ingredients, resources, and methods. With this in mind, it's only natural for parents to want their child to be healthy as they can be and part of achieving that is making sure that their child gets a good night's rest.
But what if your child doesn't sleep well?
Over the last week, the country has been in a bit of an uproar when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released their newest guidelines regarding babies and their sleep. Many of the recommendations were considered to be "old news" and fairly common sense, such as laying baby on their backs to sleep, sleep should occur on a firm surface, no bumper pads on the crib, etc. But there was a new recommendation that took everyone by surprise and created a stir among parents.
During your pregnancy and shortly after your child’s birth, there are many anecdotes, words of wisdom, and advice regarding your future as it comes to sleep. Or really, lack thereof.
“Enjoy the sleep while you can!”
“You can sleep when they move out of the house!”
“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”
The title says it all doesn't it? The dreaded early wake ups - the mornings where your sweet-faced, vivacious little one wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 AM happily chirping away or start hollering for you through the baby monitor to let them come out of bed, because they are awake and ready to play! Since they've decided to wake up at this ungodly hour, this means you are begrudgingly, and very reluctantly, awake as well.
Unfortunately, because your child woke up so early, this can mean that you're in for a rough day because everyone is off schedule. When you're dealing with less sleep and feelings of being off-kilter, it's so hard to get anything accomplished. In addition, you are also likely dealing with a child who is cranky and fussy, or running in overdrive and leave you wishing that you could bottle up their energy and use some of it for yourself. As it is with most situations involving children, it is usually a story of extremes, especially when the early wake up is involved.
I am a Pediatric Sleep Consultant who works with families to help them resolve their littles' sleep issues. As a mom of two littles herself, Katie has walked in the shoes of her clients and is passionate about helping them re-discover peaceful sleeps in their own homes.