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Showing posts from 2015

My Best Sleep Coaching Tips

I come across these issues very often in my practice so thought I would share them with you.  Once you are ready to start sleeping coaching, following these top tips will help you achieve success and get the much needed sleep for you and your lil one. Top tip #1 – Bedtime is the easiest time to learn independent sleep. When you have a sleep plan in place and you are ready to begin teaching your lil one the skill of independent sleep – Start At Bedtime (the easiest time for your lil one to learn the new skill). I have had many parents tell me ‘we tried that awake thing at a nap once and it didn’t work’ or ‘I tried that in in the middle of the night and it didn’t work’.  These parents all started at the most difficult time to teach this lifelong skill. Bedtime is also the time when you will be able to make better decisions. If bedtime is all you can handle right now, it’s ok to focus your efforts at this time for now.  Once you get it right at bedtime, you will have the conf

Time Change - Fall Back

Summer is over and we are in the midst of the fall time change. Sunday, Nov 1st at 2:00 AM. Spring forward...Fall back.... I love fall! Cooler weather, leaves changing colors, holidays around the corner and I get an extra hour of sleep. As a parent, I dread my kids waking up too early and having to adjust their sleep patterns. Do you? If so, here are some options to help you and your family through the transition when we set our clocks backwards 1 hour on November 1st. Gradual Approach:  The gradual approach is usually recommend for younger children (3 and under) or those who do not adjust well to rapid changes in their schedules. Start the week before the time change and slowly shift your baby's sleep schedule later.  For example: move bedtime, morning wake up time and nap times later by 10-15 minutes. Keep moving the entire schedule later every few days but ensure your child doesn't get overtired.  By the time Sunday comes, your child's schedule will be

Is My Toddler Ready to Drop to One Nap?

Knowing when it’s time for your baby to make a change in his or her sleep cycle is no easy task. As much as you want to feel confident, skimming down on their daytime sleep before they are ready can have a backlash effect on the quality of rest for both of you.  Most all children will go through a yucky phase where one nap is not enough, but two naps too many.  This is completely normal and it can take 2-4 weeks to completely make the transition to the one nap schedule.   I do not recommend dropping a nap until your child is sleeping a solid 11-12 hours at night without interruption.  Work on correcting the night sleep first if that is the case. So how’s a mom to know when is the best time to drop from 2 naps, down to 1? Here are some general guidelines I recommend you follow to know if your toddler is ready: If your little one is between 15-18 months , you’re at the ideal age range. Trying to drop a nap from a younger child or before your toddler is ready may c

What is Drowsy but Awake?

Many families are confused by the term drowsy but awake - what does it look like and how awake should their child should be at bedtime.  So let's break it down starting with why your child should be 'relaxed but awake' when they go down for all sleep.  Why is it so important for your child to be awake when they go down for sleep?  As you've heard me mention in previous blogs, sleep is learned in stages  (click here for more information on that topic)  and bedtime is the easiest time to learn how to put yourself to sleep independently.  Therefore, it is a critical first piece of the sleep puzzle if you want your child to be able to fall back asleep during the middle of the night and stay asleep through the early morning hours. What does drowsy but awake I look like? Your lil one should be relaxed, have a full belly, a dry diaper, be warm and loved but awake.  This means: their eyes are open they have not fallen asleep with a bottle or nursing

Making Sleep a Priority

Is sleep a priority in your home? "Is my child getting enough sleep"?  A common question my clients ask me.  To be honest it's a question I ask myself often, as sleep is a very big priority in our home.  Not just for my children, but for all of us.  How much sleep everyone in the family is getting, is important for the health and well-being of every member of your family. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has recently updated their recommendations on how much sleep each age should be getting.  But before we look at those I would like you to think about these questions to know if your child is truly getting enough sleep. Does your child fall asleep every time you are in the car? Does your child seem fussy, whining, extra clingy or have more emotional meltdowns during the day? Does your child seem ready for bed much earlier then usual bedtime, most days? Does your child often wake before 6:00 a.m. and wake up crying? If your answer was yes, then your child may

Spring is upon us and so is Daylight Saving Time

This Sunday, March 8 we “spring forward”!    Be sure to turn your clocks ahead 1 hour before you go to bed on Saturday night.   If you/your child (ren) typically wake at 6am, then they will likely wake 7am.   If you like this change then YEA!   Keep naps and bedtime on the new schedule (1hr later).   To protect this new schedule and time make sure you use continuous white noise for all sleep periods and keep the room really, really dark.  You won’t achieve this without black out curtains or shades. If the new time doesn’t work for you, below are some options to help your family adjust: Gradually adjust: This is ideal for children under 2 or those who don’t do well with big changes.  Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night this week.  Each day, wake up your child 15 minutes earlier in the morning.  If napping, put her down 15 minutes earlier for each nap.  Continue to adjust the schedule earlier in 15 minute increments (wake up, naptimes, meal times and bedti

Independent Sleep is Learned in Stages

Once you and your child are ready to start sleep coaching, knowing how sleep is learned will help you achieve success and get the much needed sleep for you and your lil one. Bedtime is the easiest time to learn independent sleep! When you are ready to begin teaching your lil one the skill of independent sleep - start at bedtime (the easiest time for your lil one to learn the new skill).  6-8 months is a great age to begin sleep coaching, if you haven't already taught your child to fall asleep independently.  If your child is older, don't worry it's never too late to work on this life long skill. I have many parents tell me ‘we tried that awake thing at a nap once and it didn’t work’ or ‘I tried that in the middle of the night’.  These parents all started at the most difficult time to teach this important skill. Independent sleeping skills are learned in stages: stage 1-  bedtime stage 2 - middle of the night stage 3 - early morning  stage 4 - nap

Common Sleep Mistakes ... and how to avoid them

We are parents, not perfect - I love that saying from a TV network.  I wanted to share with you four common sleep mistakes many parents make that will definitely affect your child's sleep and their ability to sleep through the night.  I see these mistakes over and over when I work with families one on one, so I thought I would share them with you along with tips on how to avoid them so that your child is set up for a better nights sleep. Four common sleep mistakes and how to avoid them: 1. Putting children to bed too late! Set a regular bedtime (and, if appropriate, nap times) that you stick to.  Don't wait until your child is rubbing his eyes, yawning, or whining — that's probably too late. Put him to bed earlier. Even 15 to 20 minutes of extra sleep can make a difference.   NOTE: If you need help with finding appropriate nap times and creating an age appropriate schedule  click here. While every child is different, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF

5 (more) Sleep myths that can effect your lil ones sleep

Sleep Myth #6: Every time my baby wakes overnight, s/he must be hungry - FALSE! Babies who wake during the first few months are more likely waking from hunger, but older babies (over 4-6 months) who wake frequently (every 1-2 hours), may not be waking from hunger. Ask yourself whether your baby can be soothed in other ways. Also, ask yourself whether your baby is going to sleep from an awake state at bedtime (without being nursed or rocked).  This is the first step to longer stretches at night.  *Discuss with your baby's doctor how many night feeds they need in that 10-12 hour stretch at night.    Sleep Myth #7:  If your child wakes before 6:00 am, put him/her to bed later - FALSE!   Often, putting your child to bed later makes them rise earlier.   Review my blog on Early Rising , look at the four causes of early rising to see if you can identify why your child is waking so early in the morning. Sleep Myth #8:  If you keep your child up all day, they will sleep be