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Showing posts from 2016

Travel tips for the holidays

Traveling with small children is sure to cause roadblocks in your child's sleep patterns.   In order to navigate these obstacles, create a road map around them so that you don’t bring all your good sleep habits to complete halt. Having a plan will aid you and your family so you can enjoy your holiday travels without loosing precious sleep. The key to a successful plan is to have some flexibility when traveling with young children. When you're flexible you can adjust your plans to adapt to your children’s sleep needs so you all stay well rested.   Extra support is normal You can also expect that your child will need more assistance at sleep times, even if they don’t need it at home.  It is normal for children to need extra help to fall asleep in a new environment, so add that into your plan.  Take extra time with your bedtime routine and allow your child time to get used to the new sleeping space before bedtime arrives.   At sleep times, if needed sit by your

Postpartum Depression - Bring Awareness

I had the great pleasure of interviewing my dear friend Tanya Newbould. Tanya is an actress and producer who lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.  Tanya produced When The Bough Breaks , a feature length documentary about postpartum depression (PPD) and perinatal mood disorders.   When Tanya experienced PPD with her daughter, she did not understand what was happening to her or even how to get help.  Tanya teamed up with Director Jamielyn Lippman to begin the journey to better understand this illness that affects one in five new mothers. One of the woman they interviewed was Lindsay Gerszt.  Lindsay agreed to let the cameras document her treatments and condition in order to give the audience an in depth look at her path to recovery. This film features stories from singer Carnie Wilson, celebrity chef Aarti Sequeria and Peggy Tanous from The Real Housewives of Orange County. When The Bough Breaks is Narrated and Executive Produced by Brooke Shields. My g

Sweet dreams: How to create a baby sleep plan

Article featured in- OC Family Magazine July 2016, Page 50 By: Michelle S. Donaghy A fter months without sleep, you’re ready to help your baby learn to sleep through the night.  Getting better sleep for your baby, and you, is one of the best things you can do for your entire family.  If your child is 6 month or older and still waking during the night, it’s time to make a sleep plan.   Sleep 101:  Sleep is learned!   Sleep is a learned skill and teaching a brand new skill to your baby is no small task.   But you want the best for your baby and are willing to help your child learn this life-long skill. Sleep Associations: What are they?   Do you rock or feed your baby until they are completely asleep?   If yes, this is your child’s sleep association.   Sleep learning begins with changing your baby’s sleep association. Here's how to create a plan: 1   New bedtime routine.    A calm and predictable routine will help your baby, prepare for sleep.  

Newborn Sleep Myths

Becoming a new parent is such an amazing time in your life.  But it's also full of questions and advice from well meaning family, friends and strangers.  I wanted to share with you some questions I had when my first daughter was born and common concerns of new parents. Newborn Sleep Myth #1 Baby's instinctively know how to sleep - FALSE! This fact is a surprise to new parents as most don't realize that your baby is not born knowing how to instinctively put them self to sleep.  Which means, it is okay to help your newborn fall asleep - you can nurse, rock, shush, pat (or anything else that is safe and works) to help your baby fall sleep.  You are not going to create any life long sleep habit.  In fact most sleep issues can be resolve after 6 months of age very, very quickly.   Newborn Sleep Myth #2 Never waking a sleeping baby -  FALSE! Newborns need to eat every 2-3 hours during the day.  If your baby is sleeping longer than 2-3 hours at a nap, wake your

Spring is upon us and so is Daylight Saving Time

Sunday, March 13th we “spring forward”!   Turn your clocks ahead 1 hour, before bed on Saturday  night  March 12th. 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 bedtime) until you get

Is It Time To Move From The Crib To The Bed?

I always ask these questions first when a client is thinking about moving their child to a big kid bed: Is your child over 2 1/2 years old (This is the typical age that most children have the cognitive ability to understand the rules such as "you must stay in bed all night"). Does your child fall asleep independently at bedtime from a relaxed but awake state and without assistance? Does your child sleep through the night or put himself back to sleep when he wakes during the night without needing any help? Does he want to move out of his crib? If the answer is YES, to all of the questions above then it is likely a good time to make the transition. As with most sleep transitions there are choices- Gradual Approach: If you can do it safely, remove the front rail from the crib so your child can get in and out of the crib on his own.    If the new bed will fit in the room along with the crib, during this stage have your child nap in the big bed and have your

Tips to Keep your Toddler in the Crib

I often get calls from parents in a panic as their toddler has discovered a new freedom … jumping out of their cribs!  Their first reaction is to immediately move the child to a toddler bed.  If there is a sleep issue already occurring the extra freedom of a toddler bed will likely make the sleep issue worse as now they can get out of bed and their room. If you are not ready to make the move to a bed, here are some tips I share with my clients to prevent a child from jumping out of their cribs and hopefully delay the transition to a bed for a bit longer. Dress appropriately Dress the child in clothing that limits or prevents lifting the leg up the railing.  A long t-shirt can work.  A sleep sack, put on backwards so the zipper is in the back, is very helpful.  You can also make pajamas to limit or restrict the legs just enough so that the child can’t lift it up the railing - very effective! Catch them in the act If you have a video monitor, you can watch