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Showing posts from 2018

Time Change - Fall Back 2018

Summer is officially over and we are in the midst of the fall time change. Sunday, Nov 4th at 2:00 AM clock fall back by one hour. 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 one hour on Sunday November 4th. Gradual Approach:  The gradual approach is usually recommended 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 t

Nap transitions from 3 naps to 2 naps

Around 7 to 9 months most babies drop their 3rd cat nap and transition from three to two naps. The sign for this change may come in many different cues from your baby.  Some baby's will continue to take the 3rd nap but it will last only 10-30 minutes and then it will stop completely.  Other's will take the 3rd nap some days but not consistency.  The last group will suddenly one day refuse the 3rd nap altogether. When any of the above happens consistently for more than 3 or 4 days, it's time to drop that nap and begin transitioning baby's schedule from a 3 nap routine to a two nap schedule.   This can be a little bit of a bumpy road and most babies go through a yucky phase where three naps is too much but two naps is not enough.  You may need to be patient and some days you will need to try for that 3rd nap in the car, stroller or arms if that's what will get even just a little catnap and help baby make it to bedtime before she is running on fumes eg: over tired! 

Tips for Nap Time Success

The key to good napping is to be consistent. Make sure to always watch the awake windows and put them into the crib drowsy but awake.  This is how they will learn to fall asleep independently and stay asleep! Top 5 tips for naps: 1) Nap Routine - Create a good nap environment: Give wind-down time, which should be a short version of the bedtime routine.  For example, a simple routine could be a diaper change, swaddle (for babies under 4-5 months), close blinds, turn on the sound machine and sit for 5 minutes in the chair (sing, read a book) then into crib drowsy but awake. 2) Environment -  A dark, quiet room: Some babies need total darkness to nap. I always recommend room darkening shades and if it is a noisy home, you might want to try a loud fan or place a white-noise machine in the room. 3) Crib nap and back up plan - Try the nap in the crib twice a day before going to a “back up nap plan”.  If you look at your log and see that the day sleep is much less than

Summer Sleep and Travel Tips

Summer is coming and keeping your little one on a schedule is a challenge.  With vacations and long summer days the routines are bound to be disrupted. As a general rule it is a good idea to return to your normal routine as soon as you can.  Some children return to their normal sleep patterns without much fuss.  With others you need to do some sleep training, but it falls into place much faster then the first time.   When you return from vacation try to keep the schedule clear for a few days so you can make sleep and returning to your normal routine a priority.  I hope these tips below help you and your family have a fun, but sleep filled, summer vacation. Packing List For your packing check list, here are a few items you should not leave home without: Travel crib, sheets, pillowcases                                         Crib blankie, sleep sack, security object Sound machine and/or white noise app on your phone Bedtime books Night light  with a small 4 watt bu

Is there such a thing as too late of a naptime?

We are starting a new series of Q & A blogs- I take a question (from tired Mom's like you) and give my answer (and my professional opinion).  Note: If you would like to submit a question please do so in the "Post a Question" area of the blog below.   This month I answer a question from the Mom of a 3yr who's late naps are making bedtime too late. Question from Mom: Q: "I'd like your professional opinion - I am the mother of a  10-month-old and 3-year-old . My older daughter just turned 3, and currently on a 2:30PM nap to match my (11-month  old's afternoon nap).  However, the nap ends up running later and later, which results in a late bedtime (10 or 10:30 PM).  My husband thinks I should drop the nap, but I'm not sure. It just seems 10:30 PM is too late for her to go to sleep at age 3. Should I continue with the nap? How can I  control these factors and get bedtime back to a reasonable hour? My answer: A: Yes, there i

Top Tips for Early Rising

For a lot of my clients, spring forward and the time change fixed their early rising problem, but not for all of them. Early Rising is common for babies and young children.  Waking between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m. is typical for most young children.  But waking up before 6 a.m. and being ready to play is an early rising problem you must address. Understand the Cause Early rising is typically caused by one of these four problems and identifying what is the cause, will help you find your fix. Too late of a bedtime Not enough daytime sleep Staying awake too long between end of afternoon nap and bedtime Going to bed too drowsy. Earlier Bedtime Keeping your child up later will not help them sleep later in the morning and could be the cause of early rising.  For the first 5 years of a child's life, bedtime is usually between 7 and 8 p.m. Napping That old myth of keeping your child awake all day and they will sleep better at night, is an untruth.  Skipped

Baby and Child Sleep: Sample Schedules from 6 months to 5 years old

Does it seem like just when you have your baby on the "perfect schedule" - it changes?  I hear that a lot from my clients.  As your baby develops and grows, their sleep needs change too.  Keeping up with these changes can be hard for parents.   I have put together all of my sleep schedules for you, across each age group so you can have them in one place.  These are the same handouts I provide to my clients and that I share when I speak to MOPS and Mom's groups across Orange County. Both the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and the NSF (National Sleep Foundation) have published new sleep recommendations which give a range of hours within a 24 hour period.   Where is my child's range? I find it most helpful for parents to know how much sleep is needed for naps and night sleep. Therefore day and night sleep are noted separately on the sleep schedules below. It is also very important to keep in mind that their is "at least a 1-hour vari

Top Sleep Blogs of 2017

As we start a New Year, let's look back at the top blogs of 2017. #3 - Is my toddler ready to drop to one nap Knowing when it’s time for your baby to make a change and drop a nap is no easy task.  Not to mention most Mom's tell me: "I'm not not ready for less day sleep!"  Read through this blog for tips on how to keep the two nap schedule for longer and if it really is the best time to drop a nap. #2 - Early Rising Not surprising early rising is on this list as it is the second most common question I get, next to night wakings.  Early rising is also the last stage of sleep to be learned so it's more difficult to fix, especially if independent sleep at bedtime hasn't been established. #1 - Schedules, Naps and Awake Windows This blog was the all time most viewed MSD Baby Sleep blog!  Not surprising as a child's sleep changes every few months.  Staying on top of how much sleep your baby or child needs is a daunting tasks.  This blog also i