When I was expecting my first baby, I followed along in the books about every single stage of my pregnancy, I read about what to expect when baby arrives. I learned about anything that I thought I would need to know for that first little bit of baby’s life; I read a lot! Of course, I didn't think much about baby sleep until I realized that my precious little bundle of joy DID NOT KNOW HOW TO SLEEP!!
So, I read more and more about nothing except baby SLEEP! What I wasn't prepared for was the sheer amount of information out there, and how much the "experts" contradicted each other! Even among medical professionals, the number of times I must have read one person say that one thing was an absolute must, then to have another "expert" say that the first was wrong or harmful, was mind-boggling and extremely stressful!
As most parents do though, I took that information, analyzed it, filtered everything through a combination of common sense and personal beliefs, and came up with a strategy I was comfortable with. But one thing I was never sure about, mainly because nobody seemed to have a clear answer, was whether I could sleep train while I was breastfeeding or how to sleep train while I was breastfeeding.
The primary argument against the idea, so far as I understood it, was that breast milk gets digested faster than formula, and therefore babies who are breastfed need to wake up several times a night to feed. Otherwise, they'll feel hungry throughout the night, be unable to sleep, and potentially suffer from malnutrition.
Now, I know that there are different views on this matter, and whichever one you subscribe to, you're probably convinced that you're right. And you might be, assuming of course that you agree with me. I'm kidding, of course. Like most things in parenting, there's not so much of a "right and wrong," as opposed to "right for your child."
But there are a few facts that you should know if you're breastfeeding and trying to decide whether or not to sleep train your child. After all, what's the point of sleep training if your baby's nutrition needs prevent them from sleeping through the night?
So, here's an interesting fact.
Alright, let me just start off here by saying, honestly and sincerely, no judgment for what might have gone down in the last couple of months.
I know... I’m a pediatric sleep consultant and you may think that I’m going to chastise you for the late bedtimes, unenforced rules, inconsistent schedules, or any of the “inadvisable rules” that may have taken place over your summer vacation.
But I get it. I really do. I’m a mom myself and I know how precious these summer months are. You want to squeeze every minute of joy and togetherness you can from these glorious days. If it’s a choice between consistent bedtimes and staying up to later for the block party, or a day of fun out with the cousins or camping, I mean c’mon. That’s no choice at all.
So, no matter what might have happened over the summer vacation, all is forgiven. The mission now is to get your child back on track so that they can get back to sleep at a reasonable hour the day before they head back to school.
So, I hope you’ll keep reading without fear of any finger wagging or talk of what you should have done differently. I promise you, it’s not in here.
This is a question I often asked my first son when he was an infant. I asked it in a sweet voice, I asked it in a pleading voice, I asked it in an angry voice, but no matter how many times I asked, he never gave me the answer.
I can remember the night, and some of you will know exactly what I’m talking about, when I felt like I could not take it anymore. My son just would not stay asleep and I had hit rock bottom, exhausted from waking up multiple times every night and having to soothe him back to sleep. My husband found me at 3:00 in the morning sobbing away in our living room.
Is your baby waking up multiple times a night? If you want your family sleeping through the night again, my services are right for you!
I get asked often, “Is a swaddle a prop? Is it useful? Where do you stand on a swaddle?” Swaddling a newborn can be an excellent tool. It mimics the feeling of confinement that they experienced in the womb. It can be very comforting to a lot of newborns. I used a swaddle on both of my children. Basically, they taught me how in the hospital. Now, there’s a little bit more concern around, “Is the baby getting overheated from a swaddle?”
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.
Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar…
Your baby wakes up in the morning after a solid night’s sleep. You feed her, change her, play with her for a little bit, take her for a little walk outside, then rock her to sleep and put her gently into her crib for her morning nap.
And then, 30 minutes later, she wakes up fussy and irritable and, despite your pleading, bargaining, and offers of riches, refuses to go back to sleep.
So, after half an hour of trying to put her back down, you finally give in, hoping she’ll be that much more tired when her afternoon nap rolls around, only to have the exact same scenario play out again, and baby is a cranky ball of unhappiness for the rest of the day.
Sleep, like food, is one of those elements where baby has the final say on whether or not they’re going to cooperate, so there’s no sense trying to force the issue. If they’re not sleeping, just leaving them in their room usually won’t fix things.
So, here’s what’s going on, and how to fix it.
If you’re like most parents, you probably can’t take more than a couple of steps in your house without tripping over a doll, a stuffed animal or a Tonka truck. You are most likely more than familiar with the sensation of getting those hard, tiny Lego pieces embedded in the bottom of your bare foot or having to spend ten minutes scooping your child’s dripping army of rubber duckies and plastic fish out of the bathtub after he’s had his bath every night.
I often think toy companies must sit around brainstorming all the different places they should convince parents they need to stockpile toys in order to entertain their kids: the car, the living room, the bathtub and the crib, just to name a few.
A lot of parents who use soothers feel a twinge of guilt the first time they stick a pacifier in their baby’s mouth. However, dealing with a screaming infant in the grocery line or on a long car trip will make most parents try just about anything they can think of to calm the child down!
The truth is, it often works. Babies are born with the instinct to suck. They have limited means of expressing what they want and can’t let you know if they’re hungry, thirsty or in pain. Sucking soothes them and brings them comfort, which is why a baby will suck on just about anything you put in its mouth, whether it’s a bottle, breast, finger or toy.
But at a certain age, kids are more than capable of learning to self-soothe, and pacifier dependence can cause long-term problems. Many experts agree that soother use up until about age one is okay. Anything past age two and there are some worrying issues.
That right there might be the single most common question new parents ask.
Is it a developmental milestone? A regression? Are they getting too much sleep during the day, or not enough? Maybe they’re just hungry. Maybe they’re too hot, or too cold.
Well, the truth is that it could be any of those things, and it could be a combination of several of them.
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Providing families the tools & support they need to get their little ones sleeping through the night and napping like champs! Everyone has more fun when they are well rested!
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