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vlog4 4 23 17 - YouTube

Hi. I’m Kim West, the Sleep Lady, and in this video, I’m going to answer Natalie’s question about gentle sleep training for her toddler. Here’s what she wrote in:

Hi, there. My 19-month-old goes to bed fine, but wakes in the middle of the night and screams until he comes into my bed. He’s a big boy and it’s killing my back but I can’t resettle him in his cot. Any tips?

I do have lots of tips, Natalie!

Down to One Nap

Most 19-month-old toddlers have transitioned to one afternoon nap.   Toddlers this age need, on average, a two to two-and-a-half-hour nap and about 11 hours at night. Of course, I always want you to watch your child and their behavior to find the perfect amount for him.

RELATED: Sleep Schedules – Your Eighteen Month to Two-and-a-half-Year-Old

Set A Good Bedtime

Considering that you said he “goes to bed fine”, usually this means to me a couple of things. One possibility is that your child is very nap deprived and he is just crashing and burning at his late bedtime, so there is not much of a struggle at bedtime. Are you getting his bedtime window right? I would guess that it is somewhere between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m., depending on when his nap is and how long it is.

RELATED: Ideal Bedtime: How to Decide What Time Your Child Goes to Bed

Going to Bed Too Drowsy

The other possibility is that he is going to bed too drowsy.

This means it’s fine or easy for him to go to sleep because he’s so overtired, and you’re possibly doing something to him or for him to put him to sleep. Maybe you’re holding, rocking, or lying down with him and then transitioning him into the crib.

When he wakes it’s as if he says, “How did I get in this crib/cot? You have to get in here and do that thing you do to help me go to sleep.”

When he wakes up he’s upset and screams until you come and bring him into your bed.  If he has a few words he may even say “Mommy’s bed” or even point to your room like “Get me out of here and let’s go in there!”

RELATED: Drowsy But Awake – The Cornerstone of Successful Sleep Training

Be Prepared for A Challenge

You have to be fully committed before you start sleep coaching, because you can’t sometimes bring him into your bed and sometimes not.  Once you start putting him into his crib/cot awake at bedtime you need to continue it.

Gentle Sleep Training in His Crib

He needs to master the skill of putting himself to sleep independently at bedtime so he can then apply the skill in the middle of the night. When he wakes in the middle of the night, you will have to sleep coach him in his crib. You can pat, touch, hum, sing, pick him up to calm him, but not to sleep.

Sit Nearby

Remember, especially at this age when they’re used to being brought into your bed, he may be really upset. You may pick him up to calm him but if he’s immediately quiet and he’s pointing to the door then say to yourself , “I should have waited a little longer before I picked him up,” and kiss him, put him back into the crib and sit in your chair.

I would discourage you from standing over his crib because he’ll likely grab you. Just sit and reassure him from your chair. Expect him to be upset because he’s not going to understand why you’re not getting him out of the crib.

Commit to Consistency

Gentle sleep training requires consistency and follow-through for what could be easily seven to ten nights. He will learn how to put himself to sleep and sleep through the night. The last part to fall into place is early rising, but if you stay consistent, that will improve also.

Resources to Check Out

All of this is outlined in more detail in my book or you can work with a Gentle Sleep Coach in your area or through my helpdesk, who can also coach help you through this process.

 

 

 

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post Video: My 19-Month-Old Needs Gentle Sleep Training! appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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When it comes to your baby registry, it can be overwhelming to think of all the odds and ends you may need. However, the most important items for your registry are any products that will help you establish healthy, safe, and supportive sleep routines for baby. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite registry items to help baby sleep safely and soundly.

Gugu Guru helps parents figure out what they need with our registry quiz. If you need more help, remember to check out their concierge services, with many helpful packages to choose from.

Sound Machines

Babies love white noise! It reminds them of being in utero, and soothes them when they’re fussy or tired. Since you can’t “shhh shhh” them all night long, a white noise machine is a must have for your nursery. These sleeping devices for babies feature soothing sounds to help interrupt your baby’s crying session and engages their relaxation and calming reflex.  Just make sure it’s placed outside the crib, where it can’t fall in or on the baby and let it work its magic.

Here are some of The Sleep Lady’s favorites:

L-R: Marpac Dohm-DS, Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Nightlight Soother, Marpac Hushh for Babies

Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural Sound Machine

Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Nightlight Soother

Marpac Hushh for Babies, Portable White Noise Sound Machine

Blackout Curtains

Babies are very sensitive to light and heat, so you’ll want to make sure to add blackout curtains to your registry. Make sure that they are placed nowhere near the crib, or anywhere baby can grab at them. The curtains will help baby establish day versus night, which will help instill healthy sleep patterns over time.

The Sleep Lady’s Favorites:

L-R: 100% Blackout Roller Shades, Amazon Basics Room Darkening Thermal Curtains

100% Blackout Roller Shades Cassette Valance Continuous Loop Custom Shades

Amazon Basics Room Darkening Thermal Insulating Blackout Curtains

Humidifiers

One of the more overlooked categories for safe sleep is the air that baby will breathe. Humidifiers are especially important for newborns because they are obligate nasal breathers, breathing only through their tiny noses for their first 4 – 6 months. Any congestion can make breathing, feeding, and sleeping incredibly difficult for your little one. Remember to keep all cords and machines away from the crib, always use a cool mist humidifier for baby, and keep the water refreshed daily.

The Sleep Lady’s Favorites:

L-R: Crane Cool Mist Humidifier, Crane Travel/Personal Cool Mist Humidifier

Crane Cool Mist Humidifier

Crane Travel/Personal Cool Mist Humidifier

Sleep Sacks

Since blankets are not safe for baby in the crib, when the weather gets cooler, it’s imperative to have sleep sacks on hand for baby. Sleep sacks not only keep baby warm, but help them transition from swaddle to having a little more freedom. Since baby is wearing the sack (at an appropriate size), it is safe for baby to sleep warmly and comfortably. It’s important to remember that babies sleep best between 65 and 72 degrees, so a sleep sack won’t overheat baby, but will keep them warm in moderation.

The Sleep Lady’s Favorites:

L-R: Love To Dream SwaddleUP Original, Love To Dream 50/50, HALO Sleep Sack, SwaddleMe Organic Swaddle

Love To Dream Swaddle Up Original

Love To Dream Swaddle Up 50/50

HALO SleepSack Swaddle

SwaddleMe Organic Swaddle

Visit Gugu Guru to see their services, and simplify your baby registry!

 

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post Your Baby Registry — Gugu Guru Makes It Easy and Stress-Free appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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No matter how ready you are for your child to sleep through the night, sleep coaching can feel like a huge leap. It’s not always easy, and requires a real commitment from you. It’s smart to be really ready before sleep coaching.

Perhaps you aren’t ready for that commitment. Are you worried that your baby is not ready, and you are wondering if there are “baby steps” you can take before sleep coaching 100%?

Consider some of these gentle-but-effective small steps that will help you and your baby prepare for full sleep coaching when you are both ready.

Keep a Sleep Log

A great first step on your path to better sleep is to keep a detailed log — for a week or two — of your baby’s sleeping and eating habits. Some things that are helpful to track include:

  • Where and when your child goes to sleep, wakes, naps, and nurses or eats.
  • How you put her to sleep at nap time and bedtime.
  • When, how long, and how intensely she cries — is it a whimper or a full-out scream?
  • What time she wakes in the night, what you do, and how long it takes to get her back to sleep.

If your baby is under 18 months old, track their eating habits in your log, too. Include notes about when and how much your baby is eating. Are they nursing at regular intervals or sporadically? How long before bedtime do they eat dinner? How much solids are they taking in? Take your log into your pediatrician to help you determine if your baby is ready to sleep through the night without eating or if they need to keep a feeding. Consider also talking to a lactation counselor if you are concerned about your milk supply or your baby’s intake.

Keep a notebook next to your bed or your baby’s bed to jot down details in the night – your paper trail will help you see your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns more clearly! Or use my free Gentle Sleep app on your phone.

RELATED: The Sleep Lady App, Gentle Sleep — Sleep Logging, Baby Data Tracking, and Age-Related Sleep Content All-In-One

Create A Sleep-Friendly Schedule

Once you have a clearer idea of how your child is eating and sleeping, you can start making sleep-friendly changes to their schedule. Having meals and naps at regular times send signals to our brain and body about where we are in the day — and when it’s time for lights out! Fine tuning your child’s schedule is a great way to prepare for more significant sleep coaching strategies down the road.

Eating and sleeping on a regular schedule helps babies develop their internal clock. If your baby is currently eating sporadically throughout the day, consider talking to your doctor about an appropriate and flexible feeding schedule for your baby’s age.

RELATED: Baby and Child Sleep: Sample Schedules From 6 Months to Preschool

Choose a Regular Wake Up Time

One of the simplest ways to adjust your baby’s schedule for better sleep is to get them used to waking up between 6:30am and 7:30am every day. When babies over 5 months of age are waking at different times every day, sometimes as late as 8:30 or 9:30 a.m., it throws off the entire day of naps and bedtime and confuses their internal clocks. Start waking your baby by 7:30 a.m. Then use your flexible feeding and napping schedule to guide the day and shape their internal clock.

Create A Bedtime Routine

Creating predictability at bedtime is as important as in the morning. Having a soothing bedtime routine sets the stage for your child to go to sleep calmly. Aim for a 15-20 minute ritual of quiet, loving, and favorite activities to do every night before putting your baby in their bed. Three or four activities from this list should be plenty. If you are eventually going to switch your baby’s, room consider doing this soothing routine in their new room. Creating a nurturing bedtime routine is helpful even if you are planning on putting your child down asleep until you are ready to start sleep coaching.

Install Room Darkening Shades

Darkness is an essential cue for the body to sleep. Combined with a soothing bedtime routine, darkness starts the body’s release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. If your child’s room is still light at their ideal bedtime or early in the morning, consider blocking out external light with shades. These can help with naps too!

If you are not ready to put your baby down awake at bedtime, but for example you would like to stop nursing him to sleep, try having dad rock him to sleep

Switch Your Sleep Crutch

Does your child depend on you to put them to sleep? Do you have to rock, feed or lie down with your child to get them to sleep and back to sleep?

If you are not ready to put your baby down awake at bedtime, but for example you would like to stop nursing him to sleep, try having dad rock him to sleep. Yes, you are creating a new sleep crutch, but your baby is not as attached to this new habit. It may be easier to stop when you are ready to start sleep coaching.

Fade Your Sleep Crutch

Another small step you can take now is to work on gently fading out your child’s sleep crutch. For example, if you always hold your child until he’s completely asleep, try holding him until he’s almost asleep. Then put him in his crib and pat him all the way to sleep. You can also try patting him back to sleep during the night.

Once you’re ready for yet another small step forward, try patting him intermittently at bedtime and when he wakes. Finally, transition to using the Sleep Lady Shuffle at bedtime when you are ready to stop patting him all together. You will know when it’s time to start full sleep coaching when your new sleep crutch stops working.

RELATED: What Is the Sleep Lady Shuffle?

Focus on Bedtime Only

An additional baby step is to work on putting your child to bed calm, but awake after a great day of naps. Fill his sleep nap tank however you can during the day. Do whatever you normally do during his nighttime wakings. Focus all your coaching efforts on bedtime only.

Using all or even just a few of these baby steps will get you and your child on your way to better sleep habits. The key to successful sleep coaching is having a plan that you can stick to and be consistent about implementing. Start small until you’re ready for more! When that time comes, find more great strategies for sleep coaching naps, bedtime, and night waking at my blog, consider working with a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach in your area, or access my online resources and coaching.

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post Baby Steps — Where to Start Before Sleep Coaching 100% appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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vlog3 4 23 17 - YouTube

Hi. I’m Kim West, the Sleep Lady, and in this video, I’m going to answer Alexandra’s question about her son who wakes for night feeds. She wrote:

My almost eight-month-old is still waking for milk. He’s sleeping with me because if I put him in this crib he wakes up about ten times crying and he won’t go to sleep if I don’t give him milk. He drinks my (breast) milk in a bottle. He’s been eating solids for about a month, and he naps two to three times a day for one to two hours. I just want him to sleep more at night. And he usually goes to sleep very late –  around 10 or 11 p.m.”

Consider His Naps

I’m not sure if you mean he naps two to three times for one to two hours each nap, or one to two hours total for the day. If he’s getting at least three and a half hours of sleep total during the day, that’s great. If it’s two to three long naps per day — potentially 6 hours of naps total — that might be a little on the high-end. That’s likely why his bedtime is so late.

Your 6 to 9-Month-Old’s Sleep Schedule

I would encourage you to look at an article on my blog that outlines a typical schedule for a six to nine-month-olds. Start by regulating his wakeup time sometime between 6 and 8:00 a.m. (usually its 6-7:30am at this age) Next, schedule his naps so that he’s tired and well-fed by bedtime.

Bedtime Adjustments

You’ll have to play around to see whether you want to take the big leap right away to an early (7p.m. to 8 p.m.) bedtime, or whether you want to push it back slowly. Some of that will have to do with how he’s acting between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m., and his naps. Watch his sleep cues to find his ideal bedtime, which at this age is usually between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

RELATED: Ideal Bedtime: How to Decide What Time Your Child Goes to Bed

Drowsy But Awake

Next you’re going to put him into his bed awake after a great day of naps and a soothing bedtime routine. Feed him, but have the lights on. You can read a short book, give him kisses, do prayers or songs, and then put him into his crib awake. He should be awake and aware that he’s being put into the crib. Putting him down too sleepy can lead to waking up crying hysterically.

RELATED: Drowsy But Awake — The Cornerstone of Successful Sleep Training

Bedtime and When He Wakes for Night Feeds

When you put him in too drowsy, he wakes and wonders, “where did Mommy go? The last thing I knew I was in her arms being fed a bottle! How did I get into this crib?”

We don’t want to trick him. We want him to know that he’s being put in his crib. You can stay there and offer him physical and verbal reassurance while he learns to put himself to sleep, and then slowly move out. This gentle sleep coaching method is called The Sleep Lady Shuffle. Once he has learned to fall asleep on his own at bedtime, he will be able to do it when he wakes for night feeds.

Resources to Check Out

All of this is outlined in more detail in my book or you can work with a Gentle Sleep Coach in your area or thru my helpdesk, who can also coach you through the process.

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post Help! My Baby Wakes for Night Feeds 10 Times a Night appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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Whether you gave birth months ago or years ago – you are probably far more alert now than you were before you became a parent.  Even if you feel like you have “mommy brain.” That’s because you’re taking care of one or more children. Kids are small people with big needs. By practicing mindful parenting you can focus on understanding and meeting those needs as best you can.

Your child, of course, is equally focused on you, even when it seems like she’s just doing normal kid stuff. Banging her blocks on the floor, riding up and down the aisles with you at the grocery store, eating while she listens to you chat with your partner or spouse — your little one is actually studying you quite intently.She’s taking note of your tone of voice, your facial expressions, the way your touch feels, and all kinds of other sensory cues. She is learning how it feels to be around you. As mama—the one who carried her for give or take 40 weeks, and likely her primary caregiver — you are an indisputable star of the riveting reality show she calls life.

Your Influence Started Early

As you may already know, your influence on your child’s experience started early.  The fields of fetal psychology and epigenetics — which studies genetic expression —  show us that babies begin tuning into their mothers while still in the womb.[1] [2] During your pregnancy, while the umbilical cord passed along nutrients from your body to hers, your growing baby also began to gather all kinds of information about you. She heard what you were saying outside the womb, she picked up on your emotions throughout the pregnancy, and when you felt stressed, she felt it, too.[3] [4] [5]  It’s as though there was a second, invisible umbilical cord that allowed the baby to tune in to what was going on in your world, and to the more subtle aspects of your inner experiences.

When your baby was born, the physical umbilical cord was cut, but the invisible umbilical remained very much intact. It still does, regardless of your child’s current age. Though she uses her five senses to take in information about your facial expression, your voice, and the feeling of your arms around her, she continues to pick up on your thoughts, mood, and emotions. Research indicates just how powerfully contagious these can be.[6] [7] Remember how much your parents’ mental and emotional states affected you when you were a child?  Maybe you had a mother who was depressed or anxious. Perhaps your father had an explosive temper, or always seemed stressed out.  By now you probably realize which of your parents’ habits of thinking and feeling rubbed off on you and eventually became your own.

Feelings Are Passed to Your Child

Now that you are the parent, your particular patterns of thinking and feeling — and the resulting influence of these on your behavior — will eventually become your child’s own thoughts, feelings and behavior. Repeated similar experiences of interacting with you light up the same neural pathways in her brain over and over. The good news is that you can be very proactive about what you pass along to your child, and the key to this proactivity is awareness.

While it’s true that you pass your stress and negativity along to your child , the flipside is also true. When you are aware and centered, you share those gifts with your child as well.

“Mindfulness and meditation practices can help you enter into a much deeper relationship with yourself, and also your child and partner,” -Jennifer Waldburger

Mindful Parenting Keeps You Centered

How exactly do you stay aware and centered, given that life as a mom has more ups and downs than, say, a sleepless child?  This is where mindfulness and meditation practice come in. Working with these practices, and learning how to stay present can help us learn how to “ride the waves” of our experience. Cultivating awareness is not about trying to be positive and happy all the time. It’s about saying no to the kind of negative thinking that makes you stressed — including any version of “I’m doing it wrong” —  while saying yes to all that you are experiencing internally.

Owning the truth of your experience as a mom, whatever it is, means that you’re giving yourself permission to experience the full range of feelings without trying to change them. You don’t have to be the supermom who has all the answers and never lets anyone else down.  Giving yourself permission to allow your full internal experience also helps you tap into your mama instincts. Those can be challenging to access when you’re stressed, but are much more available when you’re relaxed and comfortable in your own skin.

Showing 100% of Yourself is the Key to Happiness

One of the key ingredients to feeling happy in any relationship is the willingness to bring 100 percent of yourself to the table. The relationship with your child is no exception. If there are parts of yourself or emotions that you believe shouldn’t be there, trying to hide these will cause you stress and anxiety. Can you imagine saying to your child, “Honey, you can be happy anytime you want, but please don’t ever be sad, angry, or scared.”  Of course not!  Though that might actually sound like a nice fantasy, hopefully you recognize how unhealthy that would be for her. And, if that’s true for her, isn’t it also true for you?  How will you be able to teach your child to have full freedom of expression if you don’t do the same for yourself?

As the parent, your job is not to be an unwavering rock of strength for her, but to teach her what it is to be human. She needs to witness you having feelings so she knows what they are and how to allow them when she has them.  I’m not suggesting that you share all of your woes, as you are indeed the parent. However, if you get into the practice of allowing your emotions to surface and welcome them, you’ll find that they rise up — quite strongly at times — and then pass like the weather, just like they do for young children who haven’t learned how to block them.

Be Present to be Connected

Mindfulness and meditation practices can help you enter into a much deeper relationship with yourself, and also your child and partner. These practices will help you share the best of what you have to offer with your family. The more present we are in any relationship, the more connected we feel, and the more connected we feel, the more that connection nurtures each of the people experiencing it.

After her physical needs are met, there’s arguably nothing more important you could offer your child than your own well-being. This will provide an inexhaustible wellspring from which you can nourish her with love and whatever else she needs.

Now that you know the benefits of meditation, there’s an app for that! The Evenflow app combines meditation with psychology. Evenflow gives you the tools to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, while becoming more connected with yourself. Try the Evenflow app for your whole family, and get your first month free! Use the code, GIFTFROMJEN, and download for Apple iOS here

Enter to Win!

We are going to pick three winners to receive a free copy of Jen Waldburger’s book, “Calm Mama, Happy Baby”.  Enter here!

Must be from the U.S. or Canada to win.

Win a Copy of Calm Mama, Happy Baby by Jennifer Waldburger,
MSW

[1] Cloud, John. “Why DNA Isn’t Your Destiny.” Time, January 2010. [2] Verny, Thomas. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child. Dell, 1982. [3]Moon, Christine, Hugo Lagercratnz, and Patricia K. Kuhl. “Language Experienced in Utero affects Language Perception after Birth.” Acta Paediatrica, February 2013. [4]  Hopson, Janet L. “Fetal Psychology.” Psychology Today, October 1998. [5] Glover, Vivette, DSc, and Thomas O’Connor, PhD. “Effects of Antenatal Stress and Anxiety.”  The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2002; 389-391. [6] Haeffel, Gerald, J., and Jennifer L. Harnes. “Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression Can Be Contagious.” Clinical Psychological Science April 16, 2013. [7]  Siegel, D.J. (2006). An interpersonal neurobiology approach to psychotherapy: How awareness, mirror neurons and neural plasticity contribute to the development of well-being. Psychiatric Annals, 36(4), 248-258. According to brain researcher Dan Siegel, “ the mirror neuron system is thought to be an essential aspect of the neural basis for empathy. By perceiving the expressions of another individual, the brain is able to create within its own body an internal state that is thought to “resonate” with that of the other person. Resonance involves a change in physiologic, affective, and intentional states within the observer that are determined by the perception of the respective states of activation within the person being observed. One-to-one attuned communication may find its sense of coherence within such resonating internal states. In addition, the behavior of larger groups, such as families and social gatherings may reveal this shared state of internal functioning.”

 

Jennifer Waldburger

Jennifer Waldburger, MSW, has worked with thousands of children and families over the past 20 years in both private sessions and groups. She is co-founder of Sleepy Planet Parenting, a company focused on supporting all aspects of family life, including sleep and wellness, child development and behavior, and the couple relationship. Co-creator of the award-winning book and DVD The Sleepeasy Solution, as well as Calm Mama, Happy Baby, Jennifer also specializes in teaching parents how to use mindfulness and meditation tools to cultivate greater harmony and connection in all family relationships.

Jennifer, who has been featured in a wide variety of media, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, The CBS Evening News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Variety, People Magazine, and Parents, is content consultant on NBC’s hit show The Pajanimals and teaches on the new meditation app Evenflow (evenflow.io). Jennifer’s passion is to help families to create a loving, peaceful environment in which both kids and parents can thrive.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post Mindfulness Parenting with Jennifer Waldburger, MSW appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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How do you decide when your child should go to sleep at night? Is there really an ideal bedtime for your child? And does it really matter when he goes to sleep as long as he gets the sleep he needs? These are the questions you may be asking in your search for your child’s bedtime.

In deciding the best bedtime for your child, we take into consideration the child’s age, which tells you roughly how many hours of sleep he needs, and what time your child needs to wake up in the morning in order to get to preschool or daycare or just to begin your day at home. Then it becomes a simple math problem to find the ideal bedtime for your child.

Implementing it may not feel very simple, of course! But, discovering the best time for your child to go to sleep is a good first step because an appropriate, early bedtime helps prevent a host of sleep problems such as early rising and night wakings.

Do the Math

Look at the chart below, entitled “Recommended Sleep Averages – Naps and Nighttime” and locate your child’s age/stage in the left-hand column. Then look across to the right to find his total hours of sleep needed (on average), the average hours of daytime sleep needed, and the remaining hours of nighttime sleep needed. Next you will look at the chart entitled How to Find Your Child’s Ideal Bedtime to find the intersection of your child’s wake up time and number of hours of nighttime sleep he needs. This is your child’s ideal bedtime.

For example, your 10-month-old wakes for the day 6 a.m. typically, and you’ve determined that he does best with 11 hours of sleep at night. That means you back up 11 hours from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. as the ideal time for him to fall asleep each night.

Breaking Down Ideal Bedtime by Age Newborns: 0 – 3 Months

Newborns do not have an ideal bedtime as their circadian rhythm (or internal clock) has yet to be established. Also, their need to eat is quite frequent. During these first months of life your baby will eat and sleep at will. You are there to nurture and care for him, quickly providing the nourishment and soothing he needs. You really cannot spoil a newborn. It may not look like it but he is working extremely hard at this age. His neurological and physical development is working at breakneck pace and he can become exhausted even after a short amount of time awake.

At this stage do not be concerned with the appropriate bedtime and, instead, watch his sleep cues and think in 3-4 hour increments at a time because your newborn (0-3 month old) will sleep in short bursts of 2-4 hours at a time for 14-17 hours in a 24 hour cycle. Your main sleep focus should be to help him differentiate between day and night. Keep the lights on and the shades up during the day and keep night time feedings quiet and in dim light. Consider waking him during the day so he doesn’t miss a feeding.

Infants: 4 – 11 Months

During the Infant Stage you will begin to notice your child settling into more of a routine consisting of several naps during the day and longer stretches at night, even if he is awake for feeding several times. Notice the average number of nighttime hours at this age is 10-11.5. If you haven’t already, start to create a soothing bedtime routine.

Around 6 months you may notice a more predictable time that your baby gets tired or fussy at night. Often babies between 6-11 months old the ideal bedtime is between 7-7:30pm but wake up time and naps must be factored in.

Consider the time that you want him to wake up in the morning. This will depend upon factors such as your lifestyle and work schedule. For instance, if you need your 10 month old  to wake at 6 a.m. and he sleeps approximately 10.5 hours, then he needs to be asleep by 7:30 p.m.

This does not mean starting the bedtime routine at 7:30 p.m. You will need to back up from there and add in some time for a calming bedtime routine. This may include a bath (if that seems calming), changing into a clean diaper and sleepsack, feeding, and snuggles. If this seems like too much to do before bed then consider moving the bath to another time of day. Just be sure you are beginning your bedtime routine early enough so that you put him in his crib or sleep space a few minutes before his ideal bedtime. If you have started sleep coaching your baby then you will want him to go into his crib calm but awake (aka drowsy but awake with an emphasis on awake instead of drowsy).

RELATED: Drowsy But Awake — The Cornerstone of Successful Sleep Training

Toddlers: 1 – 2 Years

Your toddler will most likely resist going to bed at some point either because it is a transition and he is tired or because of separation anxiety. Instead of gladly surrendering to what is best for his body and mind he may put up a fight or employ stalling tactics. Having a consistent, ideal bedtime as well as a soothing routine that you follow each night will go a long way in helping your toddler settle down for bed.

Find your toddler’s ideal bedtime by determining how many hours of nighttime sleep he needs (between 8.75 and 11.5 hours, typically). To find his ideal bedtime, work backwards from the time you want him to wake up each morning and arrive at his ideal bedtime.

For example, you decide your toddler tends to be rested with 11 hours of sleep and you want him to wake up at 7 a.m. on average. The math says he needs to be asleep by 8 p.m.

Your toddler will also need an unhurried and predictable bedtime routine to bring him to sleep-readiness at 8 p.m. night after night. I generally recommend about 20-30 minutes for the bedtime routine at this age and so you will begin preparing for bed at 7:30 p.m. This can easily incorporate your partner or you may trade off bedtime duty each night. That is ok as long as you have a well-developed, consistent bedtime routine that you each follow with your toddler and that you deal with stalling tactics in a consistent manner.

Preschoolers: 3 – 5 Years

Your preschooler may be even more adept at avoiding bedtime so the need for a consistent, ideal bedtime and soothing routine grows. Preschoolers typically need 10 to 11 hours of sleep at night. If your preschooler wakes at 6 a.m. then he needs to be heading to dreamland about 7 p.m. for 11 hours of sleep and at 8 p.m. for ten hours of sleep. If he seems to wake up too early (before 6 a.m. consistently), consider using a “wake up clock” which lights up when it is ok to get out of bed in the morning. Make sure you have ruled out the other common causes of early rising.

Your preschooler’s bedtime routine can be a highlight of their day and a memory-making time spent with you. Make it a happy, warm, nurturing part of your relationship. The routine, done in the same order each night, can include putting on pj’s, teeth brushing, potty time, snuggling, reading a short book or singing a song, and getting into bed.

Ready for Sleep Coaching

You may find that even though you now know your child’s ideal bedtime, he does not cooperate and go to sleep well on his own, even after a soothing bedtime routine. If your child struggles with going to sleep and staying asleep on his own, you may need to create a plan and start gentle sleep coaching.

Establishing your child’s ideal bedtime gets you one step closer to a soothing, predictable bedtime routine for your child and helping him get the sleep he needs.

If you need some extra help from one of our professional sleep coaches, the Gentle Sleep and Parenting Center has been developed and staffed with trained sleep coaches with you in mind. Let us help you help your baby sleep tonight!

 

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post Ideal Bedtime: How to Decide What Time Your Child Goes to Bed appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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My Toddler Gets Up When I Nurse My Newborn At Night - YouTube

Hi. I’m Kim West, the Sleep Lady. In today’s video I’m going to answer Jade’s question about her toddler who wakes up when the newborn is nursing.

“How do we get our 2 ½ year old to stay asleep in her room at night? I have a 9-day old baby. I’m struggling with night feedings and my toddler always joins us. My husband tries to get her in her room and keep her in there. We’ve tried putting a mattress for her on the floor, too. Some nights this works and sometimes she stays in her room. Other nights she refuses to do anything but join us, which is obviously not ideal if I’m feeding a newborn and she wants to sit awake and watch.

 She also doesn’t nap. And we do have issues with getting her to bed 50% of the time. We’ve tried a consistent routine of bath, story, and bed, but we have to stay until she’s asleep.

 We started reading Roger the Rabbit and this was brilliant at first but now it doesn’t always work. Some nights she requests to just have lights off and for us to lie down with her. But the night wakings are our biggest issue.”

First of all, congratulations on your newborn, Jade! I can only imagine how tired you are.

A New Sibling Is A Big Adjustment

It sounds like your 2-1/2-year-old may be in a bed. I didn’t notice you mentioning a crib and I did notice that you are saying “bath, story, bed” and not “cot” or “crib”. If she is newly in a bed at a young age then this may be making the transition to a bed with a newborn sibling even tougher. Having a new sibling takes a lot of mommy’s attention away.

Back to the Crib or Stay In Bed

Its possible that you may have to put her back into her crib if she is not ready for the bed while adjusting to a new sibling. If you’ve newly gotten her out of the crib and she talks about her crib, then you could consider putting her back into the crib.

Understanding and Impulse Control

The average age to understand “stay in your bed all night long” and have the impulse control to stay there is not developed until 2 ½ years. That’s just the average. Given this, I have found it is ideal to transition them at 3 years old. Spend some time listening and watching her to determine if you think she truly understands what you are asking her to do. .

Check out this article about helping your toddler sleep when there’s a newborn in the house as well as this one on the typical sleep schedule for a 2 ½ year old.

Sleep Coach Your Toddler

I would start sleep coaching at bedtime after a great nap day anyway you can get one!

You say that she doesn’t nap, so I would make sure that, at the very least, you are trying for a nap every day. If not, be sure she has some quiet time. What I mean by quiet time is that you can’t make her go to sleep, but you can provide the time and a sleep-friendly environment to do that.

Provide A Sleep-Friendly Environment For Napping

She’s got to be overtired at this point since she is not napping and she is up at night. You might need a few days of napping to fill the daytime sleep tank as I like to say.  With all of the changes of having a new sibling and her fragmented sleep at night, she may need the extra sleep. Even if you have to drive her around or put her in a stroller, do this for a few days so that you can get her to bedtime well-rested.

The Sleep Lady Shuffle

Then I would do The Sleep Lady Shuffle. Either you or your husband will sit next to her when she lies down to sleep. If you think she would understand a very simple Sleep Manner Chart, go ahead and use that as motivation for her. This article, How to Help Your Toddler Sleep and Stay in Bed, discusses what to include in the Sleep Chart as well as lots of tips for helping your toddler sleep.

Use a Toddler Wake-Up Clock or Timed Light

You can also get a toddler wake-up clock, like the Ooly, to help reinforce your words to her: “You have to stay in your bed quietly until your wake up light comes on.”

Stay With Her

So, you will make a very simple Sleep Manner Chart and then sit next to her at night, offering her physical and verbal reassurance at bedtime until she’s completely asleep. Each time she gets up return her to her bed, remind her that the wake up light is not on, tuck her back into bed, and say, “Remember we have to stay quietly in our bed.”  Then you resume your chair position.

Try a Gate

If you really feel like she is not getting this after a week of sleep coaching and she continues to get out of bed every single time she wakes up, then you might need to consider gating the door. When she comes to the gate and calls out for you, go to the gate and say, “Get back in your bed and  I will  tuck you in. But you’ve got to get back in your bed.” 

You really have to be quite repetitive at this age until she finally learns that this is where I need to sleep and this is how mommy and daddy respond.

You also want to continue to be really sensitive to the fact that she has a new sibling. Try to include her in other activities as much as possible. Also, having some time with just her will really help, too.

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post Video: Help! My Toddler Wakes Up When the Newborn is Nursing appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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The term “Drowsy but awake” comes up in just about every piece of advice about sleep coaching. But just what does it mean? Newborns drift in and out of sleep in short cycles, while older babies and toddlers consolidate into more regular patterns. The minutes before they drift into slumber are crucial. How we facilitate those moments is the cornerstone of sleep training or coaching.

Newborn Sleep

Newborns aren’t born with the skills to self-soothe. We rock, feed, and hold them to sleep, and that’s perfectly ok. Their internal clocks are not developed yet, and gradually they will learn the difference between night and day. Eventually their tiny sleep cycles will consolidate, but until about four months, parents and caregivers soothe their babies to sleep.

Baby Sleep

At around four to six-months-old, babies begin to develop their internal clock. They begin to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. Melatonin is triggered by sleep cues like darkness at night, and bedtime routines.

Drowsy but awake at this point really means that a child is fed, dry, warm, loved, and aware they are being placed in their crib. Honesty, the phrase should probably be changed to calm but awake.  A soothing routine and an ideal bedtime are great habits to begin teaching self-soothing. This routine, and calm behavior from parents and caregivers will set the stage for sleep training.

RELATED: Baby Sleep Tips: Your Baby Needs a Soothing Bedtime Routine

Beginning to Sleep Coach

When a family decides to begin sleep training, usually around six months, it’s best to start at bedtime. Take note of sleepy cues in the days and weeks before beginning — fussiness, eye-rubbing, staring, quieting, losing interest in play, and yawning are examples of signs a baby is ready for bed. This is their ideal bedtime.

On a day with excellent naps, begin a soothing bedtime routine about 20-30 minutes before their ideal bedtime. After the bath, stories, and cuddles, they will go into their crib calm but awake. There may be crying — but using physical and verbal reassurance will help them to fall asleep. They will need less help as the routine is consistently followed.

RELATED: 10 Benefits of an Early Bedtime for Your Child

So, What Is Drowsy but Awake, Exactly?

Your child should go into their crib calm and not too sleepy. You want them fed, dry, warm, loved and  awake enough to know what’s going on. If her eyes are drooping, her body is kind of limp or she falls asleep in less than five minutes, she was probably too drowsy. Try the next night with a slightly more calm but awake child.

Not sleepy enough? Make sure you have figured out the ideal bedtime, that the afternoon nap didn’t go too late, and that the calming bedtime routine was, in fact, calming.

Ideally have your bedtime routine in your child’s room with the lights on and shades down. Have quiet play, read a book or a final feeding —but no falling asleep during feeding — and then kisses, into the crib or bed and lights out.

Research shows it takes the average person 15-20 minutes to fall asleep. What do YOU do during this time? Some parents read, take a bath, meditate, or watch TV. Children, too, have favorite soothing habits. They may play with stuffed animals, suck their thumb, look at books, twirl their hair, rub their blanket, hum, rock, or babble. Remember, with sleep, it is not what we do for our children, but what they learn to do for themselves.  Offering your child the opportunity to develop his own sleep triggers will become a tool he will use for the rest of his life.

Remember that bedtime is the easiest time for children to learn to put themselves to sleep. It is when your baby or child has their whole day behind them. Once they master the skill at bedtime, it will be easier to put themselves back to sleep during the night. If you put your child to bed already asleep at bedtime — or almost there —and then ask them to put themselves back to sleep unassisted during the night, you are more likely to see lots of crying and not much progress in your sleep coaching efforts.

Your child should go into their crib calm and not too sleepy. If her eyes are drooping, her body is kind of limp or she falls asleep in less than five minutes, she was probably too drowsy.

Encouraging Self-Soothing

Once you have figured out the ideal bedtime window and become familiar with what “drowsy but awake”, or “alert, but calm” looks like, you can further help your baby learn to fall asleep independently.

After your normal nighttime routine, offer your child a blanket, stuffy, lovey, soft music, or books to quietly be with in his crib or bed*. Encourage this habit so it will become relaxing for your child as he learns to use these items to fall asleep on his own. Just the sight or smell of these things can act as a cue that it’s time to go to sleep.

Once he has learned this skill at bedtime, your child will be able to self-soothe and fall back asleep if he wakes up overnight.

*Note – the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against anything in the crib until 12 months. You can read all of their safe sleep guidelines here.

RELATED: Why Your Baby Needs a Transitional Object

Night Waking

Is your baby still waking up a lot at night? First, make sure they are napping enough during the day. Then make sure they are going to bed calm but awake, and during their ideal bedtime window. It’s tempting to put your baby down very drowsy in order to avoid any tears when you start sleep coaching, but it will be difficult to make any progress. If she isn’t the one putting herself to sleep at bedtime, she won’t know how to resettle herself when she wakes up at night.  That’s why teaching this skill first at bedtime, even if it’s difficult at first, is valuable to your overall sleep coaching efforts. It’s more work up front, but bedtime is the easiest time to teach the skill of self-soothing to sleep.

Using the Shuffle

When you begin to put your baby down to bed awake after their soothing bedtime routine, they will probably cry.  It is difficult not to jump in and rescue them from frustration, but don’t be too quick to do that. We need to give our children the opportunity to find what relaxes them and helps them fall asleep.

Sleep is a learned skill. Don’t worry, but don’t get her out and start the whole routine again. You can use Sleep Lady techniques by staying nearby and offering physical and verbal reassurance until she is asleep.

Once you and your child have mastered the skill of “drowsy but awake”, or “calm but awake” at bedtime, you’re most of the way there! The verbal and physical reassurance you give them while they are learning to fall asleep is the last step to them falling asleep independently and resettling themselves overnight. Before you know it, you will have a baby who sleeps through the night, which will assure everyone in the house is getting the sleep they need.

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post Drowsy But Awake — The Cornerstone of Successful Sleep Training appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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It’s time to turn the page on 2017 and commit to a new year. Maybe it’s the perennial favorite of a better diet or a new exercise program, or maybe it’s a commitment to spending more quality time with your family. Better sleep is one New Year’s resolution that will help you keep up with every other resolution you make this year.

Proper sleep supports greater neurological functioning, better appetite stabilization, and a more positive outlook on life. This is true for you as a parent, and for your children.

Here are 6 practical steps to improve your entire family’s sleep in 2018!

Make Naps a Priority

For babies and children three years and younger, making your child’s naps a priority each day will go a long way to improving his overall sleep health. You know from experience that when your child misses his nap he may become overtired. But this doesn’t mean he will sleep more soundly at night. His body, in an effort to stay awake after a missed nap, secretes an alerting hormone which excites and disrupts normal sleep patterns for a few hours. It may lead to him waking more during the night and being more likely to rise early in the morning.

It’s ok to have some naps on the go — we always need to remain flexible — but the norm should be a consistent nap schedule with a soothing pre-nap routine. If you recently started sleep coaching your child, it’s particularly important to be home for naps, and give it your full attention for 2-3 weeks.

Keep an Early Bedtime

Establishing and maintaining an early bedtime is one of the most practical ways to help your child get enough sleep in 2018. And, a bedtime is a perfect New Year’s resolution. Children typically need a bedtime between 7 and 8 p.m.  A later bedtime often leads to difficulty falling asleep, early rising, night-wakings, and not enough sleep overall.

In order to keep an early bedtime, establish a consistent dinnertime and a soothing bedtime routine. Include things like putting on pj’s, teeth brushing, potty time, reading a book, snuggling, saying a prayer, or singing a song, and into bed. Do these in the same order each night. Children thrive on routine — even when they seem to resist it — and will benefit immensely from your consistency with them each night.

You can even try a Sleep Manners Chart with stickers as an incentive. Download and customize here.

A later bedtime often leads to difficulty falling asleep, early rising, night-wakings, and not enough sleep overall

End Early Rising

Ideally, your child’s day begins between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Earlier than 6 a.m. is considered early rising, and these few tips may help your child adjust:

  • Add room darkening shades to keep out the light in the early morning.
  • Use a sound machine to drown out noises from outside or the rest of the house.
  • If your child is under 8 months old he may be waking while hungry. In this case you can incorporate a dream feed into his nighttime sleep.
  • Keeping an early bedtime will help your child sleep more restfully and not wake too early.
  • Make sure you are putting your child to bed drowsy, but awake.

Try a toddler clock for your child over 2.5 years old. Teach him that he must stay in his bed quietly until his wake-up light comes on.

Read more about early rising and toddler clocks here.

Pick a Date to Begin Gentle Sleep Coaching

Sleep coaching is another great New Year’s resolution. If your baby is 6 months or older and does not know how to go to sleep and put themself to back to sleep independently, then it’s time for some gentle sleep coaching. My method is not a one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter approach, but an individual, tailored approach for your family.

In gentle sleep coaching your child learns sleep skills while you stay with them, offering physical and verbal reassurance, implementing a strategy that is called fading in behavioral science and which I call the Sleep Lady Shuffle.

Think you’re ready for sleep coaching your child? Check in with your doctor first and get the green light before you begin and check out this list of 10 things to do before you begin sleep coaching. Next, check out my blog for tips on creating a sleep plan tailored to your child’s age and particular needs.

Once you create a sleep plan, pick a start date and commit to making this your priority for 2-3 weeks. Say “no” to activities that keep you away from home during naps and bedtime routines during this time. Your commitment to consistency will go a long way to making this coaching process a success for your child.

If you find yourself in need of some individualized help, my certified sleep coaches are available to partner with you in creating a sleep plan and providing strategies to solve your child’s sleep problems.

Reduce Screen Time Before Bed

Avoiding screen time an hour before bed will help your child’s body change gears and slow down for sleep. Computers, tablets, and smartphones all emit short-wavelength, blue light that suppresses the body’s natural sleep hormone, melatonin.

Read more about how to protect your child’s sleep amongst the many screens, here.

Make a New Year’s Resolution for Your Own Sleep

Last, but certainly not least, make a commitment to your own sleep. This may draw a laugh or two, since we all know that your sleep often depends on your children’s sleep! That may mean that you must begin some gentle sleep coaching to help your child sleep through the night so that you can. A new year is a great time to get out the calendar and pick a date! A rested parent is a happier, and often better, more patient parent. Once they’re sleeping, make your own sleep a priority.

Many of the same rules apply to adults as children. Reducing before-bed screens, getting a healthy amount of sleep — 7-8 hours for most adults — and keeping a regular schedule can help parents and adults be at their best.

Read some more tips on sleep for moms (and dads), here.

May you have a Happy New Year and improved sleep for the entire family in 2018!

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post Your Best New Year’s Resolution — Better Sleep for the Whole Family appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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It’s time for a countdown! As we’re getting ready to jump into 2018, we’ve done a little countdown of our own. Here are the ten most-read articles on the Sleep Lady’s blog for 2017. There seems to be a common theme in these — we spent 2017 trying to figure out when our babies were going to start sleeping (again). Bookmark a few for the new year!

10. Why Newborns Wake at Night and 10 Things You Can Do About It

Some newborn babies seem to be born as night owls, with longer stretches of sleep during the day and wanting to be entertained at night. Newborns are not born with fully developed circadian rhythms, and in fact, it will take your baby between 2 and 4 months to sort herself out naturally…

Read the rest, here.

9. 7 Tips to Gently Wean Your Breastfeeding Toddler

First of all, if you’re still breastfeeding, kudos to you! Breastfeeding is a huge commitment, both emotionally and physically. If you have reached a point where either you have decided to end your breastfeeding relationship or you’d like to move in that direction, you’re reading the right article…

Read the rest, here.

8. 2 Year Old Sleep Tips

Parents often seem surprised when their babies suddenly morph into little people right around the 2-year mark, complete with ideas of their own, opinions, and lots of attempts at gaining control. It’s a fun age, I promise, but I’ve found that 2 years can also be a time of sleep challenges…

Read the rest, here.

7. Toddler Sleep: Is My Toddler Ready to Drop to One Nap?

Toddlers usually are ready to drop the morning nap by fifteen to eighteen months. A little earlier or a little later is normal, but be sure to watch your child, not the calendar. Especially watch for changes in your child’s morning nap patterns…

Read the rest, here.

6. Sleep Regression: Just a Phase?

We’ve all been there.

Baby has been peacefully sleeping through the night, and, consequently, so is everyone else. Hooray!

And then, out of the blue, your sweet baby is up at all hours, wanting to be soothed, fed, and crying…

Read the rest, here.

5. When Does the 4-Month Sleep Regression End?

Studies have shown that at 4-months there are dramatic changes in your baby’s brain waves and a significant increase in his head circumference! After two to three weeks (possibly more, as sleep regressions CAN last as long as six weeks in some rare cases) of “Mr. Grumpy” you are probably questioning if you’ll ever get your smiley, happy, bundle of joy back…

Read the rest, here.

4. The 2-Year Sleep Regression

Logically, we think that development keeps moving forward, but when it comes to two year olds, you’ll notice that there’s a bit of backsliding as they learn new skills and grow up a bit, which includes the potential for another sleep regression…

Read the rest here.

3. Rise & Shine – Tips to Stop Early Rising in Toddlers!

Waking up too early can mean a tired family and earlier naps, throwing off bedtime rituals later. Waking up too late does the opposite, pushing nap time to later in the day and sometimes prolonging bedtime…

Read the rest, here.

2. 4 Month Sleep Regression

You’ve got the schedule down. Baby is FINALLY sleeping more… and then, WHAM! Suddenly she’s not. Welcome to what is commonly referred to as the 4 month sleep regression. Some may refer to this phase as increased wakefulness, but it all amounts to the same thing: you and baby have newly found your groove, and now baby just isn’t acting like herself.

Read the rest, here.

1. Baby and Child Sleep: Sample Schedules From 6 Months to Preschool

Sometimes it seems like babies and young children grow up in the blink of an eye. They leave behind one skill and gain another as fast as you can get out your camera. While they are growing, their sleep needs change too. Your three naps-per-day infant grows quickly into a one-nap toddler, and gradually shifts towards getting all of their sleep overnight. It can be hard to keep up with schedules when they are always changing, so we have put together a handy list..

Read the rest, here.

Well, that’s a wrap! Have a happy and safe New Year!

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

Did you find this article helpful? Please share it with your friends by clicking below, or ask a question on The Sleep Lady Facebook page.

The post The Top Ten Sleep Lady Posts of 2017 – Year in Review Countdown appeared first on Baby Sleep Coaching by the Sleep Lady.

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