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As Kenny Rogers so famously put it, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em,” and that’s never so true as it is when dealing with a young child. If you were to stand firm every time you and your little one disagreed, you would spend almost all of your time in an argument. And even though the hills to defend will be different for every family, I’ve got some suggestions today to help you evaluate where you might want to give up some ground in exchange for a little peace and serenity.

Picking Your Battles - YouTube

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– Hi, I’m Dana, welcome to this week’s video.

You know that old saying pick your battles? Well, we’re gonna talk about that today, picking your battles. Here’s a few areas in which I think it’s not worth the battle. Honestly, it’s not.

One is around deciding what to wear every morning. I get asked this question a lot and it’s usually from moms with daughters if I’m being totally honest here and I would say that I probably stepped into this once or twice in my life too.

So when a toddler begins to make some choices, right, that is part of the natural developing sense of autonomy that we all get as we become older children and into childhood and adulthood, we begin to understand that hey, I get to make some decisions here in life, that’s pretty cool and picking out what to wear is usually one of the first things that shows up and it can become a battle, right?

If you put out this beautiful pink dress that you would love her to wear and she walks into her room and throws that one on the floor and goes to pick out something you would prefer her not to wear, this can become a battle.

I think it’s a battle not worth fighting. If I’m being totally honest, I really don’t think it’s worth going there because here’s why.

She will always be this way.

This isn’t gonna change, right? This is actually gonna get worse. I have a 11 and a half year old daughter right now and I can tell you that it’s better if I just keep my mouth zipped about what she’s wearing, honestly. I mean, I want, if she came out in shorty shorts or something like that, I’m gonna say uh-uh, go back and change but I don’t put a lot of pressure on what she should wear because I have found through mistakes that I have made that it just creates tension and it steps into her right and her realm, right?

What we put on our bodies is a very individual thing, it’s a very personal thing, it’s sometimes a representation of who we think we are at the moment in our lives and we need to allow our children to find these things out. Hey, if I go outside in a T-shirt and it’s cold, next time I’m gonna wear a jacket. That makes sense, right? If we constantly are making these decisions for them then they’re never really going to figure it out and they’re going to probably push back.

If I say to my 15 year old, oh, you should take a sweater today, it’s cold, he’s not gonna take a sweater right now ’cause I said it and he’s gonna go out and be cold and maybe tomorrow when I don’t say anything, he’s gonna take his sweater.

So just be really careful. It doesn’t matter if she’s, her clothes don’t match or she’s wearing a dress with jeans underneath. It doesn’t matter, right, and you can tell everybody behind her she dressed herself today, she dressed herself today if it makes you embarrassed in any way but just don’t fight that battle.

Another one is throwing food on the floor from the high chair. I don’t think it’s a battle worth fighting honestly. Again, I’ve gone down this road. I’ve tried. I tried and at some point I thought, it’s just not worth it, it’s not worth it. There’s no real great consequence to throwing your food on the floor. It just means I have to get you out of your high chair and maybe then worry that you’re still hungry later.

So what I used to do is just put my kids, their high chair in an area where there’s no carpeting underneath, it’s very easy to clean up if they throw things on the floor and here’s the best part.

When I started ignoring it, it stopped.

It’s true. It’s an attention-getting strategy. So as soon as you take the attention away, eh, what’s the point, right? I throw this on the floor, she doesn’t do anything, she doesn’t say anything, it’s no big deal. I’m gonna stop doing it.

Alright, so it’s always worth reflecting, is this worth the fight and sometimes it absolutely is and in most cases, yeah, it really is worth the battle but you’ve gotta be selective and ask yourself repeatedly, is this worth it or not and if it’s not, let it go.

Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.

Are you tired of butting heads with your little ones? Looking for a better way of resolving conflict with them? I’ve got just the thing!

Kids:The Manual is filled with simple, step-by-step solutions to the problems that parents face with their children’s behavior. End the frustration for both you and your child, and discover the surprisingly easy path to a conflict-free relationship with your kids!

The post Picking Your Battles appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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We all recognize the importance of a healthy diet, especially when it comes to our little ones. But convincing them to eat foods that are good for them is often a struggle, and when dinnertime becomes a nightly battle, it can often cause your child to develop a negative association with food.

In today’s video, I’ll give you some tips to help you understand the psychology behind your child’s apprehension over new foods, give you some tips to help encourage them, and bring peace and harmony back to your dinner table.

Developing a Good Relationship With Food - YouTube

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– Hi I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video.

I get a lot of complaints from parents about their children not eating well. And I get it. I have been there people. My first son, if you don’t know the story already, was a terrible, terrible eater. He was the pickiest child I think I have ever met to date. So I get the struggle and I understand the frustration because I’ve been there.

But I’m going to give you some tips today that will help minimize your frustration and allow your child to develop a healthy relationship with food. Which ultimately I think we can all agree is our goal here right? Not necessarily you eat as much as I think you should eat when I say you should eat and what I think you should eat but more about teaching children how to regulate feelings of being hungry and full and understanding what foods they like and what foods they don’t like and just developing a natural love for food that’s healthy. That’s what we want for all of our kids.

So the first thing, the very very first thing you need to do is stop the pressure. The worst thing you can do if you’ve got a child who’s not eating well is to lay on lots of pressure. For some kids, most kids, putting pressure on them makes them pull back even harder. Begging them, bribing them, threatening them, forcing them even, is all counterproductive. It’s going to increase the chances that they develop an unhealthy relationship with food and it often makes them eat even less because now it’s a battle of wills. And we know toddlers. They’re very strong willed. So, that won’t work.

So what do you do instead? Alright, here’s the big lesson to learn and it was a lesson I had to learn. It is my job as this child’s parent to plan what the choices are and when the choices arrive. That is it. When and what.

So we know that toddler’s tummies are really small and they can only last about two hours without some sort of snack or meal. So keeping that in mind I planned my day around every two hours I would offer my son either a meal or a snack. So, breakfast. Two hours later, a snack. Then two hours later, lunch. And so on all throughout the day. So that is me deciding when. And keeping in mind I don’t want him to get too hungry. Often when toddlers become too hungry they refuse food. Which seems weird I know. But it’s true. They do. They refuse food because it’s gone too far and now they’re hungry and they’re most likely starting to beg for milk ’cause that’s the fastest way to get some calories into the system.

So, once you’ve got the when you decide on the what. So I suggest that you give your child about three choices. Three to four choices at every snack and meal. So maybe at breakfast you put out some peanut butter toast, some slices of banana, and maybe a couple of squares of cheese. And that’s what’s for breakfast.

If he eats all of the toast and none of the banana or some of the cheese it doesn’t matter because that’s not my job. His job is if he eats and how much. That is his job. If he eats nothing I’m not gonna panic. ‘Cause I know in two hours I’m gonna offer him another opportunity to eat. I will promise you that a toddler will not starve themselves. Okay? I know it feels like they’re going to. I get it. But they’re not going to.

So if he decides to walk away from his breakfast with nothing, well I’m gonna remind him okay nothing more now until snack. Then I do not give in on that. I don’t give in to any begging for crackers. I don’t let him have any extra milk. It’s two hours until the next meal. At the next meal, again, I offer my three or four choices. I sit back and I wait and see. If he eats some, great. If he eats none again, I’m okay with that. Right? I’m okay with that. I remind him that it’s going to be two more hours until supper or next snack.

And here’s the good news. The more you do this the more the child will begin to look internally. Look inside. Body scan. How hungry am I? Am I gonna make it two more hours before I have any kind of food? And they will. I promise you they will start to think it through a little bit. And they might eat all of the grapes and ask for more grapes. That is fine. I’m gonna offer more grapes. I’m not gonna say you can’t have more grapes unless you eat the toast. That is up to him.

I cannot put that pressure, my thoughts on what he should be eating onto him because again, that is most likely gonna make him back off, push his food away and want to get down. Now I also believe that it’s important to have a designated spot for meals and snack. It’s tempting to kind of set out snacks all throughout the house and sort of let your toddler wander around having a little bit here and a little bit there. But that’s not ideal because it’s never really gonna get him full and it’s never really going to make him hungry enough. So he’s kind of grazing all day long. And it’ll feel like he didn’t really eat anything. But really he probably did eat quite a bit. He just grazed his way through the day.

So in a high chair, here’s your meal, here’s your snack, this is what’s happening. If you’re out and about, make sure you go to some sort of area where you can sit down. You can look at the options, you can give him a choice whether he’s going to have some or not. If you can do it with him, Mommy’s snack time now too and Mommy’s meal too, the more he sees you eating the better that’s gonna work for both of you really and he’ll learn through your modeling as well.

Alright so I know this is a huge topic. It’s really hard to cover it all in just few minutes. Check out The Food Sense Program if you want a little more detailed plan on how to get your picky eater to eat or to end the battles, more importantly, around food.

Thanks for watching today. Sleep well.


If you’re having issues with your child’s eating habits, whether they’re not eating enough healthy food, have no interest in trying new things, or are engaging in a battle of wills every time you sit down to the dinner table, try The Food Sense Program. It’s a complete system designed to end the mealtime headaches, get your child eating healthy, and develop a positive relationship with food!

The post Developing a Good Relationship With Food appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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As any parent will attest to, babies love their bottles, and getting them to give it up can result in a frustrating battle of wills. In today’s video, I have some tips to help you plan your strategy, decide on the right time to start, and minimize the protest and tears while you move your little one off of bottles.

Weaning Your Baby Off of Bottles - YouTube

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Hi, I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video.

I had a lot of questions come in recently about how to wean off of a bottle. Now for some of you, you might be wishing that your baby would just take a bottle. A lot of babies just flat out refuse to ever take a bottle if they’re used to being nursed.

However, bottles can linger a little bit too long. We all know that person whose five-year old still had a bottle in their hand. So I don’t want you to be that person.

So here’s a good rule of thumb. When your child reaches the first birthday, that is the recommended age for weaning off of a bottle. Now there’s a couple of reasons why.

One, is that if it lingers much past the first birthday, the bottle becomes this object of desire, let’s call it. Or it becomes a bit of a bad habit, in that the child then begins to believe that milk only comes in a bottle, and they will not drink milk in anything else. And then the parent is left thinking well, I know she should drink milk. Isn’t she supposed to be drinking milk? I guess I have to hang onto the bottle.

So the bottle then goes into the second birthday, and into the third, and it lingers a lot longer than most parents were planning because of this fear that the child won’t drink milk.

If you get the timing right, though, and make the switch at the first birthday, there can still be a little bit of pushback from the child. I mean, it’s a change, right? It’s a pretty significant change. They’ve had their entire life drinking milk out of this very lovely bottle that feels nice and maybe even gets ’em a little sleepy, and now they have to change their whole strategy for how they get their milk intake.

Now a couple things to keep in mind when you make the switch. You can try a sippy cup. Those are great and the soft-top sippy cups are often a little bit easier for a first step, and then move into the harder-topped sippy.

Some babies, though, some one-year olds just refuse a sippy cup. They just flat out will not take it, and then you can try just a normal plastic cup with a straw. A lot of kids love the novelty of a straw, and it’s actually a similar motion with the mouth as a bottle, so they kinda get it right away and they’ll take it through the straw.

Now do not be alarmed, though, if milk consumption decreases. The good news is, it’s supposed to decrease. After the first birthday, milk becomes a beverage, just like anything else, and solids become the main calorie source, and that’s a hard shift for a lot of new moms, and I get it. For so long it was liquids that met the calorie needs, but now we have to switch that.

So really, two cups of milk a day in sort of half a cup increments throughout the day, is all your child needs for that sort of, for milk, and honestly, some kids just don’t like the taste of milk, especially if they’ve been exclusively breastfed. They just won’t take it and I don’t think you should panic. There’s lots of other ways to get good, healthy fats and calcium. You just have to do a little bit of tweaking of the diet to meet those needs, so it’s definitely not the end of the world if your child doesn’t take milk.

But that is gonna help you transition over to cups, right, which ultimately are our goal, decrease milk consumption, and see an increase in solid consumption. And if you have a child who you consider a picky eater or not eating enough in your mind, have a good look at the milk consumption, because too much milk will often make a child eat less during the day. They only have a certain amount of calories they need to take in, so if half of it is coming from milk, they really don’t need to eat that much more to make up what they need.

So always look at milk, juice, any other beverage that you’re offering. Those are usually the reasons why a child’s not eating as well as you thought.

Thanks for watching today. Sleep well.

If you’re having issues with your child’s eating habits, whether they’re not eating enough healthy food, have no interest in trying new things, or are engaging in a battle of wills every time you sit down to the dinner table, try The Food Sense Program. It’s a complete system designed to end the mealtime headaches, get your child eating healthy, and develop a positive relationship with food!

The post Weaning Your Baby Off of Bottles appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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I know, I know. You don’t want to complain about early wake-ups now that baby’s finally sleeping through the night. But getting up at 5 AM is no picnic for you or your baby, and solving what is often the final piece of the sleep puzzle is usually easier than parents expect, and well worth that last little bit of effort.

In today’s video, I’ll tell you what causes those early risers to stir before the sun comes up, and how to maybe even get them to sleep in past your first cup of coffee.

Baby's Waking Up Early - YouTube

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– Hi, I’m Dana, welcome to this week’s video.
It might have taken you a few nights to get your little one sleeping well and now they’re sleeping better than they ever have in their life let’s say but they’re waking up too early.

That is probably the number one complaint that I hear from parents who have started the Sleep Sense program is that oh my gosh, it’s great but she’s waking up at five o’clock in the morning. What can I do about that?

Well, I’m gonna give you some tips today for dealing with that. The first thing to keep in mind is that this takes time.

If you’ve just started the program and you’ve already seen some great progress, just celebrate that. Maybe you’re not quite where you wanna be yet but it’s gonna come. It’s just gonna take some time.

I find the early morning wake up is the last thing that comes around and that can be into week two and even into week three before a baby’s body is ready to consolidate a full 11 or 12 hours of sleep. So they wake up at the 10 hour mark and feel okay, right? They feel better than they’ve felt in a long time and think that it’s time to get up for the day and that should phase out with time as long as you’re doing one really important thing and that is making sure that you stick to your minimum.

Now, I recommend people’s minimum not be anything before six a.m. So if your little one’s up in the 4:30, five o’clock hour, treat it like a nighttime wake up. Do exactly what you would do if it were three o’clock in the morning. Don’t do anything different until at least six a.m. rolls around.

If at six a.m. you think, okay, let’s call it for the night, that’s it, get up, start your day with your child and know that this will phase out with time as long as you stick to that minimum.

Now, if you allow your baby to get up in the five o’clock hour then that’s most likely where it’s gonna stay unfortunately and even if six o’clock is your minimum and you start letting a child get up at 10 to six then it turns into 6:45 then it turns into 22. So I find that if you let a child get up earlier, it just creeps earlier and earlier.

So you really, it’s really important that you’re sticking to that minimum. Alright, another thing to think about is lighting, right? Is the sun coming in at that hour? Even the slightest and I mean slightest change in light can stimulate a wake up. In fact, it stimulates a wake up in most of us, right? When that summer sun starts rising at five o’clock in the morning, you’ll notice too that that’s a trigger. That’ll wake you up and you’re gonna need to make sure that your room is as dark as you can possibly make it so that that doesn’t happen.

So it doesn’t have to be pretty. Get garbage bags, get black blankets. I don’t care what you do but you’ve really gotta keep that sun out or it will wake her up.

Another thing is noise, any kind of environmental noise. Now, while we’re in that phase of our sleep usually in those early morning hours, our bodies are doing a lot of REM sleep and REM sleep is very light sleep. So it would be easy to wake your baby in that hour.

So if somebody’s getting up for work or the birds start chirping or the garbage trucks start going by, all those little things are going to wake her and then she might decide that it’s time to get up for the day and not wanna go back to sleep. Even the furnace kicking in. Honestly, just little, tiny things like that. If your furnace kicks in and you notice that it makes a sound, you’ll probably find that your baby’s waking up around that time every morning too.

So you can try running some white noise. That’s a good solution if you’ve got those things happening in your environment to just drown out or buffer some of those birds or garbage trucks or whatever it is that’s happening. That can be a great way to keep a baby sleeping a little later into the morning.

Just one last tip before I say goodbye. The rational idea or thought as an adult is well, she’s getting up too early. It must mean we need to move bedtime later and I get why you think that, right? It makes sense from an adult’s perspective that well, maybe the later she stays up at night, the better she’ll sleep in the morning and I’m here to tell you that, I’m not saying that that’s never the case but that’s very rarely the case.

Usually, it’s the other way that the baby’s going to bed too late and that is why they’re having an early morning wake up because overtiredness is really a child’s worst enemy when it comes to sleep and if she went to bed overtired, she’ll have a more restless sleep, there’ll be more fragmentation to the night and there usually is an early morning wake up.

So I would suggest before you try anything else, just move bedtime up even half an hour and give it several days before you judge if this is working or not because body clocks take time to get in line and see if that makes a big difference to that early morning wake up.

Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.

If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!

The post Baby’s Waking Up Early appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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I’m so happy to see the focus that people are putting on sleep recently; both for their children and for themselves. Helping your children to appreciate the benefits of a good night’s sleep is such an important lesson, and one that they’ll benefit from through their entire lives.

In today’s video, I’ve got some tips for you to help your older children sleep better, and to help them develop an appreciation for the endless health and wellness benefits that come along with a good night’s sleep.

Recognizing the Importance of Sleep - YouTube

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– Hi there, I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video.

You know, I’ve been in this business for about 14 years now, and I’ve noticed something that makes me excited, really, and that is, that more and more parents are voicing their concerns around their children’s sleep, and they’re voicing their concerns around older children not sleeping well.

Now, I think 14 years ago, I think people were a bit shy or maybe a little uncomfortable to admit that their five-year old or their eight-year old, or even their 10-year old was still not sleeping great. I get it, right? You don’t really wanna go around telling everybody that your 10-year old is still sleeping in your bed.

But I have noticed a bit of an evolution around that, and I think it’s because sleep has become more of a hot topic, especially recently. More and more people are investigating their own sleep, learning about sleep, educating themselves about sleep, and realizing that, you know what, it’s actually not okay that your five-year old is up three times a night.

We know that children in particular need to sleep 10 to 12 hours of consolidated nighttime sleep, and if they have the skills to do that, that is the one time in our life when sleep is perfect. I mean, sleep is perfection when we’re children. It starts to fall apart as we get older and older, but it is perfection in childhood, so let’s try to make that happen for every child. If that’s the one time it’s perfect, let’s make sure it’s perfect, right?

So I love that people are coming forward, asking for help, not really being sure what to do with their older children, so I’m gonna give you a few tips here today.

If you’ve got an older child that’s still not sleeping great, I wanna help you solve that problem.

The first thing you need to do is educate your child. Now, I love the website sleepforkids.org, has some great child-friendly sleep education. If you’re not sure how to approach the topic or you’re not sure what to teach your child, that is a great resource.

They also have printable bedtime charts, sort of interactive activities that the kids can do, so that’s a great place to start if you’re not sure how to bring up the topic.

But you wanna help your child understand that it’s actually really important for their body and their brain and their overall health and wellness, that they’re sleeping better than they are. It’s gonna make a big difference for them. It’s gonna make a big difference for you, and it’s gonna really improve the quality of life.

Once you get a little bit of a buy-in about why they need to do this, then try to keep things positive. I like reward charts for older children. I love the idea that we’re working towards a goal, that you understand it’s gonna be a bit challenging and she’s gonna have to make some changes, and that that’s okay, and let’s try to keep it positive.

So maybe put, you know, you sleep in your own bed, you get a reward in the morning. I do find that rewards work better if they can be as immediate as possible, so I’m not a huge fan of making kids collect numbers of stickers or stars until they get their reward. I just don’t find that that’s as effective for really reinforcing the behavior you wanna see.

So if she stays in her own bed all night and she hasn’t done that in five years, that is worth celebrating, right? That deserves a reward, so you wanna make sure that you really honor her, that she has done something tough, with that reward in the morning.

Now, often with older children the problem is they’re parent-dependent, meaning that they believe I can only sleep if you lay down beside me, or I come to your bed and lay in your bed. So they’ve hooked themselves to this idea that you need to be there, or they can’t sleep.

If you fall asleep with your children every night, then I guarantee you, at least once or twice, they’re gonna have a wake up, where they’re either coming to you, or you’re going back to them, right? You know I’m right.

So a great solution to that is pick up a copy of The Sleep Sense Program. Now it says toddlers, but it really applies to every child who is parent-dependent, and that is a very gentle process of basically weaning yourself out of her sleep picture, so that the child begins to feel confident and comfortable with falling asleep on her own, and then staying asleep through the night, and that’s gonna make a huge difference to the quality of her nighttime sleep and also to yours, because you won’t have a visitor showing up at your bedside.

Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.

If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!

The post Recognizing the Importance of Sleep appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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No life event comes with as much uncertainty as a new baby. There are more questions in those first few months than there will be for the next two years, and a lot of them will undoubtedly center on baby’s sleep.

Today, I have 3 great tips for new parents to get their new bundle of joy off to a great start in their sleep habits, help them recognize the signs of a tired baby, as well as what to do when their little one just doesn’t seem to want to go to sleep.

3 Sleep Tips for Newborns - YouTube

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– Hi, I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video.

You know, a lot of people say to me, “Gosh, I wish I knew then what I know now about sleep. It would have made a huge difference.” And I absolutely agree.

When we know more, we do better. And so I want to give you some tips today for dealing with a newborn.

I want to share with you, basically, three tips that could really change the sleep experience for you with your newborn baby.

The first thing is timing. Now, newborn babies, and this is gonna come as a surprise to a lot of you, newborn babies can really only tolerate about 45 minutes of time awake before they need to sleep again.

That is not a lot of time if you consider a feed takes 20 to 30, you know, a diaper change, maybe a little bit of playtime, and now it’s time to go back to bed.

A lot of people wait until a baby gets fussy, and then they wonder what’s wrong with the baby, right?

And fussiness, a cranky baby often looks like a hungry baby. And a lot of people misread the signs. And what ends up happening is we end up feeding our baby for both hunger-related issues and feeding our baby around fatigue-related issues.

And it happened to me, it happens to a lot of moms that I work with, that their feeding’s doing double duty now, right? It’s not just filling a tummy, it’s also helping a baby sleep. And the two can become so entwined that you’re still nursing your 10-month-old three times a night because that’s the association, that feeding or nursing or bottle-feeding and sleep are somehow hand-holding each other through the night. And then that’s a really hard habit to break and teach a baby to sleep well without.

So keep an eye on the clock. If it’s been 45 minutes to an hour and you’re noticing that your newborn’s getting a bit grouchy or fussy, try for sleep first. Not saying don’t feed hungry babies. I’m definitely not saying that. But try sleep first.

And you might find that, yes, that’s what was wrong. She was tired, she went and had a great nap, she woke up refreshed and had a great feed and a little bit of playtime and back to bed, and your whole day can move in this really beautiful fashion of, you know, having a nice, full feed, a little bit of playtime, nice, long nap, and so on all throughout the day. So that’s definitely important to keep in mind.

Also, the second thing would be to remember that it’s not always your job to get this newborn baby to sleep. Now, I would have loved for someone to tell me that when I had my first son. I really did think it was my job to get him to fall asleep.

In fact, the thought of putting him down before he was fully asleep didn’t even enter my mind, didn’t even occur to me. I would rock and bounce and feed and pace and do whatever I absolutely could until he was asleep, not just asleep, but really asleep before I would move him.

And we know that that is not the best way to encourage good sleep habits. We want newborns to at least sniff out a path for getting themselves to sleep so that they’re not always relying on extra help from you.

So, a few times a day, give it a shot, right? She’s had her full feed, she’s had a little bit of activity time, we’re reaching that 45-minute mark. I’m gonna try putting her in her bassinet and I’m gonna see what happens. And I promise you, at least some of the time, it won’t always work, and that’s okay, but at least some of the time, she’s just gonna drift off to sleep, and you won’t have had to do anything, and that is a beautiful thing because that means she’s figuring out how to do this on her own, that she can do it on her own, that she doesn’t require a lot of extra action happening in order to do it, and it’s moving her down the right path for sleeping well.

Another thing to keep in mind is darkness. Now, we do know that babies have a little bit of day and night confusion when they enter this world, but not as much as you might think. Our rising melatonin levels and cortisol levels sort of simulate, at least while a baby’s in the womb, that there’s a body rhythm, that there’s a circadian rhythm of day and night. So it’s there, it just needs a little guidance.

But as far as sleep is concerned, I would make sure you let your room is quite dark for sleep. That’s really gonna help encourage good-quality naps, longer stretches in the night. And then during the day, make sure she’s getting exposed to lots of sunlight or daylight. So, do your feed by the window, go for walks, make sure all the curtains are open so that you help her body clock get in line with the rhythm of day and night a lot faster.

Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.

If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!

The post 3 Sleep Tips for Newborns appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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One of the most common concerns I hear from parents, especially of younger babies, is that their little ones will go down for naps with no fussing or protest, only to wake up half an hour later, clearly still tired, but refusing to go back to sleep.

There’s actually a simple explanation for why this happens, why it’s always around the same time, and some straightforward ways to solve the problem, and I’ll go through the whole works in today’s video.

Why is my Baby Taking Such Short Naps? - YouTube

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– Hi, I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video.

You know, it’s one the experience every new parents has that you just get this baby to fall asleep in your arms, you manage to ever so gently get them into the crib, slide your hands out just so, back away from the crib, and 20 minutes later she’s awake, and she’s crying.

And you think, oh my gosh, you know, I did all that hard work to get her to sleep in the first place, and she only took a 20 minute nap. I’m gonna share with you some tips today on how to deal with what I call the curse of the short nap.

The first thing you wanna remember is that if you are doing all of the work; meaning you’re rocking, and feeding, and bouncing, and doing all of the stuff required to get your little one to fall asleep in your arms, then the chances of a nap lasting any kind of quality length is very, very slim. And that is because all of us are aware of our surroundings while we sleep.

We would have had to be, if you think about it from an evolutionary perspective. You have to at least have some awareness of what’s going on around you.

So, a baby realizes, or senses that they’re not in the same location they were in when they fell asleep, and that’s a fairly alarming realization. And they usually wake up pretty mad, and crying right away.

So the first step is to help your baby fall asleep in the same location you would like her to stay asleep in. And if that seems like an impossibility for you, then I want you to pick up a copy of The Sleep Sense Program, ’cause that’s gonna give you a step by step guide for teaching your baby how to fall asleep in the same place you’d like her to stay asleep, and help her develop her own skills around sleep, which is so important, and really the crux of why babies aren’t sleeping well. So that’s step number one.

The second thing you need to look at is timing. Some people are going to soon for the nap, some people are waiting too long for the nap. The most common mistake I see is people waiting too long for a nap. And what happens then is baby gets overtired.

An overtired baby has a hard time falling asleep, and then the sleep that comes afterwards is very fragmented and light, and it usually leads to too short of a nap time.

So you wanna have, again, if you have The Sleep Sense Program, there is a guide in the nap chapter that kinda outlines the different ages and the time period in which that child can tolerate before they need another nap. But for the sake of our example here today, let’s say it’s a six month old.

Well, most six month olds can only handle about two and a half, maybe three hours of time awake before they’re gonna need sleep, so start there and kinda tinker with it; maybe she needs a little less, maybe just a tiny bit more, until you get that sweet spot. There really is a sweet spot.

Another thing you wanna think about is darkness and quiet. You know, a lot of people say, oh well, I don’t want her to get too used to it being quiet. But think about when you’re taking a nap. Is it easy to take a nap if somebody’s vacuuming, or if somebody’s like, loading the dishwasher, or if people are yelling in the house? I mean, you’re not gonna nap well if there’s lots of environmental noise.

So you wanna keep that in mind; minimize the noise level as much as you can. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, or you’ve got a dog that barks every time the doorbell rings, put in white noise of some kind. My favorite is the Dohm sound machine; it just gives out a nice, clean, white noise experience that just helps buffer some of that environmental noise that might be waking her.

Darkness is also very important. We wanna kinda keep the lights as low as we can; block out that sunlight that’s coming in the window, and that’s gonna help encourage her to go through one cycle, and into the next. And that should help improve the quality and the length of the nap.

Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.

If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!

The post Why is my Baby Taking Such Short Naps? appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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Encouraging your little one to experiment with new foods can be a bit of a trial. Mainly because, in the end, it’s up to the child whether or not they want to eat any particular item placed in front of them, and also because they have no appreciation for their dietary needs.

So how can you introduce new foods to your little one and actually get them to give it a shot? It’s not always easy, but there is a way, and it doesn’t involve a battle of wills either! I’ll tell you all about it in today’s video.

Getting Your Child to Try New Foods - YouTube

Rather read than watch? Click here.

– Hi, I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video.

You know, I can remember one of the most frustrating things for me when I was a mum with little ones was getting my kids to try new foods. And I’ll be honest, even today it’s still a little frustrating when I really want them to try something I think that they’re going to enjoy, and they won’t do it.

So how do you help your child start experimenting with new foods? Well first of all, think about it from your own perspective. If you’re in a restaurant and somebody orders something that you’ve never tasted before or tried before, you might not want to try it, right?

Like if somebody orders crocodile and you’re not really in the mood to eat crocodile or even try it, you have the right to say no. And imagine how awkward it would be if that person kept holding it in front of your face and begging you to try it and telling you repeatedly how fabulous it is. You’d be a little annoyed.

So we need to respect our children in that regard. We need to say, “You know what, it’s okay “that he doesn’t want to try it.” And that’s fair and we have to be okay with that.

So you’re going to want to remember that, especially toddlers, really young children are born skeptics, really, when it comes to food. They treat food with a lot of caution. They don’t necessarily want to stuff everything that’s in front of them into their mouths, especially if they’ve never seen it before.

So tip number one is to just remember to give them lots of continued exposure to the new item. It can take up to 10, 15, even 20 times of seeing the cantaloupe on the plate before they’re like, “Okay, I’ve seen this thing before. “It’s getting familiar to me. “I might want to stick it into my mouth and give it a try.” So don’t call it quits if you put green beans on the plate and he won’t try any. Don’t assume that he’s never gonna eat a green bean. You just need to repeat the experience, time and time again.

Make sure that you’re modeling that you’re eating it so he sees that it’s safe to eat and maybe it’s good to eat. But be careful that you don’t lay on a whole bunch of pressure by saying, “Oh, it’s so delicious and you should try it.” Because for some kids, they’ll just dig their heels in even more when you lay on that kind of pressure. So just model it that you make choices and you try a variety of things, and let it be.

Now after they’ve had several exposures to it, then you could suggest that they feel it, just touch it. What does it feel like? Is it squishy, is it soft, does it feel crunchy? Just get them to start exploring with how does this thing actually feel in my fingers? And then you might encourage them to just put it in their mouth. They don’t have to chew it or eat it, but just to put it in their mouth.

And if they’re willing to do that again, you talk about what does it feel like? Is it soft, is it sweet, is it salty, is it crunchy? Just get them to start exploring what it feels like in the mouth. And then again, eventually with time and practice, putting it in the mouth may turn into chewing and swallowing. But again, that’s up to them.

I think the biggest mistake we make as parents around food is just to push and push and bribe and cajole and beg our kids to eat things. And it’s really so much better if they come at it naturally, if they learn to trust their own bodies around food or make their own choices. And just by some gentle guidance, giving them options, giving them exposures, asking them to just put it in their mouth or feel it, see what’s going on with this thing, will get them to come around at their own pace. And that’s really important.

Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.


If you’re having issues with your child’s eating habits, whether they’re not eating enough healthy food, have no interest in trying new things, or are engaging in a battle of wills every time you sit down to the dinner table, try The Food Sense Program. It’s a complete system designed to end the mealtime headaches, get your child eating healthy, and develop a positive relationship with food!

The post Getting Your Child to Try New Foods appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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Toddlers are the most curious creatures in the world, and when they’re suddenly presented with a new baby in the house, they’re obviously going to have a LOT of questions. In today’s video, I’ll tell you why it’s so important to maintain the boundaries you’ve already established, and how to do so without causing a lot of uproar and jealousy.

 

Introducing Your New Baby to Your Toddler - YouTube

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– Hi I’m Dana, welcome to this week’s video.

You know I have had three children and I can remember when I was expecting my second that I had some concerns about my toddler, I was worried or, you know, feeling a little bit unsure of how I was gonna handle two children and also how my toddler was gonna respond to a new family member.

So I wanna share some tips today on how to navigate this experience so it goes a little smoother for both you and your older child.

The first thing to remember is that this is going to absolutely cause a little bit of insecurity on your toddler’s part. He was, or she was the center of attention for a year, two years, three years or more and now that attention’s gonna have to be shared and so there’s just a natural reaction to that to have a little bit of sensitivity to it, a little bit of insecurity. That’s just human nature.

So there’s no way to get around that so my advice is to just accept it, okay?

Now the biggest mistake I see people make when this sort of experience arises is that they realize it that their toddler is feeling insecure, so their reaction to that is to give in.

They start letting their boundaries slide, they start breaking their own rules with the toddler and that actually is the worst thing you can do because what it does, is it teaches your child that, you know what, now nothing is the way it was. Now not even rules are the same, not even boundaries are the same, there’s this new little person here that’s dominating the attention and it just actually ends up making them feel even more insecure because now their little world is rocked in all kinds of ways. So don’t do that.

And know that by staying strong to your boundaries and your rules, especially around things like sleep time is so important to help your toddler feel secure and comforted through this experience of a new family member.

Now here’s some good news too is if you get your newborn onto the Sleep Sense program right from the get-go, I definitely have a newborn chapter that I think you should check out, then it also makes the experience a little easier on your toddler, I can remember my oldest son, Charlie, being really excited when the baby came out because the baby spent a lot of time in the room sleeping, you know we had a very strict schedule with our second child and our third and we knew what we were doing and off he would go to take his nap and then he would come out and have his feeding so every time he came out, you know, Charlie was really excited to see him because he also went away, which is really important, and the attention could be back on him.

Now one thing you’re going to need to keep an eye out for is that there is always always a regression either around sleep or potty training when a new baby arrives, so just keep that in mind that there’s going to be a little back step. For example, there might be some accidents happening in the potty training world, even if you’ve really had success for a few months, just keep going, right?

Just keep your expectations the same, keep your rules the same around that, don’t let them slide back into diapers now that is not the right thing to do, just push forward. Also around sleep there might be some protests now with your toddler, it’s time for his nap, he doesn’t want to take his nap, he’s fighting bedtime, there could be a little bit of pushback or fighting of, usually, bedtime.

Again, don’t give into that, that’s really the worst thing you could do, you just have to stay strong and keep those expectations and boundaries the same.

You can alleviate some of the guilt you might be feeling by doing other things like carving out some one-on-one time with your toddler, that’s so important, it doesn’t have to be big, lengthy, long excursions but even if it’s just a half an hour of you and the child, no baby around just reading or playing or coloring or going for some ice cream, or having a little outing together that’s you know just a little bit of one-on-one time, that’s really gonna help your toddler feel that he’s still important to you as well.

Thanks so much for watching today, sleep well.

Are you tired of butting heads with your little ones? Looking for a better way of resolving conflict with them? I’ve got just the thing!

Kids:The Manual is filled with simple, step-by-step solutions to the problems that parents face with their children’s behavior. End the frustration for both you and your child, and discover the surprisingly easy path to a conflict-free relationship with your kids!

The post Introducing Your New Baby to Your Toddler appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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Alright, so maybe there’s no “one” single strategy to getting your toddler to use the potty overnight, but there’s one very simple trick that you can use to make the whole process a whole lot simpler, less contentious, and effective. And the best part is, it’s probably already within arms’ reach!

The Secret to Successful Potty Training - YouTube

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Hi, I’m Dana, welcome to this week’s video.

Potty training your toddler can be a both rewarding and a very challenging experience. So I wanna share with you today my number one tip for making potty training so much easier.

Let me give you a little example. I was on a summer holiday with great friends of ours and they have a three year old son who they were in the process of potty training.

Now, it seemed like a great idea at the time to do it on a holiday but in retrospect, they thought maybe we’re just a little bit too busy for this but my advice is once you’ve decided to make the commitment to potty training, you’ve got to keep going regardless. If you show your child that there’s a way out of this or we don’t have to do this then it’s going to be all the harder.

So I gave her my favorite piece of advice when it comes to potty training and that is to use a timer.

Now, it sounds so simple, I know, but it makes a really big difference and there’s a few reasons why.

One, toddlers are becoming their own little person. They’re becoming aware of the fact that they have some control over things and they have their own will and desires and wants and they express that often and so what can happen when you start the potty training experience is that it can become a bit of a battle of wills and that’s what I noticed was happening with my friend and her son, that there was just a little bit of stubbornness and strong-headedness on the toddler’s part which is very common of all toddlers and so it was just becoming this sort of not very fun, very frustrating experience.

So by using a timer, you take the pressure off of you. It’s not necessarily you that’s saying you have to go to the bathroom now, it’s the timer. So it builds a little bit of distance between you and the child and then you just set the timer basically for every 45 minutes when you start and every time the bell rings, it’s time now to stop what we’re doing and go to the bathroom.

You don’t have to go. If you don’t have to go, that’s fine but every time the timer goes, we’re gonna go and try and see.

Now, the first few times, there’s still resistance, right, especially if they’re engaged in something fun and they don’t wanna stop and go to the bathroom. They’ll often say, no, I don’t want to but you have to make it a nonnegotiable and that’s very important. That bell has gone, we have to go. Whether you like it or not, this is happening, okay, and then the good news is that as this process goes on then the child understands that well, there’s really no way, there’s no reason to fight this because we’re going anyway, right?

It kind of goes back to that easy way or the hard way discussion we had a few weeks ago and they realize that, you know what? It’s faster, it’s easier if I just cooperate, I drop what I do, I go try to use the bathroom and then I come back and it’s a great way to kinda minimize the protest around this and in the course of the week, we saw a big change in my friend’s son too with his, and there were times where he would hear the bell ring and he’d just get up and start walking towards the bathroom without any real muss, fuss or bother about it.

So that is a great way to keep this moving in the right direction, get your toddler on board with this.

Now, it still takes some work. Don’t forget, nothing in parenting is ever easy so this is definitely gonna take some commitment but it’s a great way to take the pressure off you and make this experience go a little smoother.

Thanks for watching today. Sleep well.


Why wait? Try out my No-Sweat Potty Training Program and get started today! The sooner you get the process started, the sooner you can bid farewell to diapers and baby wipes, and you and your child can both celebrate your new-found independence.

The post The Secret to Successful Potty Training appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

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