Just a few short weeks ago, you felt like you had this whole newborn sleep thing under control. Your baby would sleep long stretches during the night, and have big, restful, naps (in the stroller, your arms, the vibrating chair – you name it, he’d sleep there!) during the day.
Then, without warning, something changed. Those blissful two-hour naps started looking a lot more like 45-minutes, and those one-or-two night wakes turned into four-or-five.
It is very likely that your baby has entered the (insert dark-and-stormy music here) … four-month sleep regression. So, what does that really mean, and what is the best way to manage it?
It’s almost August; that means backyard barbeques, pool parties, marshmallow roasts and… moving. That’s right - more people move to new homes between May and September than any other period of the year; this means that, for me, the summer months are filled with questions from clients about how the big move might affect their child’s sleep.
Moving to a new home absolutely does not (and should not!) mean a disruption to your child’s sleep. Here’s how to keep sleep on track when putting down new roots.
You’ve just learned that your son or daughter is going to become a parent – congratulations! You are going to be a grandparent!! You’re likely feeling the same joy you experienced when you learned you were expecting your own child – it’s a time of hope, renewal, and the excitement of a beautiful new baby joining your family.
Many new or soon-to-be grandparents are wondering how they can help their own children navigate parenthood in 2017, and how they can be well-informed about new practices in everything from car safety to sleep! Meanwhile, many moms and dads ask me for information that they can give to their baby’s grandparents about proper sleep schedules and healthy sleep habits. Parents are often worried that if they prioritize their child’s naps and bedtimes, it may be received negatively by grandparents who “just want to spend time” with their grandson, or don’t understand why, at 7pm, their 3-year-old granddaughter “already has to go to bed.”
So, here you go, Grandma and Grandpa! My key tips and advice about your grandbaby’s sleep, and how to help your own child as he or she navigates new parenthood and the exhaustion that can come with it!
Summer vacation can throw your family’s sleep schedules for a loop. Here are my top tips for having a fantastic, fun-filled summer, while getting your family all the healthy sleep they need:
Periods of early wakes, while the bane of many parents’ existence, are actually very common and normal for babies and toddlers. However, this doesn’t necessarily make it easier to swallow when your clock reads 5:05 a.m. and your little one is already signing along with the birds.
It is very biologically-appropriate for well-rested children who regularly sleep through the night to wake – refreshed and ready to start their day – between 6-7 a.m. This is not an “early” wake (as much as it may FEEL early to us, as parents!). “Early” wakes could be considered anything before 6 a.m. (e.g. 5 a.m./5:30 a.m.), and may occur due to various factors, from developmental milestones, to noises in your home, to Daylight Savings Time changes.
The tough news is, early wakes – particularly those caused by developmental milestones – can often take around four (or sometimes more!) weeks or more to sort themselves out. The good news, though, is there are certainly ways to combat early wakes and get your child sleeping past the crack of dawn!
You’ve been sleeping in a “big bed” for decades, so of course it comes completely naturally to you. However, if your child is ready to make the change from crib to bed, don’t underestimate what a significant change this may be to him or her. This change represents an important milestone, and another step towards becoming older and more independent. It can also come with some mixed emotions (excitement mixed with some fear and anxiety!) on the part of your kiddo, and some serious patience testing for you.
So, when your child really is ready to transition out of a crib, try to make it as smooth as possible with these steps:
The first long weekend of the summer is almost upon us! With it, for many, comes the first of many family camping trips of the season.
My clients seem to love the great outdoors, because I get a lot of questions about camping, and how to keep sleep on track while enjoying family camping trips. Here are my top tips when it comes to the camping-sleep combo!
Children and adults alike sometimes need a little nutritional top-up before bedtime to get through the night without feeling hungry. But, the types of foods we stock up on before bed can have big impacts (both positive and negative) on the quality and length of our sleep. Here are my top three Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to the pre-bedtime snack:
It’s almost Easter! That means many little ones are already completely hyped up, waiting for the arrival of the cotton-tailed candy monster! Easter is an exciting time for kiddos, and a great time for families to spend time with one another, catch up, and reconnect. But, like most holidays and long weekends, Easter often means a change in routine, long days of travel, and an overall disruption to the regular weekend flow of your family’s proper rest. Here are my top tips for keeping sleep on track this weekend.
So, you’re about to head back to work and send your little one off to daycare for the first time. There are so many emotions around this big leap – from excitement to heading back into the office, to anxiety over missing your little one during the day, this period can feel like roller coaster! And, in the mix of all these emotions, you might be wondering how this big change is going to affect your child’s sleep.
Whether your child is already a champion sleeper, or has sleep difficulties, the daycare transition can play a role in your child’s sleep patterns and habits. Here is my advice on what to find out before you choose a daycare provider, and how to manage sleep changes, to keep your little one’s healthy Zs on track!
Got yourself a little monkey who’s already managed to jump from the crib? If so, what I’m about to say next is very important: Crib jumping doesn’t necessarily mean you should transition to a bed. Say it with me: Crib jumping doesn’t necessarily mean you should transition to a bed.
“But... but?!” you say. “It’s not safe for my toddler to be jumping from a crib!” True, not without some great precautionary measures in place (I'll talk about these below). Know what else isn’t safe, though? A 20-month old with the ability to wander around the house by himself at night when he gets out of his “big kid” bed. So, what’s the happy-medium? How do we keep our children in cribs until they are really ready to move to a toddler bed, and also keep our little monkeys safe? Read on!
Whether it’s March Break, summer vacation, or a winter getaway, family holidays are a great way to reconnect and bond. However, all this travel also means long flights, airport layovers, lengthy car rides, and hotel stays, which can sometimes wreak havoc on children’s sleep.
Here are my top tips for keeping sleep on track during travel, so your vacation is a rested, healthy, happy one!
Though either time change can be frustrating for parents and children alike, the beginning of Daylight Savings Time (i.e. Spring Forward!) is often a much more welcome adjustment than the autumn Fall Back, when early rising babies and toddlers are ready to start the day even earlier!
Daylight Savings Time will begin in Canada at 2 a.m. on March 12th. If you are wondering how it might affect your
child’s sleep patterns, and looking for advice on how to manage the change, read on!
Though Spring is technically just a couple of weeks away, winter seems to be hanging in there, with many blustery days and chilly nights (especially in climates like mine, in Ottawa!). So, imagine how thrilled I was to find out that one of my favourite cozy baby sleep products – the Gro-suit – is finally available in Canada!
If your child is between the ages of three and four, he might be showing signs of being ready to drop his nap. For some parents, this is a welcome change, as they find naps inhibit their ability to get out of the house and get things done (i.e. feeling "trapped by the nap"). For others, though, this is a rather unwelcome adjustment; not only does it mean you lose a couple hours of free time while your child snoozes during the day (buh bye, hot tea and Facebook scrolling! Tear!), but it may also mean that your child has some cranky afternoons during the transition, as his body adjusts to not having that snooze.
Again, most children are ready to drop their naps between 3 - 4 years of age. The transition can be a bit tough for some (i.e. 4pm meltdowns and falling asleep in their dinner!), but there are certainly ways to make the transition smoother for your little one (and for you!):
Anyone who knows me at all knows of my total adoration for sleep bags.
When my own daughter was still in a crib (she’s in a big-kid bed now – eek!), I had tried so many different varieties of sleep bags; we had every style and colour under the rainbow! As a baby sleep consultant, I still get asked often about the top baby sleep accessories on the market; a glorious little bag by KyteBABY has recently come in at the top of my list!
I know, I know, the title of this blog is ridiculous. It’s like a bunch of oxymorons all rolled into one hilarious, nonsensical line. But, it’s true – this sleep consultant, her husband, and her four-and-a-half-year-old, princess-loving, Minnie-mouse-adoring daughter, recently took Walt Disney World by storm. Here’s the tale of how we did it, while keeping sleep on track (for the most part!), and my top tips for doing Disney right, without sending your kiddo whirling into sleep debt.
As a sleep consultant, I get asked questions about every issue from Daylight Savings Time to crib jumping, and
everything in between that could possibly affect your little one’s sleep. However, the most common question I receive is about how families can get started with healthy sleep for their children.
There are, of course, many factors that play into a child’s proper sleep, but here are my top five tips for getting started on the right foot with amazing, healthy rest for your little one: