We tent to start piling sweaters that will be stored on spring clean day. Sure is, this spring would bring lot of new memories and time outside with the little ones. If you are having concerns about how this time changing can affect your child sleep and how to be prepare for it, you are in the right place. Keep reading!
You basically have 2 options, and I would say given by your child own temperament. If you child is easy going and don’t get affected by daylight saving before, you can just go ahead and change the clock on Sunday night, and hope for the best next week. But if you know that he is sleep sensitive, and if you are late twenty minutes for bedtime that means crazy night, I suggest you go for a slower transition process.
Do the same with the meals, snacks and naps. That way you’ll help your child's mind and body to adapt better to the daylight saving time.
Psss.! Follow the same suggestions for yourself, it will help you too, plus is a good week to have a midday adult snooze!
Do you have any other sleep tip for spring sleep??
Leave a comment and share to get others know!
Yesterday I realized that now WE ARE 1100 on Facebook!!
Couldn't be happier and honestly, makes me reflect on how much has happened in so little time. All the mums I've spoken over the phone, how they had the courage to ask for help, all the mums and dad I've met at their homes and at MY OWN NEW OFFICE later on, all those emails and Facebook messages I've answered, all those sleepless stories becoming successful, how much I've learned... and this is just the beginning.
I want to thank all of you, mums and dads of any kind! For liking every post and learning along the way. We are a small community but I trust we will grow more and more in order to spread the word: Sleep coaching is not just about helping your baby sleep trough the night, is about listening to your baby's needs, educating yourself with science proved facts, and empowering you as a mother or a father, you CAN do this, I know you can, I'm here to help.
That's why I want to celebrate with you by giving away some of the most important products you need when setting a room for your child. I actually wrote about that about a while ago in a blog called "How to set a nursery to sleep". Over there you can read more about the whats and whys.
This is what you could win:
How to enter:
Below you'll see a little with box with the prizes-to-win. You can enter the contest by completing one (or all) the options in the box. If you are one of the 1100 likes on Facebook, then you have one safe entry. Now if you go follow us on a brand new Instagram, that will mean 2 more entries. Feel free to complete as many options as you wish.
The Giveaway starts on March 3 and ends on March 12. There is no purchase necessary and the contest is available for any person over 18, residing in Malt and Gozo. The only winner will be selected at random and contacted shortly after the end of the giveaway.
Good luck and sweet dreams!!!
UPDATE: The winner is...
ABOUT THE PRODUCTS:
Peace of mind at a glance – the innovative Gro-egg changes colour to let you know at a glance whether the temperature of a room is too low, too high or just right, helping you maintain a safe sleeping environment for your baby. As an added bonus it even works well as a gentle night light.
Gro Anywhere blind
Anyone who has stayed away from home with little ones will know that it can be tricky to create a snoozy sleeping environment when there is too much light flooding in. The versatile Gro Anywhere Blind has been designed to ‘go’ anywhere with you, and can be put in place in minutes. Attaches directly to the glass using suction cups, ensuring a close fit that really does block light properly
This New Improved version has Velcro fastening which is easy to use and quick to adjust, it also features a new stars and moon fabric design.
Sleepytot’s award winning baby comforters have little velcro paws which can hold onto dummies, soothers or teethers. The Millpond Child Sleep Clinic recommend our comforters as a way of helping little ones find their dummies easily at night and return to sleep without fully waking.
Sleep Consultation with Daniela Sleep Coach
In parenting there is no such thing as: “one size fits all”. Neither in sleep coaching. I offer you evidence-based solutions, based in the latest research, along with my extensive training and experience, to provide you with a highly personal service that fits your own family’s dynamic!
We will have a 1 hour 45 mins -at your home, my office or Skype- consultation where we will go over:
^ A detailed discussion of the history form and current sleep challenges
^ Sleep science and education
^ Routines and sleeping patterns
^ Ruling out medical conditions
^ Your goals and wishes
^ Appropriate sleep coaching methods
^ A step by step plan
This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Gro group international LTD or Sleepytot Baby Comforters.
Today I woke up at 4am-ish, When wondering what was going on and why wasn't I able to fall right back asleep it hit me: time changing is tomorrow! Yeah, for probably for most of you the change is normal, but from where I come from we don't have it, is not a spring-fall thing that everyone grows up used to.
they would if you let them) or that you want to try an earlier bedtime routine and this is a great opportunity to have it done, But what if you have actually concerns and let's say your kid has been waking up at 6.30 am for the last weeks, From tomorrow that might look like 5.30 am and you might not feel too comfortable with it, in a rainy Sunday morning and days to come, right? so tomorrow you can try to move the naps and meal times a bit later, from 10 min to 30 min later and bedtime. Always keep an eye on your child's sleep cues and if needed have an extra nap in the car or make bedtime earlier, By next week you should be right on the new "normal" time. To help you during this transition You also can follow this 4 clock changing tips to stay in time:
1. Expose your child to sunlight
I know weather is getting colder, but exposing your child to early morning sunlight will help your child's circadian rhythm to adapt better to the time change, so if you are not up for a walk in the morning, you could stay close to the windows and source of sunlight indoors.
2. Focus in naps
Remember sleep begets sleep. Your child sleep habits not just find benefices when napping but not allowing your child to take a nap hoping that will make nights easier seems like the way to go but it's not necessarily true in many cases. Some toddlers +3 years old can go one day without a nap and still have good night sleep. During this week, do what you need to do to have them napping. That way they will be well rested by the "later" bedtime.
3. Do dramatic wake up
When your child wakes up at 5.30 am tomorrow morning, you want keep his room dark and quiet, check on your child and remind him that is not time to wake up yet. Once clock as mark the "allowed" wake up time, if you are still in the room go ahead and leave the room for one minute, come back and sing a morning song, open curtains or blinds, and say "Good morning" that way your child will know how to make a difference between the right time to wake up.
4. Keep realistic expectations.
If you follow a more strict schedule it might be difficult for your child to adapt to a ONE hour shift in just one day. Keep that in mind and allow yourself a more gentle and flexible process, get into small time frames per day until you get into the time you want to be, observe your child seek sleep windows and respond constantly to his needs.
Also remember that you and your child might be feeling a bit odd for a couple of days, be ready, get cozy and enjoy the indoor moments!
Is there any other tip families should know about?, Like and comment to have others know more how to fall right into the autumn time!
Some parents arrange a space of their own room or a whole other room for the new baby. Some wait a little longer for the new room and some don’t bother about any babyish environment. All of you are fine in doing whatever fits your family's dynamic best. Thing is that with Sophia the First theme or baby blue, the place where the kids sleep matters.
First of all it needs to be safe. If your baby is a newborn up to 6 months, please be sure to read the recommendations of the Maltese Paediatric Association to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Secondly, it should invite your kids to sleep. Since babies connect with their environment through their senses, there are ways to adjust their surroundings in order to help them to sleep better and longer:
Make room darker
Melatonin, the hormone that helps us to feel sleepy gets released in the dark.
This tip is especially important and sometimes even necessary for naptime when daylight makes it harder for kids to sleep. It’s okay to use a night lamp or those small lights that can be plugged. I would avoid stimulating lights like stars dancing on the ceiling, they are cute for sure but for a baby it can be too stimulating. To make the room darker you can get some black out curtains, shades or even go for a DIY route and just cover your child's window with black contact paper or a piece of cardboard cutted down to the size of the window.
If you are feeding during the night or if your child wakes up during the night for any other reason, instead of putting the lights on, use a dimmer or the night lamp to avoid encouraging the middle of the night awakenings.
Felling too hot or too cold can certainly wake up a sleeping baby. Check the temperature of the room and take notice that over 24° Celsius is too hot and you should cool the room as much as you can. Dress your baby in just a vest and use a sheet instead of a blanket. Between 20°C-24°C is still quite warm and is recommended to dress your baby in a babygrow or pyjamas with a blanket or a summer sleeping bag. For babies under 3 months old, dress them in a vest and a babygrow, use a blanket or a sleeping bag in the proper size to your baby.
The comfortable recommendations are between and 16°- 20°celsius. Dress your baby in a vest and cotton babygrow or a blanket if your baby is in age. Under 16 degrees is considered too cold, Warm up the room before you put your baby to bed. Your baby may wake in the night from being too cold and if potty trained, accidents may occur. Dress your baby in a vest, cotton babygrow, thick sleeping bag or blanket.
Try to dress your baby in 100% cotton clothing and stick to 100% cotton blankets, sheets and sleeping bags if you can too, as there's less risk of overheating in these. Polyester clothes don't let the skin breathe and can cause overheating.
You can find night lamps that measure the temperature and light colour changes depending on the temperature.
Using white noise is a life saver for many families. And it's because when babies were in the womb, they were listening to the noises outside, the blood pumping on the placenta and silent wasn’t exactly the rule.
White noise to give you an idea is basically the sound of a vacuum cleaner, or TV/radio without signal. Is not just soothing for babies –and adults, but helps to cover outside noises, from barking dogs to gathering in the other room. In my house, it helps to cover my toddler's natural loudness so her sister can have her morning nap without interruptions. The happiest baby website says that “To boost sleep the sound should be a bit quieter than a vacuum cleaner, just as loud as a shower, but still rough, like the womb or hairdryer sound”. Now days you can find white noise machines, Cd's, dvd’s, application, toys and even baby monitors that can play the frequency.
Make air circulate
Wherever your child is asleep or awake it should always be in a smoke FREE area. Also it’s important that the room is clean and there is a good air circulation. If possible, leave the window open during the day and/or during the night.
Diffusing essential oils can actually help clean and purify the air in your child’s room, and can also be used to help with respiratory problems. Some parents use essentials oils such as lavender or roman chamomile (and others) at bath time or massages as part of bedtime routine. I like to use eucalyptus during winter months. Be sure to ask your paediatrician before if you have any concern.
Keep colours neutral
The colours of the walls and even bedding choices can affect your child sleep patterns. I love chevron patterns for example but black chevron in bed sheets can keep a baby awake or make a baby more anxious. Choose calming and soothing colours and non toxic and odourless paints.
Keep entertainment outside
I mean keep toys, tablets, or TV outside the room or at least out of view. I know some days picking up toys is not in the kids or parents list. But an untidy bedroom or sleep area for instant, makes place to run creativity –in kids especially. Trying to fall asleep or go back to sleep while the fire truck is just there next to the baby's bed can be frustrating and overstimulating. That goes to mobiles and toys in or attached to the crib, some might not even be safe but also they can send the message of playtime instead of sleeping.
Studies such as this and this one have shown that kids that sleep with TV in their room sleep or other electronic devices end up sleeping less in and more restless than their peers with not devices allowed in their rooms. Remember to limit the use of electronic devices at least the last hour before bedtime, not just interferes with the soothing calming wind down purpose of the routine but with the hormone release that help them to feel sleepy.
All these are tips that can help an infant -and an adult- to sleep better and longer, however if your baby or toddler has a sleep problem or sleep association black out shades won’t be enough. Check out theother posts for more tips or contact me for a FREE 15 min consultation, I can help you to get your sleep back!
Try it out and let me know how it goes, until the next post!
Also, you might already know that many studies have shown that sleep deprivation can negatively affect learning and behaviour. *
To help you get through this transition, here few tips to make ease the way:
First: change your child´s bedtime before school actually starts.
Find out at what time your child should be awake in order to make it to school in time. Then, take in consideration how much sleep your child needs. And start the transition. If your 4 year old should be awake by 7:00 am and we know he should have around of 11 ½ hours of sleep during the night. His bedtime should be around 19:00 ish.
If during summer time your 4 year old was going to sleep at around 21:00 you can make the transition a) the night before school and brace yourself, or my favourite option b) use the days you have from today until school starts to slowly and gently adjust your child´s sleep time. You might want to make bedtime earlier 30 min at the time, per day. Say on Friday at 20:30, Saturday at 20:00, Sunday at 19:30, Then on Monday, aim to have your child asleep by 19:00. While you start to make those changes, don’t allow your child to sleep in the morning, start reducing the sleep time in the morning with same criteria (30 mins).
Second: Strength your bedtime routine and beyond.
Now that you have your “new” bed-time, go over the activities you have been allowing for the past months then you might want or should change to:
- Use a nap. If your child is over 3 years old he probably stopped napping by now, but still wouldn’t hurt to have a short nap every now and then or some quiet time during the day. Just keep in mind to make it early afternoon, specially when kids finish school early! If your kids come back from school and activities at 1600, opt for an earlier bedtime instead.
- Limit tablet, phone, TV, at least 1 hour before bedtime.
- Give a banana before bed. It’s a tip that has been going around on a Mum Facebook Group I’m a part of. And for some, it works wonders! and swear by it. They say it helps with night terrors, I will say it could if the night terror is happening because of a drop of sugar levels during the night. Just remember to give it at around 40 mins before, brush teeth afterwards and keep in mind that if the banana doesn't pull out the trick, the first cause of night terrors and nightmares is sleep deprivation.
- Check out the 7 Secrets of an effective Bedtime routine.
- Limit drinks in the last hour before going to bed. That to avoid your child to wake up because another trip to the potty or because he wet the bed, or a dirty diaper in the middle of the night.
Third: Be consistent.
If you know me, you know that I don’t get tired of stressing this out. When we are tired after a long day or week of work, its hard to findthe key to being a consistent parent, but don't give in! Keep it at around the same hours for bedtime and the same hours for waking up, Everyday!, even during the weekend.
(*)You did't know about the studies? Here are some of them:
Do you have any other sleep tip for school time??
Leave a comment and share to get others know!
Some parents look forward for their kids bedtime knowing that it would go smooth and soon after their kids would be charging energies for the next day. For others, is the most challenging part of the day, it comes with tears, screams sometimes for both parties included. If you are in need for some tips when creating the routine, or yours doesn't seem to work quite yet, have a look to these proven and tested secrets of an effective bedtime routine:
1. TIME IT
Check how many hours your child should be sleeping per day. If your child is still taking naps, calculate that the time between his last nap and bedtime doesn’t exceed 4 hours, that way he is not too tired to sleep (yeah, that IS possible!). Also, take time aside for the bedtime routine; you don’t want to end up with an over an hour routine or rushing things up in 10 min. Half an hour should be fine.
I would like you to take a look at what happens before the bedtime routine. Probably there is dinner and while you are cleaning up the kitchen the TV is on, the kids are playing video games, or they eat watching Curious George on the tablet, then you put them in bed and takes ages for them to finally give up to sleep.
But what if one day you don’t get the same response? What if your child says s/he needs an extra hug just after you left his room? I mean they need your hug, why would you deny it, right? Then you set your limit and the way you will respond. If you say “this is the last time I’ll…” You need to mean it! And mean it for real. Or else your child would insist in trying to discover how many more times can they get out of bed and delay sleep time.
Who should you empower? Your kids! By creating a routine they feel comfortable with, they’d feel in control of. Knowing what to expect gives them control. Talk and describe what is happening and what is next (yes, even if your baby is just a few days old). As your child is growing-up you can let them switch of the light on the way out of the bathroom, choose the pijama they would like to wear or the book they would like you to read. Keep it easy and accessible, two options at the times is enough.
Do it by reading a book ...or well 3 books in my case. Or by nursing and caressing his ear, by playing with their toes or braiding their hair, meditating, do breathing exercises or giving a massage before saying your prayers together. Scientists assure that a strong parent-child tie provide the baby’s first model for relationships and cultivate a sense of security and self-esteem. Tell them how much you love them, how much they meant to you, how proud you are of who they are.
6. WRAP IT UP
Every day before I went to bed I would like to replay what I’ve done for that day (mostly images; laughing or crying; new things my kids tried or how tired I was by breakfast :). There were highlights and there were bad moments and I started realising how on some days with difficult experiences it was harder to let go and get in the mood to sleep.
I realised Lu had difficulties letting go and was worst after a special event, e.g. when her sister first birthday came, Lu wouldn't sleep, she would cry and shout “pa-r-ty paaa-r-ty paaa-r-ty!”. When I started using it with my girls the response was amazing: Her eyes would pop up as if knew what she was thinking. While we help them to get dress for the night I would go with a really calm voice something like: “Today was a long day, Today was Lala’s birthday, we put up some balloons and Nanna came over, we read some books, sang and played. You helped daddy prepared the cake, umm the cake was so good wasn't it?"- Keep in mind what catches your child’s attention during the day, this more probably will be part of one their night dreams; Lu would screech “caaaake, caaaake! - Yes, at dinner time you got a bit upset because we couldn’t find your blue plate. You had so many emotions. - look at your child’s face, offer empathy and a hug if needed-. Then we sang happy b-day and you helped Lala to blew the candle, how much fun we had! - and we went to the bath, got all cleaned and now it’s time to rest. It’s been a long, great day! now sun has gone to bed and it’s our turn to do the same, a hug, I love you, I will put you in the bed now”. The acknowledgement of their emotions at bedtime gives a feeling of closure and it helps to make a smoother transition into a good night’s sleep.
Trust your child, your baby, your toddler, a capable human being. Sleep is a learned skill and I invite you to trust that your child is able to learn that skill. Place your newborn drowsy but awake in bed. Those first months you might need to use some rocking here and there which is fine, but try to do it just half way, until they are calm and in drowsy stage so they can work in learning the skill. After the big 4th/5th growth spurt the transition is usually easier and soon they would learn the skill. If you have a toddler who is still rocked to sleep you might need some extra tips, but you don’t need to give up your night sleep for it. Ask for help!
Trust also yourself! You are capable to offer your child the opportunity to learn. YOU ARE the best expert in your child and by observing you are able to detect patterns that might be keeping him awake. Trust your instincts and if you believe there is a medical reason, have your Doctor check it out since some sleep disturbances can be caused by medical conditions and not just behavioural.
What is your favourite bedtime secret?
Wishing you sweet dreams,
My idea for today's topic is to write about the effects of sleep deprivation. There begins the investigation and found this study were the sample was of 2.463 kids between ages 6 -15 and the result suggests that kids with sleep related problems show inadvertent napping, inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity.
Then this other study concludes that kids with current Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) “exhibited hyperactivity, attention problems, aggressivity, lower social competency, poorer communication, and/or diminished adaptive skills”.
As you can see there are plenty of symptoms that fit in both conditions, Could the sleep disorder be mistaken for ADHD or could the ADHD be causing the sleep disorder?
Nowadays diagnoses of children -and adults- with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are on the rising. It seems to be the answer to many stressed families that struggle to keep their kids calm and to adults who have problem getting up in the morning and keeping their life organised. Truth is that we are all more distracted than ever before with the technology present in every step of our lives. It makes it difficult to stay focused and unplug when we need to.
But ADHD symptoms can be shown when other conditions are present such as “undiagnosed vision and hearing problems, substance abuse (marijuana and alcohol in particular), iron deficiency, allergies (especially airborne and gluten intolerance), bipolar and major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and even learning disabilities like dyslexia, to name a few” says behavioural neurologist, Dr. Richard Saul in this article.
So, yes I would say that the similarities in the symptoms could lead to misdiagnoses; especially when most health providers are not educated in sleep healthy habits (same way they are not experts on breastfeeding for example) plus it is a cultural believe that it is normal that kids don’t sleep. Sadly the situation make families even feel guilty for wanting to have a decent night sleep ending in sleep related problems sink for years and medical conditions are not taken in notice.
Sleep Disordered Breathing (SBD) conditions for instant can cause long term effects. A longitudinal study done in more than 11.000 children from age 6 months old to 7 years concludes that “early-life SDB symptoms had strong, persistent statistical effects on subsequent behaviour in childhood. Findings suggest that SDB symptoms may require attention as early as the first year of life.”
The Sleep Lady in this article suggests what I paraphrase in here:
To rule out any SDB condition, look at your child, observe them in their awake and sleep. You need to look for snoring, loud breathing or apparently stop breathing. You can ask your health provider to check your child's tonsils and adenoids to verify that their size is not causing any disturbance in their sleep. Follow your instincts and get the appropriate help you and your family needs.
First of all, welcome to my page! And Happy Fathers Day to all the lovely dad’s out there.
This first post is dedicated to them, or sort of. Recently I came across to this post Stress: Husbands A Bigger Source Of Stress Than Kids For Nearly Half Of Moms (well actually a Spanish version of it) and I could feel totally related with it. I mean I have 4 kids, the two girls I was pregnant with, my husband and the dog –as most people say-. Yeah, that can be frustrating!
So, I remembered a day when talking with one of my therapists, I was explaining to her how much my husband helps. I explained that he does the dishes, he bathes the girls, he takes them to the park, he cooks, he hangs clothes, he plays and reads books at night, etc. Yep, there I was, all so proud to have found such a lovely man that I want to punch in the face every now and then.. (shhhh!)
She said -“Wait, he actually does not help”-, and I thought -“oh my! I, babbling in spanglish again and she didn’t get word of what I was saying :/?”- Then she said: -“No, no I hear you, But he is not helping YOU!-”
I was shocked. I mean I already felt lucky, because I know in others families and cultures the expectations are low below, daddy usually just works even when mama also does. So, what was she trying to say then? What else could he do? -“Exactly!”- she said, -“He does what he’s supposed to do!”-. You don’t help as a mother to feed your child or change a diaper, you just do it because forms part of a being a mum. Take care of your kids, keep them clean, healthy and happy is not helping your husband. Why do we woman insist that the father should help, like they are a less parent than we are?
The father should be a father, that’s all. If you ask a mum what her work is, she’ll say: being a mum and maybe a wife and she also works in an office during the week. If you ask about daddy, daddy works. He is tired. Wait, what?
Daddy is a parent. Daddy is not there to help mummy. Daddy is there to raise children, with you or alone. Or with another daddy. This article talks about it, when we see the father as a support for us and no as a part of a team. It’s curious that this despair is not only seeing in heterosexual relationships, but also in lesbian couples with kids. So, why is that?
For me it was like a revelation. The deal is that when we underestimate the father relationship with the kids, we make it always less and that doesn’t really help them to make them feel good enough to at least try to be the father we want them to be they want to be!
Since that day I started noticing that that’s the way we referred to the father’s: -he helps a lot- or -just a bit-. -No, he doesn’t help- Or he is not even around-. It’s our responsibility as a partner to let them be feel part of it. Bit by bit let them create that special bond with the kids, because even though they spent 9 months inside of us they would say dada first, (both of mine did it -.-!) Our kids deserve that, and we parents deserve that also.
I part knew that whoever I choose to be married with should “help” around the house. I never realised that is not a matter of help but commitment was I was looking for. A person committed to his family.
So, you get it right? How do you change it then? Because, and I know, if you don’t ask for help they don’t know what to do! Easy: make a list of things that has to be done. Let them choose, even the kids can have a chore. Is not about you sharing –your- chores (as a mum) but about all the family working together to achieve their goals.
And what does all of this have to do with sleep training? Well, a lot more that what you think, most of the time we mothers are so tired of rocking, shushing, leaving our bed at the middle of the night to go check on the kids, that we don’t give even a chance to the daddy’s to try. I can even hear some voices saying “of course because they don’t know what to do!!”, but, what if we let them find their way? Their gentle father way?! Let’s leave them connect with their kids and read them, find solutions and let them surprise us! Let’s give them a chance to parent!
So there you go, to my husband that doesn’t help, my apologies for underestimating you,
You are a great Daddy!
To my father and to the others father’s that don’t help I wish you all a Happy Fathers Day!
Daniela S. Mendez
I've been blessed with two girls that have been my best school and inspiration. I know what it feels to have your whole life affected for lack of sleep, to be too tired to function! Now as a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach® my goal is to help your family to have the sleep you deserve.
Contact me to grab your proven and excellent quality sleep advise!