Safe Sleep

Newborn Sleep Tips

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     You are a new parent and are having trouble with sleep. Your not alone, sleepless nights in the first few months are normal but there are a few ways you can help create a better routine for your baby. I don’t generally start working with families until their little one is at least 4 months (adjusted). This is when babies will start to string sleep cycles together as weight gain has been established and risk of SIDS has started to reduce.

Here are some Tips:

  • Work on Healthy Sleep Habits
  • Keep wake times short those under 4 months …. (45 minutes to 1.15 hours) 
  • Put baby to sleep awake but drowsy
  • Try to limit the feeding to sleep. Move the last feeding before bedtime to earlier in the bedtime routine. 
  • Create short routines throughout the day. Wake, eat, play. This creates a pattern that you will find easy to reproduce over and over again.
  • Around 2 months start to create “day and night distinction".
    • Day (7 am - 7 pm) happy cheerful voice, lots of light, change to daytime outfit (this can just be clean Pj’s)
    • Night (7 pm - 7 am) calm, dark, quiet.
  • Start a short soothing bedtime/nap time routine. This is more for the parents at this  stage but helps create the relaxed environment conducive to sleep.
  • Asking for help at night is okay. Split the night and take shifts. You wake to feed and your partner deals with the other waking but do what works for your family.
  • New borns will typically sleep 16 - 17 hours in a 24 hour period.

It’s really hard with young babies not to compare your child's sleep with others the same age, live your reality and don't feel unnecessary pressure to get your baby to sleep through the night.  Once your baby reaches 4 - 6 months they should be able to get 8-12 hours stretches. Sleep is a really big deal for most new parents. Take the time and ask for help when you feel ready.  

I'm always happy to help 

Happy Sleep



Bye Bye Crib - tips for transitioning Crib to a Bed

Preparing your child for the transition from crib to bed is a scary milestone for many parents and a challenge I am working on with my own child at the moment with this very transition.

I am a very big believer in waiting to transition your toddler until they are 2.5- 3 years. Many people start the transition prior to this for many reasons, including welcoming a new child or having a climber. If you are welcoming a new child I highly recommend if you can just get a second crib. Maintaining a safe place to put your older child can be invaluable for the first months after welcoming your new baby. If you have an early climber (like mine) establish a firm rule of “no climbing” to keep this at bay. If this is happening at night this can also be addressed with a silent return. If they continue than for everyones peace of mind making an early transition might be needed.

My youngest “A” is 2.7 months old now. She is mature enough to understand sleep rules. She is an excellent sleeper and clearly ready to proceed to a bed. “A” is toilet trained, is a skilled crib climber and uses the ends like a ladder.

To prepare her for the transition to a bed have started to introduce a ready to wake clock while she is still in her crib.  In addition we will be moving many of her toys and books out of her room. This is two fold. First is to reduce the number of distractions in her room and second to ensure her room is safe for her to roam around in without our watchful eye.t is also recommended to secure closet doors and ensure all furniture is secured to the walls.

Start an open dialogue with your family about sleep rules. Have a family meeting to talk about sleep. What are your family rules.  “Stay in your bed until Mom and Dad get you.” “You  can always get up to use the washroom” “Allow others to sleep.” Explain why sleep is important to everyone. By 2.5 years a child should be able to understand these types of basic rules.

Start to create excitement for your child in growing up. Let them help you by picking out new big kid bedding, help with decor or even a special new lovey to keep them company. Talk about how this is another step in becoming a big kid. Her new bed is close to the ground so I don’t have to worry about huge falls. Alternatively place your mattress on the floor to allow time for your child to become more comfortable with sleeping in a bed not a crib.

As parents you need to be ready for a few rocky days during the transition. Come up with a written approach of how you will deal with night waking, bedtime pop-ups and the early wakings. All of these are normal occurrences. Your child has a new level of freedom and will your limits. Maintain a clear and consistent approach to all these challenges to allow you to quickly deal with any problems. You know I am always here if you need any additional support.

As I enter this new stage of parenting I am preparing. No Cribs and No Diapers. Wow how did this happen so fast!!!!! I admit to feeling apprehensive but am systematically getting ready as she is ready. Wish me luck as I wish you luck. If you need any additional support during this transition or any other please feel free to reach out. I'm happy to help 

xx Alison



Safe Sleep 101

I have started and re started this post and although I have been interrupted a million times I am determined to share  this important information.  

I summarized two great articles about the basics of safe sleep and prevention of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The first is Recommendation for a Safe Sleep Environment by the American Academy of Pediatrics from October 2016. The second article was by by the Safe Sleep for Babies by the Canadian Association of Paediatrics.  I used this information to compile the following list of information.

As parents SIDS is a scary thought and it’s heartbreaking to even think of. As a sleep child consultant I feel my role is to educate the public on safe sleep.  Reducing your risk factors will add to your child's safety and your peace of mind while they are sleeping.

  1. Babies should always sleep on their backs until the age of 1 year old. Once they start moving please let them sleep as they are but alway put them down on their backs.  

  2. Room Sharing - allowing your child to be close for easy feedings, changing and the feeling of closeness up to 6 months to 1 year of age.

  3. Alone - Always place your child to  sleep alone in an approved crib. The crib should include only your baby.

  4. A firm approved mattress is also recommended.  A soft mattress could develop indentations that could be problematic to your child's health if they get trapped.

  5. The mattress should be covered with a well fitting sheet (ideally a fitted sheet) and there should be nothing else in the crib.  This means NO bumpers, pillows, blankets, toys, stuffed animals or anything else that might suffocate, entrap or strangle the child.A wearable blanket is perfect for keeping your child warm as it reduces the risk of covering the baby’s head or causing entrapment.

  6. Keep the bedroom dark. You might only have a nightlight for you to see by. Room darkening curtains are very helpful to create this environment.

  7. Keep the room cool (18-20 celsius or 68-72 fahrenheit) and be careful not to overheat your child. Signs of overheating including sweating and/or the child’s chest feels hot to touch.  If your child falls asleep when you are out please also be careful using carseat and stroller covers as these can reduce airflow and increase the risk of overheating.

  8. Avoid exposure to smoke or secondhand smoke during pregnancy and postpartum. Avoid drinking alcohol and using illicit drugs. It is especially important to not consume alcohol or drugs prior to bed sharing, as any impairment of the adult greatly increases the risk of SIDS.

  9. Breastfeeding is recommended in reducing SIDS risk. This isn’t to say that bottle feeding is dangerous. I always say fed is best whatever the method. I have a formula fed and breastfed baby so fully understand both sides.

  10. Using a soother has also been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. This includes when a baby is sleeping and the pacifier falls out.  A pacifier should not be attached to a string or your child or propped to stay in your child's mouth as any of these can increase the risk of suffocation or strangulation.  If your child will not take a soother early on try again when your child is a little older. It is recommended to wait until breastfeeding is established before introducing a soother. Evidence is insufficient on the effects of thumbsucking and the reduction of SIDS.

  11. Consistent prenatal care is an essential component of having a healthy baby as well as regular medical checks with your health care practitioner.

  12. Immunize your child as per the guidelines.  This also reduces the chance of SIDS as many of these visits also include health checks and information on the well being of your baby.

  13. Skin to skin contact is also important to relax the baby before putting them in the crib. I often did this in the morning when we woke up. It used to be my favourite time of day. Those moments were so special. But if you are about to fall asleep please place your baby in their crib. Another risk for SIDS are children sleeping on sleeping parents chests on chairs and couches.  

Here’s to safe sleep for you and your family.

Xx Alison