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

Alison

 

10 Holiday Sleep tips for you and your family.

I had a great plan to post this a week ago... This is when being a mom and a business owner is hard. The worst flu, that has ever been through our little house. The girls are both better but as I sit here posting this, I have an awful sore throat, the chills and am counting the moments before I can crawl into bed. Enjoy these holiday sleep tips:

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  1. Involve others. My kids love nothing more than having a favorite Uncle, Cousin or friend puts them to bed or help give them a bath. This will be a treat for your children and give you a night off.

  2. Think twice if you make huge changes in your children's routines, bedtimes and even toilet training. You might have the time off for the short term, but to see long-term success consistency is needed.

  3. Quiet time - on those busy days, everyone will need some down time. For younger ones, this might be a nap or a quiet snuggle. For older, maybe reading a new book. Take time to recharge.

  4. Protect your Child's sleep as much as possible. Being late because your child needs to finish their nap is a great reason for being late. 5.Benefits are twofold...your child will be happy with reduced chance of a meltdown and you can stay longer if you’re having fun. Put your child down ready to go out so all you have to do when they wake up go to the party. If you are traveling try leaving slightly earlier (30 minutes) and f you arrive early you can sit in the car while your child finishes their nap.

  5. Maintain consistent bedtimes. Try to keep bedtime consistent as much as possible. If a nap has been skipped try an earlier bedtime.

  6. Travelling- take your sleep environment with you. Pillow, noise machine, favourite story, night light if needed and anything else you think would help your child feel comfortable sleeping away from their bed.

  7. Try to plan a quiet couple of days after a busy day. This will allow some time to get back on schedule before the next event.

  8. Play host. If you are invited out for a drink ask if they would instead like to come to you.

  9. Watching the magic of the holidays with your kids is amazing and less is sometimes more. They might have fun at one party, but 10-holiday parties might be a little too much. Get a babysitter or kindly decline.

  10. Start some new holiday traditions for your family such as a pajama car ride to see the Christmas lights or new book for bedtime stories every night of advent or even a toy or game to do as a family on a quiet day.

A well-rested child is a blessing and helps to reduce the number meltdowns. If sleep gets interrupted not to fear. A couple of days back home on your Child's normal routine will help them reset their internal sleep clocks.

I am wishing you a very merry holiday season full of fun and happiness. If you do need help getting a better sleep routine, please contact me, I'd love to help.

xx Alison

How to Ease Children into the Fall Time Change

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November 5, 2017 at 2:00am, is the end of daylight savings and the joyous day of the year that you get an next hour of sleep…. Do you remember those days? They are a distant memory … Just like sleep, sleeping past 7am on the weekend for me.

The time change happens twice a year. If not prepared it can mess with everyone's sleep, especially childrens. We work so hard to get our children good quality sleep (night time and naps) along with a good routines. Changing sleep patterns, even by an hour can create challenges for your children.  

Adults usually take 1 day per hour of change while children can take a couple of weeks.  Even if it takes that long remember you will slowly get back into the routine.

The time change affects much more than just sleep. Our internal clocks take a few days to make the adjustments because our bodies are so complex. Sleep has a role in appetite, drive for rest, moods, emotions, immune system, stress, memory, learning and the list goes on.

#1 - Be prepared -understanding the complexity of sleep and creating a plan to systematically guide your children through this time change will help everyone. It will take a little work, but once they adjust they will be back to normal sleep patterns.

#2 - Learn from our children's past (if applicable) -  How have your kids adjusted to time changes? Have you tried to handle it cold turkey and run into problems? Have you had success with a gradual transition? If something has worked for your child this is a great starting point.  Building on your past experiences can help you create a plan for this year.

#3 - Use your current routine Your current sleep routine provides sleep cues for your children and helps them know it’s time to relax and sleep. Continue to use what they know and understand.

#4 - Give yourself time to make the time change adjustment A week to 3 days will help to make the change gradually and thus have less of an impact on your day to day life. See the examples at the end of this post.

#5 - Everyone is different Every child is different. Some kids are hardly bothered by the time change while other kids can be thrown for days. Try not to plan very busy days or important activities. Relax and let them adjust.  Follow your kids’ lead and watch for the sleep signs. (extra cranky and rubbing eyes).

#6 - Have a plan Just like sleep training by having a plan you have an increased chance of staying on track. You know what to expect with early wakings and when naps should be each day. Being organized really helps everyone adjust to make this a straightforward transition.

Conclusion
Be prepared, have a plan, start early, relax and continue to believe that you will get through the transition.

If you miss the boat entirely and all hell breaks loose for your family you can slowly adjust bedtimes after the time change.  The time change can be hard on everyone.

I’m always here to help. Feel free to leave a question on my Facebook page @cheekysleeper or email me at alison@cheekysleeper.com

xx Alison
 

Gradual bedtimes the week leading up to a time change to allow for a gradual introduction of adjusting bedtime.

Sunday Bedtime : 7:00 pm
Monday Bedtime : 6:50 pm
Tuesday Bedtime : 6:40 pm
Wednesday Bedtime : 6:30 pm
Thursday Bedtime : 6:20 pm
Friday Bedtime : 6:10 pm
Saturday Bedtime : 6:00 pm
Sunday Bedtime : 7:00 pm

*All naps and wake ups should be adjust approximately 10 minutes.
** If you start on Wednesday adjust 15 minutes a day for both naps and bedtime

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