Well Rested Baby -

Did you know that many recent studies have shown a direct correlation between adequate sleep and academic success? Is your child getting all the sleep they need to be their best this school year? Check out my article on bostonparentspaper.com with six easy tips to ensure they are well rested for the year ahead. http://bostonparentspaper.com/blog/6-easy-ways-to-ensure-your-school-age-child-is-getting-enough-zzzs/

8360825449_bfe460f02c_oQuite often I receive new client forms in which a parent informs me that they have previously tried sleep training and it didn’t “work” for their child. Clearly they are open to trying again or they wouldn’t have reached out to me, but let’s discuss why their past attempt failed? Was it:

A) Because they were not consistent
B) Because their child was not on a schedule conducive to their age
C) Because their child is chronically overtired
D) Because they just have a terrible sleeper

Hint, the correct answer is not D. Of course that is never the case as all children can be great sleepers if given the right tools. Option A, B, C or a combo of the three are always to blame when sleep training goes awry.

Consistency – In the world of sleep consulting you will hear this word a lot. This is because being consistent is the key to your child understanding your expectations. If one day you respond to his night waking by leaving him to go back to sleep on his own and the next you rock him to sleep, how will he know which you expect? So consistency, consistency, consistency!

Schedule – Why is a schedule so important? For a few reasons: First, it is important to have your child on a sleep schedule that is in sync with their inner biological clock or circadian rhythm, because this ensures that they will have the easiest time falling asleep and staying asleep. Sleeping at these correct times will also allow your child to get the best quality and most restorative sleep possible. Second, because having a schedule and a consistent routine allows your child to understand what to expect. Children truly thrive on routine and this is no different when it comes to their sleep. Lastly, sleeping on the correct schedule for your little one’s age will allow them to remain well rested and not to become dreadfully overtired.

Overtiredness – Rather than re-invent the wheel, I will let my friend and colleague Joleen Dilk Salyn of Baby Sleep 101 explain this one. Please read her thorough and eloquent explanation on just how much havoc overtiredness can reek on your child’s sleep. “Overtiredness – the Root of All Sleep Training Evil”.

If this all sounds all too familiar to you and teaching your child self soothing skills has failed in the past, take care to ensure these 3 things are in place and give it another go. With them included in your plan, I am willing to bet this time it will go much better.

Is your child a terrible sleeper? Oh well, better luck next time . Of course I am kidding! I often here from parents that have labeled their child as such and the truth is that their is no such thing. All kids can be great sleepers, they just need to be taught this important biological skill. It’s not as tricky as you may think. Here are my tips: http://hoboken.mommies247.com/hot-topics/well-rested-baby-sleep-tip-all-children-can-be-great-sleepers/

photoI live in a 250 year old home sans central air. This past week when my husband lugged the window units into my daugthers’ rooms and their once perfectly pitched black rooms became sun filled, I was determined to find a solution. 15 minutes, one roll of packing tape, and one $5.97 redi-shade blackout blind later their rooms are back to their cave like state. I simply cut 18 inches from the bottom of the shade and then cut it in half to divide it into two sections (one for each side of the AC).  I made sure that they were taller than the actual air conditioner so that they would over lap a bit when the main shade came down.  I taped these side peices with the “accordions” in the vertical direction to both the window frame and the air conditioner. I was careful to use as little tape as possible on the frame as I do not want to mess up the paint! I then took the top portion of the blind, cut it to fit my window, stuck it up using the self adhesive, and voila – a perfectly dark window with air conditioning unit!  Best of all when the main shade is clipped up you can not see it at all.  I also have vinyl pull down shades that typically go under my fabric black out curtains which I will pull down too over the top black out shade to the top of the AC unit (yes, I am obsessed with a dark room!).  Also, please note the pink card tape on one side as a flap that goes over the LED lit control panel.  Those little lights can reek havoc too and it is a good practice to cover up any in bedrooms rooms.  Happy Summer everyone and stay cool!

While expecting my first child, I thought I had prepared for everything. We read the baby books, took child birth and breast feeding classes, bought all the latest and greatest gear….too bad we forgot about one very important thing: SLEEP! As clueless new parents, we just thought our daughter would sleep anytime and anywhere and we were sadly mistaken. If you are now facing this reality, this one is for you! Newborn Sleep 101 http://northshorema.macaronikid.com/article/723175/newborn-sleep-101

Sleep training, simply put, means teaching our children a new set of expectations about sleep. In that light, I believe that this article not only presents a very helpful way to think about parenting in general, but also about our role when it comes to our children’s sleep. For me, this sums it up best: “They need to know that they have a leader who will help them to comply with rules and boundaries in the face of their No’s, and not be intimidated by their displeasure and disagreement. They need parents who can be capable leaders (so capable that we actually make it look easy), not just Good Time Charlies, people who they sense deep down have their very best interests, health and good character in mind.” http://www.janetlansbury.com/2013/05/toddler-discipline-that-works-its-about-our-attitude/