blog - well rested baby

Perhaps the “fall back” component of DST occurs just days after Halloween, because it often leaves parents looking like zombies and young children acting like goblins! Why is it so frightening? Because children who were previously waking at 6:30am will now be waking at 5:30am post time change if left to their own devices. But fear not, there are ways to aid your child in adjusting to the new time. Follow these tips and your transition will not be scary!

October is SIDS Awareness month. At WRB safe sleep practices and your child’s safety are our highest priorities. In fact, we hold SIDS for the Professional Certifications from the Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths. I know that most parents and childcare providers are familiar with SIDS, but take a moment to make sure you are up to date on all of the latest research and information:

(Photo by Harmon Weston Photography
Heather Andersen Family PhotoHeather officially joined Amy as a new member of the Well Rested Baby team in October of 2014. Heather first learned about Well Rested Baby when she saw a company postcard in one of the local children’s stores in Salem, MA, where she frequently shopped and participated in infant classes with her then 10-month-old daughter, Claire. At the time, Claire was sleeping pretty decently at night but Heather could just not get Claire to take more than 30-45 minute naps. After one particularly challenging napping day, Heather decided to call Amy and learn more about her services. Her first reaction when speaking to Amy on the phone was instant relief. Amy was delightful to speak with and made Heather feel so confident that Claire’s sleep issues were common and could easily be fixed. By making tweaks to Claire’s schedule, as well as giving tips and strategies to help her become a better self-soother, within a very short period of time, Claire was taking two wonderful naps each day as well as self-soothing wonderfully at all sleep periods. Heather was hooked. She immediately became a huge fan of Amy’s work and began following her blog, FB page and read many of Amy’s articles. A few months later, Heather again worked with Amy on Claire’s transition from two naps to one. As a person who has always loved science (Heather has an undergraduate minor in Science), she found the science behind sleep fascinating and became very interested in the work of a Pediatric Sleep Consultant.

Fast forward 2 years, to a few months ago, when Heather had the tremendous opportunity to join Well Rested Baby and work with Amy, someone that she had grown to respect enormously over the years, both professionally and personally. Heather was beyond excited to have the chance to help families in the same way that she had been helped over 2 years ago. Heather is a huge believer that healthy sleep habits are crucial to the entire family, not just children, and cannot wait to help deserving families get back to the rested state they weren’t sure was even possible. Helping children and entire families sleep better is incredibly rewarding work and Heather is so proud and honored to be part of Well Rested Baby.

Prior to joining Well Rested Baby, Heather was an Event Planner in the Financial Services Industry in New York City for over 5 years and holds a certificate in Meeting Planning & Event Management from New York University. Heather has also taught third grade and has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Born and raised in Wisconsin (yes, she is a Cheesehead and an avid Badger fan), she joined her then boyfriend, Will, in Hoboken, NJ in 2003 (Amy and Heather lived in Hoboken over a very similar time period yet never met!) and she and Will both fell in love with NYC and the surrounding areas. Extremely proud to now call New England home, Heather lives with her husband Will, their two children, Claire (3 years) and Charlie (10 months), and their 7-year-old Golden Retriever, Madison, in the wonderful community of Newburyport, Massachusetts.

I don’t know about you, but the recent talk about all of the viruses out there has me a bit on edge. I have been doing everything in my power to keep us all as healthy as possible this germ season. A 20+ second hand wash every ten minutes (well, not that often but you get the idea) – check. Apple a day – check. Anything and everything to keep our immune systems in gear. Do you know what else is a key part of keeping us healthy? SLEEP! So insist on it for your entire family (Dads, toddlers, high schoolers, infants – everyone!) as it is key in our defense against illness.

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 with six easy tips to ensure they are well rested for the year ahead.

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.