As 2016 draws to a close, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the different sleep issues I tackled this year. I covered baby, toddler, and even parent sleep, as well as multiple sleep challenges such as coaching twins, night terrors, and those ever-tricky naps!
Here are 16 top posts of 2016:
Tips For the Early Riser
So many parents reach out to me because their child is sleeping well…until 4 or even 5:00 a.m. They are ecstatic that their baby is “sleeping through the night,” until they wake at the literal crack of dawn. I’ve found that when children are waking up well before it’s time, there are often 6 potential causes that parents need to consider that may be at the root of the issue.
My Child is Refusing Their Nap
In this post, I answered Lauren’s question:
“My 20-month-old sleeps great at night but fights napping in his crib. He just stands and screams at the top of his lungs forever. If we’re in the car or stroller he’ll pass out. How do I correct this?”
What Every Parent Needs to Know About Night Terrors
Night terrors are something that no parent wants to deal with. They’re sudden, loud, scary, and often start and stop without warning. Thankfully, they’re likely more frightening for you than for your child, though it’s quite scary hearing your child scream awake shortly after falling asleep.
Then there’s the question of whether or not what your child is experiencing is actually a night terror and not just a nightmare. So how do you know the difference?
Sleep Coaching with Two Children Sharing a Room
In this post, I answered Zion’s question:
“My nine-month-old wakes for bottles during the night that I know he doesn’t need. Sometimes it’s as often as every three hours. I’m guessing he can’t put himself back to sleep. My older two were the same until I cut out bottles altogether; but, they were older when I did this. He’s still just a baby and he shares a room with my four-year-old daughter. I’m constantly worried that he’ll wake her up. I give him the bottle, otherwise, it can be up to two hours of restless sleep. How do I manage sleep coaching with two children sharing a room?”
Safety Tips for the Accidental Co-Sleeper
There are lots of things to which we might say “not me” before having children. Maybe we think we will never leave the house without makeup on. Or maybe we used to look at the frustrated parents in line at the grocery store and we silently promised ourselves that we will be more prepared when we shop with a toddler.
And then we have our first (or second, or third) child and realize parenting is a bit harder than you thought. You suddenly find yourself purchasing gadgets that you didn’t expect and doing things you never thought you would do – whether it’s doing a sniff test diaper check or co-sleeping when you didn’t plan on it.
Bed Sharing vs. Room Sharing
Those without children may not think about it, but when parents say that babies take over every aspect of their lives, that includes bedtime. Babies can’t simply count sheep and go to sleep. They need to be close to their parents to feel secure. If you’re a parent, you may believe that sharing a sleeping space with your child is a must. However, different co-sleeping approaches can have very different outcomes, so it’s best to be educated.
Tips for Getting Quality Sleep at All Ages (Adults Included)
Although my work is primarily focused on babies and sleep, I believe a good night’s sleep is essential for all ages from infancy to adulthood.
In recognition of The National Sleep Foundation’s annual Sleep Awareness Week, I have put together a list with links to some of my favorite articles to help you and your family get quality sleep each night.
The Sleep Lady Responds to a Sleep Training Study
You may wonder, does it really matter which sleep training method you use with your child or will they learn to go to sleep on their own eventually? Will any method harm a child’s psyche or ability to attach? This discussion is ongoing among those who study and write about sleep training methods as well as among parents of babies the world over.
A recent sleep trial of only 43 children from Australia was designed to answer these kinds of questions. The researchers sought to evaluate short-term stress, potential effects on attachment over a year, and the sleep/wakefulness of infants who underwent two different sleep training methods.
Sleep Coaching Twins
Being a parent of twins is a job requiring full-on commitment with many challenges. It is a role both fabulous and flabbergasting, with days filled with so many moments of wonder and excitement…but also exhaustion. Sleep can be a particularly elusive concept for many parents of new babies. It can be a monumental task to figure out how to help one baby settle and sleep, but then add another baby to the mix- and things can get a little dicey!
Gentle sleep coaching may very well be the answer to your (and your twins’) sleepless nights. Similar to sleep coaching a singleton, sleep coaching twins can help restore a sense of normalcy and sleep for all.
How to Wean from the Pacifier
In this post, I answer Holly’s question:
“My nine-month-old still wakes up four times a night for apparently no reason. Any advice? I give her water in the night and her dummy (pacifier). She generally goes back to sleep until maybe 5:30 a.m. and then it seems we start our day with a grouchy baby. She sleeps from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight and then is up sporadically until 6:00 a.m.”
How Dad Can Help During a Sleep Regression
Often times, when a new baby joins the family an older sibling, will “forget” how to soothe themselves back to sleep when awakened. They may start getting out of bed at night, making their way to your room. This “forgetting” and going backward in sleep skills is called a sleep regression and it is a fairly typical reaction of young children when a new sibling arrives.
I have 7 ways that dad can help an older child while he or she adjusts to baby brother or sister, especially in the area of sleep skills.
Going Back to Work While Managing Your Child’s Sleep Schedule
If you are working outside the home as a new mother you may feel like you have a Herculean task! Among numerous challenges you face is the need to balance your work schedule with your child’s sleep needs. It can be downright tricky to juggle their needs in the morning while you get ready for work. And it may feel next to impossible after work to keep them awake long enough to eat and spend some time together before they should be in bed for the night.
I want to encourage you to not get overwhelmed with the challenges ahead of you. Lots of moms have gone before you and, while this may feel like an insurmountable task, it can be done. Let’s take it one step at a time together!
Benefits of Getting Your Children to Bed Earlier
A recent article at the Red Tricycle reminded me about this: the importance of an early bedtime for children. I know that many of us need this reminder, especially during the lazy days of summer when we may be tempted to relax our sleep schedule more than is good for us or our children!
As scientists study children and sleep, and specifically early-onset of sleep, we are learning that getting to bed early enough has three main benefits: better emotional health, better developmental health, and better physical health.
Keeping a Routine Through Summer Travel
Summertime is just about here! That may mean a more relaxed schedule, longer days, weekend trips, and even a long-awaited vacation.
But with all of the change that summer can bring, we can also be thrown for a loop if we have young children accustomed to a flexible sleep routine. Maybe you have spent the past few months gently sleep coaching your baby into a routine and as you think about a weekend at grandma’s or a week on the road you just KNOW that all your hard work is about to be lost!
Well, don’t despair! You do not need to lose all of that progress you have made these past few months.
Sleep & The Special Needs Child
Neuroscience researchers have shown that the human mind does a lot of work when we sleep. So, when our kids don’t get enough sleep, their minds don’t get to do all of their important work overnight. A recent study also showed that the mind actually processes things differently when a person is well-rested versus tired, which leads to different emotional reactions when presented with positive, neutral and negative pictures.
My Child Will Not Sleep Without Me
In this video post, I answer the all too common question, “How can I get my child to sleep without me?”
Whether co-sleeping is no longer working, you feel chained to your child’s bed for naps and bedtime, or you have a sleep crutch that needs to be broken, I’ll walk you through the steps of getting your child sleeping in their own bed without having you lay down with them.