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Why I Can’t Just Give You a Quick Fix

I have been getting a lot of messages and e-mails lately asking for tips and advice on how to improve your child’s quality of sleep.  It is not that I don’t want to help or offer free advice or tips; but it is much more complicated then that.  Yes, I do offer helpful information and always willing to listen, but it is just that.  Helpful but not complete change.  It doesn’t mean I do not know what I am doing or I am trying to hide my magical powers (strong sarcasm), but my clients are the ones who are getting my undivided attention and unconditional support.  It is not because of financial responsibility but because they are making a commitment to change.  They are dedicated and motivated to doing the hard work, trusting in me and my experience and knowledge and working with me throughout the transition.

There are a lot of other sleep consultants out there that offer very generalized sleep plans for the masses and people do have success.  However, for me and my services, I feel like this transition and change in your child’s life and your family’s life, deserves much more personalized attention and support.  We want to make these changes together so we don’t have to keep “re-training” through every “regression”.

I want us to work together so I can explain the science and reasoning behind the changes in sleep environment, schedule adjustment and sleep hygiene.  I want to make sure nutrition is on track and they are meeting their milestones.  I want to make sure there aren’t any underlying medical issues that might have been innocently overlooked.  I want to make sure you the parents are comfortable and happy with the steps that we take.  And most importantly, I want to make sure we are making the very best decisions for your baby/toddler.

Not every baby or toddler has the same temperament and responds differently to environments and methods.  Not every parenting style is a fit for every method.  Together we will figure this out and I will do my very best to educate and inform you on all of the changes and transitions we make to benefit of your little one’s sleep.

We want to create long lasting healthy sleeping habits to last a lifetime and not until the next regression, illness or change happens.  We want to instill safe and happy sleeping habits that will enable our children to respect and positively respond to their bodies telling them they are tired and need a break.  We want out kids to go to college, be on their own, and know that sleep is extremely important to our growth and development, without having their parents their to remind them it is bedtime.  We want our children to grow up and not have to take a sleeping aid, have anxiety around sleep or be foggy throughout the day because they were never taught good sleep hygiene.  As adults, we know it is important to our health to have a healthy and well balanced diet, drink lots of water and to get restorative and consistent sleep… so why not start ASAP?

So, yes, I would love to chat with you and give you some advice and it most likely will improve your child’s sleep, and for some that’s all they need.  But for parents that are severely sleep deprived and babies/toddlers who are chronically overtired, I need much more details and time to create long lasting positive change.  Just like with any new skill, it takes time, lots of patience and consistency.

Our warranty guarantee.Mattress Warranty Our warranty policy is easy to use. Usually, your new mattress will be delivered in a week. And we will help you to donate the old defected mattress next week, all at our own cost.If you find your mattress has a problem within 20 years, please contact us by customservice@sunrisingbed.com. Please describe your problem and attach some pictures for the defected part.

Your dedicated, non-judgmental and honest sleep consultant,

Patti

Why is My Child Waking at Night? (4+ months)

The number one question I get is, “why isn’t/can’t my child sleeping at night?” There are so many theories that parents come up with to why their child isn’t sleeping at the night.  I hear everything from teething, too cold, too hot, they don’t like their cribs, the mattress is uncomfortable, they don’t like the smell, they only like when I hold them, they are breastfed, they are formula fed, you need to put rice cereal in their bottles, I was bad at sleeping when I was a baby, it’s hereditary, etc.

I am not saying that some of these can’t contribute to bad sleeping habits but they are not the sole reason to why your child 4-6+ months isn’t sleeping through the night.  Also… what is “sleeping through the night?”.  To some it means a full 12 hours without feeding or waking.  To other it’s sleeping 5 hours straight for their baby’s first stretch of sleep or even to some it’s after baby wakes at night they immediately fall asleep after feeding (even if baby is feeding 3+ times a night).

WHAT ARE MY 5 MAIN REASONS WHY YOUR BABY IS WAKING AT NIGHT?

  1. BEING PUT TO BED DROWSY OR ALREADY ASLEEP!  It is important that our babies, from 4+ months on are waking up where they are falling asleep.  They are falling asleep in Mom’s nice cozy arms and then in then 2 hours later waking up in a completely different space.  This can only result in one thing… CRYING! It is important we are putting our baby down to sleep awake.
  2. BEING FED TO SLEEP BY BREAST OR BOTTLE OR CLOSE TO BEDTIME!  The majority of my clients tell me that part of their bedtime routine is to either feed baby to sleep or feed them directly before putting them to bed.  Regardless if they are falling directly to sleep on the breast or bottle, milk and sucking are such a strong sleep association and lingers throughout the night.  And if they are falling asleep directly on the breast or bottle that sucking and milk is a sleepy combination that works every time.  However, this results in waking every 1,2,3 hours at night and having to rinse and repeat the feeding.
  3. ROCKING TO SLEEP! Same as above with the bottle.  Rocking gets our little ones so darn sleepy and drowsy that they become “motion junkies”.  Yes, motion is an incredible soothing tool when babies are newborns, however, 4+ months on it becomes one strong negative sleep association we are having to repeat several times a night.
  4. INAPPROPRIATE ROUTINE FOR BABIES AGE! I hear all the time that if you keep your baby up throughout the day or you put them to bed late they will sleep longer.  Remember people, “SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP”! The more well rested our babies are throughout the day the better they will sleep at night.  Babies are notoriously early risers so when you put them to bed later, they are still going to wake at the same time.  If they are not sleeping well throughout the day it is going to be a lot harder for their bodies to settle enough for sleep and to stay asleep.
  5. NOT HAVING AN AGE APPROPRIATE FEEDING SCHEDULE DURING THE DAY! When I first speak with clients I ask them what their daily feeding schedule is and most of the time they don’t have one.  I hear, they eat when they want to, they snack throughout the day, they are always falling asleep on the breast/bottle, they don’t seem very hungry, etc.  They forget to tell me all of the times their baby is eating throughout the night.  Remember there are so many calories their body needs in 24 hours and if they are consuming 75% of it throughout the night they will understandably not be hungry during their waking hours.  And of course we all want our little ones to be eating their needed calories during the daytime because we need our restorative and uninterrupted sleep at night so our bodies can rejuvenate and repair for the next day.

There might be one, two or even all 5 reasons (or more I haven’t even listed) contributing to why you child is waking frequently throughout the night, but these are the 5 main reasons for waking.  Good News! These all can be resolved and onto better nights’ sleep!

I am waiting to hear from you!!

Patti xoxo

sweetbabysleepconsultant@outlook.com

www.sweetbabysleep.org

https://www.facebook.com/sweetbabysleepconsultant/

 

Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room… Crying!!!

THE NUMBER ONE QUESTION I GET IS, “WILL MY CHILD CRY?”. The answer is, yes. All babies and toddlers cry. ESPECIALLY when they are going through a change or transition they aren’t familiar with and have formed a strong sleep association.

I know crying can be scary, can cause stress and anxiety and can be very intimidating. As parents I feel like we don’t talk about “crying” enough. There is this stigma that has become very popular that crying is a bad thing and means we are failing as parents. We aren’t talking enough about the struggles that we are having everyday and in return we are feeling very alone and aren’t giving ourselves the opportunity to receive good and useful advice and information!

We are depriving ourselves not only of sleep but also the chance to connect and share with others who are struggling, have struggled and will struggle in the future; with not only our child’s sleep but the hard times of just growing up.  We have created this world that parenting is a competition and we can only go one way or the other.  I am not going to give examples of the opposite extremes because we all know what I am talking about and it’s getting quite exhausting.  We are all trying to be the very best parents we can to our children and guess what… EVERY SINGLE CHILD CRIES.

Children cry because they are hungry, wet diaper, cold, hot, didn’t like how the wind blew, because they can’t watch their favorite TV show, can’t play video games, because you cut their sandwich down the middle and they wanted it diagonal, they couldn’t eat the dog food, you didn’t let them play with a knife, etc! We wouldn’t tell our children that they didn’t have to hold our hand while crossing the street because they might cry and have a full on tantrum while doing so or feel like they will end up hating us and feeling abandoned.   No, we tell them that we understand that they are upset but this is for their safety and well being and we stay consistent with having to hold hands while crossing the street.

There are so many reasons our babies/toddlers cry and we don’t feel like we are neglecting them or changing their brain chemistry to become serial killers.  We are offering them unconditional love and support while they are going through these difficult transitions and teaching and guiding them to make better choices and create healthy and positive habits.  We are (trying) to stay consistent with our responses in hopes that our consistency, support and love will help change their lives for the better.  So why is crying so scary and taboo in regards to sleep training?

So why are we so afraid of crying in correlation to sleep?

  1. It is the unknown.
  2. We are so scared to not get the little bit of sleep that we currently are getting.
  3. Crying can cause stress and anxiety in us as parents.
  4. We know that if we nurse, rock, bounce, give them a bottle, etc. they will fall back asleep and WE can hopefully get sleep.
  5. We have been bombarded with false information that crying at night causes our children to feel abandoned and neglected.
  6. We, as a society today, are putting so much pressure on Moms to be “perfect” and not getting sleep is just a part of the package.
  7. There is just not enough education and open talk about infant and toddler sleep out there.

When I speak with most of my clients, and parents in general, they are telling me their stories and how their marriages are struggling, relationships with their other children are suffering, they are so sleep deprived they are falling asleep behind the wheel, are randomly crying and have severe anxiety going into nighttime.  This is all because of the crying and broken sleep.  I ask parents are their babies crying even while holding them and trying to soothe them back to sleep? Do they immediately start crying when you place them back into their safe sleeping environment? They are crying regardless so why don’t we try and teach and guide them to healthy and happy sleeping habits so the crying regarding sleep STOPS?

Why aren’t we instilling healthy sleep habits and a safe and wonderful sleeping environment so our children have the VERY BEST OPPORTUNITY to achieve independent sleep?  We all know it’s a rising epidemic for adults to have chronic issues with their sleep and how it disrupts their lives.  Why not start early and teach them to respect their bodies need for sleep in a safe and healthy way? They will be able to carry that with them for the rest of their lives.

Just imagine going through life experiences and being able to respect your bodies need for sleep.  Your 2 year old is running around playing and knows he is about to hit his limit and stops, looks at you and says, “I’m sleepy.”  Your child grows up to be a star athlete and KNOWS that restorative sleep is so crucial to the body to repair their tissue and muscles for the next day.  Your child goes to college and knows they have a HUGE exam the next day.  While everyone else is out, their body is telling them that I am going to feel and do better if I am well rested.  They grow up and get their dream job and know that getting to bed at a decent time will help transfer short term memory into long term memory and help put them ahead of their competitors.  You child grows up and becomes a parent of a “fussy baby”… because you have taught them how important it is to respect our bodies need for sleep will help them with teaching the same to their baby.

I could have written this long and scientific blog about why crying (while sleep training) isn’t harmful, causing your child to feel abandoned ( like an orphan) or causing them to grow up to be a serial killer. I wrote this as 1 parent to another.  I was the sleep deprived, scared, anxious, marriage falling apart, afraid my child would hate me, isolated and depressed Mom.  I was scared to ask for help, look for help and talk about my struggles.  However, when I finally did my whole world opened up and I saw hope and a solution.

Instead of understanding why our child’s sleep is constantly interrupted, inconsistent and always involves crying…. we in desperation start practicing unsafe sleeping habits and creating negative sleep associations that are incredibly hard to break.  And in return only intensifies and prolongs the crying.

Crying is our child’s way of communicating.  Crying happens at night, for our babies and toddlers, because they are unable to fall asleep and stay asleep independently.  They need you or some other soothing tool to put them back to sleep. They are falling asleep one way and waking up completely different…. CUE CRYING.  It is really that simple of an explanation.  The solution isn’t as simple but the reason for the crying is.

For some parents they don’t mind waking up several times a night and assisting their little ones back to sleep… so this blog post isn’t for you.  AND THAT’S OK! For a lot of parents the interrupted and broken sleep is negatively effecting their lives and is taking a toll on their child as well.

KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND THERE IS A SOLUTION!

 

Safe Sleeping Environment

If anyone knows me, has taken my Newborn Education class, past client or just speaks to me about their infant or toddler’s sleep, knows I am a HUGE advocate for a safe sleeping environment.  When I had my son I was not educated on safe sleeping.  There were so many people giving me well-meaning advice, trendy “must have” products that other parents swear by, books, blogs and Facebook posts about how glorious and bonding it is to bed-share, that I was completely ignorant when choosing an unsafe sleeping environment for my son in the first 4 months of his life.

I am one of the incredibly lucky parents that nothing tragic happened to my son but still doesn’t mean that the choices I made were the right and most informed ones… in regards to his sleep environment.  I thank God everyday that the uninformed choices that I made didn’t cost him his life or have been seriously injured.

This blog isn’t to shame you, yell at you or instill fear. It is to help inform you and raise awareness so as parents, babysitters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents, neighbors, best friends, etc. to make more educated and informed choices when selecting a place for our children to sleep.  WE CANNOT DO BETTER IF WE DO NOT KNOW BETTER!

Why do I push for a safe sleeping environment?  The reason I am so passionate about a safe sleeping environment is because we want to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and SUIDS (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome).

SIDS– unexplained death of a baby, younger than 1 year of age, that does not have a known cause even after a complete investigation.

What causes SIDS?  Unfortunately, we do not have a solid answer for that.  SIDS is said to believe that there is a “glitch” in a baby’s brain stem that is within a network of nerve cells that are located in the part of the brain that controls heart rate, breathing, blood temperature and waking up from sleep.  This “glitch” results in the baby being a “vulnerable infant” and increasing their risk of SIDS as well as SUIDS.

What is SUIDS? The death of an infant, younger than 1 year of age, that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly.  After a complete investigation these deaths can be caused by:

  • Suffocation
  • Entrapment
  • Infection
  • Ingestion
  • Metabolic Diseases
  • Cardiac Arrhythmias
  • Trauma (accidental or non-accidental)

SUIDS is more likely to happen when the infant is a combination of a “vulnerable infant” and in an unsafe sleeping environment.  SIDS can happen even if the child is not a “vulnerable infant” but in an unsafe sleeping environment.  Unfortunately, there is no way to test if our newborn has the “glitch” so practicing safe sleep is a for sure way to decrease the risk.

What is a Safe Sleeping Environment? I am going to include the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for safe sleeping website… http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162938

I am going to briefly discuss the recommendations and the website will give you a more detailed list:

  1. Back to sleep for EVERY sleep.  Infants, up to the age of 12+ months of age, should always be placed in the supine (on their back) for every single sleep.  Side sleeping is not advised.
  2. Use a firm sleeping surface. A firm (CPSC approved crib mattress) covered by only a tight fitted sheet.  No bother going out and splurging in that expensive and fancy crib bedding because none of it is safe for sleeping.  Return it and get some much needed diapers or wipes! A crib, bassinet, portable crib/play yard (pack n play) that conforms to the safety standards of the CPSC are recommended and safe for supervised and unsupervised sleeping.
  3. Room Sharing WITHOUT Bed Sharing is advised.  Baby should be in the same room as parents but in their own safe sleeping space to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation, strangulation and entrapment.  THERE IS NO WAY TO SAFELY BED-SHARE! Devices that are marketed and promoted to make bed-sharing “safe” are not recommended.
  4. Keep any loose bedding and objects along with soft objects out of the crib, bassinet, portable crib/play yard (pack n play).  Objects such as soft pillow-like toys, blankets (of any kind), bumpers (traditional and mesh) and make sure clothing is tight fitting.
  5. Pregnant women should be receiving prenatal care.
  6. Avoid smoke exposure both during pregnancy and after birth.  This includes maternal smoking while pregnant and smoke in an infant’s environment after birth.
  7. Avoid alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth.
  8. Breastfeeding is recommended.  However, formula feeding does NOT increase the risk of SIDS.
  9. Use a pacifier for naps and bedtime. The pacifier should not be around the infant’s neck or attached to clothing.
  10. Avoid overheating.  Always use the 1 layer guide.  Whatever you, as an adult, are comfortable in, infant should not wear anymore than 1 extra layer.  Fingers and toes are not a good indicator of true internal temperature.  The neck, chest, armpit are good areas to check what infant’s true internal temperature is.  Keep room between 67-72 degrees Fahrenheit.  Do not over-bundle and NEVER cover head or face.
  11. Infants should be immunized with accordance to the recommendations of the AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  12. Avoid commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.  EX: crib wedges, sleep positioners, special mattresses and sleep surfaces, and products that promote “sleep” but are not a crib, bassinet, portable crib/play yard (pack n play).
  13. Do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors that promote to reduce the risk of SIDS.  UNLESS your Dr. has advised you otherwise because of a medical condition.
  14. Supervised and awake tummy time to help development and minimize positional plagiocephaly (flat head).

I understand that it might seem like a lot of rules and restrictions, however, these are all in place to help save your babies life.  In 2016 the CDC reported that, “About 3,600 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) in the United States.” And about 900 hundred of those deaths were due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.  To me those numbers are too high and are not worth the risk for unsafe sleeping practices.

Breakdown of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death by Cause, 2016

The breakdown of sudden unexpected infant deaths by cause in 2016 is as follows: 42% of cases were categorized as sudden infant death syndrome, followed by unknown cause (34%), and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (24%).

Yes, we have heard it all… “I never used a car seat, I wrapped you up in blankets and put you on your tummy to sleep, I have smoked for 50 years, I drank and smoked while I was pregnant, etc., and I/YOU turned out just fine”.  That is what we call “survivor bias” talking.  “Survivor Bias” the focus on the success/survivor of a situation that has made it past the failures and facts.  Their lack of visibility is usually what leads to false conclusions.  Also known as Selection Bias.

If you are are ever confused or forget what a safe sleeping environment is think of the “ABC’s” of sleep.  Alone, Back, Crib.

ABCs of Safe Sleep

There are so many books and information out there that it is easy to get confused and swayed into thinking what is safe and right for your baby to sleep in.  I hope this blog has helped to educate and inform you on safe sleeping practices so we can all make better choices for our children.

 

References:

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 28th, 2018. http://www.cdc.gov/sids/data/htm

2. SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Sale Sleeping Environment, Volume 130/Issue 5. Police Statement. November 2016 http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162938

 

 

 
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Why Hire a Sleep Consultant?

I often get weird looks or interesting comments when I tell people that I am a Certified Infant/Toddler Sleep Consultant.  “Why would anyone ever need someone like that or is that even a real job?”  I am here to tell you that it IS A REAL job and so many people could benefit from the service and knowledge that I possess.  There are so many parents right now that are struggling with sleep deprivation and not realizing that there is a solution!  OR believe that chronic sleep deprivation is just apart of parenting and everyone goes through this.

Chronic sleep deprivation we know is extremely harmful to us as adults but it is also for our babies and toddlers.  Restorative and uninterrupted sleep (for babies 4+ months) is when our bodies repair and rejuvenate.

During restorative and uninterrupted sleep is when our bodies:

  1. Memory is strengthened
  2. Immune systems are strengthened
  3. Bones and tissues are repaired
  4. Appetite is regulated
  5. Growth hormones are released
  6. Energy levels are restored
  7. Stress is reduced
  8. Short term memory is transferred into long term memory
  9. New learned skills are secured (that’s why babies often practice crawling, rolling, walking at night)
  10. Brain connections are made
  11. Vision is sharpened
  12. Processing of emotions

These are just some of the examples of what our incredible bodies do when we sleep!  So when you ask me, “Why do I need to hire you as my sleep consultant?” these are just a few of my reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions?

What do you mean that you are “Certified”?

Answer: I have taken an intense and evidence based course that I worked with certified sleep consultant mentors, the founder of the company, read extensive material and worked with clients all of the world.

Why can’t I just read a book or go online?

Answer: You absolutely can do either option above! However, books and online articles only tell you so much and they don’t talk back.  They aren’t there in the middle of the night or at bedtime when you have a question because your child didn’t follow the author’s plan.  They aren’t there to troubleshoot with you, talk to your support (spouse, nanny, boyfriend, girlfriend, Grandmother, etc) when they also need reassurance and guidance.  They aren’t there when you need the praise and confidence to share in the happiness of small and big changes.  They don’t ask YOU the personal questions that 100% matter.

I have tried sleep training and it didn’t work!

Answer: I get this ALL OF THE TIME!  It is very common and understandable when parents come to me and tell me that they have let their child “Cry it Out”, tried “Ferber” or tried using the “Sleep Lady Shuffle” and it just didn’t work.  Most times… it doesn’t work when executing on your own or it does work the first time but every couple of months they are having to re-sleep train.  It IS because all of the other factors are not being added into the equation.  You will only get them with a sleep consultant, like myself… or do a heck of a lot of research on your own and even then you might still be missing some pieces to the puzzle.

Do I have to let my child “Cry it Out?”

Answer: NO! There are many different types of sleep training that I practice and support.  For some parents CIO is the way to go and their child’s temperament gels perfectly with this specific method but others DO NOT!  That’s where I come in… I ask all of the right questions and make sure that whatever method we choose is the right fit for you and your child.

Won’t my child eventually start sleeping on their own? They won’t stay like this forever, right?

Answer: Some babies/toddlers will eventually learn to sleep independently and that may work for some parents.  However, some children never learn good sleep habits and independent sleep and grow into adults who are still struggling.  We can see negative effects like behavior issues, obesity, lack of appetite, compromised immune systems, inability to concentrate, etc. when we see chronic sleep deprivation.  Why wait to teach such an important and necessary skill?

Thanks for reading my FIRST blog post!  I hope this you found this informative and useful!

Contact me at:

610-451-1498

sweetbabysleepconsultant@outlook.com

www.sweetbabysleep.org

https://www.facebook.com/sweetbabysleepconsultant/

 

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