She believed she could, so she did!
Become a Jammy Time Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant and have total control and flexibility of your career, where your family always comes first.
At the beginning of November, I had the privilege of meeting and mentoring 8 amazing women starting their journey to become paediatric sleep consultants. Over the next 4 months, I will be there every step of the way to help them get their business up and running and learn about all things sleep!
Due to the overwhelming response for this session, my next group is now scheduled for April 22-24 in Calgary. Again, I would like to keep the group small and spots are already filling up.
Fill out the questionnaire and let’s set up a call and you can have the career you have been dreaming about too!
I can’t wait to introduce these lovely Jammy Time Certified Sleep Consultants soon.
Have you ever bought a product that promises a quick fix and seems a little too good to be true?
Most parents coping with young kids and sleep issues are desperate for any solution to their nightly trials, and there are countless products that promise to soothe your child into a peaceful slumber.
This is not unlike to the staggering number of quick fix weight-loss products on the market But do they really work?
Not often and not long-term.
In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to change your lifestyle, your diet and your way of thinking about food in order to keep off the pounds.
The same goes for sleep. To truly foster a healthy relationship with your child and his sleeping habits, you need to be disciplined, have a plan and change the way you structure bedtime. You need to get to the root of why your child is not sleeping well and then make some changes.
The only way to get a baby sleeping well is to teach her the skills by creating a system that will promote sleep independence. Believe it or not, your baby truly is capable of sleeping on her own without too much help from you or anything else.
If a child has not developed healthy sleep habits, all the lavender in the world is not going to help. Instead, develop a plan, stick to it, and before you know it, your child will be sleeping through the night!
September, the time to get back into a routine as we settle in for fall…
Almost everyone I speak to has implemented some kind of bedtime routine for their child. This is great place to start because your child needs to have a predictable and consistent bedtime routine. The steps in the bedtime routine are the cues to signal to your child that bedtime is coming. It helps prepare their body for sleep.
When you want a child to sleep well throughout the night, you always need to start with the bedtime routine. And the number one goal of the routine is to ensure your child has not started his journey to sleep before you place him in bed. He needs to be placed in the crib wide awake. This is where the magic happens!
The most common place where a baby gets drowsy or actually falls right asleep during the routine is during the bedtime feed. This can interfere greatly with nighttime sleep. Falling asleep outside of the crib is problematic. If it happens while feeding this means the baby has a feed sleep association and depends on feeding to go to sleep. This interferes with their own innate ability to sleep well. If your baby falls asleep while feeding, when your baby wakes in the night, the last thing he remembers is laying in mom’s arms nursing or having his bottle. He has no idea how he got in the crib and he definitely can not go back to sleep on his own, as he was not given he chance to do so in the beginning.
And if your baby falls asleep feeding, then you put him down in the crib and he wakes up right away, he has to fall asleep for a second time. And we all know how hard that is to do!
After a baby reaches the 10 week mark, it is always best to move the feed to the first step in the routine, about 30-40 minutes before you want to put baby in the crib. You want feeding to be for feeding, not to put baby to sleep. Do the feed, then bath, jammies and a song or story and then into bed. That will really help break any association that baby has with feeding and sleeping.
You may get some protest for the first few nights while making the change. Hang in there! After a few nights of being consistent, he will be falling asleep peacefully in his crib.
For 5 nights in July, we packed our rented RV and headed out to Crimson Lake Provincial Park. We are not regular campers, hence the rented RV. But we love to get out of the city and spend a few days being at one with nature (not to mention outhouses!) We were lucky enough to have my sister and her family join us, as they are seasoned campers. So in all there were 5 kids. Lots of fun memories were made with the cousins for sure.
We all loved the nightly campfires, sitting around visiting and roasting marshmallows. And the most beautiful thing happened…. All of the kids ranging from 2-11 years old went to bed easily and slept well.
When you have a mom as a sleep consultant, you can imagine that our kids have a pretty strict bedtime and routine. We eased up a bit during this trip. And it was very amazing when our kids ages 6, 9 and 11 all went to bed without being told. They would say, ” I am getting tired, I am going to go to bed.” It was one of the those parenting moments when I felt all of our hard work had paid off. They recognized they felt tired and they knew that sleep feels good, so they saw themselves off to bed. My husband and I would go help with the teeth brushing and then tuck them in and head back to the camp fire.
And my niece and nephew slept great too. My nephew who is almost 2 would give everyone a hug around the campfire and then his mom would take him in the trailer for a bath and some bedtime songs. One night I went inside with them to witness the routine. Once the three songs they sing every night at bedtime were finished, he would say, “Done, Cib(Crib)” and off to bed he went. They turned on his white noise and said goodnight. His sleeping area was super dark as they had put tin foil on the window when they arrived. And every afternoon he had a 3 hour nap. He needed his rest from playing in the lake all morning!
The only issue we had in the 5 nights was one evening a thunderstorm rolled through right at bedtime. With thunder shaking the RV, it delayed bedtime a bit.
I am not sure which I enjoyed more….The natural beauty our province has to offer or the beauty of children who sleep great. Luckily, I got to experience both.
A great sleep environment leads to great sleep. So what constitutes a great sleep environment….
1. Ensure the room is dark and I really mean pitch dark. If light is going into your child’s eye then it signals to the brain that they should be awake. Therefore the sleep hormone melatonin is not released and then your child will have difficulty drifting off the sleep or even staying asleep. If their little peepers happen to open during lighter sleep between sleep cycles, they wake up and and then nap is over.
Some parents are concerned that their baby will then need to always sleep in the dark. I can understand their concern. However, the darker it is, typically the better we sleep as humans. Most of the time baby will be at home sleeping in the crib so that is really where we want create the perfect environment. Sure, naps out and about may not happen in total darkness, but that is not where most of your baby’s sleep is taking place, so no need to worry.
2. There should be nothing in the crib other than your baby, either swaddled or in a sleep sack. You can introduce a small lovey in the form of a stuffed animal or blankie once your baby can roll over both ways comfortably. Mobiles, aquariums and stuffed animals that play music are just too stimulating and send a mixed message. Baby now wonders if it is sleep time or play time.
3. Swaddling works great until a baby reaches 3 months old and then I reccomend the sleep sack. It keeps your baby cozy and the same temperature throughout the night. And you can rest easy not worrying about her getting tangled in a blanket. It has an added benefit down the road. Babies who sleep in a sleep sack are a less likely to make a break for it and climb out of the crib.
4. White noise can be a great tool to drown out external noises that may wake your baby. If you live on a noisy street, have a dog or other children in your house, white noise can provide that buffer of sound to drown out all of the startling noises that may wake your baby
Are you addicted to your baby monitor?
I have worked with families that report their baby rolled over at 2 am, at 3:37 am he was awake but did not make a sound and they think he may have sneezed at 5:07am. How do they know this? Because they watch their video monitor throughout the night.
Monitors have a time and a place. If you are in the basement exercising while your baby is napping, it can be a great tool. If you are teaching your child to sleep well, it is great to keep an eye on her. Does she have an arm stuck in the bar? Is there any need for me to intervene or be concerned? But for some people that are so tuned into the monitor, it is disrupting your sleep.
You don’t need to hear every little squeak and squawk that your baby makes through the night. Some babies are very, very noisy sleepers. Every time they squeak and squawk, you are going to wake up and it is going to wreak havoc on your sleep.
If you’ve got a baby who is now successfully sleeping well through the night, I would encourage you to turn it down and start getting the good quality sleep that you deserve as well. Your baby will let you know if they need you!
And if you do not have a baby that is sleeping well, then you know who you can call!
Childhood is full of exciting milestones: first tooth, first solid foods, first steps. Making the switch from a crib to a bed is another sign your child is growing up. For some parents the idea can be a bit nerve-wracking. They wonder what life will be like if the child is free to get out of bed whenever he wants. Will he be roaming the halls at night? Will he ever settle down and go to sleep?
The closer your child is to age three, the better. In My experience, anything younger than 2.5 years old is too early. Very young children do not have the cognitive ability to really understand the boundaries and expectations around staying in bed when they can so easily get out on their own. This can make it hard to enforce the rules and can create power struggles.
If your child is not sleeping well currently and is testing the boundaries around sleep, it is not a great time to move to a bed. I recommend sorting out the sleep issues first and then making the transition from crib to bed.
Make it fun, but not too fun. You can get your child involved with picking out the new bed and choosing new bedding, but it is a delicate balance. You don’t want to make too big of a deal about it because you don’t want to put added pressure on the child. If he gets really excited about the process he might have a hard time settling in and actually going to sleep!
Beware of the honeymoon phase. Most toddlers do well with the transition until the fun wears off. Once the novelty is gone and the child gets comfortable (usually around the two-week mark) then the games usually start up. The key is to be prepared ahead of time so you know what to do when this happens.
If your child comes out of bed, you will need to remain calm and implement a consequence such as closing the door. With consequences, I always like a reward. So reward good behaviour for staying in bed and sleeping the night there.
And of course, if you need help with this transition, I am here to help you make it a smooth one.
You can have it all. No, you really can!
And I did not believe it until I started as a paediatric sleep consultant 4.5 years ago. I have been able to have a career, be my own boss and still be there for my kids and family when they need me most.
I have not had to miss out on field trips, Christmas concerts and volunteers teas because I have had to be at work. I get to set my own schedule and pick my own hours.
I have ran my own business that continues to grow each year. I have learned so much and have been able to earn a great income. A little spending money for mom never hurts.
I have be so fortunate to be in a profession that really matters. Sleep is a basic need and so many of the families I have worked with have reported that working with me was life changing. I have helped moms out of depression and even helped rescue a few marriages.
And I have never had any formal childcare for my kiddos. I always work around my family, because as we all know, they come first.
I really feel like this a dream job that just doesn’t really exist in the real world. Maybe I am dreaming?
And now you can have this perfect job too. For the first time in Alberta, you can train to become a paediatric sleep consultant. I am offering a 3 day mentorship workshop in Calgary on Nov 6, 7 and 8. Yes, it is a Saturday, Sunday and Monday because I know how hard it can be round up childcare for three consecutive weekdays.
There will only be 8 spots and I will begin taking applicants immediately. The first 3 people to be accepted into the mentorship program will get a free gift from me.
When you leave after the three days you will have all of the tools to set up your own sleep consulting business. Think business in a box. And I will offer you one on one mentorship to help you every step of the way.
Your baby starts to cry when you go to the other room. You can’t seem to put her down at all these days. It sounds like you may be in the midst of separation anxiety. It is a very common developmental stage that many babies go through between 8-14 months. Some experience it a little more often and severely than others. And it may surprise you to hear there is a correlation between sleep and separation anxiety.
I find that children who sleep well, take proper naps and get a solid night sleep are less prone to bouts of separation anxiety because they are well rested.We all know, if we are not feeling rested, we tend to be a little quick to anger and are unable to regulate our emotions well. Our children feel the same. So, it makes sense that a baby who is not sleeping well might be a little clingier through the day, might be quick to cry over the littlest things at certain points in the day. Furthermore, babies who have honed thier skills and abilities around going to sleep on their own, are much more confident with the independence and experience less separation anxiety.
The first step is to have a good look at your child’s sleep schedule and make sure they are getting the sleep they need. Another thing to do is to practice peek-a-boo. I know it sounds silly but when babies are learning, they don’t always understand that when things leave their sight, they don’t disappear permanently. That ís why they tend to cry as soon as you walk out of the room. They don’t yet understand that just because they can’t see you doesn’t mean you do not exist anymore. By practicing peek-a-boo and walking out of the room, they learn that Mommy is still here. It will teach your child that just because you’re gone doesn’t mean you are not coming back. That ís a good thing to practice at any age.
If you need to go to the bathroom or you have to answer the telephone, it is not the end of the world if your child starts to cry when you do that. Because the more you cater to this, the more it typically occurs. If every time you take a step to leave, he starts to cry and so you do not leave, it reinforces the behaviour. He learns that all he has to do to keep her in the room is start to cry and she’ll never leave.That ís definitely not the behavior you want to try to encourage. I always tell parents that you are the parent, so you get to set the rules and boundaries. Your child will follow your lead.
Now, if you are about to start sleep training and you are worried your baby is going through some separation anxiety, then an “in the room” approach will be best because you can be by the crib side. This can be comforting to a lot of parents and many babies as well.
So don’t let separation anxiety delay you from giving your child the gift of sleep. Your child will not only sleep much better, you will likely notice the separation anxiety improves as well.
Some babies are natural early birds, but most are not and there are many things you can do to encourage a later morning.
You might be surprised to hear it all starts with bedtime. Here is a list of must dos…
- Ensure the bedtime feed is before bath or at the beginning of the routine and your little one is wide awake for the feed.
- Ensure baby is going down wide awake all on her own with no one in the room. This includes not falling asleep with a soother!
- Ensure baby is not at all overtired. Try bedtime 10-15 minutes earlier.
- If baby wakes between 5am-6am it is best to stay out of the room if at all possible. Seeing mom or dad is just too stimulating and now they know you are awake too, so there is usually no going back to sleep. They think it is party time!
- Wait until a minimum of 6am to take baby out of the crib.
- After taking your baby out of the crib, turn on the lights, open the blinds, do a diaper change and then offer a feed. Make sure baby is wide awake.
- Ensure the room is pitch dark and you are using white noise to drown out all of those early morning noises like Dad getting ready for work.
- Make sure nap one is not too close to taking baby out of the crib in the morning. I suggest counting the amount of wake time from 6am, not from the time your baby woke early. If I knew I could get back into bed an hour or two after I woke, I wouldn’t mind starting my day before 6am either.
- It can take 4-6 weeks of being super consistent before your baby’s body clock is reset and he starts sleeping in later.