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Archive for the ‘Sleeping’ Category


I am constantly around new babies – I swear I sneeze and there are 2 new babies in my life from my best friends to cousins to family members. Sometimes it is overhwhelming hearing about all of their “new-mom” or “to-be-mom fears.” It makes me think, what kind of new mom will I be? I did a little research and here are some new mom baby fears and how you can conquer them. J

LEAVING THE HOUSE WITH YOUR NEWBORN

  • Fear: You don’t want to expose him to all sorts of germs. 
  • Re-Think It: Sneezing kids and groping strangers are legitimate concerns, but cabin fever is an even bigger one. You need fresh air and a change of scenery to boost your spirits. Plus, even very young babies benefit from the stimulation of a different environment. 
  • Move Forward: Run errands together, go for strolls, and boldly live your life. But be smart about bugs: Avoid crowds until your child is 3 months old (especially during the winter, when colds and flu are rampant).

MAKING NOISE DURING NAPTIME

  • Fear: Everyone says, “Don’t wake a sleeping baby.” 
  • Re-Think It: Tiptoeing around the house impedes your ability to get things done in those precious free moments, like tidying up or phoning a friend. Ordinary household noise won’t wake most babies, who are used to sounds from the womb. 
  • Move Forward: While it’s certainly not advisable to blast your stereo, break out of your Cone of Silence. If your child is particularly noise-sensitive or tends to awaken prematurely, try turning on a fan. And if you live in a bustling city environment, a white-noise machine can effectively mute street sounds.

PUTTING YOUR INFANT DOWN TO BED WHEN HE/SHE IS CRYING

  • Fear: The last thing you want is to leave her emotionally scarred from your “abandonment” or feel like you are being a “mean Mom.” 
  • Re-Think It: Endlessly rocking and patting your still-wailing baby can heighten up your anxiety, frustration, and exhaustion levels — three things a new mother definitely doesn’t need any more of. What’s even worse: A child who spends almost all of her time in Mommy’s arms may become even fussier when you put her down. Nip it in the bud!! It will become a vicious cycle. 
  • Move Forward: Accept that crying is part of being a healthy baby, not something you always need to stop. Often, it’s your child’s way of soothing his or herself. While it’s fine to soothe your infant for a while, placing her in the crib and leaving the room to take a breather is totally permissible. Just make sure he or she is not in distress.

 SLEEP-TRAINING

  • Fear: No one wants to listen to her child shriek for hours nonstop. 
  • Re-Think It: If a few months of nighttime wakings have left you feeling super tired – now imagine doing it for a year or more! While stumbling into the nursery multiple times a night to help your baby settle down feels like the right thing to do, it’s not: Sleeping through the night and self-soothing are learned skills — and it’s your job to teach them! 
  • Move Forward: By 3 months, your baby is developmentally ready for sleep-training. While you can certainly wait until, say, 7 or 8 months to let her cry it out, keep in mind that the older she gets, the more ingrained her nighttime habits will become. Start by putting your child in her crib, drowsy but still awake.

CHECK OUT LE TOP BABY AND CHILDREN’S CLOTHING AT
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Daylight savings is coming up on Sunday, March 11th. It’s spring so we move our clocks forward one hour and “lose” an extra hour at night. Even just an hour change can be a disruption in your child’s (*and yours!) sleep.

This never comes soon enough for me though it can make it temporarily a little harder to get up in the morning since it’s darker. These simple tips for babies (6 months and older), toddlers and kids will help you stay on track with good sleep habits. Give your children a few days to settle in to the new time. After they adjust to the new clock, the only thing left to do is get outside and enjoy that extra hour of light at night.

This is important to understand because it is already hard to find the right nap or bedtime and with the time change, it can be even trickier. Effectively, the time change is like jet lag if you were to travel one time zone ahead of you. Because our internal clocks are “set” to be asleep or awake at certain times, adjusting your schedule on the day before and the morning of the time change can help immensely. But, this means you must change your whole routine, not just sleep times. There are many things that cue your baby into a schedule or routine such as the sunrise, meal times, the time you take her out for a walk, and so on. So, if your baby wakes at 6 a.m. and her nap is usually at 8 a.m., on the day before the time change, put her down a little early.

KEY: Change all your daytime routines to be a little earlier, not just sleep.

1.  On Saturday try to do everything 15 minutes or so earlier. Since most kids won’t want to go to bed a whole hour early (and may not be ready) then put them to bed on Saturday night (3/10) 30 minutes early, slightly shortening their day.

2.  Spring your clocks forward an hour when you go to bed or if you want your kids to think they’re staying up late, set them before they go to bed. 🙂

3.  Wake up with your child(ren) at the usual time on Sunday morning (3/11). Here is where they will lose a little sleep but it sets them up for going to bed at the regular time to start the week right. For babies and toddlers just let them nap a little longer if they need it but not too long or they may not go to sleep easily in the evening.

4.  Follow the clock for naps and bedtime from here forward. It can take a few days for your child to fully adjust, so be patient and consistent.

Tip: If you don’t already have them, try room-darkening blinds/curtains at night.

CHECK OUT LE TOP BABY AND CHILDREN’S CLOTHING AT
www.letop-usa.com

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Plagiocephaly is a condition that causes a baby’s head to have a flat spot (flat head syndrome) or be misshapen.

The most common form is positional plagiocephaly. It occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to pressure on that area. Babies are vulnerable because their skull is soft and pliable when they’re born.

Positional plagiocephaly typically develops after birth when babies spend time in a position that puts pressure on one part of the skull. Because babies spend so much time lying on their back, for example, they may develop a flat spot where their head presses against the mattress.

Everyone’s skull is a bit asymmetrical. And in many cases, a flat spot on a baby’s head will round out on its own around 6 months of age, as she starts crawling and sitting up. Nevertheless, if you notice flattening of your baby’s head at any time, don’t wait and talk to your pediatrician. More severe cases of positional plagiocephaly can be corrected by having the baby wear a custom helmet or band for two to four months. Be sure to chat with your baby’s provider about head shape at each well-child checkup.

The Back to Sleep Campaign was launched in the early 1990s to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, SIDS. Since the American Academy of Pediatrics started recommending placing babies on their backs when putting them to bed, the number of cases of SIDS has been cut in half, according to the CDC. That’s awesome!

But something that has increased since then is the number of cases of babies with flat head syndrome, sometimes referred to as positional plagiocephaly. If babies spend all of their time on their backs, it can lead to positional flattening or molding of the head.

A new report published this week in the journal Pediatrics contains new recommendations for pediatricians and parents on how to prevent and correct head flattening in babies. The number of babies diagnosed with the misshapen skull syndrome known as positional plagiocephaly has increased exponentially since safe sleep recommendations have had infants spending so much time on their backs, researchers found. And while they in no way suggest that parents ignore the recommended safe sleep practices, researchers suggest that pediatricians counsel parents from their babies’ very first checkups on ways to prevent and correct flattening heads.

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CNN.com lists 5 of the recommendations, which can help parents avoid placing their babies in skull-correcting helmets if the problem has not improved by 6 months of age:

  1. Increase “tummy” time, which is supervised time during the day when baby lies on its stomach. A baby should spend at least 30 to 60 minutes a day on it’s belly, something that can be done immediately after birth. This will help develop neck and shoulder muscles, says [the report’s lead author, Dr. James] Laughlin. It has also been shown to “enhance motor developmental scores,” according to this new report.
  2. The NIH recommends changing the direction your baby lies in the crib each week.  They say this change will encourage the baby to turn his or her head in different directions to avoid resting in the same position all the time.
  3. Some babies prefer to hold their head to one side. Laughlin suggests laying them down in a different way when they’re awake, so they have something interesting to look at on the opposite side. If you have them in a car seat or sitting in something else, you can also change the position to make the baby look in the opposite direction.
  4. Parents may find their babies sleep well sitting in a car seat, but this is another way they can develop an asymmetrical shape, especially in the first 6 months of life.  So experts suggest babies shouldn’t spend a prolonged period of time in a car seat (unless they are in a car of course) or bouncy seat.
  5. Cuddle!  The NIH says “getting cuddle time with the baby by holding him or her upright over one shoulder often during the day,” is another way to prevent flat spots.

CHECK OUT LE TOP BABY AND CHILDREN’S CLOTHING
AT
WWW.LETOP-USA.COM

 

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Since becoming a mom this past April, my world has changed, especially my sleep world! In the beginning we were up every 2-3 hours, including in the middle of the night. We would hear rustlings from the Pack N’ Play and know, it was time to get up. It wasn’t too long though, before we were only up a couple times each night. At eight weeks our little Elijah started sleeping “through the night” so-to-speak from 11 pm to 5 am. At about ten weeks he started sleeping through-through the night from 9pm to 5am, and that is where we are at with his sleep schedule today. I must say that I am relieved that he is such a good sleeper, it keeps me fresh and ready for the work day ahead of me. However, every night is not always that great. There are some nights I am up two or three times trying to get Eli to fall back asleep or on occasion having to nurse him because he is going through a growth spurt.  

Elijah swaddled

Here are some suggestions to use for your baby, that may help you get the FULL night’s sleep you have been waiting for.  

  • Put baby to sleep on a flat firm surface such as his crib or a Pack n Play – this really made a difference for us. We went from the bassinet to the raised Pack N Play to the crib and each time we moved him to a new “bed” he would sleep better than in the previous “bed”.
  • Swaddle the baby- try to get it tight or use a Velcro swaddler (Summer and Woombie are two great brands)
  • Make sure baby is not too hot, or too cold (double swaddle if necessary)
  • Check baby’s diaper- there may have been some middle of the night “damage” and they need a fresh diaper
  • Rub baby’s tummy- this is a great soothing tool that we use a lot
  • Give baby a pacifier- Elijah’s used to fall out all the time so we invested in the Wubbanub to help keep the paci in place (PaciPlushie is also another similar product)

    Elijah with his pacifier and Wubbanub

  • Rock or sway with baby baby for just a short time to calm them
  • …And lastly, make sure baby’s tummy is full!  Night hunger is usually caused by growth spurts (once your baby has started sleeping through the night)

We would love to hear any of your suggestions for getting your baby back to sleep in the middle of the night.  Leave your suggestions in the comments section below!

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As new parents, we all question, “Is that normal what the baby is doing right now while he/she is sleeping?” Usually there is a Mom or Dad there to comfort you or perhaps even a baby nurse that can calm your nerves…or you might be the type to rush to the doctor, only to be relieved that it is all part of a child’s sleeping habits. Here are some baby sleeping habits decoded and hopefully help give you peace of mind. And although you can never really predict a baby’s sleeping habits because all babies are different, there are some rough estimates of what parents can expect.

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Head Banging in the Crib
Seeing your baby hit his head against the crib mattress or rails as he’s dozing off can certainly be upsetting. Fortunately, it’s usually normal. According to Parents.com, “Up to 20 percent of children are head-bangers, and boys are much more likely to do it than girls. It typically starts at around 6 months and slows or stops by age 3. The exact reason for head banging is unknown, but experts generally believe that it’s a way to self-soothe.”

“In utero, a fetus is constantly being jostled to and fro, so a baby may be soothed by the rocking motion of head banging,” says Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, in New York City.  So there’s no need to pad the crib with bumpers or pillows — after all, placing soft items in the crib increases risk of suffocation

Twitching
Don’t be surprised if your sleeping baby sometimes kicks her legs and punches her arms. She’s not having a nightmare. Babies have a very immature nervous system, and it’s hard for them to control their reflexes and responses to environmental noise and temperature – a.k.a. this means that those unpredictable movements are involuntary and usually harmless.

Snoring
Although we like to think that only parents snore, babies can produce the sound effect too. Snoring is usually the result of air passing through your little one’s narrow nasal cavity or the back of the throat. The noise may happen because a baby has a cold or because his nasal passage is clogged with milk or baby food — which can get pushed upward when he spits up. Use a suction bulb or saline drops to clear the nose.

Just Remember….
You can help your baby to sleep better and longer by teaching good sleep habits and establishing a good bedtime routine. That means sticking to a regular nightly bedtime and nightly routine—maybe it’s playtime followed by bath time followed by reading a book and cuddling. The baby will get used to the nightly routine and sleep better each night. Every baby has different needs and a different schedule, so don’t expect every baby to fall into these categories. Figure out what works for your baby, and do your best to make sure she’s getting all the sleep she needs—and that you are, too. Sleep when the baby sleeps they say!

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Oh, boy! My baby is growing up. He’s hit another milestone. Paulo is 21 months, not quite two years old, but my husband and I have decided to move him into a regular bed. Our daughter was probably about the same age, but I’m not an expert. I’m not quite sure when the right time is to transition your toddler from a crib to a bed. BabyCenter says “sometime between ages 1-1/2 and 3-1/2,” stating that “it’s best to wait until your child is closer to 3.” I’m within the range but I decided to use mommy instincts on this one.

Usually I can leave my son in the crib while I go brush my teeth, wash my hands, or even just a couple steps to his closet to pick out what Le Top outfit to put him in. However the past couple of months, he’s gotten so active that when I turn around he’s already got one leg hoisted over the crib and the second leg spring-loaded ready to propel himself in mid-air. So before he seriously injures himself, my husband and I decided to move him to his first bed.

For safety, we put the bed mattress directly on the floor instead of putting the mattress on a bed frame so that he is closer to the ground. To keep him from rolling out of bed while sleeping, we placed bed rails on each side. The first couple of nights were tough because he was terribly excited about his new sleeping arrangements that he would just roll himself from left to right, then back again, only because he can. (Mind you, he has a full-size bed so there’s a lot of room to play steamroller.) By mid-week, when the excitement boiled over, he became accustomed to his bed.

It’s been three weeks now since the big “move” and Paulo LOVES his bed! His crib is still in his room because my husband is too lazy to dismantle it and I am in denial that my baby is no longer a baby. Sometimes, out of habit, I’ll put him in his crib while I go to his closet. He cries and looks at me with sad puppy eyes as if he’s asking me if he’s in trouble. (We really need to dismantle it!) Although, the best part is when it’s time for bed. After we brush his teeth, he’ll run to his room and things will be quiet. When I walk in, I always find him under the covers sitting up with a book on his lap and a big smile ready for story time. So precious!

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All parents deal with that special time of night that I like to refer to as the “witching hour”…when you are tired from a long day of work and your sweet kiddos are tired and turn into cranky kiddos and you may burst into tears. Ha!  In my opinion, whoever is caring for your children during the time before bed isn’t the only one who is dealing with the kids’ moods – it’s the whole family! At this time of day, you are trying to wind-down your children, fatigue is high, the family is transitioning their own day and kids often are at their neediest. It’s no wonder this time of day can be painful for parents! Many moms and dads need the time to decompress and have some quiet time themselves around children’s bedtime. Here are some tips on how to keep the peace without resorting to 2 tall glasses of vino and know that your children go to bed smiling.

Get comfy as a parent
Changing after work helps you make the mental shift you need to rid of a sour mood. The minute you put on your comfy clothes, you begin to relax. Also, often time parents are wearing work clothes they don’t want to get dirty with the kids when they get home, so changes creates a more relaxed atmosphere.

A breath of fresh air
Kids tend to be wound up from the day and even more excited when you arrive home from work. Before beginning your evening routine, take a walk around the block or just head out to the yard.

Give kids what they want — you.
Many moms come home and immediately feel they have to jump into household chores. Instead, take your shoes off and give your kids your total attention so they don’t spend the new hour or two fighting for your attention. Even if it is just ten minutes, your children will then most likely go play with their toys or entertain themselves with their siblings, etc.

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