• Background Image

    Sleepy Lambs Sleep Tips & More!

01/03/2017

Recurring Night Wake-Ups? Constant feeding overnight?

Recurring Night Wake-Ups? Constant feeding overnight?

Does this sound familiar? Your little one wakes up about the same time every night? Perhaps they seem hungry or perhaps it’s just a wake-up and reassurance to get back to sleep. For many parents it’s really frustrating because they’re sure their little one could sleep so much better. AND, perhaps they can!

These wake-ups are frequently known as habitual wake-ups. Your little one may be in the habit of waking up at a certain time or even hungry at a certain time.

How do I know that the wake-up is a habit?

Great question! Here’s a checklist to see if the wake-up may be a habit.

  • The wake-up(s) are at approximately the same time and have been that way for a while
  • You wouldn’t expect your little one to be hungry
  • They are difficult to settle back to sleep or absolutely won’t go back to sleep without a feed

I never suggest rushing to drop a feed!

Okay, before I start getting hate mail saying that babies do need feeding in the night, I completely agree. I never suggest rushing to drop a night feed. This advice definitely doesn’t apply if you have a newborn or for most babies under six months. IF the feed is a habit and your baby or toddler is feeding because they’re very used to feeding at the same time every night, I have a gentle way to eliminate it WITHOUT tears. It’s extremely effective. It works over a period of 5-7 days.

I should note that I’m not a fan of replacing a feed with water OR just letting your little one cry, especially when there is a much more effective method that doesn’t result in any tears. AND, if it turns out your little one is still hungry, you will know it and there’s no harm done!

Have a look and give it a try!

 


Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She has an amazing husband and they had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Their little “lambs” keep her busy, with their oldest newly 6, their middle one almost 5 and their youngest almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

20/02/2017

Answering your sleep questions: Is it time to drop the nap? My baby hates his cot!

Happy Monday! It was a busy weekend with sleep questions. I received 52 email questions just between Saturday and Sunday. I wish I could answer them all personally but hopefully my videos and answering weekly sleep questions are providing some answers. The answers are out there, even if you feel you’ve tried EVERYTHING.

Is it time to drop the nap?

One of the great sleep questions I answered this week is from Michelle.  Her toddler has been falling asleep later and waking up earlier and is wondering if it’s time to drop the nap. It’s such a great question! It’s not uncommon for there to be a nap resistance regression around age 2. My two girls definitely experienced it. My son didn’t.  They seem to either resist napping altogether OR, when they nap, they struggle to get to sleep at night.  It can be a frustrating and confusing sleep challenge. Watch the sleep video below to find out more!

My baby hates his cot!

I hear this statement from parents A LOT! It’s often the reason why parents move to a bed sooner than a little one is ready or buy a new bed, change sheets… anything to help them like their cot, crib or bed again. My solution is a LOT more cost-effective.  It’s hard to sleep well in a sleep environment you’re not comfortable with. We feel this way as adults and babies and toddlers can definitely have negative associations with their room or cot and they can come up at any time. Frequent causes are illness, sleep training, extended crying or injury. My son struggled with it after having a stomach bug and had been sick all over his cot as a baby. It’s something I spend a lot of time talking about when I work with families and I have a lesson on this topic in the Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy as part of the big module on emotional wellness, to avoid this happening at any time. This week Subha asks what to do since her little guy hates his cot since they did controlled crying and took away his dummy.

Have a sleep question? I make a video every Monday.  Click here to submit yours. If you’re looking for sleep info now, my video “How to help your little one sleep better WITHOUT sleep training” is available to watch right now.

 


Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She has an amazing husband and they had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Their little “lambs” keep her busy, with their oldest newly 6, their middle one almost 5 and their youngest almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

13/02/2017

My Baby Wakes EVERY 45 Minutes Overnight and Ready to Start the Day at 3 a.m.!

I’m exhausted for Rachel. Her little one is waking up every 45 minutes overnight and seems to have a lot more energy at 3 a.m. than she does or she should. That lack of sleep can really take a toll after a while. It’s hard to enjoy parenting when it’s hard to see straight. Many parents I meet describe themselves as walking zombies. They may look normal on the outside but struggling to feel like themselves or human on the inside.

Babies DO Wake!

First off, it’s important to know that babies do wake in the night. We all do. It’s a myth that babies sleep through. We all have sleep cycles and at the end of a sleep cycle, we come to a partial wake-up.  As adults, we may roll over, adjust our blanket, move our pillow and be completely unaware of waking. We go back into our sleep cycle and *hopefully* sleep undisturbed. As adults, we do this every 90-120 minutes. Babies do the exact same thing except their sleep cycles are shorter, typically 40-60 minutes. Often, when a baby wakes up or rouses at the end of a sleep cycle, they struggle to get back to sleep or are looking for the same way to get back to sleep as they did when they fell asleep in the first place.

Answering YOUR Sleep Questions

Every week, I receive dozens of your sleep questions and I do my best to answer one every week. If you have a sleep question you would like answered, just submit it here and I’ll do my best to answer it soon!

 

Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She has an amazing husband and they had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Their little “lambs” keep her busy, with their oldest newly 6, their middle one almost 5 and their youngest almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

13/02/2017

Could My 9-Month-Old’s Schedule Cause His Night Wake-Up’s?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about parenting, it’s that as soon as you think you’ve got something under control or figured out, a different challenge pops up. It’s certainly been that way for me, and it seems to be that way for all of the families I’ve worked with.  This week I’m answering a question from Ruth, wondering if her little one’s latest regression and night wake-ups is due to their sleep schedule.

Schedules are SO Important!

When I work with families, before we even have our initial meeting, I have them record sleep, feeding and more for at least 3 to 4 days.  In addition to a detailed questionnaire, completing these sleep logs on an app called Baby Connect, really gives me insight to their 24-hour day as well as the impact on sleep. The timing of sleep tells me SO much.  If a baby or child is overtired, their body produces stress hormones, causing them to fight sleep, sleep more restlessly and wake up sooner.  At the same time, if a baby isn’t tired enough, it’s hard to go to sleep too. Finding the right balance is important.

As I answer Ruth’s question, it’s entirely possible that her 9-month-old’s schedule is contributing to the night wake-ups.  Watch the quick video below to learn more!  And, if you have a sleep question, feel free to submit it here.  I publish answers to your newborn, baby, or toddler sleep questions every Monday.


Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She has an amazing husband and they had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Their little “lambs” keep her busy, with their oldest newly 6, their middle one almost 5 and their youngest almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

07/02/2017

Help! My Toddler Will ONLY Sleep With Me! – Answering YOUR Sleep Questions

If you haven’t had the joy of parenting toddlers yet, you may not recognise the iron will that many can have. Toddlers can be the most determined group of humans ever and it can be challenging because there are times they lack any logic to back their firmly held beliefs. Yikes, toddlers sound more and more like President Donald Trump or is it that President Trump sounds more like a toddler?

I work a lot with toddlers and my approach to toddler sleep is to reduce or remove the confrontation where possible. No one wins in a battle with a toddler and we don’t sleep to be a challenge.

Their job is to test and push boundaries

Toddlers are exploring the world around them, looking for any boundaries to test and push. They can also struggle with separation anxiety and also are in the process of developing a vivid imagination. It can be a perfect storm for sleep struggles.

The good news is there is a lot you can do to help your toddler. My first step when working with the family is to find the cause of the sleep challenge. It typically takes some digging and many questions on my part, which is why it’s hard to give a simple tip with a solution. But, if you have a toddler who is struggling with sleeping alone or bedtime, these tips will help.

This week’s question!

“My toddler is happy to sleep in his own bed but only if I’m there with him.”  Find out my answer by watching the video below. If you have a sleep question you would like answered, just click here to submit it. I answer sleep questions every Monday.

 


Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She has an amazing husband and they had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Their little “lambs” keep her busy, with their oldest newly 6, their middle one almost 5 and their youngest almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

06/02/2017

Answering YOUR Sleep Questions – My Baby Will ONLY Fall Asleep If I…

It’s a common sleep challenge for parents. Your sweet baby will only fall asleep if you… (insert action here) hold, rock, feed, drive, jiggle, bounce in order to get to sleep.

First off, if it’s working for you, there’s absolutely NO problem with it.

You can read on to find something else that’s challenging for you. I know I certainly loved those pre-sleep cuddles with my little ones. I could nurse my youngest to sleep and she would sleep well and for long stretches. Other babies need more help to fall asleep and when they naturally wake up in the night (which we ALL naturally do. “Sleeping through” is a myth), they are looking for that same help to get back to sleep.

There’s one caveat, of course. If you have a newborn, it’s normal and expected that they need that help, so don’t sweat it or worry that you’re creating bad habits. You’re not.

Sometimes, however, the holding, rocking, feeding to sleep can start to take a LONG time (think HOURS instead of minutes) and babies need more and more help to get to sleep and it’s still a struggle. Two hours of rocking or bouncing can be difficult with other children who need attention or to get to bed, or can create back injuries, and may need to be repeated for wake-ups in the night. A family I recently helped was rocking their young toddler a total of 7.5 hours a day to get to sleep and getting him to fall asleep was still a struggle. If it becomes a problem for you, then there are solutions and they don’t need to involve sleep training. We didn’t use traditional sleep training for that little toddler and he falls asleep on his own and sleeps well every night and nap now.

This Week’s Question

This week’s sleep question is from Kate and she asks about her 12-month-old, who needs to be held to sleep and wakes as soon as she puts her down. She also just doesn’t like sleeping in her cot.

I’ve got a few tricks for her to help with this process!  Find out more by watching below!

Got a sleep question?

I answer a sleep question every Monday. Submit yours here!


Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She has an amazing husband and they had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Their little “lambs” keep her busy, with their oldest newly 6, their middle one almost 5 and their youngest almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

01/02/2017

Two Naps to One? The Transition! Answering Your Sleep Questions.

2 to 1 Nap Transition! How and When!

Nap transitions can be tricky, sometimes really tricky and one of the most difficult transitions can be from having two naps and going to one. In this week’s video, I’m answering Laura’s question on how to make it easier.

My advice is always not to rush the nap transition. For most toddlers, having that balance of sleep in the day is important and can prevent having an overtired toddler. An overtired toddler equals tantrums, which makes for an unhappy family. No one wants that!

This is one of the occasions where I recommend capping nap times. Instead of having a longer morning nap and then struggling to get the afternoon one in, I suggest capping the nap shorter, even to 30-40 minutes, to ensure your toddler can get an afternoon nap in, to keep that balance of sleep up.

Quick Fixes and Fast Tips

In this video I also talk a little bit about quick fixes and how it’s difficult for me to answer when someone says “just give me a tip so my baby will sleep.”  It’s not that I don’t want to give you a quick tip so your baby sleeps. I wish I could, but sleep is so much more complicated than that. Frequently, a deep dive into everything is required, to figure out the challenge.

If you have a sleep question you would like answered, send it my way! Click here to submit it. I typically post them on Monday on the blog and on the Sleepy Lambs Facebook page. This week we’re a little delayed due to getting knocked out with gastro. 🙁

 


Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Her little “lambs” keep her busy, with her oldest just turned 6, middle one almost 5 and the youngest is almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

23/01/2017

Answering Your Sleep Questions – January 23, 2017

Short Napper?

It’s a common sleep challenge. The classic 40-minute nap. Why is it always 40 minutes? Sleep science. We all have sleep cycles. As adults, our sleep cycles are 90-120 minutes, but babies have much shorter sleep cycles, typically 40-60 minutes. At the end of a sleep cycle, we all come to a partial wakening. For most adults, we roll over, pull up the covers, or adjust our pillow and go back into our next sleep cycle. Babies often just wake up – EVEN if they still need more sleep.

So many babies are notorious for struggling to link sleep cycles. It’s more common in the day, when the sleep pressure is lower than it is at night. Lengthening naps also comes with age, so if you have a newborn, short cat naps are normal. Naps typically begin to extend between four and six months. What happens if they don’t and why don’t they? This week, I’ve answered Emma’s question about helping her 8-month-old lengthen her afternoon nap. She’s doing a lot of the right things, but a little tweaking may help. Watch below to find out what advice I’ve given her.

Oh, Those Pre-schoolers!

Sleep challenges for toddlers and young children can be so much more difficult to resolve than for babies. They are typically strong-willed, have active imaginations, a strong desire for independence yet struggle with separation anxiety too. This week, I’ve answered a question from Patricia, who is struggling with her 3.5-year-old and waking up 3-4 times a night, looking for attention, saying he’s hungry.

Hunger can be an issue for some children in the night, especially during a growth spurt. In addition, many children who go to daycare or nursery have their tea early and need a good snack before they go to bed because their little tummies aren’t able to go more than 12 hours without something in it. A snack with a combination of protein and carbohydrates is ideal, as it keeps blood sugar stable. Avoiding higher sugar foods or juices (even unsweetened) is important for many. Cheese and crackers, a banana and yoghurt, toast and nut butter are a few ideas.

I have some other ideas for Patricia as well, so watch below.

If you have a sleep question you would like answered, click here to submit your request. Due to high volume, we’re not able to answer every question we receive every week but we do our best!

As mentioned in the video, Baby Connect is the app I use with families to help record sleep and detect sleep patterns. Here’s an affiliate link if you’re interested.


Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Her little “lambs” keep her busy, with her oldest just turned 6, middle one almost 5 and the youngest is almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

16/01/2017

Answering YOUR Sleep Questions – January 16, 2017

Happy Monday!

If you have more than one child, you’re probably aware that each child can be SO different. I often work with families who have one child who is an amazing sleeper and another who really struggles. It really shows you that each child is their own unique person, born with their own temperament.

Every Monday, I will be posting a new video, answering YOUR sleep questions. This week’s question is from Cat, who has two toddlers. Her older toddler is a great sleeper, getting 11 hours every night. Her younger one isn’t keen on sleep in the evening.

Toddler sleep can be a challenge, especially when they transition naps. Moving from two naps to one nap can bring all new sleep challenges and it’s very easy to become overtired.

Here are a few suggestions to help Cat. They may help your little one sleep better too!

Do you have a sleep challenge? I’d love to help you out! Submit your sleep question here and be sure to check back on the blog or our Facebook page every Monday for answers.


Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Her little “lambs” keep her busy, with her oldest just turned 6, middle one almost 5 and the youngest is almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

09/01/2017

Answering YOUR Sleep Questions – January 9, 2017 – Toddler Week!

It’s Monday, which means another week of our weekly video series, answering your sleep questions. This week we’re looking at toddler sleep. I received some GREAT questions this week and I really hope that you’ll find the info helpful if you have a toddler struggling with sleep challenges. If you don’t have a toddler yet, be sure to watch anyway because it’s always good to know how to deal with issues before they possibly come up.

Hi Ebony, Abi, Megan, Emma & Tracy! I’ve got answers to your questions here!

Ebony asks about habitual night wakings and wants to know if substituting water in her son’s bottle will stop the wake-ups. Abi is struggling with some extra early mornings because we shouldn’t have to start our day with a “4” in front! Megan has two toddlers, close in age and they’re waking up 3-4 times every night. 🙁 Tracy has a little one who doesn’t want to go to bed and wakes up crying several times in the night, going in to see her parents. Emma has a 3-year-old who doesn’t want to go to sleep before 10:30 and he doesn’t want to sleep in his own bed.

In the video below, I’ve given some tips on how they can make a few changes to make a difference. I’m only able to get a snippet here and I haven’t made a full assessment of sleep, so there are many other possibilities and solutions available. When I meet with parents, we would typically chat for 90 minutes after I’ve done a sleep assessment.

Do you have a sleep question you would like answered? Click here to submit!

See you next week! Until then, sleep well.

Mary xx


Meet Mary!

Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Her little “lambs” keep her busy, with her oldest just turned 6, middle one almost 5 and the youngest is almost 3.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.