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    Sleepy Lambs Sleep Tips & More!

23/11/2017

Sleepy Lambs checks out Fidgetbum

Let’s face it. There are many sleep gimmicks out there. I speak with families all the time who have spent a lot of money on products that they just hope will help their child sleep better.  Unfortunately, most don’t address the reason WHY the little one isn’t sleeping well, so, in the end, they don’t work. It’s frustrating.  I get it. Parents just want their children to sleep, and they want solutions.

This week I had the chance to check out a new product that could help your toddler or young child sleep better in their bed.  Fidgetbum is the invention of Surrey-based Mel Wood. When Mel’s younger daughter struggled with the transition from her cot to bed, Mel decided to create something that would help her daughter feel snug and secure in her new bed and help her daughter stay warm and keep her covers on.

Toddlers Like to “Move it, Move it!!

If you have a toddler or young child, you know that they don’t typically stay still when they sleep. Younger toddlers can struggle to pull up their blankets until they’re three or four years old.  Fidgetbum has been designed to allow children to comfortably move around but keep their blankets on.  The soft four-way elastic fabric instils that feeling of security, that can help many toddlers and young children feel more secure in their beds. Fidgetbum can also reduce the possibility of your little one falling out of bed.

Fidgetbum is easy to install, going under the mattress and coming together on top with a heavy duty zipper up the middle. It’s machine washable

Let’s Give it a Go!

So, Grace, our lovely but headstrong three-year-old, has been sleeping restlessly lately. She’s been getting up to see us when us uses the toilet in the night and wanting a cuddle.  Firstly, I don’t have a problem with it and we quite enjoy the sweet, peaceful cuddles but we would prefer for her to get a solid rest. Being three years old is all about being busy and going non-stop. If she doesn’t get enough sleep, we notice that she is more likely to struggle in the day, and is overtired.  She’s the perfect candidate for Fidgetbum!

At first, Grace was excited about giving it a try and then was unsure and wouldn’t let us zip it up the first night.  That’s okay. I certainly didn’t didn’t force it and left it unzipped.  It wasn’t going to work if she didn’t want it on.

On the second night, Grace requested us to zip it up.  (I’m thinking it may have had something to do with her older sister wanting it on her bed!).  We zipped it up, and she slept well.  All night!  She did get up once on her own to use the toilet but went back to bed and crawled back under her duvet and the Fidgetbum. Woohoo!  Success!

Since we started using Fidgetbum several days ago, Grace has stayed in her bed most nights, without coming out to look for cuddles.  I think that’s a major step forward!  Even though she didn’t have a sleep problem, I think the feeling of security that Fidgetbum provides helps her feel more secure in her bed.

Special Needs, Sensory Disorders

Most of us love hugs and feel calmer, and more secure after getting a hug. After checking Fidgetbum out, I think it would be an excellent product to help children who are restless sleepers or children who experience sensory processing challenges or disorders. The light level of pressure from the elasticised fabric can help children sleep better by keeping them warmer and adding some light pressure, like a hug, to help them feel safe and secure.

Check out the video below and learn more about Fidgetbum, with the help of my daughters!

Visit the Fidgetbum website to learn more about the product and where you can purchase it. Black Friday £10 off until 25th Nov with the code BLACKNOV17.


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 three little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at seven months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Their little “lambs” keep her busy, with their oldest newly 7, their middle one 5 1/2 and their youngest 3 1/2.

Mary is Canadian and is based in Petersfield, Hampshire in England. She has supported hundreds of families in Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and Sussex as well as around the world in 11 countries, to date. Mary’s unique approach is holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

Disclaimer: I have been provided with a Fidgetbum to try and evaluate whether it would be helpful for the families I support. I have not received any additional compensation for this review, and I am not receiving any commission on products sold. Comments and opinions on this product or other products I may review are expressly my own.

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 been that way for me, and it seems to be that way for all of the families I’ve supported.  This week I’m answering a question from Ruth, wondering if her little one’s latest regression and night wake-ups are due to the sleep schedule.

Consistent 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 into 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 essential.

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 renowned Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She has an incredible husband, and they had three little ones in three years (along with an international move at seven months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a bit crazy and adventurous). Their little “lambs” keep her busy, with their oldest newly 6, their middle one almost 5 and their youngest nearly 3.

Mary is Canadian and lives 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.