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    Sleepy Lambs Sleep Tips & More!

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.

09/01/2017

Baby sleep challenges often continue in the toddler years

It’s a common misconception that sleep challenges are confined to the baby years. If you’re the sleep-deprived parent of a baby, it’s hard to imagine it could get more challenging. The reality is, it can. (Sorry! I know it may not be what you want to hear right now.)  Toddler sleep problems frequently have different causes than baby sleep challenges and the approach to improved sleep is ENTIRELY different.

Baby sleep challenges frequently turn into toddler challenges

Babies frequently don’t “eventually” grow out of their sleep problems. “More than 40% of infants who have sleep disorders at the age 8 months also have sleep disorders at age 3 years.(Zuckerman B et al. 1987).  According to another study, “84% of infants who suffered sleep disorders at the age of 15-48 months had these findings by the age of 3 years, while only 3% of infants without the signs of sleep problems at initial inspection were found to have these problems at 3 years.” (Kataria S et al. 1987)

My own (completely unscientific) study would confirm these studies. With the toddlers and young children I’ve worked with (15 months – age 6), I can’t remember one child that didn’t also have a history of sleep challenges as a baby.

Again, I promise I don’t say this to make you feel worse. I know it may seem really discouraging if you have a baby who won’t sleep. I certainly wish I had known this with my oldest son and his sleep struggles. Not focusing and resolving his sleep challenges while he was a baby is one of my biggest parenting regrets. I also see it almost daily with the families that I work with. I’ve heard over and over “I thought they would grow out of it but he’s 2.5 now and still waking up multiple times a night. I’m so exhausted and at my wits end.”

I say it because I don’t want you to struggle for years on end, especially if there are things you can do about it now.

Improved sleep doesn’t have to mean “sleep training” or CIO

I promise that it’s not the ONLY answer. There are so many factors involved in sleep and the first step is always to figure out the cause of the sleep challenge first. Often, the basics of sleep science are completely opposite to common sense. A prime example would be; “My 18-month-old doesn’t fall asleep until late and wakes up multiple times a night. He obviously doesn’t need as much sleep and we’re going to cut out his naps so that he sleeps better at night.”

I hear those words constantly, whether from families I work with or in parenting groups on Facebook.  It would make common sense that if a little one is not sleeping at night that keeping them up in the day would help. Reality (and science) says, the opposite is true.

When babies and toddlers (and adults) are overtired, their little bodies produce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. When these stress hormones flood the system, it gives them a second wind, causing them to fight going to sleep, sleep more restlessly and wake up sooner.

Have you noticed that you kept your toddler up later than usual and thought; “They’ve had an extra exhausting day. I’m sure they’ll sleep well tonight and hopefully sleep in later in the morning.”  What typically happens? They can wake up more often and wake at the same time, or even earlier.  That’s due to the stress hormones.

FREE help is on the way!

This week I’ll be releasing a new FREE video “How to help your little one sleep better, WITHOUT sleep training.” The video will give you tools that you can implement immediately to help your baby, toddler or young child sleep better.

Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more details. Also, if you have a toddler, check out today’s weekly “Your Sleep Questions Answered” video, where I answer several questions from tired parents and their toddler sleep challenges. If you have your own sleep question that you’d like me to answer, just submit it 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 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.

03/01/2017

Interested in a FREE Sleep Video?

Are you interested in learning how to help your little one sleep better but aren’t interested in traditional sleep training? Would you like to learn more? What if it’s completely FREE?

I’m thinking of putting out a video “How to help your baby or toddler sleep better WITHOUT sleep training.”

The video will give you the tools to help your newborn, baby, toddler or young child sleep better, EVEN if you have zero interest in sleep training. The video will be comprehensive, about 60-90 minutes long. I’ll let you in on a few of my secrets!

If you’re interested, head over to our Facebook page and LIKE, COMMENT, TAG A FRIEND OR SHARE the post. Or… Love Instagram?  Follow us and ❤ the post, or comment with a 😊. Or… Into tweeting? Follow us on Twitter and ❤ , RT or reply I’ll be sure to put the video together ASAP.

With sleep, the approach MUST be entirely holistic. Most of all, working with parenting preferences, age, health and as well as the child’s temperament is essential. If you want to help your newborn, baby, toddler or young child get the healthy sleep they need, start with the basics. It’s amazing how a few simple changes can make an amazing difference to sleep, even if you feel like you’ve tried EVERYTHING.

As parents, we’re just not born knowing it all. When you start with the fundamentals, it’s similar to building a house with a solid foundation. The foundation is essential or it’s like building on shaky ground.

This FREE video will give you the tools you need to make a difference.  So, head over to our social media pages now and let’s get started on a year of great sleep!


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, 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.

02/01/2017

Answering Your Sleep Questions – January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

 

I hope you had a great holiday season! I love it but am so keen to get back into a great routine again. I’m guessing you may be too! I started my New Year’s Day morning speaking with a lovely family in Brisbane, Australia as they would like to help their toddler sleep better without feeding constantly overnight. I’ve spoken with several other families over the last day, all keen to start 2017 with great sleep habits.

What better way to start off 2017 than having the focus on great sleep. I’d love to help. Each week I’ll be answering your sleep questions in a video series. I can’t wait to help! If you have a sleep question you’d like answered, click here to submit your query.

Meet Kim, Kate & Emma!

This week I answered 3 questions, from Kim, Kate and Emma.

Kim has an adorable 4-month old who is a pretty good sleeper. The problem? He sleeps for 10 hours and wakes up at 4 or 4:30 a.m. and it’s a struggle to get back to sleep. With a toddler starting the day at 6 a.m., 4 a.m. is really early to get up and start the day and she’s wondering what she can do.

Kate has a 9-month-old baby girl who was sleeping well up until a month ago and is now waking in the night. Her naps are also erratic. She’s wondering what she can do to help her little one sleep well again.

Emma has a 7.5 month-old baby girl and she is waking up constantly in the night. 🙁 Sometimes after 20 minutes and other times after 2 hours. She’s exhausted and struggling to keep up with her breastfeeding goals of reaching one year.

In this week’s video, I mention Baby Connect, an app I recommend and include with all full support packages. If you’re interested, click here to learn more (affiliate link).

I’d love it if you shared with your sleepy friends or visit our Facebook page to keep up to date.


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) and 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, and has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries to date. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

02/01/2017

Answering Your Sleep Questions!

Ready for 2017? If you’re like many parents, you’re ready to start the year off and get back into the routine. Sleep can really suffer over the holiday season. Extra travel, illness, visitors, late nights, extra sugar, and a lot of excitement can cause a lot of regressions.

Giving You The Answers To Your Sleep Questions!

Each Monday I’ll be answering your sleep questions. If you have a question, just click here to submit it!

Whether you have a toddler not sleeping, a baby waking up constantly, a little one starting off the day when it’s still the middle of the night, I’ll answer your questions and give you ideas on how to make a few changes, always focused on your little one’s emotional well-being.

It’s amazing how just a little direction can make a difference. Sometimes what your little one is doing is entirely age-appropriate too.

Send me your sleep questions and let’s make 2017 about great sleep! Just check out our Facebook page or our blog and you’ll see the 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) and 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, and has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries to date. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.

10/12/2016

7 Tips For Surviving Sleep Over The Holidays With Babies & Young Children

The holiday season has begun, and it can be so magical as a parent of babies and young children! Seeing friends, visiting relatives, travel, parties, goodies, excitement, gifts and anticipation!  As enchanting as it all can be, the holidays can also take a toll on sleep, creating many overtired babies and children. Here are a few tips to enjoy the holiday season with your little ones.

Why the holiday struggle?

Babies and children thrive on routines and schedules. They love knowing what comes next and are frequently much calmer with the predictability.

Have you ever noticed that toddlers and young children love reading the same book over and over again or watch their favourite movie, TV show or listen to the same song 738 times in a row but love it more each time? Routine and repetition provide comfort, allowing babies and children to know what’s coming next. The routine lets them feel calm and empowered.

The holiday season often throws comforting routines out the window.  The result can be overtired babies and children, extra tantrums, and less sleep for everyone.  Add in a cold or illness, and it can be tough.

So, what can you do?  Well, if your little one is struggling, look at their schedule for the last few days or even weeks. It will probably tell you the answer.

Focus on wake windows

It’s easy to get distracted and suddenly realise that your little one has been awake for too long. When little ones are overtired their bodies produce cortisol and adrenaline – stress hormones. These stress hormones cause your little one to fight going to sleep, sleep more restlessly and wake up sooner. By getting your little one to sleep when she needs it, you can help prevent her from becoming overtired.

Earlier bedtime

Have you noticed that even with a late night, your little one still wakes up at their regular time? It’s so frustrating! Wouldn’t it be nice if a later bedtime meant a lie-in?  For the most part, however, this isn’t the case.

If you can, keep bedtime as consistent as possible and stick to your routine – even if you’re away from home.

Make it loud!

Expecting guests or travelling? Adding some white (or pink) noise to be played for the duration of night sleep and naps can make a massive difference to sleep for babies and young children.  White or pink noise provides a consistent sleep environment and drowns out other sounds that may wake your little one.  Whether it’s the “prancing and pawing of each little hoof” from Santa’s reindeer, Aunt Ella’s loud laugh, or that creaky floorboard that you know to avoid but your guests don’t, you won’t have to “shush” guests in fear of waking the baby and the consistent noise. Just be sure to play it for the duration of night sleep or naps!

Limit sugar, especially before bed

It’s hard with so many delicious treats around (guilty here!) but many children are sensitive to sugar, and it can have a significant effect on behaviour and sleep. If you think this is the case for your little one, limit sugar in the last few hours before bed, including unsweetened fruit juices.

Respond with empathy

If your little one has been struggling, it’s easy to get frustrated. When you’re out or hosting guests, it can be frustrating. The behaviour is likely a direct result of the change in routine, and that’s not his fault. He just may be struggling to cope with it. Some babies and children are more sensitive to these changes than others.

Responding with empathy is always a winner. By acknowledging his feelings you may find your toddler, or young child responds with a release of emotions.  That’s okay. Sometimes a good cry, while being supported, means they get an emotional release and feel much better after.

Focus on the relationship

It’s easy to get busy shopping, wrapping, baking and entertaining and not have as much time to focus on your little one as much as usual. Spend some “special time” together, even for 5 minutes 1-2 times a day where you are entirely focused on your child and doing something they want you to do. It doesn’t need to take long, but it can make a HUGE difference in behaviours.

It WILL pass

The holiday season doesn’t last forever. Find whatever days and evenings you can that keep your routine in order and get back into your routine as quickly as possible after the holidays. Consistency is the key to getting back on track.

Best wishes for a very healthy and happy holiday season!


Mary Foster is a sleep specialist, an entrepreneur and mum of three little ones. She’s a proud Canadian, living in Hampshire, England. She’s the founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting. She’s passionate about supporting parents and helping newborns, babies, toddlers and young children learn to sleep better with a strong focus on emotional health and wellness.

02/10/2016

Welcome!

Welcome to the Sleepy Lambs blog. We’re going to be providing excellent sources to help you on this incredible (and sometimes challenging) journey of sleep and parenting! Our new post is coming soon!

If you have any questions, comments or a topic you’d like to see covered, we’d love to know!

Post a comment or send a message to info@sleepylambs.com. Check back soon!

Mary x