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    Sleepy Lambs Sleep Tips & More!

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10/02/2018

Want to Win a Gold Medal?

Sleep Like an Olympian!


As the best athletes from around the world are in PyeongChang, South Korea for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and soon the Paralympic Games, there are a few things they all have in common, regardless of the flag they wave.


The athletes are all dedicated, passionate and living their dream. To reach the pinnacle of their sport, they have worked hard through blood, sweat and tears. They have all sacrificed a lot to be there. But, what’s the one thing that these incredible and inspiring athletes WON’T sacrifice? Getting enough sleep.

Being well-rested is one of their TOP priorities. They focus on ensuring they eat well, train smartly and get enough rest.

Olympic gold and bronze medallist and four-time Olympian, Lindsey Vonn, reportedly naps daily and aims for 10 hours of sleep every night. As the most decorated female alpine skier in history, Vonn knows that the focus on sleep helps her body recover better from injury and ensures she’s in optimum physical and mental form to win.

You MAY not be an Olympian (or perhaps you ARE!)

Good sleep is equally as vital for you and your baby as it is for the athletes in PyeongChang.  

Have you ever said? “One day he will be a teenager, and I won’t be able to get him up!” or “She’ll figure it out; eventually, I’m sure.”

If so, you may be missing the importance of good, age-appropriate sleep for your little one AND for you now and treating sleep as a “nice to have” instead of the essential body function that it is.

Parenthood Doesn’t HAVE to be as Exhausting

There is a certain amount of sleep-deprivation that does come with parenthood. Newborn babies need regular night feeds. When your little one is sick, they may need you all night long. There is so much you can do to encourage age-appropriate sleep, and it doesn’t need to include having your little one “cry it out.”  Often, just by making your little one’s sleep needs a priority like Olympians do, they will start sleeping better.

If not, there are many ways to help improve sleep, helping your little one and your entire family get the sleep they need.

Join our #SleepTips group for excellent support, sleep tips and advice on how to make sleep a priority for your family! It’s a good place to navigate through all of the (unsolicited and conflicting) advice you’re probably receiving.


Mary Foster is a sleep specialist, an entrepreneur and mum of three little ones (at one time three under three). Mary’s a proud Canadian, living in Hampshire, England and previously spent three years working for the 2010 Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler. She’s the founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and is 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. Click here to message her.

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.

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.

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!

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.