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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.

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