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Help! My Child Bangs Their Head to Go to Sleep


baby on crib

Thunk! Thunk! Each night you hear a rhythmic thumping coming from your baby’s room, and it’s happening so often that it’s causing you alarm. If your child bangs their head to go to sleep, you’re not alone. Let’s take a look at why the headbanging is happening and what can be done about it.

What is causing my child to bang their head to go to sleep?

When a baby keeps hitting their head on their crib, it’s alarming to parents. And, you’re likely here because you’re dealing with it right now. The first thing you need to know is that headbanging is common.

Headbanging episodes are typically short—around 15-minutes or so—but can also last over an hour in duration. When your baby keeps hitting their head on their crib, they’re often attempting to self-soothe.

Why headbanging happens

Your little one is banging their head on their crib in an attempt to soothe themself, which means that something else is going on. While it may just be their way of going to sleep on their own, there are other reasons why your child bangs their head to go to sleep.

Babies and toddlers will often bang their heads on their cribs because they’re in pain, frustrated, seeking attention, or have an underlying medical issue. Babies aren’t able to express themselves through speech, so when they experience dull pain—like an earache or tooth eruption—they may turn to physicality. Toddlers, who are learning independence, may use head banging as a way of expressing anger or frustration.

However, there are times when the headbanging may be a sign of an underlying medical issue. So, if your baby keeps hitting their head on their crib for extended periods or it continues for weeks on end, it warrants putting a call through to your pediatrician.

What you can do

If you are concerned about your baby’s behavior, always give your pediatrician a call. If the banging just started, take some time to look for a root issue. Is the banging in response to something? Does your baby have any new teeth emerging or show any other signs of illness? Are they seeking attention or response?

If the causes are more behavioral, take time during the day to help your toddler express themselves if they’re angry or frustrated.

What not to do

When your child bangs their head to go to sleep, your first inclination is likely to add padding to your little one’s crib. Please don’t—it’s dangerous to add additional blankets and padding, no matter how safely secured you think they are. Babies typically aren’t banging their heads hard enough to hurt themselves severely. Instead, add a “lovey” or another safe attachment object to your baby’s crib, so that they have something outside of themselves to self-soothe.

If you’re in the Philadelphia area and are wondering, “ is there a sleep consultant near me?” The answer is, “yes!” I’d be happy to work with you to create a comforting sleep routine for your little one. Please contact me to schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone call.

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Colicky Baby? Here’s What you Need to Know

Bringing home a new baby is exciting, fun, and sometimes scary, especially if you are a first-time parent. But the first few weeks are usually some of the most peaceful in your little one’s life as they adjust to being in the world. However, by the third week, you may notice they are getting a little fussy. They may have crying spells for extended periods of time or are difficult to soothe. If these crying spells are high pitched and accompanied by facial flushing, distended tummies, cold feet, tight fists and/or flailing arms and legs, and last for more than three hours, you may have a colicky baby on your hands. So, today, we are going over what you need to know to help get your little one (and you) through it.

Don’t overfeed

Some babies will stop eating when they are full. Some babies, however, are slow to develop that brain-tummy connection. When this happens, your baby may gradually feed longer and longer. This leads them to become overfilled and very uncomfortable. We recommend keeping track of how long your little one nurses for at each feeding. If you notice that they are fussy after a particularly long feeding, an overfilled tummy could be the culprit. 

Monitor your diet

If you are breastfeeding, you need to be aware of the foods you eat. Watch out for foods that contain dairy and caffeine, and vegetables like onions, cabbage, beans, broccoli. These can definitely upset your little one’s tummy leaving them feeling very uncomfortable, bloated, and gassy. 

Change formulas

If you formula-feed your baby and notice they have a bout of colicky crying and fussing shortly after a feeding, it could be because of the formula. Some formulas contain whey protein that can be difficult for an infant’s system to digest. Discuss switching to a low-allergy formula with your pediatrician and see if you notice a reduction in colic episodes. 

Stimulation

Even though there is no definitive evidence that stimulation helps ease the symptoms of colic, those who have experienced colic with their little ones swear by a handful of tricks. Sometimes constant noise like the clothes dryer, a fan, or vacuum cleaner can soothe them. Rhythmic sounds tend to work best over music or the sound of the TV. Also, rhythmic movements like walking, swinging, or rocking can help. Some even suggest tightly swaddling them in a soft blanket. Just holding them upright vs. lying on them on their backs might do the trick, too.

We still don’t fully understand the cause of colic in infants but some professionals suggest that it could possibly be an inherited trait. If your baby develops colic (crying spells that last more than three hours), it is good to be aware of the things that can make it worse. As frustrating as a colicky baby can be it is important to remember that you are not alone. Colic affects up to 25% of newborns and is typically a sign of good health. Little ones who develop colic are most often big, healthy, vigorous babies who usually grow out of it by the third month.

If you believe your baby has developed colic, it is important to confirm with your pediatrician to rule out a possible underlying health issue.

The post Colicky Baby? Here’s What you Need to Know appeared first on Welcome Baby Care.

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Preparing to go Back to Work While Breastfeeding

A lot of us have been fortunate enough to be able to work from home during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. In the next few weeks and months, however, businesses will begin to open and allow workers to come back. Whether you are a new mom or a seasoned one, if you are planning to go back to work while breastfeeding in the near future, now is the time to put together your strategy.

As a word of caution, it is important to accept that staying on top of your feeding/pumping schedule will certainly become more difficult as you spend more time away from home and away from your little one. We know how hectic work schedules can be, especially if you are just coming back from maternity leave (or quarantine). There are a lot of breastfeeding-related things to consider:

  • How do I build up a milk supply?
  • Will my baby take to a bottle?
  • When and where will I pump at work?

But don’t stress, we are going to cover all of these things here today!

1. Stockpile

One of the first things we recommend doing to prepare for returning to work is to begin stocking up on your milk supply. We suggest you do this as soon as your supply becomes established (this occurs around 2-3 weeks postpartum). Having a stockpile of milk gives you a little bit of a safety net while you get used to trying to pump at work. The best time to pump for storing is between your baby’s feedings. You can safely store your breast milk in a standard refrigerator freezer for 3-6 months and a chest freezer for 6-12 months. Just make sure to store them in the back of the freezer and not in or near the door.

*Tip: Date all of your milk and use the oldest milk first. This is important for two reasons:

  1. the quality of your milk will slowly degrade the longer it is frozen
  2. the nutritional needs of your baby changes as they grow and the quality of your breast milk changes in order to meet those needs. Therefore, if you are feeding your 9-month-old breast milk you pumped when they were 2 months old they may not be getting all of the nutrition they need

2. Practice Bottle Feeding

Get your baby used to taking a bottle as soon as possible (around 3 weeks old). To avoid confusion, it is best to have someone else bottle-feed the baby. This is a great chore for the non-breastfeeding parent! Have your partner bottle feed the baby 2-3 times a week. This will not only give them time to bond, but your baby will also develop familiarity with the different styles of feeding. We cannot stress this step enough. If your baby is not used to being bottle-fed, they may protest and refuse to eat when you are away. And that’s fun for no one. 

*Tip:  A great time to pump for your stockpile is when your baby is practicing bottle-feeding

3. Talk to your Boss

To ease your transition back to work, discuss your needs with your boss or supervisor before you return. Let them know how often you will need to pump (on average you will need 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a day). Block off time on your calendar to pump so you don’t find yourself trapped in a meeting or forgetting because you are wrapped up in a project. Find out if there is a lactation room available or if you can arrange to use an empty office or conference room to pump. Do you need/have access to refrigeration facilities? If possible, arrange for a designated drawer or shelf space where you can store your milk. If you have your own office or workspace, ask if it is possible to arrange for a small refrigerator.

4. Practice with Designated “Work” Days

Choose one day each week several weeks before your expected return to work and if possible (and safe), go to work, even for a few hours. This will be beneficial for several reasons:

  1.  it will help your baby get comfortable with spending more time bottle-feeding
  2. it will give you the opportunity to work out any “bugs” in your action plan ahead of time rather than on the first day back where you will undoubtedly be overwhelmed with work – and emotions

Preparing to go back to work while breastfeeding is a challenge. According to recent statistics, 66% of nursing mothers return to the workforce with the intention of pumping their breast milk. However, after the first few months, barely 13% continue. This sharp decline is because of a lack of flexibility in the workplace, tension amongst co-workers, and an increase in work-related stress. BUT, as we covered in this post, the best way to set yourself up for success is to prepare, prepare, prepare. Also, you have rights as a breastfeeding mother, which are clearly outlined by The United States Department of Labor.

The first year is very important in your baby’s development and if breastfeeding is part of your plan, eliminating as much stress as possible before you return to work will allow for greater chances of success!

Breastfeeding can be challenging in any scenario. If you need assistance, education, or insight on breastfeeding, we are here for you. We offer in-person and phone consultations. Click here to learn more.

The post Preparing to go Back to Work While Breastfeeding appeared first on Welcome Baby Care.

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Why you should still take your baby for their vaccines and checkups during coronavirus

In ordinary times, a baby’s first year is full of checkups, adorable weigh-ins on the scale at the doctor’s office, and a pretty packed vaccine schedule, with shots administered every few months. During the coronavirus pandemic, however, venturing into any healthcare setting with your little one can feel very risky—we’ve been told to stay home as much as possible. But delaying the normal vaccine schedule (or not vaccinating your baby at all) also carries huge risks, and doctors are worried that parents are cancelling regular checkups and important immunizations out of fear.

“Parents are definitely nervous—especially first-time parents,” says family doctor Tali Bogler, Chair of Family Medicine Obstetrics at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. “It’s completely understandable to be nervous about visiting the doctor’s office at this time, but we need parents to know that healthcare providers are doing everything they can to prevent the spread of infection.” 

Dr. Dina Kulik, a paediatrician in Toronto, confirms that some parents are delaying their child’s vaccines indefinitely because their doctors’ offices are closed. “I’m very worried about this,” she says. “When the distancing restrictions are lifted, we simply cannot allow hundreds of kids to rush into our offices to get vaccines—then you have tons of under-vaccinated kids all in one space. This increases the risk of second or third waves of COVID-19, plus the vaccine-preventable illnesses we know we can prevent.”

A good first step is to call your regular doctor or local health clinic for their specific advice, and to find out if they’re still seeing healthy kids in-person. If your doctor’s office has closed, you may have to call around to find a walk-in clinic still accepting patients and offering vaccinations.

“As doctors, we need to figure out creative ways to make sure that the regular vaccine schedule continues,” says Bogler. “At our clinic, we’ve protected time for well-child visits, prenatal appointments and our most vulnerable patients.”

Some physicians are only seeing asymptomatic children in-office for regular checkups and vaccines—no sick kids are allowed at all. Many doctors have switched to “virtual care” or telemedicine, scheduling video conference appointments and using apps and services like Zoom and Doxy instead. Other doctors, like Bogler, are dividing, staggering or alternating their workdays, so that sick kids and healthy kids are not in the office at the same time, with rigorous cleaning and sanitizing of the offices in between. Some have patients go straight into exam rooms upon arrival. And at least one paediatric office in Toronto is trying out drive-up vaccinations, with doctors administering the shots outside their clinic, where they have set up plastic chairs and a mini-fridge to store the doses safely.

To help parents and doctors prioritize which well-baby visits and checkups are most important, Bogler recently published an interim well-child and vaccine schedule in the Canadian Family Physician journal.

The newborn and two-week visit should definitely still be in-person, to check for jaundice and assess hydration and weight gain, as well as troubleshoot any feeding challenges.

The one-month checkup could be in person or virtual, depending on whether there are any weight issues, or the parent has specific concerns. If you’re unsure whether your baby has gained any weight, you can weigh yourself, then step on the scale again while holding the baby, and do the math. (Going up a size in diapers or outgrowing sleepers are also reassuring signs.)

But, says Bogler, the two-, four- and six-month visits should all be in person, as those vaccinations include the DTaP-IPV-Hib shot (which protects your baby from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and haemophilus influenza type b), the rotavirus vaccine, and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (which protects against pneumonia and meningitis—an infection of the brain). There are additional crucial vaccinations given at the 12- and 15-month visits, including the varicella vaccine (against chickenpox) and the MMR vaccine, which builds immunity against measles, mumps and rubella. Another dose of the DTaP-IPV-Hib shot is typically given at 18 months. (The specific vaccine schedule may vary in your province.)

However, the 9-month well-baby visit can be virtual, as that appointment does not normally include any shots.

Officially, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society, routine immunizations for children should be maintained as usual. “Any delay or omission in scheduled vaccines puts children at risk for common and serious childhood infections such as pneumococcal disease, measles, and pertussis,” wrote Dr. Raphael Sharon, an associate clinical professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Alberta, in an article written for doctors trying to determine the best way to provide care for kids during a pandemic. Sharon says that newborns and babies under three months of age (as well as babies older than three months old who may still be at risk of failure to thrive), should be first priority.

“In our office we have only healthy newborns and well babies coming in for vaccines,” says Kulik. “No sick kids.” Even children with everyday concerns—a mysterious rash, or a suspected ear infection—are being treated via virtual appointments, because Kulik worries that any symptom could be a coronavirus symptom.

“We space out the well-baby visits all day, so there is no one in the waiting room, and all staff wear masks. We sanitize each room after every single patient, and we sanitize the waiting room, doors, chairs and washrooms at least once an hour,” she says. “Doctors’ offices and waiting rooms don’t have to be germy at all—you can eat off the floor.”

Nancy Ahmad, a mom of two young kids in Toronto, took her daughter for her six-month shots on her doctor’s advice earlier this month. While she was a little nervous at first, Ahmad says she felt very safe during the checkup. “We drove there, and I saw no one in the elevator. We were the only in-person appointment of the day.”

Like Ahmad, you can minimize exposure risk by walking or driving to the appointment instead of using public transit, babywearing while in the office as much as possible, and not letting your baby or toddler crawl or cruise around on furniture.

In addition, only one asymptomatic parent should bring your baby to the appointment. Bogler also recommends wearing a non-medical mask (if that makes you feel more comfortable); avoiding door handles; using your elbow to hit elevator buttons; making sure that the waiting room has chairs spaced two metres apart; and asking your doctor if both the baby scale and stethoscope have been wiped down prior to your visit. At her practice, only one care provider is coming into each exam room to limit exposure (instead of both a nurse and a doctor).

“You can also ask to wait outside, instead of inside a waiting room,” says Bogler. “And keep the visit as short as possible—discuss any health or development questions over email or the phone first.” That way, the in-person portion of the appointment is brief, and solely dedicated to the vaccines and the physical exam.

Editor’s note:

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How to Wean and Transition From SNOO to Crib

How Wean Transition From SNOO to CribThere are many amazing baby sleep products. If you’ve landed here, I assume your baby has been sleeping in the SNOO and hopefully, you have found the SNOO worth it. But, all good things come to an end. This post will review how to wean and transition from the SNOO to the crib.

When to Transition From SNOO to Crib

The SNOO is designed to be used until your baby is up to 5 to 6 months old. But, that means you need to start weaning from the SNOO before your baby’s fifth or sixth month birthday.

Obviously, you might decide to transition sooner. If it’s because you feel your baby is outgrowing the SNOO, keep in mind that it was designed for babies as big as a 9-month-old in the 90-95th percentile. Worried your baby doesn’t like it anymore? I highly recommend you experiment with the settings just in case he has “outgrown” a softer movement.

If you decide to transition, just like many transitions, I recommend you start 3 to 4 weeks before your desired goal. That way, if things don’t go smoothly, your baby gets sick, your baby is sensitive to changes, or something else thwarts your plans, you have plenty of time without as much stress.

3 Things to Do Before You Transition From SNOO to Crib

Before you transition from SNOO to crib there are 3 things you might want to consider doing to make it a smoother transition.

1. Introduce the Crib During Awake Times

Familiarity is your friend when it comes to a new sleep space. Try to have your baby spend time in the crib during playtime during the day. You might turn on some upbeat music or a crib toy. Play peek-a-boo or sing. While your baby might only last a few minutes at first, after doing this several times a day for a few days to a week, he or she might start to like it!

2. Move the SNOO to the New Room (if applicable)

It is recommended to share a room with your baby for the first 6 months to a year to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you have chosen to move your baby to their own room as part of this transition, you might want to try moving the SNOO to the “new” room, temporarily. You can also set up a makeshift bed or air mattress for you to sleep on while in the same room. This way, you are familiarizing your baby to the room before you transition to the crib.

If you have decided to continue sharing a room with your baby, you might consider where to put the crib and move the SNOO to that location if it’s not already.

3. Make a Decision About White Noise

One of the key features of the SNOO is the built-in white noise. Since you won’t be using the SNOO anymore, you might want to consider whether you want to wean from white noise altogether or use a new white noise source. There are many options for white noise, now, including our free white noise downloads. Here are also a few products we like:

White Noise Products We Love


Marpac Dohm White Noise Machine
Nothing fancy and not very cute, but simple and effective! And, they have a portable white noise machine, too.


Bubzi Co Baby Sleep Aid
Okay, so it’s not just a white noise machine…it’s a white noise machine, night light, and lovey rolled into one cute little device!

 
 
LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise MachineLectroFan White Noise Machine
This is one serious white noise machine. It boasts 10 different fan sounds at varying frequencies, and its volume is incredibly precise, making it easy to adjust your white noise based on what’s happening in your home at any given moment. You can let this machine run all night long, or you can use the built-in timer for automatic shut-off.

Now that you’ve prepared from the transition from SNOO to crib it’s time to get going! Here is an easy 5-Step Process:

Step 1: Stop Swaddling

The SNOO has a built-in swaddle, but more than likely, it’s time to stop swaddling baby. By now, your baby is probably rolling over and it will be unsafe to be in the crib swaddled.

Before moving your baby to the crib, practice being unswaddled. While still in the SNOO, unswaddle your baby’s arms. This way, your baby can get used to having their arms free but the SNOO will still automatically respond to your baby’s fussing and crying just as it always has. You may or may not need to soothe the baby more for a few nights, but hopefully, within a few nights to a week, your baby will be used to being unswaddled and sleeping just as well as before in the SNOO. If not, move forward anyway.

Step 2: Wean Motion Gradually

The SNOO has a weaning mode you can turn on using the app. This mode will wean your baby from being dependent on movement to sleep. However, there are a couple of things to consider, however.

With the weaning mode on, the SNOO will use white noise but will NOT use continuous motion all night to keep your baby asleep. However, if your baby starts fussing or crying, it will respond with motion. This is a good first step. But, there’s more to consider.

If you imagine the SNOO putting your baby to sleep at bedtime using motion and then every two hours all night. This can still be a dependency that your baby might have when in the crib. Therefore, I recommend you consider a couple of other steps:

First, make sure you put the motion limiter on so the SNOO will respond to your baby’s fussing and crying but with less intense motion than before. This will help wean them more fully from movement.

The last step you can do is lock the motion at one of the lowest levels of movement, so the SNOO can never go above that level. For example, if your baby has been dependent on some higher levels of movement, you might lock the level at Level 3 for 2 days, then Level 2 for 2 days, then Level 1 for 2 more days.

Step 3: Turn Off the SNOO

One more thing before you move to the crib. I recommend taking a test drive without the SNOO. Turn it off completely for 2-3 days before you move baby to the crib. Or, for a more gradual process, you can turn it off at bedtime and then turn it on later on in the night, if needed. The closer you get to the morning, the more difficult sleep can be for your baby. So, feel free to work your way up to not needing the SNOO for the entire night. It will be a good investment of 3 to 7 days.

Step 4: Introducing the Crib

It’s time to start introducing the crib. Some parents will start naps in the crib and keep the SNOO at night. But, remember, day and night sleep are handled by two different parts of the brain, so it might not make any difference.

To introduce the crib, you can try to put your baby down for bed normally but this time in the crib instead of the SNOO. Don’t be alarmed or surprised if it doesn’t go well, at first. It’s similar to adults going to a hotel. The first couple of nights are the worst sleep for many of us. But, as the days go by, the bed starts to feel more like your own. Your baby will start to feel like the crib is their bed.

For a more gradual process, feel free to move the baby back to the SNOO later in the night, if necessary. What starts as an hour or two might quickly increase to many more hours. It’s okay to take your time.

If your baby fusses or cries, you might need to do some gentle sleep training.

Step 5: Transitioning from SNOO to Crib Completely

The final step to transition from SNOO to the crib is to keep your baby in the crib all night and for all naps. If you are struggling to say good-bye to the SNOO, move it out of the room so you’re no longer tempted to use it. Some devices we become dependent on just as much as our babies!

I hope these tips have been helpful in the transition from SNOO to crib. Give your baby a week or two and I’m sure your baby will be sleeping through the night in no time. If not, we’re here to help!

The post How to Wean and Transition From SNOO to Crib appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

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SNOO: Is It Really Worth It? And, Alternatives.

SNOO Is It Really Worth It and AlternativesThe SNOO is a bassinet with a built-in swaddle that keeps baby safe and automatically starts moving in order to keep your baby asleep for longer periods of time. But, is the SNOO worth it? We will explore the pros and cons of the SNOO and help you decide if it’s right for you.

What is a SNOO?

The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet is a bassinet for newborns to babies up through 5 to 6 months old. The bassinet has key features that set it apart from other bassinets such as the Arms Reach Bassinet:

  • Built-In Swaddle – This bassinet has a built-in swaddle that is very secure. Your baby will not be able to break out. What’s more important is that it will keep your baby sleeping in his or her back, which is considered safest to reduce the risk of SIDS. Furthermore, your baby won’t be able to roll over while swaddled, which might be when to stop swaddling.
  • Detects Crying – The SNOO has multiple microphones to pick up sounds your baby is making including fussing and crying. It “responds” to your baby depending on what it’s detecting.
  • White Noise – The SNOO also has built-in white noise which automatically turns on if/when your baby starts fussing or crying. There are three different sounds and it chooses different sounds for sleep versus crying.
  • Movement – When this bassinet detects fussing or crying, it can move automatically. It has a slow swing for sleep but faster jiggle for upsets.

As you can see, the SNOO bassinet is indeed “smart” and one can see how it would add more sleep for new parents. This is especially helpful when some babies won’t sleep in a bedside bassinet at all. But, is it safe and is the SNOO really worth it?

Is SNOO safe for newborns?

While there is always risk to using any “device” for your baby, the SNOO has appeared to have undergone rigorous testing. Dr. Harvey Karp is not new to keeping babies safe and I am confident safety was the #1 goal for the invention. After all, the idea is to reduce the risk of SIDS by keeping baby on their back in the first place. And, Dr. Karp has been helping babies sleep with his Happiest Baby Series for many years.

In addition, the movement of the SNOO will not work unless the swaddle sack is clipped to the device. It is also vented to prevent overheating and allow baby to breathe freely. And, they added a metal plate to block WiFi exposure or you can simply turn off WiFi. It appears they’ve thought of everything.

But, what about night feedings?

Will the SNOO work “too well” and lead to a baby to miss nighttime feedings? This was my first concern when I learned about this product.

It appears they’ve thought about, too.

The SNOO isn’t supposed to replace parenting altogether. It’s just another tool in your toolbox. The SNOO will stop movement if there is continuous crying for a couple of minutes. The SNOO is only meant to soothe your baby back to sleep when she does NOT need something. Do keep in mind, too, that your doctor will instruct you to feed the baby at regular intervals for the first several weeks of life. You will need to set an alarm for that, so you can feel confident your baby shouldn’t skip feedings just because you are using a SNOO.

Should you keep the SNOO on all night?

The SNOO is meant to keep the guesswork out of this. It automatically detects when to go on or increase the movement and stops if your baby is crying continuously.

When should you start using the SNOO?

Parents can start using the SNOO with their newborn, so from birth.

How long can you use the SNOO? When should you stop using the SNOO?

The maximum weight limit of the SNOO is 25 pounds. You can use a SNOO until your baby is approximately 6 months old.

Keep in mind, however, the SNOO may operate more frequently at night after 3 months old.

Once your baby starts his 4 month sleep regression (which can start anytime between 12 weeks old and 5 months old), your baby will cycle through more sleep cycles. That means your SNOO may have more “work” to do.

If you are concerned your baby is outgrowing the SNOO or no longer likes it, you may want to experiment with the settings using the app. He or she may simply need faster or more rigorous movement.

We have worked with families to help them transition from SNOO to crib around 3 to 5 months old, on average.

SNOO Price and Is It Worth It?

The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet sounds like a dream, right? Unfortunately, some dreams aren’t cheap.

This fancy bassinet is over $1,200!

However, you can now rent one for dollars a day.

Can you really put a price on better sleep?

If this can truly give your family hours more sleep per night for the first 6 months of life, in my opinion, it really is worth it. And, if you compare the cost of a night nurse for $200-300 a night, it’s a no-brainer!

There are a few things to consider, however.

First, not all babies enjoy being rocked or jiggled to sleep! While many babies do enjoy movement and it soothes them to sleep, it can irritate some babies. And, if your baby isn’t soothed by movement, then the SNOO is a very expensive bassinet, swaddle and white noise machine!

Second, some babies simply need that human touch. We worked with one client who had to rock their baby to sleep and THEN put the baby in the SNOO! If you have to put the baby back to sleep yourself each time he wakes, there is simply no point to spending this much on a bassinet.

Third, although sleeping on their back is safest, not all babies like to sleep flat on their back. From a young age, my son enjoyed moving to his side to sleep.

Finally, some babies are naturally good sleepers. Obviously, my baby was NOT one of them, hence this website. However, I’ve talked to many parents whose baby started sleeping through the night as young as 6 to 8 weeks old. Not all babies will need anything this “fancy.”

Unfortunately, until your baby is born, it’s impossible to know if they will be a naturally great sleeper nor their taste in sleep space, swaddle, pacifier, or any other product. However, based on the reviews of the product, it appears most babies and parents like the SNOO. So, if you have the budget, there’s a good chance it will help get everyone more sleep.

SNOO Alternatives

Of course, there are so many amazing baby sleep products to buy, so not everyone will be able to splurge this much on just one item!

There isn’t a perfect alternative to the SNOO. It’s innovative and likely took years of research and development. We have found one product that looks pretty close and another product that might help.

The Graco Sense2Snooze Bassinet is meant to be a true SNOO alternative. It even has “cry detection technology” to soothe the baby when they start crying. It has 3 different motion speeds to fit your baby’s preference. In addition, it has 2-speed vibrations for babies who prefer to be jiggled or bounced. Lastly, it has 10 different songs or soothing sounds (white noise, music or nature sounds) for additional soothing. You can find the right settings for your baby and it has a memory function so you don’t have to find it over and over again. This bassinet is at the fraction of the price at just under $300 and with great reviews! The main thing this doesn’t have is the built-in swaddle but you can easily swaddle your baby first and then place them in this bassinet.

The Green Frog Bassinet has a rocking feature that’s great for newborns. It isn’t “smart” of course, so you’ll need to soothe the baby yourself. However, it’s easier on your back especially when you are recovering from labor. In addition, you guard against your baby sleeping on your chest or in your arms which can become a problem later on.

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped you decide whether the SNOO is the right choice for your family. Always remember that all these tools in our toolbox help us be better parents, but there is never a replacement for parenting. There is no shame in adding more tools in your toolbox!

The post SNOO: Is It Really Worth It? And, Alternatives. appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

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How to ease new baby cabin fever: 6 simple tips

As a new parent, all your attention and energy goes into taking care of your baby, especially in the first few months. Throw social distancing into the mix and before you know it, you realize you haven’t been out of your house—or even out of your PJs—for way too long.

While you and baby are happy and healthy, you might find yourself coming down with a case of cabin fever.

Follow these 5 simple tips below to relax, refresh, and reset. 

1. Set small goals

Even if you aren’t ready to (or can’t) get out of the house just yet, you’ll be surprised what a shower and clean clothes can do to your mood—even if you’re staying in.  

  • Find time to shower while your baby is asleep—10 minutes is all you need!
  • Put on a face mask, some makeup, or do your hair—looking your best will help you feel your best.
  • Change into something that makes you feel good—whether that means a pretty sun dress or just a clean pair of sweats!

2. Create some structure

If you’ve got your baby on a nap schedule, use it to your advantage and give yourself some structure, too! Setting aside time for yourself while your baby sleeps can alleviate that “baby brain” and give you a chance to focus on other things:

  • Clean the house: tidying up can make you feel more organized and in control
  • Call a friend: talk to someone besides your baby
  • Catch up: binge a good show or read the book you’ve been dying to finish
  • Take a nap, too: many parents lose sleep in the first few months with a newborn – so when baby naps, try to get some shut-eye yourself

Think about what you’d like to accomplish and set a simple schedule for yourself. Every Monday, tidy up. Every Tuesday, phone a friend. Every Wednesday, do a workout. You get the idea.

You can maximize naptimes by putting baby in their Zen Sleepwear™ to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. If you need help getting baby on that nap schedule first, we got you.

3. Prioritize alone time

Do this at least once a week and take turns with your partner. One of you spends time by yourself, the other is on baby-duty. Make a grocery run sans-kids. Take a walk for some fresh air. Or don’t even leave the house—just close the door to your bedroom for an hour. And don’t feel guilty about it.

4. Find a hobby

Bonus points if it’s non-mom related. When you become a parent, especially for the first time, it has a way of taking over your identity. And while you love being a mother, you’ve probably got other passions, too.

Pick something that helps you relax or try something you’ve always wanted to. Cooking, painting, fantasy football, running, movie-watching—whatever floats your boat.

5. Mix it up

It’s good to be on a schedule—but don’t let it get monotonous. Feeling like you need a refresh? Switch up your routines. Do something spontaneous, with or without baby in tow. Try learning a new skill.

Introducing something new to your day or week can help you get out of a rut.

6. Get prepared

Going out with a newborn can seem daunting. A good way to alleviate some of that stress is by preparing ahead. Have all the essentials ready-to-go, already in the car. Don’t forget to:

  • Assemble the car seat or stroller: knowing you won’t have to fiddle with those tricky straps will take away from the hassle of leaving the house.
  • Pack all the essentials in a baby bag:
    • Diapers
    • Bottles
    • Pacifiers
    • Change of clothes
    • Wipes 
  • Remember your Zen PJs: for cry-free car rides and easy on-the-go napping.

If you’re already packed, when you get the itch to go for a drive or have to run a last-minute errand, you just jump in the car and go! Just remember to re-stock your baby go-bag when you get home.

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5 Tips To Get Your Infant To Fall Asleep Quickly


how to help your infant sleep

The sooner your little one settles into bed, the sooner you can get some well-deserved shut-eye yourself. Though, getting your baby to fall asleep can be much easier said than done. When the usual lullaby or pre-bedtime snuggle session doesn’t work, here are a few other reliable tips for moms and dads when they want to quickly lull their child to sleep. 

1.) Enforce An Early Bedtime

Experts have agreed that an early bedtime is an effective way to ensure your baby is sleepy when it’s time for them to be put down for bed. Around eight weeks, babies experience an increase in melatonin, a hormone that signals your body when it’s time to go to bed. Melatonin levels tend to increase soon after the sun sets, and if your baby is kept awake too long, they’ll become overstimulated and difficult to put to sleep. 

Having a regular, early bedtime around 6.30 p.m. or 7 p.m. helps maintain their sleeping patterns and keeps their sleep-wake cycle more consistent. Research has shown that 18-month-old babies with late bedtimes are more likely to develop issues relating to motor function, social skills and language. Irregular or late bedtimes can also have a negative impact on their behavioral issues as they get older, and even their ability to focus in school. 

2.) Create A Comfortable Environment

Your baby’s bedroom environment should make them feel comfortable, relaxed, and most importantly — sleepy. Night lights are popular among young children, but be smart about placement and how bright the light is. Light has an influence on melatonin levels in the body and can prevent/delay the hormone from releasing at the time it should. 

They certainly don’t need a bed that’s as nice as yours, but your child’s mattress should still be comfortable enough to put them to sleep. Especially if you want them to fall asleep quickly. Infants and children exert very little pressure onto a bed because they weigh so little, so they’ll need something really soft that cradles and supports their little body. 

3.) Put Them Down When They’re Drowsy (Not Asleep)

If you’re waiting until your baby is asleep to tuck them into their crib, you’re putting them down a little too late. For starters, when your baby eventually wakes up in the middle of the night, they might become confused or agitated after not recognizing their surroundings — considering they fell asleep on your shoulder in the living room. Then they’ll need to rely on you to go back to sleep, and that’s what you want to be weaning them off of.

Eventually, around 5-6 months, babies are able to ease themselves to sleep without you. It’s up to the parent, however, to help them reach the point where they’re comfortable to do so. Accordingly, you should take your child to bed when you notice they’re feeling drowsy so they can drift off to sleep without having you by their side. Signs of drowsiness include calmness, blank staring, closed fists, yawning, or jerky leg and arm movements. 

4.) Don’t Always Rush To Their Cribside

If you’re a first-time parent especially, it can be hard to resist the urge to rush to their bed when they’re crying in the middle of the night. It’s important, though, to hold off a few moments before you tend to them if you know they’re taken care of (fed, diaper changed, etc). The goal is to encourage your child to calm themselves down without you. If that doesn’t work, professionals suggest you try the “soothing ladder” technique. 

Start off by patting and rubbing, but don’t pick them up yet. You don’t want to be too intrusive right off the bat, or you risk waking them up even more. Then, you can work your way up to rocking, and feeding them should be the last resort if you still can’t get them to fall back asleep. This will inevitably occur more often with babies who are under 3-4 months old, and you’ll just need to keep practicing the soothing ladder method until your baby learns to self-soothe on their own. 

5.) Practice A Relaxing Nighttime Routine

If your baby’s brain is stimulated too close to bedtime, it will be close to impossible getting them to fall asleep as quickly as you want them to. By the time your baby is about 6-8 weeks old, you should both be implementing relaxing activities into your nightly schedule. Incorporating a consistent routine helps indicate to your baby that it’s time to go to sleep, as their body will begin to recognize that it’s bedtime once your routine becomes a regular practice. 

About 20 minutes before bed, reduce noise and light pollution in your home to help wind them down. Then, try to incorporate relaxing activities that your child enjoys like a warm bath or a soft read-aloud. Research has actually shown that your child is never too young for story-time, and you can even start reading to them as soon as they leave the hospital with you. 

Importance Of Sleep For Infants

Sleep plays an essential role in anyone’s mental and physical health, but this sentiment is particularly true for babies as it is crucial for both their cognitive and physical development.  Sleep deprivation in these crucial early stages of life can lead to problems down the road like hyperactivity, negative or aggressive behavior, mood swings, and or anxiety.

There are two stages of sleep; REM and non-REM. Babies spend half their time in each stage, but at about six months, they spend about 30% of the time in REM. For infants, REM sleep helps prepare their brains for retaining new information, which is critical for effective learning. During non-REM sleep, on the other hand, their body builds muscle tissue and releases a hormone pertinent to their growth and development. 

Here is a helpful table to help you determine whether or not your baby is getting enough sleep.

Newborns: 16 hours (with naps)
1 month: 15.5 hours (with naps)
3 months: 15 hours (with naps)
6 months: 14 hours (with naps)
9 months: 14 hours (with naps)
1 year: 14 hours (with naps)
1.5 years: 13.5 hours (with naps)
2 years: 13 hours (with naps)

Bio: Gwen Thompson is a Certified Sleep Science Coach that writes for The Slumber Yard. Besides helping people improve the quality of their sleep, she also likes playing the piano, making homemade jewelry, and taking her dog for walks.

The post 5 Tips To Get Your Infant To Fall Asleep Quickly appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

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You Are Not Alone 

The daily schedule, predictability and slices of “me time” that you held so dear are gone, and your new normal is… challenging. But we want you to know you aren’t flying solo. There’s a whole community of mamas all over this country (and the world!) who are navigating these changes together one day at a…

The post You Are Not Alone  appeared first on Owlet's Blog.

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This Is the Best Age to Transition from Co-Sleeping


co-sleeping-parent

If you’re stumbling upon this blog from an internet search, you’re likely a co-sleeping parent. And odds are that you’ve encountered an obstacle with co-sleeping. If this is the case, then I’ll tell you now that there is no “best age” to transition from co-sleeping. Instead, the timing is more about when it’s no longer working for your family.

Every family is different

As a certified pediatric sleep consultant, my job is to help those families who reach out to me. So, if co-sleeping works for you, you more than likely don’t need my services. However, if it’s not working, I can help.

Because every baby is different, there’s really no best age to transition from co-sleeping — it’s really more situational. While I am not an advocate for bed-sharing, I trust parents to make the decision that’s right for their family. However, the basics of the Sleep Sense program require that I follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations regarding safe sleep practices. The AAP advises against sharing the same sleeping surface with babies and advocate for room-sharing as a safer alternative.

Sleep training while co-sleeping

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no way to sleep train your baby while co-sleeping. The purpose of sleep training is to help babies sleep independently, which directly contradicts the nature of co-sleeping. Sleep training, while co-sleeping, creates confusion for babies because it sends mixed messages. And because one of the basics of the Sleep Sense program is consistency, there’s no possible way to sleep train and co-sleep simultaneously.

The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition

While there is no “best age” to transition from co-sleeping, research points to transitioning sooner rather than later. Prolonged co-sleeping is often associated with an increase in maternal stress levels, as well as affecting aspects of children’s social and emotional growth.

When it comes to babies and toddlers, the longer you co-sleep, the harder it is for them to transition. This is because they’ve always had a parent next to them to coax them to sleep, making independent sleep a foreign concept and a new skill they must master.

Personalized transitions

If you’re ready to transition your child from your bed, I’m here to help. I study your baby’s existing sleep habits, personality, and temperament to create a personalized plan that works for your family.

I’ve been working with Philadelphia-area parents for more than seven years to help their babies sleep healthily. I offer a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to see if sleep training is right for your family.

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