Safe Sleep Tips: The Sleep Sack

baby sleep sack - gift of sleep

If you’ve spent any time on my blog or my Facebook page, you’ll know that I’m a proponent of the sleep sack. And while you might find it strange to be talking about this as the summer heats up, but think about it—do you sleep without any covers? I didn’t think so. The sleep sack is a safe way to make your baby comfortable when they sleep.

Safe sleep guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) provides safe sleep guidelines aimed at preventing injury or harm to infants. In addition to laying your little one down on their back for naps and bedtime, AAP recommends providing a firm surface for sleep, without any loose objects, bedding, or other articles; this is where a baby sleep sack comes into play.

Swaddle versus sleep sack

Not to be confused with a swaddle, a baby sleep sack is similar to a wearable sleeping bag for your little one. A swaddle—or baby burrito—wraps your baby, holding their arms in place and providing a reassuring pressure. Babies have a strong startle reflex, so loud noises can make them jump or flail their arms when sleeping.

While noise typically won’t wake a sleeping baby, the flailing arms will. Swaddles are excellent baby sleep and are generally safe for ages up to three months. Once your baby becomes mobile and begins rolling, it’s time to ditch the swaddle as they can quickly become entangled. In reality, swaddles are only useful for a short time. While swaddles help keep babies from waking as a result of reflexive movements, swaddles can cause mobile babies to awaken as they fight against the cloth restraints.

Sleep sacks are also known as wearable blankets. Instead of having loose bedding in your baby’s crib, their bedding is worn, allowing movement of arms and legs. And, when the sack is the correct size, it keeps your infant safe from suffocation.

Wearable blanket styles

Much like the difference between cotton sheets and flannel or microfleece sheets, baby sleep sacks come in a range of materials to suit the time of year and temperature in the home. Remember, babies are safest when their sleeping environment is cool, which is why wearable blankets come in handy.

You can buy sleep sacks in fabrics ranging from linen to cotton and fleece. Wearable blankets are typically sleeveless, focusing on keeping your little one’s core and legs warm, and keeping their head and arms uncovered.

But what about sleep training toddlers? Sleep sacks come in a full range of sizes, up into and through the toddler years. Wearable blankets for toddlers are outfitted with foot holes, enabling them to move around without trapping their legs.

If you’ve tried swaddling your baby and it’s not helping soothe your little one, call me. I’ve helped many Philadelphia area families develop sleep routines for infants through preschoolers. Call me today for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation.

Sleep Regression: Disrupted Sleep During Quarantine

baby sleeping on a blanket

2020 was off to a great start. Your baby was a napping and sleeping rockstar, and all was well. And then a global pandemic forced people indoors, shuttered from the outside world, many furloughed or even fired from their jobs. If your baby’s suffered from a sleep regression, you’re not alone. While a milestone may not be to blame, a dramatic shift in your family’s routine or heightened stress and anxiety can be the culprit. (more…)

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. (more…)

Sleep Coach for Baby: Gift of Sleep on Good Day Philadelphia

baby boy

The news of a Fox 29 producer having a baby provided the perfect segway for your own sleep coach for baby to be featured in a sleep segment! I was honored to be invited to Good Day Philadelphia to discuss how to sleep train a baby, but don’t be mislead by the segment’s title — “Techniques for Establishing a Sleep Routine with a Newborn.”

Newborns not doing anything wrong

As I shared with Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley, in response to Mike’s question, “What’s the number one thing we do wrong when it comes to getting kids to sleep,” newborns aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong.

With a newborn, there’s really nothing wrong. You just do what you need to do to get the baby to sleep. And as the baby grows older, they have the capability to go to sleep independently, usually by about four months. When this doesn’t happen, Philadelphia-area parents hire me to teach them how to sleep train a baby. (more…)

Infant Sleep Training in the Limelight: Gift of Sleep in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Adorable baby sleeping in blue bassinet with canopy at night. Little boy in pajamas taking a nap in dark room with crib lamp and toy bear. Bed time for kids. Bedroom and nursery interior.

Apart from the fact that many of my former clients call me the “Sleep Whisperer,” I don’t like to toot my own horn (but yes, I’m really good at showing you how to sleep train your baby). However, when a major publication contacts me for an interview, I get a little giddy! In case you missed it, I and a couple of other certified pediatric sleep consultants were interviewed for a Philadelphia Inquirer piece about infant sleep training and more.

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Infant Sleep Training: Enter the No Judgment Zone

infant sleep with mom

“No, I’m not plugging a national chain of gyms, I’m letting you know that when you come to me you’re in a safe space. Over my years of infant sleep training along Philadelphia’s Main Line I’ve seen just about everything, so not much surprises me these days. I also know that by the time parents seek my help, they’re exhausted and looking for a solution. This is why Gift of Sleep Consulting is a judgment-free zone.”

Infant sleep training: been there, seen it, own the t-shirt

Whether you’re co-sleeping or rocking your baby to sleep each night, I’m not here to judge. What I will say is that I’d rather you be room-sharing than co-sleeping for both you and your baby’s sake, but only because I want you both to get a good night’s rest! The reality is that you’re not the first and you won’t be the last to share that there are roadblocks preventing your infant from getting a good night’s sleep.

Many parents put their baby’s in their cribs after they’re already asleep and they fall into a cycle of holding or rocking baby until they’re asleep and putting them down again. Many parents don’t understand why their baby is having issues — until I ask them how they’d react to falling asleep in one place and waking in another. Scary thought, right? Many of the families who come to me just need an outsider to take a thorough look at what’s going on and offer suggestions. (more…)

Sleep Training Your Toddler with a Trusted Sleep Coach for Baby in Philadelphia: 18 to 24-Month Sleep Regression

two year old sleep regression

You’ve been blessed with a good sleeper from the start, but suddenly your little one is fighting daytime naps and waking in the night. What is going on? You’re likely experiencing the dreaded 18 to 24-month sleep regression. Don’t worry, you’re in good company. As your trusted sleep coach for baby in Philadelphia, I will help you get everyone back on track in no time. Let’s talk about sleep training your toddler during a sleep regression.

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