Is My Baby Sleeping Too Much?

I know, I know, you never thought you’d be asking this question, especially after all of the sleepless nights you’ve endured. But now you’re noticing some changes in your little one’s sleep patterns, which is leading to you to wonder if, perhaps, your baby is sleeping too much.

Is my baby sleeping too much? The simple answer is that there is no limit on daytime sleep for babies, but there are signs to look for.

The simple answer is that there is no limit on daytime sleep for babies. Every baby has different sleep needs; some sleep for a solid three hours, others do well with a quick one-hour nap to recharge. If your baby is responding well with the length of daytime naps he takes (and not exhibiting signs of overtiredness) then the question of your baby sleeping too much shouldn’t be an issue; there should be no need to tweak his schedule.

On the flip side, if your little one is struggling with bedtime, it may be an indicator that she’s getting too much sleep during the day. Take a look at the last nap of your baby’s day. Has her last nap lengthened, pushing closer to bedtime? If so, you may want to begin gently waking her from that nap.

The best way to gently wake your little one is by creating noise outside his door; open the nursery door, make some noise in the hallway, turn on the light. While I normally wouldn’t advocate for waking a sleeping baby, if the last nap of his day is interfering with his bedtime, you may gently wake him (but be prepared – he may be grouchy for the next 10-30 minutes!).

I’ve not encountered too many babies who “slept too much,” but every so often I come across a baby who sleeps more than the recommended hours for her age. If you’re concerned your baby is sleeping too much, consult your pediatrician. In very rare cases, an underlying health issue is the culprit (ie. low iron). For the vast majority of babies, there is no such thing as too much sleep.

Always remember that sleep begets sleep. If your baby is napping well throughout the day, she is setting herself up for a restful night of healthy sleep. Many well meaning friends and family members may instruct you to pull daytime naps or keep her up during the day to make her tired for bedtime — please do not do this.

Keeping your baby up during the day, in an effort to ensure bedtime sleep, will only result in an overtired little one. Once your baby hits the point of overtiredness, it can be extremely difficult to get him calm enough to get himself to sleep. I’m sure you’ve experienced being so tired you couldn’t sleep; this is exactly what your baby is experiencing when he is overtired.

Let your baby nap throughout the day and try not to wake her. If you are concerned that your baby is sleeping too much, consult your pediatrician to rule out any underlying health issues.

If you’re having difficulty getting your baby to nap well throughout the day, I’m more than happy to work with you to offer suggestions.

Snoring in Young Children

The soft cadence of heavy breathing, that ear-splitting roof-shingle-flapping sound, even the whistle and twitter of cartoon characters; at some point you’ve been exposed to snoring. Maybe even YOU snore. Snoring is a pretty common occurrence, and not typically something to worry about. But, what if the snorer in your house is your child? Let’s talk a little more about snoring in young children.

Snoring in young children is normal, but can also be an indicator of a more serious problem like sleep apnea.

IS SNORING NORMAL IN YOUNG CHILDREN?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “many if not most children snore on occasion, and about 10 percent or more snore on most nights,” and “children who are three years or older tend to snore during the deeper stages of sleep.” Snoring in young children can be caused by anything from a cold or allergies, to a more serious condition such as sleep apnea.

While snoring can be more common in children ages three and up, the National Sleep Foundation states that “loud and regular nightly snoring is often abnormal in otherwise healthy children.” If a cold, allergies or respiratory infection are not to blame, snoring in young children might be caused by sleep apnea.

WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?

When we sleep, the muscles in our body relax; when the muscles in the throat relax to the point of airway obstructions and reduced air flow, sleep apnea is typically the culprit. The National Sleep Foundation states that “one to three percent of children not only snore, but also suffer from breathing problems during their sleep.” Breathing problems can be characterized by “gasping or snorting, waking up and starting to breathe again.” This pause in breathing can be disconcerting to parents, and make for restless nights for both parent and child.

Sleep for Kids lists the contributing factors to sleep apnea as “obesity, allergies, asthma, GERD (gastroenterological reflux disorder), an abnormality in the physical structure of the face or jaw as well as medical and neurological conditions.” If sleep apnea is to blame, your child can be exhausted and cranky from waking throughout the night. Over time, these sleep issues can create problems with mental focus, possibly leading to learning difficulties. According to Sleep for Kids,

Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea may contribute to daytime sleepiness and behavioral problems including difficulties at school. In one recent study presented at the American College of Chest Physicians, children who snored loudly were twice as likely to have learning problems. Following a night of poor sleep, children are also more likely to be hyperactive and have difficulty paying attention…Apnea may also be associated with delayed growth and cardiovascular problems.

If you are concerned that your child may be suffering from sleep apnea, consult your physician. Sleep apnea can be treated; the form of treatment will depend upon the cause of your child’s apnea, but can include the removal of your child’s tonsils (tonsillectomy) or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy (CPAP), involving a machine that increases the air pressure in your child’s throat (to prevent it from restricting or collapsing) by using a mask with forced air.

If your child snores regularly, remember that it isn’t necessarily cause for alarm. If you believe snoring is affecting your child’s sleep, consult your physician to rule out any underlying conditions that may be affecting sleep quality. If snoring is not the cause of your child’s sleep issues, please give me a call to see how I can help your family get a restorative and restful night’s sleep!

 

Sleep Problems in Babies May Not Fade with Time Say Researchers

A well rested family is so important for every member of the family. If you little one is not sleeping well at night and waking up frequently, that means that Mommy and Daddy are as well. That’s quite a bit of lost sleep! Why not make it a New Year Resolution to give the gift of sleep to your family.
Let 2014 be the year of Sweet Dreams and Peaceful Nights. Give me a call (267)382-0826 or email me at info@giftofsleepconsulting.com to set up a free 15 minute telephone evaluation if you are worried about sleep problems in babies. I’ll gather some important information from you and we can dedicate ourselves to creating a customized plan tailor made to help give the gift of sleep to your little one. baby sleep sack

 

Sleep Problems in Babies May Not Fade with Time Say Researchers : Growing Your Baby#.UOTUj45ghRk.facebook.

An Account from a Once Frazzled Sleep Deprived Mommy

An Account from a Once Frazzled Sleep Deprived Mommy

This week’s blog post comes courtesy of guest blogger Lauren, The Median Mommy (www.TheMedianMommy.com), And one of my wonderful clients.

 

One year ago, I was a frazzled mom, prone to tears, constantly overwhelmed, forgetful and fatigued.  My 8 month old son was not a napper, and was up multiple times during the night.  Thankfully, I was at home with my son, but after eight months, I was completely drained and in desperate need of some help.

My son, Declan, was not a napper.  This kiddo would stay up all day if you let him (and is still the same way).  At the point when we finally sought help from Jennifer, from Gift of Sleep Consulting, D was napping in 20-30 minute clips, three times a day.  I was unable to get anything done, and I constantly felt stressed and under great strain to get even the smallest of tasks done.  No naps during the day, and waking every two hours at night, meant that if I actually remembered to bring my grocery list when I went to the store, I would still forget items, due to my inability to concentrate.

Enter Jennifer from Gift of Sleep Consulting.  After posting about our sleep troubles on my blog’s Facebook page, Jennifer reached out to me.  Admittedly, I was wary at first.  Pay someone to teach us sleep habits?  It seemed so…strange.  Who does that?  We did, that’s who.  Money was tight for us at that time, but my husband and myself (most especially me) were prepared to do whatever it took to get D into healthy sleep habits.  Apart from buying our ERGObaby, hiring Jennifer’s expertise was the best investment we made in our son’s first year.

We immediately began adopting healthy sleep practices & routines, I became better at reading D’s cues, and I transformed into a bonafide Sleep Nazi.  For us, healthy sleep habits for D were an investment and a commitment.  We kept a rigid schedule around D’s naps and bedtime, which meant sacrificing some of our needs/wants to ensure that we were home in time to follow sleep routines.  In fact, D didn’t attend his first story time until he was over a year old, because story times, both bookstore and library, were all held during D’s morning nap time.

Admittedly, having such a rigid schedule made scheduling social time difficult.  D’s tight nap schedule also only gave me a very small window for me to run household errands.  But, the trade-off, well, wasn’t a trade-off at all.

Today, we have an 18 month-old who knows what to do when we begin his nap or bedtime routine.  We’ve traveled for weekend and week-long trips, and the only bumps we’ve encountered were due to us having blown off a nap(s) (MommyCon was one particular instance of that).

I’ve had a year of good sleep, and now groan inwardly on those rare occasions that D wakes in the night (usually during teething episodes).  While we want to add to our family, I find myself wondering how I will function without getting a good night’s sleep!

Eighteen months in, I’m proud to have a toddler that sleeps when he’s supposed to!  Sleep is one of the most discussed topics in my parenting circles, yet many of the parents I see don’t want to change their routines(?!).

If you find that you’re struggling to get your little one to sleep well, you should consider hiring Jennifer to guide you.  As I said, it was the best investment we made that first year.  Sleep is incredibly important to your little one’s overall health, and I wish that we hadn’t waited so long to ask for help.

 You can read about our experience HERE.

Fostering Healthy Sleep Habits for Your Baby

 Fostering healthy child or infant sleep habits is extremely important for their overall health and well being. The path to developing healthy soothing skills can start very shortly after birth and the best way to begin reinforcing these very important skills is the environment in which your baby learns how to sleep independently (with the help of some Rock Star self soothing skills).

Promoting healthy sleep for infants and small children has become my passion and goal for every family I come in contact with.  Including The Median Mommy!

Encouraging healthy sleep habits: The temperature of the room does matter!

Did you know that most little ones prefer to sleep in a room that is on the cool side rather than warm? Studies have shown that a too warm sleep environment can actually be very detrimental to infant sleep. Just like for most of us grownups, a too warm sleeping environment can make it very difficult for your child to go to sleep. It is also suggested that it may be one of the contributors to SIDS.

I recommend to all of my clients whether their child is a newborn or well into their preschool years to make sure their little one’s room temperature falls somewhere between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the clothing your little one is dressed in for bed should be right along the same lines of what you would wear to bed. And a great addition to a baby or toddler’s bed is a baby sleep sack instead of a blanket (see last week’s post regarding my love for this wonderful invention). Remember cool and comfy and not warm and stuffy.Mistakes to Avoid When Feeding Your Newborn at Night

Encouraging healthy sleep habits: Although a bedding set is super cute, it can also be super dangerous.

I encourage all of my clients of infants to remove all items from their child’s crib that are non essential for safe and healthy sleep. This includes, crib quits, blankets, bumpers that are not breathable and see through as well as pillows and stuffed animals. Although a “Lovey” can be introduced around 7 months of age. All your baby needs in their crib for safe sleep is a mattress, sheet, secure swaddle (up until 3 months) or a sleep sack. That’s it!

Encouraging healthy sleep habits: The darker the better

A very dark room during all sleep periods (daytime naps included) actually helps your little one want to sleep. If the nursery or bedroom is too bright via natural sunlight streaming through an uncovered window or blinds, your little one will find it much harder to settle to sleep. As sunlight hits our skin and is absorbed, our body naturally releases chemicals to cue our bodies to be awake. The more we can do as parents to block light from getting in the room the better to stop this from happening.

Also, darkness is a fantastic clue or indicator that one should be sleeping and with help and consistency, your baby can begin to pick up on this clue. A dark room = sweet dreams for little ones if you want to get your baby to sleep through the night

Encouraging healthy baby sleep habits: White noise, the soothing static lulling your little one to sleep.

Using some sort of white noise in your baby or toddler’s room can help them sleep longer and more soundly by blocking out environmental noise. You would be surprised at how the slightest outside noise can arouse a baby in a light sleep state.

A favorite among many of my clients is a box fan or portable white noise machine. I’ve seen some pretty expensive models sold in baby stores but have to admit that if you can find one that is under $30.00 and can easily be taken with you on family vacations or overnight trips you’ll be all set. Oh and if it can also be battery operated…BONUS. You never know when you will lose power during a pretty noisy thunder storm.

In closing, if your little one is having trouble falling or staying asleep, please be sure you have evaluated their sleep space for the tips above and make adjustments where necessary. As always, I welcome your questions or comments concerning this week’s topic.

Jennifer Schindele is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant and President and Founder of Gift of Sleep Consulting located in Philadelphia, PA.  Jennifer’s mission is to help parents give the gift of sleep to both their children and in turn, themselves. Her mission is executed by Jennifer Schindelepersonalizing a step-by-step program to gently help teach the child to independently fall asleep, and stay asleep, the whole night through (and nap peacefully during the day).  

 

Main Line Sleep Tips and Training Workshop For New Parents

 Sleep Tips Workshop For New Parents

help i need sleep

Is Your Child’s Sleep Keeping You Awake?

Wondering how you can get your little one to sleep through the night?

Tired of being exhausted and unable to function every day?

If your baby, toddler, or preschooler isn’t sleeping through the night, neither are you.  And that means you’re probably feeling physically and mentally exhausted stressed and irritable like you’ll never have a solid night’s sleep again.
Date: Wednesday, October 23rdbellypilatescom-logo
Time: 6 pm to 7:30pm
Cost: $10 per person $15 per couple
Who: Parents and pre-crawlers welcomed
Where:  Belly Pilates, 100 Chetwynd, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. Located on the Main Line.
Presented by: Jennifer Schindele Gift of Sleep Consulting
To register contact: Jennifer Schindele –  info@giftofsleepconsulting.com or call (267) 382-0826

If your baby, toddler, or preschooler isn’t sleeping through the night, neither are you. And that means you’re probably feeling physically and mentally exhausted stressed and irritable like you’ll never have a solid night’s sleep again.

Child sleep expert Jennifer Schindele, will discuss what’s most effective when it comes to getting your child to sleep…and stay asleep. Quickly. Easily. Independently! Jennifer works with children ages 4 months-6 years old to address common sleep challenges including:

  • Your child only falls asleep while nursing or bottle feeding.
  • Your child depends on a pacifier, parent, rocking or other motion to fall asleep.
  • You are waking up with your child multiple times a night.
  • Your own lack of sleep is starting to take a toll on your family.
 

When Babies Start Teething – Sleep Training During This Time.

Teething Babies: The good, the bad and the ugly

Is your baby not sleeping through the night because of teething?

You see, the good news is – your little one is getting teeth!  Hooray…he won’t be the only baby that’s sporting the all gum smile.  The bad news is, it might come with some sleeping problems and the ugliness of it may be that you will use your teething baby as an excuse for everything that has ever gone wrong in your life!  Okay, I admit…that might just be a tad on the dramatic side.

When Babies Start Teething and Sleep Training – Could it actually work together?

Now the question remains whether your little teething bundle of saliva can actually sleep, sleep train, be trained for to sleep and/or sleep better while teething.  The answer is a resounding YES!  If you are going to wait for your baby to stop teething before you actually train or teach him or her how to sleep, you are going to wait well over 2.5 years. Since sleep is a skill that we need to teach our children, the faster we give them the Gift of Sleep the better.

When Do Babies Start Teething? Sleep Training During This Time.
When Do Babies Start Teething? Sleep Training During This Time.

Helping Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

If you want to help your baby sleep through the night, take restful naps, be healthy, happy and still have teeth, you can help your baby or toddler by teaching him or her how to sleep unassisted (sleep training your baby).  Think about it, if your little one can put herself to sleep without you help she won’t wake you up during the night the 5 times he wakes at night due to sore gums.  In my experience as a sleep consultant, I have found that children who have learned the skill of self soothing and sleeping handles teething and illnesses much better.

Teething Causing Baby Sleep Problems

Teething can cause a slight regression in tour child’s sleeping habits.  HOWEVER, be careful that YOU are not the one regressing, using “teething” as an excuse.  If your child wakes during the night due to teething, go to him or her, provide some comfort (soothing words or careful touch), administer the necessary medication and  then allow your little one to fall back asleep without any props or assistance (no pacifier, no bottle and no rocking).  And as a side note, I have found Ibuprofen to be a very effective pain reliever in babies over 6 months of age.  Just be certain to carefully read the dosing instructions on the package and consult your pediatrician to double check before administering.

Lastly, a good way to test whether your child is fussy due to teething, is to think about whether they are showing other signs of teething, and whether or not it is also bothering them during the day.  If it truly is teething, it won’t be bothering your little one just at night.

Sleep Aids For Children

Hi there!  And welcome to this week’s blog post!  This week I wanted to talk about questions I am often asked during different social type settings (parties, networking events and activities for my girls) once I have shared that I am an infant and toddler sleep consultant.  The top two questions are; what exactly is a sleep consultant and who would need to hire one?

Now, I know some of you are already thinking that you know the answer to that question, but for those who are not entirely in the know (or a bit fuzzy due to extreme sleep deprivation), I’ve decided to give you some insight into who I am and what offer to exhausted parents everywhere.

What is a Sleep Consultant?

As acertified child sleep consultant I work directly with families who are struggling with their infant, toddler, preschooler or young adolescent who have not yet learned the skill of being able to soothe themselves to sleep and stay asleep all night long.  Together with the parents, I create an in depth and personalized sleep plan that is easy to follow while also providing step by step guidance. I am effectively holding my client’s hand while they are implementing the strategies in their plan.  I am there to celebrate their successes, discuss questions and concerns and deal with setbacks.

I work to educate new parents about the sleep needs of a newborn and how best to gently begin teaching healthy sleep skills from day one.   Or offer assistance in helping create a great daytime and nighttime schedule for the new family to work with as well as sleep aids for children.  It is amazing how just making a few changes in the daily lives of a newborn can dramatically affect their ability to sleep.

Sleep Aids For Children

Why would a family consider a sleep consultant?

If your baby, toddler or preschooler isn’t sleeping through the night, then neither are you.  This lack of sleep will leave you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated and mentally and physically stressed.  I understand the feelings of helplessness, exhaustion, and confusion of being a new parent who isn’t getting the sleep they need to be the best parent they can be.

This sleep deprived state also makes it extremely difficult for parents to solve their little one’s sleep issues on their own.  And I am uniquely positioned to help these families for several reasons.  I’ve been where they are…having struggled with my own child’s sleep problems, so I know exactly how these parents are feeling!  I know strategies that will help teach your child how to fall asleep without any assistance from you and stay asleep until morning.  It’s because of my knowledge and training that I am able to create personalized plans for all of my clients based upon the child’s needs and what the parents are most comfortable with.

I think Dr. Marc Weissbluth puts it best, “Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain’s battery. Sleeping well increases brainpower just as weight lifting builds stronger muscles, because sleeping well increases your attention span and allows you to be physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time. Then you are at your personal best.”

Sleep is so important to our well being and our health that parents should make it a priority to ensure that their children are taught the skills needed to fall asleep independently.  The foundation for this skill can be taught as soon as the baby is born.  This is my mission and my passion.  I have made it my career to help as many families as I can get the sleep they need to be healthy and happy.  A well rested baby is happy, curious, engaging and ready to take on the world.

If you had the opportunity to ensure that you are giving your little one the best possible start in life, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to make that happen?

The bottom line is that my job is to help families be as happy and healthy as they can be.  And one of the most important ingredients in that equation is a good night’s sleep for everyone in the family.  This is my mission, passion and my job within the community.

 

 

The Infant Co-sleeper – My Tips – Safely Sharing a Room with Your Newborn

Baby Co-SleeperAs many of you have read, I provide prenatal/newborn sleep consultations for new and expecting parents who are looking to start off their baby’s life with healthy sleep habits in mind.  This is in addition to the sleep training consultations I offer for older infants and toddlers.  I wish I had access to someone like me prior to my first daughter’s arrival because I definitely would have made this investment to gain the knowledge necessary to ensure my daughter slept safely and prop free.

While there are many different places that babies can fall asleep in (crib, bassinet, swing, car seat and rock n plays just to name a few), the safest places for your newborn to sleep is in a crib or bassinet.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room as a parent for the first 6 months of their life.  This is an ideal situation and it can work for some families.  But most often, by the time a baby is around 3 months old, they become very curious about the world around them and can often find it difficult to stay asleep at night due to their curiosity and the sounds that their parents are making while they sleep (cue daddy’s snoring).  At this point, a move to a crib in their own room just across the hall from mommy and daddy may be what’s needed.

The Infant Co-sleeper: What You Need to Know

Infant Co-sleeper

But for parents that are very committed to the idea of co sleeping with their child I make sure that they know the SIDS risks associated with bed sharing and how to possibly do it safely (see next paragraph).  I’m also more than happy to discuss other opportunities to co sleep/share a room.

One of the frequently asked questions I am asked by my prenatal clients is what my recommendations are as far as co sleeping with babies and babies sleeping in the parent’s room.  My advice regarding co sleeping with a baby is that you ensure your baby is sleeping in a safe space free of pillows, blankets, too soft mattresses and rolling or repositioning parents.  The safest way to even begin to safely attempt to bed share with your baby is on the floor away from walls, on a firm mattress with no pillows or blankets and sans daddy.  But this still is not a 100% guarantee that the baby will sleep safely considering a very tired mommy is sharing the bed.   With this in mind, I do not advise parents to co-sleep in this manner and instead suggest a parent should seriously consider using a great alternative, a baby co-sleeper/bassinet.

Using a co sleeper/bassinet, parents can sleep soundly knowing that their baby is just within reaching distance.  This option is great as it allows moms to breastfeed during the night without having to get up and get the baby.  It is also convenient for if mommy needs to offer baby a reassuring careful touch to resettle baby back to sleep in the middle of the night.

I suggest that parents find a co sleeper that can attach to the bed for safety.  It should also have the ability to raise the side closest to the bed to allow it to convert to a bassinet for naps and times when mommy will not be close by (some of those newborns can squirm quite a bit).  I’ve noticed several brands out there that offer the ability to raise or lower the legs of the co sleeper so that it sits flush with even the highest of beds/mattresses.  Some brands even fold up and come with a case so that you can bring it along with you on overnight trips or daytime visits where you can set it up for naps.

Co-sleeping – Different Strokes for Different Folks

Ultimately, the decision on where a child sleeps is up to their parents and their desires and requirements.  What works for one family may not work for another and that is okay.  My only concern is that I help all families that reach out to me to make informed, safe decisions about where their baby sleeps and, if one day they come to discover that their original sleeping plans no longer work for their family, I will be more than happy to help them decide upon and safe and healthy solution/alternative.