Thursday, 2 November 2017

Tick Tock.....Keep your little ones sleep on track when the clocks go back

Don't be scared....It will all be fine....Daylight savings won't win!
Daylight savings ends in the Fall season each year.  It will be time to “fall back” the clocks.   It can be a dreaded time for parents of young children because with this, comes an adjustment that does not happen immediately.  This is because children tend to be more structured in their bedtime and wake up around the same time each morning and that is why people usually can see a greater effect on children when the time changes. 

However there are some things you can do to help make the transition to the new time go a little smoother.  My recommendation is to leave your clocks alone Saturday night.  Wake up Sunday morning, have breakfast, then go around your house and change your clocks.  Psychologically, it will feel much better for everyone if you wait until Sunday morning to change the time. 

My best advice for children to help them with the change is to split the difference with the old time and the new time.  How does that work? 

School Age Children- If you have a child that does not nap and normally goes to bed at 7:00 p.m., you would put him to bed at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday night, the first night of the time change.  Do this for 3 nights, putting him to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal, then on the 4th night put him to bed at the normal time, 7:00 p.m. or whatever is normal bedtime for your child.

Toddlers- If you have a toddler ages one and older, on Sunday the first day of the time change, you would put him down for his first nap 30 minutes earlier than normal.   So if he naps usually at 9:30 a.m. put him down at 9:00 a.m.  You would do the same with the afternoon nap if he takes an afternoon nap.  For bedtime, if his normal bedtime is 7:00 p.m., you would put him down at 6:30 p.m.   Do this for 3 nights after the time change and then on the 4th night, put him to bed at 7:00 p.m. and on 5th day move naptimes back to normal time.   So if your child naps at 9:30 a.m. put him down at 9:30 a.m. and so on with the rest of the day. 

Infants- If you have a baby and his bedtime and naps have become predictable (usually over 6 months old) meaning he is always going to bed around the same time each day.  For example if bedtime is normally 7:00 p.m. move bedtime 15 minutes later each night until you reach the normal time again.  So the first night you would put him down at 6:15 p.m., the second night 6:30 p.m., and so on.  On the fourth night you should be back to 7:00 p.m.  Do the same thing for naps.  Start 45 minutes earlier than normal and move them 15 minutes later each day.  So if morning nap is at 9:00 a.m. normally, start with 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, 8:30 a.m. on Monday, 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday and then 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.  Do the same for the afternoon nap.  If their bedtime and naptimes are not predictable (0-6 months old) simply jump to the new time Sunday night as if you were traveling to a new time zone and use their wake time window (awake time between sleep periods) as your guide. 

A great thing about this time change is that there are more hours of darkness which helps make this transition a little easier.  If your child wakes up too early, walk them back to their room and tell them it’s not time to get up yet.   If your child wakes up too early and is in a crib, be sure to help his body understand it isn’t morning time by keeping him in his crib in the dark room until normal wake time.  

Note for Toddlers/School-aged children: If you have a toddler or an older child who relies on a clock to know when their “morning time” has arrived, set the clock one half hour ahead of the new time so that it reads 7:00 a.m. at the new time of 6:30 a.m.  Allow your child to wake a bit earlier than normal (they will think it is 7:00 according to the clock but it will be 6:30 a.m., new time). This will only be temporary as your child adjusts to wake at their usual 7:00 a.m. time after about one or two weeks.

It may take children and babies a bit more time to fall asleep, this is normal, since the time is different initially they might seem tired earlier.   It usually takes about a week for children and babies to completely adjust to the new time, some children it can take up to a month.  Be patient and stay very consistent, it will happen.
Happy sleeping from me to you!
778 877 6380

Friday, 25 August 2017

Should I move my baby to a bed?

Should I move my baby to a bed yet?

I get these calls often.

I hear - "My baby won't sleep in his crib, he just cries and cries. He will only sleep with us. I think he hates his crib. Whenever I put him in his crib he will not lie down"

Let me assure you - 9.9 times out of 10 it is NOTHING to do with his or her crib. It is the habits he is used to.
I never recommend taking a child out of a cot/crib until at least the age of 2 UNLESS it is a safety issue. If they can partially climb out and keep hitting the deck then we need to look into this. Start by making sure the crib is at the lowest setting. Also, is it a positioning issue?
As in if you moved it could it stop your little ninja escaping?

I look at every last possible way to keep your little one in a crib. I even say don't worry about making the change unless they do start climbing out and it is a safety issue- If they are 3 and happily sleeping away then don't worry.

My reasoning - before this age it is hard because developmentally they want to explore, physically they may be only partially able and really mentally are they ready for the consequences.

The key here in this scenario no matter what age is to build and instil good sleeping habits - sleeping through the night unaided. Then it will not matter where they sleep because they know how to. A bed, a crib, a won't matter. They will not be climbing, crawling or running out of anywhere. They will know what bedtime means and how it goes.

I have even moved kids back into cribs successfully. If you are not sure what to do or how to do it, get in touch and I can help you - Trust me, I can!

Happy Sleeping from me to you...

Time To Sleep Consulting
Carly Wintle

Monday, 14 August 2017

How to tell the difference between nightmares and night terrors

How to Tell the Difference Between Nightmares and Night Terrors

Nightmares and night terrors are confusing in both cause and treatment. Knowing the difference between the two is the key to determine the best way to handle them.

Nightmares occur during REM sleep, which happens near the end of our sleep period. When children have a nightmare, they will seek comfort from their disturbing dream and recognize you upon seeing you. They are able to recall the nightmare, but it may take awhile to fall back asleep and get the scary thoughts out of their minds. Nightmares are very common and are part of normal development. Their occurrence often peaks at two or three years of age when children have rich imaginations and trouble distinguishing between reality and fantasy. Nightmares are, of course, common after difficult events or when children are re-living a trauma.

Here's how to cut down on nightmares:

  • Avoid scary videos, books, etc. prior to bed.
  • Don't play scary games.
  • Respond quickly when your kid has a nightmare and assure him that he's safe.
  • Help your child get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can increase nightmares.
  • Avoid high-dose vitamins at bedtime.
  • Check with your pediatrician to make sure your child is not on any medications that might be interfering with his night sleep.

Night Terrors
Night terrors are different from nightmares in both the symptoms and the experience. When a child is experiencing a night terror she may scream and appear anxious and may not recognize you when you approach her. There may also be sweating and/or a racing heartbeat. The child is often inconsolable. The terror usually lasts between five and fifteen minutes and then subsides. These incidents are often more upsetting for the parent than they are for the child, as children do not usually remember them. Night terrors occur during NON-REM sleep and usually occur within two hours of going to sleep. Night terrors are not bad dreams. They do NOT occur during dream sleep. They are not a sign of a psychological problem.

Night terrors seem to be more common in boys, and occur in 5% of all children. Sometimes they occur when your child is working on a developmental milestone. Your child is more likely to have night terrors if either parent had them as a child, or if either parent had a partial arousal sleep disorder such as sleepwalking. The most common cause of night terrors is sleep deprivation or a disturbance in a child's sleep patterns—like traveling to different time zones, a new home or a later bedtime. Other reasons for night terrors can include sleep apnea and fevers.

Here are some tips on how to handle night terrors:

  • If your child is having a night terror, monitor the child but avoid interfering, as this can worsen the episode.
  • Make sure your child is physically safe during the night terror.
  • Put your child to bed earlier.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule for him.
  • Don't talk about the terror with your child in the morning.

If your child is having night terrors two to three times a week at set times during the night (i.e. 2 hours after going to sleep) try the following:
  • Keep a sleep log to chart your kid's sleep patterns.
  • Wake your child 15 minutes prior to the time he usually has an episode.
  • Do this every night for 7-10 nights in a row and you will most likely see the episodes start to diminish.

As these two phenomena differ so greatly in treatment, it's important to clearly understand the difference between nightmares and night terrors. Once you know what you're dealing with, you'll be able to help your child through them!

Happy Sleeping!

Time To Sleep Consulting
Carly Wintle

Friday, 11 August 2017

Break the bottle to sleep habit now

Tired of getting up in the night to take a bottle in - Start with bedtime!

“My 11-month-old goes to bed with a bottle and wakes for a bottle in the night. How do I break him of this habit?”

Good question! When you put your baby in bed at night, it is perfectly fine to include the bottle in his routine.  You could start with a bath, and then pajamas and then his bottle and a story or two. Or if you don't bath every night, perhaps some quiet play and then the pj's and his bottle and a story or two.

What you really want to avoid is giving him the bottle until he falls asleep or putting him in his crib with the bottle. This creates a bad habit that only gets harder to break the longer it goes on. To be clear - I have worked with families in this situation more than I can count and no matter how long it has been going on we resolve it, it can just take some time and as they get older the habit has been around longer and their willpower has increased!

You want to avoid the association of bottle and sleep going hand in hand. You do not want your baby to fall asleep with a bottle in her mouth because if she wakes up in the middle of the night she thinks she needs that bottle again to sleep. If you then come to her with a bottle and either feed her to sleep or put it into the crib, she sucks herself back to sleep with the bottle. This becomes a repetitive behaviour that is no good for anyone involved. Her sleep is being disrupted and so is yours. It is very damaging to her teeth coming in, not to mention if she is on 3 meals a day it can have an affect on the solid food intake.

 So, maybe start the bottle a little earlier in your routine. You can have a bath, then her bottle, then brush her teeth and then back for some stories, but you should be putting her into the crib awake and without a bottle.

You don’t have to leave the room; you can stay with her if you like, but she really does need to start connecting the steps that are involved in putting herself to sleep independently so that she is not relying on that bottle! Otherwise, she will most likely keep waking for that bottle. It could go on well into the second year so you really want to make sure you break this habit now.

If you are worried about how to make this happen without too much stress and worry - I will take the guess work out for you. Call me and we can discuss a few strategies.

Happy Sleeping!

Time To Sleep Consulting
Carly Wintle

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Could your childs development be being affected by lack of sleep?

Make sure lack of sleep doesn't affect how exciting it is to watch your toddler’s development.

 Here’s roughly what developments to expect and when.

At a glance
·         Walking
·         Talking
·         Social skills

The average age for first steps is around 12-13 months, but plenty of toddlers don’t walk until nearer 18 months – and occasionally nearer two years old. As soon as they’re steady on their feet they may start running, though will probably have difficulty changing direction at the same time. Many adore climbing from 14-15 months and will turn every piece of furniture into their version of Mount Everest. By 18-20 months most can usually kick a ball but may struggle with jumping so hold off on Olympian Gymnast expectations!

Their first words can come any time between nine and 18 month, some earlier. The average is 11-12 months. At 18 months they should have around 10-20 words, rising to around 50 by their second birthday, when they will also begin to put two words together  (‘bye bye mummy’). If you’re worried your toddler is falling behind, it’s worth talking to your doctor who will have advice for encouraging your toddler’s language.

Social skills
A 12-month-old may not really interact much with other babies, but by 18 months will have probably progressed to playing alongside them maybe not yet ‘with’ them. It’s too early to expect them to share toys but using the words share and helping them gain an understanding of what share means and the behaviour behind can definitely be implemented daily.  They will imitate others’ behaviour from around 20 months and can also follow two-step instructions (‘bring me your hat and put it on’). They’re getting more dextrous too: by 18-20 months they may be able to take off some clothes, with help. By aged two they understand if they are a girl or boy. Between 18 months and two years most will begin to show a couple of the signs of readiness for potty training, such as hiding themselves away to do a poo. Most start potty training at two to two and a half years.

At 12 months toddlers have usually perfected the pincer grip so they love practising it by fiddling with details, levers and moving parts of toys. By 16 months they may be able to stack a few bricks; taller towers come nearer 20-22 months. By 17 months most are enjoying pretend games like tea-parties.

Almost all toddlers have their first tooth by their first birthday (though a few will still be waiting). By now many will have the front four teeth on bottom and top, with the canines (pointy teeth) and molars emerging at around 16-20 months. The second set of molars usually appears around two years old.  They will have all 20 baby teeth at two and a half to three. I always say they teeth for what feels like a lifetime so don't let that be the excuse for poor sleep habits.

By 12 months most toddlers are pretty adept at finger feeding, and may be able to use a chunky spoon and fork by 15 months, with sometimes spectacular effects. Food should get gradually lumpier until they’re eating normal family food by 17-18 months. They should be happy drinking from a cup, not a bottle, from 12 months. All toddlers are unique and develop at different paces – don’t forget, they haven’t read the books! But if you’ve got concerns, do talk to your doctor to put your mind at rest.

In terms of sleep THEY NEED IT for development and I have actually had numerous cases where we fixed the sleep and the development flowed thick and fast after. Don't underestimate what sleep is doing for your child. You cannot run a car with out fuel and oil changes - not long term any way. Sleep is crucial for your little ones development. Give it the value it deserves.

Happy parenting and sleeping of course!

Time To Sleep Consulting

Carly Wintle


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Falling asleep during the bedtime routine?

I am following a good bedtime routine but I can't keep my little one awake?

Sound familiar.......

"I've been working on the Sleep Sense Program for about a week now, but I'm having a really hard time keeping my baby awake through her bottle at the bedtime routine. What can I do?"

It is true that when you're working on the Sleep Sense Program, the number one rule is to make sure that you keep your baby wide awake through any feeds. That's the breast or the bottle.

Nine times out of 10, the problem is all around the sleep prop of getting to sleep on a bottle or a breast. You're right, you don't break the connection she has between the bottle and sleep, it'll make the whole process harder.

It will cause night wake ups because when she wakes up in the night, she'll still have this idea that she needs a bottle in order to get back to sleep at night.

Try this......

Move the bottle up in the bedtime routine. Most people have the feed as the last step. That can be really tricky. Especially, if she's not napping great yet, then she could be really, really fatigued by bedtime. By the time, she's had a bath, and you've got jammies on, and you've read some stories, and then you're going into a feed, she might be way too fatigued to even attempt to stay awake at the bottle. Then you're really fighting an uphill battle where you're tickling and talking to her and trying to keep her awake, and she's so tired she really can't even help you out any. I would suggest you can even move it up to before the bath. Go to the feed, then the bath and the jammies and the stories, and then bed. That will really help break any connection that she has that the bottle has anything to do with sleep.

If that seems like a bit too far up in the routine, then move it to right after bath. That can really help, too, because children tend to be a little stimulated from the bath. Most children really like their bath, so she'll be a little more awake when you get to the feed.

Then you can move into the next steps. The good news is the better naps start going, the less fatigued she'll be by bedtime, so that's something to look forward to.

The more the separation between the bottle and sleep develops, the less likely she will be to even try to fall asleep at the bottle. You'll find in a month or so, even if she is really tired, she won't use the bottle.  There won't be a connection there anymore. She'll happily have her feed, and then put herself to sleep just fine when she gets to the crib.

Good luck.....and happy sleeping!

Time To Sleep Consulting
Carly Wintle


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

To toy in the crib or not to toy in the crib.......Question of the day!

Ask yourself - do you sleep with toys?

If you’re like most parents, you probably can’t take more than a couple of steps in your house without tripping over a doll, a stuffed animal or a fisher price truck. You are most likely more than familiar with the sensation of getting those hard, tiny Lego pieces embedded in the bottom of your bare foot, or having to spend ten minutes scooping your child’s dripping army of rubber duckies and plastic fish out of the bathtub after she’s had her bath every night.
I often think toy companies must sit around brainstorming all the different places they should convince parents they need to stockpile toys in order to entertain their kids: the car, the living room, the bathtub and the crib, just to name a few.

Of course, toys are a fun and necessary part of any child’s life, but personally I don’t think there should be any toys in the crib at all. The crib is for sleeping. If it’s filled with brightly coloured plush toys or gadgets that strap on to the rails and make sounds or play songs when your child pushes buttons it is all far too distracting and stimulating for bedtime.

Even a mobile is off-limits if you want your child to learn to sleep properly. While the child may seem to be staring calmly and intently at the pretty floating butterflies above her head, the colours and movement are actually firing up her mind and keeping her awake.

If you put your child to bed in a crib-full of toys to amuse himself, he is far less likely to just close his eyes and go to sleep. Bedtime is obviously a time when you want to be helping your babies and toddlers wind down, but instead you may just be winding them up!

Any sleep specialist will tell an adult struggling with insomnia to limit all activities in the bed so that you send a clear message to your body and brain that when you are in this specific location you are meant to sleep. That means putting away phones, iPods, iPads and laptops and turning off the 10:00 news on your TV. The very same holds true for children. While the toys might not seem as stimulating as electronics, your child will play with them when she should be going to sleep, even if she’s tired. Kind of like you staying up later than you should just to check Facebook one more time…

Despite my general no-toys-in-the-bed philosophy, I do make an exception when it comes to that one special “security” toy, like your child’s favourite stuffed animal or plastic Spiderman or frog puppet… whatever it may be. I’m referring only to that one toy that they cart around all day, or stuff in their pocket, or can’t leave the house without. These beloved toys offer soothing comfort and help your child feel relaxed and safe.

Anything you can do to minimize distractions when it’s time for bed will really help as you are establishing good sleep habits and routines. The more simple and plain your child’s surroundings are, the easier it will be for him to drift into dreamland.

Time To Sleep Consulting

Carly Wintle