I am passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep well. If you are reading this because you are a tired, worn down parent, I can relate. I was EXACTLY where you are! Nothing I was trying worked and I had nothing left to give. Then I tried the Sleep Sense Program. Now, our nights are different. My little daughter sleeps all night, or in her words, until “Mr. Sun comes up." Read more about my journey. As your Montgomery Baby Sleep Expert, I can help you have the same success that I experienced.
If you are wondering if you can take another night of little to no sleep, reach out! Contact me and I can help! In fact, I would LOVE to help. I am committed to helping families sleep, not only to educating, but relentlessly supporting you and encouraging you every step of the way. You are NOT alone!
Still on the fence? It costs nothing to share your current situation with me. I’ll gladly give my time and let you know what options we have. On a budget? We can find a solution that will work. BUT, if you decide that you’re not quite ready, I will support your decision wholeheartedly and still cheer you on!
Sleep training with me is about YOUR family. Only you know your family inside and out. No two families are alike, so each step I take with a family is unique. Daycare, workouts, Church, colic, reflux, Autism, and other siblings’ schedules are just a FEW of the things that can shape your plan.
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My Favorite White Noise Machines
The recommended safety level for any sound machine is 50 dB. As a rule of thumb, if you walk out of the room and close the door, you should barely hear the machine. There is a fantastic all called Decibel X that can help you determine an appropriate level. Simply place your phone in the crib and adjust the noise or sound machine accordingly.
The Marpac Dohm is a white noise machine that generates the noise with a motor. There is only one sound choice, which is a soothing sound of rushing air, or “shhhhhh” sound. The two motor speeds along with the ability to rotate openings in two spots allow you to adjust the tone and volume. The Dohm is the simplest, most easily adjusted white noise machine on the market. If you are hoping to block out a very loud, barking dog right outside the window, it simply won’t, unless it is above a safe volume. It does a fantastic job of safely masking distracting noises and providing a comforting environment.
The MyBaby SoundSpa is an excellent choice for a budget sound machine. The sounds are definitely different from the Dohm, but most babies don’t care. The MyBaby has a white noise option along with summer night, ocean, heartbeat, brook, and cradle; however, I will always encourage using the traditional white noise. These sounds are prerecorded. There is an option of a 15, 30, or 60 minute timer, but I recommend using the machine during naps and all night. At $25, it is a great value and small enough for travel.
The LectroFan is slightly smaller that the Dohm. It boasts 10 white noise sounds and 10 fan sounds. Unlike The controls are very easy to operate, and the volume can be adjusted far higher than any nursery would ever want. Again, 50 dB is our limit. The LectroFan has an optional sleep timer, but for our purposes, that’s not necessary. This is another fantastic choice and has a range of noises in case you prefer sound options.
If you feel like you’ve tried it all and are still at a loss, let’s set up a free 15-minute consultation. No question is too big or small and there may be a simple solution!
The holidays are officially here! If you've successfully gotten your baby on a schedule, you may be worried that they may regress with travel and a little upset to the routine. You desperately want to maintain sleep over the holidays.
You have good reason to be concerned!
Whether by car or plane, the travel and excitement paired with extra stimulation are the perfect combination to throw the hard work out with the turkey bones and wrapping paper.
The good news?
A little strategic planning will help you maintain your well-orchestrated routine whether at Memaw's or Aunt Sue's.
The two main obstacles in your little one's solid slumber are travel and family and friends.
Let's address travel first.
First, do yourself a favor and don't sleep train right before traveling. Now, if you've already started, don't worry! A trip shouldn't completely derail your progress if you can maintain some semblance of normalcy. Just be ready to rock and roll when you get home.
Driving to the turkey dinner destination?
Do everything you can to schedule your drive around your baby's first nap. While the car seat isn't ideal, it's a great substitute for no nap. The bonus? A little peace on the drive for that podcast you've been wanting to catch up on OR the absolute peace of silence.
Have a long drive?
Try to find something to stop and do mid-trip. It's great for everyone to move and get a little fresh air. It may take a little longer, but you may snag a second nap in the car which means you'll arrive a much happier, less stressed human.
Flying? Bless. Your. Heart!
My best piece of advice is to accept that planes and babies don't always get along. Some immediately fall asleep and some scream the entire time. However you little feels about the experience, own it. The dagger eyes from the row behind you may need some help in the compassion department, but that's not your job.
For toddlers and older children, I give you my permission to break out all the snacks. I LOVE Melissa and Doug "On the Go" coloring books, too. Of course, when all else fails, take out the phone.
Ok, back to sleep.
EVERYONE is excited.
EVERYONE wants to hold the baby.
EVERYONE wants to play with those cheeks and take a scrapbook's worth of pictures.
It is an absolute BLESSING to share life with family. The only problem with all the fun is that your baby will easily become overstimulated and potentially miss a nap. If you are off your schedule and arrive with an already tired baby, this is magnified.
So, mama, you must advocate for your child. It's FINE to take control and let everyone know that your baby needs a break, a nap, or that it's time for bed. You may have to explain that your baby becomes overstimulated and that it's hard to go to sleep in that condition. Your well-meaning matrons will understand.
Trust me when I say that every nap is important. One missed nap results in a rise in cortisol, which results in a domino effect of overtiredness and more missed sleep. Start strong on day one. You don't want the trip to be full of crankiness and crying that could have been prevented. Neither does your grandmother.
So, everyone is now on board and supporting your schedule.
How do you deal with the actual night part?
You and baby may be in the same room. No big deal! Except that it may be.
Your baby will know you are there! I know from experience that what will probably happen is that you will have an extra bed buddy. Those snuggles are wonderful until your baby falls in love with it and expects it when you get home.
Divide the room.
Do anything you can to place a barrier between you and your baby. Can you hang up a blanket, stack some boxes, have a portable clothes rack? It doesn't matter how beautiful it is. Room in the closet? Even better! It's dark and quiet, baby can't see you, and you can play on your phone without the light being an issue.
I know firsthand that grandparents HATE to hear your baby cry. Do everything you can to keep the peace and maintain healthy sleep for your baby. If you don't rock at home, don't rock. If you don't use a pacifier, don't start now.
Now, the not rocking part is probably as easy as having a kid hold open chocolate and not eat it. For many families, that's a losing battle. While the professional side of me says to stand firm, the mom side of me says to be so THANKFUL that you have a loving family. If YOU want to let someone rock your baby to sleep, DO IT. Just don’t let it become a habit and stick it in high gear when you get home.
I find that the biggest reason that parents give in is that they are simply embarrassed or intimidated. You may be a new parent. If so, it's common to feel quite small among the eyes of experience that are watching every move of your baby AND YOU.
Remember that your baby, family, and the health and well-being of both are important. While you may have someone tell you under their breath that your methods are a bit ridiculous, be confident that your cause is noble!
You are fighting for sleep! You are defending your baby who is too small to fight for him or herself. Superheros are often misunderstood and this could not be truer in motherhood.
You've got this, mama!
Hug your family hard. Good luck!
Fifteen years ago, I LOVED Daylight Saving. I was a college freshman, so it meant a much welcomed extra hour of sleep!
Now, as a parent and consultant I still highly value sleep, but the reality is that our babies don’t exactly appreciate that extra hour.
Unfortunately, however wonderful that sleep may sound, disrupting natural sleep cycles can have negative impacts on our health. Our diets, moods, productivity, and overall health can be compromised. Time changes are hard on adults and definitely hard on little ones who don’t understand what’s happening.
This year, Daylight Saving ends on November 4 and if you have little ones at home, they’ll be waking one hour early according to the new time. So, a baby that normally wakes at 6AM. will be bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5AM. Sounds like fun!
So, what’s the best way to handle it and can we make the transition smoother? YES!
Tip #1: Change your clocks on Sunday AFTER you wake.
Why? Seeing that earlier time just stinks! When you think you’re waking an hour earlier, it can lead to a negative start to your day. If you wake at your normal time, have some coffee, then realize you have an extra hour in your day, it’s not so bad.
Tip #2: Split the difference with the old and new time.
Essentially, take the time change slowly in your house. It can take our bodies a week or two to truly adjust. So based on the age of your children, follow the suggestion below that matches your kid(s) age:
School Age Children
For an older child who does not nap, you would put them to bed half an hour earlier than normal. This means If bedtime is 7:30PM, they’ll go to bed at 7:00PM on Sunday night.
After three nights have passed, you will move bedtime back to the original time. Your child will now be back to the normal 7:30 bedtime by Wednesday night!
If you have a toddler or child on one nap, you will put them down for their nap 30 minutes earlier than normal. So, if nap is normally at 12:00PM, you would put them down at 11:30PM for three days starting on Sunday.
The same is true for bedtime. If bedtime is normally 7:00PM, you will put them to bed at 6:30PM for three days. By Wednesday, naps and bedtime will be back to normal at 12:00PM and 7:00PM, or whatever your normal routine times may be.
If your baby’s naps and bedtimes are more predictable and established (normally around 7 months), you will move bedtimes and naps in 15 minute increments. If your child naps at 9:00AM, Day 1 naptime (Sunday) would be at 8:15AM, Day 2 would be at 8:30AM, Day 3 would be at 8:45AM, and Day 4 would be back to 9:00AM.
Bedtimes would change in the same way. A normal bedtime of 7:00PM would change to 6:15PM, 6:30PM, 6:45PM and then back to 7:00PM on Day 4.
If your child wakes early, do not rush in as soon as you hear them waking up. Help your child’s body understand that it isn’t morning yet by keeping him in his crib in the dark room until the normal wake time.
If naps and bedtimes are NOT predictable (0-6 months old), go ahead and adjust immediately. Use appropriate awake times as your guide for nap and nights. If you need help determining an appropriate wake time for your baby, you can access my 3-6 Months Sleep Guide.
Note for Toddlers/School-Aged Children
If your child relies on a clock to know when morning has arrived, set the clock a half hour ahead of the new time. It will then read 7:00AM instead of 6:30AM. They will be waking earlier than normal, but your child will adjust with time (generally around a week or two).
Most children adjust within the first week; however, it is not abnormal for some to take up to a month. Being as consistent as possible with bedtimes and naps helps.
Is your little one having trouble sleeping and it has nothing to do with the time change?
I’ve been there before and I’d love to help change that!
Book a FREE 15-minute consultation with me today.
Sweet Home Sleep Solutions
If you are reading this in the wee hours of the morning and feeling like you are on your last leg, I know how you feel! We love our children, but so desperately need rest, too. I can truly say that I know what it’s like to have tried everything possible and still be up at night... Learn more about how I can help.