Time Change Coming

Time Change Coming

Yippee (sarcasm inserted here) we have a time change next weekend! We will find ourselves moving our clocks ahead an hour. So if your child usually wakes up at 7 am the clock will say 8 am!!! You will look at the clock and smile but realistically it does not mean much 🙁

There are a few things you can do; however, you first have to decide if you are okay with the morning wake time.

 

If you are happy with the new wake time then do the following:

 

1. Naps will occur after the proper amount of wake time. This will make it seem like naps are now on hour later than they were the day before the time change. It is the clock playing tricks on you.

2. Bedtime will be one hour later than usual.

3. Maintain this new schedule.

 

 

If you are not okay with the new wake time then do the following:

 

1. Wake your child at the desired wake time. Expect your child to take a few days to adjust to being woken up.

2. Naps at the proper amount of wake time.

3. Plan for bedtime to be at the regular time which may feel like an hour earlier to your child. It will take time to adapt.

4. Be patient as this will take at least a week for your child to adapt to the time change.

 

 

The third thing you can do is go with the flow and adjust with your child as their bodies adapt.

 

This is most likely what we will do. I will put on my big girl panties and be patient with the little man while he gets used to the clock changes.

 

 

The final and most important thing is that you do not stress out!!

 

As with everything related to children, the calmer you can be the easier the transition is.

 

Take Care and Happy Sleeping!!

Sleep Props? What do you mean?

Sleep Prop?  Lots of parents, including myself, have had no idea that their child is dependent on a prop to go to sleep or stay asleep.

A sleep prop is an object, action or person that a child requires in order to go to sleep. Your child is dependent on a sleep prop if you find yourself getting up many times to replace a soother, rock a child, go for a car ride, or feed your child.

Here is a list of some common sleep props:

  • soother
  • rocking to sleep
  • car ride
  • stroller
  • feed (bottle or breast feed)
  • person (mom, dad, or other care provider)
  • swaddle
  • swing
  • swaying

Now should you dump all props immediately? It depends on the age of the child.

The first three months can be difficult for a baby to sleep, so you do what you can. There will be a few times that you will use a sleep prop, don’t beat yourself up for it.  Your baby needs rest, end of story.The first few months you do what you can to teach your child to sleep.

In my opinion, the key is to eventually reduce or eliminate your child’s need for a prop.  Once your child learns to put themselves to sleep without a sleep prop it is an amazing moment. You and all other family members will actually get a half decent sleep – it really does happen.

Now that our youngest is two years old, the first few months are a blur; however, I remember being very sleep deprived and frustrated with his lack of napping.  I felt for him and I could tell he was exhausted (crying, easily frustrated, rubbing his eyes, etc).

I took a look at his sleep and environment. We were rocking him while giving him a bottle before he fell asleep.  Every time he woke up he required a feed in the rocking chair to go back to sleep.  The kicker with our boy was that after every feed he had to be held upright for 20 to 30 minutes to prevent him from throwing up his feed. (Acid reflux is not fun.)  It was near impossible to keep him awake.  He then became dependent on a person to hold him.  Yikes!

With time and patience, he was able to sleep on his own. He did have to be taught to sleep without a prop and we had to remain calm.  The first few nights our little man slept on his own, I woke up wondering if everything was okay.  It was beautiful to hear him sleeping so peacefully.

Your child can be an amazing sleeper as well.  We can work together to discover your child’s sleep prop (it’s amazing what a prop can be) and teach him or her how to sleep without it.

Happy sleeping, everyone!

 

The Colour of Noise

The Colour of Noise

We often hear of the effect white noise can have on you or your child’s sleep. Who knew there are other colours of noise?? Not me. My guest blog post today is from the amazing Jerylin Gan, Ph.D. about the colours of noise.


Have trouble sleeping?  A toddler who wakes whenever you accidentally step on that creaky floorboard?  Just hate the sound of those damn chipper little birds at 5 am?  Then someone’s probably recommended playing white noise in the background.  Maybe in the form of a fan, a mp3 of a waterfall, or one of those sleep sheep stuffed animals that play a heartbeat as well.  

From my experience, white noise is wonderful.  Both my kiddos and husband will wake at the drop of a hat.  But you know what I’ve found works better for me?  Pink noise.  That’s right.  There’s more than one colour of noise!

There’s white, pink, brown, gray, and violet noise (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colors_of_noise).  The difference between the colours is how loud certain frequencies are.  Low frequencies sound low to human ears; high frequencies are higher pitched.  “Noise” is when you play a lot of frequencies at the same time.  White noise is when all frequencies are played at the same volume.  Pink noise is when lower frequencies are played slightly louder than the higher frequencies.  Brown noise is when lower frequencies are played a lot louder than higher frequencies.  

And though it’s hard for most people to tell the difference between the different colours of noise, they’ve been shown to have different effects on people. What might be soothing for one (e.g. the sound of a vacuum to my friend’s baby) might sound awful to another individual (e.g. the sound of a vacuum to me).  So experiment!  Try to see if you like white, pink or brown noise.  See which noise might help you sleep better.  See which noise will help you concentrate on a task!  

Jerylin Gan, Ph.D.

You may wonder who is Jerylin Gan, Ph.D.? Well, let me fill you in. Jerylin is currently an amazing stay at home mom with a passion to ensure her children are getting the much-needed rest they require. Jerylin has a BA in Molecular and Cellular Biology from UC Berkeley, PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from the University of Washington, Seattle and she did further training at Cornell Medical School. She is my go-to person when looking at the science behind a number of studies we see popping up on social media.

Originally posted June 21, 2016 

Updated and re-posted Nov 23, 1018

Dreams: Talking to Kids About the Good, Bad and Ugly Ones

Dreams: Talking to Kids About the Good, Bad and Ugly Ones

Dreams can be wonderful and downright terrifying! It can be very difficult to explain to children that dreams are not real. Even as adults sometimes it can be very hard to shake off a bad dream.

First lets, chat about what a dream is

Dreams are thoughts that occur during periods of sleep. According to William C. Dement, MD., Ph.D., and author of “The Promise of Sleep”, we dream during all stages of sleep; however, we recall more dreams during the REM stage of sleep.

Our children will be able to recall some of their dreams and may have a hard time understanding that they are not real. The best thing for us to do is to explain what dreams are in a calm manner at a time not associated with sleep.

How can you explain a dream to a child?

Children are very concrete thinkers who respond well to simple and clear statements. A good way for you to explain a dream to your child is to tell them that a dream is a story your brain tells while you sleep. You can explain that these stories are not real but can feel real.

How can you teach your child to cope with dreaming?

1. Empathize with your child

2. Remind your child the dream was a story while he slept

3. Let your child talk about the dream

4. Teach your child to take a deep breath and to think about something different using meditations.

5. If your child is struggling with their dreams you can try making or purchasing a Dream Catcher. A Dream Catcher is a Native American tradition where a catcher is placed above a child’s bed. Then you explain that the Dream Catcher will catch all her dreams and pass the good dreams on to her.

 

In my experience, a child seems to be better able to cope with and understand their dreams closer to 4 years of age. This is when the fun begins and children may love to fall asleep so they can dream!

Please feel free to send me a message or start a discussion in the form area regarding your child’s dreams.

 

 

 

Daylight Savings: Coming to an End!

Daylight Savings is coming to an end on November 5, 2017. The clocks will fall back.

We will get to sleep in for an hour!!!

Back to reality…Before I had a child, I got to sleep in. Now it just messes with our lovely schedule 🙁

There are a few different ways you can handle the time change.

1. Do absolutely nothing leading up to the day

Put the time change on ignore until it happens. Then once it occurs you may have to adjust bedtime and nap time so your child does not get overtired. If your child typically naps at 12:30 he will be ready for a nap at 11:30.

Every 3 to 4 days you can push your child’s nap later by 15 minutes until you reach the desired nap time. You will have to do the same with bedtime.

2. Push sleep times later in 15-minute increments leading up to the change

7 to 10 days before the time change you can push your child’s sleep times ahead by 15 minutes. Every 3 days add an additional 15 minutes to the sleep times until you reach the desired 1 hour later sleep time. When the time change occurs you child’s sleep times will be back on his previous schedule.

3. Use it to your advantage

If your child is waking up around 8:00 am and going to bed past 8:00/8:30 pm they will automatically be switched to a 7:00 am wake up and a bedtime of 7/7:30 pm.

4. Change your clocks after you have had your coffee 

There is nothing worse than looking at the clock while it reads 6 am when you are used to it reading 7 am. Postpone changing the clocks as long as you need. I will be waiting until after I have had my morning coffee!

All the best with the time change! Here’s to hoping someday soon there will be no more time changes!!!

 

Join the discussion now about Daylight Savings ending!