baby sleep

Mothers are Amazing and Astounding Human Beings!

Mothers are Amazing and Astounding Human Beings!

Happy Mothers Day 2018!!! Please take a bow of recognition for how many wonderful things you do for your family and our community on a daily basis. Please take a moment to relish in the fact that you and all mothers are astounding and totally amazing human beings! Read more to experience a clever and and insightful “scoop” on all the millions of things mothers do to earn the very special title of “Mother”.

Matresses for Babies: What is the safe choice?

Baby Sleeping on Memory Foam Mattress.png

Is it Safe for a Baby to Sleep on a Non-Organic Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam is a fantastic sleeping surface for adults because it shapes after your body and keeps your spine aligned. But does this means it’s equally beneficial for babies?

Many parents worry that because memory foam is an artificial product designed using certain chemical compounds, the baby may be affected. Are these concerns valid?

First, it’s important to understand that, even though it supports the same material, a memory foam mattress for babies doesn’t come with the same features as one for adults. Mattresses created for adults are softer on the surface, to allow the body to sink in a bit. However, this feature can be problematic for babies because there is a risk of suffocation. This is why mattresses designed for babies are firm and have high responsiveness.

The Special Design

The mattress that is designed especially for the crib comes with a different construction compared to one designed for an adult. The producer uses a different process and the bed is built for babies from the ground up. This also means no harmful chemicals are used, even if the mattress has that memory foam specific smell when you first remove the cover.

The surface is firm and responsive and the baby has the necessary back support to grow healthy and strong. Even more, because the mattress is very comfortable, the baby will sleep better so there will be less crying and fussing.

The Concerns

There are two main concerns raised by parents when it comes to memory foam: the chemicals and the SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

About the chemicals, there was no report about babies suffering from any toxicity. There may have been babies that developed an allergic reaction, but this doesn’t happen just with memory foam. Some babies develop reactions to latex and this is a 100% natural material. Some babies just don’t support the material and if this happens, you must talk to your doctor and change the mattress.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies sleep on their back and in an independent sleep space to avoid any issues with soft mattresses or pillows. Typically a foam mattress is not appropriate for babies in cribs. If you’re still worried something may happen, ask for a mattress with a special cover that allows the air to flow. This way, even if the baby does roll over and gets stuck on their face, they will still be able to breathe.

Don’t Mix and Match

It’s very important to understand that your baby shouldn’t sleep in bed with you, on an adult memory foam mattress! The risks of SDIS on an adult mattress are high even when you are lying next to your baby. If you decided to go with a special bed for the crib, use it at all times!

Always Buy from Trusted Brands

Memory foam is a versatile material and producers can use all sorts of chemicals into the mix. Also, the level of firmness can easily be altered by the producer so make sure to buy only from brands you trust. If you are at your first baby and don’t know which brand to choose, ask other parents and read reviews online.

It may seem like a tedious task but nothing is more important than the safety of your baby! Take a look at forums and ask family and friends. There are some amazing brands out there, and some even offer a decent price.

Overall, when the mattress is built with babies’ needs in mind, such a surface can help your baby sleep better and grow healthy and strong. It may be a bit scary when you first start looking for a reliable product, but it is definitely worth the effort!

(researched and written by Jen Druski...who loves to write)

Good News!! The Evidence Is Confirmed: Sleep Coaching Is Safe and Restores Harmony to the Household

Got Kids? Need Sleep?: Evidence Proves Sleep Coaching Is Safe.....Its Time To Make Sleep A Priority for All Family Members.

Got Kids? Need Sleep?: Evidence Proves Sleep Coaching Is Safe.....Its Time To Make Sleep A Priority for All Family Members.

All evidence is now confirming that all sleep coaching methods and interventions work to improve sleep. The studies have validated that there are no concerning levels of stress and cortisol. The studies have also confirmed that there are no negative long-term outcomes. This is great news because it now gives parents freedom to choose the RIGHT METHODOLOGY FOR THEIR PARENTING STYLE AND VALUES.  I personally prefer Gentle Sleep Coaching, which is also known as the Sleep Lady Shuffle or also known as Fading. Gentle Sleep Coaching is a proven methodology that offers parents the opportunity to be in the room with their child while offering verbal and physical assurances. Gentle Sleep Coaching has been proven to minimize tears and frustration. Gentle Sleep Coaching provides substantial Parent Education and insight into the temperament of their child and how that relates to sleep.  Peaceful Nights are Possible with the expertise of Joanna Clark of Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching, a trained and certified Gentle Sleep Coach. Below is an article form Aaron Carrroll,  Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine that further explains the different sleep training methodologies and options.

Putting Your Baby to Sleep: Some Advice and Good News

Aaron E. Carroll is a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine who blogs on health research.

For many new parents, a baby who sleeps peacefully through the night is more aspiration than reality.

I remember thinking, after my pregnant wife’s water broke minutes after I went to bed, anguishing really, over one thought as we drove to the hospital: “I’m never going to be well rested again.”

If there’s one thing all new parents wish for, it’s a good night’s sleep.

Unfortunately, infants sometimes make that impossible. They wake up repeatedly, needing to be fed, changed and comforted. Eventually, they reach an age when they should sleep through the night. Some don’t, though. What to do with them continues to be a topic of a heated debate in parenting circles.

One camp believes that babies should be left to cry it out. These people place babies in their cribs at a certain time, after a certain routine, and don’t interfere until the next morning. No matter how much the babies scream or cry, parents ignore them. After all, if babies learn that tantrums lead to the appearance of a loved one, they will continue that behavior in the future. The official name for this approach is “Extinction.”

The downside, of course, is that it’s unbelievably stressful for parents. Many can’t do it. And not holding fast to the plan can make everything worse. Responding to an infant’s crying after an extended period of time makes the behavior harder to extinguish. To a baby, it’s like a slot machine that hits just as you’re ready to walk away; it makes you want to play more.

A modification of this strategy is known as “Graduated Extinction.” Parents allow their infant to cry it out for a longer period each night, until infants eventually put themselves to sleep. On the first night, for instance, parents might commit to not entering the baby’s room for five minutes. The next night, 10 minutes. Then 15, and so on. Or, they could increase the increments on progressive checks each night. When they do go in the room, it’s only to check and make sure the baby is O.K. — no picking up or comforting. This isn’t meant to be a reward for crying, but to allow parents to be assured that nothing is wrong

Babies cry for a reason. They come from warm, enclosed, snug wombs where they feel their mothers' constant protection. They exit the womb...

It appears this study had no control group. Was there a "no intervention" group, where families just kept doing what they'd been doing --...

There are pros and cons to the "family bed" solution, but I can tell you one thing from experience. Everyone sleeps. The baby doesn't have...

Another choice is “Bedtime Fading.” The point of this plan is to teach your children how to fall asleep on their own at bedtime, in the hope that if they develop this skill, when they wake up in the middle of the night they’ll choose to employ it rather than call for you. With fading, you temporarily set bedtime later than usual and preface it with a good bedtime routine. Your babies learn that bedtime is fun, and have little trouble falling asleep because they’re more tired than usual. Then you move their bedtime earlier and earlier, so that infants learn how to put themselves to sleep when they are less and less tired.

A fourth method is “Scheduled Awakenings.” In this method, a parent tries to disrupt spontaneous awakening by getting up in the middle of the night to wake children 15 to 30 minutes before they usually wake up on their own. They then help the baby fall back asleep. The scheduled awakenings are later phased out.

Of course, even with fading and scheduled awakenings, it’s possible that your baby will wake up in the middle of the night, screaming. Then you face a choice: Go to them or wait it out?

Some people always choose to comfort the child. They think that making a baby cry it out is inhumane and could even lead to psychological problems. Others feel that giving in to babies prevents them from learning needed skills and leads to later problems.

A final thing doctors can do is “Parental Education,” which is closer to prevention. It involves talking to parents about many of these options, especially training infants to fall asleep on their own, before problems develop.

As a pediatrician, the first thing I do with parents who are experiencing problems is calm them down. Sometimes it feels as if it will never go away, but I try to remind them that few teenagers have this issue. They go to bed fine, and if they wake up in the middle of the night, they go back to sleep without anyone’s help. This almost always, eventually, gets better.

On the other hand, I don’t want to minimize the short-term problems for parents. Nor do I want to do nothing. Sleep deprivation leads to significant and serious consequences in adults. A 2008 study published in Pediatrics found that mothers of infants with sleep problems, in which no intervention was tried, were more likely to report symptoms of clinical depression when their child was 2 years old. Sleep problems also lead to significant parental stress, and, potentially, physical punishment.

The good news is that almost all interventions work. In 2006, a systematic review was published in the journal Sleep that examined all the relevant research on the efficacy of these interventions. Ninety-four percent of the 52 reviewed studies found that the interventions led to improved sleep, and more than 80 percent of children who were treated improved significantly.

The strongest evidence supported the extinction method and parent education (i.e., prevention). Still, there was evidence that also supported the graduated extinction, fading and scheduled awakenings methods.

People become surprisingly heated about which method to use. This isn’t just because they think one works better than the other, but also because they think some are harmful. They worry about the long-term effects of some methods. Those concerns may be overblown, though. A small study published recently followed children who were randomly sorted to use graduated extinction, fading or parent education. Besides looking at the effectiveness of the intervention on sleep, researchers measured the cortisol hormone in infants’ saliva (as a measure of stress) as well as mothers’ moods and stress.

Again, all of the interventions worked to improve sleep. More important, none caused any concerning levels of stress. This confirmed the findings of two previous studies that found that infant sleep problems, and the interventions used to remedy them, do not predict long-term outcomes, even at 6 years of age.

Parents become stressed about infants who don’t sleep well. That’s understandable. What they don’t need to stress about is that fixing it will cause more harm or have long-term negative consequences. A good night’s sleep makes almost everything better.

Aaron E. Carroll is a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine who blogs on health research and policy at The Incidental Economist and makes videos at Healthcare Triage. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronecarroll.


Fall Time Change 2016: Tips and Tricks for the Time Transition

Fall Time Change 2016: Tips and Tricks for the Time Transition

Are you ready for the Fall Time Change on Sunday, November 6, 2016? In order to make this a smooth transition for every family member, I have prepared some tips and tricks to properly prepare for the time change.