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Managing Expectations as a Parent
Managing Expectations as a Parent

Getting used to having a newborn baby can be difficult for parents. The most problematic adjustment for most parents can be getting accustomed to baby sleep patterns. It’s no secret that a new parent can expect many sleepless nights, so understanding what type of sleep their baby will be getting might help parents to realize what these first few months will be like.

Baby Sleep Consulting

A newborn baby for the most part does little more than sleep and feed. This keeps a mother busy with breast-feeding and nappy changes around the clock. Baby sleep patterns for the first 3 weeks should be a total of 16-20 hours of sleep every day. Since it’s common for them to sleep for short bursts at a time it’s important for parents to get as much support as possible. By 6 months of age a baby’s circadian rhythm really starts to develop and for this reason it’s common to start experiencing sleep issues. Before this, a baby’s body is not regulated by light and dark as an older child’s is.

Baby Parents

With both babies and toddlers, it’s important to remember to manage your expectations as a parent. Whilst sleep deprivation can be a very tough thing, parents need to understand that frequent night waking is normal. Rather than to assume you are doing something wrong, try to relax and go with the flow. If you are not coping as well as you would like then seek support from those around you. For parents of toddlers waking up at night or waking early in the morning, it’s also important to think whether what is happening is normal before stressing about the situation too much. In the pre-school years it’s very normal for toddlers to experience night-mares and night terrors due to their imaginations really starting to develop. To help minimize night-mares and night terrors parents can limit television and technology use. Early rising in the toddler years can also be problematic. If you have a toddler waking at 5am every morning then there’s a good chance they have not had enough sleep. Further to this, the last sleep cycle that occurs at this time is very important for their development so it’s important to act on this to combat the problem. However, if you have a toddler waking at 6am, rather than stress over the situation, if they have been in bed since 7pm the night before then there’s a good chance they have received enough sleep so it’s not worth fighting to get them back to sleep.

Sleepy Starz Toddler Sleep Consultant

Managing expectations as a parent can be difficult….especially if you are sleep deprived. However, if you are not sure whether what your baby or toddler is doing is normal or you need more support……it’s important to find this support. Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz offers a range of affordable sleep consultation packages and we are always happy to help. Go to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-consulting/ for more information.

Why I Love The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock
Why I Love The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock

There are many sleep training clocks on the market…..and all of them come with promises of working magic. But truth be told, there is only really one that works…..and I’ve tried them all! God knows how much money I’ve spent on trying different products to get my 3 year old to sleep. As a sleep deprived mother I was willing to give anything a go but had almost given up before stumbling across this clock.

Sleepy Starz Toddler Sleep Clock

My daughter had always been a terrible sleeper. But things got even worse when it was time to move her from her cot (which she was climbing out of) to her big girl bed. She refused to go to sleep and would get out of bed 5-6 times before finally falling asleep. And, this would last for a period of 1-2 hours some nights. This, coupled with the 5am wake up time was driving me crazy.

A friend of mine told me about the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock and how she had been using it with her 2.5 year old daughter. She said they’d had really positive results and sleep in their household was much better as a result. So……I thought ‘why not’!

Sleepy Starz Baby Sleep Solution

My clock arrived 2 days later and my daughter was instantly smitten with the free teddy bear included in the box. I was actually quite surprised at how easy the clock was to set up as Im not a very technological person. I just used the instructions that are in the clock itself (not the booklet). My daughter chose the scene with the teddy bear and for the first night in a very long time……she stayed in bed and fell asleep. Ok….she did get up a couple of times around 1am……but to my delight, she stayed in bed until 6.30am despite being awake earlier. Over the following few nights she was getting out of bed less and less. Two months later and I am no longer sleep deprived!

Toddler Sleep Training Clock

What I love about the clock are the features and being able to chose the settings that suit my daughter. We use the 15 minute countdown every night and during this time we read the book in the clock about the free teddy bear. In the beginning I had to use the lock feature…..but I haven’t had to use this for about 1 month now. My daughter loves a lit up room, so we set the brightness controller to high so it acts as a night light. This clock really is value for money and I highly recommend it for any parents suffering from sleep deprivation!

Alexandra.

Swaddling and Newborns
Swaddling and Newborns

Swaddling/wrapping a baby is something that has been around for years and years and most definitely has a place in the world of babies. In today’s day and age, swaddling is still very common, but in recent times there has been more debate on the issue and whether it is actually a positive or negative act. Generally, sleep experts, nurses and doctors agree that not only is swaddling quite safe, but it helps in comforting the baby especially in their transition from the womb into the world.

 Baby Sleep Swaddle

Why Swaddle?

The ideology of swaddling is comfort and helping a newborn feel safe and is if they are still tucked up in their mother’s womb. During the third trimester a baby resides in a cosy, dark, calming warm bath of fluid. Once the baby enters the world, they lose that sense of security and the warm, dark environment has been replaced by unfamiliar sounds and lights and a different sleeping environment.

Newborns are known for their ‘startle reflex’ when their limbs jerk which can wake them up and lead to crying and stress. A benefit of swaddling is calming a baby to promote sleep which is very important.  Between feeds and during sleep the baby feels safe and secure and as if they were still in the womb. When the baby is not asleep and seeking extra comfort, skin to skin contact is an excellent way to help relax and calm a baby.

 Easy Baby Swaddle

Swaddling and Safety

When swaddling a baby it’s important to ensure there is a bit of room in the leg area so that the baby can move their legs somewhat. It’s also important not to cover the baby’s head as this can cause them to overheat. Swaddling the baby with their arms straight down is a common method used.

How Long to Swaddle

Whilst every baby is different, most parents will know when the right time is for their baby to stop being swaddled. As a general rule, when the baby can roll over is the time to stop swaddling as the rolling promotes a safety issue to the baby.

Baby Swaddling

It’s important to note that swaddling will not work for every baby. The sleep consultants at Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz understand that every baby is different in its own unique way and there may be some babies where swaddling doesn’t work. Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz offer affordable sleep consultation packages and work with parents to the extent they feel comfortable. We do not push anything on parents as they know their baby best and need to feel comfortable. What we do is offer supportive and empowering advice to parents to work through their child’s sleeping issues. Go to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-consulting/ for more information about Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz.

Stay at Home Mums
Stay at Home Mums

I have such respect for stay at home mums….they really do have the toughest job in the world! Whilst I have felt so fortunate to be able to stay home with both of my daughters in the early years, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a tough gig. I remember with my first born, I would call my husband at work in tears because I couldn’t get my two month old to sleep. Hours of rocking, patting, feeding, more rocking…..nothing seemed to work and it took its toll. And, there is the loneliness and isolation as well. I was one of those first time mums with a newborn who didn’t want to leave the house. I was scared that my daughter would start screaming and I wouldn’t be able to settle her. I was scared of something happening and not being able to handle the situation. I found it easier to stay inside the comfort of my own home……though the loneliness at times wasn’t so comforting. I remember my husband getting home from work at 5pm and disappearing into the bathroom for half an hour of alone time. It was such a relief when he walked through the front door. And, let’s not forget- the sleep deprivation! Oh my, I felt like a walking zombie for so many months and didn’t feel like I functioned at all during that time. It is funny though, how quickly your body adjusts to the two hours of sleep at a time.

 Stay at Home Mother

In the first few weeks of being a new mum, I remember feeling extremely panicked about how I would ever do this. How would I keep up with the washing, cleaning the house, cooking? It felt like such an impossible task…..yet as weeks turned into months, you work out how to juggle it all. As well as look after the baby, you find time to tidy up, clean the house, put dinners on the table every night and do the washing. And, this really is the wonder of stay at home mums….they are amazing!

 Work at Home Moms

With all of that being said, let’s not forget about the good times too. I loved being there for all of the firsts…..the first smile, the first roll, the first words, the first steps and so on. They were magical moments and I will treasure them forever. Our children grow up so quickly and are only little for such a short period of time.

 Stay at Home Moms

For all of the stay at home mums out there…..I salute you! Whilst you might have one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, you also have one of the most challenging, underpaid jobs in the universe. Just remember how wonderful you are and how lucky your children are to have you!

For sleep advice and toddler sleep solutions, head to www.sleepystarz.com

All About Tongue Ties
All About Tongue Ties

Who would have thought that a tiny piece of attached skin could cause so many issues for babies. However, there is still quite a lot wrong information out there about tongue ties and a lot of bad advice being given to mothers leading to confusion.

It’s not only about how a baby or toddler is feeding. Tongue ties can also affect a child’s sleep, cause huge discomfort from wind, cause speech difficulties, lead to sinus development, and play a part in preventing a natural release of endorphins etc etc.

Lip and Tongue Tie

It seems that most parents are aware that tongue and lip ties can cause issues with breastfeeding including:

– having a poor latch

– causing reflux

– causing excess wind due to gulping, making settling and sleeping difficult, especially at night

– clicking noises whilst breastfeeding

– causing constant bouts of mastitis for the mother

– bleeding and sore nipples

– poor suction including bad let down

– baby tiring easily

– fussiness and avoidance to feed

– not enough weight gain

– very feeds where they still don’t seem to be full…(excessive cluster feeding)

But, that’s not wear it ends feeding is not the only issue caused by tongue ties.

Tongue Tie

As a result of the tongue being unable to effectively reach the roof of the mouth when tied, it doesn’t  release natural endorphins that come from a tongue resting on the palate. As a result, babies can be hard to settle or always want something to suck. Being unable to get your tongue into its natural position also affects airway development; they stay narrow and that’s when you start seeing sleep issues such as:

– snoring

– sleep apnea

– grinding of the teeth

– night wakings

– difficulty in settling without a dummy or something to suck

– mouth breathing instead of nose breathing

– increase in risk of SIDS

There are two different methods to deal with a tongue/lip/cheek tie. Some GPs, Paediatricians and midwifes will cut them with surgical scissors depending on the grade. Having surgery under anaesthesia is also an option but isn’t usually done until after 6 months. Another option is having it done with a water laser. This procedure takes less than a minute and there will be minimal bleeding or bruising.

Tongue Tied Baby

If you suspect a tie and recognise some of the symptoms contact a Lactation Consultant, experienced midwife, dentist or other health professional. Disappointingly, sometimes it can take seeing a couple of health professionals to actually get a diagnosis because not everyone believes ties have any effect or that the effects stretch beyond weight gain.

For more information on babies and toddlers head to www.sleepystarz.com.

Why You Should See a Sleep Consultant
Why You Should See a Sleep Consultant

Sleep consulting and sleep training are often seen as ‘taboo’ topics. In the past few years, sleep training has changed and uses a lot more sensitive methods. Whilst there are still some doctors, maternal health nurses, sleep training clinics and some sleep consultants that use the harsher methods of sleep training (such as ‘controlled crying’), we at Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz certainly don’t.

Toddler Sleep Training

Sleep and food are the two biggest complaints that we get from parents. Sleep is one of those things that doesn’t just affect the toddler, but affects the whole family. And, lack of sleep can lead to health issues, moodiness and delayed growth and development. During REM sleep (the deep sleep) is when healthy growth and development occurs. Without this deep restorative sleep, health problems can occur. Taking all of this into considering, it seems that seeing an expert in the sleep industry is most definitely worth it. Other reasons you should consider seeing a sleep consultant if your toddler is experiencing sleep issues include:

Sleepy Starz Baby Sleep Clock

To save time and energy:

Constantly attending to a sleepless baby or toddler can be very exhausting. You are not only losing out on sleep yourself but you are also having probably dealing with high stress and anxiety levels as you try to work why your toddler is not sleeping. If seeking help not only sees your toddler get better sleep but also sees the family get better sleep then it’s most definitely worth it.

You might learn something:

Babies and toddlers’ sleep habits (or lack of sleep) can sometimes just take simple tweaks but it can also sometimes involve some more complex issues that you never would have thought of. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and you never know, you might learn some tips that you never knew existed. This can help with other family members and any future babies that might come along too.

Baby Sleep Solution

Save money:

If a baby or toddler isn’t sleeping well, parents often fork out $1000’s of dollars trying different products that promise to get your little one sleeping. More often than not, these products don’t work. Instead of spending so much money, pay a sleep consultant for 1 or 2 consultations and save yourself a tonne of money.

Baby Sleep Consulting

Better overall health for the family:

Sleep is vital for health growth and development. If one member of the family isn’t sleeping well, then this is probably affecting the entire family and may lead to health issues. Invest in your family’s health by seeking help from an expert so the whole family can achieve better sleep.

Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz only uses sensitive approached to sleep training. We work with all types of families and parenting styles in a non judgmental manner. Our role is to work alongside you in tailoring strategies that will work for your family. For more information go to www.sleepystarz.com.

Getting Your Baby to Sleep
Getting Your Baby to Sleep

Good sleep for your baby or toddler doesn’t always have to be overly complicated. Nor does it have to involve ‘crying it out’ or traditional “sleep training methods” often used by doctors. Sometimes improving your child’s sleep is a really simple fix.

Baby Sleep Training

Check out our 5 proven steps for improving your child’s sleep:

Sleep Environment

Sleep environment is one of those things that often gets easily overlooked because of stress and anxiety about ensure you are doing everything else correctly. Sleep environment is all about the sleep space in which your baby or toddler sleeps in and ensuring it promotes good sleep. Having a dark room is essential for the production of melatonin (AKA the ‘sleepy hormone’) and having the room at the correct temperature is also important. Babies and toddlers will pick up on small changes to their sleep environment such as a light that was on outside of their room when they went to sleep being switched off by 1am in the morning. These changes can affect their sleep so it’s important to keep the sleep environment the same throughout the night if possible.

Baby Sleep Consultancy

Awake Times

Having the right awake times for your baby is crucial to your baby settling easily and sleeping and napping well. A baby who isn’t awake long enough between naps or who only naps for short periods might fight going to sleep because they’re not tired enough. A baby who is awake for too long between naps will also fight sleep due to overtiredness. Awake times are constantly changing as your baby grows and develops – so the awake time for a 2 week old baby will be vastly different to the awake time of an 8 week old baby.

Bedtime Routine

Babies can get overstimulated very easily and some wind-down time before a nap as well as bedtime at night is important to let your baby get in the zone for sleep. This also signals to your baby or toddler that naptime or bedtime routine is approaching and act as a sleep cue in their day. Positive bedtime and naptime routine includes ensuring your little one has a full tummy, bath, massage, cuddles or a book.

Baby Sleep Solution

Settling

A baby’s ability to settle to sleep depends on their age and whether they actually have learnt the skill of self setting. Before the 4 month regression hits, there is absolutely nothing wrong with settling your baby completely to sleep. If possible, it’s a good idea to settle them to sleep in their bed as it will help them learn this skill the older they get. As your baby gets older, they will slowly learn to self settle and there are different methods you can use to promote this skill being learn.

Baby Sleep Training

Age Appropriate Routine

Ensuring your baby is on an age appropriate routine is crucial to promoting good sleep habits. This includes nap length as well as awake times. Some babies need a hand regulating their nap lengths so that they nap for the perfect amount, at the optimum times of the day, to lead to easy settling and good night time sleep. Some babies love to sleep in the day and are then up all night because they’ve had too much day sleep and genuinely aren’t tired enough for a deeper sleep overnight! Overtiredness and undertiredness will both affect your baby or toddler’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep of a night time. So, age appropriate routines including nap times, nap length and awake times are very important.

For more information as well as hints and tips on getting babies and toddlers to achieve better sleeping habits go to www.sleepystarz.com

Moving My Toddler from Cot to Bed
Moving My Toddler from Cot to Bed

One of the most common questions we get asked is “when is the right time to move my toddler out of their cot and into a bed?” Unfortunately, there is no one correct answer to these questions and there are many factors to be taken into consideration.

Move Child Cot to Bed

A good starting point is to ask yourself “why do I want to move my toddler from their cot into a bed?” As a general rule of thumb, I always suggest to wait as long as possible before moving them out of their cot. The move can have a big impact on a toddler’s life and can negatively affect their sleep habits. If there is no reason such as safety being a concern, then it’s best to wait. If your child is climbing out of the cot (or attempting to climb out) then this is definitely a reason to make the transition. However, toddlers often find it a lot harder to climb out of a portacot so you may want to consider moving them into a portacot for a short time before making the transition to the bed. Other reasons you might be considering the move are because they have outgrown their cot or maybe your need the cot for a new sibling on the way. If your toddler has outgrown their cot then this can also pose some safety concerns so it’s best to make the transition to a bed. However, if your are making the move to make room for a new sibling, then it might be worth looking at some other options such as putting the new baby in a bassinet for a while or even moving your toddler to a portacot to free up the cot to delay the transition.

Move Toddler Cot to Bed

If you find yourself in a position where moving from cot to bed is the only option then have a read through our tips on safety considerations:

  • Ensure that the bedding is not too loose and cotton is the primary form of bedding material;
  • Have a guard rail up on the side of the bed to prevent your toddler from falling out;
  • Have something soft on the floor next to the bed just in case they do fall out;
  • Use a flat pillow if you wish to use a pillow for your toddler;
  • Do not use bumpers around the bed as this can impact on air supply;
  • Follow the SIDS guidelines.

Toddler Bed There are also things you can do to help make the transition as smooth as possible:

  • Instead of going ‘cold turkey’ and putting your toddler into a bed straight from the cot, slow down the transition period and start with day naps in the bed firstly to get your toddler used to it. You can also put the bed in your child’s room for a week or whilst still having them sleep in their cot so as they can get used to the idea of the bed in their room;
  • Get your child excited about the process by including them in choosing a bed or choosing the bedding to go onto the bed;
  • Keep the bedtime routine the same;
  • Make your toddler feel important by giving them a special job to do before bed (this could be as little as switching off the light;
  • Use a sticker reward system in which you can reward your child in the morning if they have stayed in bed all night.

For more hints and tips head to www.sleepystarz.com

Why Sleep is So Important
Why Sleep is So Important

Sleep is very important for babies and toddlers. Poor quality sleep or not enough sleep can cause health issues. Continue reading to get an understanding as to why sleep is very important for toddlers.

Toddler Sleeep Consultant

Better growth – Growth and development occurs during the deep sleep phase during the night. Toddlers must sleep about 12 hours a day to have a healthy body. These 12 hours of sleep is essential for the excretion of growth hormones which promotes the growth of the body.

Beat Germs – The human body produces cytokines which is a protein that helps to fight infection, stress and also illness. This protein is a must for toddlers and for that they have to sleep with minimal disturbances of a night time. A recent study showed that those toddlers that are getting good night time sleep are healthier overall.

Baby Sleep Solution

Body weight – Good night sleep is a must for toddlers to maintain a healthy body weight. If sleep is not sufficient in toddlers this can affect body weight. Sleep deprivation also changes the eating habits of toddlers. If they fail to sleep at night then it will cause digestion issues which can lead to some intestine issues in future.

For a good heart – Good sleep is needed for a good functioning heart. If your toddler is not sleeping at night then chances are increased for heart related issues in the future.

Child Sleep Important

Reduces the risk of injuries – if your toddler is not sleeping at night then it can affect their concentration and their mobility skills leading to more chance of injury.

Attention – Sound sleep is needed to maintain good health and also to concentrate on any task well. Impulsivity and hyperactivity are the main issues which can arise in toddlers due to of lack of sleep. If you are in search of more information about health issues due to lack of sleep in toddlers then visit the website https://www.sleepystarz.com/

Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Good sleep is a must for both kids and adults for many reasons. Lack of sleep can lead to so many issues which can be avoided with good sleep every night. Toddlers are most affected by sleep deprivation…..keep reading to understand some of these effects.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Lack of sleep for a toddler can lead to problems in healthy growth. If sleep is not a good quality of sleep or there is not enough of it then growth hormones will not work perfectly and healthy growth and development will not occur.

Sleep Deprivation Effects

If toddler is not getting proper sleep at night then it will affect the stimulation of growth hormones. Growth hormones co – ordinates and stimulate the growth of the whole body at the time of sleeping. Muscles, bones and nerves may all be affected.

Sleep deprivation can also have a negative effect on body weight. It can lead to weight loss or weight gain which is not healthy.

Child Sleep Deprivation

Whilst it’s normal for toddlers to experience sleeping issues, there are ‘normal’ sleep problems as well as issues that are not normal. Sleep is just as important as a healthy diet for young children so if your child is experiencing sleep problems then it’s important to seek help. It might be only a small change that needs to happen for your child to experience much better quality sleep or there might be a few changes that need to be made. Whatever the issues is our team at Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz can definitely help. We are a team of sleep professionals and work with families to ensure healthy sleep habits develop. For more information go to www.sleepystarz.com

Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock
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