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My New Year’s Resolutions

My New Year’s Resolutions

stopped making New Year’s Resolutions some time ago. I’m not sure when it happened or why. It wasn’t a conscious decision, put perhaps a realisation that I never managed to maintain my resolutions, so why bother? At Thanksgiving, I began reflecting on all that had transpired this past year; I watched my darling baby girl grow in her first year, planned a wedding…twice (thanks Irma), graduated from the Family Sleep Institute and launched my sleep consultancy business. It was busy, too busy at times but wow, look at everything I’d accomplished! So fueled by this “can do anything” energy, which is not one I’ve experienced often, I thought I would take a stab at creating some New Year’s Resolutions. If you’ve ever worked for a large company, in an office type environment, you’ve likely heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals. For those who don’t, I’ll save you the google search. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. The purposed of this strategy is to ensure that the goals you set will be achieved. I love applying this method to goal setting because it prevents me from creating lofty goals I have no chance of accomplishing. I spend my days advocationg for children’s sleep, yours and mine, yet my own sleep needs are low on my list of priorities. Considering the year that lies ahead; raising two under four, continuing to grow my sleep business, finalizing wedding plans, and actually walking down the aisle, I think it’s time sleep was bumped to the top of the list. Good quality sleep, as I preach, is an integral part of our well-being, and without it, that list of to do’s I just mentioned, doesn’t stand a chance. With that in mind, here are my S.M.A.R.T. resolutions for 2018. Goal: To incorporate better sleep habits to improve my overall quality of sleep. Objectives: No screens one hour before bed (off by 9pm) In bed by 9:30pm, 10pm on weekends (I have little kids!) Lights off by 10pm, 10:30pm on weekends (reading only, no screens) 8 hours of sleep per night…min. 7 Goal: Establish healthy eating habits for life through planning and preparation Create weekly meal plan (Friday) Make shopping list & purchase groceries (Saturday) Prep breakfast, lunch and snacks for the week (Sunday) Set calendar reminders for the above So those are my resolutions for 2018. What are yours?

Remember when “Fall Back” was a good thing?

Remember when “Fall Back” was a good thing?

  It’s that time of year where we scratch our heads wondering why we chose to have kids. 🤔 Since the ability to travel back in time is still on our wish list, here are my tips on how to avoid the 5am little person wake-up. 1️⃣ Does your child like to sleep in, 8am or later (they do exist)? Yes ➡️ Then do nothing. They may wake at 7am, big woop. You don’t know early, trust me. They’ll get on the new time quickly. No ➡️ So a 5 or 6am wake-up is already your norm? I feel your pain. These kiddos need their schedules pushed forward so that they’ll be going to bed an hour later than usual come Saturday. Here’s how it should look; Current bedtime: 7pm Mon-Tues: 7:15pm Wed-Thurs: 7:30pm Frid: 7:45pm Sat: 8pm 2️⃣ The sun will be rising earlier now so make sure their room is nice and dark. 3️⃣ Expose them to lots of sunlight in the morning to help reset their biological clocks. 4️⃣ Go to bed EARLY! You may not be able to control the time you are woken up but you can always control your bedtime. Good luck to us all!

Back to school…back to early bedtimes

🎶 It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! 🎶 or so the Staples ad claims. While some parents are rejoicing, others are cringing at the bedtime battles that loom ahead. Those summer bedtimes seemed harmless enough at the time until faced with having to bring back school appropriate bedtimes. Because getting your kids to go to bed an hour earlier should be a fun time, right? 😬 My advice to you, start early and do it gradually. Begin moving bedtime back by 15 mins, at least a week before school starts. Your plan should look something like this… 3rd grader: Current bedtime 9pm School bedtime 8pm Mon/Tues: 8:45pm Wed/Thurs: 8:30pm Fri/Sat: 8:15pm Sun: 8pm So how do you know what is the right bedtime for your child? Primary schoolers need between 9-11hrs of sleep per 24 hrs, high schoolers, 8-10 hrs. So if your child needs to be up by 6am, bedtime for primary kids should be between 7-9pm and 8-10pm for the teenagers. These are averages as every child is different. If your 6th grader with the 9pm bedtime is yawning at 7:30pm, start your bedtime routine. *Remember, going back to school is a big adjustment. Long school days equal extra tired kiddos. You may want to start with an earlier than usual bedtime and push it out gradually as their bodies adjust. Wishing you and your littles a wonderful school year!

That magical moment

Parenting is much harder than I ever imagined. I keep thinking I should be better at this, at managing the role of mother on top of everything I was before. I may have the sleep thing down, but there are sooooo many other areas I feel need improvement. And then, every once in a while, this magical moment happens where everything goes according to plan. I feel my red cape blowing in the breeze. Tonight was one of those nights. So I’m patting myself on the back and hoping I’ll remember this day the next time my self doubt rears its ugly head.

“I’m fine, I can handle it”

“I’m fine, I can handle it”, is something I hear more and more from moms after they tell me how tired they are because their little one isn’t sleeping well. My thoughts are always, “Of course you can handle it, you’re a supermom! But do you have to?” There are two kinds of supermoms: those who look like your typical superhero, with spotless outfits and a smile that says, “bring it on world, I’ve got this”, and those who look like they’ve just come out of an epic battle. Our clothes are stained, hair’s a mess and our faces show every tantrum we’ve dealt with, and every minute of sleep we’ve missed. No matter your appearance, we’re all struggling to do the best we can as moms, dads too, because, after all, what wouldn’t we do for our children? Parenting involves a lot of sacrifice and some of these are no-brainers. Giving up the last piece of pie for our children is an easy one. They get more pie, they are happy, end of story. But when we sacrifice our sleep to tend to our children in the middle of the night, who’s benefitting? Certainly not us, as the bags under our eyes reveal, but more importantly, our children aren’t the better for it. No one is getting the sleep they need, so why are we handling it? There are enough moments in our parenting years in which we will make sacrifices for our children. Sleep need not be one of them. Does your family need more sleep? Send me a message to schedule your free 15 minute consultation. Let me help you lighten the load. I know you can handle it, but you shouldn’t have to.

My mom has a secret…I promised I wouldn’t tell…shhh!

  She sleep trained me! 😱 The act of helping your child sleep better has become incredibly controversial. So much so, that moms have told me they kept it a secret from their family in fear of judgement. Wow. Helping your child get the sleep their developing bodies need should NEVER be a source of shame but that of PRIDE! Be bold, be proud and comment below…I SLEEP TRAINED MY CHILD! 💤

Safe sleep, it’s for a reason

You have likely seen this story. As gut wrenching as it is to read, it must be talked about and shared. This woman’s baby died in his crib, and now she has a warning for other parents I follow various mom related groups and the amount of moms now posting “Do I need to take my baby’s blanket away?” is incredibly alarming, and so I am posting the American and Canadian Safe Sleep guidelines in hopes that you will share on your pages. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/…/childhood-e…/sids/index-eng.php https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/about/Pages/default.aspx There are many aspects regarding our children’ safety that we cannot control but safe sleep is not one of them. Do me a favour and compare the picture below to your child’s current sleep environment.  Doesn’t match?  Change it NOW!  Don’t wait until the weekend, DO IT NOW!  Because I never want to read another story like this again. xoxo    

I’m here to help, not point the finger!

The blame game….ugh. As if parenting isn’t hard enough, everywhere we look, someone is pointing a judgmental finger at us, letting us know we have failed, again. Here’s my promise to you: I will NEVER make you feel badly or point the finger at you regarding your child’s sleep. Why? Because whatever issue you are currently facing, it’s not your fault. You’re suspicious, aren’t you? Let me explain. Your ob-gyn cares about everything concerning you and baby until baby has safely arrived. Next, your post-partum nurses are focused on helping you feed baby. It’s all about the weight. Last but not least, your pediatrician comes into your life and they too are concerned about weight, as well as baby’s overall growth. Aren’t those percentiles fascinating/horrifying? So who’s talking to you about baby’s sleep? There’s a reason for the surge in the child sleep consulting industry. ; ) Two kids and three years later, our pediatrician has never once asked me how my children are sleeping. You might say I should look for a better pediatrician but I’m pretty sure the results wouldn’t be any different. That’s because, as I recently learned, on average pediatric residency programs offer 4.4 hours of education on sleep and sleep disorders!!! Considering the importance of sleep on our overall health, I find this shocking. This number comes from a 2013 study by Mindel et al., “Sleep education in pediatric residency programs: a cross-cultural look” in which they surveyed 152 pediatric residency programs across 10 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. A similar study was done in 2011 by Mindel et al. “Sleep education in medical school curriculum: a glimpse across countries” surveying medical schools across 12 countries, and the results were worse. They averaged only 2.5 hours on sleep education! When it comes to your child’s sleep you are left to figure it out on your own, and you’re doing your best. I know you are. I’m not here to point the finger and tell you you’re doing it all wrong. I’m here to work WITH your family and develop a strategy to help your child achieve their sleep goals while respecting your parenting philosophy. If you need help with your child’s sleep, send me a message. I think we’d make a great team. : ) 2013 study – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3621514/#B12 2011 study – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21924951

Why Mothers Stay Up Late

This one hits home for me. I spent most of my 20’s and half of my 30’s single, for the most part. I longed for the day I would meet a wonderful man to share my life with and hopefully have children. As happy as I am to have all that now, I long for my former life, not everyday, but the desire to be alone, to not be touched is there often enough. The difference between me and the woman in this story, is that I value sleep more than being alone. Lack of sleep ruins me. I’m a crappy partner and I don’t “mom” well. Sleep has to be the priority and the hours before midnight are crucial to feeling well-rested. So I wait for hubby to have a night out, then I buy my favourite frozen pizza (Dr. Oetker I love/hate you) a nice bottle of red, queue up my favourite chick dramas and I enjoy date night with me, myself and I. I’m in bed by 10pm, content to know I have at least 8hrs of sleep ahead of me. How about you? When do you get your “me” time? Why Mothers Stay Up Late