I’m a nationally published sleep expert, journalist, and the mom of three young kids. I’ve been helping tired families sleep since 2007 (more about me here). Subscribe to The Well Rested Family for fresh news and tips on keeping your bunch happy and healthy. Thanks for stopping by!

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Friday
Mar072014

Why "Sping Forward" hurts sleep, and how to help

This year, the clock jumps forward on Sunday, March 9. Ironically, “spring forward” can actually set you back, at least when it comes to your child’s bedtime.    

When the clock moves forward in the spring, the most common complaint from parents is that kids won’t go to bed “on time.” It’s not hard to understand why: When the clock reads 8 pm, your child’s body thinks that it’s 7. When 9 or 10 p.m. rolls around and kids still aren’t tired, parents get understandably grumpy.

Here's where the trouble starts: if a child sleeps until his body's regular wake-up time (say, 7 a.m.) on clock-change day, the clock will read 8. If you try to put him to bed that night at 7 p.m., his regular bedtime, only 11 hours have elapsed since he woke up, and he’s not likely to be tired enough to go to sleep. This is especially true if he slept a bit later than normal that morning. DST occurs on a weekend, so that’s not uncommon for parents to let their kids sleep later than normal. Sleeping in on weekends isn’t a big deal, but when you add the time change, things can quickly go awry.

Ready to change this yearly pattern? Here’s how.

(For this example, I use a boy with a 7 p.m. bedtime. Kids' bedtimes vary, so adjust as needed for your family's situation.)

The key to preserving your child's regular bedtime after DST is waking him up earlier in the morning. Beginning a couple of days before the change, start waking your child 30 minutes earlier in the morning, and putting him to bed 30 minutes earlier at night. Make corresponding adjustments to nap(s) by moving them 30 minutes earlier as well. In this example, that would mean waking your child at 6:30 a.m. and putting him to bed at 6:30 p.m. It may sound extreme, but remember, it’s only for a couple of days.

On the morning of DST, wake your child at his normal wakeup time. If he normally wakes at 7 a.m. Standard time, wake him at 7 Daylight time. (This will actually be 6 a.m., according to his body clock, but you’ve prepped him for this change already with a couple days of early wake-ups.)

Offer nap(s) at the normal times. No need to make adjustments here.

After waking at 7 a.m., he’ll be ready for sleep at his normal bedtime. No DST adjustment required.

If you’re starting last-minute and you don’t have time to prep your child a couple of days before the time change, no problem. Just remember to wake your child at his normal wake-up time on clock-change day. He will be tired, because he “lost” an hour of sleep. But he’ll be ready to snooze at his regular bedtime and the whole family can greet “spring” with a smile.

I’m an award-winning parenting and health journalist, sleep coach, and mom of three. My articles about sleep, health, and parenting appear regularly in over 90 national and regional magazines and on television, and I've been featured by YAHOO Shine, MSN Health, the TODAY Show, and TODAY Moms. Can I help you? Subscribe to The Well Rested Family to have sleep news, tips, and tactics delivered to your inbox or feed reader by clicking here.

I offer sleep coaching on call for tired parents ready to make a change. Take the first step by booking your session here.

Need more sleep? My e-book Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep So You Can Sleep Too is chock-full of mom-tested solutions to help babies and toddlers start sleeping well, tonight!

My newest e-book Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers & Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades is available now!

Monday
Feb032014

Announcing Sleep Coaching On Call!

After years of requests for sleep coaching services, I'm thrilled to roll out my new Sleep Coaching On Call service. I look forward to helping more readers find healthy sleep in 2014.

Sleep Coaching On Call!

Phone coaching designed for your busy life.

Ready to move beyond exhaustion toward a harmonious, thriving, rested family? Ready to give your child the gift of healthy sleep? Ready to view your child's sleep in an entirely new way?

Since 2007, I have helped thousands of families achieve healthier sleep. I'm an award-winning parenting and health writer and coach who contributes regularly to over 90 national and regional parenting magazines. My advice is frequently featured on television and in publications and news outlets including Women's Health magazine, Pregnancy & Newborn, YAHOO Shine, MSN Health, the TODAY Show, and TODAY Moms.

I'm available on a limited basis for personalized sleep coaching sessions designed around you and your child. My coaching embodies my philosophy of Compassionate Sleep Supportto enable parents to resolve sleep problems quickly and gently, gain new insight into their child's needs and temperament, and support healthy sleep long-term. 

My advice has been featured by:

I offer two options for coaching:

30-minute Mini Coaching Session

Personalized phone coaching designed to get your child's sleep on track. To book a session, please use the button below and follow the instructions in your confirmation email to schedule your session. Sessions are generally scheduled within three days.

$45

 Buy Now

 

For immediate help within 24 hours:

SOS (Save Our Sleep!) Emergency Coaching Session

Need help now? Personalized 30-minute phone consultations on call, for situations requiting swift coaching support. To book a session, please use the button below and follow the instructions in your confirmation email. I will contact you the same day to schedule, and your session will take place within 24 hours.

$75

Buy Now

 

What you'll get: During our session, I'll put my vast sleep knowledge to work for you. We'll tackle problem areas and come up with a workable plan that fits your family's needs, goals, and parenting style. You'll come away with the confidence to make positive changes, starting now.

 

Please note: I recommend that clients review at least one of my books before working with me, to make our session more productive. For babies and children ages 0-3, I recommend Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep, So You Can Sleep Too. For toddlers and older children, I recommend Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks or Tirades.

 

What real parents say:

I wanted to thank you for all of your help. You've given me a priceless gift of knowledge that has changed the way I look at my boys' sleep patterns. I have learned to identify when my boys are actually tired and make the shifts needed to have the day flow more smoothly. I've noticed a difference in their moods. Life is different now! Thank you.

Kristine S., mom of two

Following your advice gave us progress and hope. Suddenly I could hear my intuition again! I'm back in tune with my daughter, picking up on her needs and gently encouraging her. It was so important to me that her transition from co-sleeping to crib sleeping be gentle, and you helped us find the individual solution we needed!

Kira M., mom of one

Malia’s sleep support was a great common-sense approach that didn’t overwhelm an already overwhelmed new and worried mom. She helped me make sense of all of the confusion and helped me get my little sleepless boy back on track.

Colleen Y., mom of one

I’m an award-winning parenting and health journalist, sleep coach, and mom to three wonderful children. My articles about sleep, health, and parenting appear regularly in over 90 national and regional magazines and on television, and I've been featured by YAHOO Shine, MSN Health, the TODAY Show, and TODAY Moms. Can I help you? Subscribe to The Well Rested Family to have sleep news, tips, and tactics delivered to your inbox or feed reader by clicking here.

Need more sleep? My e-book Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep So You Can Sleep Too is chock-full of mom-tested solutions to help babies and toddlers start sleeping well, tonight!

My newest e-book Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers & Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades is available now!

Monday
Jan062014

Pump Up Your Power Center, Women's Health Jan Feb 2014

Happy New Year! If you’re like me, you begin each January with a few healthy-living pledges. This year, I’m prioritizing heart health for my entire family. My article “Pump Up Your Power Center,” on page 64 of the January February 2014 issue of Women’s Health Magazine, details why women need to start paying attention to this overlooked, overworked organ, and the latest science-backed exercise and nutrition tips to help keep your ticker in tip-top shape. The layout, with sleek glass art depicting the heart and arteries, is absolutely stunning, too.

I have a few more exciting things in the works for January. Readers have been asking for more personalized sleep coaching, and I’ve been listening. To help you keep your family sleeping well, I’m opening up new, personalized sleep coaching slots, very soon. Stay tuned.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2014.

I’m an award-winning parenting and health journalist, sleep coach, and mom to three wonderful children. My articles about sleep, health, and parenting appear regularly in over 90 national and regional magazines and on television, and my advice has been featured by YAHOO Shine, MSN Health, and TODAY Moms. Can I help you? Subscribe to The Well Rested Family to have sleep news, tips, and tactics delivered to your inbox or feed reader by clicking here.

Need more sleep? My e-book Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep So You Can Sleep Too is chock-full of mom-tested solutions to help babies and toddlers start sleeping well, tonight!

My newest e-book Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers & Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades is available now!

Thursday
Oct242013

Once again: Helping kids "fall back" for Daylight Savings Time

Is there a parent out there who actually likes Daylight Savings Time? If so, I haven't met him or her. As much as we might like to, we can't ignore DST. But we can help our kids adjust with minimal drama.

If you want to get a jump on things, here's a repost of a popular past blog on helping kids adjust to "falling back" (this year, the big day is Sunday, November 3).

*************

In the weeks leading up to DST’s “spring forward” or “fall back” dates, I get lots of reader questions about prepping young children for the change.

Ideally, “fall back” day means you turn the clocks backwards and enjoy an extra hour of luxurious sleep—unless you happen to have young children, that is. Youngsters don’t have any clue (and don’t care a bit) that a clock change occurred.  Children’s bodies are sensitive to even small amounts of lost sleep, so the clock change can throw off their sleep routines for days, even weeks.

When clocks shift back in the fall, parents often complain that kids begin waking too early. It’s understandable; after all, when clocks move back, a child’s body clock says 7 a.m. when the actual clock says 6. That means he wakes up an hour before you’d like (and so do you).

The good news: the autumn “fall back” is a great opportunity to help reset the internal clock of a child who snoozes too late in the a.m. and fights bedtime at night (which is a pain if, like most of us, you have places to go in the morning and would like a bit of time to yourself in the evenings). That’s because on clock-change day and during the days that follow, your child’s body clock will be an hour ahead of the clock’s time (because you turned the clock back…still with me?). When your child’s body thinks it’s 9 a.m., the clock will read 8. If you do absolutely nothing, your child will naturally shift to an earlier wake time and an earlier bedtime.

What if you’re happy with the time your child currently gets up in the morning and conks out at night, and you’d like to keep the routine on track after the change? I can help.

The key to helping your child fall asleep and wake up at his normal time is keeping him up later at night; that is, gradually moving his bedtime one hour later over the course of a few days. Why does this work? For this example, I’ll use a 7 p.m. bedtime and a 7 a.m. wake-up time. After the clock change, you want a child who used to wake at 7 to continue waking at 7, which requires a shift to a bedtime and wake-up time that is one hour later that normal (say, 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.). That way, when you wind the clock back, your child’s 7 a.m. bedtime and 7 a.m. wake time are magically preserved. Voila!

Don’t try to shift your child’s bedtime later in one day—do it over three to four days, in 15 to 20-minute chunks. If you only have two days, you can make the change in two 30-minute chunks, but beware overtiredness, especially in young babies and toddlers. Another tip: keep your focus on bedtime without worrying too much about wake-up time. As your child adjusts to a later bedtime, his wake-up time will naturally sort itself out by moving later too. Don’t you love it when that happens?

I’m an award-winning parenting and health journalist, sleep coach, and mom to three wonderful children. My articles about sleep, health, and parenting appear regularly in over 90 national and regional magazines and on television, and my advice has been featured by YAHOO Shine, MSN Health, and TODAY Moms. Can I help you? Subscribe to The Well Rested Family to have sleep news, tips, and tactics delivered to your inbox or feed reader by clicking here.

Need more sleep? My e-book Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep So You Can Sleep Too is chock-full of mom-tested solutions to help babies and toddlers start sleeping well, tonight!

My new e-book Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers & Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades is available now!

Thursday
Oct032013

October news, updates, and an e-book sale!

Spiced cider, pumpkins, and cozy, cooler nights—it must be October. I absolutely love this time of year. One reason: the longer, cooler nights and darker mornings are perfect for sleeping in and snuggling. As the 10 p.m. sunsets and blazing temperatures of summer fade away, kids often have an easier time falling asleep at bedtime, and may sleep a little later in the morning (if you're lucky). My kids are sleeping off their packed summer like it's the week after Mardi Gras—hallelujah!

For parents, fall is a great time to reestablish healthy sleep habits or address a new sleep issue that's cropped up. If your little one needs some gentle help falling back into a healthy sleep routine, you've come to the right place.

For the month of October, I'm taking 20 percent off PDF versions of my e-books Ready, Set, Sleep (for parents of children ages 0-3), and Sleep Tight, Every Night (for parents of children ages 2-6). Just enter code OCTSLEEP at checkout!

And, hey, I have news! I just received my first royalty payment converted from Euro. That's right, I'm an internationally selling author. Fancy.

MORE UPDATES: In case you missed these, here are links to my latest appearance on King 5 Parent 2 Parent (discussing celebrity influence and "The Miley Effect") and my September article on finding your best sleep position, in Women's Health magazine.

I’m an award-winning parenting and health journalist, sleep coach, and mom to three wonderful children. My articles about sleep, health, and parenting appear regularly in over 90 national and regional magazines and on television. Can I help you? Subscribe to The Well Rested Family to have sleep news, tips, and tactics delivered to your inbox or feed reader by clicking here.

Need more sleep? My e-book Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep So You Can Sleep Too is chock-full of mom-tested solutions to help babies and toddlers start sleeping well, tonight!

My new e-book Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers & Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades is available now!