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
May172013

Toddler sleep post roundup

Toddlers are heartbreakingly cute, but they can be tough cookies when it comes to sleep. With shifting sleep requirements, super-charged mobility, and a newfound bent for independence, tots are hard to keep up with, let alone get to sleep at a reasonable hour (and if you’re a harried toddler parent, you definitely need to stay rested, yourself).

Here are 10 posts packed with information on helping toddlers sleep well.

Is my 16-month-old ready for one nap?

 

My toddler’s naps are no-gos.

My two-year-old’s never-ending bedtime.

My toddler can’t fall asleep at night.

Tough stuff: Standing, screaming, and crying at bedtime.

Help your child on “I can’t sleep!” nights

Is the pack-n –play ruining our toddler’s sleep?

Helping a toddler sleep through the night.

Is it OK to stop a tot from napping?

Saying “bye-bye” to the binky.

I’m a nationally published sleep expert, health journalist, and mom. My articles about sleep, health, and parenting appear regularly in over 80 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!

Monday
May132013

Post roundup: Newborns and sleep

Newborns are small, sweet, and heart-meltingly helpless, but that doesn’t mean they’re always easy to understand. Though new babies can’t yet roll over or crawl, they’re capable of throwing some sleep curveballs at their tired parents—and unfortunately, they don’t come with instruction manuals. When new parents have a moment to think, sleep questions fill their (often caffeine-fueled) minds. Do new babies really “sleep when they’re supposed to sleep?” Why are his naps so short? Just how much sleep does she need, anyway? And when will our precious bundle learn that nighttime is for sleeping?

Here are ten of my past posts centering on newborns and sleep. Here’s hoping that all the sleepless newborn parents get at least a few hours, sometime soon.

Helping newborns sleep well

Swaddle Series part 1: Five swaddles I love, one to avoid

Swaddle series part 2: Three rookie swaddling mistakes

Swaddle series part 3: Say “see ya!” to the swaddle

How not to be “Up All Night”

Ask Malia: Nap routine for a four-month-old

Ask Malia: He only naps in my arms

Bye-bye bumpers: Should the government ban crib bumpers?

Crib dos and don’ts

I’m a nationally published sleep expert, health journalist, and mom. My articles about sleep, health, and parenting appear regularly in over 80 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!

Friday
May102013

Guest blogger Heidi Smith Luedtke: In Parenting, Less is More

While I'm adjusting to life as a mom of three, please enjoy this guest post from personality psychologist, freelance journalist, and mom Heidi Smith Luedkte, Ph.D., author of Detachment Parenting: 33 Ways to Keep Your Cool When Kids Melt Down

In Parenting, Less is More

Most parents I know want to do the very best they can for their kids. That means offering snuggles of affection, words of wisdom, and doing what we can to give kids a fun, happy childhood.

But those good intentions can create an emotionally exhausting life for Mom and Dad. When we give kids every minute of our attention, we get tired and cranky. When we talk too much, kids miss out on the chance to think through what happened and share their own thoughts and feelings without being influenced by ours. When we do whatever it takes to soothe bad feelings, we may steer clear of emotional hot spots and miss out on teachable moments.

In my e-book, Detachment Parenting, I give readers tools they can use to manage their own feelings and guide their children through a healthy coping process. Over time, these coping skills become part of a child’s social skill set and that makes both kids and parents feel good about themselves.

If you’re searching for ways to create a positive emotional climate in your home, I’d suggest you start doing less, not more. Doing less means giving kids more freedom to do their thing and giving yourself more space to do yours. It means we give others responsibility for themselves, while we offer generous encouragement and assistance.

Here are three less-is-more ideas from Detachment Parenting:

1) Before you become overwhelmed, call in reinforcements. A spouse, friend or family member can give you a chance to get away and regroup. Asking for help (and accepting it) models an important skill for kids. No man (or mom) is an island. Loved ones feel included and important when you let them take a bigger role in your family.

2) Respond with a sudden burst of slow. In stressful situations, your actions and words may speed up and cause everyone to get edgy. Deliberately slow yourself down.  Move and speak in slow motion. This breaks you out of an automatic fight-or-flight pattern of responding and sucks the life out of the emotional storm swirling around you. You’ll feel more composed and able to cope.

3) Observe instead of intervening. I know it’s hard to listen to kids cry or to watch a tantrum unfold in the toy section at Target. But don’t rush in to diffuse things too soon. Step back and watch with detached curiosity for a minute or two. Observation may reveal your child’s emotional triggers and response patterns, and it can help you regain a sense of calm. Once you have a big-picture view, step in and start coaching. Ask questions and affirm feelings, instead of offering treats or criticism.

You’ll find more practical, stay-cool strategies in my e-book, Detachment Parenting: 33 Ways to Keep Your Cool When Kids Melt Down. Check it out here or like my Facebook fan page to get similar calm-mom tips and tools. You can also enter to win my mother’s day Stress-Less Giveaway May 6th through 12th using the “giveaway” tool on the Facebook page. One winner each day will get a free copy of Detachment Parenting, along with a basket of self-soothing goodies for body and spirit.

Monday
May062013

My Mom's Day gift to you: 25 percent off ebooks!

Know a mom who could use more sleep? Of course you do! Or perhaps that mom is you. Either way, this Mother’s Day, I’m gifting you with a 25 percent discount on PDF versions of my ebooks: Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep, So You Can Sleep Too, and Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades.

Use the discount code MOMSDAY for 25 percent off the PDF version of either ebook, now through May 15. And happy Mother’s Day, mamas—we deserve it!

Here’s some info on both ebooks:

Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep, So You Can Sleep Too

Ready, Set, Sleep takes parents step-by-step through the process of creating a sleep-friendly home and family environment, resolving sleep resistance, removing barriers to sleep, and overcoming common sleep challenges. The tips and tactics are designed for children from birth through age three.

Ready, Set, Sleep helps parents end night waking, bedtime battles, early waking, and more, with compassion and respect. Parents can experience the joy of parenting a well-rested child without resorting to harsh tactics or rigid sleep training.

What readers say:

“The best sleep book I have ever read!”

“AMAZING…logical, empathetic, and most of all, SUPER effective!”

Buy Now

 

Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades

 As the follow-up to Ready, Set, Sleep, Sleep Tight, Every Night provides specific sleep solutions for children during one of the most challenging periods for sleep—age two to six. Instead of resorting to punishment, letting children cry, or simply trudging through years of sleepless nights, parents can end the sleep wars by quickly getting to the root of a child’s specific sleep challenges, sidestepping common problems, utilizing little-known secrets to sleep success, and working with a child’s natural drive for sleep.

Sleep Tight, Every Night includes 12 short sections covering a specific sleep challenge. In each one, I walk parents through a solution from start to finish with easy-to-implement tactics to help get your kids’ sleep on track and sustain your success. Chapters include Breaking the Overtired Cycle: Getting Back to Happy; Correcting Undertiredness: Stopping the Stealthy Sleep Stealer; and Building a Better Bedtime: Finding Your Child’s Ideal Bedtime and Making it Work.

What readers say:

“A must-read for tired parents!”

“I devoured it. I not only enjoyed it, I needed it.”

Buy Now

I’m a nationally published sleep expert, health journalist, and mom. My articles about sleep, health, and parenting appear regularly in over 80 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!

 

Friday
May032013

Baby steps to better sleep—for kids and for you

Happy May! It's National Better Sleep Month, and I hope you're inspired to take a few extra minutes to snooze this month. But that's easier said than done. Moms are often the "sleep enforcers" for the entire family, juggling kids' bedtimes, handing baby's night feedings, making sure everyone is up in the morning, and trying to get a few hours of precious rest themselves. Here's an article of mine about taking small steps toward better sleep—not just for your kids, but for everyone in your household, including yourself.

Baby Steps to Better Sleep for Everyone In the Family

When it comes to sleep, modern moms face a daunting task. We know our loved ones need their slumber. We're bombarded with studies trumpeting the importance of healthy rest. According to Dr. Khaleel Ahmed, medical director of Triangle-based Parkway SleepHealth Centers, sleep plays an integral role in safety, learning, mood, cardiovascular health, memory, metabolism, weight and immune function.

But juggling the widely different sleep needs of each member of our brood is easier said than done. From the teen who texts into the wee hours, to the tot who demands 20 bedtime stories, to the spouse who tosses and turns, everyone in the family has a different excuse for joining in the familiar chorus of "I'm tired!" and "Just five more minutes!"

Read the entire article here. (This article appeared in Carolina Parent Magazine in January 2012.)

I’m a nationally published sleep expert, health journalist, and mom. My articles about sleep, health, and parenting appear regularly in over 80 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!