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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Entries in baby sleep (4)

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!

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!

Friday
Jan042013

Ask Malia: My 11-month-old's sleep went from bad to worse

Our daughter Maeve has been a light/difficult sleeper ever since she was born. She refused to sleep in anything but her bouncer or swing until she was about five months old. Now she's waking up throughout the night, and it's become much worse since our trip last week.

She usually wakes up between 6:45 and 7:15 a.m. If she has a night where she wakes up for long periods of time, she tends to wake up earlier, like at 6 a.m. On a normal day, she will start getting tired 2.5-3 hours after waking up, so usually around 10 a.m. The length of her nap varies, but on average is an hour at daycare and an hour and a half at home. ­­­­Sometimes she doesn't take a morning nap at daycare. Lunch is between noon and 12:30, followed by a bottle and nap. Since she usually naps longer in the a.m. at home, her afternoon nap may not be until 2 or 2:30. We give her another bottle at 7:15-7:30. She usually falls asleep taking this one (and actually most other bottles). So on average, she is asleep by 7:45. She usually wakes up during the 11 p.m. hour. If we just leave her without intervening, she can be awake for an hour plus. She also tends to wake up anywhere from 3-5 a.m. wanting the same thing. A lot of times I give her a bottle at this waking and then she'll go back to sleep. She is almost a year old, so I would assume that she really doesn't need this bottle.

Last week when we were in the hotel, the night waking and refusing to go back to sleep were the worst they ever been. When we got home on Friday, she did better that night and Saturday, but Sunday was bad again. I’d like to help her start sleeping more comfortably through the night and start to wean her off the bottle. Can you help?

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

Hi there. First, don’t beat yourself up about the poor sleep on your trip. I think the long wakings at the hotel may have been the result of sleep routine disruption and a new sleep environment, and not reflective of her sleep routine at home (even "good sleepers" have problems sleeping in hotels!). So I would consider her sleep on that trip something of a fluke and focus on your routine at home.

From the routine that you describe, I believe she is overtired. Here are a few reasons why I believe this: At 11 months, most babies need two naps (one morning one afternoon). You said that she is normally tired and ready for a nap within 2.5 or 3 hours of waking, yet she is going 3.5 hours between her a.m. nap and her p.m. nap, and sometimes skipping her a.m. nap altogether. She is also going a long stretch between her p.m. nap and bedtime.

The fact that she also wakes even earlier after a poor night is another clue that she is overtired
. (The adrenaline resulting from overtiredness encourages babies to wake up even earlier that normal, even though they need more sleep).

Since she may be nearing the age where she will drop her a.m. nap and move to one nap (15 months is average for this, but some babies start the transition to one nap before their first birthday), I recommend keeping a close eye on whether she's napping at daycare. If she does not take a morning nap at daycare, she needs to be down for her afternoon nap right around lunchtime, 12 or 12:30 at the latest

On days that she does take a morning nap from 10-11, move her afternoon nap up to 2 p.m. at the latest. Ensure that she is awake by 3:30 p.m. Then begin her bedtime routine by 6:30 or so with the goal of having her asleep by 7 or earlier.

(Of course these are suggestions for timing. You can start with this routine and tweak things as you figure out what's working for you.)

Once you have her routine a bit more solid and her night sleep improves, perhaps in two-three weeks, I suggest helping to break her bottle-to-sleep association with the method I describe in Ready, Set, Sleep; i.e. moving the bottle earlier in the sleep routine and replacing it with another sleep association that can help her get to sleep instead, like music or a special toy.

It's fairly common for babies to have one night feeding at 3-5 a.m. at her age, and the early-morning feeding is the last to go. Once she breaks the bottle-to-sleep association I expect that night feeding will fade away soon enough.

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!

Thursday
Dec272012

Ask Malia: I've barely slept in 10 months. Please help!

Sleep? Who needs sleep?Dear Malia,

Currently my 10-month-old son is fighting bedtime every night. We co-sleep part time, which I love, and plan to move him into his own room after his first birthday. My partner works nights so it’s just myself and my son in the bed. However, he still wakes up every few hours and I nurse him back to sleep, which isn't horrible, but I haven't had more than a four-hour stretch of sleep since before he was born.

I keep telling myself if we can get him into daycare and the entire house on one sleep schedule we will be fine, but in all reality we don't know when that day will come and I am growing more exhausted. I hate having him cry-it-out but it seems to be the only way for him to fall asleep.

On a typical day, I get up at 3 a.m. for work and he gets up too. I nurse him back to sleep before I go to work at 4 a.m. He goes back to sleep until 9 or 10 a.m., then goes down for a nap from 11-1. He takes an afternoon nap around 3:30 that lasts for 30 minutes. Bedtime is about 7 or 7:30,  but it can take up to an hour for him to go to sleep. He usually wants me to lay down with him, or else he just cries.  He wakes up to nurse around 9:30, then again around midnight.

Any suggestions on how we can make bedtime easier and more restful for everyone?

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

Sure. Though I know your main concerns are his bedtime and nighttime waking, I first want to concentrate on what's happening during his day. During the day, 10-month-olds can stay awake for 3.5 to 4 hours between sleep periods. In fact, they usually NEED to stay awake for at least 3 hours in order to build up enough tiredness to sleep well during the night. Your son is going down for a nap only an hour or two after waking in the morning, which doesn’t allow him to build a sufficient drive to sleep.

You also mention that he is "fighting bedtime," and when parents say that, I first look at what time the child is waking in the morning. The morning wake-up time sets the child's internal clock for the day, and prepares his brain for a corresponding bedtime (if he wakes late, he's prepared for a late bedtime, if he wakes early, an earlier bedtime). Because he's waking at 9 or 10 a.m., he's not likely to go to bed at 7-7:30 p.m. and sleep well through the night. Instead, he will do just what you describe—resist bedtime, cry, or sleep lightly and wake soon after going to bed, wanting to nurse again.

If you'd like an easy 7:30 p.m. bedtime, the solution is an earlier wake-up time.
To help promote a better bedtime and sounder nighttime sleep, I suggest shifting his daytime routine to look something like this:

Wake: 7:30
Nap 1: 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Nap 2: 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Bedtime 7:30 p.m.

This routine should improve things at night, but he may not stop waking completely at night because he also sounds as though he has a strong nurse-to-sleep association. If you would like to try to break his nurse-to-sleep association while he is still co-sleeping, I recommend trying to avoid allowing him to fall asleep at the breast when you nurse. You can nurse him until he is drowsy, but remove the breast from his mouth before he falls completely to sleep. If you work on this for the next few months, by the time he moves to his own bedroom, he will have a much easier time with night-weaning and I expect that he would be sleeping through the night, or just waking once (which would be appropriate for a 10-month-old), within a few weeks or a month.

I do recommend checking out my e-book Ready, Set, Sleep, because I think it would help you.  Thanks, and happy holidays!

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!