Daycare + Sleep

When thinking about daycare or childcare start-up your first thoughts (or worries) might run (or jump) to SLEEP.

There are a few things that you can do to help this transition run more smoothly when it comes to sleep:

  1. Ask you child’s daycare provider if they are willing to adjust their schedule in order to accommodate your child’s sleep. This will be especially important during nap transitions or sleep training.

  2. Ask your daycare provider if they are willing to help implement good sleep strategies for your child.

  3. Consider taking 3-4 days at home (maybe during a holiday or long wknd) to do sleep training.

  4. Request your child’s nap room to be as dark as possible at Daycare.

  5. Pick up an extra lovey or blanket to keep at daycare. Consistency is key!

  6. Ask your daycare provider to log sleep.

  7. An age appropriate sleep schedule is a must. Make sure you are on the same page when it comes to sleep totals!

  8. Crib/Cot for SLEEP (not play).

  9. Try to keep the same nap schedule at home as daycare!

  10. Remember to always keep an open line of communication between you and your child’s caregiver. It is important to work as a team and to use consistent schedules and sleep strategies.

Starting daycare can be a difficult transition for your little one. Sleep will be a very important piece of the puzzle, so remember to ask your child’s caregiver these important questions!

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Spring Forward!!

On Sunday March 10, we will be moving the clocks forward one hour. This can be exhausting for our littles! On average, most kids + adults will lose 40 minutes of sleep night one.

A few sleep tips to help manage:

1. Starting tomorrow [Wednesday], you can adjust your baby’s clock for naps + sleep by 15 minutes per day. By Sunday, your child will be fully adjusted to the new time. This means waking + putting baby down 15 minutes earlier per day.

2. Do nothing, roll with the time change and expect a little bit on wonky sleep.

* Remember to spend the next few nights this week getting a full, good night’s rest. This will be especially important leading into next week.

* After Sunday, take your little one out for a walk first thing in the morning to expose him/her to the morning sun. This will help promote sleep!

Good news is, spring is finally upon us!!

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To Prep or Not to Prep for Daylight Savings???

Oh, how I long to sleep in!! The time is near to FALL BACK..and adjust our clocks… but now we have our little munchkins to worry about.

There are a few options to get the kiddos prepped for Daylight Savings.

Option 1: Adjust your baby’s schedule by 10-15 min increments gradually 6 days leading up to Nov 4.

Option 2: Adjust your baby’s schedule by 30 min increments gradually over less days.

Option 3: F*** it. Take a gamble, FALL BACK and pray that your kids adjust on their own as quickly as possible.

Which do I prefer?? Option 3. The one and only time I just let go and let the kids figure it out. Might mean 2 wonky days of sleep…but this works better for our family vs. adjust over the course of many days.

Anyone else wondering why this doesn’t happen on Hallowe’en??

 

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The Paci.

SO much love for the PACI.

Many parents have a love/hate relationship with the pacifier but it has so many benefits for your baby. Some of the PROS include SIDS reduction, helping with fussiness and teething pain, satisfying your baby’s urge to suck and most importantly helping him fall asleep!

MAM was my go-to soother with my littlest (and still is). They have created a 0-2 month product that baby is able easily hold in his mouth. The soother comes in a carrying case that also acts as a sterilizer when needed. An easy solution when on the go/travelling. A paci can also ease baby’s (ear) pain during flights.

CONS:

Your baby can become dependent on it. IMO the pros definitely outweigh the cons for using the pacifier. Light training can also be done to help decrease soother dependency.

Disclaimer:

Always seek your paediatrician/lactation consultants advice when it comes to the pacifier + breastfeeding.

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Travelling with Tots.

I originally wrote this blog post when I was literally in the thick of it. Travelling with a 3 month old and twin 26 month olds wasn’t exactly the smoothest flight. We survived…just barely. Fast forward to present day and we are in the midst of booking our next vacay. It might be a quick flight but I am confident we will get there with minimal tears. Here’s a few tips and tricks I have learned along the way…

  1. Choose a flight that works with your kiddos sleep schedule. I always found DAY flights work better for us because if baby/toddler skips a nap it’s not the end of the world. Better to get to your destination before bedtime. We took a 9pm flight once and the twins criend the entire flight. Never. Again.

  2. Get your hands on lounge passes! Ask your relatives, your retired parents. The lounge is a great place to stop before your flight to do a quick diaper change, feed, stock up on free snacks, take a minute to use the restroom, pump or grab a quick drink! They have a special (contained) space for the kids with a TV that makes it easy to trade off with your partner.

  3. Feeds: Offer baby a snack before boarding. There really isn’t any need to feed during take off to help baby’s ears. A helpful flight attendent told me that kids usually feel the pressure in the ears when descending. In that case, have a bottle (Tommee Tippee bottle warmer for the WIN), soother or boob ready to go when the plane is beginning to descend. You can even ask your flight attendent to give you a heads up so that you are ahead of the game. All 3 of my kids had no issues with their ears… you might be pleasantly surprised.

  4. Screen time: Put all of your dreams of zero screen time aside. Kid friendly headsets help control the volume for your littles ears. I didn’t bother with sound for my littlest and she was happy to watch regardless.

  5. Goodie bags: Prep big zip-lock bags with lots and lots of treasures for your toddlers. A new one every 15 minutes to be exact.

  6. Snacks: lots of them. Teddy grams and little cereal boxes were a great distraction.

  7. Ditch the diaper bag: Pack a big zip-lock bag (I recently discovered IKEA 5 + 6 QT bags=MOM HACK), with wipes, poop bags, diapers and a change of clothes (this might include an extra t-shirt for Mama). Airplane bathrooms are so tiny. No space to put your ginormous diaper bag or backpack.

  8. Sleep environment: The most important part. Pack your baby’s noise machine, crib sheets from home + lovey. Make the room dark. Black out dark. Industrial garbage bags + painters tape do the trick. Baby won’t even realize he’s away from home.

  9. Do your research. Check out what other Mama’s (and Papa’s) have to say about family friendly destinations. Practical advice is the best advice.

  10. Travelling = a change in scenery. You will have the same (kid) responsibilities but in a different setting. Lower your expectations and try to take it all in. I have always been strict with my kids naps purely out of survival mode (aka twins + 1). Just remember to kiss your partner and your babies at the end of it all.

    xx

Rollin’ w my homies…

Rollin’ w my homies…

The Night Light Debate

Diming the lights 1 HR before bedtime can signal to your baby/toddler that it's time for sleep. Not only does this lower your body temperature, but it allows your body to start producing melatonin (signalling the body it's time for SLEEP). **Up until 3 months of age your infant will not produce any melatonin. This is why it's important to provide your infant with the best sleep environment possible. A VERY dark space for sleep is essential. Cover all of those little blue and green lights that you might find on your humidifier, sound machine, alarm clock with a little piece of black hockey tape. This also means no fancy night lights for you or baby.  

As your baby gets a little bit older (we are talking 2 or 3 yrs) some fears might develop around the dark. If possible, try to leave the door open with a gate + night light in hallway vs. having a the light in their bedroom. The lighter the room the more potential there is to disrupt your child's sleep. There are a few alternative methods you can try before introducing the night light.

My fav?: Monster Spray. 

"Monster spray" (a.k.a. "bad dream" spray) is fancy water in a spray bottle. Get our your stickers, markers + glitter out and decorate the bottle. Pinterest is your friend. 

My (almost 4 yr old) daughter asked for a night light a few months ago. If the night light isn't on....she turns on her bedroom lights. Do I regret introducing it? yes.

It is so much easier to recreate a sleep environment while travelling, if your child is used to sleeping in a pitch dark space. Our most recent vacay away included a night light request. Luckly she wasn't room sharing. 

Sleep Consultant's verdict on the night light debate? Avoid, avoid, avoid. If possible! 

 

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Back-to-school SLEEP

The commercials have been haunting us for months... Back-to-school is a week away in Canada and most parents are frantically ordering labels, lunch/yumboxes, school bags, buying indoor/outdoor shoes and not worrying about the most important back-to-school matter, SLEEP! 

The National Sleep Foundation has some great back-to-school sleep tips to help get you  back on track. You can start the process by setting an earlier bedtime (by a few minutes) each night and doing the same for initial morning wake. This week would be the great opportunity to get this started if you haven't already. 

Recommended Sleep:

For pre-schoolers ages 3-5, 10-13 hrs (14 hrs for some), and for school-aged kids ages 6-13, 9-11hrs (12 hrs for some). You might think your child needs less sleep because they are able to stay up late during the summer months, but playing around with your child's sleep/bedtime schedule might help you realize that your child actually needs more sleep than you think! 

Having a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine is a great place to start. Opt for a bedtime story vs. screen time before bed. 

A GRO clock is also helpful to maintain a consistent schedule. 

Big changes are coming our way over the next few weeks and it is important to help set up our kids for success. 

So long summer... 

 

Dog days of summer (almost) officially over.

Dog days of summer (almost) officially over.

Change, Feed, Record, Repeat: The Dreaded Feeding Log

I kept a feeding log for all 3 of my babies. Seems tedious…but I recorded the time, which breast baby fed from (or which order if both), wet vs dirty diaper, how many oz per pump and how many oz from the bottle. ***There’s also a section for formula/pumped milk supplementation if needed. 

There are great apps for this now...but I kept things old school and recorded it all by hand.

At just 4 weeks, I was able to track patterns in the baby’s sleep and feeding behavior. The log also comes in handy when your child's Pediatrician asks you how many times a day your baby poops... and you have no idea (#mombrain - look it up. It's a thing). 

I have always been a bit old school when it comes to recording info. I wanted to keep all of that precious information forever and not have it lost in the interwebs...but if you are tech saavy there are wonderful apps that do now exist.  SPROUT BABY is a baby tracking app that allows you to track feeds, dirty diapers and pumping sessions. The sleep tracker allows you to pause if baby wakes and then continue to track baby's nap if he falls asleep again. The medical tool section allow you to track your PED visits, baby's growth, immunizations and you can actually creates a full data report for you to print and show your doctor as needed. This might have actually had me convert my old school ways...

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Best B'FING Hack

A friend gave me this product because she never got around to using it. Not sure if I would have tried it otherwise!

Milkies Milk Saver is a cup that you insert on the opposite breast, as you nurse. It collects all the milk that drips out from the other breast. This seemed completely crazy until I tried it. I was able to collect up to 1 oz per feed from the other side. Comes in handy especially when I was pumping once a day. Small storage containers are key to pour the milk in afterwards to store in fridge. Ask your nurse for storage bottles before leaving the hospital! Medela also makes a great breast milk storage solution with lids. 

Who doesn't love a good baby gadget!?

 

Every ounce counts...literally.   

Every ounce counts...literally.

 

Dear Diary,

Having twins left ZERO time to document their first year of life. Photos, lots of photos...but not much in writing. When I became pregnant with my third (singleton) baby I decided to create a blog documenting our sleep and feeding journey.  My twins taught me SO much about how to establish healthy sleep habits from the start. I will use this forum to share some of my favourite entries. 

Happy reading. 

xx Laura

 

 

Definitely not what my 'blog' station looked like...but a Mama can dream.