All posts by Jessica Bryant

Birthday + Birthday = Flash Sale

Sleep Happy turned ONE this month and now it’s my turn to celebrate my 41st trip around the sun!

In celebration of my BIRTHDAY, Sleep Happy’s birthday, and all my great clients this past year …  I thought I would have a little fun!!  Sleep Happy is offering its FIRST EVER Flash Sale!  20% OFF any Sleep Happy Consultation Package when you mention the ‘Birthday Special’, book your appointment, and pay your invoice by August 31, 2016 at midnight.  Valid for the VirtualIn-Home, or Premium Sleep Happy Consultation Packages scheduled through November 30, 2016.

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Call me, email me, send me a smoke signal and I will get you on the books and on your way to better sleep for the whole family.

Jessica Bryant | 214-856-0341 | jessica@sleephappyconsulting.com

Pile of Pacifiers

Does your little one use a pacifier to soothe to sleep?  Infants and young children crave oral stimulation.  If your child is like many and takes a pacifier, teaching them how to replace the pacifier independently is essential.

Pacifier

Every family decides when and how to use a pacifier.  If the pacifier is your friend at your house, keep reading!

Fine Motor Activities that Teach Babies How to Replace Their Own Pacifier

Between 0-4 Months, your baby should start to bring their hands to their mouth.  Use this ability to guide them at 4-8 months to grab objects during playtime.

While your baby is laying on his back or side, place your hand on your child’s elbow and guide his hand to the object you want him to grab.  Offer him toys, blanket, textured items, and pacifiers.

Play a game guiding him to pass the object back and forth between his hands.  Sitting on your lap or laying on the floor works for this skill.

All babies learn at different paces, but modeling the skills that develop into grabbing a pacifier and placing it in my mouth will help.

By 8-12 months, he should be able to grasp the pacifier and replace it independently.

When your baby is showing signs of grasping the pacifier, you can begin to teach him how to find a pacifier in his crib.  Pick one corner to keep a “Pile O’Pacis”, guide his hand to show him where the pile of pacis are.  At this age, babies should be going down awake for naps and at bedtime, so incorporate this activity into your bedtime routine if you find yourself replacing the pacifier too many times to count in the night.

PileOPacis

For younger infants that are ready for a lovey or do not yet have the fine motor skills to grab their a pacifier, the Sleepy Tot pacifier bunny is a great option.

Sleepytot Pacifier Lovey

Looking for more support in your sleep journey.  Contact Sleep Happy today by calling Jessica at 214-865-0341 or via email at jessica@sleephappyconsulting.com

 

Babies Literally Wake All Night

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How many times has has someone told you “I hope you sleep like a baby tonight”?

Well…I personally would like to sleep like my husband…not a baby.  Babies wake up all night long because of their short (approximately 45 minute) sleep cycle.  If you are struggling with sleepless nights, it is important to know when your baby is crying because he needs you and when he is making noise in his sleep.  This helps you know how to respond so that you do not create unnecessary wakings.

Today’s technology allows us to see every movement and every whimper without entering the room.

Assuming your child is four months or older and eating well during the day, I encourage my clients to analyze the sounds they hear at night before going in.  Where are they in the sleep cycle?   What kind of cry is it?

What sounds does your baby make at night?  Crying? Groaning? The I-can’t-handle-life scream? Whimpering? Fussing? Snivel? Grunt? Moaning? Toot?

As adults, we briefly wake to reposition ourselves and go right back to sleep.  We get up and go back the bathroom and go right back to sleep.   Babies do the same thing, but as parents we are so programmed to respond and meet their needs when we first bring them home, we loose sight of the fact that they have grown and develop and begin to need longer stretches of sleep around three to four months of age.  Parents might be entering the room at the first sign of a whimper with the good intention of avoiding a full crying session but over time might be unintentionally creating an added wake up.

Babies wake literally all night long.  Often every 45 minutes.  There might be times where they are quiet and awake in their crib.  Babies wake to reposition, toot, fuss, and go back to sleep.

But how do I know if my child is ready to sleep longer stretches at night?

Your baby is taking the majority of their calories during the day.  Check with your pediatrician.

Your baby knows how to self-soothe.

Your baby is taking naps during the day and is not overtired at bedtime.

Your baby goes down drowsy but awake.

If your baby has many night wakings.  Reflect on their needs…  was that a whimper or a fuss  OR was that a hunger cry?  You will know which wakings you can phase out and which wakings to respond too because you know your baby best.

Looking for help with your baby’s sleep?  Or maybe have a few more questions that this article did not answer?  Give me a call today at 214-865-0341, I would love to hear more about your sleep struggles and tell about my services that can help your family sleep happy.

 

 

What is My Baby Saying?

 

Learning to Read CriesFiguring out what your baby is saying is all you do when you first become a parent.   Your life is shaken up by this new life or in some cases two new lives that fill your days with love, amazement, squirt poops, endless feedings, and sleepless nights.   Your baby continues to cry and nothing is working. The helplessness you can feel.  The self-doubt.  Why is she still crying?  Is that cry different, is something else wrong, no it sounds the same.   The frustrations, the exhaustion, the newness of it all.  It  is messy and confusing and overwhelming.  If you struggled like I did with my babies, this will change your life.

I sat with a book open to the page on reading baby cues on our couch with my first child.  Day after day I referred to that book when she made a sound.  Reading her body language and her cries was confusing at first.  I had the same fears, frustrations, and tears as most parents.  Over time, I got to know Madeleine and I learned how to meet her needs which led to less crying…most of the time. Boy oh boy, I would have rather watched a video that illustrated the descriptions in my books.  Lips pursed, curled tongue.. was so hard to figure out.

Fast forward twelve years and in my practice as a sleep consultant, I talk about sleepy cues and hunger cries on a daily basis.    Parents are often amazed during a home visit when I point out a sleep cue like the ‘seven mile stare’ (eyes wide with no blinking) or uncoordinated kicking.  But what most parents ask is, “how do I ready my baby’s cries?’  I usually try to explain the different sounds, this mom is a genius.  She created the visual aid I was looking for.

Reading you baby’s cries can be life changing.

That’s where Priscilla Dustan comes in.  Priscilla used her unique ear for sound that made her a music prodigy at a young age to decipher a the universal code babies use to communicate.  Priscilla states that there are 5 universal sounds that babies all over the world use to communicate their needs.  Her videos are simple and illustrate quickly what to listen for in your baby.  Watch her video below to learn more about her discovery.

What do you think of Priscilla’s discovery?  How did you learn to read you baby’s cues? Have your child’s cues changed with time?

 

 

Nap Time Struggles

Nap Time

As babies grow and develop, so do their naps…just when you think you have sleep routines in place, your baby goes and grows and develops and naps are all out of whack.

Tips to Help Your Child Sleep Happy at Nap Time

Read Sleep Cues  

Is your little one no longer showing sleepy cues after his normal awake time?  Is your child sick or teething?  Have you been off schedule for a few days?  If your child is sick or teething or off schedule, give it 1-3 days to see if he or she goes back to their regular schedule.

If your child shows his sleepy cues 15-30 minutes after he usually shows cues, then put him down at that time for nap.

How long is it taking your baby to calm to sleep? 

Less than 15 minutes, you are in good shape, don’t change anything.

More than 15 minutes with lots of playing and/or protesting, but takes at least a 45-60 minute nap and wakes up happy?  Push nap back 15 minutes.

Falls asleep quickly, but then takes a short nap, less than 45 minutes? Move nap up 15 minutes.

Watch Awake Times

The awake times for 6 month olds are not the same as 12 month month olds.  Newborns have a small window of awake time and as they get older that small window stretches into up to four hours around 12 months of age.  Are some babies are not affected by awake times?  Yes.  If your infant can be awake 6+ hours and then sleep long stretches at night then you are in good shape.  If you see that your child is grumpy and fussy, maybe not eating well during the day and wakes frequently during the night, then watching awake times is a tool you can use to get better sleep.

Maybe last month they were taking a good nap after being awake for 2 hours, but now they are happy for 2.5-3 hours.  This is normal.  If your baby is not napping well, watch awake times, and stretch them 15-30 minutes to see if this helps your child sleep a full sleep cycle or more at nap time.

Dropping a Nap:  3-to-2 Transition and 2-1 Transition

Around 8-12 months babies can drop their third nap.  This transition happens when awake times stretch between naps and children no longer need that third nap to get them until bedtime without being over tired.  When little ones  can tolerate a 3-4 hour awake time, they are ready to eliminate the third nap.  When little ones fight the third nap, they may be ready to drop it.  When the 30-45 minute catnap begins to be a fight to get 20 minutes of sleep, your child is ready to drop the late day nap.  If your child is experiencing early wakings…4:30-5:30 am, you may need to adjust their day time sleep to help stretch their night time sleep.

When you begin the transition of three naps to two, you may need to have a temporary early bedtime until your child settles into the new routine.

Around 14-18 months toddlers can drop to one nap.  Is your toddler fighting morning nap? Is it suddenly easy to get your child down for one nap but not two?  Is your child being starting daycare where they only put them down for one nap a day?  Is your child for 5-6 hours straight without a nap?  Then you maybe be ready to drop to one nap a day.  Moms everywhere do a little dance at this stage!

Assuming your child wakes at 7 am and goes down for their first nap at 10 am, try moving morning nap to 11 the first day.  Slowly moving the nap down to noon or after, depending on your family’s schedule.  Ideally your child will start to take a 1.5-2 hour nap in the afternoon.  In rare instances, 3 hour naps do happen and you will feel like you are in paradise.  It is okay to wake your child from nap to protect bedtime.  And if during the transition, your child has short naps that end early in the afternoon it is helpful to move bedtime up to keep them from being overtired and disrupting night sleep.

When in doubt, remember you know your child BEST.  Give yourself 5-7 days to try any techniques.  And remember, consistency is key.  If you need support, contact a sleep consultant.

What sorts of tips have worked for your child?  I would love to have moms share other tips that might be helpful to another mom experiencing the same thing.

Is your child not putting themselves to sleep for naps or waking frequently at night?  Does your child seem overtired during the day?  Sleep Happy can help.  Contact Jessica today at 214-856-0341 for a Free 15 Minute Consultation to see how Sleep Happy services can meet your needs.

 

 

The Pillow Bar

Sleep Happy goes to The Pillow Bar

Pillow Bar Studio TourAs a sleep consultant for infants and young children, I am always in search of tools that her adults learn how to sleep again.  I get numerous requests to help adults sleep better.  When I first heard about The Pillow Bar in January on Good Morning Texas and was immediately interested in the concept…a personalized pillow made right before your eyes!

I started small, I ordered the Sweet Dreams Hot and Cold Sleep mask for my husband.  He’s not the best sleeper.  He put on the lavender mask the first night and has not slept without it since January 9th when it arrived.  He even hand washed it the other day.  He LOVES it!  It is soft and it blocks the light.  I could not believe it.  Fast forward to March and I decided to order 2 more.  All the while I was curious about the pillows.  I wasn’t sure I was ready to make the investment.  Which is silly.  Do you know how much time we spend sleeping in our lifetime?  We sleep for 1/3 of our life!

I submitted my eye mask order online and almost immediately received a call from Peggy McCormick inviting me to visit their studio in the Dallas Design District.  Heck yeah!  Local business, personalized service, creator of a tool that helps adults get a dreamy night sleep …fire up, I am so excited.  I can’t wait to learn what these pillows are all about.

Upon arrival, Peggy greeted me and I met the founder Merrimac Dillon.  I learned all about the story behind the pillow which grew out of wanting her own husband to get better sleep after back surgery.  Merrimac spent years searching for the perfect pillow and when she couldn’t find one on the market she went about developing one.

Y’all these pillows are the BOMB!  Hand filled, personalized with the research to back up the innovation.

Pillow Bar Down

 The Pillow Bar pillows are personalized because they are created to support you size and the position you sleep in.  Each pillow is HAND filled for medium, firm, or ____ depending on your size (the space between your head and the mattress.  The pillow is designed to fill in the gap in order to promote proper neck and spine alignment.  Pillows come in different sizes and shapes.  For instance, are you a side sleeper?  Does your shoulder ache in the morning?  Merrimac created the Dr. Mary Side Sleeper just for you!  Whoopi Goldberg swears by it.  And now my husband now swears by it!

Pillows come in down or down alternative, not feather.  Down is a natural product.  Their are no quills in the down used in The Pillow Bar pillows.  Therefore, no feather will come out of your pillow and poke you in the night.  These pillows are made in a clean warehouse in Dallas, not in storage rooms or overseas where production lines are dirty.  I watched the clean down run through a pharmacists grade anti static tube to enter the chamber where dust in removed.  Then I watched as Merrimac filled my very own pillow.  She would stop the machine to test the density of the pillow until it was filled enough to feel firm.

Pillow Making Machine

After filling the pillow, she took the washable cover and monogrammed it to my specifications.  Lavender sachets are included in every pillow.  Lavender promotes relaxation.

Pillow Bar Personalization

Interested in more information about these pillows that promote healthy sleep visit The Pillow Bar.

I have slept on my Pillow Bar standard side sleeper pillow every night since the my studio tour.   I ordered my tall insomniac husband the Dr. Mary Side Sleeper Pillow and had it personalized just for him in his favorite color along with a sweet saying ‘Always by my side.”  He loves it and reports he moves less in his sleep and wakes up feeling refreshed.  He continues to sleep with the mask.  I ordered my mom who suffers from sinus allergy headaches often the Hot and Cold Eyemask for Mother’s Day.

Invest in your sleep!  I highly recommend these pillows to help you get better sleep.  Contact me today for pricing and ordering information.

UPDATE:  I am currently taking orders for Hot and Cold Eyemasks and the Dr. Mary Side Sleeper Down Pillow.  Sleep Happy prices on the Dr. Mary Down Pillow are  30% OFF retail prices.  Order today!

Wishing you all a peaceful night’s rest!

Lighting Science Sleepy Baby Bulb Review

Lighting Science Sleepy Baby Bulb Review

Sleepy Bulb Testers“This light bulb doesn’t fit in the exact lamp that we normally use in my daughter’s room.  [That light is from Ikea so it has a funky socket.} So I had to bring in a different lamp. I did take photos of the lamp with a regular light bulb and then with the Sleepy Baby light bulb. The Sleepy Baby light bulb is much more dim compared to a regular light bulb, and is even dimmer than the pink lamp that we use across the room. If this fit correctly, I would definitely use this in our pink lamp because I think it would be the perfect amount of light for cuddles/books before bedtime or middle of the night wakings (especially during the newborn phase.)

Knowing that it is $30 though, I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself. I don’t think a regular bulb has that much of an effect on my daughter. I could see how this could be beneficial to a baby that is sensitive to light, though.

The packaging advertises that the Sleepy Baby bulb helps baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. After the one night of use before bedtime, our schedule didn’t really change, but I should add that my baby has been falling asleep quickly on her own for a while now since we got help from Jessica with Sleep Happy.

Overall, definitely a dimmer bulb, but not worth the $30 investment for me!”

~Kacy Watts, Mom to 10-month-old Natalie

Sleepy Bulb Lamp Comparison

Thanks Kacy for trying it out for all of us.  It was definitely helpful to see the difference the light puts out.  Lighting Science says their Sleepy Baby bulb and their Good Night bulb are designed to promote sleep and not interfere with the brain’s production of melatonin or disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm.

While blue light put off by televisions, computers, and smart phones is known to stimulate and wake up the brain the light put out by the Sleepy Baby bulb is said to help prepare you for sleep.  The Sleepy Baby bulb is a 40W Incandescent LED.  The bulb is a P15 form factor with a E26 base.

sleepy_large

Lighting Science set out to develop lighting that works with our bodies and the environment, their website www.lsgc.com says.  They have developed bulbs that promote sleep, along with bulbs that “boost energy, and promote alertness.”

The concept is fascinating.  I think the bulb would would be more appropriate for newborns due to the amount of time parents spend performing tasks with light in the middle of the night.  I wonder if it would also help parents go back to sleep more easily?Toddlers and preschoolers could benefit from the Sleepy Baby lamp for nighttime potty breaks.

The high price is a negative.  However, I would encourage anyone on the fence about trying the bulb to research the lifespan of the bulb and its warranty.

For more information on this and other bulbs, please visit Lighting Science at lsgc.com.

P.S.  Sleep Happy Consulting and Kacy Watts were not paid for this review.  I ordered it for the sole purpose of testing it and sharing our thoughts with other moms.