My Kids and Sleep

I bet you are wondering how my children slept when they were little. I have a 14-year-old daughter named Madeleine, and boy/girl twins Everett and Ashton who are 10 years old.  Just like all of my clients, getting my children on the right sleep schedule so that the entire family was well rested was a process that took work.

An older photo, but one of my favorites – it perfectly captures their personalities.

First Time Mommy:

When my oldest was born I was teaching kindergarten and nannying. She was one of those babies who took to a schedule easily. The first book I read when I was pregnant (and felt like I was racing full speed ahead into the black hole of motherhood) was The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. Her approach fit my personality and the ideas I had about how I wanted to parent. Her “Eat, Play, Sleep” plan worked for us. I remember sitting with the page open to the newborn body language descriptions and constantly studying it and making notes every time Madeleine cried or moved. I also followed the calming routine of Dr. Karp (Happiest Baby on the Block author) to the point that I felt like my uterus was going to fall out from swinging and my mouth was dry from shushing. Slowly, Madeleine picked up on the routine, and the swinging, shushing, sucking, and swaddling on your side motion became a 2 minute process instead of 35+.

At around 5 months, I felt our schedule was off. She was going to bed at 9 or 10, but she had started sleeping later and I felt our nursing schedule was thrown off. After one mommy friend reminded me that “babies can sleep 7-7,” and another shared Happy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child by Marc Weissbluth, MD with me, I gradually backed up her bedtime. In three nights she was sleeping 7pm to 7am. She was nursing and eating solids during the day and was gaining weight, so she did not need to eat during the night. She loved the predictability during the day and I felt more in control because I knew when I was going to get a break.

Not all babies have Madeleine’s health or temperament and not all new moms are as relaxed as I was. Remember, I have been around little ones since I was a tween. I have babysat and nannyed countless families, studied child development, observed in lab schools, worked in homes with children with developmental delays, and taught kindergartners in an inner-city school. My background meant that most days, I was comfortable setting boundaries for my little one. Even so, I still had to sometimes step away and take a deep breath, have a cry in the shower, and dart out the door when my husband walked in. But I want to emphasize: we are all different, especially in how we handle parenthood, and that is a good thing.

The Twins:

I know you are wondering… what about the twins? It was a whole new ballgame with Everett and Ashton. To be honest, I can’t remember much of the first 4 months. I felt like all I did was feed babies. Pretty soon I was dealing with a milk intolerance for one and the other screaming because my let down wasn’t fast enough. One baby wanted to live in the swaddle because he was so tense and tightly wound, and the other one screamed and swirled her limbs so much we called her ‘The Tornado.’

I learned with my first that life was just easier for us with a routine. And now with 3 under 3.5, survival was all I could manage. I followed the same routine I did with Madeleine, though I quit nursing at 8 weeks. I ended up feeding my son homemade formula due to his milk intolerance, and my daughter was more content with a faster flow bottle nipple. This change allowed me to have more time for my oldest.

What stands out the most is that I kept my son sleeping longer (a little past 3 months) in a bouncy chair so that he could be upright because of his reflux. (Side note: our bouncy chair was not the fluffy papasan-like one, it was flatter without any stuffed areas and therefore had more room for air circulation). While we had help staying with us the first several weeks, my son slept in the room with us and my daughter was in the nursery/guest room.  They were both swaddled very snuggly for sleeping and they took pacifiers instead of sucking their thumbs like my oldest.  They were big, healthy babies so they did not eat during the night after about 3-4 months, but I replaced those pacifiers a whole bunch until they learned to replace them themselves. Survival. It helped that they napped well and ate well. But it was death to replace the paci. They began sleeping through the night at around 7 months. By 8 weeks, the twins were in the nursery together at night, which was much better for me.

As a toddler, my son was the play hard, sleep hard type. The transition from two naps to one was really hard for him. He wanted to nap at 11:30am for what seemed like forever (18-24 months). His twin was a more average sleeper, not as sensitive to the routine. Ashton is the kid who sleeps in, whereas Madeleine and Everett were always my early birds. My twins gave up their naps earlier than Madeleine did, but they still went to quiet time in separate rooms until they were over 5.

Where We are Today:

Fast-forward to now, my oldest is still my sleeper. She requires more sleep than the twins and has an earlier bedtime than her peers. Some of this I feel is due to her dyslexia diagnosis. She expends a lot of energy focusing at school. I have always thought that her healthy sleep habits paid off when she started school. She started each day rested with the energy to push through all the challenges that came at her through the day. What would 1st grade have looked like if she were exhausted on top of having a brain that worked differently? Today my twins have a later bedtime at age 10 than my oldest had when she was their age. Different kids, different needs.

Once my husband and I set boundaries for sleep and reinforced them at each new developmental level, nap and bedtime routines have never been a fight in our house. Yes, they ask to stay up late every now and then, but they understand the boundaries and follow the routine.

I thought you would enjoy seeing a glimpse into my time in the trenches with tiny humans. It was messy, it was not perfect, but throughout the years my husband and I worked hard to reinforce a consistent sleep routine that worked for our family.

This month I would like to feature former clients that would like to share their story. Would you be interested?

All in a Month’s Work

As always, I work with children across a wide range of ages in any given month.

This past month, I happened to work with two boys that were both 2.5—one locally and one in Connecticut. The two different families were comfortable with different methods, but both had the same goal: to build confidence in their toddlers so that they could self-soothe, go to sleep independently, and stay in their room all night.  Discerning which methods work best for different families is an important part of what I do.

I recently worked with a 6 and a 7-month-old, who each needed more time to adjust to new routines. Depending on their individual sleep associations, some infants need you to reinforce new sleep habits longer than you might think. This adjusting process can be a challenge for mom and dad.

Lots of phone consultations were also scheduled this month. I have the pleasure of speaking with many parents who truly love having a conversation focused on the individual needs of their child. Learning and tweaking sleep schedules, adjusting feeding, setting expectations, and staying consistent are all important parts of the process of working with clients.  I truly enjoy getting to know each family and creating a plan to help them become a well-rested household.  

 

Guest Post: Experience with Perinatal Mood Disorder

storm before calm

By Rachel O’Dwyer

 

Where to start? It’s hard to say, my symptoms came on gradually, then all of a sudden.

A perinatal mood disorder cannot be oversimplified. Sure, I now understand some of my main contributors, yet the disorder has a complexity of layers, and each person’s experience is layered differently.

Under the best care a mother could possibly have, my beautiful twins were born at 41 and 3, breech, vaginally. This was by no chance. I was under co-care of the best midwives in the country, who were also connected to a unique OB/GYN, whose beliefs about the capabilities of a woman’s body aligned with our family’s goals: to have as natural of a birth as possible and give my twins a full chance at a full-term gestation. I also have an extremely supportive husband and network of family and friends (and I didn’t discuss my preferences with those who were not supportive); oh yeah, and I’m determined as hell.

Looking back, my first symptoms started to show as early as 6 weeks, with their first growth spurt. It was blatant at their 3 month growth spurt, which lasted a week! I didn’t even really realize that what was going on with me was something I had heard of before. Luckily, I had a wonderful, accepting friend, who I first told of my intrusive thoughts and anxiety. I was so confused because I loved the babies so much and felt deep gratitude for them finally being in our lives. She calmly told me to reach out to our midwives. Upon reflection, I felt most comfortable reaching out to our birth class instructor. She had gone over challenges we might face, and I knew she would be a safe person, caring, to reach out to as a first step.

counseling

I immediately started going to a counselor* my instructor recommended. The first meetings were soaked in tears, fear, hurt, confusion, and fog. I was one of the lucky ones: I recognized the symptoms early, got help early, and was connected to the best network of support imaginable. So many suffer unknowingly, unnecessarily for years, and my heart aches for them.

Without ever getting a concrete diagnosis of what kind of mood disorder I had, the matter of the fact was that there was not one or two reasons I as struggling, there was a multitude. As Macolm Gladwell says in his book Outliers: The Story of Success, when something perceivably negative happens, there are not one or two factors that contribute to the outcome, there are at least 7. For me, I had had a miscarriage before getting pregnant with the twins, both through IVF. Not having time, or perhaps the capacity, to mourn our lost baby impacted me significantly. We had also been on quite a journey through infertility. I was back to work when the babies were 8 weeks. And then, we were adjusting to life with twins. As my counselor put it, the event is not actually the birth, but bringing a new family member (or two) home.

As we adjusted, I was breastfeeding both, and my son had to be supplemented, so I got about an hour and a half of sleep between feedings at night for the first 7 weeks. I was severely sleep deprived, and headed back to work. Despite the incredible help and support we received, I was still on my own at one point, and was trying to be super woman and clean and cook and take care of myself and my babies. I also was doing my best to be accommodating to my husband, okaying later work days often. This was the norm before. Please know my husband is one of the rare ones, the incredible ones, and at the same time he’s not psychic. He had no idea I was struggling so badly with the weight of everything, and at the beginning I was clueless as well.

My understanding of the relationship of cause and effect has also shifted. For example, one of the twins was fussier than the other, and her crying stirred my anxiety, but it was how she decompressed to go to sleep. Originally, I thought that the crying was causing the anxiety. Now, I have learned that my lack of sleep and healthy boundaries, and my previous experience, was causing an overall anxiety, and my threshold for stress was low. As a mother, hearing your child cry causes angst. During my toughest times, her crying caused me to suffer, my stomach would turn. Now, after months of being well rested and going to counseling, I realize that my anxiety was a symptom of the above mentioned, and my daughter’s crying was not the cause.

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The main reasons I am at this point of healing and happiness is due to the support I received. The combination of counseling and as well consulting from a sleep consultant got me creating healthy boundaries in many aspects of my life. For example, my husband committed to being home during the few hours before bed when the babies were fussiest, or else he would find someone I was comfortable with to help me if he could not. Then, we worked on subtle shifts in eating and sleeping during the day, and after some work, my babies were sleeping 12 hours at night. After counseling and continued consulting, my mind and body started to recover. It was as though I had lost who I was, I had lost my personality, and it was coming back.

As Anita Moorjani says in Dying To Be Me, “I was experiencing a battle between my heart and my mind, and my heart was winning.” Thank god for expert support, and the power and wisdom of listening to your heart.

I share my story in hopes that others will read something that helps them. These experiences only help us to connect with others. I am so fortunate to say that I feel like I have never felt before now. And it is in many ways because of the darkness I experienced.

*The counselor who worked with Rachel O’Dwyer:
Jessica L. Shepard, MA, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
817-715-9152

 

For more information on perinatal mood disorder, signs of depression and anxiety, as well as well as treatment options, visit: Moms’ Mental Health Matters by the National Child & Maternal Health Education Program.

 

Looking Back on the First Quarter

Brantley- three year old happy sleeper
Three Year Old Happy Sleeper, Brantley

The first quarter has been full of fun clients, new packages, and building my Sleep Happy Team!  I am so thankful for the opportunity to support sleep-deprived mamas each week in my part-time business.  This past month, I worked with clients in Nashville, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., along with Texas clients in Melissa, Aledo, and Fort Worth.  In February I got to work with several 4 month olds, while March’s clients included multiple 7-12 month olds and two 2-3 year olds.

Working on sleep through sickness and tornado sirens is always tons of fun and we had plenty of those struggles this past month.   I am looking forward to summer in hopes my clients are experiencing less sickness.  A common theme this quarter has been learning importance of day sleep at any age.  If there is not a commitment to day sleep, you often hit roadblocks you can’t overcome with night sleep.

On the business side, I added a new follow-up package for former clients…the Sleep Happy Club Membership.  Families receive up to two hours of sleep consulting support each month through text, email, or phone, along with monthly updated milestones for an introductory rate of $100 per month for a 3-month or 6-month membership.

feeding guidelines for infant nutrition and sleep

Dietitian Discusses How Feeding Routines & Nutrition Affect Infant Night Sleep

Infant Nutrition and Sleep- baby feeding routine guidelines from dietitian

If your baby isn’t sleeping well, nutrition could be part of the puzzle.  Good feeding habits are the foundation for healthy growth, development, and sleep.  This article includes general guidelines appropriate for most healthy infants.  Discuss any recommendations with your baby’s pediatrician or healthcare provider to make sure they are right for your baby.

Is your baby getting enough to eat during the day to sleep through the night?

Some babies are not eating enough and this can affect sleep.  While it is difficult to track total ounces for breastfeeding babies, consider keeping a 24 hour food diary for babies who drink pumped breast milk or formula.  This can be helpful in determining if your baby is generally taking in the recommended ounces for his age.  Your pediatrician can also compare your baby’s growth chart with his previous height and weight data and determine if your baby is following his growth trends.

Take a look at the Nutrition Guidelines for Infants adapted from John Hopkins Feeding Guide for the First Year.  You can see how breast milk or formula intake typically changes during your baby’s first year.

Nutrition Guidelines for Infants

Age Amount of Formula or Breast Milk per Feeding Number of Feedings per 24 Hours Total Ounces per 24 Hours
1 month 2 to 4 ounces 6 to 8 times 16 to 24 ounces
2 months 5 to 6 ounces 5 to 6 times 24 to 32 ounces
3 to 4 months 6 to 7 ounces 5 to 6 times 28 to 32 ounces
5 to 6 months 6 to 8 ounces 4 to 6 times 28 to 32 ounces
7 months 6 to 8 ounces 3 to 5 times 30 to 32 ounces
8 months 6 to 8 ounces 3 to 5 times 30 to 32 ounces
9 months 7 to 8 ounces 3 to 5 times 30 to 32 ounces
10-12 months 7 to 8 ounces 3 to 4 times 24 to 32 ounces

 

Follow your baby’s lead on feeding.  A baby’s intake will vary from feeding to feeding.  It is normal for some babies to have smaller, more frequent feedings.  If you force feed your baby, you are more likely to get a fussy baby who spits up.  Formula-fed babies often go longer between feedings due to the digestion process of formula versus breast milk.  There are no absolutes on ounces and feedings, so make sure you are paying attention to your baby’s cues.

Evaluate the bottle and nipple size.  Switch to a larger bottle and nipple when developmentally appropriate.  Most babies over six months need an 8-ounce bottle.  Older babies who are still on a size one nipple (the smallest one) may become frustrated or exhausted and limit their intake during feeding times due to the extra work of sucking from the small nipple.  Older infants usually need a size two, three or larger nipple.  Keep in mind that if the nipple hole is too large, however, it is possible for the breast milk or formula to come out too quickly and this can be a choking hazard.  There are many bottle and nipple choices available for consumers, so if your baby seems unhappy or overly fussy, there are options out there that mimic nursing, have an ergonomic design, or have venting systems that decrease air bubble intake.

Hold your baby during feeding times.  Parents and caregivers are often multi-tasking during feeding and may either prop a bottle or put their baby to sleep with a bottle.  Going to bed with a bottle increases the likelihood of ear infections and tooth decay.  Some babies are fussy and have reflux-type symptoms.  Holding your baby upright during bottle feeding may improve these symptoms and that equates to better sleep.

 Switching formulas.  If your baby has recurring gastrointestinal problems, sometimes switching formulas can help with digestive issues and improve infant sleep patterns.  There are a lot of formula options, so it is good idea to discuss formula changes with your baby’s healthcare provider. Breast-feeding moms can also look at their diet to determine if eliminating certain allergens or food/beverages help your baby have improved digestion.  Babies sleep better when they don’t have tummy pain.

baby eating

Introducing solids.  It is an exciting time to begin solid foods with your baby!  Generally you want to introduce solids around four to six months of age, or when your baby has at least doubled their birth weight and weighs about 13 pounds or more.  Other ways to assess readiness for solids is ensuring that your baby can sit up independently, can open her mouth when food comes her way, and can move food from the spoon to the back of her mouth (it is normal for this step to take some time).

It is best to start with a rice or other single-grain cereal mixed with formula or breast milk, and then move onto pureed vegetables, fruits, and then meats.  Most babies show a preference for sweet foods, so you may want to offer grains and vegetables first to ensure variety.  Remember that during the first year, babies will still get the majority of their nutrition from breast milk or formula.  Continue offering breast milk or formula before solids at most meal times, especially if you are working on sleep.

It is recommended that you start with one new food at a time and try the same food for three or four days before introducing the next new food.  This is helpful if your baby has an allergy or intolerance to a certain food item. Remember that infants ONLY need breast milk or formula for the first four to six months.  It might be tempting to give pureed foods to young infants under four months, but most babies are not developed enough to sit in a high chair and have good head control until at least four to six months.  There is also evidence that introducing solid food too early can cause allergies and eczema.

Calorie-rich foods.  Each ounce of breast milk or formula has about 20 calories.  If your baby is taking four to six ounces, this is easily 80-120 calories per feeding.  Babies who fill up on baby food may have to eat several servings to get this many calories, and likely the baby food will not provide the necessary fat or protein that is found in breast milk and formula. For babies with growth or sleep issues, offering formula or breast milk first during feeding time will keep your infant well-nourished and may help with sleep habits.  After the bottle is finished or your baby cues you to move on, then you can then work on developmental milestones (and the joy and sometimes frustration of introducing a new food to your baby) with pureed or mashed foods and a spoon.

baby food- feeding routines for infants

Homemade baby food.  It is convenient to purchase baby food, but you can make your own baby food that could be more nutritious (again, a well fed baby will hopefully sleep better for you).  Making your own baby food saves money, can have fewer added fillers or extra ingredients and can be nutrient-rich.  With commercial baby food, check the food label to ensure that it does not contain starches to thicken, added preservatives, or sweeteners.  The trend now is to offer simple baby foods with fewer ingredients, so you can easily find healthy choices in the grocery store.  Just make sure you are well-informed and reading food labels and ingredient lists.

If you want to make foods at home, one of my favorite baby foods to recommend is a simple fork mashed avocado.  It is a great source of healthy fat, vitamins and minerals.  Just peel a ripe avocado (no cooking required), remove the pit and mash or puree until the desired consistency.  You can also make homemade fruit or vegetable purees from cooked fresh fruit or vegetables with no added salt or seasoning.  Prepare purees in a food processor or blender by mixing with breast milk, formula, or water.  You can make baby food ahead and refrigerate for three days or freeze in ice cube trays for longer storage.

Ensuring that your baby is healthy and well-nourished can be the key to great sleep in infancy and beyond. Making nutrition a priority early in life can help your child have the right foundation for optimal growth, development and happy sleep.

Guest author Amy Tramm is a Registered Dietitian, Registered Nurse, and Mom of three teenagers who love to sleep in on the weekends.Dietitian and Nurse Amy Tramm

 

This information should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice of your pediatrician. Discuss any health or nutrition concerns with your healthcare provider.  This article contains nutrition guidelines that may not be appropriate for your baby’s specific needs.

Toddlers Giving Back

juliettfowler1

 

As the holiday season approaches, we often try to find ways to give back.  It usually starts as a great idea and a well meaning sentiment but I personally often fall flat.  I get caught up in our already busy schedule or I struggle to find opportunities for my children to participate in giving back.

That is why I got so excited when I learned from a friend turned client of a fantastic program in Dallas called Mommy & Me Music at Juliette Flower for ages 2-4 with an adult.  Juliette Flower is a retirement community in Dallas that has created a program to bring joy to all ages.

Young children meet to sing and dance and play with the elder residents of Juliette Fowler, what could bring more joy in your heart than THAT!!!  And most events are free.  So even if you live outside of Dallas proper, consider making the drive (maybe even having a car nap on the way home) and getting to know the residents of Juliette Fowler.

Join their Facebook page for more information.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/MommyAndMeAtFowler/

Mommy & Me Music class meets every Thursday at 10 am.

parachute

 

Art 4 the Ages meets the first Tuesday of every month at 10 am. Registration is required and the link to do that will be posted on this Facebook page.

This is a great opportunity to give back, to share new experiences with your little ones, and to learn from those who have so much left to give but are often not given the opportunity.

As mothers, we sometimes need that opportunity to give and share in a different way.  We need something to get us out of the house and change our focus.  It is easy to feel lost and overwhelmed and isolated.  I know that retirement communities scare me.  I feel like I don’t know how to interact or what to say.  So I have always looked for the opportunity to take my children to those communities so that they can feel comfortable there.

juliettefowler

Juliette Fowler Communities is located at 1234 Abrams Road in Dallas, Texas 75214.  If you no not live locally but would like to support programs like this, please consider making a donation so that programs like this can continue.  I would like to make a donation.

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?