Category Archives: Uncategorized

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?

 

 

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!