When to start sleep training?

When should you sleep train your baby? This is one of the most common questions I get from new parents. In this video I explain the main criteria you need to follow to decide when you should start sleep training your child.

Much love, Diana Blanco

Safety Alert: Stay away from drop-side cribs

Safety is one of the topics we cover the most when we consult with parents. We advise you to always (1) make sure that your baby products and furniture is JPMA certified, (2) check the list of recalled products, and (3) use the products in the exact way the manufactures details in the manual. It saddens me to read about baby products’ recalls, as there are always terrible stories of children who have been hurt or died because of those products.

Today, we wanted to urge you to not buy drop-side cribs, and to get rid of them if you already have them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled 10 million drop-side cribs since in the past 2.5 years, including 2 million in the month of June 2010 alone. This has led them to propose new crib safety standards that will ban the sale of drop-side cribs and prohibit their use in hotels and daycare centers.

These new standards will not be finalized until December this year. However, we ask you to follow them NOW! There have already been enough deaths and injuries among our babies and children because of this. When drop-side hardware breaks or deforms, the drop-side can detach in one or more corners of the crib. If an infant or toddler moves into this space, the child can get trapped or wedged between the crib mattress and drop-side and suffocate. Infants can also strangle in the “V” shape formed by a drop-side that detaches in an upper corner.

One of my mentors always says ‘don’t look at what something costs, look at what it’s worth’. Certified are not necessarily more expensive than non-certified. The safety and wellbeing of your children is way more important than a couple hundred dollars, you know that! So, if you currently have your baby sleeping in a drop-side crib, STOP! Go buy another one now! Don’t wait!

The cribs are the only place where you would leave your baby unattended; it’s their private safety haven. Make sure it is really safe!

Much love, Diana-

The 3 Components of Children Healthy Sleep

What is healthy baby sleep? Learn about the to  components that determine how healthy your baby’s sleep is.

What’s an Independent Sleeper?

Baby Sleep Goals: Creating the right sleep associations

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The image most parents have of sleep training is a baby crying until he succumbs to exhaustion and falls asleep. However, sleep training does not have to be like that.

The main goal of sleep training is to help our children become independent sleepers. An independent sleeper is that who falls asleep on his own and puts himself back to sleep when he wakes up.

I would also add that a ‘real’ independent sleeper is so ‘for life’. This means that real independent sleeper will not need to be ‘retrained’ to sleep when he is moved to a toddler bed, starts preschool, is potty training, etc. In order to create a ‘real independent sleepers’, we need to help them establish the right, positive sleep associations.

Our children shouldn’t associate sleep with feelings of abandonment, fear, desperation, anxiety, punishment, excitement, or stimulation. Sleep should be associated with feelings of tranquility, relaxation, love, trust, restfulness, empowerment and peace. Here are some simple tips to help our children create those positive associations:

  • Establish and maintain a soothing and calming bedtime routine
  • Use bedtime for bonding
  • Help your child feel safe, secure and comforted in his crib/bed
  • Make your child’s room a soothing and calming place: dark, quiet, organized and safe
  • Avoid active playing, television, videogames and other exciting activities before bedtime Do not use the crib/bed for time-outs or disciplining

Children model our behavior, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep!

Much love, Diana-

Sleep Training Multiples

Tips to help multiples get a good night’s sleep

Healthy sleep habits are essential for our children’s development and for our own sanity! Here are some tips that parents of multiples can implement from day one:

  • Help them become independent sleepers. Allow them to experience the feeling of being drowsy but awake on their cribs; avoid creating negative sleep associations (rocking, feeding, patting, holding… them to sleep); and do not respond immediately to every single noise they make.
  • Follow a schedule. Your babies (and you!) will thrive on a schedule. Pay attention to your babies’ clues during the first weeks and pick a schedule that works for your multiples. An early bedtime (between 5 and 7pm) is an essential part of great schedule. If one of the parents (or both) get home late from work, do not keep your babies up to see them before bed, as you will all pay for it with a terrible night sleep. Instead, wake up early and play with them in the morning right after their first feeding.
  • Keep them synchronized. Once the right schedule is in place, synchronization is possible. Remember to wake them up for feedings when necessary; to put them down for naps and nights at the same time (one down, both down); and to be consistent. Synchronization usually comes easier with identical babies.

Sleep training multiples can be exhausting, but remember that you can do it, and that a good night’s sleep is as important for your babies as a proper meal.


Good luck!

 

Much love, Diana-