4 Steps to Remain Calm During Sleep Coaching

Every time I work with a new mom on a private consultation, the first thing I do before implementing anything or talking about plans is to make sure that mom and dad are in the right place emotionally. You can’t give what you don’t have; to be there for your child, you have to be there for you.

Believe me when I say, I know how frustrated and exhausted you feel right now. But, remember that you are your baby’s whole world, and surrounding him with love, nurture, and guidance starts by you having the right attitude when you are with your child. Your attitude and the energy that you project affect the outcome of your baby’s sleep coaching process.

Some parents I’ve worked with admitted to having put their babies in their cribs or bassinets a little bit too harshly, out of anger and desperation for sleep. If you are angry, anxious, frustrated, defeated, or agitated, your baby will sense that, and that will make it harder for him to fall asleep. Please, be patient and always enter your baby’s room in calm state.

If you feel overwhelmed; your patience is evaporating; you are exhausted; you can’t take it anymore; and you think you might be reaching your breaking point, please follow these steps:

1. Place your baby calmly and softly on a safe place (crib, bassinet, stroller, bouncy seat, etc.).

2. Back off—step away to another room, go to the bathroom and wash your face, or open the window and breathe some fresh air.

3. Ask for help from your spouse, a family member, a friend, or even a neighbor.

4. Calm yourself down before you pick up your baby again.

Changing a habit takes time. Sleeping is an innate ability to babies; parents, without any bad intentions, create poor or unhealthy sleep habits that need to be addressed later on. Remind yourself that you helped your child get into this situation (habit), and now you have to help him get out of it. Do NOT ever shake or hit your baby!

Much love, Diana-

Constant Night Wakings

Smooth Parenting Approach to Sleep:

Angelina ~ Constant Night Wakings

Is your child waking up constantly at night or during naps? Angelina used to wake up several times throughout the night before her mom seeked the help of Smooth Parenting. I’m proud to say that Angelina doesn’t wake up at night anymore! Learn more about their past and current situation from Angelina’s mom:

Angelina’s main sleep challenge was her constant night wakings. She would wake up 3 – 4 times during the night, every night.

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Angelina

She would have her first waking at 9:30pm, her second around 12:30am and her third around 3:30am and so on. I would go in, nurse her and she would fall asleep until she was about 9 months old. After 9 months, she would no longer fall asleep while nursing and she would stay away sometimes for over an hour.

At 11 months old, I contacted Diana for help! She prepared a detailed plan to help Angelina sleep better, without those dreaded night wakings; which included a schedule that was perfectly tailored to Angelina’s natural cycles.

That night I decided to implement the plan, I was prepared for a long night with tea, chocolate and a good movie to distract me. She woke up as usual at 9:30pm and to my surprise, she fell asleep after a few minutes of implementing the plan. I stayed up until her second waking – which never happened, so I was the one who was losing sleep for no reason! She had the usual third night waking and fell asleep after a couple of minutes. I was shocked!

The next night she only woke up once and fell asleep very quickly. Ever since she has been sleeping 11-12 hours straight and falls asleep more easily for her naps as well. I no longer need to stay in the room and creep out hoping that I do not step on a squeaky floorboard!

Smooth Parenting has definitely changed our lives! Thank You!”

Brooke B. Mom to Angelina, 11 months old

Boston, MA United States

 

The Colon Twins ~ Smooth Parenting Approach to Sleep

I first met the Colon Family at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital after my daughters were born. Their gorgeous daughters had been born over 2 months premature and needed some special attention.

We continued our relationship after all four girls came home from the hospital, and I saw them struggling with health issues as well as sleep issues. By the time the girls were 15 months old, both parents were exhausted and out of resources.

After some hesitation about having someone come to their home and help them with their daughters’ sleep; they decided to hire me to work with them. I was obviously thrilled for them! Their in-home sleep consultation was great success, but I’m going to let you read what Maria, the mom has to say about her experience and the transformation that Smooth Parenting brought to their family.

 

“My twin daughters were 15 months old, they had never slept in their cribs and never slept through the night. One of them slept in a co-sleeper and the other one in the bed with us, and they woke up many times during the night, every night. They both napped at different times, always with me in my bed. I was completely drained out and exhausted.

I read books, went online looking for tips and nothing worked for us until I spoke to Diana about it. When she told me “Maria, your little angels will nap and sleep through the night in no time” I was so hesitant. In my mind I was thinking “I’m the mom. If I can’t make them go to sleep, how is she going to do that?” But something about Diana and the way she coached me, with her smooth and relaxed tone, made me feel at ease and trusted her. She was so patient, really listened to me and, best of all completely understood my frustrations. Oh, it was MAGIC!

Sure enough, she came up with a schedule and a plan for my daughters and it worked! My husband and I were in heaven. After just two days of following Diana’s advise, we put an end to 15 months of struggle. My daughters were sleeping 12 hours through the night and napping another 2 hours. Now at 22 months, they’re still following the plan and continue sleeping wonderfully.”

Maria Colon, R.N.

Mom to Jazmine and Isabella

Wayne, NJ

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

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-

Nightmares & Night-terrors. What to do?

Children spend more time dreaming than adults do, so they have more dreams than we do, both good and bad. What is the difference between a nightmare and a night-terror? and what should you do in each situation?

Nightmares

Nightmares are bad dreams that happen during rapid eye movement (REM) or dream sleep. He may also be afraid to fall back asleep, and he’ll probably remember that he had a bad dream. A baby or child who had a nightmare is likely to have a clear idea of what scared him, although he probably will not be able to his fright until he’s about 2 years old.

Night Terrors

Night terrors occur in at least 5% of young children and can start as early as 9 months. These mysterious disturbances happen during deep, non-dreaming sleep. When a child is having a night-terror will cry, whimper, flail, and even bolt out of bed. Although his eyes may be wide open, he’s not awake and isn’t aware of your presence.

The night terror can last anywhere  from a few minutes to half an hour or more. Once it is over, your child will return to a sound sleep and have no memory of the incident in the morning.

How to respond?

The best response to a nightmare and to prevent future nightmares is to help your child confront and overcome his fears of the dark, such as letting a nightlight or a special stuffed toy to sleep with.

The best responses to a nightmare are:

  • Be there and offer comfort.
  • Stay with your child until she feels relaxed and ready to sleep.
  • Stay calm and convey to your child that what’s happening is normal and that all is well.
  • Reassure your child that he’s safe and that it’s OK to go back to sleep.
  • If your child wakes with a nightmare, stay with her until she feels relaxed and ready to go to sleep.

The best responses to night terrors are:

  • a gentle pat, along with comforting words or “shhh” sounds,
  • make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. Don’t speak to him or try to soothe him,
  • don’t try to shake or startle him awake or physically restrain him — all of which could lead to more frantic behavior.

If it’s a night terror, in 15 to 20 minutes, your child should calm down, curl up, and fall into a deep sleep again. If it’s a nightmare, he might need a little more time to calm down and go back to sleep.

What to do to prevent them?

To prevent nightmares, the best thing to do is to prevent things that scare your child during the day; and to help him comfront and overcome his fears.

To prevent night-terrors, make sure that he is getting enough sleep, since children who go to bed overtired are more likely to experience these type of sleep disturbances.

Much love, Diana-

What does ‘sleeping through the night’ really mean?

“Is he/she sleeping through the night?” is probably one of the most common questions new parents are asked. But, what does ‘sleeping through the night’ really mean? 12 hours, 8 hours…? It depends! It depends on the age, weight and development of your baby. If your child is healthy, developing and growing properly, this is what you should expect in terms of sleeping through the night.

Age Sleeping Through The Night (STTN)
Newborn 3 – 5 Hours
1 – 3 Months 5 – 8 Hours
3 – 6 Months 8 – 12 Hours
After 6 Months 12 – 13 Hours

Having said that, you may very well have a 2 month old baby sleeping 12 hours at night, or a 6 month old baby sleeping 8. Remember that these are averages, and there are many factors that affect each baby’s particular situation. The goal would be for our babies to be sleeping 12 hours at night somewhere between 4 to 6 months of age.

Much love, Diana-

Baby Sleep Safety

We’d like to share with you some simple safety tips to have in mind when putting your baby to sleep for nights and naps. Many of them have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS*.
  • Put your baby to sleep on his back
  • Keep your baby’s face clear of coverings
  • Do not leave loose bedding, pillows, or stuffed toys in the crib
  • Do not over-clothe your baby, avoid overheating
  • Use a safety-certified crib (JPMA certified)
  • Have a firm crib mattress
  • Don’t let your baby fall asleep on the sofa, or untied on a swing/ bouncy seat
  • Maintain an appropriate temperature on your baby’s room (68 – 72 F)
  • Improve the ventilation in your baby’s room
  • Avoid exposing your baby to tobacco smoke
  • Offer your baby a pacifier (under 12 months old)

Educate babysitters, day-care providers, grandparents, and everyone who cares for your baby about SIDS risk and the importance of observing the advice offered here.

Much love, Diana-

* SIDS: Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1 in which an autopsy does not show an explainable cause of death. There are no symptoms. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old. Though SIDS remains unpredictable, you can help reduce your infant’s risk.

CityMommy Interviews Smooth Parenting

Click here to go to the source.

Interviewee: Smooth Parenting’s Founder & CEO, Diana Blanco, B.B.A., M.B.A., Y.P.F.C.

1. Please tell us a little bit about your business/site?

Smooth Parenting is an infant and toddler sleep consultancy and parenting-coaching firm. We provide a gentle and progressive approach to parenting and sleep training for children under 3 years old.

Smooth Parenting’s goal is to provide parents with useful, direct and practical advice to help them become the parents they’ve always wanted to be, connect with their children, eliminate unnecessary fights and struggles, and enjoy parenthood. Smooth Parenting wants parents to have a ‘Smooth Parenting Experience’.

2. How long have you been in business?

I have been an independent parent coach and sleep training expert for many years, and have a great track record of helping families teach their babies to sleep, and help families be happier, more balanced and adjusted.

I know how stressful parenting can be at times, especially when sleep issues arise. At Smooth Parenting, we develop a personalized sleep and schedule strategy for the families she works with, after analyzing their parenting preferences, lifestyle and family dynamics. Our approach to sleep training is gentle, progressive, effective, holds the wellbeing of the child first, and follows the American Association of Pediatrics guidelines.

3. Is your business online, or a physical location or both?

Smooth Parenting offers private by-phone or in-home consultations, as well as seminars, online webinars and private groups sessions about various parenting topics.

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4. What do you enjoy most about running your business/site?

I enjoy all of it, although the best part for me is being part of the transformation of families. I love helping families improve their relationships, parents become the best they can be, and children become happier and better adjusted.
I also value the opportunity to better balance my personal life, and to be fully involved in the daily lives of my daughters.

5. Is there a favorite product or service that you offer?

The favorite face-to-face services are our ‘In-Home Sleep Consultation’. We have an initial conversation with the family over the phone (or skype) learn more about their parenting style, children sleeping habits and needs. We then design a comprehensive sleep training strategy that will meet the family’s needs, current situation and parenting style. We share with the parents the recommended sleep training strategy and answer any questions they may have; during a 90 – 120 minute long meeting, at the comfort of their own home.

The In-Home Sleep Consultation includes: (1) step by step sleep training strategy, (2) nursery assessment, (3) daily schedule, (4) recommendations for the future and (5) 2 weeks of support by phone or email.

The favorite online services are our ‘Teach Your Baby to Sleep Webinars’. Webinars are live and highly interactive. You can attend from the comfort of your own home, with your computer. All the webinars include a ‘questions & answers’ section, in which you will be able to ask questions about what was discussed in the webinar, and about your baby’s particular sleep issues.

The topics covered on the most popular webinar are the following: (1) Sleep needs by age; setting the right expectations, (2) Sleep tips and techniques for your baby and toddler, (3) Step by Step sleep training guide by age, (4) Schedules, (5) Nursery set up, and (6) Bedtime routines. This webinar is perfect for parents with children between 0 and 3 years old, and for expecting parents.

6. Anything else you would like to share about your business? Being a working Mom? Etc…

For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about children’s wellbeing, children’s rights, education, coaching and parenting. After many years working in the corporate world and graduating with an MBA from New York University; I decided to follow my passion and launched Smooth Parenting to help families have a better and smoother parenting experience.
In 2009, I became the proud mother of twin girls, who are the loves of my life and have taught me more about myself, parenting and unconditional love that I could ever imagined.