Monthly Archives: November 2011

Happy Holidays! 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway for 2011

It’s that time of year again….The Baby Sleep Site™’s Second Annual 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway is under way! This year we have almost $800 in prizes to give away. Many of the prizes are related to helping you and your baby or toddler sleep better. Who among us wouldn’t want the chance for more sleep in the New Year? We’re really excited about this giveaway with so many great prizes lined up and, best of all, we plan on announcing all the winners in time that the prizes can be received before Christmas!

Just like last year, we will be hosting this giveaway on our Facebook page. Entry will be easy and you can share the giveaway easily with friends and family right on Facebook. You do not have to have a Facebook account to enter. Online entries are accepted HERE.

Here’s how it works, starting today and until 11:59 pm (EST) on Friday, December 9, you can submit your entry in the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway online. (Be sure to read the official rules and guidelines). Starting on Monday, December 5, we will randomly draw one winner from all entries and award a prize for that day. The Grand Prize (a $300 gift card to either Target or Amazon) will be awarded on the final day, December 16.

Keep reading below for the complete list of all our prizes we’ll be giving away each day during the Giveaway. As you can see below, we have an awesome list of prizes and for some of the prizes, there will be multiple winners! (*Note: Shipped prizes available to US Residents only. International winners will be offered an alternative Baby Sleep Site prize that does not require shipping.) The prizes listed below are not necessarily in the order that they will be awarded.

Grand Prize- $300 Gift Certificate to Target OR Amazon

The Grand Prize Winner for our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway will have their choice of either a $300 Gift Card to Amazon or to Target. TargetGiftCardEither gift card can be use to order easily online or the Target Gift Card can also be used in a Target Retail Store. *Please note that the Target gift card option is only available to US Residents. If you are outside of the US and are drawn for the grand prize, you will receive the Amazon Gift Card.

ZAZOO Photo Clock

ZAZOO Photo ClockThe ZAZOO Photo Clock helps teach kids when it’s ok to wake up and when it’s still time for sleep- it’s a smart new way to enforce better sleeping habits (and parents may actually sleep through the night!). The digital clock displays images of daytime and nighttime to visually show kids what time of day it is. The screen displays the time as well and there is even a naptime setting! The ZAZOO Photo Clock is preprogrammed with “awake” and “asleep” images and can even display family pictures. The rotating digital photo frame can also be personalized with images that can be added through the SD card slot, USB port or flash drive. It can even play MP3’s and video’s on the 7″ LCD Screen. A great addition to every kid’s room! Find out more about this photo clock on the ZAZOO website. One lucky winner will be awarded a ZAZOO Photo Clock.

Mastering Naps and Schedules e-Book

baby napsOne copy of our Mastering Naps and Schedules e-book will be awarded. If naps are a struggle or if you have questions about how much and how often your baby or toddler should be napping, then this is the book for you. This book covers how to help your child learn to nap longer, why naps are so important for nighttime sleep, how to break baby’s dependence on you to fall asleep, how to help your early riser learn to sleep later, and includes over 40 sample schedules…plus much more!

SnoozeShade

This Holiday season, babies can get the sleep they need when out and about with SnoozeShade – a range of award-winning, breathable blackout covers that make any time sleep time. Sometimes it’s just inevitable that your baby or toddler will fall asleep while you’re out running errands or shopping. The SnoozeShade can help your child to get some rest during those times!

SnoozeShade Original, fits all single strollers, and SnoozeShade Infant Car Seat, for most group 0/0+ infant carriers, are designed to help babies get the rest they need by creating a dark, comfortable sleep cocoon which blocks out 94% of light. SnoozeShades also provide baby with the highest level of sun protection with UPF50+, protect from wind and chill and can be used to shade delicate eyes.

Designed by a mom and endorsed by sleep experts and health professionals worldwide, SnoozeShade is soft, small and a cinch to use. So this Holiday season you can enjoy the sights, sounds, lights and crowds while baby snoozes happily through it all. You can find out more on their website about the entire line of SnoozeShade products. One winner will receive the SnoozeShade Original for a stroller and one winner will receive a SnoozeShade for an Infant Car Seat.

The 3 Step System to Help Your Child Sleep

We will also be giving away a copy of this ebook. This book helps you design a step by step a sleep coaching plan that works for you and your family. It also includes a quick reference guide with age-specific sleep guidelines and sleep log for tracking your child’s sleep patterns. Whether you are interested in co-sleeping, crying it out, setting schedules, night weaning or feeding at night, this book covers it all!

Bumbo Baby Seat

The Bumbo Baby Seat is a snug and cozy seat for your baby. This unique infant chair is designed according to the baby’s posture and is manufactured to the highest safety standards from low-density, non-toxic foam material, which makes it lightweight, portable, and comfortable for your baby. In addition to it’s durability, it’s easy to clean too. It’s a great alternative to the traditional booster, the Bumbo Baby Sitter aids in feeding and playtime without straps and fasteners. The Bumbo Baby Seat enables babies to be able to sit upright by themselves. It’s recommend as suitable for babies who can support their own heads unaided and up until they are able to get out of the Bumbo. One winner will win a Bumbo Baby Seat.

Please note that this chair should not be used on a table, countertop, chair, or other elevated surfaces.

Ninna nanna… Sogni d’oro- Lullaby Album

It was 2007 when a friend announced the birth of his beautiful daughter Bianca that Matteo Bosi wanted to make a great present so he decided to compose several lullabies especially for his friend’s baby. It was in that time that the first ten tracks of this album were recorded and the CD was named “Ninna Nanna… Sogni d’oro”, which could be translated as “Lullaby… Sweet Dreams. ” The new parents really liked the gift and found that the lullabies had a calm and soothing effect on their duaghter. A few years later when some other friends also had new babies, Matteo was inspired to record some additional lullaby tracks which brought about the last 9 tracks of this album.

In 2011, Matteo released all 19 tracks as a full length album to be distributed digitally with the hopes that others families and babies would enjoy the music as much as his friends had. The full album is currently available for purchase and download on Amazon, iTunes or CDbaby. You can also listen to samples of each of the songs. Get updates and news about this album and any upcoming albums on the Ninna Nanna Facebook Page.

3 winners will be chosen to receive an MP3 copy of this album.

The 5 Step System to Better Toddler Sleep

Toddler sleep help Many parents are surprised to learn that it is not that uncommon for a toddler to not be sleeping through the night or have other sleep related issues. With this toddler sleep book, you can learn how to get back in control with this comprehensive toddler sleep guide. This ebook includes a toolkit of strategies, sample schedules, and sleep logs will put your toddler on the right sleep track.

HALO Sleep Sack

The HALO Sleep Sack is a wearable blanket for babies or toddlers to replace loose blankets in the crib. To help reduce the risks of SIDS, it is recommended that loose blankets not be used with small babies and young toddlers. HALO Sleep Sacks help solve the problem of how to keep baby warm at night and minimize the risks that come with loose bedding. Sleep Sacks are loose fitting to allow your baby to still be able to move around in bed while helping to keep baby warm at night. Sleep Sacks are also designed to help keep baby from overheating at night which can be another risk factor for SIDS. Easy to slip on even while your baby is sleeping, Sleep Sack also have an inverted zipper to help make diaper changes easy.

Two winners will each receive a microfleece HALO Sleep Sack.

Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Deluxe Musical Mobile Gym

The Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Deluxe Musical Mobile Gym make baby feel right at home on this cozy mat with adorable animal friends! The spinning mobile has dancing lights and lively music and the elephant gives baby a boost for easier tummy-time play. Toys can be repositioned on the arches and mat or removed for independent play. With a large circular mate with 3 arches that provide easy access to your baby, this mobile gym has 3 modes: music only, music and lights and music, lights and motion. Recommended for ages birth through 18 months. One winner will receive the Fisher-Prices Luv U Zoo Deluxe Musical Mobile Gym.

The Sunset Dimmer

The Sunset Dimmer is designed to help make bedtime easy and fun. It is a good way to help your child wind down in bed, or look at books and read in bed while the gradual dimming of the light helps soothe to sleep. It can also help children get used to sleeping in the dark. The Sunset Dimmer transform any lamp into a gradual sunset in the bedtoom. The light to dark transition helps facilitate the natural release of melatonin in the brain which makes us sleepy!

The Sunset Dimmer can dim to completely turning off the light or dim just to a nightlight level. In nightlight mode, the light will remain on at soft, low level all night long which can work well for nighttime changes or feedings. Nightlight mode is soft but is brighter than most nightlights. You can find out more about The Sunset Dimmer on their website.

Five winners will be drawn to receive a Sunset Dimmer.

Baby Sleep Site Basic Email Consultation Package

Baby Sleep ConsultingYour baby’s sleep shouldn’t be stressful and The Baby Sleep Site strives to provide a strong, non-judgmental, support network to help you and your family sleep better. Our website has helped countless families through free online articles, step-by-step e-Books, and private and personalized sleep consulting services.

One winner will win a Basic Email Consultation package to help with your sleep struggles. With this consultation package, you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ which is like a mini book written just for you and your family. A follow-up email will help to fine tune the plan or provide additional support after you have put the recommend strategies to work. If you already have an account, your account will be credited.

Deadline to enter is Friday, December 9, 2011, 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Enter Here: Baby Sleep Site 12 Days of Christmas Sweepstakes

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Why Support Is Important In Sleep Training

Baby Sleep HelpFamilies surprise me every day. About two months ago, I received a sleep plan request with a tough situation. Here’s a mom with very little support at home to sleep train AND her in-laws live with them! Talk about being under a microscope.

She was all alone in wanting to help her son sleep better. Neither her husband or in-laws thought it was a good idea to disrupt status quo. As many families, they wait for the child to “outgrow” their issues or perhaps what’s an issue for one person is normal to another.

She wanted help with her son’s sleep not only for her sake, even though she felt exhausted, frustrated, and short-tempered, but because her son was suffering, too. He was much more clumsy, getting hurt more often, and not as happy being so tired all the time.

Honestly, with such little support at home, I did the best sleep plan I could, but wasn’t sure that would be enough. And, it wasn’t. A plan is only as good as you can implement it.

This mom must have felt the same thing I did and decided to buy an 30-day unlimited e-mail package. If anyone was a good candidate for needing mega-support and accountability, it was her. Still, with their sleeping arrangements and the parameters of what she’d be able to do without being criticized and bullied into not making any changes, this was not going to be an easy case. Of course, we would use as gentle a method as possible. Change routines, be supportive and encouraging to her son, and very consistent, but no cry it out or anything like that.

The difference between an unlimited package and a standard e-mail package is really huge in a case like this. For others, it’s not, and it’s all what you do with it. This mom was determined. She sent me at least 3-4 emails a day with questions. A lot of them. I answered each one as detailed as possible. I loved her updates and cheering her on. There were some tough times for her under the scrutiny of the naysayers. :(

After almost 30 days, we had made a lot of progress, but not quite enough, and she bought two more weeks. I tell you this to reinforce that often “no cry” methods take longer to implement and achieve results. And, because, not all children will be “done” in 3 days like the books want you to believe. I tell you this so you can have realistic expectations for your child, too. It’s a work in progress and takes time to change a child’s expectations. Besides that, her son is two years old, which is a long time to have habits that need changing, never mind the “Terrible Two” independence-seeking that goes on. This was one of her last e-mails to me at the end of our 45 days or so:

“Nicole, If this is my very last email, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You were truly an answered prayer. I really thank you and thank God for you. He is so faithful and I know this because he answered my prayers through you :). Thank you again. I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy life. I will be willing to write a comment about you for your page anytime as long as I remain anonymous. And will recommend my friends to you anytime.

I talk to a lot of parents every week and I am SO impressed with this mom. She has really stuck to her guns and triumphed when others would have given up. She has made huge strides and, at times, had a little boy who went to sleep, on his own, with her OUT of the room, sleeping 11 hours at night, staying in bed until his toddler clock turned to “wake up,” and take a 1 to 1 1/2 hour nap, on his own. When we first started, I wasn’t even sure we’d get there and it is a testament to how much it’s a team effort to help your child sleep better, sometimes. I can give you the plan and I can give you advice, and I can cheer you on, but YOU are the one who does all the work and, for that, I applaud everyone who has dedicated themselves to helping their child sleep, whether or not you have been successful. Sometimes I’m still so surprised how much support I am able to give with just words on a page, online, via e-mail, but somehow it works…at least for many, maybe not all and they need presence (I don’t do house calls, sorry! :)). Oh! And, a bonus to all of this? This mom’s mother-in-law has sung praises to others about how well the boy was sleeping and she and Dad were helping put him to bed in the “new” way. This mom has made HUGE changes in that house. She has, unfortunately, recently had some back-sliding, which is very common (especially when you lack the support at home), but once we get those solved I hope she and her son have many sleep-filled nights ahead of her!

Today, I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone. Even if your home life is not supportive, we are here for you day and night. Support in what you’re doing, whether it’s your spouse, family, or friends can make a big difference in keeping you going and not give up prematurely. If you need the support and haven’t asked for it at home, do it! Sometimes admitting you need help and asking for it is the first step in sleep training, and nothing to do with your baby or your baby’s sleep. Your spouse or other loved ones can help. I know we moms are programmed to think we can do it all on our own and it can be difficult to ask for help, but remember the old saying “It takes a village.” so don’t feel like you have to do it all alone.

If you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine, please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

What type of support system did you need during sleep training?

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How the Holidays May Impact Your Baby’s Sleep

With Thanksgiving in the U.S. and other holidays quickly approaching, I’m sure many of you are wondering what you should do, if anything, with your baby’s schedule and sleep. It can be tricky when you travel or need to be at a family event during a nap time (our extended family Thanksgiving “dinner” is at 2 p.m., for example). Depending on your baby’s personality and temperament, some babies will be fine with an “off” schedule for one day. They may be a bit overtired, maybe have a little rougher night’s sleep, but get back on track the next day. Other babies will take days to get back on track. We always went a little late to dinner, so our eldest son could take his much-needed nap (because routine disruptions took us a minimum of one week to get back on track). This year will be our second year in six years we’ll be on time, since our youngest is (still) transitioning to no napping (which we are looking forward to with bedtime getting so late!).

I know many of you will be going out of town for the holidays, either in the coming week or near Christmas/Chanukah, and I wish you safe travels. Thanksgiving is one of the most traveled holidays in the U.S. Of course, traveling always presents challenges for those of us with kids. After all, a 6-hour drive can mean one 3-hour nap (that we only can dream about at home) at 9 a.m. (not so good), leaving a very overtired baby in the evening or, for those of us whose babies are “allergic” to sleeping in the car, it might mean no nap at all. Here are a few nap and schedule tips for this holiday season:

  • If your baby is just getting on a schedule, try to stick to routine or schedule as much as possible. The first couple of weeks you are “setting” a schedule are typically the most important.
  • If you have to choose between a missed morning nap or missed afternoon nap, opt for a missed afternoon nap PLUS an early bedtime (if possible). The morning nap usually sets the mood for the rest of the day. An overtired baby in the morning typically plagues you the rest of the day and night.
  • If your baby readily sleeps in the car, you can try to time bedtime in the car and then transfer her to bed when you get home. Even if she wakes up, do not treat this like a nap. Her body will still expect to sleep, so do a mini bedtime routine and put her to bed. Try to keep it dark while you are doing this, so she doesn’t wake all the way up.
  • If your baby won’t nap at all in the car, try to drive after the first nap of the day in hopes of starting the day on the right foot and then try a nap when you arrive at your destination.
  • If you are trying to decide whether you should start sleep training now or after the holidays, I do recommend going ahead and getting started. In a week’s time, you will have a good handle of how things are going. You can always opt for a break, but if things go well, all the better to enjoy the holidays! I know a lot of families have time off, so it’s best to use them to the fullest and give your baby the gift of sleep.

The holidays can impact your baby’s sleep in a variety of ways including too much daytime napping (during travels in the car), over-tiredness at bedtime (leading to more night-waking and waking up too early in the morning), or not enough napping due to schedule disruptions. Some babies will get back on track the next day while others will take days or weeks to get back on track. All in all, try to enjoy the holidays as much as possible and we can work on your baby’s sleep when you get back home. For more holiday travel sleep tips, please check out this article: 11 Holiday Baby Sleep Tips.

If you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 40 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

What concerns you most about the holidays and your baby’s sleep?

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November is Prematurity Awareness Month

Premature Awareness MonthLast year, I wrote about World Prematurity Awareness Day and how it just didn’t seem like it was near enough to raise the level of awareness needed about premature births. In the US, the entire month of November is dedicated to being Prematurity Awareness Month. For the entire month of November, the March of Dimes will work to help the nation to focus it’s attention on premature births. The March of Dimes launched the Prematurity Awareness Campaign in 2003 and since then they have made significant strides in raising awareness about premature births and in working towards reducing the rate of premature births but there is still a long way to go. Recent news reports that the premature birth rate is down slightly to 12.2% but still quite far from the March of Dimes goal of 9.6% by the year 2020.

Premature Birth Facts:

  • 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely in the United States
  • Worldwide, 13 million babies are born prematurely
  • Premature births are the number on killer of babies
  • Premature babies are at risk for severe health problems and lifelong disabilities.

As part of National Prematurity Awareness Month, The March of Dimes has released 2011 Premature Birth Report Cards by State. Overall the United States has a grade of “C” when it comes to preventing premature births. You can click here to view the map to see how your state ranks for preventing premature births. It’s rather alarming that we only have one state with a grade of “A” and four states have a grade of “F.” Clearly, much more still needs to be done towards working to prevent premature births in the United States.

November 17th is World Prematurity Awareness Day. World Prematurity Day is set aside as one way to honor the million babies who die each year from being born too soon along with 12 million who struggle to survive. See inspiring stories and get updates on Facebook by joining the World Prematurity Day Facebook page.

How you can help:


How will you help to raise awareness about premature births?

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Sibling Series Part 4: How To Use Baby Sign Language to Give Your Toddler a Nap-Time Voice

Today’s article is a guest article from the BabySignLanguage.com website. Teaching your toddler some simple signs to use at nap time can be helpful, not only for communication, but also as a tool for quiet time when you have younger baby napping.

You may think you’ve done everything to prepare your toddler for the transition from being the only child to an older sibling. You may have even read a few books about being a sibling. You’ve discussed how busy mommy and daddy will be with the new little one, and explained how an older sibling can help with diaper changes and bottle feedings, but what about nap and bedtime routines? Your newborn is going to be sleeping, a lot. Have you defined big brother or sister’s outside voice, inside voice and nap-time voice?

It may sounds silly to think you’d need yet another setting on the volume control, but sometimes the inside voice is still a few decibels too loud for a sleeping newborn. Certainly, you can lay the new baby down in a separate room than the one your toddler is playing in or watching cartoons, but at some point toddler and baby are going to be together during baby’s nap. With even the sweetest intentions, your toddler can wish baby “sweet dreams” just loud enough that those dreams are interrupted.

Using sign language for babies to communicate with your toddler is one way to exercise a nap-time voice. Because let’s face it, a kid’s idea of a whisper can even be too loud. To help in the transition to nap-time voice, you can ask your toddler to help prepare baby for a nap. Some useful signs are:

Consider practicing this nap-time voice before baby arrives. Playing with a doll works well for soon-to-be older sisters, but a teddy bear or other stuffed animal can work well, too. Many times the play continues even after baby comes home. Big sister can feed her baby doll a bottle and put her down for a nap, right alongside mommy and the newborn.

Assigning tasks that toddlers can do on their own to help mommy or daddy gives that feeling of accomplishment and prestige of being the “BIG” brother or sister. With a few signs in your toddler’s tool belt, he or she can help by turning off lights and fetching a blanket. And since it is never too early to start fostering a love of a sibling teaching his baby brother or sister signs, encourage your toddler to sign “sleep” to the newborn. It won’t be long before you notice your children bonding through their own secret silent language.

With nifty free resources such as baby sign language flash cards and sign language for babies dictionary the team at Baby Sign Language is delighted to lend you a hand as you work towards incorporating baby signing to the lives of your little ones.

Other parts in the series:
Sibling Series, Part 1: Do You Have Another Baby After a Horrible Sleeper?

Sibling Series, Part 2: Juggling Different Baby and Toddler Sleep Schedules

Sibling Series, Part 3: How To Maintain Twins and Multiples Sleep and Feeding Schedules

If you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine or schedule, I encourage you to download our FREE guide, 7 Common Napping Mistakes, or explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 40 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

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