A Sleep-Deprived Mother’s Guide To Night Wakings (…before The Baby Sleep Site that is…)

SleepDeprivedGuide

Guest post by Emily-Jane Clark

Lie down in bed and close your eyes.

Baby cries.

Get out of bed noisily in the hope of waking up your soundly sleeping partner.

Whisper ‘FFS’ several times before grabbing your dressing gown and stomping into the nursery.

Pick up baby and sing to her softly while mentally recalling the book ‘go the F*CK to sleep.’

Return to bed. Start to drift off to sleep.

Baby wakes up.

Shout ‘NOT AGAIN’ loudly, in an attempt to wake up soundly sleeping partner.

Employ the ‘If She Screams Really Loudly I Will Just Feed Her’ weaning technique until she falls asleep.

Return to your bed.

Fall asleep for half an hour.

Baby wakes up.

Shout ‘IT’S YOUR TURN” at soundly sleeping partner to guarantee he wakes up.

Partner goes into baby. Baby screams.

Ten minutes later storm into nursery and retrieve crying baby from partner while tutting.

Consider whether ‘Not Being Able To Get The Baby Back To Sleep’ is reasonable grounds for divorce.

Use a method popular with the sleep-deprived known as Get Your Baby To Sleep By Whatever Means Necessary.

Baby asleep, return to bed.

Sleep for forty minutes.

BABY AWAKE AGAIN.

Climb out of bed and stomp back in to nursery as LOUDLY as possibly.

It is now 4am. You are not singing a sodding lullaby at 4am. Try to fob baby off with Ewan the Sheep instead. She screams. Decide to put the woolly little fraud in the bin tomorrow. ‘Soothes your infant into a deep sleep.’ Rubbish.

Make angry shushing sounds while walking baby around the room like a demented zombie until she goes to sleep.

Return to bed and close your eyes.

BABY WAKES UP AGAIN.

She must be teething? Or hungry? Maybe she is eating her teeth?

It is almost morning! You are tired and on the verge of exhausted madness.

So you resort to the last trick in the book – the “Sod It, She Can Sleep In My Bed” method.

Emily-Jane Clark is a freelance journalist and creator of popular blog HOW TO SURVIVE A SLEEP THIEF. She is currently writing a book Sleep is for the Weak- a humorous survival guide for tired parents! Join her on Facebook or @stolensleep.

Benefits of Swaddling with 7 Swaddle Safety Tips (Plus a Giveaway!)

Today we have a guest post written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN and inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle. Woombie is also giving away two of their Woombie Air so be sure to read to the end to find out how you can enter to win one!

Swaddling Babies

Benefits of Swaddling Your Baby

When your baby is swaddled, he or she is taken back to the days in the womb, when everything was comfortable, safe and snug.

Swaddling has a number of key benefits for both parents and babies – when done correctly and safely:

  • Swaddled babies sleep longer and sounder.
  • Swaddled babies experience less anxiety.
  • Swaddling prevents unnecessary wake-ups due to the startle reflex.
  • Swaddling eliminates the need for comfort items in baby’s crib – no pillows, bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. (using these items in crib have been linked to SIDS)
  • Swaddling prevent face-scratching.
  • Swaddling mimics touch, which is important for baby especially when they wake up at night.
  • Swaddling helps maintain the back sleeping position and also reminds tired parents to place baby on back to sleep.
  • Swaddling soothes babies with colic (again, when swaddled, they feel secure and safe just like they felt in the womb).
  • Swaddling in the hands-over-heart position is the preferred sleeping position for babies; in this position they learn to self-soothe and can get back to sleep on their own.
  • Swaddling benefits parents too — when baby sleeps more, mom and dad sleep more!

Safe Swaddling Tips

Over the last 20 years, we’ve learned how to swaddle safely. It’s safe to say we have come far from the tightly wrapped, mummy-style swaddle bands and swaddle boards! Learning to correctly swaddle baby is key to ensuring safety and effectiveness. Here are seven tips:

  1. Do not over-swaddle – Over-swaddling or using double swaddle blankets can lead to overheating. This factor has been linked to SIDS. Signs of an overheated baby include damp hair and sweating. Today parents can use swaddles that are specifically designed to allow excess heat to escape which provides ventilation for baby.
  2. Make sure the swaddle won’t unravel – A loose blanket can end up covering your baby’s airway.
  3. woombie-baby-swaddle-karen-quote

  4. Position baby “hands-over-heart” – In the past, it was traditional to swaddle baby’s arms at his/her sides, but this can cause joint problems and limits mobility. Place baby’s hands over the chest before wrapping, or with a swaddle sack that requires no wrapping, put baby in, place baby’s hands over chest, and zip!
  5. Don’t swaddle too tightly – Rather than a blanket, use a specially made baby swaddle that hugs baby comfortably but allows for natural movement of the legs/hips to prevent hip issues like hip dysplasia.
  6. Place baby on his/her back to sleep – When baby sleeps on his/her tummy he is more likely to rebreathe his own exhaled air and start to overheat, both of which can lead to SIDS. Remember: “back is best.”
  7. Stop swaddling when baby begins to roll – When baby begins to roll, this is a good time to consult with your pediatrician or a baby sleep consultant on whether or not swaddling should be continued. Usually you want to transition baby to arms-free sleep once baby begins to roll, but some pediatricians are now saying that swaddling is safe even after baby begins to roll as long as the crib is free from all suffocation hazards such as bumpers pillows toys and blankets. When it’s time to transition, an arms-free sleep sack is a wonderful tool so baby can feel snug but with their arms free.
  8. Don’t swaddle all day – Babies need freedom to move around and learn their bodies. Even if your little one loves being wrapped up all day, give him/her time to develop and leave the swaddling for sleep time.

Most people use swaddling during the newborn stage and begin to phase it out before six months. Some babies like being swaddled up to nine months, and that’s perfectly fine so long as you are using an arms-free sleep sack once baby begins to roll. At some point though your baby will prefer the freedom outside the swaddle and struggle to break out. Click to read more about when and how to stop swaddling.

Note: Each baby is different; some babies resist swaddling from the very beginning, although this is rare. All newborns put up a little bit of a fight, but they quickly accept the feelings of security and peace the swaddle affords them.

karen-barski-best-baby-swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 20 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share especially on the subject of swaddling, child sleep, baby safety, newborns, pregnancy, and more.

Since 2007, Karen started KB Designs and is most known for inventing two swaddle brands, Woombie and Mod’Swad. Her line of signature baby swaddles have helped parents across the globe easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll and even longer with specialty “Big Baby” swaddle sizes and “convertible” swaddles where baby’s arms come out (arms-free sleep).

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a million babies and counting!

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information in this blog post and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Giveaway

Woombie is giving away two of their Woombie Air swaddles to two lucky winners! Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries for the giveaway will be accepted today through Monday, June 1, 2015. Please note: Woombie can only ship prizes to US mailing addresses.

5 Tips to Manage Sleep Deprivation (and Stay Married)

Today, we have a guest post from Gervase Kolmos, a Certified Life coach and the founder of Shiny.Happy.Human. As we approach Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips for how to manage sleep deprivation AND your relationship with your spouse at the same time. Be sure to read all the way to bottom to find out how you could win one of Gervase’s Rise and Shine Coaching sessions.

MarriageTips
During our first days home with our newborn daughter, my husband and I weren’t really as exhausted as we anticipated. Terrified, anxious and enamored? Yes, yes and yes. But one thing we knew we were going to do right was sleep when the baby slept, just as we’d been instructed (over and over and over). I remember that first day, after placing the sleeping baby in her bassinet around 4pm for the first of many naps, my husband had drawn the curtains and turned out the lights. (No need for me to change because I had slipped into pajamas upon entering the house.) We “went to bed” with our little one and woke for a few hours around 8 pm and just repeated this cycle for a few days. It was Twilight-ish, but I remember thinking (quite pleased) how well-rested and in love with my little family I felt.

My husband and I languished in that surreal stage of parenting for those first few days. And then, he went back to work, and I had an abrupt realization: Adopting the sleeping cycles of a newborn was an unsustainable and unrealistic long-term solution.

Soon after, my warm fuzzies gave way to impatience, resentment towards my husband, and yes, exhaustion. “If I could just have 5 straight hours of sleep,” I started to think. Or, “if [my husband] would just offer to breastfeed at 2AM for once, I might get some shut-eye.” I’m kidding. But, seriously, sleep-deprivation does some crazy things to your brain, and it’s not uncommon to start resenting your other half for things he can or (in this case) cannot do.

Here are some tips to help you manage, assuage and, in some cases, even eliminate the negative effects sleep deprivation can have on your relationship:

  1. Preemptively Discuss: Lack of communication between couples is so often the source of unmet expectations. If you don’t know where your partner stands on taking the midnight baby shift, then that is probably a good place to start a discussion. Have the conversation about what you each expect your days and nights during those first 6 months to look like. That way, if you are on different pages, you can correct that ASAP. (As in, if he or she is NOT onboard with helping with midnight shifts, you can swiftly explain why they need to be.)
  2. Lean on Each Other: As mothers we tend to do the whole Mother Teresa thing and take all the parenting responsibilities on our shoulders because a) our husbands won’t do it right, b) we do it better than our husbands, or c) our husbands won’t do it right. Marriage is a partnership that is best maximized when you LEAN on each other. When you are stretching yourself too thin and the effects of exhaustion are really spilling over into your marriage, this is the time to lean on into your other half. Put him in charge while you take a nap, go out with girl friends or hit your yoga mat. He already feels helpless if you’re breastfeeding and/or doing the bulk of the parenting, and he is looking to you for his parenting cue. Give it to him. It will boost his confidence and practice and give you a much-needed break.
  3. Look at Each Other: This may sound crazy, but when you have a newborn, you literally spend HOURS staring at your new bundle of joy and no one else. (It’s weird. I know.) I remember when our little one was weeks old and I was having a rare moment alone with my husband. He leaned his face in to give me a kiss and I screamed, “Your face is huge!” This is hilarious, and also really quite sad. It had been weeks since I’d really looked at the love of my life with the same attention and affection I was lavishing on our newborn. Try to make even a few minutes each day to look at and really see your partner. It’s okay if he’s taken a backseat to the baby during this time, but don’t forget the (very normal) size of his face. Yes, you can go to sleep immediately following this exercise.
  4. Take Turns Sleeping In: When you’re awoken at 2AM, it’s acceptable to feel tired and groggy, but what about when you’re woken again at 6AM, and it’s time for you to start the day? Personally, I would rather wake up at 2AM and sleep til 8AM (if we’re getting wild). This is why my hubs and I started taking turns religiously on weekend mornings when our daughter was young. What was the point of both of us waking exhausted at 6AM, when one of us could just as easily do it and the other could feel the long-forgotten bliss of sleeping til the sun was up? If it’s your turn to wake with the babe, make it count. Let your partner sleep til 10 if they need to. Because guess what? It’s your turn tomorrow! YAYYYYY!!!
  5. Tapping Out: This particular technique developed when my hubs and I were in the throes of exhaustion. On those days when you are sleeping standing up and so deadbeat tired that you want to bawl your eyes out—tap out. Tapping out is an unspoken rule that gives you full permission to take a nap with zero guilt tripping, explaining or consequences when you wake. It should be reserved for very extreme emergencies and it is definitely reciprocal. It implies “it’s your turn next,” and also “I love you. I’m sorry. Thank you.” You will see positive effects of this free pass on your relationship, your parenting and your energy levels. The gratitude I feel for my husband when he “allows” me (because he has no choice, because like I said this is an unwritten rule) to tap out on a rough day, fuels my happy marriage and motherhood for far longer than another sleepless night.

What relationship tips do you have for how to survive sleep deprivation?

042114_Gervase_026Gervase is a Certified Life Coach and the founder of Shiny. Happy. Human. She gets fired up about empowering new moms and newlyweds to boldly design THEIR happy. She is an excellent secret keeper and a professional cat-napper and believes her relationships are her best assets. Say Hi to her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!


Gervase is giving away a Rise & Shine Coaching Session to one Baby Sleep Site reader. The Rise and Shine Coaching Session is for you if you’re feeling called to RISE to a particular challenge—whether personal or professional—and lacking the luster (i.e. motivation & accountability) to get it done. We’ll polish you off and send you shining on your way with this one-time 75-minute session, designed to help you make progress in an area of your life that is requiring a wake-up call. (Value $90) Enter below for your chance to win! Accepting entries today through 11:59 pm ET, February 16,2015. Open to entrants worldwide.

Celebrating Our Newest Arrival with a Giveaway!

Newborn Sleep eBook GiveawayHave you heard the news? On Tuesday, we unveiled the newest addition to our Baby Sleep Site® family of products: 4 Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep. Written specifically for parents of newborns and young infants, this book is designed to help parents create healthy baby sleep habits right from the start.

It may be a bit of an understatement to say that we’re excited about our newest e-Book. Truth is, all of us are absolutely thrilled that we can finally put this awesome resource into the hands of our Baby Sleep Site® parents.

In fact, we’re so thrilled, we decided we had to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than to host a giveaway? :) That’s right — a brand-new e-book AND fabulous prizes! So enter today, using the widget below (and also on our Facebook Page). We will be accepting entries from today through Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm EST.

Ready for the details? Check out the list below for a description of the prizes we are giving away in celebration or our new e-Book.


Grand Prize- Newborn e-Book Bundle (a $99 value)

Newborn eBook Bundle GiveawayBecause all of us here at The Baby Sleep Site® know first-hand just how exhausting and overwhelming the newborn stage can be, we created a bundle package that includes a copy of the e-Book, 4 Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep, PLUS a Basic E-Mail Consultation. With this bundle package, you get all the helpful, hands-on information in the book as well as a Personalized Sleep Plan™, created specifically for your newborn. At $99, this bundle package is already a great deal. But an even better deal? Winning it in our giveaway! One winner will receive the 4 Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep Bundle Package. (Please Note: If you already have an account, your account will be credited. This prize is available to entrants worldwide.)

$75 Amazon Gift Card

amazon-GCEvery mom and dad deserve a little shopping spree now and then — and we are doing our part to make that happen! One winner will receive an Amazon gift card worth $75, to use toward any Amazon.com online purchase. The Amazon gift card is available to both U.S. and international contestants where Amazon is available.

5 Copies of Our Newborn E-Book

Essential Keys to Your Newborn's Sleep5 lucky winners will receive an instant download of our newest e-Book, 4 Essential Keys to Your Baby’s Sleep. This fantastic resource is packed full of information that all parents of newborns and young infants will benefit from, such as:

  • tips and special help on feeding (both breast and bottle) from Miriam, our lactation consultant.
  • suggested routines for promoting sleep.
  • guidelines to help you decode your baby’s cries, and advice on how to cope with fussiness and colic.
  • sample daily sleep and feeding schedules, for both breastfed and formula fed babies.

The E-Book is available in your choice of formats: PDF, Kindle, Nook, or iPad.

Remember, the deadline to enter is 8:59 pm EST on Thursday, October 24, 2013. So don’t wait; enter now!

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Labor Day Scavenger Hunt and a Giveaway!

Baby Sleep Site Labor Day Giveaway

It’s that time of year again! Here in the U.S., the days are just a bit shorter and those of us with school aged kids are in the throes of Back to School. Here at The Baby Sleep Site™, we have a tradition of celebrating the upcoming Labor Day Weekend with a giveaway – a bit of a last summer HURRAH! Just because fall is right around the corner, we don’t think the fun has to end. With that in mind, we are having the first ever Baby Sleep Site™ Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway!

For this Scavenger Hunt, you will be hunting for the fun, summer-inspired images shown below. As you hunt for the images, be sure to note their location. Then come back to this page and enter the location where you found at least *THREE* of the images into the Rafflecopter widget below. This will enter you to win a variety of prizes, including a Grand Prize of a $250 Amazon Gift Card!

The Details


1. Throughout the site, we have hidden the images below:

BSSLaborDay

2. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to try to…
a) find at least three of these images,
b) note the title of the page where you found the image, and
c) enter the location of each into the Rafflecopter widget below.

BONUS:
For 5 particular images, you have a chance to win additional and immediate prizes and bonus items. You can hunt for any or ALL of the following:

These immediate downloads and bonuses are in addition to entering for a chance to win one of the prizes listed below.

The Prizes


Winners for the prizes listed below will be randomly selected from those who correctly enter the location of three of the images.

Grand Prize- $250 Gift Card to Amazon

The Grand Prize Winner of the Labor Day Scavenger Hunt will win a $250 Gift Card to Amazon. Amazon gift cards can be used to easily order online from a huge selection of items. *Please note* The Grand Prize is available to all entrants where Amazon is available.

Baby Shusher

Babyshusher-web

The Baby Shusher™ has been called a “Sleep Miracle” and was created by real parents with a genuine passion to help babies sleep.

This is a doctor-approved and thoroughly tested technique designed to break a baby’s cry spell and engage their natural calming reflex. The rhythmic shush reminds baby of being inside mom, where they were inundated 24 hours a day with loud sounds of blood flow and other in utero noises (up to 85 dBs, or the sound of a very loud vacuum cleaner). What may sound harsh at first is actually very calming to a baby. The Baby Shusher™ has two timer options, 15 and 30 minutes. It also easily attaches to car seat, stroller, swing or crib and works for newborns and up.

You can read more on the Baby Shusher website, or you can purchase one directly if you don’t want to wait to see if you’ve won!

10 lucky winners will each receive a Baby Shusher. *This prize is available to U.S. and International entrants.

Tuck Me In! Book

Tuck-Me-In-smallTuck Me In! by Dean Hacohen, is the irresistable, best-selling, interactive bedtime book that was an Oprah 2012 favorite. The stars are out. The moon is rising. All the baby animals, from peacocks to pigs to zebras, are ready for bed. Will you tuck them in and say good night? Just turn the pages and the big inviting flaps that serve as blankets cover each little creature up to its chin. This simple but endlessly satisfying novelty, with its array of goggle-eyed baby animals, bold patterns, and vibrant colors, is sure to be the book of choice for little ones everywhere, night after night.

Based on the idea that kids are more receptive to being tucked in if they first get to tuck in others, Tuck Me In! has been published in multiple languages and has been delighting little ones and their parents all over the world.

Find out more about Tuck Me In!

3 tucked in

5 winners will receive a copy of Tuck Me In! *This prize is available to U.S. and Canadian entrants.

Let’s Get Started!

The Labor Day Scavenger Hunt begins today through 11:59 pm EST, September 2, 2013.

**Here’s a hint to get to you started:**
If you don’t have time to hunt, maybe you can SCHEDULE a time later to do it.

Day 2 Hint
Baby slept like a dream for the first 3 months, but at 4 months old, no more!

Day 3 Hint
If your baby won’t nap, you’d probably search for this article to find out why.

Day 4 Hint
Ten fingers, ten toes, 10 tips for helping baby sleep.

Day 5 Hint
Rocking, swinging, pacifier, feeding…when baby depends on these to go to sleep, then it can be a problem.

Day 6 Hint
The 4 month sleep regression was hard, but now baby is 9 months old and it’s happening again!

Day 7 Hint
Your toddler may be able to count to 5 but do you know these 5 things that might be affecting her sleep?

Check back daily on The Baby Sleep Site Facebook page or follow The Baby Sleep Site on Twitter where we’ll be posting additional hints!

Happy Hunting!

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