A Brand New Baby Sleep Site® E-Book, Just For You!

A New E-Book, from The Baby Sleep Site®!Since 2008, The Baby Sleep Site® has provided parents from all over the world with the tools, tips, resources, and personalized help they need to get their babies and toddlers sleeping well. With 4 e-Books, 3 free guides, over 200 blog articles, almost 15 Tele-seminars, and 9 unique sleep consultation packages for new clients, The Baby Sleep Site® is quite literally FULL of information about baby and toddler sleep!

But it’s occurred to us that we’re missing something. We have loads and loads of information for babies who are 4 months of age or older, but…what about the newborns?

What about expecting parents who want to know how to prepare for the realities of baby sleep?

What about first-time parents who are just a few weeks in to parenting, and who feel completely overwhelmed by their newborn’s sleep challenges?

And what about those experienced, veteran parents who need a refresher course in newborn sleep, or who want to avoid making the same sleep-related ‘mistakes’ with their newborn that they made with their older children?

A New E-Book, for Parents of Newborns

We created our free guide about newborn sleep, 15 Baby Sleep Facts New Parents Must Know, so that we would have a resource to offer these parents.

But that wasn’t enough. We wanted to offer something that was even more helpful – something comprehensive, that addressed every facet of a newborn’s development, and how each of those facets affect sleep. A resource that would help parents understand…

  • …how feeding and sleep work together (including tips and insights from Miriam, our on-staff lactation consultant).
  • …how our newborns communicate with us, and what our newborns’ body language, cries, and cues indicate about their sleep needs (including steps to decoding newborn cries, and techniques for handling colic).
  • …how gentle routines can help shape and organize our newborns’ sleep (including a variety of routines to use during growth spurts, illnesses, and travel).
  • …how to begin laying the foundation for a healthy sleep and feeding schedule (including sample daily schedules for breastfed and formula fed babies).

Essential Keys to Your Newborn's SleepAnd now, after months of work, it’s finally ready! Parents, we are thrilled (THRILLED!) to present to you the newest e-Book in the Baby Sleep Site® family of products:

Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep
Help Your Newborn Sleep Better Now and Throughout the First Year

And guess what? Because all of us here at The Baby Sleep Site® know first-hand exactly how exhausting and overwhelming the newborn stage can be, we’ve included the option to purchase the e-Book PLUS a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that’s created specifically for your newborn.

Want more information? Interested in downloading a free sample of the book? Ready to purchase your instant download now, and get started on improving sleep tonight?

Head on over to the Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep page now!

Coming Soon, to The Baby Sleep Site®…

…something special, just for you!

Coming Soon to The Baby Sleep Site®

Psssst…can we let you in on a little secret? We’ve been hard at work these past few months, creating something new. Something great. Something we are so proud of. And something that we think is going to be a big, big help to our Baby Sleep Site® community.

And now, after months and months of painstaking work — it’s almost ready! And we can’t wait to show it to you. That’s why we hope you’ll join us on Tuesday, October 15th to ‘unwrap’ our newest Baby Sleep Site® arrival!

Oh, and did we mention there will be prizes? ;) Because let’s be honest…who doesn’t love to win free stuff?

So be sure to stop by on Tuesday, October 15th as we unveil our latest project and hand out fun prizes!

Sign Up Today for Our FREE Guide About Newborn Baby Sleep!

Free Guide to Newborn Baby Sleep
4 e-Books. 3 free guides. Over 200 blog articles. Almost 15 Tele-seminars. 9 unique sleep consultation packages for new clients. It’s safe to say that at the Baby Sleep Site®, we have A LOT of resources about baby and toddler sleep!

And guess what? We are adding even more!

Introducing Our Guide to Newborn Sleep: 15 Baby Sleep Facts New Parents Need to Know

For the last several months, our team has been working on resources just for parents of newborns. And now, we’re thrilled to be able to offer the first of those resources – our FREE guide on newborn sleep, 15 Baby Sleep Facts New Parents Must Know. These resources are perfect for…

  • …pregnant moms and their partners, who want to prepare for the realities of newborn sleep before the baby arrives.
  • …new, first-time parents of newborns who feel overwhelmed by their babies’ sleeping patterns and need practical answers to their urgent sleep-related questions.
  • …experienced parents of newborns who have had challenging sleepers before, and who want to avoid chronic sleep deprivation this time around.
  • …experienced parents who feel like they need a ‘refresher course’ in the basics of newborn sleep.

This straightforward, practical guide can easily be read in one sitting – perfect for exhausted parents! It highlights the basics of newborn sleep, and answers parents’ most common sleep questions, including…

  • …”How much sleep does my newborn need, and how can I help him get it?”
  • …”Why doesn’t my newborn just fall asleep when she gets tired?”
  • …”Why does my newborn mix up his days and nights, and how can I solve this problem?”
  • …”What is colic, exactly, and how can I cope with it?”
  • …”How can I make sense of my newborn’s changing sleep patterns?”
  • …”What kinds of sleep and feeding routines will help maximize my newborn’s sleep?”
  • …”What techniques can I try at home to help my newborn sleep soundly at night and during naps?”

Know friends or family members who have a newborn at home, or who are expecting a baby soon? We hope you will consider referring them to the site, and encouraging them to sign up for this free guide. By signing up, they will not only have access to the free newborn sleep guide; they will also receive our weekly newsletters and blog articles, as well as additional material about newborn sleep patterns and behavior.


Have a newborn at home, or expecting a baby soon? We hope you will sign up today! Know friends or family members who have a new baby, or who are pregnant? Refer them to the site! Questions about the newborn free guide? Ask them below, in the comments section.

Newborn sleep presents its own unique challenges, but baby and toddler sleep can be tricky, too! Please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) 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. Want immediate access to all of our e-books, along with unlimited access to tele-seminars, member chats, and case studies? Consider becoming a site member. 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.

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

As moms, we all know that life changes the moment a woman has a baby. When Kelle Hampton headed into the delivery room and gave birth to Nella, however, the changes would be greater and more challenging than she could imagine. “I knew the minute I saw her that she had Down Syndrome and nobody else did,” Kelle writes. “I held her and cried. Cried and panned the room to meet eyes with anyone that would tell me she didn’t have it. I held her and looked at her like she wasn’t my baby and tried to take it in. And all I can remember of these moments is her face. I will never forget my daughter in my arms, opening her eyes over and over…she locked eyes with mine and stared…bore holes into my soul. Love me. Love me. I’m not what you expected, but oh, please love me.”

Nella’s story (one that you MUST read) is one that’s familiar for many families — families that are impacted by a child with a birth defect. In fact, about 120,000 babies, or 1 in 33, in the U.S. are born each year with a birth defect (an abnormality in structure, function, or body chemistry that results in disability or death). What’s more, birth defects are the number one cause of death in a baby’s first year of life.

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. The 2012 theme, determined by the National Birth Defects Prevention Network, is “And the Beat Goes On…Looking to the Future for Healthy Hearts.” This year’s theme reflects the fact that heart defects are the most common types of birth defects. Of course, birth defects aren’t limited to heart-related issues; the spectrum of birth defects is wide.

Birth defects can be as varied and unique as the children who have them, but four particular types top the list of the most common.

  • Heart defects rank as the most common type of birth defect, affecting as many as 1 in 100 babies born in the U.S. In addition, heart defects are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths among infants.
  • Cleft lip/palate is the second most common type, affecting about 1 in 700 babies.
  • Down Syndrome, a chromosomal defect, affects approximately 1 in 800 babies born in the U.S.
  • Spina bifida, a defect in which the spine fails to close properly during fetal development, affects about 1 in 2,500 babies.

One of the first questions people ask when considering birth defects is, “What causes them?” Unfortunately, the answer is far from simple. Birth defects are often the result of a combination of factors, and approximately 70% of birth defects have unknown causes.

  • Genetic factors are one known cause of birth defects. Genetic causes can include single-gene mutations (in which one or both parents passes a faulty gene to their baby.) Genetic factors can also include chromosomal abnormalities, meaning an error in the number or structure of a particular chromosome is to blame for the birth defect.
  • Environmental factors can also contribute to birth defects. Any environmental substance that causes birth defects is referred to as a “teratogen”. Common teratogens include alcohol and drugs (both illegal and prescription). Obviously, pregnant women should avoid taking illegal drugs, but it can be harder for expectant moms to determine which prescription drugs are safe. For example, a number of anti-depressants, which were formerly considered safe for pregnant women, have been linked to birth defects. So has the acne-fighting drug Accutane.
  • A combination of genetic and environmental factors may cause birth defects, too. In these cases, a baby’s genetic makeup makes him more likely to have a particular birth defect if he’s exposed to certain environmental substances, like alcohol or cigarette smoke. Cleft lip/palate, neural tube defects like spina bifida, and heart defects are considered to be caused by a combination of factors.
  • Certain types of infections in pregnant women can also cause birth defects. Infections include rubella, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus (CMV), syphilis, and (very rarely) chickenpox.
  • Many birth defects cannot be prevented; however, there are steps every woman can take to lower the risk of birth defects for her baby.

    • Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid, both before conceiving and during pregnancy, is the easiest and most effective step you can take to prevent birth defects. This has been shown to dramatically decrease rates of anencephaly and spina bifida, two defects related to a baby’s brain and spine.
    • Pregnant women should avoid alcohol and cigarette smoke. Drinking alcohol while pregnant increases a baby’s chances of being born with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) and smoking while pregnant increases a baby’s chances for cleft lip/palate.
    • Pregnant women should never use illegal “street” drugs: these have been linked to an large number of serious birth defects in babies, including defects of the heart.
    • If you’re pregnant, talk to a health care provider about the medications you’re currently taking. Never stop taking your medications abruptly; this can actually do more harm than good. Instead, discuss all of your medications with your doctor to determine if they’re safe to take while pregnant.
    • Prevent infections during pregnancy by using proper hygiene techniques as well as common sense.
    • Maintain a healthy weight, since obesity in pregnant women increases the risks for several serious types of birth defects, including spina bifida, cleft lip/palate, and heart defects.

    Birth defects are a heartbreaking topic to discuss, but it’s an important discussion to have. Through conversations like these, people receive the education they need to prevent, understand, and treat birth defects.

    And of course, it’s not a conversation without hope. Far from it. A birth defect is rarely a death sentence. Sometimes, it turns out to be the most unexpected kind of blessing. Kelle Hampton and her daughter Nella are proof of that. Nella’s Down Syndrome ended the story that Kelle had been imagining for her daughter, but it marked the beginning of a bigger, more beautiful story than she could’ve ever envisioned.

    As Kelle eloquently puts it, “Life moves on. And there have been lots of tears since. There will be. But, there is us. Our Family. We will embrace this beauty and make something of it. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky. I feel lucky. I feel privileged. I feel there is a story so beautiful in store…and we get to live it. Wow.”

    5,000 E-mails About Baby Sleep Later…

    You may have noticed that on a few pages on this site, it tells you how many e-mails I’ve sent to you or parents just like you, with babies struggling with sleep. This number is updated real-time, meaning if it’s 2 a.m., my time, and you keep checking if it will update, don’t bother because it won’t. :) I am not likely writing e-mails at that time in the morning. I have been known to write some as late as 12:30 a.m. or so, though, but I have been trying to get more sleep, lately (oh the irony). ;)

    I don’t pay that much attention to this number, actually. I often just go straight to the Sleep Helpdesk and not the homepage. Occasionally, though, I do like to make sure everything looks okay for new readers and about two weeks ago I noticed the number was around 4,935 and I thought “Wow! I’m almost to 5,000!” I started thinking about what I should do about this.

    So, I decided to write this post and give the 5,000th e-mail a prize. My plan was to announce this in the newsletter so a few clients might *try* to be the 5,000th e-mail. Well… I passed 5,000 before I even got to this post or a newsletter to announce it! I guess I type many more e-mails than I thought. I thought I’d easily take a couple of weeks or more to get through another 65 e-mails. More parents have been buying “Unlimited E-Mail” packages, so I’m sure that’s part of it. The counter is close to 5,100, now!

    I had to take a picture of the 5,000 (see below) and since the 5,000th e-mail has come and gone, I have since given that mom a $25 gift card to Target (her choice). Congratulations to that lucky mom! (Continue reading below)

    5,000 Baby Sleep Emails

    Static Image – Not updated like elsewhere on site

    I thought this was an appropriate time to reflect on The Baby Sleep Site and recognize just how far we, and many of you, have come. 5,000 e-mails represents much more than personalized sleep plans. Of the 5,000, many are personalized plans, but many of them have been support e-mails to help you through a difficult time.

    I like to think it isn’t always just the advice in my e-mails that helps you through a difficult time, but it’s my non-judgmental attitude and compassion that sets me apart from other sleep consultants out there. I know that YOU know that you can come back to me even if you didn’t follow one thing I said in my first e-mail and know that I will not say “I told you so” because I know how difficult what you’re going through is.

    Why do e-mails work?

    I remember one mom saying that family members were very skeptical that a person far away could help via e-mail. It is a “funny” thing. A person across the state, country, and even world, can get to know you in e-mail and offer suggestions to help your baby sleep whom she’s never met (my personal experience helps with that). Truth be told, e-mail doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes a family needs a phone call or a visit to their house (Sorry, I do not do house visits).

    In this age of e-mail on cell phones, Blackberries, iPhones, iPads, Facebook, etc., more than ever people are used to communicating electronically. But, one thing that really works with e-mailing someone else about your sleep problems is a) Your family and friends will be sooo happy that you aren’t talking about sleep anymore as much, because you have someone else to talk to, who never gets tired of talking about baby sleep and b) It holds you accountable. First, it’s not free (anymore — way too much volume, unfortunately!), so if you are willing to pay for something, you are more apt to stick to it. My friend just joined a gym for the same reason: “If I’m paying for it, I better go!” and she’s been going a lot with her husband. Second, there is something to be said about “checking in” with someone and telling them what you’ve tried, what you’ve been doing, and whether you have results. I’m sure that’s why people get personal trainers at the gym. I wouldn’t want to tell Bob the Trainer that I didn’t work out last week, would you? Similar to a gym, if you want to make changes in your life, you need to commit and follow up to look at your results.

    When The Baby Sleep Site “opened” (actually first named Pick Nick’s Brain and was changed after a very revealing survey — clever is not always welcomed by tired parents!), I seriously never imagined it would get this “big” (which is all relative because we “only” have 80,000+ visitors per month, so far, not millions…yet). I would not have guessed that in such a short time I’d send over 5,000 e-mails to parents across the globe. Granted, I don’t charge for every e-mail, of course, but to think I’ve touched this many lives is truly inspiring. I receive blessings in e-mail a lot and, for that, I am more thankful than I can express. And, I continue to get e-mails from both clients and readers who never had to buy a thing and tell me how I’ve changed their lives.

    Here is an excerpt from one such e-mail:

    Hi Nicole, I just wanted to take a few minutes and let you know how valuable your site has been to me. Up until 4 months old, our baby was wonderful when I put her down for bedtime. I would hold her in the rocker, read to her, then sing her to sleep and place her in her crib. But almost overnight, she changed from this easily-lullable baby to one that kept waking up when I put her down—very frustrating. So I searched everywhere on the web and came across your site and your explanation about the 4 month sleep regression. It was much more logical and relate-able than some of the other theories that I came across.

    The other thing I found very helpful was the practical advice about managing sleep associations. Before the 4 month sleep regression issue, I kept singing her to sleep because I enjoyed it and it was easy but I would always feel guilty because all the books and websites said that I shouldn’t as it would lead to future problems. Then, when I started to experience problems putting her down, I felt terrible that my lulling and coddling had caused this negative behavior. I liked your rationale better—lulling the baby to sleep is not a problem until it is a problem. I took it as, stop worrying and enjoy it; worry about it when or if it becomes problematic. This was very different from the cautionary message I got from other resources, for example: ‘Don’t do something or it will lead to bad things later’. Those messages always made me feel so guilty. I didn’t want to stop singing her to sleep but was deathly afraid of the consequences and once putting her to sleep became problematic, I blamed myself for being in the predicament that I was in. When I read your explanation about sleep associations, I felt relieved that I wasn’t the world’s worst mother and I hadn’t scarred my baby for life.

    Lastly, a lot of the baby resources out there have a very cautionary tone which makes neurotic people like myself worry that if they deviate from the advice, they are doomed and it’s all their fault if their babies go to heck in a handbag. Therefore, I was especially thankful for the non-punitive tone of your articles. As a first time mother, I’m in a constant state of guilt and relieving any guilt is definitely appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    I am very thankful that I’ve been able to succeed in my mission, not just to help babies sleep, but to help parents feel less guilty about doing what your instincts tell you to do. To drive home the fact that your baby won’t become a psychopath or juvenile delinquent if you don’t do things MY way or this book’s way or that doctor’s way. To show you that, together, we will find YOUR way…that way that works for YOU and YOUR baby!

    Can I help all babies sleep? Unfortunately, no. I am a realistic person and know my methods aren’t for everyone. I have a great track record, but I’m not a miracle worker, don’t have a crystal ball nor a silver bullet, and there are some limitations to being far away via e-mail. For some, one e-mail just isn’t enough no matter how hard I try, but budgets get in the way. I wish so much that I could help everyone. But, touching lives in a positive way, even if it’s just a percentage of those babies who are struggling is enough for me and more rewarding than I ever imagined.

    If you are ready to become one among over 5,000 and help me reach 10,000, please consider my one-on-one personalized sleep consultations today! We really can make a difference.

    Stay tuned for much more we are working on here at The Baby Sleep Site! I am thankful you are here for the ride. Reading the parent stories and testimonials page always reminds me of the impact I’ve had on countless families. Thank you for making this site as successful as it is. Without you, there is no The Baby Sleep Site.