How Can I Help My Toddler Sleep In His Own Bed?

  Would you like me to answer your baby sleep problem in my next video? If so, scroll down and submit your question in the comment section below. I will pick several questions a month to answer and post them here on the blog!   Hi, I’m Kim West, the Sleep Lady. Today, I’m going to answer Eric’s question: “My son is 2 1/2 years old and I’ve been trying to get him to sleep without his mom for two and a half years. She can’t stand to hear him cry and now, he is just so set on us being with him in his bed. I don’t know how to fix this. Tonight is the first night my wife agreed to let him cry and he is freaking out. I need help. How do I get a strong little boy and an even more protective mom to help my toddler sleep in his own bed and stay there through the night? -Eric.”   Consistency is Key   The most important thing is that you and your wife are united, especially with a 2 1/2 year old. I don’t want you to start a sleep plan and not be able to follow through or have your wife come in and change the plan. What happens is that you end up trying to sleep coach every other night and it will create a lot of crying (not to mention creating stress between you and your... more

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DIY Blackout Curtain for Your Nursery

DIY Curtains

It seems like whenever you get into a good routine, something changes. Most recently, it seems to be Daylight Savings Time. Whether your main problem is that the sun rises too early in the morning, shines too brightly throughout the day or stays in the sky too late in the evening, the bottom line remains the same: Nature won't alter its patterns based on what's going on in your nursery. But you shouldn't have to base your baby's sleep patterns around the time change, either. And with a simple blackout curtain for your nursery, your child's sleep schedule falls back under your control (relatively speaking, of course!) in no time. Here's the window that I needed to cover...and I'm hoping this room will become the nursery...yes, dear husband, that not so subtle hint is for you!   DIY Blackout Curtains, Step 1   I started by hanging a drapery rod and attaching curtain rings with clips. This way, you don't have to worry about creating a pocket in your fabric for the rod or installing grommets; you simply attach the curtain by the clips and you're done.   DIY Blackout Curtains, Step 2   Next, I gathered the rest of my materials. I used a canvas drop cloth (6' x 9') from Home Depot... more

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Introducing Jen Varela as My Featured GSC Coach!

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Join me in welcoming Jen Varela, owner of Sugar Night Night as my Featured Gentle Sleep Coach! She is going to be available on my Facebook Page for the next two weeks to help answer your baby sleep questions! Since 2010 Jen has been helping families have sweet sleep by achieving their sleep goals whether in a co-sleeping environment, room sharing or families with their children in a separate room.  Jen’s experience ranges from helping families with infants in sleep shaping skills to families with toddlers and/or kindergartners who are transitioning to their own room for the first time. Jen Varela is the mother of two children. She holds a B.S. degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Counseling from California State University Fullerton, California. She is a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants and a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach℠ trained by Kim West, “The Sleep Lady”. Contact Jen Varela: Call:... more

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Do We Need a Nap Coaching Break?

crib to bed

  Would you like me to answer your nap problem in my next video? If so, scroll down and submit your question in the comment section below. I will pick several questions a month to answer and post them here on the blog!   Hi, I’m Kim West, the Sleep Lady and in today’s video blog, I’m going to answer Brooke’s question: “My 10 1/2-month old daughter has a terrible time with naps. She absolutely cannot seem to nap without nursing until fully asleep and she never naps for babysitters. I really don’t have many complaints for the nighttime sleep. She sleeps in a toddler bed in her own room for 11 to 12 hours and rarely wakes before dawn and if she does have a night awakening, she falls back to sleep quickly with either a short nursing session or a back rub and a lullaby. I’ve been doing the Shuffle for bedtime and it’s going so well that I have decided to start with naps this week but now I’m regretting it. “Yesterday for her morning nap, we did our usual routine: book, music, nursing but I set her down before she fell asleep. She cried for half an hour and I had to repeatedly pick her up, rock her or even her nurse her briefly. And when she finally did fell asleep, she woke after... more

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Is Light Keeping Your Children Awake?

Blue LIght

We depend on artificial light for work and leisure, but we seldom question whether that light is healthy or not. But new research shows that some types of artificial light can actually be dangerous to you and your family. Artificial light is something we take for granted. It’s all around us, at every moment of the day and night. When the electricity goes out and we lose that precious light for even a few minutes, our kids complain about being thrown back into the Stone Age. But do you ever really think about the amount and type of artificial light that you and your children are exposed to? Artificial light--and in particular compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light produced by electronic devices like tablets, phones and computers--emits a type of UV light called Blue Light, that has been shown to be very damaging to humans and animals. Exposure to Blue Light can interfere with sleep patterns, cause excitability in children and pets, and contribute to health problems like macular degeneration and breast cancer. “Light is the most important environmental input after food and water, in controlling bodily functions.” -- R. J. Wurtzman, Scientific... more

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Could Your Toddlers Tantrums Be Caused by Poor Sleep?

I’m sure that you’ve noticed when you don’t sleep well, you’re cranky, short tempered, and not nearly as understanding as nights when you get sufficient sleep. For our children, you may find that they don’t listen as well, are more difficult, and more resistance to your requests. In a recent study conducted by UC Berkley, researchers found that a poor night of sleep led to increased animosity and conflict the following day. So what does this mean for your children? We already know that a lack of sleep can cause behavioral issues, decreased attention span, and other problems…but I think that we often forget that poor sleep can lead to so much more. Temper tantrums, power struggles, and poor behavior are also signs of poor sleep habits. Yes, these are also signs of a typical toddler or preschooler, but these behaviors become more prevalent when your child doesn’t sleep. Many parents notice that their child doesn’t even act like themself when they’re overtired. The solution? Make sure that your children get enough quality sleep every single day. This may seem like a tall order, but really, if you follow these simple tips, you can help your child get enough sleep (and still have a little time for... more

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Can I Change My Baby’s Bad Sleep Habits?

sleep coach

Would you like me to answer your baby sleep problem in my next video? If so, scroll down and submit your question in the comment section below. I will pick several questions a month to answer and post them here on the blog!   Hi, I’m Kim West, the Sleep Lady and in today’s video blog, I’m going to answer Sarah’s question: “My daughter just turned 10 months old. She’s been sleeping through the night since she was about 4 months old and is never really giving us any resistance. She’s asleep in her crib by 8:00 p.m. and wakes somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. This week she started to wake crying around midnight and even with multiple rocking attempts, she will wake as soon as I lay her down, kicking her legs and giving me her silly little toothy grin. The longest I allowed this to go on was until 3:30 a.m. when I gave up and we went to the couch to sleep on a recliner. “I hate any type of co-sleeping but I just have to get some sleep. She crashed and slept on me until I have to get up for work at 6:30 a.m. Since then I’ve tried rocking her or giving her a bottle, giving her Tylenol and it just seems she wants to be awake and with her mommy. If I try to just leave her in her crib to... more

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Introducing Jessica Manela Litwack, LCSW as Featured Gentle Sleep

Join me in welcoming Jessica Manela Litwack, LCSW as my Featured Gentle Sleep Coach for the next two weeks! She is available on my Facebook page to help answer your baby sleep questions. Just post your questions on my wall for a chance to hear what she suggests! Jessica is offering a special 10% off her Basic Sleep Package to Kim's Facebook followers when they book a consultation during the next two weeks. Jessica works with families both locally in St. Louis and out of town via Skype and FaceTime. Contact jessica@stlouissleepcoach.com to schedule your free 15 minute consultation. To learn more about Jessica: Jessica Manela Litwack has a MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach through Kim West, LCSW-C, aka The Sleep Lady ®, a Certified Baby Planner through the International Maternity Institute, Founder of the online mom support group mamaSpace and the mother of two young children. Jessica Manela Litwack is a licensed clinical social worker, a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach through Kim West, LCSW-C, aka The Sleep Lady ®, a Certified Baby Planner through the International Maternity Institute, Founder of the online mom support... more

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Sneaky Causes of Early Rising

early rising

  Would you like me to answer your early rising problem in my next video? If so, scroll down and submit your question in the comment section below. I will pick several questions a month to answer and post them here on the blog!   Hi, I’m Kim West, the Sleep Lady. In today’s video, I’m going to answer Lilia’s question about early rising: “Hi there. My baby girl has just turned 7 months and her sleeping patterns are rapidly going downhill. From 4 1/2 to 6 months, she was sleeping from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., lucky me. Life is great and I was a happy mom. We had loads of energy to play with our baby and our 3-year old son. Over the last month, my baby went from waking at 7:00 a.m. to waking at 5:00 a.m. (wide awake). And she’s now waking at 3:00 a.m. (wide awake) until 5:00 a.m. I’ve introduced solids in that time thinking she was hungry, but that doesn’t seem to help. “I tried giving her bottle at 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. when she wakes but she just doesn’t seem hungry and she only takes 15 milliliters. I’ve tried resettling her in her bed but that always ends in tears. I’ve tried resettling her with the dummy but that doesn’t work. How do I go about sleep training and... more

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The Truth About Tears

tears

What do you think of when you hear the words “sleep training” or “sleep coaching”? I’m guessing that for a majority of you who haven’t experienced The Shuffle images of screaming, crying children left alone is one of the first things that comes to mind. I hear the same fear of tears from parents who come to me for help. No one wants to listen to their baby cry-including me. No one wants to leave their child alone, especially when your baby is frustrated, scared, and overly emotional about a big change that they don’t fully understand. While cry-it-out methods like Weissbluth and Ferber work for some, they are just too extreme for me. I believe that there is a gentle, gradual solution that will help EVERY child sleep that involves far less tears…if any at all.   From Good Night, Sleep Tight: “Through my Sleep Lady system, you will learn when and how to put your child to bed when he is still awake—drowsy but still awake. And yes, you may well have some tears. But you will be able to respond to them, which is exactly what your heart and brain (not to mention all that attachment research we just reviewed) tell you to do. Hearing those cries can be hard on parents. It’s easier if you remind... more

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