What Are We Feeding Our Children?

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It’s Free Tip Tuesday time!! Today we are revisiting screen time guidelines, the question of “what are we feeding our children” goes beyond physical nutrition; what we feed their brains is equally important, especially for toddlers. A recent article has re-highlighted the negative effects of screen time, especially for toddlers.

From a sleep perspective, screen time before bed can make it harder for a toddler to fall asleep and they can lose up to 30-minutes of night sleep. From a health and growth perspective, screen time can cause language delays.

The @aap_pediatrics (American Academy of Pediatrics) doesn’t recommend screen time at all for babies under 15 months, for babies under 24 months, limited screen time is best and when used should be used with an interactive caregiver so the child is engaged in the content.

This recent article highlights the importance of pediatric sleep and showcases how it can negatively effect a toddler’s sleep patterns: touch screens impact on toddler sleep. 

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Why is sleep so important for little ones? Because it is their brain food.

Consolidated, restorative sleep is imperative for proper brain growth and development. This becomes especially important after the age of 4 months when a cognitive shift happens, influencing the structure of sleep cycles and restorative properties of sleep.

Sleep provides brain food in the way of processing sensory information and stimulating cellular growth. A child who can self-soothe, one who can independently transition between sleep cycles, will receive the most restorative and cognitively productive sleep possible.

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“The Fact Is That We’re Drunk Parenting”

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Baby boxes are a great solution to some specific issues with safe sleep; like lack of a proper, safe sleeping space. However, in some states, up to 75 percent of babies “lost to SUID had a crib or bassinet at home, while 90 percent were exposed to soft toys or pillows. So why are parents blatantly ignoring doctor’s orders?”

It appears that chronic sleep deprivation, lack of a sleep plan and a lack of perceived sleep options are what lead most parents into accidental and often unsafe co-sleeping. Chronic sleep deprivation has lead to “drunk parenting,” as coined by physician Dr. Harvey-Karp.

The solution? More sleep support and options for sleep deprived parents, which can begin with the recommendation from their doctors for options and plans to help with sleep, including the recommendation of a sleep consultant.

For the full article: http://www.vogue.com/article/baby-box-phenomenon-harvey-karp

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Are You Ready To Sleep Through The Night?

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Many experts argue that no child ever really “sleeps through the night,” stating that everyone, adults included, will still have sleep arousals leading to brief wakings that most people don’t even remember.

For semantics sake, when we use that phrase in sleep consulting, we are referring to a night of sleep free from wakings that require parental intervention.

So when exactly is it feasible for that to happen? Once your child is 4 months (adjusted age) or older, they experience a cognitive burst and are able to begin working on becoming independent sleepers.

Prior to 4 months you can begin creating healthy habits and work on sleep shaping which can go a long way in helping to avoid the typical pitfalls we see when it comes to the foundation of great sleep.

Reach out today so your whole family can sleep well tonight.

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Happy Easter!

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Sleep Tight, Tonight!

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Is Your Child A Crib Climber?

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This is just a NO, NO, NO! There are many interventions that should be used prior to deciding that it’s time to move to a toddler bed. Making that transition too soon can cause a slew of #problems!

Before making any transitions, revisit our guide: crib to bed transition 

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Worried Your Child Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep?

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Sleep is the great equalizer, bringing your entire system back to homeostasis and allowing all of your vital systems to heal, recharge and grow. If you have to skimp on something this week, please don’t let it be #sleep. It seems like the easiest thing to give up, but it’s actually the most beneficial to your overall health, especially if you have a full plate or are dealing with any stress.

Worried that your child might not be getting enough sleep? Here are some things to consider…

  • Does your child fall asleep pretty easily? (20-minutes or less)
  • Do they wake up before 6 a.m. regularly and are unable to fall back to sleep?
  • Do they have consistent and regular night wakings? (This is especially important for all babies over 12 months or for those under 12 months who no longer need any night feedings)
  • Are they getting enough day time sleep?
  • Do they seem to have meltdowns or appear very tired in the early evening?
  • Are they frequently grouchy or moody?

All of the above are symptoms that your child might not be getting enough sleep. The national sleep foundation published their new recommendations and while they are great to use as guidelines, the range is large enough that it’s too hard to tell just by counting the hours. In addition to hours of sleep, we want to really check out the child’s behavior and sleep patterns to judge how well rested they are.

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Spring Has Sprung!

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Spring has sprung! For those of us in #florida that means it’s officially beach season and time to get those toes in the sand. For everyone else, don’t worry, summer is just around the corner.

Quick tip: Did you know that exposing your baby to sunlight is the easiest way to reset their circadian-rhythm and help get them adjusted to a new sleep schedule? Just another great reason to outside and enjoy as much sunny weather as you can!

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Feeling Stuck, Depressed or Anxious?

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Feeling stuck, depressed or anxious? We can help. 

I often see an internal struggle happening in parents that I work with; they have the desire to practice self-care but also believe they don’t have the time. But what if I told you that making time for your own self-care would actually help you create more time in your day?

When you practice self-care you develop the ability to stay present and focused, content to be where you are, can actually get more done and can enjoy doing it. Multi-tasking has become the newest form of addiction and it’s a never ending cycle because there will always be more to do. Running on fear and anxiety about what comes next will only ruin the present moment and the ones that follow.

These types of behaviors, thoughts and feelings are often compounded by lack of sleep. After working with families, many parents feel an intense sense of relief as those previous feelings of anxiety and depression dissipate. For others, some of those feelings have become habitual and are thought to be just another part of being a parent.

As a life coach and sleep consultant, I believe that both sleep AND self-care are integral parts of living a well-rounded life, not one you have to get through, but one you really love.

I’m so pleased to share that I have co-founded a nonprofit in Orlando that is dedicated to helping women discover the practice of self-care, allowing them to rewrite their stories and create a life they love.

Orlando Moms, if you have been considering making a little time for yourself, we have just the program for you. Holding-space.org offers a 6-week enhanced yoga & life coaching experience that provides all of the benefits of a retreat every week for 90-minutes. It’s time to live a life you love, join us.

For more information check us out at: holding-space.org.

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