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Tag Archives: sleeping

  • Why Self-Soothing is Important (and 5 Tips How)

    Self-Soothing is ImportantSelf-soothing is an important skill that all babies have to learn eventually. It’s how we all calm ourselves so we can fall back asleep. During the first few months of life, mom and/or dad do all of the soothing. They nurse, comfort, rock or sing to babies to get them to relax.

    But imagine you’re a baby. One minute you fall asleep in mom’s loving arms, the next you wake up alone in a crib. That can be scary! If baby wakes up where she went to sleep, she’ll be relaxed and inclined to fall back asleep.

    But you want your baby to learn to do it on their own at some point so you can actually get a full night’s sleep. They can self-soothe in a number of ways: thumb-sucking, reinserting a pacifier, rubbing a special blanket, or anything else they find calming.

    When do babies learn to self-soothe?

    When babies are born, they aren’t capable of regulating their emotions. They need parents to step in and comfort them when they become angry or scared or frustrated or tired. Some babies gain the ability to self-soothe around three months old. Most have it by six months. You want to start working at self-soothing by six months before any strong sleep associations have formed.

    Why should babies self-soothe?

    Simply, for better sleep! Babies who self-soothe sleep longer and with fewer interruptions. When they wake during non-feeding times, they can quickly fall asleep without waking up anyone else. Plus mom and dad get some sleep too!

    Self-soothing does NOT mean ignoring your baby or letting her cry until she falls asleep.

    How does one teach a baby to self-soothe?

    It’s pretty simple, but you have to stick with it. Once you commit to teaching self-soothing, stick with it unless you think your baby is too young to learn, then you should wait a few more weeks.

    1. Wean baby from the swaddle. They usually need their hands free to self-soothe. That’s why the Slumber Sleeper is perfect, because baby feels safe and secure, but her hands are free to get to her mouth.
    2. Create a strong, consistent sleep routine. There should be a strong signal that it’s sleep time (for night sleep and naps) and several steps that lead to sleep so baby understands the cues.
    3. Lay baby down drowsy, but awake. You want baby to fall asleep without mom or dad’s arms. It might take her a few more minutes to fall asleep, but that’s OK. The goal is to get baby to fall into sleep on her own.
    4. Don’t rush into baby’s room at the first cry. You want to get her a minute or two to self-soothe before you do it for her.
    5. Teach self-soothing before age one. Children who never learn to soothe until after one year old have trouble doing it until they are as old as four.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site 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.

  • The Startle Reflex and Your Baby

    The Startle Reflex and Your BabyHave you ever set your little one down to sleep only to watch her suddenly throw her hands out as if in fright? You might be concerned that you’ve done something wrong or maybe that there’s an underlying medical condition at play, but there’s nothing to worry about. This is called the Moro reflex, or more simply, the startle reflex.

    Babies are born with an array of interesting reflexes that we eventually outgrow, each designed to play a role in our survival. Human babies require more care and for a longer period of time than babies of any other species, so we have evolved with a few tricks to keep us safe.

    When exposed to a loud noise or a sudden movement, the Moro reflex can cause your baby to flail. The general belief is that back when humans were more ape, the reflex helped babies latch on to mom’s body if they fell. Nearly all babies experience this reflex, but it only lasts for four or five months after birth.

    If this reflex happens during sleep, the baby may wake up. It causes sleepless babies and frustrated parents all over the world. There’s nothing we can do to prevent the reflex from occurring, but there are a few things we can do to lessen its affect and help our babies sleep.

    1. When you lay your baby down in the crib or bassinet, try and make the delivery as gradual as possible by continuing that touch connection for a short period of time so that she feels as sense of you even after she is on her own and does not feel like she is falling.
    2. Try and make sure the room she sleeps in is not only dark, but is free from sudden sounds. Using white noise that is consistent and loud enough goes a long way to filter out noise changes in the home that may startle her.
    3. Make sure you have established a good nap and bedtime routine so that baby knows what to expect and feels secure with that consistency.
    4. And the most important thing you can do to help your child with the Moro reflex is to swaddle your baby snugly (but not too tight) so she always feel comforted and secure. When she startles, she’ll immediately feel her edges and calm right back down.

    The Slumber Sleep System is an effective tool for helping parents get around this reflex. By starting with the Slumber Swaddle baby will get the closeness they need to fall back to sleep immediately and then by continuing with the Slumber Sleeper after about 3-5 months of age you will help your baby continue to get that sense of closeness and bonding just like a swaddle as baby can always feel her edges. This reminds her of the time she spent in the womb, triggering feels of security and safety. It helps children fall back asleep faster without the need to summon mom or dad.

    Here’s a quote we received from Katie who found the Slumber Sleeper effective to soothing her son’s aggressive Moro reflex.

    “My 15 week old son had exaggerated Moro or startle reflux to the point where I first thought he was having seizures as he was waking excessively and the episodes were quite unsettling. My pediatrician recommended the Slumber Sleeper with the swaddle attachment and the very first time I put him in the sleeper it worked like magic! I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I was as although my pediatrician said he would outgrow the reflux soon, the episodes were quite alarming. The Slumber Sleeper just settled him so nicely- not only did he not wake as often in the night but he began to sleep for longer stretches of time.” 

    - Katie D., mother to Dylan

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site 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.

  • How Light is Keeping Your Baby Awake and 4 Ways to Stop It

    nightlight keeping baby awakeIn order to provide safe and effective sleep for our kids, we have to optimize their sleep environment. That means making their sleep space as comfortable and non-disruptive as possible. Just like adults, too much light keeps children awake, but you’ll also be surprised to know that the color of the light is also important.

    The light-dark cycle we’re exposed to every day is how we regulate our sleep cycle (or circadian rhythm) and even some of the hormones in our body. However, we often put night lights in our children’s rooms to make them feel safe, but they can cause more harm than good.

    Even if our kids (or adults) fall asleep in a room with gentle light, the brain can detect that light through the eyelids. This could inhibit the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps control our sleep-wake cycles. Typically melatonin is high in the late evening and throughout the night, then begins to decrease towards the morning. Essentially, it keeps you asleep.

    Blue, white and green spectrum light are both melatonin-suppressive. They stop your body from making melatonin, which eventually cause us to rise. This is the type of light emitted from electronic devices and most household lightbulbs.

    From a Harvard study: “While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).”

    What’s even worse: some research shows that blue light may contribute to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

    Here are some ways you can make the sleep space as conducive to sleep as possible:

    1. Nix the nightlights

    The change might be tough to make, especially if your children are used to sleeping with nightlights, but their health is worth it. A simple and effective way to remove nightlights is to move them out of the room over time. Move them from their usual position to an outlet near the door, then an outlet in the hallway, down the hallway, etc. Eventually you’ll be able to do away with them without incident.

    2. Turn off electronic devices

    Make sure all televisions and computers are switched off during the night. Studies have shown that those children who watched TV and played video games before going to bed took longer to fall asleep than those who watched none at all. Even the light from alarm clocks can interfere with their sleep. (Most people don’t have an alarm clock in the nursery, but it’s worth mentioning since these sleep tips apply to anyone at any age.)

    3. Use red tone lights

    You’ll need light in some places, like the hallway or bathroom for when kids wake up. Use lights that work on the red spectrum so they don’t disrupt sleep. Here are three great options: the Himalayan Salt Lamp, the Ikea Patrull Nightlight and the OriGlam Light Color Change Humidifier.

    4. Install blackout curtains

    Blackout curtains are a great way to keep outside light out of the room. These don’t just stop the sunlight. They also stop car headlights, street lamps, moonlight and other weather related light from penetrating the room and keeping your little one awake. They also reduce your heating and cooling costs.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site 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.

  • How Much Sleep do Babies and Kids Need?

    To support their rapid development (mentally, emotionally and physically), babies and children need a tremendous amount of sleep. Not only does sleep rejuvenate them and collect energy, but it’s the time when a majority of the growing takes place. Even missing an hour of sleep in a day can impact their personality, cognitive functions, and overall development.

    Many parents know their kids require more sleep, but not by how much. Often it’s hard to tell if our children need more sleep, or require some other need to be met. The signs of insufficient sleep aren’t always the same for small children, especially babies. In fact, sleep deprivation in babies can appear as restlessness and hyperactivity. When they’re overtired, they resist any attempts to help, including bedtime.

    The following are some simple guidelines to tell you how much sleep a child needs. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and your child might deviate slightly. If you notice significant difference between your child’s sleep schedule and this list, consult your pediatrician.


    Image and information credit: National Sleep Foundation

    • Newborns (0 to 3 months) need 14 to 17 hours of sleep each day, with no less than 11 or more than 19.
    • Infants (4 to 11 months) need 12 to 15 hours of sleep each day, with no less than 10 or more than 18.
    • Toddlers (1 to 2 years) need 11 to 14 hours of sleep each day, with no less than 9 or more than 16.
    • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years) need 10 to 13 hours of sleep each, with no less than 8 or more than 14.
    • Kids (6 to 13 years) need 9 to 11 hours of sleep each day, with no less than 7 or more than 12.
    • Teenagers (14 to 17 years) need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each day, with no less than 7 or more than 11.
    • Young adults (18 to 25) need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day, with no less than 6 or more than 11.

    If you suspect your child isn’t getting adequate sleep and you’ve done everything you can to help them, talk to your doctor. Long term sleep deprivation isn’t healthy for anyone, but especially not for children who are struggling to grow.

    Your doctor may be able to teach your some helpful techniques or recognize an underlying medical condition (like sleep apnea, which we’re learning is more common in young children than we thought). Often sleep struggles can be resolved by changing the sleep environment and bedtime habits.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site 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.

  • Attachment Parenting and the Slumber Sleeper

    Every parent has been in this situation before.

    (Note: This is not our video. We do not advocate the use of bumpers in a crib and such a practice is discouraged by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep recommendations.)

    Sometimes our little ones just want to be cuddled. They don’t have any physical needs as long as they are fed, changed and clean; but they long for the closeness of mom or dad. They long for that feeling of comfort and security they felt while in the womb.

    Sometimes no sophisticated gadget, swing, or vibrating lounger will make your baby happy. He or she just wants to be in your arms. As parents, when our children should be sleeping alone but can't sleep and want to be held, especially at nighttime, parents are often temped to give in and bring them into the parents' bed. Unfortunately, parents should avoid giving children this type of "sleep crutch" as it will only prolong the child's inability to sleep independently.

    As our children's emotional wellbeing is so important and as even small infants learn early on how to get mom and dad to surrender quickly, few parents have ever been fans of letting children cry themselves to sleep. However, co-sleeping and other "sleep crutches" such as the late night rocking chair are of little or no lasting value to either the parent or child. So, how do we face this challenge? Isn’t there a way to offer the child an independent, yet safe sleep environment that allows them to feel comfortable and secure while at the same time allowing the parents to get a much needed good night's rest?

    With the current movement in attachment parenting, shown by the rise in baby "wearing" and co-sleeping; parents of today are obviously seeking this closeness. However, when faced with numerous studies showing tragic results to infants from co-sleeping, parents today must consider alternate, thoughtful and safe practices such as those recommended in the AAP guidelines for sleep.

    The Slumber Sleeper was designed to allow the baby to always feel cuddled and secure. It simulates the comforting experience of being in mom's or dad’s arms and is similar to the enclosed feeling they enjoyed in the womb and early infant swaddling. When the child awakens, they are aware of the soft touch and secure comfort of the special fabric. This bypasses their immediate need for a parent's touch. As they recognize the feeling of warmth and security, they are soon back to sleep. The Slumber Sleeper is just like a little slice of sleep magic.

    It is important for our children to learn early on about sleep independence and have the opportunity to sleep train properly. The value of good sleep habits for children and the positive effect of well rested parents, can go a long way to promote and maintain an atmosphere of patience, leading to a happy, healthy home environment. The Slumber Sleeper is an excellent tool to help families successfully achieve that coveted goal.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site 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.

    Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston via Compfight cc

  • Nursery DIY: Ideas for Decorating Baby’s Room

    When it comes to your baby’s room, you want to make it as nurturing and comfortable as possible. Your baby is going to spend a lot of time sleeping in the room during the first few months, so it’s important to make sure this room is a loving environment. Here are some do-it-yourself projects that you might enjoy to put your personal touch on the room.

    1. Chalkboard Dresser (Elledesign.ca)

    DIY projects for baby nursery

    Use chalkboard paint to cover any surface of the dresser (or any piece of furniture, really) that you like. Not only does this give your child another place to safely doodle and be creative, but it gives you a great way to keep the room organized.

    2. Yarn-Wrapped Letters (RepeatCrafterMe.com)

    DIY projects for baby nursery

    The ABCs are a staple of childhood. They’re usually one of the first songs and lessons a child learns. Plus, it’s good to familiarize your child with writing later on so they readily accept reading lessons. Simply pick up some wooden letters from your local craft store and wrap them with colored yarn to give them a softer appeal.

    3. Crayon Monogram (ChicCheapNursery.com)

    DIY projects for baby nursery

    This is a fun way to really personalize your baby’s room. All you have to do is print out a letter in a font you enjoy on a piece of paper. Arrange the crayons over the letter and cut them with a knife to the proper fit, then glue them to the paper. Frame and hang.

    4. Story Book Wall Art (HoneyWe’reHome.com)

    DIY projects for baby nursery

    This is a super simple project. First, find several pages in a storybook that have some meaning. These are usually the end pages that offer a moral or lesson. (I Love You More is a great book because each page states something the narrator loves. Goodnight Moon is a good one too.) Slice the page out of the book and center within a frame. Secure the page with tape.

    5. Growth Chart (ICanFindtheTime.com)

    DIY projects for baby nursery

    Most families record a child’s growth (by height) somewhere in the home, usually in a doorway. Using a long piece of wood and some wooden letters, decorate something a little more special. Figure out how you’re going to hang it before you add the height marks. You’ll want the bottom of the chart to start around three feet.

    6. Geometric Wall Art (Curbly.com)

    DIY projects for baby nursery

    I like this because it doesn’t take a lot of artistic talent, but it looks like it does. Use it to add some color to a room, break up large walls, and give baby something fun to look at. You’ll need wooden circles, paint, a few dowels, and tape (to make straight lines while painting).

    organic bedding and accessoriesGuest Blog by Jennifer Cicci of Babee Talk

    As a mother, Jennifer understands the importance of offering nothing by the best for baby. Motivated by teeth marks on her children’s cribs, she decided to design a teething rail cover after trying products that didn’t measure up when it came to quality or style. What she found out made her even more concerned about children’s safety and health: The toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic materials have been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, and weakened immune systems.

    She asked herself, “What if I could revolutionize the way parents decorated their crib with a safe and stylish teething rail cover that could be placed on the crib from day one?” Babee Talk® launched in 2014 with organic bedding and accessories. Chew-friendly, drool-friendly, and organic inside and out, her products ensure a healthy start in life for babies.

    She only offers products that she would provide for her own children. She hopes moms and dads will start to talk about the importance of choosing safe, healthy, eco-friendly products, especially for babies.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site 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.

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