Importance of Emotional Well-being in Sleep

emotional well being Nov 05, 2020

As part of my continued certification with the International Maternity Institute as a child sleep consultant, it is now required for us professionals to include emotional wellbeing as one of the foundations of healthy sleep habits. According to the Mental Health Foundation, “the emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health.”

Those of you who have worked with me know the level of commitment that is required for your child to be on a predictable yet flexible schedule, having regular naps, proper nutrition, sleep environment that supports good sleep, how light/dark cycle controls your child’s body clock and having consistent bedtime routine. These are the basic foundations that need to be established before introducing a behavioral approach (timed checks, gradual withdrawal, pick up/put down etc) to fix the problem.

Moving forward, I will now include the emotional well-being of the child and the parent, on top of the elements of...

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My Daughters’ Sleep During Vacation

naps sleeping bag travel Nov 05, 2020

My 5 year old had been asking and asking to go for a vacation or in her words “sleep in a hotel room” ever since the school holidays started. Last Friday, we went for a short 3D2N trip at Swiss Garden Damai Laut, Lumut. It was also planned to coincide with my husband’s best man’s wedding in Sitiawan.

Previously, I would prepare for the trip at least a day before. Making sure that I brought their sleep stuff along to make it as familiar as possible in a new environment. I would also make sure that by the time we check in, we would ask for a baby cot. Due to very busy schedule leading up to the trip, I had no time to do any of that! Oh boy.. I thought I was in for a couple of crazy nights.

The things that I forgot to bring along were Amelyn’s baby sleep bag, GroClock and her lovey – bantal busuk.

So we arrived, checked in and requested for a baby cot. When the cot arrived, it was so sad. It was basically a pack and play with a thin mattress. My...

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5 Benefits of Sharing a Bedroom

room sharing Nov 05, 2020

Maybe you think having a room each for your kids would be ideal, but there are lots of benefits of sharing a bedroom among siblings. Many families have no choice in the matter, but my husband and I choose to have our girls sleep together in the room even though we have another two spare bedrooms in the house. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, the thought had already occurred to move our eldest daughter to her own bedroom. We never could do it before the arrival of the baby – procrastination, no time and many other excuses – so we decided to do it when my youngest was ready to move out of our bedroom.

You may think how on earth we managed to do it, how we handled the crying, and won’t one wake another up when sharing a bedroom? Well, most toddlers usually just sleep through loud noises even when his or her little sibling is crying. That is exactly the case with my eldest. Once she is asleep, she’s in deep sleep until wake up time.

My...

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How To Ease Nighttime Separation With A Lovey

lovey Nov 05, 2020

For us Malaysians, “bantal busuk” is more of an endearing term that we use for loveys. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in a form of a pillow or bolster. It could be a blankie, teddy, or any stuffed animal that your child has formed an attachment with. Sometimes loveys get a bad rep. Especially when it is also associated with “busuk” or that certain smell that has grown on it that your child just loves.

It need not be bad. In fact, a lovey helps the baby cope with nighttime separation (if she is sleeping in her own cot), making her feel safe and sound when you are not with her. And you could limit the use of loveys during sleep time if you fear the thought of her bringing it with her to school! That rarely ever happens by the way.

If your child has not shown any preference or not yet attached to a lovey, here are a few ways to forge that bond:

  • Wait until she is at least 6 months old before you introduce one. Only because you want to be sure that she...
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How To Know When You’re Ready For Change In Sleep Habits

readiness Nov 05, 2020

I’d like to share some tips with parents on how to know when you are really ready to change your child’s sleep habits for the better. You know that you want your baby to sleep better, and you kinda have a rough idea how it would be like. But how do you know for sure?

1. You have discussed with your spouse and the two of you are absolutely positive that you want to make a change. If one of you are not on board with change, it will most likely end up in failure and frustration.

2. You are ready to commit and follow through the sleep plan with absolute consistency.

3. You have very clear goals to achieve, such as “for my baby to stay asleep for at least 4 to 5 hours until the next night feed” for example.

4. You are aware that there will likely be some protest and tears, so even a small inconsistency can cause much more frustration and confusion for the child.

5. You are willing to work with a rough “schedule” or framework if you really want a...

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7 Helpful Tips To Battling Your Toddler’s Bedtime Fears

nightmare Nov 05, 2020

Nightmares affect 50% of children and occur most often in the 3-6 year age group. Most of the time, up to about 5 years of age, they are not able to tell apart the dream and reality. Even after the child is frightened and awake, she would still think that the dream is real and still happening. It is usually monsters or hantu (ghosts) which haunt our young children at night since these are the threatening figures that our little ones are exposed to in books and television shows.

The way they express their fears depends a lot on how well they can communicate it to you according to their age and language skills. Perhaps your child is showing her fears when you tuck in to her bed, or when the light is off and the room is completely dark for few seconds before her eyes adjust to the darkness. Sometimes you might get a late night visitor to your bed. My 5 year old still occasionally comes to my side of the bed and wakes me up. But she is old enough to understand dream is not...

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Gentle Method To Make Naps Last Longer

naps Nov 05, 2020

I’m gonna let you in on a method to get your baby or toddler to nap longer. I have tried this several times on Amelyn and most of the time it works. Please bear in mind that what works for my child may not work for yours and what works for most babies may not work for yours either. :):) The method is called “Wake To Sleep”.

What is Wake To Sleep method? Well, this is the only exception to the rule of never wake a sleeping baby. It is to gently wake the baby up just before she comes to the end of her sleep cycle, can range from thirty to forty five minutes, and shushing her back to sleep again.

How do I do that? First recognize your child’s nap patterns. Let’s say she wakes up on the mark at 45 minutes. This is no coincidence. This means her sleep cycle lasts 45 minutes. What you do next is to go to her after 40 minutes of nap and you rub her back, stroke her hair or simply call her name if she’s a light sleeper. When she is rousing, you can...

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How To Make The Big Girl/Boy Bed Transition

bed transition Nov 05, 2020

Making the transition would usually happen when the child is two years old onwards. It could be earlier, if your child has mastered the art of escaping from her cot and that would be very dangerous. Two years old is the so-called magic age because they are able to understand the rule of not leaving or getting out of her bed. Any earlier, say 18 months, it would be frustrating for both toddler and parents to sleep train her in her own big bed.

If your child has been sleeping in her own cot all this while, try to wait until your child is at least 2, but also don’t wait too long to make this transition if you’re expecting another child. You would want to start the process at least 3 months before the baby is due. Also during this switch, it’s very important to stick to the current bedtime rules and routine – more important than ever to be consistent at this point.

Here are some tips to help with the transition:

1. Do talk about the transition and involve your...

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Striking A Balance For Working Mothers

partnership Nov 05, 2020

Striking a balance between family and career for full time working parents, especially mothers, is so crucial to the family’s well being. Being a full time working mother and a part time child sleep consultant myself, I know how many hats we have to wear every day from a corporate hat, employee hat, wife hat, mother hat, to daughter hat and many more. To switch from one hat to another is very taxing if all the responsibilities are borne by the mother alone. Not mentioning the worry and guilt they have to endure by leaving their young children at daycares that are not equipped with highly trained caregivers. Simply because high quality and affordable daycare centers are impossible to find. Some mothers just do not have the choice because their working hours are not flexible to suit a young child’s needs. As a result, these poor mothers just have to choose a daycare which is so-so because that is all they can afford. Let’s not even get started with the lack of...

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Handling Parental Advice About Sleep

Uncategorized Nov 05, 2020

I have been feeling somewhat uncomfortable with a certain support network recently, simply because some of them are judgmental, sarcastic and insensitive to mothers who really needed the unbiased support. The most recent incident was when these so-called supportive network started ranting and judging in a closed forum group, about parenting choices that other parents make with their children. I understand that there are many parenting choices that we as parents don’t see eye to eye with, but it does not give us the right to be disrespectful to their choices.

Hence, I feel compelled to write this post as support and assurance to parents, especially new ones, that whatever choice you make for your baby is the best one for YOUR family. Besides, you know your baby more than anybody else does.

In sleep training context, the debate about this topic will be endless. There are parents who swear that cry it out was the best decision that they ever made. Then there are other...

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