TLB Comic: Co-sleeping, You’ll Sleep Like a Baby + Bonus Frame

by Jennie Bernstein

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Our Secrets For More Sleep… Or Just Commiserating On Wanting More

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Hey there sleepyhead!  Feeling drained (literally) and lacking in sleep?  Welcome to parenthood! Of course this is when the chorus chimes in with “but they are totally worth it!”.  Yeah, ok yes, we get that but you know whats nice..not being so tired that you begin to question all the great mysteries of life and you sanity along with them.  Sleep is necessary, its important, and especially for a breastfeeding Momma and her partner for that matter.  In this edition of our weekly newsletter we are talking about sleep and how you can get more, without sacrificing your breastfeeding relationship. Have a great week Leakies!
-TLB Team
 

Hey Leakies!

Tired? You’re not alone. Not at all. In fact, studies shown that 4 months isn’t enough to recover from the fatigue that comes from having a new baby.

Lots and lots of parents are tired.

It is possible that it’s that your balance is off and it is something that nutrition and exercise could help with, or maybe it is even more serious and you need to see your health care provider for more information, or possibly it is depression and you need to speak to someone about your emotional and mental health, or maybe you’re like me- a night owl parent trying to function in an early bird world

 

This is an excerpt from our TLB email, to continue reading, click here.

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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SAFE SLEEP: What it IS. What it ISN’T.

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Bonus giveaway code for the Baby Guy Box hidden in this week’s email, don’t miss out! 
Sleep. It’s on the brain. What is enough? How do we get more of it? Can you actually MAKE little people sleep? (HA! Trick question.) What is safe? What works for me? We’re talking about Safe Sleep for all ages this week with our TLB family. Want to get more advice on parenting or connecting with your family? Jump down to Our Stable Table and Beyond Moi or get connected on our NEW Facebook Group for more tips on #TLBsafeKids

                This Newsletter and #TLBsafeKids brought to you by the generous support of                     
                               
Hey Leakies,How ya sleepin’? One of the most common questions new parents get is if their baby is a “good” sleeper or if they’re sleeping through the night “yet” (asked as soon as day 2). As if sleep is some determiner of quality parenting, these questions are poised with utmost concern, as if the number of hours an infant sleeping being the ultimate in parenting success.But nobody is asking if our babies are sleeping safely.

Well, we are. This month we’re focusing on safety with #TLBsafeKids with our sponsors with clek car seatsCalifornia Baby skin careNewton crib mattressesCatBirth Baby CarriersCrane USA humidifiers, and Rhoost and we’re talking about it all, including safe sleep. It is a controversial topic, not everyone agrees on what constitutes safe sleep arrangements for infants. Not even public health officials. Campaigns focused on completely different ends of the spectrum abound. We’re not here to tell you one right way, we’re here to engage in a conversation and share information together. We respect you to make the best, informed decision that is right for your family according to the resources, circumstances, and information that are a part of your reality.

So, is your baby sleeping safely?

Safe sleep can look several different ways. Here are some of my favorite resources for safe sleep information. Pick what works for you.

  • Co-sleeping: room-sharing. Setting up the space to work for your family is key. If the baby’s sleep space is attached to the parental bed or not depends on your needs. Room sharing could be a bassinet by your bed, a co-sleeper (such as Arm’s Reach) attached to your bed to facilitate breastfeeding, a converted crib set up to side-car with the parental bed, a free-standing crib (safe crib set-up here), or a safe mattress on the floor. There are options and it is likely you’ll need to adapt as your child grows. There’s a good amount of evidence that room-sharing can be a great thing!
  • Co-sleeping: bed sharing. Anthropologist and leading infant sleep expert, Dr. James McKenna from the University of Notre Dame has many resources for co-sleeping families here. Detailed safe co-sleeping arrangements describedhere. This WikiHow has a thorough step-by-step guide for setting up your bed sharing space safely and Rebecca Michi shares how to safely figure out what works for your family with bed-sharing here.  Why the normal infant wants to be at your chest– one of my favorite articles on normal, healthy, term infants sleep and feeding behavior.
  • Separated sleep: own room. Be it in a crib or a Montessori bed (what’s that and why?), setting your baby up in their own room also requires intentional safe set-up. I love this in-depth check-list for safe crib set-up. And here are some tips for when it is time to transition your child from a crib to a bed.
  • Separated sleep: shared room with other child. As a mom of 6, whenever our babies have transitioned out of our room, they’ve pretty much transitioned into sharing a room with a big sister. There are some special considerations to make when setting up space for siblings sharing a room together at a young age. You’ll need to check for additional safety concerns for room sharing with siblings such as checking that choking hazards haven’t been introduced to your younger child’s bed (*cough* Legos *cough*) or that the sleep space has otherwise been compromised. The same safe sleep standards for cribs apply if you’re using one and it isn’t recommended for infants to co-sleep alone with siblings. Here’s what a Montessori bed set up for twins looks like and the mom shares what she has learned along the way.

As a family we have also made some other arrangements for our sleep space safety. For our basement bedrooms, we use air purifiers (we’re in an old musty house) and during the winter when we’re running the heat, we have humidifiers running in all of our sleep spaces. Babies in particular benefit from having a humidifier running when they are sleeping (tiny nasal passages mean tiny pathways for their air!) see here for info and ideas, (but make sure you’re avoiding potential problems by caring for your humidifier correctly!) so we make sure to have a humidifier set up where our babies are sleeping.

However you and your littles ones are sleeping at night may it be safe and eventually, enough.

To read more in our newsletter and find the bonus code for The Baby Guys Box inside, VISIT HERE 

Peace,

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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Rest Well- Sleep Support From Sleep Consultant Rebecca Michi

The Leakies with Rebecca Michi

We asked sleep consultant Rebecca Michi to come help us all get some more sleep and we asked the Leakies to rate how they were sleeping on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best and to tell us about it. Here are a few of the responses followed by Rebecca’s support.

Rebecca Michi sleep consultant

Brittany: I would say a 4. my 13 mo wakes up every 1-2 hours and wants to nurse like a newborn. We co-sleep and started to transition to his crib. but I’m still not getting sleep he sits up and cries cause he can’t find the boob. He has never slept more then 3 hours. We have been on a bedtime routine for months now started bedtime at 7:30p and nothing seems to work. Read books about sleep did everything and still a short sleeper.

Rebecca: How long do you think he could go between feeds during the night right now? 3 hours? He could probably do without a feed at all during the night, but as he is used to feeding lots his tummy will be hungry if you drop to no feeds or have a long time between those feeds during the night. Get a little nightlight that you need to turn on before you feed at those 3 hour intervals during the night. This is the cue for a feed not just because he woke up. In between those feeds times do whatever you can do to help him back to sleep, rocking, walking, patting, singing, dancing, shushing, anything! If your partner can help in between those feeds it would be very helpful. Maybe you could both take short shifts. If you are trying to get him to sleep as it wasn’t a feed time when he woke and he doesn’t fall asleep, but you get to a feed time, turn that light on and feed him. Don’t worry if he falls asleep feeding. As he gets used to not being fed at every wake up and so often he should begin to increase those periods of sleep. You can continue to work on this until you are comfortable with the amount he’s feeding (or not!).

 

Lauren: I get less then 5 hours of sleep at night. In short 2 hour chunks. My son is 14 months, and barely goes 2h between comfort nursing. I would cosleep, but then he crawls all over me, and pinches and nurses all night long. I can’t take it any more. He hardly eats solids, and barely eats during waking hours. I love the snuggles, but have seriously contemplated bottle feeding my next child just so he/she isn’t so attached at the hip to me. I have never been away from my son for more than 4 hours in his life. It is very tiring, and does affect my relationship with my husband and older daughter (4).

Rebecca: If he’s getting the majority of his calories during the night he will wake often to nurse. Try as best you can get a few more nursing sessions into him during the day. Often people have success feeding before or after their child has napped, the room is dark, their child is relaxed and there are very few distractions around. You can also try offering solid foods little and often throughout the day. You can always add breastmilk to his solid foods.

During the night set your feed times, how long can he go between feeds? 3 hours? Only feed at those times. Have a little nightlight as your cue for feeding (turn it on before you feed) and help him back to sleep any way possible when it’s not a feed time. Don’t worry if he wakes after 2 hours, help as much as you need to, if he hasn’t fallen asleep at 3 hours since the last feed, turn the nightlight on and feed him. Continue through the night. He will have fed less during the night so make sure you are offering more nursing and solid foods the following day. Stick with the 3 hour feedings for 3 nights and then stretch out a little further (3 ½ or 4 hours?). Having your partner help with this would be a huge benefit as it will become more of a challenge before it gets better.

Sleep training 12 weeks 4 month sleep regression

Tearra: My 5 month old was such a good sleeper only waking every 4 hours at night. Untill he reached about 3 months old. For the last 2 months he has been waking every 1 to 2 hours at night wants to be nursed back to bed every time. Will not take a bottle. He sleeps in his own room. He’s my 3rd baby, and I can’t Cosleep. It’s not comfortable to me. I’m so tired. I don’t know what to do. My other little now 2 and 5 never did this and our still great sleepers.

Rebecca: There is a very big shift that happens with sleep at around 12 weeks of age (52 weeks from conception, so it does depend if they were born early of late), children shift from having infant sleep cycles to having adult sleep cycles (they are shorter than ours). From then on they have REM dream sleep and a deep sleep (they didn’t before). They also begin to produce melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone) when they get into a dark dim environment. Going through this shift can make very big changes to the way a child sleeps and as parents we get to help them through that. It’s not unusual that this began around 12 weeks of age.

First off I would take a look at the day routine, whenever I work with a family we always work on the routines first, it can have a huge impact on night sleep. Have a maximum of 2 hours awake and then a nap, have a 10 minute nap routine (really consistent and within your awake time), all throughout the day. Being awake for longer can result in short naps and then overtiredness when going to bed at night, when we are overtired we struggle to fall asleep and remain asleep.

As you are not bed sharing it doesn’t look like you will be over helping (where you are helping too soon), I presume he is wide awake before you are going and helping (this is a good thing to do, we want to make sure he is awake and actually needing help when you go in). Have you tried not feeding? Sending your partner in to help? If feeding is the only way you can get your child to sleep (at the beginning of the night and as back to sleep during the night) you may want to consider some gentle sleep training. My technique, The Michi Method is a very hands on gentle technique. This will gradually and gently teach your child to fall asleep more independently and back asleep more independently, when it isn’t a feed time. He may still need a feed during the night until he is around 12 months old, just not every 2 hours and not as they only way to get back to sleep.

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We’re so excited to be giving away 4 of Rebecca’s books Sleep And Your Child’s Temperament to 4 lucky Leakies! Use the widget below to enter.

Comment here if you have a question you would like Rebecca to answer next time.

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small Rebecca Michi121 Rebecca is a Children’s Sleep Consultant who has been working with families for over 20 years. She is a gentle sleep consultant who doesn’t believe in leaving your child to cry-it-out when teaching them to fall asleep more independently. She is passionate about helping children and their parents build healthy habits so they can finally get some sleep. By transforming drama into dreamland, her mission is to help your children—and you—get a good night’s sleep.
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Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Giveaway

TLB is excited to bring you this giveaway from new sponsor Arm’s Reach®.  A struggle that is common to most new parents is what to do in regards to their baby’s sleep needs.  Arm’s Reach® CO-SLEEPER® may be a part of the solution for you.  This giveaway is an opportunity for you to get better acquainted with them and your chance to enter to win one of their adorable bassinets.  Arm’s Reach is also sponsoring our series on night weaning.  Check them out over here!  Let’s start with a bit of general information about Arm’s Reach and then owner, Sharon, will answer a few questions for us. 

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The Arm’s Reach® CO-SLEEPER® comes in a wide variety of styles, fashions, and sizes. Some features include: co-sleeping mode, bassinet mode, and, in select products, a play yard mode.  The product line has something for everyone – whether you have a preference for a particular style, or have limited space requirements, Arm’s Reach has a Co-Sleeper® for you. We are also proud to offer a high-quality line of Organic accessories. The Arm’s Reach® CO-SLEEPER® is widely distributed throughout the U.S., and is even available in many countries around the world. Our patented CO-SLEEPER® technology is highly recommended by leading experts: James J. McKenna Ph.D. (author & Director of the Mother-Child Sleep Lab at the Notre Dame University), and Dr. William Sears (renown Pediatrician and author of 40+ books on infant care that are translated to over 40 languages around the world).

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You can sleep better knowing your infant is in arm’s reach.

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TLB:  What inspired you to start Arm’s Reach?

Sharon:  As parents, we wanted to experience the bonding and ease of feeding but were concerned for the safety of the baby. We realized that there was a way to still have both, the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper® was born out of that belief. It allows the best of the two worlds – safe co-sleeping and easy breastfeeding!

TLB:  What would you like TLB readers to know about Arm’s Reach?

Sharon:  The safety and welfare of babies is our utmost concern here at ARC. We would like to have all Mothers and Babies have a positive, and safe, co-sleeping and breastfeeding experience while they use our Co-Sleeper® products.  Our goal is to improve our society, one Co-Sleeper at a time.

TLB:  What is your favorite part of co-sleeping?

Sharon:  For 9+ months you carry your baby and you feel safe knowing that your baby is with you at all times.  Then they are born. Co-Sleeping gave the peace of mind that our baby was right next to us and still safe and it sure made those nighttime feedings much easier and more enjoyable

TLB:  Share how sleeping near their baby can help moms reach their breastfeeding goals.

Sharon:  Research had shown that when Mother and Baby sleep in such close proximity their bodies tend to sync with one another. Breastfeeding becomes stressless. Mom is right next to her baby,  tending to their feeding needs becomes second nature. It makes breastfeeding at night a more satisfying experience .

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Sharon is giving away a Mini Arc Co-Sleeper® Bassinet to 1 lucky Leakie.
Retail Value: $179.99

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Currently Leakies can find this and other Co-Sleeping items in the Arm’s Reach Concepts website.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from August 28, 2013 through September 4, 2013 .  A big thanks to Sharon and Arm’s Reach Concepts for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page  or follow them on twitter (@cosleep on Twitter) and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

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