Category Archives: Baby Sleep News RSS

Lessons I’ve Learned in College That Made Me a Better Blogger0

This is a guest post

I am the young mom – just like one of your friends or relatives who got married to the college sweetheart at 20, had a little girl at 21, and started thinking about the future career of a blogger a few years later. Writing has always been a huge part of my life, so when I enrolled in an English program at my state college as an undergraduate no one was really surprised.

While English courses helped me perfect my grammar and understand the various works of Shakespeare, my English courses didn’t specifically prepare me for blogging.

No, the skills that made me a self-proclaimed mom blogger I’ve obtained while I worked as a part-time journalist for the student newspaper. To find out what lessons I learned from the newsroom that can help boost your blogging career, continue reading below.

Always Meet Deadlines

First and foremost, you need to establish and meet deadlines. In the newspaper world, there is no such thing as not meeting your deadlines — if you don’t, your scary editor will rip you a new one. But of course, in the blogging sphere, there is no scary editor and you’re not running a news operation; therefore, you don’t need such a quick turnaround. But giving yourself a personal deadline when it comes to blog posts is always recommended, especially if you have a bunch of other things to do, taking care of kids and husband.

In fact, this is the easiest way to ensure that your blog continuously has fresh content. Since I was a sophomore in college I was exposed to the benefits of having an editorial calendar: you can see which days each blog post is supposed to go “live” and you can properly organize for the weeks to come.  If you know that you’re not going to meet a deadline, then find a guest blogger, like myself, to help fill in the pieces.

Don’t Write “Sensational/Controversial” Blog Post Unless You’re Prepared for Backlash

Not everyone is going to agree with what you write about, especially if you are writing about a very “hot topic.” You need to learn how to respect your readers and not attack them if they don’t agree with what you have to say. Acknowledging their comments and thanking them for reading your post is the better way to approach the situation.

But whatever you do, don’t censor negative comments on your blog just because you don’t like a reader’s tone; meaning don’t just blatantly erase the comments like they were never there. Of course, if the reader writes racist slurs or profanity then, by all means, ban them from your bog.

Research on Your Own

It’s always a good idea to do extensive research when writing your blog posts — even if something you’re reading gives you “statistics” or “facts.” Be your own fact checker and go back to the original source or study to make sure that whatever you’re reading doesn’t get anything wrong or take something out of context.

You want your readers to trust you and know that they can view your blog as an authoritative source. So just take a few minutes before posting your blog post and make sure that everything you say rings true. It’s also a good idea to link back to studies and other areas where you got your sources of information from to boost your credibility.

Quality not Quantity

Last but not least, don’t assume that your articles have to be long to effectively get your message across. News writers have a restricted word count because they have to conserve space, therefore they are forced to write much shorter, punchy articles. But those articles are the most read in the nation.

If your article isn’t as long as you anticipated but it’s still well-written, have the confidence that it will do well — after all, experts say shorter online articles are better received with readers anyway because they only have time to “scan” articles.

Author’s Bio
Gloria Johnston is a loving mom of two children, successful blogger and freelance writer at Tutoriage.com. She loves backpacking all over the world and planning fun activities for the kids, but when it comes to rest you’ll probably find her on the couch watching Desperate Housewives.

The post Lessons I’ve Learned in College That Made Me a Better Blogger appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

Helping Babies And Young Children Settle Into A New Home0

Every year 40 million Americans move home, which is a long process that is known to be very stressful for the whole family, including babies and young children. Keeping young children informed about why you’re moving and about the process can help to make it an easier transition for them, and therefore you. For babies, it’s important to keep them in their routines, which can mean taking extra time and thoroughly organizing your family’s move.

Explain why you’re moving

There’s always a reason why you’re moving home, and for parents with young children, it’s often because you’ve outgrown your old nest. Moving can mean your children get their own room or a bigger space, which most kids will be thrilled about. Alternatively, your move could mean more land around your property that you plan to use as they get older to extend your property to give them more space. Refinancing your homeowner’s loan makes this an affordable option, so explain to them that this is the plan so that they know that moving is a good thing for them and the whole family.

Keep the same routine with familiar items

Kids thrive when they have a routine. Moving is a big deal and can result in a lot of uncertainty, especially for babies and young children. This uncertainty can make them act out, often due to anxiety, which makes parents anxious and stressed too. Keeping familiar routines around things like meals, naps, and bedtime can help babies and children to adjust to moving home. This probably means that you need to take extra time to pack so that you have time to keep regular routines in place. This can help to make the process easier to manage as you’ll be more organized, which should help to reduce stress levels. Make sure anything you need to keep routines in place are easily accessible during moving, such as knowing where your child’s favorite toys, books, blankets, and even their plates and cutlery are as this will help to keep things familiar and reduce anxiety.

Use books, stories, and TV programs

For children that are old enough to have stories read to them and understand stories on TV programs, it’s a good idea to find ones that show the moving process. Characters that are familiar to them will help them to feel comfortable with the idea and give them an idea of what to expect. Go through these stories with your child and answer any questions they have as you go. If you can’t find any stories, make up your own, but be sure to include every aspect of the moving process, such as packing, transporting everything, and unpacking at the other end. Make sure that they understand that it can take some time to pack and unpack so they may have a bare room for a few days either side of moving.

Children aren’t always very good at understanding or expressing their emotions clearly and they may start to act out or become quieter during the moving process. Recognize these signs so that you can act on them and know that the calmer you are, the calmer your child will be.

The post Helping Babies And Young Children Settle Into A New Home appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

6 Tips for Starting your Baby on Solid Food0

As your baby gets older, there is a need to introduce solid foods. To most parents, the idea of introducing their baby to solid food is nervy and even scary but eating solid food is essential to enable your baby get adequate iron and other essential nutrients necessary for growth and development. Although some parents start introducing solid food to their babies when they are as early as four months, your baby will be ready to start eating solid food by the sixth month.

Before six months, your baby can get adequate iron from breast milk and infant formula but by around six months, you will need to supplement the formula with solid foods. Some of the tips that can help you effectively and safely introduce solid food to your baby include:

  1. Notice the signs that your baby is ready

    It is easier to introduce solid foods when your baby is eager and ready to try solid food. When working out on when to start introducing solids to your baby, you should let the baby’s individual development and behavior guide you. If you notice that your baby has interest in food by looking at what is on your plate, reaching out for your food or even opening mouth when you offer him or her food on a spoon, it is the right time to introduce solid foods.

  2. Get the timing right

    When and how you introduce solid food to your baby will determine how your baby will respond. Before introducing food, you should make sure that you and the baby are both happy and relaxed. You should also avoid introducing the food when the baby is hungry as at that time your baby will only want breastmilk or formula. It is also not ideal to introduce solid foods if the baby is full, tired or not interested.

  3. Know the types of food to give your baby

    In most occasions, all new foods are exciting to a baby and thus, there is no need to cook special food. You only need to make sure that the food is rich in iron and has the right texture. There is also no specific order that you should use to introduce new food to your baby. Some of the foods you can begin with include iron-fortified infant rice cereal, minced meat, fruits, dairy foods, and grains. You can also use organic baby food delivery to ensure that your baby gets all the nutrients necessary for development.

  4. Start slow and simple

    When starting, you should go for thinned-down foods. Also, introduce a new food at a time to let you know whether your baby is allergic to that food and avoid giving your baby much food. Start with small portions and increase based on your baby appetite.

  5. Do not forget water

    Once your baby starts eating solid food, you can also start to give him or her cooled, boiled water. However, the water should not replace breast milk or baby formula. You should also avoid liquids high in sugar and fat.

  6. Help your child develop good eating habits

    A baby meal time will always be messy and thus, you should not feed your baby when you are dressed for an occasion unless you have a protective garment. It is not wrong for the baby to play with the food. Instead, you should make meal time a play time with your baby. It also helps to feed your baby during meal times when other people are also eating.

The post 6 Tips for Starting your Baby on Solid Food appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

4 Stylish Ways to Baby-Proof Your Home Without Compromising the Look of Your Home Interior0

Whether you’re first-time parents or are expecting baby number three, ensuring your home is as safe as possible for your child is of paramount importance. However, this shouldn’t have to mean bubble-wrapping your door handles and getting rid of furniture that compromises the aesthetics of your interior style.

In today’s post, we’re taking a look at how you can baby-proof your home while giving it the personality it deserves – from playing with color to investing in stylish, sturdy furniture that meets all of your practical needs, we’re taking a look at it all.

Invest in washable accessories

With the arrival of children comes the arrival of dirty and sticky hands that like to grab everything they possibly can, especially soft furnishings. We all know how much thought goes into which throws and cushions are going to match the interior of the home, so don’t let them be sacrificed once you have babies running around.

Check whether your current cushions and throws are machine washable and if they’re not, swap them for ones that match the style of your existing room but can be thrown in the washing machine as and when needed.

Utilize paint that is easy to keep clean

You’ve either already experienced this or have it to come – the dreaded “wall art”. As your little one becomes more and more curious, it won’t be long before their little fingers take to marking your walls.

Fear not, eggshell finish paint is the easiest to keep clean. All you need to do is take some warm water and a dash of white vinegar (optional) and take a soft cloth or sponge to wipe the walls down. Before you know it they’ll look brand new again. If your walls aren’t already painted using an eggshell paint then it’s worth having a look at what’s on offer. You’ll find plenty of beautiful colors that will match the style of your home.

Install cordless blinds

Whether you have a home with lots of windows or few, they all still need some form of blind or curtain so you can have your privacy as and when you want. With blinds can come a few health and safety issues, so seek out solutions that are incredibly safe first and foremost, with the added bonus of adding to the decor of your home where possible.

You have two options, you can either tie your existing blind cords up high so little hands can’t grab them or you could install new blinds that are cordless. Have a shop around for the alternative blind styles there are and pick one that complements your home interior while being super safe to have around little children.

Create an open-plan living space

The living room, along with the kitchen, is likely to be rooms that you’re going to spend a lot of time in with your baby, so you need to create a space that’s appropriate for both of you. Creating an open-plan living space will depend on the existing layout of your home as different rooms will have different offerings.

If it’s going to be your living room then we would suggest adding multifunctional furniture that can be used sporadically. Introducing a practical yet stylish occasional table to the room – which can be home to a glass of wine or snacks in the evening but can be tucked away next to the sofa during the day while your little one is running around – will meet both of your needs. You could also look at adding a pouffe which you can rest your feet on, as this will double up as a storage option for toys.

With your kitchen, why not try to achieve a minimalist look? This will mean you have plenty of storage and as little as possible out cluttering up your worktops – therefore creating a stylish space where wandering hands can’t easily grab things. If you have space in your kitchen, you could make a small play area for your baby to keep them occupied while you’re busy – think play area by day and additional seating area by night.

While baby-proofing is an absolute must, it doesn’t mean you have to watch your home go from the stylish haven it once was to an overprotective space. We hope that by using some of our suggestions, you’re able to baby-proof your home while keeping every touch of style it had prior to the arrival of children.

Author bio:

Angus Ponsford is the Director at Ponsford Ltd, an independent, family-run furniture retailer that boasts a huge selection to suit every style and budget.

The post 4 Stylish Ways to Baby-Proof Your Home Without Compromising the Look of Your Home Interior appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

How to Get a Toddler To Sleep Through the Night (even in their own bed!)0

When you first bring home your baby, you expect some sleepless nights, and sometimes even enjoy the snuggles! But, after months of sleep deprivation, you expect your baby to grow into a toddler sleeping through the night. And, when that doesn’t happen, you can be left feeling even more exhausted, frustrated, and confused. Look no further! We are here to help you learn how to get your toddler to sleep through the night.

Why Does My Toddler Keep Waking Up at Night?

One of the most perplexing things about toddlers not sleeping through the night is… why are they waking up in the first place? It might surprise you to learn that some waking up at night is completely normal and something most of us do. Most of us simply roll over and go right back to sleep. So, why do toddlers keep waking up at night?

The most common reasons for toddlers waking up at night include the following:

  • Hunger – Believe it or not, even though your toddler is likely fully capable of sleeping through the night without eating, many toddlers are very busy…too busy…to eat enough during the day. And, these days, some adults are afraid of over-feeding their toddler. Toddlers need a LOT of calories to support their growth and activity levels!
  • Schedule – Your toddler’s schedule could be completely off-base. If you are offering two naps and it’s time for one, for example, that could cause waking at night. Or, vice versa, your toddler should be taking two naps and is only taking one. Or, perhaps your bedtime is too early or too late. Getting the right schedule sets up your toddler to sleep through the night and your success.
  • Sleep Associations – This is the main reason toddlers don’t outgrow their sleep problems. If they “need” or expect a certain something from you when they wake up at night, then it becomes very difficult for toddlers to sleep through the night. Whether they want you to rock them, feed them, sleep with them, or rub their back, having sleep associations that require your physical presence will reinforce the very night-waking you’re trying to fix.

There are other reasons toddlers wake up at night, but these are the most common. So, how can you get your toddler to sleep through the night? Read on!

Address the Source of the Problem(s)

In my 10+ years as a sleep consultant, I’ve seen many families succeed and those who do have one thing in common: they address the source of their sleep problem. Some families need our help in diagnosing the reason for their toddler waking up at night.

The #1 thing to realize is that letting your toddler cry-it-out, for example, does no good if you haven’t addressed the source of their night-waking problem. For example, a toddler who is hungry might cry for long periods at night for many nights in a row. You haven’t addressed the main problem. Similarly, you could do a lot of sleep training at night, but if your toddler’s schedule is wrong, you will continue to have problems. Sometimes you’re just too close to your own situation to figure out the “why” your toddler is waking up and “how” to fix it. That is the primary reason we are here, to help you figure this out!

What About Sleep Training My Toddler?

In the end, if you know you have addressed the main reasons your toddler is waking up at night and nothing seems to fix it, sleep training your toddler can be a good solution. This doesn’t mean, necessarily, that you have to let your toddler cry it out. There are many ways to sleep train your toddler just like there are multiple ways to learn to tie your shoes. The end result is a happy, sleeping toddler and through your guidance, love, and teaching, you too can have a toddler who sleeps through the night! The first key is to find a sleep training method that is the best fit for your toddler and your family.

How Do I Get My Toddler to Sleep In Their Own Bed?

Co-sleeping is a unique “sleep association” since, technically, your toddler may be sleeping fine but in your bed. Since children are notoriously active sleepers, even sleeping sideways sometimes, this can mean it’s not very restful for you to have your toddler in your bed and you want your toddler to sleep in their own bed.

Every situation is a little different, but the #1 thing to remember is that as long as it’s an option to sleep in your bed, your toddler will see no reason to change it. Now, of course, it’s easier said than done to say ‘just don’t let them!’

That isn’t helpful nor practical.

We have heard of parents who “rip off the band-aid” and just put their toddler in their own bed and then do cry-it-out.

In my experience of 10+ years, that often involves a lot of crying and many parents give in regularly. If it were that “easy” (though I don’t think cry-it-out is “easy”!) your toddler wouldn’t likely be co-sleeping in the first place.

Instead, we recommend a more methodical, gradual plan 99% of the time when we work one-on-one with families. This is because if you have a plan that you feel good about, you are more likely to follow-through and be successful, even if it’s not “done” in 3 days. Keep in mind your toddler has probably been co-sleeping with you for months, if not years, at this point. It would be wise to consider a method that may take at least 2-4 weeks over an abrupt approach. It is much more likely to be long-lasting, giving all of you much better sleep!

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How did you get your toddler to sleep through the night?

Sweet Dreams, Little One: How To Make A Sleep-Conducive Bedroom For Your Baby0

Getting quality sleep is as important as providing the right nutrition for your baby. It helps lower the risk of health conditions like being overweight and having diabetes. A safe and sleep-friendly bedroom also reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

But how does one transform a baby’s bedroom into an encouraging place for completing the recommended number of sleep hours for them? In this article, we’ll list seven important ways to turn your baby’s bedroom into a safe and sleep-conducive haven for your bundle of joy

1. Dark lighting to help your baby sleep better

Bright lights can trick your baby’s mind into thinking it’s still daytime, which makes it harder for him/her to fall asleep.

Placing black curtains on your windows can help dim the bedroom even when the sun’s still up. This is particularly helpful during summer days when the sun stays longer in the skies, even when it’s already 6 PM.

And when the sun rises earlier at dawn, your baby won’t be waking up that early since the dark lighting is tricking him/her that it’s still nighttime.

If your baby doesn’t like the dark lighting, you can place a nightlight by a bedside table to provide a little source of light.

2. Choose a sturdy yet comfortable crib

Your little one spends 16 hours or more in the crib, so choosing the right crib is the most crucial part of designing your baby’s bedroom. Also, keep in mind that bedsharing is not recommended for babies under one year of age because it puts your baby at greater risk of suffocation and entrapment.

Drop-side cribs are considered dangerous for babies, so ditch the passed-down antique cribs and buy a new crib instead. But of course, the priciest one isn’t guaranteed as the best option either.

If you’re going crib shopping, check out the updated guideline by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

3. Place storage bins for toys and other baby stuff

Placing storage bins in the room does more than helping you keep your baby’s bedroom decluttered. It also helps you keep the distracting stuff out of your child’s sight so s/he can focus on snoozing for the night.

Plus, it keeps your baby safe from sleeping over the baby toys, which can make his/her sleeping uncomfortable. But let the stuffed toy stay by his/her side! Babies fall asleep better when they have a source of comfort in their arms, aside from your warm embrace.


(Photo credits: Bower Power)

You can mount wall shelves to minimize the use of space, or just choose some storage boxes that you can place under their cribs.

4. Keep the temperature cool

When sleeping in a bedroom under cool temperature, don’t you find yourself waking up feeling refreshed and energized?

Apparently, babies also sleep better with a cool temperature, according to research conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Our body temperature lowers automatically at night, especially when we’re about to sleep. Making your external environment mimic the diving temperature can keep your baby’s body temperature consistent and give your child the quality sleep s/he deserves.

Keep your thermostat around the recommended 60 – 67 F to keep your baby sleeping soundly.

5. A little background noise wouldn’t hurt

Loud noises can be distracting when attempting to get that dose of zzz’s, but a little noise won’t hurt to help your baby sleep better. S/he was already accustomed to hearing the faint sound of your heartbeat, or even the gurgling of your stomach when s/he was still in your womb, after all.

You can keep some background noise running in the bedroom for your baby with a white noise machine or a fan on low.

Yes, white noise machines are still safe to use for your baby, despite the rising claims of bringing more harm than comfort to babies. As long as you use them in moderation, you won’t run into any issues or risks mentioned by experts opposed to using white noise machines.

You don’t want to sacrifice an opportunity for everyone in the house to get some sound sleep. Because sleep deprivation is more dangerous than a white noise machine.

6. Fragrance and fresh air for a good night’s sleep

Some essential oils like lavender oils are perfect for aromatherapy before sleeping, as it was proven to induce sleeping to our little ones. You can place a few drops in a tissue and place it on their crib, or keep a humidifier in the bedroom.

But if your child shows alarming reactions towards the oil, keep the fragrance away from him/her immediately. Some babies don’t do well with oils like this (and that’s normal).

It’s also good to keep the fresh air swarming around the bedroom to keep airborne germs and dust particles away and bring some natural sunshine too. Open the windows every morning, and hang some indoor plants to help purify the air.

7. Choose the right wall colors

Ah, colors and their endless psychological magic to kids. You can mix-and-match some color combinations to help your babies fall asleep easily and wake up with a refreshed and giggly mood.

You can opt for a bright yellow wall to instill happy and cheerful vibes, a light green or blue color for a calming and soothing effect, then paint some accent of orange, red, pink or other warm colors to add more childish aura in the room.

Transforming your baby’s bedroom into a place that encourages good sleep benefits not only your child but everyone in the family as well!

You can enjoy dosing off to sleep comfortably without worrying that your baby is sleeping uncomfortably, or you jolting out of bed because you heard the sudden cries of your baby in the middle of the night. Everyone will be up-and-ready to face tomorrow with a refreshed mind and pure energy.

Susan is a proud mom and a blogger at Little Angels, a little blog that talks about the thankless (but absolutely rewarding) job called parenthood. I’m the mom of 2 little angels – albeit with teeny tiny horns – and everything on this blog is borne out of my experience with them

How Not To Be A Sleep-Deprived New Parent0

There’s a common belief that new parents usually don’t sleep at all due to their new parenting duties and their baby’s feeding/sleeping rhythm. When the baby arrives, parents usually start stressing about all the things they have to take care of now. Not only the baby’s breastfeeding, sleeping or playtime needs, but there are plenty of other things to do that you might have never thought of doing before.

Your baby started crawling and suddenly, you have to baby-proof your entire apartment. Not to mention all the cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, towels, linen and so on. The list of daily tasks you have to do throughout the day as a new parent really seems endless. So, it’s not surprising that in order to successfully accomplish their daily duties, most new parents sacrifice a significant number of sleeping hours.

But, does it really have to be that way? Is this whole “New parents are always sleep-deprived” belief really true or is it a myth?

In this article, we’re going to address this common problem and suggest some tips that should help you to catch up on your lost sleep.

Sleep Deprivation In New Parents

A new study has revealed that new parents face up to six years of sleep deprivation. The researches collected data from thousands of men and women to discover that until your kid reaches the age of 6, you probably won’t be having a proper amount of sleep.

Of course, the first three months after your baby’s arrival are the worst when it comes to your sleep quality. Unfortunately, the ones to be most struck by the first three months are mothers. Women that just gave birth to their child, slept one hour less on average compared to the amount of time they slept before becoming pregnant.

However, it looks like the situation is quite different for men. In the same first three months, men lost only 13 minutes of sleep.

Knowing that there are differences in sleep needs between men and women (women need more sleep time than men), it is no wonder that new mothers are often the ones to be more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation after giving birth and feeling more exhausted.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably facing the same issue, or are about to prepare yourself for the arrival of a new member to your family. Is there anything you can do in order to reduce your sleep deprivation without sacrificing your baby’s normal needs? You can.

Are you waking up tired everyday since your baby arrived? Follow these tips:

How To Minimize Your New-Parent Sleep Deprivation

1. Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps

The main reason for sleep deprivation is interrupted sleep. Babies wake up frequently during the night, which inevitably cuts your sleep. However, babies also sleep often throughout the day, which is the perfect time you can forget about everything else and use that sacred time to sleep a bit more.

2. Perfect Your Power Naps

In order to regain some sleep time, you will find naps quite useful. Learn to fall asleep or at least rest properly even for as short as 20 minutes. It might not seem like a lot, but it will surely help you recover some energy throughout the day.

Learn how to power nap while someone from your friends or relatives is playing with your baby.

3. Let Your Baby Sleep In Its Cot, Not In Your Bed

Bed sharing with your newborn should be avoided. In the beginning, it may seem like the best solution to your and your baby’s sleeping needs to sleep together, but in the long run, bed sharing can cause new problems.

Let your baby get used to sleeping alone, and you will too have some more space in the bed for yourself. (And won’t be stressing about your newborn falling off the bed after you have just fallen asleep)

4. Go For Morning Walks

When we lose sleep and enter sleep deprivation, our circadian rhythm gets confused. In order to reset your circadian rhythm, expose yourself to natural sunlight by going for morning walks.

This will not only help you have a night of better sleep but will also make your kid develop a balanced sleep-wake cycle.

5. Provide A Proper Environment For Day And Night

Although your baby will probably still be waking up during the night, you can still teach your baby when is the period of the day for sleeping and when is the period of activity.

Set the mood for playing and wake time by providing a lot of light, toys, and music that will stimulate your baby to stay active and alert. When your baby needs sleep, switch to a more calming environment, turn off the lights and reduce any background noises or distractions.

6. Share The Wake-Up Calls During Night

This might be a harder task to do if you are breastfeeding, but it is crucial to take duties in turn with your partner in order to handle the new-parent phase most efficiently.

Bio: Kristina Lalovic is the editor of Colossal Sleep, a website about healthy sleep, sleeping disorders and sleep-related problems people commonly face in their lifetimes. She used to be the alarm-snoozer for a long time until she started paying more attention to her sleep and sleeping patterns. Sleeping well changed the way she feels each day, which is why she developed a passion for writing about sleep and understanding how our sleep really works.

Shedding the Light on Sleep, Swaddling & Hip Dysplasia: Why the Most Common Birth Abnormality Still Puzzles Physicians & Baffles New Parents0

Parents around the world use swaddling as a way to comfort fussy babies, reduce crying, and develop more settled sleep patterns. Often when we see babies getting ready for bedtime and being swaddled, their bodies are tightly wrapped in a cloth, sheet or light blanket. This is where a potential hidden danger exists. Not allowing the hips and legs to move freely can promote the most common birth abnormality, hip dysplasia. Because this condition can be challenging to detect, even by a trained physician, it’s important to know about safe swaddling before using a swaddle for naptime or sleeping for the night.

What is hip dysplasia and what does swaddling have to do with it?

Loose hip joints are the most common abnormality in newborn infants and affect approximately one in ten babies. While this may be difficult to detect and usually goes away during the first few weeks of life, loose ligaments around the hip can lead to complete hip dislocation, continuing joint instability, or poor development of the hip socket. This range of hip abnormalities is called Hip Dysplasia.

If left undetected, hip dysplasia in children can result in a limited range of motion, consistent pain, swayback which is a painless but exaggerated waddling limp or leg length discrepancy, hip click or “pops”, among other issues. When not treated, adults and adolescence can experience a range of pain when walking, running, sleeping, limping, and a sensation of catching, snapping, popping, or locking that is usually painful.

“Improper swaddling may lead to hip dysplasia or developmental dysplasia of the hip. When in the womb the baby’s legs are in a fetal position with the legs bent up and across each other. Sudden straightening of the legs to a standing position can loosen the joints and damage the soft cartilage of the socket.” According to Dr. Charles Price, Director of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (www.hipdysplasia.org) “Hip dysplasia often goes untreated because it can be difficult to detect. Hip dysplasia is often curable without surgery if discovered within the first six months of life.”

How is hip dysplasia detected?

You may remember seeing your newborn being examined as if he or she was a frog. The pediatrician pumps those little legs, and many may think the doctor is checking to see if your baby’s knees work. Not quite…she is checking your baby’s hips which are not fully formed at birth and must be examined in the early months to ensure healthy development.

Why all this concern over hips? Won’t they just grow as the baby does? The simple answer is yes they will grow along with the rest of baby’s body; however, this part of baby’s body must be monitored to ensure the hips are developing correctly and with the flexibility necessary to lead a healthy and pain-free life.

What can a parent do to protect her child?

The best thing new and expectant parents can do is to be aware of the warning signs and/or risk factors for hip dysplasia. A recent study in the UK revealed that the current system of checking newborns is failing to result in too many late diagnoses leading to surgery.

If your baby exhibits one or more, you may want to ask for an ultrasound which is the best way to confirm if the condition exists:

  • breech birth
  • family history
  • first born female
  • reduced fluid volume in the womb
  • neck tightness
  • foot abnormality from compression in the womb

Knowing how to safely swaddle your baby before sleeptime:

Since baby’s hips are not fully formed at birth, parents must take extra care when selecting baby products that can affect hip development. Infant swaddles, which recreate the intimacy of the womb by wrapping baby’s body in a snug manner, must be loose on the bottom so baby can kick and move his legs freely.

There are many ways to swaddle babies by using blankets or commercial products designed for swaddling. In order for swaddling to allow healthy hip development, the legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips. This position allows for the natural development of the hip joints.

The baby’s legs should not be tightly wrapped straight down and pressed together. Swaddling infants with the hips and knees in an extended position may increase the risk of hip dysplasia and dislocation.

The IHDI has developed a video to teach you how to swaddle your baby properly in order to keep your babies hips healthy and safe. 

Hip Dysplasia is no laughing matter: how a comedian put it on everyone’s radar

Larry the Cable Guy is best known as one of the leading comedians in the country along with being a Grammy nominee and Billboard award winner. He also started the Git-R-Done Foundation which supports various charities including the International Hip Dysplasia Institute which he co-founded with Dr. Price. Why his interest I hip dysplasia? His own son Wyatt was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at a time when there was no resource of information on the condition for parents to access. He eventually met Dr. Price whom he credits with curing his son without surgery. Throughout the process, Larry and his wife Cara felt lost trying to educate themselves on the condition. Today the International Hip Dysplasia Institute is the leading resource on hip dysplasia to improve the health and quality of life of those afflicted with hip dysplasia. The Institute also brings together medical centers worldwide to promote prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hip dysplasia.

Charles T. Price, M.D. is Director of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and Director of Pediatric Orthopaedic Education at Orlando Health. He is internationally known for his clinical and academic achievements including numerous scientific publications and book chapters on a variety of subjects. He has developed and chaired the International Pediatric Orthopedic Society meeting since its inception 10 years ago.

Work- Life Balance: Getting By as Parents0

Even people who do not have children yet understand how tough it can be for parents. You understand that when you have to take care of your one-year old nephew for half an hour. That gets you wondering how people manage to raise their children. Studies have shown that most parents complain of less sleeping hours when their child is still in the early years. ‘Bye bye sleep’ is an often repeated joke from parents to people who have just been blessed with a newborn. It is hard raising a child and maintaining a balance in life. It gets even harder when both the parents are working. If that is so, there comes the whole process of screening and hiring a nanny for the baby. Almost half the parents feel frustrated that they are not able to give adequate efforts and time to their work or family.

It is a pretty fine line when it comes to balancing your life as a parent. They have to compromise on some aspects of life and divide responsibilities as per their convenience to make it easier for them to handle it. Millennials have a different viewpoint of life; they tend to have a different set of values than the generation before them. It only makes sense that they would want to live life on their own terms rather than let life set its own course. The millennial and Gen Z generation have already pushed employers to bring in more flexibility in their work hours. This has helped bring a positive change around the world in work culture. There are many problems parents face while their child is still a toddler. Here are some of them and their solutions:

1. Finding A Nanny- This one is the most difficult tasks. Parents are obviously picky when it comes to choosing a nanny for taking care of their child. It is hard to trust a stranger and even more so, trusting them with your child. There are many ways to find a nanny, the most common one being to ask around in your social circle. When nannies come with recommendations, parents are more inclined to hire and trust them. There are also websites like Care and Urbansitter where you can search for nannies and select one among many. You can even put up local advertisements for this. It takes some time to select a nanny for the interviews and screening candidates take some time.

2. Opting For A Quiet Lifestyle- There is no way that a child on the way should hamper your career opportunities. Parents tend to drop off on the work when they have the additional responsibility of a newborn. Such is the number of freelancing opportunities out there that parents can cool off the work pressure and take freelancing jobs for a while. One path is also to talk to your manager, but it will not give you that much of a leeway you hope for. If you are a young parent with little work experience, you can help out students with their homework and earn money from that. For example, you can provide algebra homework help to students if you were good at studies in school. You can even provide essay assignment help to college students or become an essay typer for school students.

3. Taking care of yourself- If you are to be fully capable of taking care of a child, you need to take care of yourself first. If you are not in perfect mental and physical health, it will get hard for you to take care of a child. If you are tired and lacking in energy, you would not be able to put in the efforts that taking care of a child requires. If you are tensed about your work life or feel depressed with the responsibilities on your shoulders, you will not be able to give your complete efforts; children pick up on moods and are more receptive to mood and environment. Even if you have a rough day at the office, try to relax by the time you reach home.

4. An organized lifestyle- This needs to become a necessity if you are to take control of your life and people who depend on you. There needs to be certain sense of an organized lifestyle for it is required to take care of you and your child. You need to give time to your work, your partner, and your child. That can only be achieved if you have an organized lifestyle to take care of the priorities in life. If you do not go this way, it will soon be chaos in life. Things are different when you have a baby; as soon you understand the responsibilities on your shoulders, the better it will be for your family.

5. Asking For Help- One should know the limits and capabilities of oneself. It is never a bad time to ask for help. If you feel that it is getting hard for you; there is always the option of going to your parents or family. If you have people available around you to help with the child, it will be much easier for you. If not that, you can move with the family of your partner. People who are close to you will be of great help to you in such times.

6. Go one way- Such is the burden of work and responsibilities on the young parent’s shoulders that you should not even think about multitasking with your work. If you start doing that, you will be extremely tired and frustrated by the end of day for it not only sucks out your physical energy but also takes a toll on your mental health too. If you are bathing a child, do only that; don’t go off to check on what’s on stove and answering calls. If you start multitasking when you have a baby, it will drive you crazy.

10 Thoughts When Your Newborn Won’t Fall Asleep and How to Deal with Them0

A newborn baby turns your life around in every sense of the word.

And it isn’t all fairytales and butterflies – becoming responsible for another human being comes with its fair share of stress and difficulties. And while you may feel guilty for having hard experiences and feeling anything that strays ever so slightly away from positive, you need to realise that this is normal. There is nothing wrong with being overwhelmed. There is nothing wrong with feeling the way you are feeling. There is nothing wrong with having thoughts about how difficult it is and how you wish you knew just what to do.

The Sleep Crisis

One of the most common times these thoughts go through your head is when your newborn baby just refuses to go to sleep. If it hasn’t happened yet, it will – it is inevitable. There is no running from it. And there will be tonnes of thoughts that will go through your head – trust me, they’ve all gone through my head. Here are 10 of the most common negative ones that used to haunt me with my children (after the few dozen positive ones that I started off with)!

  1. When is he going to doze off?! Isn’t he tired of being up?
  2. She’s GOT to be tired by now – why is she still crying?!
  3. She has so much energy – she’s been crying since two hours!
  4. This is too much – I’ve tried EVERY position, everything. What will it take?
  5. What kind of a mother am I?
  6. Am I ever going to sleep again in the next 3 years?
  7. What am I doing wrong?!
  8. When am I ever going to get all my work done?
  9. Is it me? Am I so bad at comforting my baby that they won’t go to sleep?
  10. I’m such a bad mother.

This last one is the most dangerous one. It directly attacks your self-esteem and makes you think that you are not worth anything. Because after all, if you can’t get your own child to go to sleep, how on earth are you going to achieve anything else, right? Wrong. Absolutely wrong.

It’s a process and you will figure it out. And if nothing works and your baby is just fond of staying up, you’ll learn to deal with it. But that’s another discussion for another time. Right now, I want to share with you some reasons why your baby may not be sleeping and some things you can try to get them to sleep!

Why Your Child Might Not Be Going to Sleep

There may be many reasons why your newborn isn’t going to bed. Here are a few of them:

  • Your baby might be hungry. Hunger can keep anyone up, right? Well, your child is no different – if they’re hungry, they’re not going to be able to get any sleep. And if they are going through a growth spurt, they will get hungry every hour. And while they are getting the rest they need in between, it may not seem like that to you because the duration of each sleep spell is so small.
  • You may want to check if something is causing your baby discomfort. Do they have a dirty diaper? Is there a tiny little tag on their shirt that isn’t letting them be at peace? Are they too hot or too cold? Discover the culprit and get rid of it!
  • Talking to your little one, playing with them, all these things are great but they should be done in moderation – you don’t want to overstimulate your child to the point where they can’t go to sleep anymore.
  • You know those days when you lie down and you can’t go to sleep because you’re THAT tired? Well, it happens with babies too. So try to put them to sleep on time, otherwise, if they get too tired, they may not be able to fall asleep, at least not easily.
  • A startle reflex is a major culprit when it comes to sleep trouble. But don’t fret, because there is an easy fix – swaddling!
  • If you have recently changed your and your baby’s sleep routine, they might be finding it hard to adjust. And that is exactly why they can’t sleep. Either move back to the old routine or be consistent with the new one.

Easy Fixes to the Sleep Dilemma

Some of these you may have tried, others you will have heard of, and some more you will not believe to be true until you try them for yourself! But the thing is, what’s the harm, right? You’re up anyway, might as well try something new rather than doing the same things over and over again.

  • Swaddle your child! It may seem like too easy of a fix but it works, I swear!
  • Move to a quieter room. If there is noise and activity all around your little one, how do you expect them to go to sleep?
  • Make sure that they are comfortable – avoid tight, harsh clothing.
  • Check to see if they are sick but not yet showing obvious signs. A tiny sneeze may point towards something a little more serious.
  • Make sure they are not too hot or too cold – the temperature has a major effect on comfort and comfort leads to a peaceful sleep.
  • Gripe water can work miracles – if you have never tried it before, give it a shot. It just might work!
  • Burp your baby properly – if you don’t, they will experience discomfort and will find it hard to sleep.
  • Bring on the lullabies. Your soothing voice can act as a trigger for sleep.
  • Over-stimulation, as we discussed above, is a no-go – stay away from it.
  • If you’re too tired to rock your baby every night to put them to sleep, go for a baby bouncer or baby swing and make your life easier.
  • If nothing else is working, get the car out and take them for a spin – they’ll likely be asleep by the time you’re back.

Ending Thoughts

The thing is, sometimes you just can’t control your thoughts – one or two negative ones will make their way through the barriers and manifest themselves in your mind. What you can do, though, is either tackle them with positive thoughts or logic and action based on that logic. And trust me when I say this, the latter works a lot better than the former. So the next time you’re finding it hard to put your little one to bed, try to discover the reason why they just can’t sleep. Once you know the problem, you’ll likely be able to find a solution. And even if you can’t pinpoint the problem, implementing at least one or two of the tips I’ve mentioned above will help!

Give it a shot and you’ll thank me later.