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The Main Causes Of Early Morning Wakes

5.18am. This was the early morning wake time that we were stuck on for weeks with little Evie! In a recent group of sleep deprived Moms, I asked if you could wave a magic wand and eliminate the biggest struggle with your baby’s sleep, what would that be? Nearly 1/3 of the Moms responded early morning wakes. If this is you, you’re most certainly not alone!

Early morning wakes are easily formed yet some of the hardest ones to break. There is not unfortunately a simple one response answer to get a quick solution as there are multiple factors that can cause an early morning wake. 

To work through the possible causes of early morning wakes, it is really important that we firstly understand the biology to know what is going on. It will help you appreciate that your child is not simply a terrible sleeper and that there are a lot of factors that go against them to create an early morning wake!

Before we get started, I did want to clarify what we would define as an early...

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Baby Food & Sleep - Guest post by Plant-based Child Nutritionist Michal Sach

Sleep and nutrition are a family. They are siblings and they love each other so much. Did you know that?

They are so close that when one is happy it makes the other one happy and when one is upset and not doing very well so is the other one.

This concept is an important one to remember. There is never one thing we can pinpoint when we are trying to solve an issue. Our bodies are so complicated and magnificent and thus if we start to think about dealing with any issue we are facing with a holistic approach, we are more likely to be successful. 

As I mentioned before, one possible contributing factor to consider and address when dealing with poor sleep is nutrition. As part of looking at the bigger picture and having a holistic approach, you will also look at the routine, the room environment ( temperature, lighting, sleepwear, bed), and habits, but nutrition is the most basic component to address first. 

I would like to mention a few things to consider that may...

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How Long Should Babies Stay Awake?

A complete revelation to me as part of my own motherhood journey, awake times was something that I knew absolutely nothing about but very quickly learned in regards to powerful knowledge to positively affect my child’s sleep. It also helped me to understand when the balance was out and I was faced with an overtired child!

Our babies and toddlers have a very sensitive circadian rhythm and they only have the capacity to be able to tolerate and cope with a certain amount of time awake based on their age before they quickly progress into becoming overtired.

In most cases, the majority of families that I work with are dealing with overtired children. Their child has reached a point where they are too tired to sleep (seems counterintuitive, right??). So what are some signs that are indications that your child may be overtired?

Signs of overtiredness:

  • Frequent 2 hourly wakes during the night
  • Resisting settling to sleep
  • Very difficult to settle 
  • Lots of crying (like extreme...
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Bedtime Stories for Toddlers

 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” –Dr Seuss

When we read to our children, there are a huge number of benefits such as helping to promote brain development and imagination, teaching our children about language and emotions and it can strengthen your relationship with your child just to name a few. 

In relation to bedtime, reading bedtime stories as part of your child’s consistent and predictable bedtime routine becomes a much-loved wind-down time to prepare your little ones in getting ready for bed. Not only do they relish in having their parents’ full, undivided attention, it is a great addition to their bedtime routine which reinforces the strong signal that sleep is just around the corner. 

You may have your own favorites, but if you were wanting some more ideas on some true classics, here is a list of our family’s bedtime favorites. 

  1. The...
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Bedtime Stories for Babies

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” –Dr Seuss

Reading bedtime stories to our children can be such a lovely part of their bedtime routine. Not only do they relish in having their parents’ full, undivided attention, it is a great addition to their bedtime routine which reinforces the strong signal that sleep is just around the corner. 

There can be so many benefits of reading to our children that develop their life skills. According to a study led by Dr Carolyn B. Cates, the more words that a baby hears, the stronger their cognitive development. Researchers found that the quality and quantity of book reading in early infancy influenced the child’s vocabulary and early reading skills. You can find the research HERE: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5778903/

We’ve always read to our girls since they were babies. Here are our favorite books to read when they...

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SIDS: Safe Sleep Checklist

Following safe sleep guidelines is so important to ensure that your little one is always in a safe environment to prevent sids. We have created this quick guide to be referenced for babies between 0-12 months old.

BABY SHOULD BE:

  • Placed to sleep on back for every sleep for the first 12 months
  • Dressed appropriately for the environment/temperature
    • Sleep clothing eg. wearable blankets and swaddles are recommended vs loose blankets for warmth
    • Similar levels of clothing as others in the home however never more than one additional layer in comparison to others
    • Never dress your baby too warmly for sleep and avoid covering their face or head
    • Do not add a blanket to your baby when sleeping
  • Sleep in their parents’ room for the first 6 months, ideally the first year of life
  • Never put to sleep on any soft surface (adult beds, sofas, chairs, water beds, quilts, sheepskins, soft mattresses or cushions, etc.)
  • Breastfed, if possible, as this is associated with reduced risk of SIDS
  • Offered...
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How to Swaddle a Baby: Two techniques using muslin swaddle blankets to improve your baby’s sleep

Swaddling your baby is the closest thing to mimicking the womb for them once they are earthside. Experts believe that birth may be the most traumatic experience that humans go through so it’s no wonder that swaddling triggers a baby’s calming reflex when it replicates the womb environment for them.

 

There are hundreds of baby products on the market that you can choose from to swaddle your baby using zips, velcro and fasteners, but truthfully you can create a safe, snug and comfortable swaddle with a classic muslin blanket.

 

We have included here the most common traditional method of swaddling where baby’s arms are down, however after the birth of our first child, we were taught the arms up version in our Sydney hospital and came to love this technique. So did our baby. Ultimately, it is up to you which you find easier to do, or what your baby prefers.

 

Below are the two techniques:

 

  1. Arms up swaddling technique

Also available on YouTube at...

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Sleep hygiene: 4 tips to establishing healthy sleep habits for your child to help them sleep better.

Sleep can be complicated and there can be many contributing factors that impact sleep. What many parents don’t realize is that while falling asleep comes naturally to us, it is a learned skill that our babies need to be taught.

There are a number of influencing factors that can positively impact your child’s sleep when they are put in place. These factors fall under what we call sleep hygiene. You can think of it as establishing sleep foundations for your little one to create the best opportunity and environment conducive for sleep. There are four elements of sleep hygiene that can dramatically improve your little one’s sleep:

  1. Understanding sleepy cues
  2. Sleep environment
  3. Age appropriate awake windows
  4. Bedtime routine

 

1. Understanding sleepy cues

 

Your little one will have some signs that they are ready to go to sleep. For some children, they are not always that obvious however it is so important to recognize them and respond accordingly to...

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Why Does Life Suck When My Baby is Teething?

Have a teething baby at home?  If so, I’m sure life hasn’t exactly been carefree lately, but, trust me, you will get through it.  

It might help to have a better understanding of what your child is experiencing when teething.  Knowing when teeth begin cutting through the gums, and why your baby is showing different symptoms, can give you a better idea of what to expect.

Every child develops at a slightly different pace, which is why you will see that there is a range of ages for the timeline provided below.  It is important that every child is provided with items that are safe to mouth.  These items should be things that your child can safely bite down on in order to help his/her teeth cut through the gums and to promote oral-motor development.

Children have a total of 20 teeth in their mouths.  This includes the central incisors, lateral incisors, cuspids, first molars, and second molars.

Follow the timeline below to get an estimation...

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The 7 Biggest Sleep Challenges Parents Struggle With

When you want to learn to drive, you need to get your driver’s license. If you want to further your studies after high school, you need to attend University to receive a degree. Yet when you become a parent, there is no pre-requisite required and you leave the hospital without being given a manual for your baby!

Navigating through parenthood is such a steep learning curve that happens overnight as soon as you take your baby home from the hospital. Almost every parent face huge challenges in regards to sleep (or lack of!) and they quickly learn that all those beautiful, sleepy, peaceful photos and videos you see of babies on social media and in the movies, don’t always translate to real life.

There are seven key areas that we regularly see in relation to sleep that are some of the biggest challenges that parents face when trying to get their little ones to sleep. 

  1. Babies need to learn how to sleep

I know what you’re thinking. “Catherine, don’t be...

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