Nap Lengthening…..What to do when Baby Has Short Naps, and How to Make them Longer

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0


Hi there! I’m Lauren, founder of baby & toddler sleep consulting company “Sleep and the City”. I often refer to nap time on social media as “stay-at-home-Mom gold”- meaning there is no better part of your day that finally getting that long awaited “break” you deserve (ok the giggles & laughs are better but you get the idea). After cleaning up for the 60th time, letting the dog out, quietly reprimanding the UPS guy for even thinking about ringing the doorbell (again) & tiptoeing past their rooms to enjoy the latest episode of Real Housewives when….oh no. NO. Your stomach drops…..Baby is up. After 30 minutes. Aack!! Having a newborn in the house is SO precious, but so are long, age-appropriate naps. With so much information online these days from multiple people claiming to know what’s best when it comes to baby sleep, it can be overwhelming to any parent, new or 2nd+ time around.

Infants: Sleep cycles that infants experience can be anywhere from 30-45 minutes, so you’ll often either see your infant stir on the monitor & resettle back to sleep into another cycle, or in most cases, wake up screaming for you to rescue them. Always wait a few minutes to be sure they are truly awake before barging in their room or taking them out of the swing in case they ARE able to fall back asleep. If waking after only one sleep cycle is a continuous event day in and day out, you may want to attempt “nap lengthening”, which is the process or idea that children can resettle and pass into the next sleep cycle unassisted for that beloved longer nap. With infants under 6 months, you’ll really want to rely on sleep cues (yawning, becoming fussy) vs. a “clock schedule” for the best results.

Toddlers (one year & up): These children experience sleep cycles much closer to adults, about 45-90 minutes. As adults, we too experience partial arousals after a cycle at night, waking up briefly to fluff our pillow or check the time, and we often don’t remember them at all- as adults we know how to put ourselves back to sleep, but some children do not. Depending on the age of your child & how long he/she sleeps at night would determine how long of a nap they’ll need, but on average it can be around 2 hours/day until that nap begins to disappear between 3-4 years of age. It is best to have a clock schedule at this age, but always watch for those sleep cues if they appear earlier after a big day.

So what do you need to do for your baby to get these longer naps:

CONSISTENCY: The most important. If you swaddle, then rock, they lay down baby drowsy but awake and give a kiss goodbye- KEEP DOING IT OVER AND OVER. Even if one day your child decides they want to stand up or cry out randomly one day as you’re leaving. As parents we have to run the show using our social cues, and children crave routine- they love to know what’s coming next. Once you choose a new routine, stick with it! A lot of times you’ll hear Moms say “we tried everything and nothing worked”; sometimes that alone is the problem, and when children are confused it creates uncertainty – and usually tears.

WAKE WINDOWS: Study and know your age-appropriate wake window for your child! A newborn can stay awake about 40-90 minutes between each nap, but a 1.5 year old on one nap can go about 5-6 hours!

PAUSE before you respond: make sure your child is truly awake and not transitioning on their own to the next sleep cycle if an irregularly short nap occurs.

SLEEP ENVIRONMENT: Naps that take place in the same time in the same place, every single time. I advise my own clients to use a place where they’ll want their children to sleep in 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years from now- most choose the child’s nursery 😉

Dark, dark, DARK! It has to be nearly pitch black for your babe to sleep during the day. I hate expensive curtains, so I bought this custom shade for my own kids under $50. It’s hard enough to fall asleep with the sun shining in your room, let alone when the Fed Ex guy ignores your “Baby is Asleep” sign and ringing the doorbell. White noise (we use this humidifier) is imperative to block out unwanted noise, always swaddled under 6 months, and introduce a lovey/small item for child to hold to combat any separation anxiety.

Easier said than done? 😉 Often times we truly need a little guidance, and nothing makes me personally crazier than all the contradicting or unsolicited advice out there on child sleep. If your babe needs a little assistance falling back asleep, don’t hesitate to drop me a quick note at hello@sleepandthecity.com, or visit my website at sleepandthecity.com for more ideas and insider tips!

3 Fun ways to keep your baby entertained

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0

3 Fun Ways to Keep the Kid Entertained (So You Can Get Something Done)

You could always use the exersaucer, bouncer, play pen, crib, swing, etc., to keep your little one confined to a safe space with toys while you try for the third-zillionth time to warm up your coffee or re-wash that load of laundry.  However, as a parent, you know that those safe solutions are just never enough by themselves!  Check out 3 of our favorite ways to help keep your little critter entertained and safe long enough for you to empty the dishwasher:Drool Bibs, How to Swaddle, Swaddling Organic, Dribble bib

1. Make-shift Kid Countertop – Speaking of dishwashers, next time you’re prepping a meal in the kitchen and your tiny tot wants to lend a helping, super messy hand, encourage it!  Break out your Cocoon Co. Drool Bib, pull down the dishwasher door & break out the home-made play-dough, BPA-free plastic bowls & wooden spoons.  The dishwasher door is the perfect height for a make-shift kiddy counter, and the best part is, when it’s all said & done, you just close the door to clean up!  Voila!

2. Laundry Hamper On-the-Go – Do you need to run to the laundry room to swap a load, use the restroom, or brush your teeth, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a swing or play pen, etc.?  Set baby in a laundry hamper or basket with reasonable height.  You can slide them around on the floor in circles when they get fussy, pick baby up in it and carry to another room for a change of scenery, or play peek-a-boo between the side slots as a quick distraction.  Never be out of arm’s reach though and take extra care to ensure that no dangerous objects are within your little one’s reach.

3.  Cardboard Box Classic – Tried & true, & tot-tested, cardboard boxes never go out of style.! Baby can build a fort, pretend to be a box head robot, or simply use a box as a drum to bang on. What kid doesn’t love banging on anything they can get their little sticky fingers on?  Just make sure to watch for sharp corners!

What are some of your kids’ favorite entertaining activities that help you get things done while little one practices the art of independence?

10 Tips for Traveling with Tots & Babies

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0

10 Tips for Traveling with Tots & Babies

Are you anxious about your upcoming trip of a lifetime with baby or toddler in tow?  Fear not!  We’ve got tips to help you with everything from on-the-go diaper changes to activity planning, and more!

1.  Make sure you include plenty of age-appropriate kid-friendly activities along the way, from children’s museums & petting zoos to beaches & parks, plenty of fun for everyone!

2. If baby is teething, or snacking, keep a Cocoon Co. drool bib on him at all times to keep his outfit dry and make clean-up a breeze.

3.  Remember, babies get jet lag too & not just from flying but long roadtrips also.  Make sure to account for crossing timezones and keep in mind how this will affect baby’s sleeping/eating schedule.  Plan accordingly and allow for 2-3 days to adjust.

4.  Take naps!  If you’re on the road and baby’s napping in the car seat, you or your partner should be napping, too so that one of you is always well rested for the next shift of driving.  If you flew to your destination, take advantage of napping with baby (to catch up on the jet lag).  Once you’re all caught up, try to plan the awesome but boring-for-baby adult outings for baby naptime in the stroller.

5.  If road-tripping with an infant, take every toy & teether you can fit in your car so you have a constant rotation of distractions ready to go to keep baby entertained (or at least breathing during a meltdown until you are able to stop the car and take care of the issue).  If your little one is older, make sure to bring plenty of books & snacks as well.  If flying, make sure to include as many of these items as you can in your carry-on that you stow under your seat.

6.  Bring audio books (or the app “Audible”) to entertain the awake adults while the baby sleeps.  Obviously a great idea for road trips, but also excellent for an in-flight escape with earphones while the little one either sleeps, reads, plays a game, watches a movie or sits calmly staring out the window in awe of the world.

7. Stroll simply.  Don’t bring your heavy duty travel system stroller along for the ride (unless your baby is not big enough to stroll outside of a carseat).  Although the name alludes to the idea that traveling is what it’s made for, if you’ve ever had to lift it into your car with one hand while holding baby in the other, you know that’s false advertising.  Get an umbrella stroller for the trip or another lightweight option.

8. Wet wipes & empty Ziploc bags.  Never leave home without them.  If you prefer a greener alternative… a spray bottle full of water and plenty of washcloths should do the trick while you’re on the road, or a Ziploc bags containing clean wet washcloths for the plane).  Ziploc bags can be used for so many solutions, but the best solution is for storing dirty diapers until you’re able to wash or throw them away.

9.  Bring your Anywhere Swaddle!  If you want to keep your baby as quiet and content as possible you must bring your Anywhere Swaddle.  It is the only way to keep your little one swaddled on the go!!

10.  Finally, if you really want a stress-free vacation, you want to save as much money as possible, and you want your baby or toddler to make memories that will last a lifetime, have a stay-cation instead!  Take a pointer from the sitcom “Raising Hope” & take really awesome pictures with fake backdrops since they’ll never know unless you tell them!  If you prefer not telling your future teen that his beloved photo on the African Safari was actually taken at the local zoo, embrace the truth and go all out being tourists in your hometown.  They will probably appreciate these real stories more than if you just faked it.  When is the last time you visited your local museum, zoo, nature trail, splash pad, theme park, carousel, arcade, beach, etc.?  You don’t have to travel far to be tourists!

car seat swaddle in stroller

You do WHAT with that puppy pad?!?

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0

If you’ve been a mom for at least a few months, you’ve most likely found your little one in need of an on-the-go diaper change. You’ve probably been able to achieve this in the backseat of your car, and odds are it wasn’t a simple #1. But there are many places an on the go diaper change can surprise you, like the many store or restaurant restrooms that are not equipped with a changing station.

Then there’s the inevitable blowout when you’re by yourself and baby has reached the I’m-never-laying-on-my-back-again phase. Even if you’re comfortable at home, a blowout shows no mercy to anyone, anywhere. Sometimes you have to “throw in the towel” (or old blanket) literally to try to protect your surroundings from the mess!

Fortunately, most diaper bags come with a travel pad for these situations, and to use on those who-knows-if-it’s-ever-been-cleaned changing stations, but then once you’ve used it you have to clean both sides later since the dirty changing station germs are clinging to it. What if you forget to clean it? Or (oh no!) you forget the diaper bag?

That is where your trusty puppy potty pad can save the day (and possibly your car’s leather interior or friend’s carpet). Keep one in your purse, diaper bag, car, and stroller for any emergency. You can also use a puppy pad as a disposable placemat or mattress-protector during human potty-training. Like laundry, the possibilities are endless! What are some ways you’ve made-do with supplies on-hand in tricky situations?

image

Paint Party

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0

It’s Paint Party Night at your house, and visions of doors painted black and red dance through your head, or flat screens painted blue. While you know the possibilities in the world of colorful pigments are endless, you can almost guarantee that whatever outfit your little one wears will be soon be a different color from what it started out as. Besides a bib, the #1 line of defense for moms everywhere, the following are our favorite tips to help you keep things tidy while chaos ensues:
1. Save an empty egg carton to reuse as a paint palette. (Or if you don’t have an egg carton, you can use a muffin tin or ice cube tray). Fill a few slots with some primary (non-toxic) colors and let them create their own unique shades!
2. Make your own non-toxic, edible (although not particularly tasty) paints! If it’s edible, it’s usually washable. Check out this link for details: http://earth911.com/inspire/diy/diy-non-toxic-finger-paint-recipes-so-easy-a-kid-could-do-it/

3. Call it a “Patio Paint Party” to potentially save your walls, or at least save you the hassle of cleaning the walls.
4. Lay down a tarp to act as a bib for the floor! If you don’t own a tarp, use blankets or towels you don’t mind ruining.
5. Tear out pages from a JUMBO coloring book & have the kiddos practice painting within the lines using smaller brushes (for the older kids). While this may stifle creativity a little, it serves another purpose of enhancing hand-eye coordination while being fun, and it’s still more creative than Paint-by-Numbers since they get to choose the colors. You could also have them draw their own art to paint! This tip will help keep the paint on the masterpiece and off of everything else!
Part of the fun in painting is making a mess of it, whether you’re 5 or 50 years old, so while you don’t want to discourage the mess in their creativity, using these tips might help make clean-up a little bit easier!

Simplify your morning routine…

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0

So you’re dressed to the nines at 7AM (momtalk = actually changed out of pajamas or, birthday suit), and you even had time to do your makeup… Congrats, fellow Super Mom! Unfortunately, only other moms could possibly understand or appreciate the effort that goes into simply brushing your hair sometimes. Therefore, when your 5 year old plays in her pancake syrup before giving you a big bear cub hug or your 5 month old decides to give you a milk bath or blow out his diaper, while sitting on your knee, you’re the only one wondering how in the world you’re going to get changed and still make it to wherever on time.

While most of the time an awesome bib (like the drool bib from The Cocoon Co.) will keep your precious little one clean and dry, moms don’t always run around in their aprons like Stepford Wives, so your clothes are generally not as protected. That’s where your bathrobe comes into play!

It has served you well many nights after a long, relaxing, hot bath, right? (Who are we kidding? Momtalk = 5 minute lukewarm shower while a baby stares at you from a bouncer and a 5 year old sings to you while turning her clothes inside out… we feel your pain.) Why not re-purpose this wonderful invention and wear your bathrobe over your nice clothes while going about your morning mom duties?

The robe can then take the brunt of your morning battlefield like the armor you never knew you had, while being quickly tossed to the floor on your way out the door. Just don’t get so comfortable you forget to take it off before walking into work or that corporate meeting, or the grocery store. Just kidding, wear that robe wherever you feel comfortable (which would be everywhere, because it’s a comfortable robe!).

robe

 

The Good Behavior Jar

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0

 

 

 

 

 

Do you ever feel like you are constantly telling your kids no or constantly disciplining? I did!! I would go to bed some nights feeling like it is a never ending battle against wills and would it ever end? I had this very discussion with one of my girlfriends who suggested to me to try the good behavior jar. And I did, and it works, and I love it!!
The good behavior jar reinforces good behavior and has my boys excited about being kind, obedient, and putting others first. So what exactly is it and how does it work?
The good behavior jar is a reward program that allows any adult that sees one of my children doing something kind, thoughtful, or just behaving well to give them a Pom Pom to put in their jar. There are 3 lines on the jar and each line they reach is a reward that they and I previously chose together. Obviously the higher the line the greater the reward. Their first reward line was a cookie, the next line was a small toy (they ended up sharing a hot wheels launcher as a shared prize) and they are both working very hard to earn enough Pom poms to get to the third line. One wants a small Lego set and the other wants a trip to the movies. Once the jars are filled we will come up with some new reward goals!
The jars have worked out amazingly!! My boys get so excited when they can put a Pom Pom in their jar and they love the recognition for their efforts! It also has given them something to patiently work towards and has given us positive behavior vs negative behavior to highlight. I have been asked many times if we take Pom Poms out for bad behavior and the answer is no. We still punish for bad behavior.
We used the jar decorating as a fun activity as well. I took the boys to our local craft store and allowed them to pick out stickers so they could decorate & personalize their jars. It was a fun afternoon craft and they were both so proud of their jars!
I would love to hear what positive reinforcement has worked for other moms or if any of you decide to try out your own jars what kind of experiences you have with them!

Potty Training

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0

Our babies are all grown up!  Maybe not literally, but for moms, potty training is a big milestone… it validates that our baby isn’t a baby anymore.

Over the past weekend we have had that validation with both of our babies 😉 For both of us the second time has been a charm. Lauren and I both tried potty training about 6 months ago.  Besides the fact that potty training is more eco friendly, we both had our reasons for why we wanted to potty train the first time around.  Lauren wanted to do it before her daughter, Elizabeth, was born and I had heard that if you do it before 2 years it was easier.  For me (Jenny) that was definitely not true.  I don’t think Adele actually ever peed in the potty.  She peed on the carpet, the hardwood floors and even pooped on the carpet when I was out of the room for barely a minute.  Tanner, on the other hand, potty trained himself! He didn’t have an accident for a week & then suddenly decided he was done with the potty & she couldn’t beg him to get back on the potty. Needless to say, this wasn’t the right timing for either of us.

Over Christmas vacation I kept telling Adele that when we get home we were going to go pee pee in the potty. So by the end of the vacation she actually said she wanted to go pee pee in the potty. I told her we would start as soon as we got home. I read a blog post (the one I semi followed is attached below) and I did the one I thought would work best for us and so we began.

Naked all day on day one (luckily it has been very warm down south this winter like 75 degree warm).  I encouraged her to drink as much as possible so she would know the feeling and would have to go more often, but because of her age I think she already knew what the urge felt like and on day one I am happy to report that we only had 1 accident.  The second day I put her in big girl underwear and we stayed around the house as much as possible and she did great with no accidents.  5 days later we have had 3 accidents total, which one was my fault since I forgot to put a diaper on her before nap time….hopefully that won’t happen again!

Lauren had a similar experience with Tanner, keeping him mostly naked the first day and asking him frequently if he needed to go and sometimes making him go, even if he didn’t think he needed to. She knew he could do it since he had done it once before for a short period of time, and in no time at all he was telling her that he needed to go. One week in and he has had only one accident!

The advice we would give to make potty training easier on yourself is to wait to do it when they are ready.  If you try to push it too early you will only frustrate you & your little one, making the process longer and harder. For those of you who also have conquered this task, we would love to know what has worked for you in the and what other pieces of advice you might have for the moms out there who may be ready to take the plunge! 🙂

 

Blog we followed

Help Me Grow Utah

 

 

 

Acid Reflux…Is There a Natural Approach That Really Works?

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0

My daughter is a preemie, she was born almost a month early. She was born at a healthy weight of 6 lbs 6 oz but I have struggled getting the weight back on her. In order to help boost her weight I supplemented her with an ounce of pumped breast milk after each feeding for a week and she gained 7 oz during that week! Feedings had been going great but around 7 weeks old she started spitting up after every feeding, a lot of times she would spit out her entire intake. I got worried so I took her to the doctor for a weight check & discovered to my dismay that she only gained 2 ounces in just over 2 1/2 weeks. Not good!
We first had to rule out pyloric stenosis (a blockage in between the stomach & small intestine which can only be fixed with surgery) and thankfully that came back negative. Then it was determining what was causing her to spit up. Thinking maybe it was acid reflux, the doctor wrote her a prescription. I’m not against medications but ideally since I’m more of an organic and eco-friendly type of mom I would like to try natural remedies first, so I began my research online. I came across the article attached and it has been a God send! The one thing I read that stuck out to me was that many of these medications work & work well at controlling the symptoms but they may have long term effects & they are not fixing the root cause of the reflux. So for the past week I have done the ginger oil rub on her belly before every feeding while I try to determine what her trigger foods are. Since starting the oil rub, she has not spit up one time after her feedings. I have cut out dairy, eggs, soy, and wheat, which seem to be the top four trigger foods and then I will slowly reintroduce them back into my diet after 10 days to determine what is causing her to spit up.
We went today for her weight check and my baby girl gained 8 1/2 ounces in six days! I have been supplementing with organic formula to help add extra calories into her day but I think the key to the weight gain has really been keeping the milk down. The article below has been a great resource and also underscores why sometimes prescription medications may actually mask the symptoms instead of  getting to the root cause. I am excited to pass this article along hoping that it can help some of moms out there as acid reflux seems to be a common problem. It’s a trial and error approach for me and hopefully some of the options listed in the article will help some of you. I’ll be writing an update in the next couple weeks stating our progress but I am excited to have found a method that seems to be working thus far!
I would also love to hear feedback from any of you who have struggled with infant reflux. For those who have found other solutions, I would love to hear what has worked for you!

Click here to check out our Baby Drool Bibs perfect for babies with acid reflux.

http://www.mommyser.com/myblog/10-natural-remedies-infant-reflux

Also check out and enter our giveaway on Pregnant Chicken!

http://www.pregnantchicken.com/giveaways/the-cocoon-co-giveaway

 

 

Mom Does Reviews

posted in: Tips and Tricks | 0

It is unbelievable how much things change and how many new products are on the market today for babies. I was amazed when I recently went to register for some new items for my baby girl with how many new things have become available since being pregnant with my son 6 years ago, all in an effort to help make life a little easier for parents.
We are thrilled to be featured on the blog this week for “Mom Does Reviews” and even more excited to be part of the new and innovative baby products that are booming on the market today!
Click the link below to read the review, and if you are already one of our customers, we would love to hear what you love most about our bibs and swaddles!

http://www.momdoesreviews.com/2015/11/10/the-cocoon-company-keep-cozy-with-baby/

TAGS
Fussy – Calming a Fussy Baby – Fussy Baby Products – High Need Babies – Screaming – Sleep – Sleep Deprivation – Swaddling – Spit Up – Swaddle – Baby – Stroller – Organic – Waterproof – Laundry – Ecofriendly – Burp Cloth – How to Swaddle – Cotton – Bib

1 2