It was 3:30AM.
My daughter was 2 weeks old
I had seen every hour on the clock.
Earlier in the evening I had sent my husband to bed because he needed to work the next day. But here I was: exhausted, desperate and about to ruin his slumber.
I ran into our spare room where my husband was sleeping, handed him the baby and tried to get two hours of sleep in a row. I come back for the baby a couple of hours later to see HIM sleeping with the baby in his arms! It was my Oprah ‘a-ha’ moment: sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity!
While we may chuckle with a friend about how exhausting parenthood is, your child’s infancy (and sometimes beyond) can bring parents many sleepless nights if baby isn’t sleeping well–and that is no laughing matter. When we have tired babies, we have tired parents and tired parents are more likely to be involved in an accident, have a higher risk of heart disease, be obese, and even experience anxiety or depression. Sleep deprivation is no joke. And we know that after baby is 6 months and their circadian rhythms look more like adult ones, having broken nights of sleep means they feel just as tired and cranky as you do!
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are a few basics you need to know about baby sleep before you make any changes to way your baby falls asleep. Here are the basics that will answer the most common baby sleep questions and hopefully provide you with a starting point in helping your child become better rested.
“What?” you ask.
Yes! You read right. A sleep dance!
If I asked you to think about your sleep dance it would likely look like this: You hop into bed, take off your socks and turn to your right side. But in another 2 minutes you’re going to shift to your left side, put your hand under your pillow and shift your legs to and fro. These routines and actions are your sleep dance. And if your child or baby has you doing this dance for them (feeding, rocking, bouncing, swaying, pacifying etc.) it means that every time they wake, they will require that same ‘dance’ to fall asleep again…which is challenging because…
And neither will you for that matter! All human sleep is actually made up of several shorter cycles of sleep. Most adults have a sleep cycle of 90 minutes but because adults have independent sleep skills, we can get to the end of our cycle, wake, turn over and go back to sleep. A baby’s sleep cycle however can range between 30-90 minutes (depending on their age). This means it’s possible that a baby can wake every 30 minutes! And if baby does not have their sleep dance down, it means they will require a recital from mom and dad all night long! Some of you are nodding right now–if this is you, it means your baby does not have their sleep dance down and is lacking independent sleep skills
If baby has any sleep associations (things that lully them to sleep: rocking, patting, swaying, swings, pacifiers, dock-a-tots, nursing, bottles etc.) it makes falling and staying asleep extremely challenging because these associations will all stop working. Whatever lulling effect is created by these associations will eventually wear off and you’re left swaying a crying baby for hours. How many of you have had to run back to baby’s room several times at night to replace a pacifier? When we remove the pacifier (or any other association) baby will sleep deeper and more consistently going forward.
If you’re feeling like you’re ready to get you and baby to sleep, feel free to reach out! I (and many consultants!) offer free discovery calls to try to get a better sense of your sleep issue and let you know what working within a program may look like. You can reach me here: www.babysbestsleep.com/15mins
Good luck and teach that baby to dance!
Among other concerns, new parents often wonder exactly how—or whether—breastfeeding will work for them. These questions can become more complex when breastfeeding moms get busy with life and/or a return to work.
A potential solution is a breast pump from Medela Canada, including the mobile Freestyle system, Easy Expression bustier, Calma feeding system, and much more. They’re all available at London Drugs. You can even rent a complete Medela kit at LD, if you prefer.
Of course, knowing where to access breast pumping products isn’t enough.
Other questions include:
Luckily, London Drugs buyer Laurie Leeder and Medela expert Karli Kirkpatrick, along with LD pharmacist, Marmar Rabiei, joined forces recently on Facebook Live to answer these and other questions.
Find their two-part discussion in the video section of the London Drugs Facebook page. Or simply click below to watch now. (You’ll also find answers to some frequently asked questions in this post, below the videos.)
Q: How long will breast milk last?
A: The answer depends on a couple variables. First, whether the breast milk is fresh, refrigerated, frozen or thawed. And second, whether it is intended for a healthy term infant or one that is currently in a neonatal intensive care unit. Of course, the majority of cases fall within the first category. See the chart below for complete details:
A: The short answer is it varies based on your lifestyle and breast milk feeding goals! But there are two main options.
Double Pump: If you would like to provide breast milk to your baby full-time, share feedings, or return to work or school and continue providing breast milk, you will likely need a double pump. Double pumps are ideal for frequent, daily use and can be used full time, or to complement a full-time breastfeeding relationship. You can use them to pump one breast at a time (sequential) or both at once (simultaneous, which comes with some amazing benefits!).
Single Pump: These pumps are ideal to occasionally supplement full-time breastfeeding. They should only be used to fill roughly 1-3 bottles a week. This is because baby is responsible for maintaining your milk supply. So you should only be occasionally supplementing your breastfeeding with single pumping sessions.
Still Unsure? Click HERE for a great breakdown of all Medela pumps and how they should be used!
About Medela Canada: Many recognize Medela as the leading brand of breast pumps and accessories worldwide. What you may not know, however, is that Medela is the world’s largest supporter of scientific research surrounding breastfeeding, breast milk, and everything to do with lactation. We support Ph.D. research, nurses & doctors at universities and hospitals worldwide to conduct rigorous research. Then, we design, manufacture and bring to market products which incorporate their findings.
Our goal is always helping moms provide their babies with breast milk for as long as they choose. Breast milk provides three key benefits to babies: perfect nutrition, immunological protection and enhanced developmental growth. Moms benefit too, by lowering their incidence of certain illnesses and conditions, including breast cancer, diabetes, depression and more.
About the video: This Q&A was the first London Drugs Facebook Live broadcast. It was filmed in our Learning Lab studio, located this time at the Park Royal location in West Vancouver. We plan to create more helpful Facebook Live events, featuring various LD Experts. So we would would love to hear what topics or products you think we should cover next.
Let us know in the comments below or wherever you find us on social media.
Until next time, thanks for watching!
This year, London Drugs hopes to help our young (and young at heart) readers in their quest to “adult.” We know, the struggle is real. A big part of adulting for many is welcoming their first child into the world–and, more practically, into their home.
But, did you know that your furniture and appliances represent some of the biggest threats to children’s safety in your home? The problems with furniture and appliances arise mainly if they’re tippy or pointy, or if dangerous objects are accessible inside or on top.
In early 2017, a video of a Utah family went viral after the family’s twin toddlers tipped over a large dresser, and were caught on a home security camera. One brother was trapped beneath it while the other worked valiantly (and successfully) to free him. Thank goodness!
Still, we can all agree it would have been much better if the dresser had not fallen to begin with. Hence, prevention. And luckily, child-proofing your furniture doesn’t have to be a monumental task. If done right, you can also design a home that’s both kid-friendly and stylish. Let’s get started.
Reorganization is the first step to baby-proofing your furniture. Consider the needs of your adorable new roommate–from his or her perspective. Start by getting on your hands and knees and actually crawling around to see your living room through new eyes.
One of the first things you may notice is how cold and uncomfortable it is to crawl on hard surfaces. For this, consider getting a large rug or carpet, especially for the living room. [SPOILER ALERT: This suggestion won’t just benefit the baby. You’ll also be doing a lot more crawling around.]
Next, look for any sharp furniture edges you could bump your head on. Whenever you find one, often on a coffee table or side table, ask yourself if you can live without that object. After all, the best way to invalidate a threat is to physically remove it. If you can’t or don’t want to do without it, consider where in the room that object poses the least risk. Perhaps on the far side of a couch or in a low traffic area?
Think, too, of course about how you can make it safer. One clear option is covering sharp corners with protective foam or made-for-kids corner guards. In general, in the future, look for furniture with soft, rounded edges, such as a padded ottoman instead of a traditional coffee table.
The last thing to do from floor level is to test which furniture surfaces little arms might reach. Consider the consequences of grabbing or pulling on what is in reach–think: heavy statues, glass vases–and find a new (preferably higher and harder to reach) home for those objects. It will take some time for your little one to understand that not everything is a toy.
On the subject of toys, do also prepare an easy-to-access shelf, case, or chest where all your child’s toys will belong. This simple timeworn trick will help keep your house tidy, and will give them access to safe entertainment–with luck, minimizing their desire to seek out more dangerous entertainment, like climbing on your furniture.
Now that your furniture is safely positioned and cleared of potentially dangerous items, you can secure it in place.
Any large piece of furniture that could potentially be tipped over should be anchored or tethered to the wall. You can accomplish this using clips designed just for this purpose, or with standard items purchased from any hardware store. Whatever you do, make sure it’s done right.
Of course, tipping isn’t the only hazard. Drawers can often fall out if pulled past their limit and swinging cabinet doors have their own risks, like pinched fingers. To make your furniture baby-proof, consider latching each drawer and door.
This may seem obvious, but a free-standing, flat screen television can be the cause of a home injury to toddlers. In fact, 70% of all TV tipping incidents in Canada involve a child under four years old.
The addition of a baby to the family allows parents to enjoy the wonder of life in new ways, but it is so easy for new parents to get swept up in buying all the right equipment, reading all the right books, going to the right classes, and having a perfectly clean house. But no matter how much you prepare, there will be times when you feel like you just don’t have a clue about what’s going on with your baby. Don’t worry; that’s normal. Take reasonable precautions, follow your doctor’s advice, love your baby, and you’ll do just fine.