I have been lucky enough to scoot down to Tribeca a few times this month and talk infant, baby, and toddler sleep with HRP Mamas workshop participants. Here are the highlights from my notes:
For travel — arrive early to get your child and you used to your new sleep space. Before you even try a nap or bedtime, do some play time or reading time or just general hanging out in the new space. Build in extra time for wind down before bedtime and naps, so your child is reconnected with you in the new space before you even get started on sleep routines. Set up a separate sleep environment, a room within a room is ideal. The Slumber Pod will be your new best friend. Here is a code to use!
For JetLAG - give yourself a day to arrive and just survive until you can start fresh the next day. Make sure you wake and feed your child on the new time zone. Even if they are finally asleep, get them up at 7:30 am, so you can get your day on track. Get them outside, in the sunlights, and offer naps to get a bedtime to where you need it to be. When you get home, give yourself a day to recover and then jump into the schedule on day two. If you are going away for a short period or to Europe, consider staying on the NYC time zone!
For sleep training an older crib sleeper — you need to look carefully at your bedtime routine so that your older sleeper is 100% aware that bottle or breast is over, and it is time to get into the crib. They don’t like to be almost asleep and land in the crib. Move the feeding earlier or outside the room — really really separate it — and then put them in the crib. When they cry, go to the door, offer a quick, clear message such as, “I hear you, but it is time to lie down, night night.” Tantrums are inevitable and will pass, just follow the course and stay robotically consistent; it really helps.
Sleep science highlights — 50% of sleep is light and choppy (REM) and the other 50% is deep and settled (NON REM). Understanding this can help you let your baby work through light sleep on her own or with a little jiggling and shushing. Napping is developmental too — as babies approach 6 months their ability to connect sleep cycles improves.
When should I drop a feeding — when your baby is waking up with little to no appetite because she had her breakfast at 3am. Also work with your pediatrician if you are worried about this.
Awake Windows — small awake windows with very young babies, work on soothing the forehead, face and eyes to sleep. These windows increase and move closer to 2-3 hours as a baby approaches 6 months and grow from there.
Products we love — the baby shusher, the love to dream swaddle up, the Ollie Swaddle, the Snoo, the dock a tot, the slumber pod, tranquilo mat, and the marpac dohm for white noise.
Reach out and schedule a 30 minute call if you want to get advice expressly tailored for you and your baby — we would love to help!