ABCs of Earth: W is for Walk – LullabyEarth.com

ABCs of Earth: W is for Walk

When the weather gets warmer, it’s the perfect opportunity to get outside with your kids and go for a walk! Walking is great way to reduce your carbon footprint, be active and get some fresh air! If accessible, walk to the grocery store for your next haul, or take a stroll to your neighborhood park. Walking with your kids is also a fun way to have quality conversations while exercising.

Check out these ideas on our ABCs of Earth Pinterest board

 

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6 Times Parents Were Thankful For Sleep

6 Times Parents Were Thankful For Sleep

We’re in a thankful, grateful mood this season, and we asked our readers about times they were thankful for sleep as parents. Read on to hear the stories and be sure to share your own!

1. When They Can Get Some Uninterrupted ZZZs

Laura M. says, “When I had a stomach bug and hubby let me sleep all day and night. It was two years ago and I still think about it.”

Renee C. says, “My husband works shifts, and when the baby has a rough night my husband will take her in the morning so I can actually get some uninterrupted sleep. It’s the best.”  

Cindy H. says, “I was in the hospital with my newborn for three days all alone and probably got four hours of sleep the whole time. I was so thankful to finally get some sleep once I was home with my husband.” Sarah C. says, “The time I collapsed into my hotel bed at a conference after a three week sleep strike conducted by my three year old.”

 

2. When Baby Sleeps Through The Night

Ariel F. says, “I’ve been grateful for every night since my son was 18 months old and he started sleeping through the night. Before that, he woke up every 90 minutes.”    Shanan W. says, “My kids are only 14 months apart, and my newborn son slept a solid six hours a night right from the start. I felt like he was my reward for surviving the long nights with my daughter.”  

Emily M. says, “When my first born was about 9 months old, we went out for a family dinner and one of us gave her a tiny sip of pop to see her reaction to the bubbles. Big mistake. She was up until 1am bouncing off the walls, but she slept until 9am the next day. I’ve never been more thankful.”  

Andrea H. says, “I’m thankful [daughter] is a good sleeper. She fusses at first but when she’s down she’s down! And our other daughter is up all night singing to herself, running around her room, coming into our room…I’m grateful the older one sleeps so I can take care of our other daughter and new baby without having to worry about all three of them at once.”

 

3. When They Reconnect

Elizabeth S. says, “When baby sleeps, parents can reconnect with each other and refuel their relationship. For example, snuggling on the couch and watching Stranger Things 2 in one weekend” 

 

4. When They Get A Good Routine Going

Maggie B. says, “When we switched from bedsharing to having our son in his own bed. The lack of kicked kidneys was amazing.”  

Clarissa O. says, “I worked eight-hour night shifts after my first child was born, and I was a zombie the whole time. I feel like I missed so much with my son because I was so exhausted all the time. I switched shifts when I was pregnant with my daughter and was able to get a more consistent sleep schedule. Having a consistent routine made all the difference and it made me a better mama.”

 

5. When They Know Baby is Okay

Amy C. says, “My little one had reflux as a baby. Before we knew her medicine was working, I would sleep in small increments and wake up alarmed, always worried she would be choking. After a month of her reflux being under control, I was finally able to sleep without someone watching her.”   Genevieve M. says, “Our kiddo was sick and throwing up all day. We were so thankful when he finally slept.”

 

6. When Their Child Wants a Good Snuggle

Alx G. says, “My daughter is a total daddy’s girl and merely tolerated me until she was about four. After spending a week in the hospital with her newborn brother, we were finally home. I was in the spare bedroom on the main floor with the baby since I couldn’t go upstairs while I recovered from an emergency C-section. I was trying to get him to sleep, and my husband told our daughter it was almost time for bed. This normally meant she would go upstairs, but she climbed into bed with me and her brother. She put one hand on him, patting him gently, and used her other hand to wrap my arm around her. She said, ‘Don’t make the baby up, mama? Don’t make the baby up, please?’ I realized she meant herself, that she didn’t want me to make her go upstairs. We all fell asleep snuggled in that bed. It was Valentine’s Day and I spent the night sleeping with my two biggest loves that I fought 13 years of infertility to get.”  

Tracy T. says, “I was pregnant with my daughter, and so very very tired. I had fallen asleep on the couch on my side while my husband made dinner. When I woke up, I had a blanket over me and my toddler snuggled up between me and the couch. My husband said that my son had grabbed a blanket, told him mama was asleep, and got him to help cover me up. Then my son snuggled in with his own blanket to nap with me.”

What If My Child Gets Sick While Sleep Training?

sleep training while sick

By Jenni June Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, Lactation Consultant and Mom of 4!

 One of the most important components of sleep training is knowing how to discern the difference between your child’s tears of temporary struggle (such as learning a new skill), versus tears of potential suffering.

When it comes to tears of suffering, we should always respond immediately to those. But how do we differentiate between the two when our child is sick? Is our child crying because they are frustrated with adapting to a new routine, or are they in pain? This is a very valid concern for us parents, as it may make the process of sleep training harder as well as hazardous.

If your child does happen to be sick with a cold or fever, but you are far enough along in the process of sleep training (meaning your child has already demonstrated that they have the basic skills necessary to independently connect from one sleep cycle to the next without you), you may choose to give them 5 to 7 minutes to see, via video monitor, if they can re-connect to the next sleep cycle on their own, or if your intervention is required (should something minor like a runny nose, arouse them all the way awake).

However, if your child is in the beginning processes of developing the basic skills of self-soothing, and/or you notice any of the following, put the process of learning on the back burner and respond immediately if your child is experiencing...

· A high grade fever (102.4) within 24 hrs
· Two or more bouts of watery diarrhea or vomiting within 24 hours
· A new or unfamiliar vaccine or medication (OTC or prescribed)
· Hacking, uncontrollable coughing
· An ear infection or UTI
· Any other health conditions that your pediatrician advises your round-the-clock vigilance over

Remember that interruption to your routine responses with sleep training will cause a temporary setback., but don't worry. It's better to be safe than sorry. Attend to your child and help them through their illness, but once your child is well again (for a full 48 hours), get right back on track with your routines and consistent parenting responses. Sleep, after all, is the foundation of wellness and recovery. So listen to your gut! You know your child better than anyone else.

About Jenni June:


jenni june Jennifer Metter, founder of Jenni June™ LLC, is a Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, specializing in pediatric and adult sleep hygiene; A Certified Lactation Counselor, Host, Nationalspeaker, and Mom of 4!

With thousands of successful sleep cases under her belt since 2011, she is a valuable resource for everyday and celebrity parents all over the country, including Guiliana and Bill Rancic for the Style Network! And, she is the sleep training expert on The Doctors TV show! She is a practitioner member of the National Sleep Foundation and collaborative health care provider as a certified sleep coach for infants, children and adults for the Breathe Institute, and the go-to sleep trainer for LA’s top pediatricians!

Jenni is also a popular national speaker and guest on CBS, FOX, NBC news and the host of series, “Baby Care with Jenni June” and the resident sleep expert for the BabyLeague and FamiLeague Networks.

If you were to ask Jenni why she has joyfully dedicated her entire life to building up and equipping families (including her own, who are now all grown!), she will tell you, “Because the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” She is gifted in encouraging new parents to raise the standard of their significance.

Do I Need a Sheet with the Breeze Breathable Crib Mattress?

Do I  need a sheet with the Breeze Breathable Crib Mattress?

Our Breeze Breathable 2-Stage Crib Mattress is all about #BreathabilityDoneRight - but do you still get the benefits of breathability when you use a crib sheet?

Breathability Done Right

First, let’s quickly recap how the Breeze does breathability right. Rather than a completely breathable mattress, the Breeze combines a breathable pad over our firm, lightweight, and waterproof mattress made without harmful chemicals. This way, when baby makes a mess in the crib, from sweating, drooling, or an inevitable diaper blowout, your whole mattress isn’t compromised and you can just machine wash the pad. The mattress itself is usable without the pad, so if you have a late night bedding change, you don’t have to miss a beat. You can put baby back to sleep with a new sheet over the mattress alone.

Does the Breeze Need a Sheet?

The short answer is: not necessarily, but we recommend one.

The Breeze does not strictly require a sheet, but many parents who use the Breeze prefer to use one anyway. A sheet provides a soft, cozy surface for baby. Plus, you may have crib sheets to match your nursery decor! However, it’s important to use a crib sheet with a loose weave fabric, such as muslin or natural cotton, with the Breeze Breathable Crib Mattress. If the fabric is too tightly woven, air can’t pass through as easily. To take full advantage of the Breeze’s airflow, choose a looser weave fabric.

Benefits of Breathability

The number one safety feature of your little one’s crib mattress is firm, flat support. To reduce suffocation risk, baby’s mattress should be firm and there should be no soft blankets, pillows, bedding, or toys in the crib. These are the recommendations from child health and safety organizations including the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Once you’re set with a firm, flat crib mattress, it’s time to talk about the benefits of a breathable crib mattress! The big benefit is maximized airflow, which helps baby sleep cool and comfortably without overheating. Of course, a breathable surface also gives parents peace of mind in case baby happens to roll over onto their tummy from being placed to sleep on their back.

As we mentioned above, an added benefit of a system like the Breeze is that you can remove and wash the breathable layer when it gets messy - something you simply can’t do with a one-piece breathable mattress.

Any Questions?

Let us know your other questions about Lullaby Earth products to be included in a future post!

How to Start a Non-Toxic Lifestyle

How to Start a Non-Toxic Lifestyle

When you have a baby and start researching the safest, healthiest baby products, you get hit with the realization that there’s a whole lot to learn! From food to cleaning products to personal care items, there are simple steps you can take to start a non-toxic lifestyle. You don’t have to change everything at once, so don’t feel intimidated. Get started with these tips.


1. Freshen Your Food: You don’t have to go completely organic to clean up your eating. Start by switching a few key items to organic (like the Dirty Dozen list) and avoiding problematic ingredients like artificial dyes (which are linked to hyperactivity and other risks) and high fructose corn syrup. Stick to whole food ingredients when possible and you’ll make a big difference!


2. Clean Out Your Cosmetics: Questionable ingredients like parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes, and even antibacterial agents can hide in makeup, perfume, and personal care products like lotion and soap. Brands like Beautycounter offer quality cosmetics and beauty products that avoid known harmful ingredients. Au Naturale is another brand that offers cosmetics made with high quality ingredients - and their makeup is also free of animal products.

3. Wise Up Your Washing: Cleaning, air freshening, and laundry products may contain harsh ingredients like chemical surfactants, antibacterial treatments, and artificial fragrances. The Environmental Working Group has a Guide to Healthy Cleaning, which ranks cleaning products so you can decode labels and pick safer products. You don’t even have to splurge on specialty cleaners - baking soda and vinegar do the trick just fine, or pick a common green brands like Molly’s Suds, Babyganics, Seventh Generation or Biokleen.

4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Reduce your waste by participating in your city’s local recycling program if available. You can also re-use glass jars to store leftovers or upcycle an old tee shirt into a throw pillow. By reducing waste and shopping secondhand instead of brand new, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint, which makes the Earth a little happier.

5. Baby Your Baby: Your baby is particularly at risk from home toxins since their body is still developing. This is one baby step that is very important as you plan a baby registry or outfit your nursery. Avoid harmful chemicals, including flame retardants, phthalates, vinyl, and formaldehyde - we make it easy when you shop Lullaby Earth for your baby’s crib mattress and accessories.

Ready, Set, Go Non-Toxic!

We hope these tips have helped explain how easy it can be to start a non-toxic lifestyle! Which tip will you try first?

Tags: nontoxic

Lullaby Playlist: Music To Help Baby Sleep

Lullaby Playlist: Music To Help Baby Sleep

Music can get us excited and motivated, remind us of fond memories, help calm us down when we’re stressed, or even help us wind down for sleep. Babies are no different, and they often respond well to calming music and lullabies. Sometimes they prefer that mom or dad sing them a song, but many babies do well with a CD or playlist of sleepytime tunes to help them get ready for bedtime.

     

The Best Type of Music for Babies

The truth is, there’s actually no one type of music that’s best for babies. It’s all down to their personal taste! Who can forget the funny moment in the sitcom Friends when baby Emma only calms down to Sir Mix-A-Lot? While we probably wouldn’t start there, it’s possible your little one has a favorite song that’s outside the realm of ordinary lullaby tunes - and that’s okay!


Instrumental Music - Classical and instrumental music is great for babies because it doesn’t have any words and can be played quietly for a relaxing atmosphere in the nursery. Some babies don’t like CDs or playlists because of the jump between styles of music from one song to another, but that’s not as much of an issue with instrumental music since many of the styles and instruments are consistent through multiple songs.

Misty W. says, “Our daughter loves anything Bach.”

Tiffany M. says, “When she was a baby, we did white noise. In the toddler years we transitioned to a CD of Native American flute lullabies. She won’t sleep without it.”

Popular Music - It sounds a little out of the ordinary, but many babies and toddlers respond well to the popular music that their parents like! Try putting on a Beatles CD or music with soft vocals (although it’s possible they like punk rock too - no judging here).

Shayna E. says, “My kid was sort of weird. Avenged Sevenfold knocked her out as a babe, and now she loves P!nk and Imagine Dragons.”

Kathryn M. says, “‘Hey Jude’ was my go-to for my oldest. The younger two really like more alternative rock like Linkin Park.”

Holly S. says, “Some of our favorites are ‘Sweet Baby James’ by James Taylor and ‘Come Away With Me’ by Norah Jones.”

Classic Nursery Rhymes - The old classics like Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, etc. can be real favorites for your baby, especially when sung by you! Baby doesn’t mind if you’re a little out of tune, but there are recordings available for the vocally shy.

Briary R. says, “My kids never liked CDs because they woke up when the songs changed. I sing to them at every nap and bedtime.”

Sarah S. says, “I remember the first time my daughter was really crying, and I thought, ‘I should sing a lullaby’ but I panicked because I couldn’t think of any and it was 2:00am and I hadn’t slept in three days. So I sang the ABCs over and over. That song still helps her calm down when the going gets rough.”

Lullaby Versions of Popular Songs - These are super fun for babies and parents! Parents hear their favorite songs but baby only hears the soft tones of a lullaby melody perfect for bedtime. Check out Rockabye Baby to see if your favorite song has been turned into a lullaby! They’re also available on Spotify.

Lexie M. says, “Rockabye Baby is awesome!”

Renee C. says, “I have the Rockabye Baby CDs because the normal repetitive kids’ music annoys me.”

Millissa B. says, “I like Rockabye Baby. There’s a Justin Timberlake collection that we love!”

White Noise - While not specifically music, a white noise machine can help babies fall asleep and stay asleep longer, since the normal bumps in the night are drowned out by a constant background hum. Many adults sleep with a fan or white noise machine, and baby can benefit too!

Briary R. says, “Our kids have an air purifier and ceiling fan in their room for white noise.”
     

Tips for a Musical Bedtime

If you’re putting baby down with music, try to make it part of the bedtime routine but not something that stays on after you leave the room. If the song ends, they may wake up and need you to come back and restart the music. But if you play (or sing) a song or two as part of bedtime and then turn on a white noise machine to leave the room that stays on overnight, they may have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep until they wake naturally!

If your baby doesn’t respond (i.e., get sleepy and calm) with your chosen tunes, mix things up and try some different songs. Follow baby’s cues to find out what works best for them. You may notice them nodding off in the car seat to the Moana soundtrack or getting sleepy while you sing to yourself making dinner. Pay attention to these clues so you can recreate the calming effect at bedtime!

     

Share Your Favorite Tunes

We’d love your suggestions for bedtime lullabies and songs your kiddos love! Share in the comments below. Sweet dreams!
Tags: baby, sleep

Poor Sleep Affects Baby’s Eating Habits and Digestion

poor sleep affects baby's eatign habits

By Jenni June Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, CLC and mom of 4!

Did you know the best way to help improve your baby’s eating and nursing habits beyond the age of four months old is to improve the quality and quantity of their sleep?  

Many parents, and even well meaning pediatricians, don’t realize that when sleep continues to be fragmented for multiple middle-of-the-night feedings (beyond the point that a healthy, baby’s nighttime circadian rhythm fully develops), sleep deprivation sets in very quickly. Fragmented sleep creates sleep deprivation just as much as prolonged wakefulness does.

When humans, even little humans, are chronically deprived of sleep, it elevates stress levels to chronic states. This often triggers the stress response system to operate in fight-or-flight mode for prolonged periods of time, beyond what is healthy and normal, throwing homeostasis off kilter. We know the result of this for older children and adults is typically obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, gastro-esophageal reflux, liver disorders and even colorectal cancer, according to a study published in World Journal of Gastroenterology (2013). [1]

Poor Sleep Affects Baby’s Eating Habits and Digestion After carefully evaluating the thousands of infant sleep training cases I have worked on over the years, I began to notice a very clear common thread and pattern with babies age four months to twenty-four months old. Children of this age, who are chronically sleep deprived tend to engage in lighter, more snack-like feedings at the breast or bottle, and it seems they experience increased, more dramatic spitting-up. It also appears that they tend to struggle with acid reflux beyond age four months, along with excess gas, upset tummy, constipation, diarrhea, resistance of solid foods beyond age seven months, and are often underweight. However, after about day four or five into the sleep training process, using my 4 Pillars of Sleep HygieneTM (in combination with a properly matched behavioral sleep training method, if needed), parents were reporting that the severity of all of these issues were alleviated dramatically! Their once picky, light and snacky eater that they had to practically chase around with bites of food, or force feed and feed around the clock, because they were so underweight, began taking heartier more focused feeds at the breast, bottle, and during solid food feedings during the day. And, get this! They were able to digest these larger intakes of milk or food a lot better. This, in turn, helped parents to press on with the struggle of jumping out of their part in the vicious cycle they were previously caught up in with compensating for the poor daytime eating and nursing habits (i.e. continuing to fragment their child’s sleep with the “all-night open bar” throughout the night to get them to consume more calories in a 24 hour period). Parents began to trust in the natural process of allowing the power of the sleep hygiene to consolidate sleep at night, since it was clearly helping to consolidate calories during the day and improving their child’s overall nutrition, eating, and digestion habits, without any effort at all.  

baby's eating habits

I want to add a word of caution, however. Behavioral sleep training methods alone will not provide these results.  Your chosen method must be combined with a developmentally appropriate sleep hygiene plan, the science-based foundation of sleep. The purpose of good sleep hygiene is to kick-start a baby or child’s natural melatonin production, and to signal to the brain and body that sleep is about to come. This ensures that you are laying your little one down to sleep within that delicate window when that powerful sleep hormone is plentiful at sleep onset, and in an environment that supports it. When you do this, you are enabling your baby to experience the slow wave components of their sleep cycles, which also ensures that they will not feel hunger or even teething pain throughout their long consolidated period of night sleep. On the other hand, if sleep hygiene is poor, we do feel such things as hunger or pain. If fact, poor sleep quality may exacerbate a problem.

So, if you’re asking me what comes first, “the chicken or the egg?” (the meals or the sleep), when needing to improve nutritional health and eating habits for your baby and child, I believe the answer is sleep: Everything else will then fall into place!

[1] Ali, T., Choe, J., Awab, A., Wagener, T. L., & Orr, W. C. (2013, December 28). Sleep, immunity and inflammation in gastrointestinal disorders. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 19(48). doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i48.9231

 

About Jenni June:


jenni june Jennifer Metter, founder of Jenni June™ LLC, is a Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, specializing in pediatric and adult sleep hygiene; A Certified Lactation Counselor, Host, Nationalspeaker, and Mom of 4!

With thousands of successful sleep cases under her belt since 2011, she is a valuable resource for everyday and celebrity parents all over the country, including Guiliana and Bill Rancic for the Style Network! And, she is the sleep training expert on The Doctors TV show! She is a practitioner member of the National Sleep Foundation and collaborative health care provider as a certified sleep coach for infants, children and adults for the Breathe Institute, and the go-to sleep trainer for LA’s top pediatricians!

Jenni is also a popular national speaker and guest on CBS, FOX, NBC news and the host of series, “Baby Care with Jenni June” and the resident sleep expert for the BabyLeague and FamiLeague Networks.

If you were to ask Jenni why she has joyfully dedicated her entire life to building up and equipping families (including her own, who are now all grown!), she will tell you, “Because the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” She is gifted in encouraging new parents to raise the standard of their significance.

Tags: Jenni June, sleep