Talk About Sleeping Baby. Sleep Deprived Moms Want to Know!

New Moms, Moms who’ve been around the block a few times with the babes, and every Mom in between wants to know, “How do I get my baby to Sleep?!”

We’ll try anything to attain that holy grail of sleeping baby. It’s the hot topic of Mom conversations everywhere, and one that I’m asking myself as I prep for baby #3.  So, what’s your secret to sleeping baby success?  Sleep deprived, desperate Moms want to know.

I always try to remember that the most important thing here is the health and wellbeing of me, my baby, and my family, so whatever works to accomplish this, I think is all good and priceless.  You and your hubbs (significant other) have to be on the same page too.  You’re a team.  If one of you isn’t buying in to the plan, the plan won’t work.  And, remember plans change!  We’re getting to know our babies, and understanding how they behave and respond to different things.  So, be consistent with your efforts, and very open to the change-up plan when it’s needed.  I always give it 3 straight days of consistent effort to see if what I’m doing is working, or needs a revamp. 

Here’s how I got my “sleeping babies!”  My two boys were in totally different situations.  One was in the hospital with NICU and hospital alarm sounds going off every couple minutes, and came home at around 9 weeks, and the other came home day three of life, and right in to baby sleep boot camp he went.  Both boys were sleeping 8 hrs through the night by 8 weeks old, and 2 weeks home from the hospital for my NICU baby.  Key to note is that my boys were breast/bottle fed due to breastfeeding challenges both times.  Another thing is my babies go right into their crib in their own room from day one.  Always important details when seeking out baby sleep suggestions! 

Set the stage: There ‘s a lot of research out there that supports the quiet, dark room with no distractions to ensure a good, restful night’s sleep. So set the stage for sleeping baby. This means no sound machines, starry lights shining on the ceiling, or music playing in the background.  The thought is if your baby always needs stimulation to sleep, then the trend will carry on throughout his life.  I buy in to this, so we keep it quiet, dark, and peaceful in baby’s room!

Feed, Wake, Sleep, Repeat:  I love and use the Baby Wise method!  It’s worked awesome for my babes, and has for so many of the Moms I work with.  Feed baby, keep him up for about 20 minutes (bath, tummy time, play with Mommy/Daddy, or be entertained by what the older siblings are doing), then sleep until the next feeding.  Repeat this the whole day, then after the last feeding of the day (ours was 10 or 11pm) let baby sleep until he wakes for feeding on his own.  Feed, put baby right back to sleep, and let him wake on his own again until the first morning feeding begins the new day’s cycle between the hours of 5-8am.  This helps get Baby’s body rhythm in tune, and helps Mom and baby flow better in the ever changing winds of life, ultimately boosting the healthy and happy at home and in life!

Check the scene, and let go: First things first, always check the scene.  Baby's crying. What could be causing it? Hunger. Did baby have enough at the last feeding? Wet/Dirty diaper, gas (needs to burp), too cold/hot, or distress of some sort (baby rolled over and face is smashed in mattress, leg caught in between the rails, etc)?  Thank God for baby monitors so we can check the scene before entering it.  My pediatrician said something once that really clicked.  Once your baby has slept 3 straight nights through the night, the only reason they will wake up is for one of the above reasons, or they are not feeling well. Never feed them again during this time once they've proven this as it would only be for soothing and not necessity. If you have to change a diaper in the middle of the night, it's all business. No talking, playing, etc. They need to understand that you're attending to their needs, but sleep is the priority, and they go right back down.  Let’s face it, one of the greatest things standing in the way of our sleeping baby is our fears and misperceptions.  As a new Mom, it’s totally normal to randomly check on baby just to see if they’re breathing and alive!  Then there comes the time when it’s good to practice trusting all is well and let go.  This comes with time and getting used to the whole parenting thing, so be gentle with yourself, yet aware that this needs to happen at some point soon.  The calmer and more confident we are as parents, the more calm and secure baby will feel drifting off into their of sweet slumber!

Possible Game Changers:

Binkies: Find your Bink.  Every baby has their own taste in binkies.  Have a few different “models” hanging around before baby arrives to try on for size.  My boys took to the Nuk. 

Swaddle: One loved it until 6 months, the other busted out at 3 weeks.  Try it and see.  It’s the only way to know if the cozied up approach is best for your baby.

Merlin’s Sleep Suit: Never tried it, but one of the Moms I work with basically said it saved her from giving away her severely sleep challenged son to the next circus that came through town .  Just kidding, but you get the point.  She was at her wits end, and this saved her sanity!

The Sleeping Baby Zipadee-Zip (Shark Tank sensation):  Never tried it, but am ordering it for baby #3.  It’s getting rave reviews from sleep deprived Moms everywhere.

If all else fails, there may be something more than meets the eye. If you’ve tried everything, and your baby still isn’t sleeping, you may want to talk with your pediatrician about other things that might be going on like acid reflux, allergies, ear infections, etc.

Cheers to Sweet, Sleeping Babies and Sane Mamas!

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5 Easy Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier Foods

There’s a Halloween Hangover going on in my house!  My kids are drunk off candy, and I’m scurrying to find any and all outlets, including the trashcan, to dump that crazy, laced loot somewhere other than spread out all over my living room floor.  Now, I’m all about getting my treat on, and allowing my kids to do the same, but I can’t have candy mania running up in my house lingering right into the Holiday sugar rush.  My kids, and me will go nuts!  It’s time to get our Healthy On.  I’m bringin’ healthy back to our home!  Here’s how.

5 Easy Ways to Bring Healthy Back to Your Home

My 17 month old is driving me insane! What I’m doing to bring back the peace and calm to my heart and my home.

I just can’t seem to get it right with this kid!  What’s a Mom to do when her baby is out of control with biting, hitting, and way too bull headed and independent behavior for his less than 2 yr. existence on this Earth?  What do I do when I painfully, and often tearfully realize the child I want to scream at, smack (which we don’t do), and just walk away from is exactly like me, or at least how I used to be before I took myself on my own self-help journey to a slightly more calm existence.  Emphasizing the slightly. I’m still working on it!

I knew the day I heard there were going to be two Taurus, the Bulls (me and my baby) in my house, there were going to be some challenges.  I literally feel like I’ve been butting heads with my baby since day one from the breast feeding debacle to now.  I don’t know if my Mom ever wished I’d have a child just like me to give me a dose of my own medicine, but if she did, wish granted!  It’s to the point where I find myself having anxiety about the anticipation of how he’s going to act in any given moment, and how I’m going to deal with it, because so far, I’m striking out big time!  

3 Tricks to Get Your Kids to Drink Green Juice. And, Like It! Plus 3 Awesome Green Juice Recipes!

Boogies, snots, and tummy bugs, oh my!  Summer just ended yesterday, and it’s starting already.  Cold and Flu come early.  Not for your kiddos!  Get your arsenal ready, and gear up those Immune Systems Mom!  Getting your little ones to drink green juice even 3-4 times/week can help boost the immune system big time.  We’re talking antioxidants, super, alkalizing foods, and all kinds of keep you healthy and happy goodies stuffed into these beveys.  So, how in the world do you get your kids to chug one of these swampy looking concoctions?  Here are the 3 tricks I use to get my 4 and 16 mo. olds asking for their own green juice.  Well, my 16 mo. old just makes all kinds of excited sounds and hand gestures that say, “Gimme Some Green Juice Please,” and he chugs it down.  This is hands down, one of the best things you can share with your kiddos to boost their healthy and happy.  So, let’s get our green on!

Be Leaner and Lighter by Tomorrow Morning. Seriously!

3 Simple Steps to Looking and Feeling Leaner and Lighter by Tomorrow Morning

***You only have to do these things 5 days/week to work!  The other 2 days are “Free Be’s” to keep you from going crazy neurotic thinking you have to be perfect to look and feel good!***

It seriously only takes 1 day for you to feel a difference.  This has been a God send for me since I found out I tested positive for a genetic abnormality where basically my cells suck at doing their jobs, especially when it comes to protein, carb, and fat metabolism.   Really, every one of them could use turbo boosters!  I’ll go in to more about this later.  But, this plus the way I work out (only 4 days/week, 1 being yoga for 30 minutes or less), has kept my body feeling and looking the best it can be as I work on getting that gene thing straightened out. My clients are loving it too!  Try it, and see for yourself!

Dani’s Daily Eats

Here’s what going on my plate today to keep me fit and feeling good!

Cereal Mix of the Day

Bowl of Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Cereal mixed with GF Pumpkin Fig granola by Purely Elizabeth
Unsweetened Almond Milk

Snack #1

Kale Chip Smoothie   *GF, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Vegan*

kale chip smoothyServes 1
1 medium ripe banana
2 long leaves of kale (de-stemmed)
¼ Avocado
1 tbsp. Raw Cocoa Nibs
1 c. almond, cashew, or coconut milk
1 c. Ice
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.


Salmon Salad over Field Greens  *GF, Dairy Free, Soy Free*

Serves 1
1 can wild pink Alaskan salmon boneless/skinless, no salt added

Wild Alaska Pink Salmon  Dinner

2 tbsp. Soy Free Veganaise
1 tsp EVO
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Diced Red Onion to taste
1. Mix everything in bowl, and spread over mixed field greens.  Top off salmon salad with diced sweet peppers (color of choice)

To Plan or Not to Birth Plan?

Going on my third child, I’ve learned a very important thing about plans, they change!  Us Moms learn this day one on the job. As a new, Mom-to-be about to give birth 4 years ago, I was all about the birth plan. I wanted to learn about all the options available to me and my baby to ensure our health and safety, so I went all in with my self-education. I’m glad I did it then when I had the time to explore and decide without the distraction of other kiddos and a thousand additional things on my plate.

So, plan I did.  I had my birth plan all mapped out, and printed on fluorescent yellow paper, so it was easy to find in the file, and distributed to all of my nurses. I think back, and think, “Wow, that was pretty funny!”  But, it was important to me at the time, so I’m glad I did it. How things change!  My once preconceived notion of how labor and delivery was supposed to go, took a couple sharp left turns that left me almost completely abandoning my well thought out birth plan. Only the most important things to me and my husband remained, which were respectfully honored by our medical staff.  My once strong willed commitment to a med free, vaginal delivery, changed to praising God for epidurals, and the gift of peace of rest while I labored throughout the night. I was, thankfully able to have 2 vaginal deliveries with both of my boys.  Being induced due to kidney stones with my second son opened my eyes to yet a whole new labor and delivery experience. And, so the story continues. I will try again and give it my best to have a natural, vaginal delivery the third time around, but this time I’m leaving my heart and mind completely open to all possibilities, and being totally at peace with the twists and turns.

Kick the Heartburn and Indigestion during Pregnancy with these Natural Solutions that work

You’re pregnant, you’re feeling big and uncomfortable, and you’re throwing up in your mouth. Yuck!  Heartburn, reflux, and indigestion are no friends to any pregger.  Here’s the skinny on how to put out the fire, and prevent it from happening in the first place.

    NEVER drink fluids while eating! It dilutes digestive enzymes, which help with digestion. Drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water daily between Meals. Dehydration is a big cause of indigestion and heartburn, so drink up!

    BOOST Acid levels in your stomach with Apple Cider Vinegar about 10 minutes after meals if you’re caught with a fire in your chest and throat.  Option: Start with 1/2 tsp ACV + 1 cup water. Drink it down!

    PAPAYA: Either try a tablespoon of papaya 10 minutes before meals, or chewable papaya enzymes to boost enzyme production about 10 minutes before meals.

    DO eat 5 small meals throughout the day. If your schedule is too "on the go" to do this, I suggest getting a "Food Bag" packed with some quick to grab, quick to satisfy, items, like cheese sticks, hummus cups, guac cups, vegggie sticks, apple, peanut/almond butter packets, raw nuts, etc. Here is a loose example of a 5 meals/day plan. Of course, no Brie (pasteurized cheese only) and no juice (unless it's a fresh blended juice with veggies and fruits).

My Scare on the Turnpike: A story every Mom should hear.

We’re on our way home from a fun, relaxing weekend at my brother’s lake house.  Shore traffic has us in bumper to bumper traffic with a toddler and baby in the back seat, me driving, and Daddy in the passenger seat. What should’ve only been a 2 hour trip was turning into a 3 plus hour tour. Gotta love family road trips in the summer!  About 3 hours in to the ride my 14 month old started losing it.  No binky, toy, or song could console this kid.  My 4 yr. old keeps chiming in, “Mommy, Victor’s crying.”  Like I can’t hear it.  We decide to give him a snack.  One that he’s eaten in the past plenty of times, so I think he’s good with safely eating it. We do this all the time, right?  Fussing kid in car, offer snack, bring back the peace.  My husband has never been ok with the kids eating in the car while we’re driving, but I figured he’s in the front seat if they need help, and they eat these foods with no problem all the time. Right?  Wrong!

Lessons from the NICU

Being a new Mom is hard.  Throw in the NICU, and you’re upping the challenge factor big time.  My first born Roman, who is now 4, was my NICU baby.  Roman was born with SVT (a heart condition) and Hirshsprung’s Disease, which he needed reconstructive bowel surgery to correct at the ripe age of 6 weeks old.  Talk about being thrown in to the fire as a parent! Every day we were faced with life changing decisions and situations that needed our undivided attention, and absolute focus.  It was game day every day!  My son’s health, and his future state of wellbeing was in our hands, and every decision we made affected it. 

At first I was a mess.  Dealing with post-partum emotions, petrified of what I was going to come in to every day as I entered the NICU, and just plain angry about even having to go through something like this. All this in addition to being exposed to all the challenges the other babies in the NICU were facing on a daily basis.  Every time a beeping sound or alarm went off your heart felt like it was going to pound right through your chest as you checked to see if it was your baby who needed the urgent attention. It was tough, but with all these challenges came strength, gratitude, and a renewed sense of faith.