Returning to work soon after delivery can mean putting your 3-month old in daycare. As challenging as this can be emotionally, it can also be a struggle for your baby, especially if her only self-calming strategy has been nursing. Should you (or could you) quit your job or just tough it out? There is another…… Continue reading Help Your Newborn Adjust to Daycare By Using Happiest Baby on the Block Strategies
Swaddling is a skill, but it is also an art. Once you have your little one snug as a bean burrito, they don’t always stop crying right away. When I teach parents the 5 S’s as part of a Happiest Baby on the Block consultation or class, I try very hard to explain that most…… Continue reading Successful Swaddling May Take More Layers of Calmness
I attended a local function last night, and this question was on my mind as parents recounted their experiences with newborns and calming. They thought that they were doing the swaddling wrong. Or that their child was abnormal. Not likely. They just didn’t realize that for most babies, swaddling alone doesn’t do the deal. As…… Continue reading Why Doesn’t Swaddling Alone Calm Newborns?
Yes, I said it. Some babies scream louder after you swaddle them, and parents assume that this means that they are horrified of being restricted. This is usually far from the truth, but you have to know a little bit about newborn neurology to understand why this is likely not to be a case of…… Continue reading Why Some Newborns Look Like They Hate To Be Swaddled
Fathers are often the partners that jump right into practicing the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques. They “shush” loud and long, they do the quick jiggle (for swinging) with enthusiasm, and they can usually use just one arm to support a newborn on it’s side to calm them. Moms are in awe of their…… Continue reading First Father’s Day? You Might Be the Best Baby Calmer In The House
This question doesn’t come up as often as it should when I do Happiest Baby on the Block consultations. The short answer is that common sense goes a long way to protecting a newborn’s hearing. The longer answer is that understanding sound conduction and newborn development will help parents use white noise confidently. Here we…… Continue reading Will White Noise Harm a Newborn’s Hearing?
Those first 2 weeks of life are pretty simple: feed, sleep, diaper. Lather, rinse and repeat. From about 2 weeks until 12-14 weeks, the Happiest Baby strategies for getting a baby calm and sleeping soundly really do work to keep newborns (and parents) happy. I am a certified Happiest Baby educator, and it is relatively…… Continue reading Out Of The Swaddle And Into The Frying Pan
The Wall Street Journal’s writers are known for great reporting, but they clearly didn’t do a lot of research when they wrote today’s article Can You Sleep Train Your Baby at 2 Months? Lots of agonizing parent reports of the cry-it-out method, and professional agreement that babies 8 weeks old don’t sleep through the night…… Continue reading Sleep Training at 2 Months? Beyond Cry-It-Out
I read The Informed Parent recently to decide whether it would be a good resource for my clients, and found that the chapters on The Art and Science of Baby Soothing, SIDS, and Sleep Training were worth reading. This book distills a lot, a whole lot, of research that can confuse those parents who want…… Continue reading The Informed Parent and Happiest Baby on the Block
This week’s New York Times ran a story Does Exercise During Pregnancy Lead to Exercise-Loving Offspring? that echoes what I told a mom last month during a Happiest Baby consult about how her behavior during pregnancy “taught” her son to love movement. She is an athletic woman, a pediatric physical therapist, and her baby really didn’t…… Continue reading Active Baby? Active Mom? It May Be Epigenetics Again….
Most parents use carriers/wraps for two reasons: practical and personal. But did you know that wearing your baby can also help your newborn sleep better? Being able to carry your baby allows you to have both hands available. Baby wearing is an intimate connection that parents usually enjoy. Babies feel their parent’s heartbeat and listen…… Continue reading Baby Wearing For Better Infant Sleep
The short answer? It almost always gives them a slightly longer sleep cycle. The longer answer: many babies need more than a good swaddle to add that extra hour or so to their sleep cycle. Interestingly enough, research and the American Academy of Pediatrics have suggested that swaddling makes a newborn’s sleep lighter. Lighter isn’t…… Continue reading Will Swaddling Affect Newborn Sleep?
I was wandering around baby blogs (I always like to see what other writers are saying!) and stumbled onto a sleep consultant’s post about the “cluster feeding” pattern. These babies nurse/feed briefly then become fussy without a good reason (diaper change, illness of some kind, lack of sleep), and get hungry soon afterward. These newborns…… Continue reading Baby Nursing For Only a Few Minutes Then Fussy? Use the 5 S’s to Settle And Focus your Newborn To Feed, Not Just to Sleep
I just downloaded the entire American Academy of Pediatrics’ Technical Report-SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. It was a large file to read, but the bottom line for me was this: they must not have any sense what it is like to be a new parent, and…… Continue reading Safe Sleep Guidelines Don’t Give Parents Enough Support
White noise helps colicky newborns calm and sleep. It can help newborns develop essential self-calming skills in the first 3 months of life. It can help older babies tolerate teething and their first colds. It can even help babies transition to a shared bedroom with a toddler sibling. The magic of white noise is not…… Continue reading Are Babies Addicted to White Noise? Yes….and No
Most pediatricians will tell you to avoid all crib bumpers. The American Academy of Pediatrics feels that no bumper is 100% safe. They discourage parents from using even the most breathable mesh fabric, tied onto your child’s crib. I totally believe parent reports that a baby that isn’t swaddled can get a limb caught over…… Continue reading The Safest Crib Bumper Might Be Deeper Sleep
I love it when baby calming is in the news! This week “the hold”, pediatrician Dr. Robert Hamilton’s method for calming newborns, received a lot of attention. I watched the video, just like a few million parents and professionals. Then I thought about how this fits in with The Happiest Baby techniques that I am…… Continue reading The Difference Between “The Hold” and The Happiest Baby on the Block? Sleep!!!
When the weather gets colder, some parents think that they need to run out and buy a thick fleecy swaddle blanket or swaddle garment right away. Being too warm is a risk factor for SIDS, so it is worth making a thoughtful plan to swaddle safely in the winter months. Here are some ideas about…… Continue reading Safe Winter Swaddling Strategies