Transitioning From a Crib to A Bed

I will say that I encourage parents to keep children in their crib for as long as possible.  My son could climb in and out during the day, but he never did it at night (and since I knew he could do it so safetly during the day, I wasn’t concerned for his safety).  For the most part, children do not understand that they need to stay in their bed all night until 2.5 to 3 years old.  Have I seen it work with younger children?  Yes, But for the majority, later is better!!

If you need the crib for a younger sibling, make sure you have plenty of time before the younger sibling arrives between taking the crib away from the older child and giving it to the younger one.

If you do have a child who is climbing, you can try to put them in a sleep sack or a long t-shirt to make the climbing more difficult – this may buy you a couple extra weeks at least.

If you do put your child into a bed, please make sure their room is very child proofed, especially with a child on the younger side.  Think about all the things your child can get into in the middle of the night if they were to wake and have free reign of their room and possibly even the house.  You may also want to put a baby gate on their room so they can not get out.

Let your child help you pick out new sheets for the new bed to encourage them to sleep in it.  If you do not already have a clock that changes colors when it is time for your child to wake up, you may want to get one now.

If your child is not staying in their bed at bedtime, try sitting at the doorway and reminding them to stay in bed.  Then you can also give them extra reassurance that everything is ok.

Do you have suggestions or comments?  Feel free to leave them below.

Consistency and Sleep Coaching

You may frequently hear coaches state that consistency is key in sleep coaching, but why?

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

First, I am going go back to my psychology training (I majored in psychology in college).  We did an experiment with mice (don’t worry – the mice were not harmed!)  We taught the mice to press a lever and in return, they received a treat.  First, every time they pressed the lever, they received a treat.  Then we stopped giving them treats and figured out how long it took them to stop pressing the lever.  Then we only gave the mice treats on a schedule, they only got a treat every 3rd lever push or something similar.  Again we stopped the treats and saw how long it took them to stop pushing the lever once they did not get any more treats.  For the third experiment, we gave the mice a treat on a totally random lever push.  They never knew when they were getting the treat.  When they did not know when they were getting a treat, they kept pushing the lever longer, even after they received no more treats.

So what does this have to do with sleep coaching?  This experiment showed that mice would continue a behavior longer when they did not know when their expected reward would come.  Here’s what that means in terms of your child and sleep – if when your child wakes in the middle of the night, sometimes you feed them, sometimes you rock them, sometimes you let them cry, they do not know what to expect.  If feeding and falling asleep while feeding is what they want, they will hold out and cry more, if they do not know when they get fed.  So if you feed them every time they wake, that behavior is actually easier to break (when you are ready to and your child is at an appropriate age) then if you sometimes fed them and sometimes did not.

This is why we say consistency is so important in sleep coaching, and actually in any behavioral training you are doing.  Think about if you take your child to the grocery store and every time on the checkout line your child asks for a candy bar.  You always say no, but this one time you are in a big rush and just want to get out of there without arguments, so you give in.  What can you expect every other time?  You gave in once, so why shouldn’t your child beg and plead every future time, because who knows, you may give in again!

By Michelle Winters

A Neatly Made Bed Lets You Rest Your Head – Guest Post

A Neatly Made Bed Lets You Rest Your Head147084803

Are you one of those people that absolutely has to make your bed in the morning before you leave for the day? Or are you one of those folks that thinks it’s a waste of time, and that it doesn’t matter if you make it because nobody is going to see it? If you fall into the latter category, you may want to reconsider your morning routine, despite the fact that you no longer have to do what your mother tells you.

The Proof is in the Pillow

If you are already in the habit of making your bed neatly before you tackle each day, you already know how good it feels to crawl under those covers every night. It’s almost therapeutic. Those who don’t want to be bothered with the chore need more convincing and should consider all of the factors that affect how well you sleep at night.

  • Environment – Lights, noises, and other distractions can easily affect quality of sleep
  • Excercise – The amount of physical activity you do, and the time at which you do it, has a significant impact on your sleep patterns.
  • Diet – Believe it or not, the type of foods you consume throughout the day, and especially in the evening before bedtime, can either help or disrupt your ability to fall asleep.
  • Comfort – The comfort level of your mattress, pillows, sheets, and blankets, dramatically affects how well you snooze.
  • Temperature – Whether you prefer a warm or cool setting, finding the ideal temperature for your bedroom has a powerful effect on your overall sleep health.

Finally, consider the role that your mind and body play in regards to sleep. Being able to let your body physically relax, and being able to shut your mind off as you lay your head on the pillow, are key players when it comes to quality of sleep. Furthermore, consistently restless nights filled with broken sleep, and tossing and turning, can eventually lead to serious sleep disorders. During the day you will be irritable, physically and mentally tired, and more prone to illness.

A simple act like making your bed each morning, and slipping under clean, cool, crisp covers, can in fact help your mind and body relax. It literally takes just a few minutes to make your bed each morning. The results are not only visually stunning, but also a great benefit to your sleep health. This is not to say you need to master the art of hospital corners or make your bed military inspection ready. A couple lifts, folds, tucks, and pillow fluffs, and you can be on your way.

Get in the Groove

They say that old habits die hard, but getting accustom to making your bed each and every morning is a habit that you will not want to fizzle out. In addition to helping your mind and body relax each night, you will enjoy coming home and seeing the neat and inviting appearance that your bed exudes. You don’t even have to tell your mother she was right all this time. Just enjoy the peaceful feeling and the benefits of a good nights sleep.

Guest Post Written By:
Kaity Nakagoshi
Online Community Director
Tampa Sleep Doctors

2772652

Adventures in Chicken Raising

baby chicks

Baby Chicks

Adventures in Chicken Raising

My husband and I have discussed getting some sort of farm animals for years now – we talked about goats first to eat all the leaves, poison ivy and any other weeds around our yard and we also talked about getting chickens.  The problem came when we discussed what we would do with the chickens once they stopped laying eggs (chickens only lay consistently for 2 – 5 years).  I wanted to keep them as pets, my husband didn’t want to and thought we would maybe eat them, although he didn’t want to slaughter them.  We finally found a compromise:  A local farm that let you buy baby chicks and return them to the farm at any time.  It is meant to be for families who want to have the experience of raising baby chicks, but maybe not keep them once they are full grown, however they will take back the chickens anytime, even if they are several years old.

Chickens are getting older

So we signed up and last April went to pick up our new baby chicks.  They were so tiny, but that did not last long!

As they grew, my husband built a chicken coop for them.  He build one that could be moved, that way the chickens could work the dirt in one part of the yard, and then we could move them to another part of the yard.

There are 4 of us in the family, so we each got to name a chicken.  Since my husband was still saying they were not pets, he named his “Chicken”  I named mine “Pepe” because when she was little she looked like a skunk, my daughter named her’s “Lorax” because in the newspaper we had in their box there was an ad for the movie “The Lorax” and my son named his “Tabatha” – Tabatha was the one who would peck the other’s out of the way and seemed to be a little bossy – I love the show Tabatha Takes Over with Tabatha Coffey, and so I suggested the name to my son and he liked it! (For more on Tabatha Takes Over, check out Tabatha Takes Over

If you notice from these pictures, not one of these chickens look alike.  There are a lot of different breeds of chickens (something I knew nothing about until I started researching)!   And they can all lay different color eggs.  Interesting fact: You can tell what color egg the chicken will lay by the color of it’s ear!!  IF their ear is white, they will lay white eggs, brown and they will lay brown eggs, another color and they may just lay blueish or greenish eggs.

Our Eggs

Our Eggs

It was so exciting finding our first egg in the coop – it was so small, but shortly we started getting bigger and bigger eggs. And soon we were getting 3 – 4 eggs a day. If chickens have enough light they will lay an egg approximately every 26 hours.

It does not take too much work to have chickens, we feed them scraps of our food and chicken feed we buy, which turns out to be really cheap, so we will probably continue to keep the chickens even after they stop laying eggs.

And just last week a neighbor came by with an offer of 12 baby chicks that he bought but his wife doesn’t want – we took 4 of them, so now we have 4 more in a dog crate in a room in our house until we can build them a coop and put them outside. Stay tuned . . . we may have eggs for sale in a few months!!

by Michelle Winters

Our chicken named Tabatha

Our chicken named Tabatha

Earth Day Specials!!

I want to help you limit the amount of toxins you are exposed to on a daily basis!  For this week only, I will give discounts on my Greenproofing services.

Send me up to 15 of your favorite products – cleaning supplies, makeup, shampoos, conditioners, etc and I will research the products, the companies that make the products and report back to you about possible toxins in those products, as well as the general practices of the company that makes them.  I will also give you suggestions of similar products with less toxicity if applicable.  This service is normally priced at $75.00, but for this week only, until April 26th, it will be at a discounted rate of $50.00.

If you would prefer an individual, in home Greenproofing consultation, for this week only, you can get one for only $120.00 (regularly priced at $150.00).  Each Greenproofing consultation consists of one in-home visit and one phone call or Skype follow-up call.  In the home visit, a walk through of your home will be conducted.  A follow up call will be conducted for personalized recommendations on removing toxins to make  your family healthier and happier.

 

I’m looking forward to helping you go greener this week!

 

– Michelle