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Top Things to Learn Now About Sleep

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

I just had a dream last night that I was pregnant.Yeah, it was a pretty weird dream considering that it’s actually impossible, since the great partial hysterectomy of 2018. Not having a uterus makes it pretty much impossible to be pregnant. But, it reminded me of what it was like to be pregnant and becoming a new mom, all those years ago. Those early months of being a parent can be the foggiest of your life. I, honestly, didn’t know which way was up a lot of the time because I was so damn exhausted. Having to try to navigate, keeping a kid alive while keeping yourself organized at the same time is no easy task. It doesn’t leave much space for sleep, especially when your newborn is making your sleep as broken as physically possible. Don’t even get me started on the colicky newborn sleep nights. Trying to learn the way another person sleeps is not easy even if that person has come directly from you. Sleep is one of those things that you expect to lose out on when you become a parent, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy to truly comprehend how much sleep you will actually lose or what that can mean for you as a new mom… and that’s coming from a lifelong insomniac.

When you’re a mom, everything becomes about survival, and sleep is a big part of that survival. You think about when you can nap, about how long the baby is going to sleep through the night, how often you will be waking up to check on their breathing patterns. Babies are brand new to the world and you are learning about them as much as they are learning how to be human beings. The thing is, that’s little consolation when you’re so tired that you can’t see straight. There are guides such as Baby Sleep Positions: The Complete Guide For Parents that can help guide you through how to understand the ways that babies sleep, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy. You can anticipate broken sleep and still be in shock and awe when the reality of sleep deprivation hits. Just because you chose to be a parent does not mean that you could have anticipated the gravity of what sleep deprivation can do to your mind, your mood and your health.

If it helps in any way, just know that sleep deprivation has been used as a torturing device in wars, so you’re not alone in feeling like you’re being cruel and unusually  punished. As a new mom, there are lots of things that you’ll be learning and experiencing about motherhood for the first time. Sleep, for baby and mama, is a crucial part of surviving that process so let’s take a look at some of the top things that you need to learn now about how your baby will sleep.

Top things to learn now about newborn sleep

  • Sleep deprivation is very dangerous. You can joke about leaving your car keys in your car, or leaving the chest freezer open in the garage, or falling asleep on the toilet due to lack of sleep but what happens when you are so tired you leave the baby in the carseat in a hot car? It’s scary and it’s dangerous. Severe and prolonged sleep deprivation can cause depression, hallucinations, memory loss and high blood pressure. Not only that, it is exhausting to try to live on very little sleep. Ideally, you’ll be sharing this sleep deprivation load with a partner, but if you’re trying to navigate things by yourself ( and even with help from your partner) then you’ll definitely need to call in some reinforcements in terms of friends and family to have some extra help.
  • Parents often lie when it comes to their baby’s sleep. We all want to pretend we’ve got our mom shit together. If you ask a new parent how their baby is sleeping, they will tell you that their baby is sleeping just fine. But what does “fine” even mean for most people? I can tell you from my own experience, it sure as heck didn’t mean sleeping through the night. It mostly meant, at some point during the night they passed out and then I passed out and none of us died before the next feeding. But it most certainly did not mean we all had a massage and fell asleep at 9 PM and stayed asleep until 8 am the next morning. I never could have told that lie, the baggage under my eyes would have ratted me out. Newborns are not designed to sleep through the night. They have tiny tummies that need feeding every couple of hours, and they require cuddles and contact because they’ve just spent nine months suspended in animation in the coziest womb ever. Some parents feel the need to exaggerate that their babies are getting enough sleep so that they feel like they are competent parents when actually, it’s pretty refreshing if somebody just tells you the truth. Then, we know we’re all in this gangsta ass mother hood together just trying to survive. To be completely honest, when I had 2 babies, 2-years-old and under, I really thought I was going to die from lack of sleep. I survived on coffee, delirium and a partner who helped me up when I thought I could no longer soldier on. 
  • Solid food will not force your child to sleep. So many myths and legends of old parenting will tell you that if you put something heavy in the baby’s tummy, they will sleep for longer. But this doesn’t actually work. Sure, they might drift off into a high sugar, carb coma but that’s not healthy.at.all.Firstly, they’re not designed to sleep through the night. They are babies, they’re not built FORD tough. They are designed to wake up regularly as a survival instinct, to fill their bellies and train you for the zombie apocalypse. Secondly, putting solids into the belly of a newborn baby can lead to a lot of gut issues later on in life. You could also be exacerbating reflux issues and other pain issues that your baby may end up having. Why? Because baby tummies are not designed to hold solid food until beyond six months. There is plenty of research to back up this fact.
  • Great nap times are not an indicator of great night times. Hell no. In fact, you’re baby might just be getting their days and nights mixed up and that’s a whole new level of cruel and unusual torture. Just because your baby sleeps during the day in solid nap time chunks doesn’t mean they’re going to do the same thing at night time, in fact, the opposite is probably true. Oh, in your exhausted state you’ll be tempted to let them sleeping babies just keep on napping but take it from this seasoned mom, don’t do it.  One of the best things that you can do is to put your baby into some kind of a routine that’s based on them and not based on what you believe they should be doing. For example, overtired babies don’t sleep very well, and you’ll notice that within 90 minutes of waking up, your baby’s going to learn to understand your baby’s sleep cues. 
  • Routine is a good thing. Bedtime routines work, but it has to be dependent on what your baby’s wants and needs are. You could try to put your baby down before a certain time of night, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to instantly learn to recognize this as nighttime bedtime. A good winding down with a bath, lavender lotion massage, and story at bedtime is perfect, so just make sure that you are sticking to the same order so as they get older they will learn that this is what they’re bedtime routine is.
  • Babies will always fall asleep when they are tired enough to do so but to be able to drift off into a peaceful slumber is the real goal. If you manage to get your baby off into a nice deep sleep and put them into their crib successfully, then congratulations to you because this only happened because they felt safe and comfortable enough to do so in your care. Believe me, many a night I silently, army crawled backwards out of my daughters’ nursery like some sort of James Bond supervillain so I know, it takes some time to get the process working. 
  • Breastfeeding can help with sleeping. Breast milk is packed with melatonin and as a naturally occurring human hormone, the levels of this hormone increase towards the evening. Those nighttime feeds are packed with all of the good fats and melatonin that your child needs to fall asleep. As our melatonin starts to rise in the evening and reaches that peak in the early hours of the morning, breast milk is melatonin. Breast milk can be quite magical in that way. 
  • Keep the environment dark. Lighting and devices will always interfere with baby’s sleep.I recommend room darkening blinds or blackout curtains. I never had a nursery without them.  If you’re trying to put your baby to sleep, leave your phone behind. Sure you may be tempted to try to multitask during those 3 AM hour long feeding and rocking sessions but try to avoid the phone because that blue light will be shining in their face as much as it will be yours and you both need your rest. 

The important thing to remember is that this is temporary and it won’t always be this hard. If you can remind yourself of that from time to time in the early days, it will change your perspective and make it all feel a bit easier. The most important thing is that you and baby get enough rest to live and love and fight again the next day. Motherhood can be really hard and sometimes a bit miserable but then, it’s filled with little hands hugging your neck, loving you unconditionally and even the occasional moments of unadulterated bliss. Take from this mom of a 18 and 16-year-old, with one heading off to college in the fall and the other one about to graduate from high school, I would not trade one second of my exhausted front row seat in their childhood for any amount of sleep. From me to you, motherhood is very hard but it is also very worth it and never forget, you are not alone; we’ve all been where you are.

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Hey there, fellow sleep-deprived mom friend!

So, it’s that time of year again – World Sleep Day. Did you even know that was a thing? Me, neither. Then again, I’ve been a mom for 19 years, so you know, no rest for the wicked and all that. What is World Sleep Day, you ask? It’s a day dedicated to celebrating the elusive phenomenon known as sleep. But let’s be real, as moms, sleep might feel more like a distant memory than something worth celebrating. Between late-night feedings, toddler tantrums, and endless rounds of “just one more story,” and let’s not forget about waiting for teens to get home and then spending hours chatting about what’s going on with them… getting a decent night’s sleep can seem like a far-fetched dream.

Disclosure: Some of the products included in this post were gifted for review purposes but all opinions are my own. 

But fear not, my exhausted, desperately in need of a nap comadre! I’ve got some tips, tricks, and tired laughs to help you make the most of World Sleep Day. So grab your comfiest pajamas and a giant mug of coffee (wine or nightly edible, no judgment here), and let’s dive in!

1. Embrace the Nap Life

Whoever said naps are just for babies clearly never met a sleep-deprived mom. Let’s be real, naps are our love language. So, on World Sleep Day, give yourself permission to indulge in a midday siesta. Whether it’s a power nap in your fully-flat reclinable XL6 FlexiSpot Powerlift Recliner with massage and heat or a full-blown snooze fest in bed, take advantage of any opportunity to catch some z’s. Trust me, the laundry can wait – your sanity cannot. Because if you’re going to spend half your life in bed, you might as well do it in style.

2. Treat Yourself to Some Sleep Accessories

You know what they say: when in doubt, accessorize. And when it comes to sleep, the right accessories can make all the difference. Treat yourself to some cozy new pajamas, invest in a weighted silk sleep stone eye mask (it’s a game changer) or indulge in a luxurious set of PeachSkin Sheets. Because if you’re going to spend half your life in bed, you might as well do it in style. If you want to sleep in comfort ALL.YEAR.LONG. You must get yourself a muslin comfort 365 blanket. It keeps me comfortable no matter what time of the year it is and that is a life changing thing when you are pregnant, perimenopausal, menopausal or a woman in general. It was the one thing I never knew I needed but once I got one, I’m never going back. 

Bonus to sleep like a baby: Add a scrumptious and relaxing pillow mist.

3. Create a Sleep Sanctuary

Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary fit for a queen (or, you know, a tired mom). Dim the lights, set the mood with some soothing essential oils like Alevan Botanica: The Sleep Set , and banish any electronic devices from the premises (yes, even your phone). Creating a calming environment can help signal to your brain that it’s time to unwind and drift off into dreamland. 

Also, a must have for any sleep sanctuary, is Evercool®+ Cooling Sheet Set  and comforter. They’re made with the same game-changing temperature regulating technology and quality, moisture-wicking fabric as the the  Rest Kids Evercool™ Cooling Comforter I’d been using to cool off on hot nights. Only these full-sized sheets and comforter allows hopelessly hormonally challenged hot moms ( and dads) to recharge through a comfortable, cool, dry and restful sleep. Just imagine your body temperature being regulated and you being able to sleep through the night? Now, if the kids would just sleep through the night too.

4. Practice the Art of Saying No

As moms, we have a tendency to take on more than we can handle. But here’s the thing – you can’t pour from an empty cup (or in this case, a tired mom). So, on World Sleep Day (and every day thereafter), practice the fine art of saying no. You don’t have to sacrifice your every waking moment and martyr yourself in the name of motherhood. Whether it’s turning down that last-minute playdate or passing on that committee meeting, prioritize your sleep and sanity above all else.

5. Find the Humor in Sleep Deprivation

Let’s face it, sometimes all you can do is laugh. Whether it’s finding yourself wearing your shirt inside out for the third day in a row or accidentally putting the milk in the pantry instead of the fridge (guilty), finding the humor in sleep deprivation can make the endless nights feel a little less daunting. So go ahead, embrace the chaos, and laugh until you cry (or until you fall asleep standing up, whichever comes first).

6. Seek Support

Remember, you’re not alone in this sleep-deprived journey. Reach out to your fellow mom friends for support, commiseration, and maybe even a much-needed venting session. Sometimes all it takes is knowing that someone else is in the same boat to make the sleepless nights feel a little more bearable.

7. Treat Yourself to Some Self-Care

And last but certainly not least, don’t forget to prioritize self-care. Whether it’s treating yourself to a bubble bath, indulging in your favorite guilty pleasure TV show, or simply taking a few moments to breathe deeply and center yourself, make self-care a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Because a well-rested mom is a happy mom, and a happy mom is a force to be reckoned with.

Secret bedtime self-care weapon: Therabody SmartGoggles. They not only reduce stress and anxiety, they support restful sleep,  soothe headaches, relieve eye strain, lower your heart rate, increase circulation and ease facial tension.

Share Your Sleep Stories and Tips

Phew, we made it through! Now, here’s where you come in. I want to hear from you! Comment below and share your best sleep deprivation story or your top tip for getting some much-needed and deserved mom sleep this World Sleep Day. Let’s laugh, commiserate, and support each other through the sleepless nights. Together, we’ve got this!

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tech, sleep, sleep number, sleep iq kids, bed, comfort

There is a new bed in town, the Sleep Number Sleep IQ Kids Bed and it’s not only intuitive, it keeps your kids in bed so they can get the rest all growing children need, allowing you to get the sleep you need. This amazing new smart bed knows when your kids are sleeping and when they’re awake. It even has a monster detection feature on the accompanying app, so kids feel safe from unwanted visitors. Now, only if it had an invisible force field to keep kids in bed, right?

This revolutionary new kid’s bed monitors sleep cycles and can help parents decipher if diet, stress or other activities throughout the day are impacting the quality of their day. I experienced the Sleep iQ Kids bed for the first time at CES in January and it was amazing.

A monster detector deciphers when under the bed is clear of even the scariest of boogie men. By hovering a smartphone or tablet in the direction of the bottom of the bed, a small monster icon will appear and determine if the coast is clear. This would have been amazing when Ella was having nightmares about chickens and lemurs under the bed!

tech, sleep, sleep number, sleep iq kids, bed, comfort

The bed, equipped with tiny hidden sensors, uses digital-signal capture within the mattress and processing techniques to pick up on motion and pressure. It tracks a child’s breathing and heart rate throughout the night too, and blends that data with other factors to determine a SleepIQ score in the morning; the higher the number (based from 1 to 100), the better the quality of sleep.

It’s also interactive. A sleep dashboard (available via an Android app or desktop) shows parents how well each child slept and alerts them in real-time if they need attention and are out of bed. The bed can also tilt if a child wants to read or has a stuffy nose from a head cold or allergies. Meanwhile, soft lights around the bed glow when kids get up or want to read and parents can turn them off remotely when it gets too late or little people nod off to slumber.

The bed is designed to grow with a child. Once they hit 10-years-old, they can manage their own SleepIQ score and see for themselves how exercise, sugar and TV time impact how they feel in the morning. This is intended to teach kids how to make better choices throughout the day and absolutely for newly crowned tween who thinks she knows everything.

tech, sleep, sleep number, sleep iq kids, bed, comfort

SleepIQ Kids, available in stores now, is priced at about $799.99 for the twin size mattress and will come in twin, full and queen size options.

In conjunction with the retail launch of the only smart bed for smart kids, the SleepIQ Kids bed, Sleep Number is rewarding kids who sleep well with six college scholarships! With all the talk about the ballooning cost of college, this contest will truly make some lucky kids’ (and their parents’) dreams come true.

Sleep Number, the sleep innovation leader whose mission is to improve lives by individualizing sleep experiences, is helping make kids’ college dreams come true. In celebration of its new SleepIQ Kids™ bed, which is available today in all Sleep Number® stores and online, the company is launching a contest to give away six college scholarships and six SleepIQ Kids beds. Optimal sleep is important for all and especially for children. That’s why if your child still encounters any sleeping concerns, it’s recommended to try the ferber method.

Sleep Number understands the correlation between sleep and performance, which is why they are recognizing good sleepers who have big ambitions with the opportunity to win one of six college scholarships.

To help parents achieve their kids’ dreams, Sleep Number is hosting SleepIQ Kids Scholarship Contest at all Sleep Number stores, and will award six kids with a college scholarship and a SleepIQ Kids bed – total prize value is $134,000.

Families can visit a Sleep Number store to find their Sleep Number® setting and learn how a better night’s sleep helps kids succeed. Depending on their age, children will either draw a picture or write an essay about why sleep is important to them and how it helps them achieve their dreams.

After visiting the Sleep Number store, parents will receive a special code and Web address to submit their child’s entry online; a piece of artwork (for ages 4-9) or 200-word essay (for ages 10-14). Contest-entry details are available July 31. To find a Sleep Number store, visit SleepNumber.com.

The SleepIQ Kids bed is truly revolutionary. Not only does it offer kids comfort and adjustability with DualAir technology but it also tracks their sleep so parents can help their kids improve both at sleep and in life because the better you sleep, the better you perform. Plus the app includes a monster detector, which is really cool.

Disclosure: I attended CES with Sleep Number to see the bed in person but all opinions of the tech and coolness factor of the Sleep IQ Kids bed are all my own.

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daylight savings time, kids and daylight savings time, surviving daylight savings time, DST, parenting and daylight savings time

As someone who has a broken internal clock, I never understood what the big deal about surviving daylight savings time (DST) was all about. It had no effect on me. I function on 4 hours of sleep, doesn’t matter when I get that sleep. I had myself convinced that Daylight savings time was a myth and my husband was just being dramatic. Then, I tried to get healthy.

This year, I decided that I was going to get healthy. Sitting on your rump for 4 months with a broken leg will do that to a person. I did what everyone does on the first of the year, I promised to myself that this would be the year that I got “healthy” not skinny, just healthy; no longer obese with a BMI of 33 or something like that. I’d look it up for you but, honestly, I’m just too tired today. Daylight Savings Time, you are killing me Smalls!

See, part of my get healthy scheme included seeing my physician for a physical, to rule out any medical issues, moving more, making better food choices more often and eating in appropriate quantities for my size and stature. It wasn’t a scheme at all; it was a plan to live healthier. No more putting my faith and health in the hands of a diet. I need to do this for myself, the right way.Guess what happened? I lost some weight. Not a lot but enough to get out of my dreaded fat pants and into the regular size section.

But all that working out (I enjoyed it so much that I actually developed tendonitis from working out every day and had to pull back to every other day…that hasn’t happened to me in years) and eating more conscientiously had an added benefit of me actually falling to sleep…by 11 p.m. every night, without any sleep aid. I’ve been a diagnosed insomniac for all of my adult life so this was HUGE.

So there I was thinking I was hot shit with my lower BMI, smaller pants, working out to my CIZE dvd and eating healthier; feeling like a boss with almost 8-hours of sleep every single night. OMG…it changed my life, for real. Life just seemed easier and more palatable. The stressors were not as stressful and I found myself not being a super b*tch and hangry hasn’t hit in a couple months. Then DST came and jacked me all up.

Sunday morning, I slept in until 10 a.m. and I only woke up because my mom and sister were visiting and they wanted to head home and got tired of waiting for me to wake up, but at least I slept in. By the time Monday rolled around, after staying up until midnight because I wasn’t sleepy at my regular 11 p.m. (because it was only 10 p.m.) when my alarm went off at 6 a.m. I could not move, exhaustion had set in. I literally could not wake up and neither could my kids. All bets were off and snooze was on full blast.

I had finally gotten my body to a healthy place of rest, eating and working out and now it was having none of this not enough sleep B.S.! This morning, it was even worse. I lay in bed until 7 a.m. and I still felt like I had been up drinking all night long with none of the great stories to accompany it. Is this what being a healthy grown up is all about? Because if it is, it kind of stinks.

Enough is enough already. I did some research and this is what I found.

Tips and tricks to surviving daylight savings time.

  •  Preparation is the ounce of prevention you need!

Make the time change incrementally beforehand. Set all alarm clocks in the house 15 minutes earlier and earlier for five days or so. This way by the time Monday rolls around, you and the kids can actually wake up and it avoids a lot of morning arguments because, really, who has time for that, especially during the DST transition. Not me.

Begin on Saturday:

  • Around midday, get some exercise. Exercise and sunshine helps advance the body clock, just as bright light exposure does so go outside and play with the kids, go for a walk or do some yard work. Your body will thank you on Monday.
  • Never exercise at night. Exercise raises your body temperature but people fall asleep as temperatures lower so be cool. No exercise at night.

Sunday morning:

  • Get up at your regularly scheduled time— whether you had a good night’s sleep or not. This is tough love for your body.
  • Spend some time outside, preferably in the sunshine to help advance your body clock.
  • Take a morning walk. After a short night, taking a family walk is an easy exercise to help advance your body clock. If your kids are anything like mine, they will jump at the chance because they no all walks lead to the neighborhood park.

Have a bedtime routine for everyone:

  • Don’t eat a heavy meal after 6 pm. Don’t eat more than 3 hours before your bedtime.
  • Don’t drink a lot of caffeine or alcohol.
  • Don’t nap during the day.
  • Stop working on your laptop/computer/phone an hour before bedtime to turn your brain off.
  • Make sure your sleep environment is comfortable.
  • Don’t turn bright lights on at night.
  • Take a warm, not hot, shower.
  • Turn off all electronics and read a relaxing book, no Tom Clancy books at bedtime.

What’s your tricks and tips for surviving daylight savings time?

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Today’s Be a Better Parent Challenge – Day 25 – Get Some Sleep
is pretty self explanatory. We are all better parents when we get some sleep. I know its hard, if not impossible but when we are well rested we think better, function better, react more maturely.
God knows I am guilty of not getting enough sleep ( i.e. regularly posting at 2 am) but with school starting, I’ve been forced to check my routine. There is no way I can go to bed at 3 AM and wake up at 6:30 and be any good to anyone. Plus, I am pretty sure I’d be as mean as a caged animal. So,I’ve been shooting for midnight and waking at 6:30 and it seems to be working. Now, on nights when I’ve actually gotten 8 consecutive hours of sleep, I’ve been told I am pretty damn pleasant to be around.

#25: Get Some Sleep
I realize that it’s not always feasible for us to get a full night’s sleep, but set your Tivo or DVR, put some projects , emails, blog posts on temporary hold, and get some sleep. It’s really quite amazing what an extra hour (or 4) can do.Happy Sleeping, my friends!

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co sleeping, co-sleeping, the truth about co- sleeping, the family bed, parenting styles

Time to give you the real truth about Co-Sleeping and more importantly, how to safely co-sleep with your baby. Since I scared you all straight with my earlier post and all the good news the world has to offer, I’ve decided to redeem the day. I’m a half full kind of gal and I refuse to let the cold hard reality of the world change that.

When I became too obsessed with scheduling and time, I removed my watch. I’ve not worn one in about 5 years now. I was seriously about to get carpal tunnel from all the twisting of my wrist to check the time. So, I eliminated it from my day.I’m about to do the same for CNN. Anyways, in the spirit of redeeming myself, I have decided to write about something that is very positive in my life…co-sleeping. We have been safely co-sleeping since our first baby was out of the bassinet and I’d love to share with you how to safely co-sleep with your baby.

co sleeping, co-sleeping, the truth about co- sleeping, the family bed, parenting styles

Co-Sleeping makes us Closer

Oh, yeah. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and tsk-tsking me for committing such an unthinkable crime against parenting dogma but the family bed is where it’s at for us. I know, I come off as somewhat snarkilicious on here, at times. It’s OK. You can say it, I’m fully aware.

READ ALSO: Co-Sleeping is not for Sissies

But when it comes to co-sleeping, I must admit I become completely full on granola; share my life, share my bed with my babies. Crunchy even. I did not plan co-sleeping. I planned on 2 weeks in the bassinet and then a seamless transition to the crib shortly thereafter. But like everything else in motherhood thus far, I was thrown a curve ball.

co sleeping, co-sleeping, the truth about co- sleeping, the family bed, parenting styles

Co-Sleeping is safe if done appropriately

When it came down to it, Bella would fall asleep in my arms after nursing and when I tried to put her back into her bassinet, she would wake up…always. Tired Mommy say what? I did what most exhausted, “so in love with her newborn that she can’t stand to miss a second of this creature’s life, doesn’t truly know where she ends and the baby begins” Mommy would do…I laid her in bed with me. Right there, between my husband and I..in a positioner ( I know those things have since become about as taboo as those unsafe walkers of the Hewlett- Packard commercials). If your child isn’t potty-trained yet, you must always be prepared with items, like those Monogrammed diaper bags.

I can say that in those first few months, sleep was not the sleep that people without children experience. No, my sleep was half-awake, hearing every single noise, breath, fart of the night, being uber aware of any motion in the entire house and the yard, pseudo conscious delirium…at best.

I was terrified that I’d roll on top of my sweet co-sleeper and smother her. I know you were all thinking it. So, in those first few months I never really got any sleep of any benefit. But what I did get was a crazy tight bond. You know the bond you get from breastfeeding? When you co-sleep, for me, the bond is that times two.

READ ALSO: Breastfeeding Sucks

There is something magical and reassuring about waking up and looking over and seeing that little face so peaceful in the middle of the night.The smell of a little next to you, the feel of little gangling arms and legs, surprise hugs and kisses, even the occasional head bunt, reassuring karate chop and rogue face punch have become endearing to me.

By bed-sharing, when my little one wakes in the middle of the night, they put a hand out to find me or the Big Guy and they are reassured and go back to sleep. There is something to be said for being within arms reach. It makes me happy. I  never planned to co-sleep but co-sleeping found me. It took hold and it is one of the best parenting decisions that I have ever made up until this point. I’m just exhausted of people making co-sleeping parents feel like it’s some sort of dirty secret. I think it is natural, beautiful and amazing.

Both girls, ages 3 & 5, are currently still co-sleeping with me during the weekdays, while the Big Guy is out of town. On the weekends,  they sleep in their own bed…at least they start out there. I don’t see a problem with it. I think it is every parent’s decision. It’s more about what works for your family. For ours, we’re doing it the Jolie-Pitt style..for now.

My plan is once we are all back in the same house to put the girls in a bed together and me and the Big Guy in one. What are your thoughts? How old is too old to co-sleep? Are you absolutely against co-sleeping? Why? Why not? Do you do co-sleeping? When did you stop co-sleeping? When will you stop co-sleeping? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on co-sleeping?

Co-Sleeping is Natural

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your truth is a lie, moms and daughters, comparing yourself to your mother

Have you been wracking your brain and every gift guide on the Internet trying to find  a gift to wow? The holidays are here and everyone is trying to find that perfect gift for the woman they love. It’s no small feat because women are as different as snowflakes and no two are alike. For example, I am a tech lover but I also like beautiful girly things; CES is my Disney World and beautiful things are my weakness. These are the top things on my list this year.

If the woman in your life is into tech or fashion, she will love almost everything on this gift guide.

marc jacobs, gift guide, Christmas guide, women, tech, fashion, holidays, Christmas

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dreams

Everyone who knows me, knows that daisies are one of my favorite flowers because my Grandma was named Daisy. Inspired by the boundless spirit of daisies and blue skies, Daisy Dream reflects Marc Jacobs’ irresistible mix of intricate details, elegance, and femininity for a fresh interpretation of the iconic Daisy motif. The fruity-floral fragrance has a light and airy touch, bursting with top notes of blackberry, grapefruit, and pear. The heart notes are introduced with a bouquet of jasmine, lychee, and blue wisteria, and a medley of white woods, musks, and coconut water reveal the base notes.

The glass bottle is enveloped in a shawl of laced daisies, topped with a silver cap, and adorned with gold hues and daisy accents. The bottle is as beautiful as the scent inside. I didn’t think that I could love anything more than my Grandma Daisy but this scent comes close.

 

UGG, gift guide, Christmas guide, women, tech, fashion, holidays, Christmas

UGG® Australia Simmens Short Leather and Wool Boot

Maximize the fashion potential of your wardrobe with this trans-seasonal boot, crafted from waterproof leather with a wool blend shaft and decorative double buckle detail. The Simmens is lined with luxurious, natural wool for moisture-wicking comfort and features a new outsole design, utilizing cork-infused White Spider rubber for optimum traction in slippery situations. $170.

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Helena Locket by BaubleBar and Misfit Flash

Make a statement with the Helena locket. It features vintage accents with classic BaubleBar sparkle. The fashion –forward accessories are as smart as they are stunning. The BaubleBar Locket opens to reveal Misfit’s sportiest tech- the Flash fitness tracker. Misfit Flash tracks your sleep and activity levels, including calories burned, distance traveled, steps taken and sleep quality and allows you to set your personal goals and check your progress. The Helena is exclusively available at Target. $69.99

STACKED

The first wireless charging ecosystem for iPhone eliminates the need for cords from the lives of iPhone users. The all-too-familiar feeling of sifting through a bag, crawling under a desk or standing tethered to the wall to charge a phone is now obsolete. STACKED advances the busy lives of mobile users by enabling both a full charge and connectivity at all times, without a life full of wires.

The shortest distance between two points is no distance at all. STACKED charges faster than any other technology because it comes in direct contact with the phone. The beauty of the bundle system is that the Power Pack is what needs to be recharged, not the phone itself. The Power Pack is recharged via the included AC wall adapter, which allows up to five Power Packs to be charged at once. Users can now maintain an arsenal of wireless charging solutions at their disposal at all times. $129.

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Aventura Clothing

Aventura clothing is a lifestyle apparel brand that makes and sells comfortable clothing with an active focus while being thoughtful to both people and the environment. Aventura is family owned since 1965, creating a supportive family-oriented culture where the little details of life (and clothing) are cherished. Aventura makes the perfect every day clothing. It’s well made, quality clothing made to fit a woman’s body.

Aventura is passionate about creating fashionable clothing with low environmental impact. Their eco-friendly styles not only prevent synthetic fertilizers and farm chemicals from polluting the soil, they look and feel amazing. Now through December 31st, free standard shipping is available.

A-Audio: Rose Gold Lyric On-Ear Headphones

These chic Rose Gold headphones with A-Audio’s distinctive silhouette and sound quality can’t be beat for the music lover on your list. The ear cups with memory foam padding for comfort and isolated sound collapse for easy storage and travel. Built with 40mm custom drivers, powerful circuitry and anti-vibration aluminum for premium sound. Bonus, the Lyric has dual jacks for sharing music with friends. $199

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38mm Rose Gold Aluminum Case with Lavender Sport Band

I’ve wanted one of these since day one. I finally got one and I am in love and you will be too. It’s all the quality and ease of usability that we have come to know and love in Apple products, right there at your wrist. Apple Watch Sport features a rose gold anodized aluminum case, retina display with Force Touch. It also has a heart rate sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope with up to 18 hours of battery life. My favorite feature, aside from voice texting, is that its water resistant so no worries if I accidentally run it under the faucet. It’s beautiful, functional and the perfect gift for any woman on your list this year. $350.

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Lily Bed for Women

Women need the most sleep because generally we are the caretakers of the family. Yet, we are the ones who get the least amount of sleep. LilyBed has taken this into consideration and designed the first bed made for a woman’s body but strong enough for a man. A few of the amazing features of the LilyBed mattress in a box include premium cover that’s soft, cool and hypoallergenic, super soft layer surface, responsive core for perfect balance and complimentary full body support. Bottom line, it’s the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years.

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PANDORA Light As A Feather Earrings in Sterling Silver

Inspired by the elegance and lightness of feathers, these airy dangle earrings represent stunning, natural beauty. Shimmering stones accentuate the splendor of their stylized form, making them a great choice for eveningwear. Sparkling clear cubic zirconias and swirls of sterling silver depict feathers in these beautiful dangle earrings. $100.00

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Lomo’Instant Wide Central Park Edition camera + lens system

Lomo’Instant’s new wide instant camera lives up the Lomo rep. This fun vintage-inspired camera kit features three creative shooting modes and comes with three cool lens attachments (wide-angle, close-up, and splitzer), a lens cap that double as a shutter remote control and easy-change color gels that add a wash of color to your photo subjects. It’s like Hipstamatic but in real camera form. I’m as excited about this as I am the USB TypeWriter and Qwerkywriter. $259

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Health o meter™ nuyu™ Sleep System

Sleep solution made of a Bluetooth® enabled sleep mat and app that cycles through temperatures through the night to mimic your body’s circadian rhythm so that you wake up well-rested. It warms slightly when you are going to sleep; cools you down during the middle of the night, and then warms you back up to mimic your natural circadian rhythm.  Starting temperature range: 69° – 105°

Controlled using free nuyu™ app which can be used with the Activity Monitor to track sleep. It is also machine washable mattress pad and hose, washer bag included. $499.99

Olloclip Active Lens

I have a great Nikon DSLR that I depend on for most of my travel and family photos but, honestly, I am a big iPhonographer. My phone is never far away and always convenient to shoot with so I’m super excited about the Olloclip Active Lens. Olloclip Active Lens is a compact, lightweight, 2-in-1 with a telephoto lens and ultra-wide angle lens that snaps onto your iPhone 6/S or iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus.  It works with both the front and rear facing cameras on the phone too.  Easy to use, just snap it on and snap it off. $99.99

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α77 II A-mount camera with APS-C sensor

Never miss the moment. When extraordinary happens, capture it with the accelerated α77 II with an astounding 79 high-density AF points, 12fps continuous shooting, and a 24.3MP Exmor CMOS sensor. Every moment is made eternal. Translucent Mirror Technology enables precise phase-detection AF in live view and movie modes. $849.

Brooklyn Bedding: #BestMattressEver

Built with individuality and simplicity in mind, Brooklyn Bedding delivers personalized comfort with a bed-in-a-box designed for every type of sleeper. Breaking the “one-comfort-fits-all” mold, three sleep comfort levels cater to every type of sleeper with Soft, Medium and Firm options. Luxurious, soft quilted pillow top cover knitted with moisture-wicking cotton for cloud-like feel and breathability. It’s like sleeping on a cloud. $450 – $1,050

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X-Doria: KidGPS 

Every mom I know will want this palm-sized tracking device that notifies parents of their children’s exact location via companion iOS or Android application, providing peace of mind. This user-friendly device that can be tucked in a child’s pocket or clipped on their backpack

Panic alert button sends the current location of a child to multiple devices.

Battery lasts up to seven days and can be recharged via integrated micro-USB port. Tracking services range from $5.99/month for 12 months, or $7.99/month for 6 months

Polaroid Zip

The Zip is a super-simple, instant photo printer. Turn it on, connect it to your iPhone or Android via Bluetooth and hit the print button on the free app. The result: 2X3” full-color instant prints. The Zip uses special photo paper (a 30-pack only costs $14.99) that’s ink free and comes out dry-to-the-touch. $129.99

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Zara

Zara is my favorite place to buy affordable clothing that is cute and feminine. The inventory is constantly updating for the seasons and I love the feminine fabrics and cuts. It’s a great selection of outfits for work and evening wear.

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DxO One

The DxO One will turn your iPhone or iPad into a DSLR quality camera for less than the price of a DSLR. It pairs perfectly with your iPhone so that you can take amazing photos anywhere. It shoots 2.1-MP photos and 1080p video and you can toggle between the two modes with a tiny 1-inch touch screen on the side of the device. The DxO One gives photographers DSLR-like modes like aperture priority, shutter priority, program and manual. $599.

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Tipsy Elves 

If you are looking for something like nothing else, might I suggest an ugly sweater or Christmas jumper from Tipsy Elves. I recently received the Women’s Blue Reindeer Jumpsuit and they are the super cozy and toasty. The design has a bold blue background a white Fair isle design with grazing reindeer. The front pockets include zippers and a red accent color on the cuffs to complete the outfit. This jumper is great for Christmas morning, lounging during holiday break or wearing to your favorite ugly sweater party. Bonus, it also comes in Mens and children’s sizes.

Margaritaville®: New Key West™ Frozen Concoction Maker®
This is the  perfect gift to celebrate at all the holiday parties and will definitley help you ring in the New Year! Refreshed version of this classic now features an extra-large ice reservoir that holds ice for 3 full pitchers so you can enjoy the party longer before it’s time to refill

· Shaves ice, instead of crushing like other machines, for perfectly smooth beverages

· Margaritaville® maritime detailing that features a new silver base to match modern home décor

· Produces 36-ounces of restaurant-quality frozen drinks

· Includes manual shave & blend controls

· Includes a 36 oz., sturdy glass blending-jar and with Easy Pour lid

Price: $399.99

What’s your favorite present on this gift guide?

Disclosure: Some of the products on this gift guide were provided for review purposes but entirely opinions are my own.

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As a mom, how often have you felt overwhelmed and overworked in your life? Most moms will acknowledge the responsibility that is motherhood, and no matter how much help you have, it seems mothers are hardwired to carry the weight of motherhood physically. All the parts you can see and the parts you can’t see. Even if you manage to share the load with your other parent, husband, partner, chances are most moms will still feel the stress that comes with parenthood.

“A mom’s work is never done.”

More so now, during a global pandemic, moms and dads alike often forgo what they need themselves as they strive to provide for their family and keep everyone happy, safe, and healthy. Sadly, this means as parents, more often than not, your needs come last. But all the stress, worry, heartache, and mental juggling of tasks can take its toll on your mental and physical health.

Even those pushed for time need to take some time to make sure they don’t burn out and make themselves ill. Your family needs you to be healthy, and this means looking after yourself as much as everyone else. Even if you feel like you don’t have the time or you shouldn’t. Self-care needs to be standard and not classed as a luxurious treat.

Self-care can simply be the act of putting makeup or completing a full skincare routine with cream, oils, and face masks. It can be reading a book or taking a long hot bath in peace. It doesn’t matter what it is or how often you do it, as long as you do it, and it makes you feel better.

Accept help

You may be able to do it all on your own with no help, but that doesn’t mean you should. New moms, let someone take over the small tasks for you. Sure, you may not want to leave your new baby, but having someone come over to help clean up, put the dishwasher on or washing machine or simply make you a hot drink and some food can be a huge help during those first weeks of getting used to life as a new parent.

But as your family grows, learn to accept the help for what it is and not as an attack on you and your parenting skills. Having the kids go for a playdate for an hour or two can give you breathing space to do something you need to do. Be it a nap, drink a hot coffee or binge watch that show on Netflix everyone is talking about. If it makes you feel better, do it and don’t punish yourself for accepting help – a happy parent is a much better parent, don’t you think?

Eat well

How often have you tricked your child into eating healthy food to make sure they are getting all their vitamins and minerals? When was the last time you checked to make sure you were getting all of yours? Neglecting your diet can lead to unhealthy choices and a lack of energy as your body isn’t getting what it needs. If you are struggling with choosing the right foods, try meal planning, and prepping to make sure you have healthy meal options available at all times.

Supplements can help boost your required daily intake but not replace them. You shouldn’t rely on vitamin supplements to get what your body needs each day. Keep a fruit salad prepared in the fridge for a go-to snack or have healthy nuts and seeds for you to snack on during the day. Look after your body, and it will look after you. After all, as a busy parent, you need all the energy you can get.

Sleep

Easier than it looks. Parents sleep if their kids sleep at night. And if they don’t, coffee is your best friend! The baby and toddler years can be rough when it comes to sleep deprivation – especially if other parents brag about how their child sleeps through the night! You may feel like you will never get a good night’s sleep again. But little things can be done to help you fall asleep faster and make the most of the time you do have to sleep.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is possibly one of the more ridiculous things to say to parents. As much as you may want to nap, chances are you will have other things that need taking care of instead.

Try to find a good bedtime routine that works for you and your family. Take note of advice such as removing electronics from the bedroom, keeping the tv off at night, and having a bath before bed. Practicing yoga can help to relax you as can meditation if you can find time to get into the right mind space for it to be effective. Lavender works wonders for inducing a calming night’s sleep – for you and children too, as can using a sleep mask and the right bedding for your bedroom for any given season. You can also apply a mānuka essential oil before you sleep to combat the signs of many common skin issues such as anti-aging and acne.  Exercising in the evening can help you to burn off any pent-up energy and allow you enough of a release to sleep better at night. But, working out too close to bedtime will have the complete opposite effect—trial and error but always worth trying out.

Exercise

Taking the baby out for a walk in their stroller is exercise, as is chasing a toddler around the local park or even jumping in the pool with the family on a hot summer day.
It isn’t all about hitting the gym and pushing yourself as hard as you can. But if that is what works for you, then it can be that—a dance class with your friends or a neighborhood basketball game. Get out, get moving, and raise your heartbeat.

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5 ways to relax at night, chill out, get ready for bed

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Do you have trouble winding down at night? An endless list of things show up in your brain right at the exact moment you’re supposed to be drifting off to LaLa land? If so, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, millions of people have difficulty relaxing and getting ready for bed. I’ve been an insomniac since college so I know a little bit about this topic. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help yourself calm down, relax and prepare for sleep. This blog post will discuss 6 ways to relax at night, chill out and get ready for bed. 

Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions and gynecological misadventures are all my own.

Listen to calm music

There is something about music that can soothe us and make us feel more relaxed. So if you’re struggling to wind down at night, try listening to some calm music. This can help you relax both your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep.

Some suitable genres of music to listen to for relaxation purposes include classical, jazz, and nature sounds. Many apps and websites offer calming music specifically designed to help you sleep. 

Do some gentle stretching 

Gentle stretching is another great way to relax your body and mind before bed. It can help relieve tension and reduce stress. You can do several different stretches, so find ones that work best for you. Start by doing some simple neck and shoulder rolls. Then, move on to other body areas such as your back, legs, and arms. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds before moving on to the next one.

Doing some light stretching before bed can also help improve your sleep quality and reduce the risk of pain waking you up during the night.  But don’t do a full cardio workout unless you want that rush of endorphins at bedtime. Be warned it won’t bode well for your insomnia.

Sit outside for a while  

If you have trouble relaxing indoors, try spending some time outside. Sitting or lying down in a park or other green space can help reduce stress and anxiety. I keep a comfy sectional on my deck for just this reason. The fresh air and natural light can also do wonders for your sleep quality. If it’s not possible to sit outside, simply open a window to let some fresh air into your room. You can also try smoking marijuana outside if it helps you to relax. But you might want to invest in this spray to get rid of weed smell and keep the neighbors out of your business. Or just go the edible route, no nasal evidence left behind.

Take a relaxing bath 

There is nothing quite like a warm bath to help you relax at night. Add some soothing aromatherapy, add a few drops of lavender oil to your bathtub or light a delicious smelling candle to help further promote relaxation. One of my favorites is GYV MesoAmerican Beauty Mango pineapple candle. The heat from the water can also help reduce muscle pain and tension. Soak in your tub for 20-30 minutes to give yourself enough time to relax fully. Moisturize yourself from head to toe. I love the Mango lotion from GYV. For luxuriously attractive and beautiful glowing skin I’m obsessed with Dignity Coconuts lip balms and raw coconut oil.

After your bath, avoid any activities that will stimulate your mind or body. This means no working, watching TV, or using your phone or computer. You want your body and mind to be relaxed, so give yourself time to wind down before bed. 

Pop a gummy

IYKYK if you don’t, I’m definitely talking about a CBD gummy. Just 1 Inflamade Yummy Watermelon Vegan Sleep Solution gummy and you will sleep all night long. Deep Sleep CBD + CBN Vegan Gummies combine the power of CBD + CBN – and works to put your mind at ease and sleep throughout the night. With 20mg CBD + 5mg CBN, and 3mg Melatonin per watermelon gummy, products are lab tested to ensure 0% THC and 100% Drug Test Safe.

The compounds CBD and CBN have different impacts on the body, but when combined, they aid in alleviating restless nights and insomnia.

If you are looking for something with THC to relax your mind before bed and get a great night’s sleep, I highly recommend Berry Burst Indica Gummies by Encore Edibles at your local dispensary. It’s one of my personal favorites for overwhelmed and exhausted moms who just can’t relax. It does the job 100% of the time.

Practice some deep breathing exercises: 

Deep breathing is a simple but effective way to relax your body and mind. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality. To do a deep breathing exercise, simply sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough to expand your stomach, not just your chest. 

All this to say, there are many things you can do to relax at night. By listening to calm music, doing some gentle stretching, spending time outside, taking a relaxing bath, and practicing deep breathing exercises, you can wind down and get ready for a good night’s sleep. 

These are 5 ways to relax at night, chill out and get ready for bed. What is your top tip for relaxing at night?

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bedtime

bedtime

Bedtime: The Most Wonderful Time of the Day

Bedtime at our house has always been a chore. I have two little girls who are, more often than not, co-sleepers. I won’t lie, I do love the cuddles and snuggles that come with having my children in bed next to me. Of course, now that they are respectively seven and four, the once adorable cuddles and snuggles are escalating into flailing arms and kicking feet, usually to my torso or face. Ouch!

We put the girls in their own room at night but some time between bedtime and dawn, one or both always finds their way into our bedroom. This almost always ends with either us pulling them into our bed with us or one of us walking half-asleep back to their room, snuggling in and staying for the duration. It’s not a bad deal but some times the Kung Fu fighting antics makes it a bit difficult to get any quality sleep for the adults. Apparently, they lose no sleep over the fact that they are sleep Kung Fu Masters.

The girls know that they are at an age now where we would prefer that they stay in bed and fall back to sleep, preferably on their own. After all, waking themselves completely up and then proceeding to wake us up provides for a not so restful sleep for any of us.

Bedtime: Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures

One night, my four year old ran from her room and jumped in our bed. Literally, jumped completely over me and landed between the Big Guy and I. It startled me and woke me from a dead sleep. She was crying. I asked what was wrong and her answer was , “Mommy, there were lemurs dancing around my room and jumping on my bed. They came from under my bed. I can’t sleep in there any more!!!!” So much for letting a four year old watch Madagascar.

She was very serious. I cuddled her and reassured her that there were no lemurs dancing around her room. There were no lemurs jumping on her bed. There most certainly were not any lemurs living under her bed. But, I told her just to be sure that I would spray under her bed with “Lemur spray” in the morning. She was sufficiently satisfied,cuddled into me and fell back to sleep.

You know? Lemur spray. It looks like Febreeze but it has a lemur skull and crossbones on the label and reads “Kills Lemurs dead!” No? You don’t have this at your house? We also have Chicken spray, creepy doll spray and boogie man spray. Are you sure you don’t keep some in your laundry room for just such occasions?

The next morning, I sprayed that bedroom down like Father Michael McFlannigan; blessing every nook and cranny while exorcising all rogue dancing lemurs, for good measure. I prayed and blessed and then repeated the entire process until my four year old was sufficiently satisfied that her room was lemur free.

There’s got to be an easier way to get my girls to go to sleep, stay asleep and prevent scary dreams. What do you do to alleviate the stress of scary dreams? How do you soothe your child’s irrational fears in the middle of the night?

What are your top bedtime tips?

Here’s a new tool for your bedtime treasure box, The Pajanimals, available only on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout, features four fuzzy friends who wind down for bedtime in a cozy and reassuring way. The show helps you tackle common bedtime issues like getting out of bed, bad dreams and scary monsters. Check out Sprout’s bedtime tips! Seriously, they are so simple and very effective. Also, by replying below four of my lucky readers will win a prize package – including a Pajanimals DVD and The Sleepeasy Solution book, proven by Hollywood’s celebrity parents and written by the sleep experts at Sleepy Planet.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sprout. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules. The bedtime drama, all mine.

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