Ever notice how much information there is out there on what's best for your baby? Trying to sort through it all might leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated to say the least. This show is dedicated to helping you clear out the noise so you can figure out what is best for YOUR baby and YOUR family.We are here to share information and give practical tips to help you get through baby’s first year and beyond. If you’re looking to learn more about your baby, gain more confidence in your parenting, and get as much sleep as you can through it all, you’ve come to the right place. New shows will be posted every 2 weeks, minimum.
The Nap Episode
Do you want to know how to make the most of your baby's naps?
How often should they be napping?
How long should they be napping?
How to lengthen their short naps?
Are there particular times of day that are better for babies to nap?
Breakdown of wake-windows, number of naps and general/ideal lengths of naps
Months 0-1 (until around 6-8 weeks of age)
Wake windows (45mins - 1hr)Napping 24/720 minutes to 3hrs+ (wide range!)Months 2-3
Wake windows (45-1.5hrs)Up to 5-6 naps per day30 minutes - 2hrs+ (depends on the baby, depends on the day!)Months 4 &5 - start to see a bit of regularity
Wake windows (1.5-2/2.5hrs)3 or 4 napsAiming for 2 longer naps (first 2) and 1-2 short, “cat naps” Months 6-8
Wake windows (1.5 - 3hrs)Biological ‘Sleep Waves’ (around 9am and 12pm)3 naps going down to 2 (at least 1-1.5hrs long each)Months 9-12
On 2 naps a day (at least 1-1.5hrs each)Roughly around 9am and 1pmWake windows look like 2-3-4 or up to 3-3-4Months 13-18
Dropping down to 1 nap a day, which will end up being somewhere within 12-1pm Ideally at least 1.5hrs but sometimes short at first or at daycare!
→ There is no need to count or restrict naps before 4 months of age.
→ After ~4 months of age, it is great if babies can get at least 2.5hrs of daytime sleep (min)
→ There is no limit to daytime sleep! Unless it could be causing an issue overnight.
→ Make sure your baby is sleeping regularly, based on their (adjusted) age
→ Wake Windows are KEY to naps
Please remember that it is very COMMON and NORMAL for younger babies to have shorter naps. Some babies are perfectly capable and do have longer naps (over an hour) by 4 months of age, but honestly, most aren’t doing that, until well into their 4th, 5th or sometimes even 6th month.
So just because your baby is having short naps, even if they’re older than this… go back and ask yourself those three questions:
How is my baby’s behaviour throughout the day? How easy/challenging is it to get my baby to sleep?Is their overnight sleep being impacted (more wake-ups, difficulty getting back to sleep, super early wake-up calls)If everything’s going just fine and the only issue with those short naps is a bit of a nuisance, you’re still in good standing there, mama ;)
But, if you’re not sure or you think some changes do need to happen in the nap department, Please get in touch and I may be able to help out ;)
Ashley Cooley - Birth Baby and Sleep Specialist
Taking Care of YOU with Wendy McCallum
I’m not going to spend much time telling you about this episode, because you just need to listen to it.
Not too long ago, I had the amazing opportunity to catch up with Wendy McCallum. Wendy is a Professional Coach & Corporate Wellness Expert and the host of the Bite-Sized Balance Podcast.
Wendy teaches busy professionals (many of whom are approaching burnout) how to reclaim time for themselves, reduce stress, build healthier habits, and increase their daily joy in the process. She is also a Certified Naked Mind Alcohol Coach who helps clients find freedom from alcohol and other unhealthy coping habits.
As a Coach & Corporate Wellness Expert, Wendy speaks with honesty & empathy, and has helped hundreds of people cultivate healthier habits & coping mechanisms.
She supports her private clients in preventing and recovering from burnout, and establishing a healthier, more satisfying work/life balance.
More information on her coaching & consulting services can be found at www.wendymccallum.com. You can find her podcast, Bite-Sized Balance wherever you listen to podcasts.
Wendy and I had THE BEST conversation and we tied our discussions around burnout and balance as they pertain to the busy lifestyles we have as parents/caregivers.
But I do want to say that the line between burnout and something like postpartum depression can be a little grey, so if you’re feeling like maybe this could be something more then you should absolutely make an appointment with your doctor to discuss (or better yet, if you’re not sure, check on it anyway!). Trust me, it’s worth it.
Now, normally I do a Mental Health Minute at the end of each episode, where we tie in our topic and relate it to our mental health, but well, This entire episode is a mental health minute! Actually, it’s more like an hour - so definitely longer than my other episodes, but there was no way I was going to break up this conversation and have you miss ANYTHING. But by the end of it, I bet you’re going to feel really empowered to help bump yours up a couple more notches ;)
After listening to this episode, I’d love it if you’d share what resonated most with you.
As always, you can always find me at www.birthbabysleep.ca or on social media @birth_baby_sleep.
And for Wendy’s burnout checklist, head to www.wendymccallum.com/checklist
How to work about baby's sleep needs while getting outside or working around travel or appointments.
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To find out more about her services and to get the New Baby Sleep Guide, click here
Jenn Currie - mom
Chris Surette - dad
Hutton - baby
not yet on the Gram.
Parks Canada article
Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site Camping
Isn’t it nice when you get to take baby to the beach or walk a favourite trail nearby?
Actually, taking a walk Anywhere or just getting out of the house is going to prove to be beneficial to you and your baby.
Do you ever feel like you’re a slave to all the naps?!
Maybe you have a newborn and you’re wondering how you might start venturing outside now that you have your baby and his/her needs to consider?
Maybe you recently “sleep trained” or your baby is on a pretty regular sleep schedule and you’re worried how to continue this great sleep somewhere other than their own crib all the time?
Or maybe your baby and your situation don’t fit into any of these categories but you’re wondering about how to best help them sleep during times like:
Staying somewhere newTravelling - on those long car ridesWorking around appointmentsAnd yes, Bringing Baby Camping - because the season is coming and what a great way to get out and enjoy all the benefits being out in nature has to offer!But listen, some babies seem to have a bit more of a go-with-the-flow vibe, but I’ll tell you, that’s not the norm. Unless they’re an infant because usually infants are pretty portable - but honestly many babies do prefer a solid routine/schedule/pattern to their sleep. It’s what keeps them in balance, allows them to be their most pleasant selves during waking hours and are better able to sleep soundly when needed.
So, for anyone out there with a baby and you’re looking for ideas on how to get that baby out without it totally messing up their sleep or vibe, this one’s for you!
When Babies Eat Solids with Edwena Kennedy
To find out more about Ashley, visit birthbabysleep.ca
or find her on Facebook and Instagram @birth_baby_sleep.
What we know about babies and how to best meet their needs has come a long way over the past few decades.
While I can throw out at least a dozen changes and myths that have gone on in the sleep world, I think there are even more misconceptions in the baby-feeding world.
So When I first started thinking about who I might have as a guest on this show, my mind immediately went to Edwena Kennedy of My Little Eater.
Edwena is a mom of two and the registered pediatric dietitian behind My Little Eater™, a platform that helps families feel confident raising healthy little eaters. She offers online courses for Baby Led Feeding and Feeding Toddlers and has helped thousands of parents reduce stress and set the foundation for lifelong healthy eating.
Edwena and I dove into a number of different topics, from whether or not the number of teeth your baby has matters when it comes to their eating certain solid foods to when/how often baby should getting solids while still incorporating breastmilk or formula. We also get into what the deal is with offering water to babies and what this whole debate is about when it comes to sippy cups?!
Did you know that the only food a baby needs in the first 6 months of life is breastmilk or formula? The answers to all of these topics might surprise you, and Edwena breaks it down in a way that we can really understand it. She gives us practical tips on how best we can support baby on this journey to eating solids and what THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOVE ANYTHING ELSE IS when it comes to food.
Edwena and I started our conversation with discussing the recommendation by Health Canada, The WHO, AND the American Academy of Pediatric’s that the introduction to “other” foods or solid food not be before 6 months of age. Here’s what Edwena had to say about why that is and why you might actually be hearing different advice out there.
Now onto this week’s Mental Health Minute, Edwena actually joined me in this conversation as we talked about the social pressure that many parents feel when it comes to the kinds of foods to offer baby - whether that be starting baby on purees or going the baby-led weaning way where you’re giving baby properly portioned piece of food… Or homemade food vs. store-bought…
Edwena has had tons of experiences talking to her clients about this and she has something really valuable to share that I hope helps bring you peace of mind.
I love how Edwena talked about that it’s really about the experience, the coming together as a family to eat meals together whenever possible, and the conversations that are being had about food.
This is the stuff that they carry with them through adulthood that can have a profound impact on their health and well-being… not necessary the fact that they had rice puffs for dinner that one time ;)
That’s all for today’s show!
For more information about Edwena Kennedy and the My Little Eater program, check out mylittleeater.com and find her on Facebook and Instagram
As always, if you have any questions about our topic today or ANYTHING baby related, head on over to birthbabysleep.ca/podcast and fill out an entry form.
Don't forget to check out the New Baby Sleep Guide and New Baby Support Package!
Car Seat Safety with Katherine Hutka
For more information, check out www.birthbabysleep.ca
Katherine is a Health Promotion Specialist for Child Safety Link – a children’s injury prevention centre at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
With unintentional injury as the leading cause of death in Canadian children, with injuries to children in motor vehicle collisions being at the top of this list...
Katherine’s work focuses on child passenger safety. She is also the president of the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada, a national not-for-profit that focuses on training and advocacy.
I’m fortunate to have had Katherine as my trainer when becoming a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (aka “car seat techs”) - we are volunteers that can help you safely install your child’s car seat.
I’ve since had the pleasure of speaking with Katherine about car seat safety for children and we dove into a very important topic that comes up a lot with babies - namely how long is too long to be in a car seat and what should you do (and not do!) if your baby falls asleep in said car seat. Because we know that happens. Sometimes we go for a drive or a walk with a baby in the car seat for the sole purpose of getting them to sleep, so I totally get the struggle here… but there are some safety risks to be mindful of and we’re going to dive into that a little bit.
Mental Health Minute
I DO NOT want you to feel like you can NEVER allow your baby to sleep in the car seat.
Going down this rabbit hole will only make you feel less than a great parent, but you are a great parent!
We’re all going to make decisions based on our own experiences, knowledge and cultural or environmental influences.
As always, I want you to have all the facts so that you can make the best informed decisions you can when necessary.
So, what are the FACTS?
Well, The safest position for babies to sleep in is on their backs on a firm, flat surface. For babies under 1 year of age, you should always place your baby on his/her back for sleep.
Babies MUST be in a certified car seat that is approved by the country of origin and they must be in the car seat at all times when travelling in a motorized vehicle.
So now, how do we make decisions based on this information? Here are just a few options to give you some examples:
If you are planning on going for a walk with baby with the hopes of he/she squeezing in a nap…
Can you use a carrier instead?Or if you have the equipment, some stroller/seat combos have a bassinet that lays flat instead of the traditional car seat. So lying flat while out for a stroll might be an option for some people. If these are not options, or if you are driving while baby fall asleep in the car seat...
Limit travel time as much as possible, definitely not going over 2hrs Take breaks when necessaryTake baby out of the car seat once you’ve reached your destination and transfer them to a safer sleeping surface, like their cribIf for some reason baby had to stay in his/her car seat while sleeping (FOR A SHORT PERIOD), do not unclip them as their harness helps to keep them in a safer position.And AS ALWAYS when it comes to babies in car seats - make sure they are installed correctly and baby is harnessed safely every time, for every ride.
For more information about safety regulations and information on anything related to babies and children, check out Child Safety Link’s website here.
And to find a Certified Car Seat Tech, visit the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada’s website here to find a tech in you area.
BONUS: Attachment and Behaviour with Sharyn Timerman
While Bringing Up Baby is technically a bi-weekly show, I just had to bring you this extra bit of uplifting info from Sharyn Timmerman.
Sharyn is a Child Behaviour Specialist, who works in children’s behaviour from birth to the early teen years.
Her career began over 30 years ago with an Early Childhood Education degree and she is now the founder of The Early Years Family Development Center and she coaches parents through a wide variety of childhood stages
She has created and delivers many parenting workshops, like the “Tools in your Pocket” series, as well as staff training programs in the pre-school and elementary school environment. She’s also the Founder and Director of “The Child Behavior Certification Program”. Which is a 14 week course specializing in certifying child behavior specialists across Canada, The United States, Russia and Europe.
Sharyn is a faculty member of the “Family Sleep Institute” which is actually where we were first connected, as well as the National Association For The Education of Young Children, the Canadian Association of Early Childhood Educators and the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants.
Her guiding principles come from the idea that “there are answers to every problem. She provides a safe place where parents can see the great things they are doing, learn new skills along the way and bring life to learning for their children.”
If you want to feel good about your parenting and hear about some ways to foster secure attachment as baby grows up, this is a must listen!
If you have any questions about today’s show, or any of our shows, please head over to birthbabysleep.ca/podcast and fill out the entry form. Questions about baby in general? Throw them in there too and I just may do an episode for them ;)
Ashley's website: www.birthbabysleep.ca
New Baby Sleep Guide: found here
(10% off code: newbaby)
Clear, simple and empathetic
There is SO much information out there for parents to navigate. This podcast (and her IG) is a great resource if you are a new parent, if your overwhelmed with info, if you second baby (or third) is bamboozling you. Can’t wait to hear more.
Thank goodness this exists!!!
We LOVE Ashley and she has already helped our new family so much! We did pre natal classes and sleep coaching with her and she changed our life for the better each time. The fact that this podcast now exists I know will help so many families and that we now get her back on a regular basis with easy to understand info and tips is so exciting!!! Must listen for new and expecting families.
Bringing Up Baby
Looking forward to the next episode!