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  1. Linda Szmulewitz of Sleep Tight Consultants answers questions about sleep! This short presentation and parent Q&A was recorded live on June 11, 2021. This presentation's focus was to give parents the following: - Understanding the basics of sleep for babies age newborn to two years old - Best practices surrounding sleep for babies age newborn to two years old - Answers to your questions Linda Szmulewitz is a licensed clinical social worker, a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach through Kim West, LCSW-C, aka The Sleep Lady ®, a DONA trained postpartum doula and the mother of two children. Her goal is to help improve the functioning of the family through improved sleep. She believes that by empowering parents with the tools necessary to help their children become excellent sleepers, it will help them parent more consciously and happily. She has been helping families with their children’s sleep for more than 10 years, worked with more than 1500 children across the United States and from more than 10 countries, and helped more than 3000 parents get back to sleep.
  2. It’s back-to-school time, and everyone is trying to get back on a schedule after summer vacation. Getting back on track can be a little more difficult in the city than in a rural or vacation setting. There are simply more sleep-disturbing distractions. But no matter where you live, your child needs adequate sleep to keep up with the social, emotional, and academic demands of their education-centered lives. Good sleep starts in a healthy sleep environment. The conditions in your child’s room make a difference in her ability to fall and stay asleep. This is one area where the location of your home — urban or rural — makes the biggest difference. The sleep environment needs to be dark and quiet because both mind and body have to fully relax to fall asleep. Urban areas may have more light pollution, traffic, and street noise, all of which can interfere with sleep. Light, whether it comes from the sun or from an artificial source, helps establish your child’s circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that control, amongst other things, your child’s sleep-wake cycle. If light from a streetlamp streams through your child’s window at night, it can cause wakefulness or even disrupt the release of sleep hormones. Sounds that can be heard through the windows have a similar effect. Blackout curtains or heavy drapes block out light and absorb some sound. You can also try using a white noise machine or app to drown out street noise. The next step is to make comfort a priority. Scratchy tags and seams that an adult would never notice can be a deal breaker for a child. Check the mattress for tags, lumps, or sags. There are many high-quality mattresses on the market for less than $1000 that can eliminate this kind of discomfort. When it’s warm out, sheets with natural fibers like cotton and linen breathe better and can keep your child from overheating. As temperatures start to drop, flannel and jersey sheets offer more warmth. You’ll also want to turn the thermostat down to a cool 60 to 68 degrees to support the drop in body temperature necessary for the onset of sleep. One of the most important things you can do is to establish a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps your child’s brain know when to start the release of sleep hormones. When your child is trying to get back into the school groove, a consistent bedtime can make sure he’s getting the rest he needs. You can prevent Monday sleep debt by sticking to the bedtime on weekends, too. FInally, for the child who has trouble settling down at night, develop a calming bedtime routine. Like a consistent sleep schedule, bedtime routines help the brain recognize when to start release of sleep hormones. A routine also gives your child some time to calm down and relieve stress that may be lingering from the school day. It’s also an opportunity for the two of you to share some quiet moments together. Reading a book, listening to quiet music, or taking a warm bath can all be part of a healthy bedtime routine. Try to perform each activity in the same order and start to the routine at the same time each night. While rural living may be quieter and a little less bright, you can get the same deep restful sleep back here in the city. Give you and your child some time to adjust to the new schedule and before you know it, you’ll both be resting easy.
  3. Dr. Daniel Weissbluth believes that quality sleep guidance from the moment your baby comes home from the hospital can prevent many future sleep problems. In this 60-minute video, Dr. Weissbluth discusses how to establish healthy sleep habits for newborns. Watch the video below. Newborns have unpredictable sleep patterns, and that can mean sleep deprivation for most new parents. Watch and learn what you can expect from your newborn and get tips for establishing good sleep habits. This video is perfect for parents to be and parents with newborns. In this webinar, Chicago's infant sleep expert Dr. Daniel Weissbluth covers the basics to infant sleep including: The ABCs of safe sleep Preparing the nursery Setting a sleep routine Parent questions that were submitted during the live webinar
  4. On Sunday, November 4 at 2am, Daylight Saving Time ends—and for parents, this means a lot more than simply setting the clock back an hour. “Time change can have a drastic impact on children, especially young children who easily become overtired,” said Mahdi Dadrass, Executive Director and Co-Founder of South Loop Montessori School. “More than just cranky moods or unpredictable temper tantrums, restlessness can drive habit-creating challenges that impede upon learning, impact social interaction at school, and slow down the routine at home and at bedtime.” To help parents prepare for Daylight Saving Time and avoid issues that can come with just one hour of change, consider the following tips to get ahead before we fall back. Take baby steps. Don't just set the clock back and expect your child to be in sync; remember that it takes some time to adapt. To prepare, gradually delay your child’s bedtime by about 15 minutes every day. For example, if your child goes to bed at 8pm, about four days before the time change, move bedtime to 8:15pm, then 8:30pm, and so on until your child is going to bed as close to 9pm as possible. Try to wake her a little later, as well. Stick to a routine. When Daylight Saving Time ends (or begins in the spring), it is important to stick with a bedtime routine. This creates a signal for sleep. It should be repeated nightly and never rushed, especially when dealing with a schedule change that can throw kids off. Control the lights: The body's internal circadian clock is regulated with the help of a hormone called melatonin. As it becomes dark in the evening, melatonin increases and helps induce sleep. It shuts down when it's light out, which increases wakefulness and alertness. To prepare for the time change, make sure your child has some light exposure in the early evening and ensure that their room isn't too bright in the morning, especially after the shift when you’ll see more morning sunlight than you’ve been seeing these last couple months. Get enough sleep now. Remember, the younger the child, the easier it is to become overtired, which can make falling asleep even harder. Go into Daylight Saving Time well-rested (and that means you too, Mom and Dad). A well-rested person will best adapt to the time change. When Daylight Saving Time begins in the spring, this approach will also help and can prevent things like night wakings, early wake-ups and shorter naps. Follow the same guidelines, just push the wake-up time and bedtime a little earlier rather than later. South Loop Montessori School is an independent learning institution that aims to deliver the highest standard of Montessori education in the Chicagoland area by meeting the academic, social, emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs of children 8 weeks to 9 years of age. It offers year-round, all-day programs based on the Montessori Method in a stimulating learning facility.

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