Mommy Hacks: Getting Baby to Sleep Through The Night

Hey guys! I recently got an email from a reader about getting her 11 month old to sleep through the night. Her baby had been sick, and is no longer staying asleep. Whether or not you’ve always struggled to get baby to sleep or something happened to disrupt their routine, there’s hope! Here are some of my fave tricks for getting baby to rest when they need to (so you can sleep too):

Getting Baby to Stay Asleep

Establish a bedtime routine. Little ones thrive under routines, which is why I’ve talked about Aden and Ariah’s nighttime rituals in the past – they’re still so important. If you want a baby that will sleep through the night, the first step is getting them to fall asleep, and keep that routine to create consistency in their lives. As you might’ve seen, our nighttime ritual includes a warm bath, bedtime stories, and prayer. These are all relaxing, “wind down” type of activities, that help lull baby to sleep.

Check the temperature. Babies are sensitive and their rooms need to be comfortable for them to sleep in. If they’re too cold or too hot, they’ll feel that in the night and wake up uncomfortable. This might take a little testing to see what your baby sleeps best in, but it can make a huge difference.

Overnight diapers. Getting the right overnight diapers will keep them dry through the night – another common reason for babies waking up. Again, if they feel comfortable, they’ll be more likely to stay asleep until they’re well rested. 

Find the right window of time. Little ones have a specific time window. Make sure they go to bed when they’re supposed to – sometimes they miss that. Usually, children will wake up around the same time no matter what, so keep that in mind if their routine is disrupted or they don’t feel tired. Another trick? You may think that because they’re not sleeping through the night, you’re putting them down too early but actually – sometimes the earlier bedtime helps them to stay asleep longer. Go figure!

Lastly… Get a sound machine! Kids of all ages love sound soothers – I know because both Aden and Ariah do. Just like the tips above help create consistency in a baby’s sleep routine, sound soothers provide subtle, rhythmic background noise that makes them feel more at ease. Some of them have warm, glowing night lights and different melodies to choose from. If you haven’t tried this yet, you just might be amazed.

If you have any baby sleep tricks, share with me in the comments below. Thanks to Tameramowry.com reader Carmen for the inspiration, and good luck with Mila!  

Xx,
Tamera

Train Time With Aden

Today I thought I’d share about just one of the many times Aden and I have shared some quality time together lately. It’s really important to me to make time to spend with each of my children individually – we all love to play and explore together but there’s nothing like one on one… It’s so important!

Play time with Aden - Tamera Mowry

Not surprisingly, one on one time tends to involve trains whenever possible.

Play time with Aden - Tamera Mowry

Puzzles are such a fantastic educational activity for little ones because they teach patience, hand eye coordination, motor skills, memory and so much more. These are all things that we take for granted as grown ups, having long forgotten the process of learning them, but they’re absolutely necessary skills to have.

Play time with Aden - Tamera Mowry

What’s more is the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a goal – and with a puzzle, there’s always a clear goal. The puzzles he does are already becoming more complex, and soon he’ll have more to achieve and be proud of!

Quality time, learning – so much goes into a little puzzle time. :)

Click here for more of our mommy-son time activities.

Xx,
Tamera

Mommy Hacks: Battling The No

If you’ve raised a toddler, you know exactly what this title is referring to. Aden is at that age, Ariah will get there too – all kids do. By age two or three, children not only know exactly what the word “no” means, they learn just how to use it against you. (Cue evil laughter!) Lately I’ve been relying on these methods in order to stop the no before a full-fledged temper tantrum sets in.

How to Battle the "No" - Photo of Aden Housley via TameraMowry.com

As much of a pain as it can be, this “no” phase can actually be a sign of a healthy parent-child relationship, believe it or not. When little ones are defiant during this stage of development, it’s usually in response to a positive action by the parents – like trying to get your child to share or teach them responsibility. This defiance shows that they’re realizing that they DO have some control – which in general is a good (though incredibly frustrating) thing. So if you’re repeatedly hearing the “no” moms, pat yourselves on the back – you’re doing it right! Lol.

How to Deal with the “No”

Restructure requests. At this age kids realize that they simply don’t like being controlled. By switching your own requests from negatives to positives, they’ll feel less like they’re being controlled and more like you’re both in on the action. For example, instead of saying “Don’t do that” or “No wearing that” you might say “Do this instead” and “How about this?” Explaining yourself can help them see why wearing a coat is a reasonable request, for instance.

Relate to them. Let them know you understand why they’re saying no (even if 99% of the time you have no idea). If they won’t put away their toys, tell them you can see how they’d want to keep playing, but they can play later after X is done, etc. Any parent knows that a conversation like this can go back and forth for what seems like forever, but showing understanding makes it easier for them to give in.

Find the emotion. Similarly, sometimes when a parent thinks there is absolutely no reason behind a child’s defiance, there actually is a cause buried deep down. If they refuse to let you dress them, maybe it’s because they don’t want to go wherever it is you’re going. Just like before, continue to ask questions that will help you understand the root cause.

Give them a choice. If the reason they’re holding onto the no is that they want to maintain control over the situation, choices help them keep control without allowing them to completely disobey. With a choice like “Do you want to get dressed now, or after you’ve picked up your toys?”, they still have to do both things, but they can control when. That choice makes a huge difference because both the parent and child are actively involved – he doesn’t get to do whatever he wants, but he also doesn’t have to feel overwhelmed by your request.

Learn more about our parenting style here.

Xx,
Tamera

Mommy Hacks: 5 Ideas for Helping Baby Sleep

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard more than enough times all of the “foolproof” ways to get your baby to fall (and stay) asleep. Some of them may have worked like magic, while your baby resists others. (Which is when we bring in Talitha, who has helped us define our parenting style, after all ;)) For example, Ariah loves being bundled in her swaddle blanket; it helps her feel cozy and secure. Other cues, like dimmed lights and reciting stories, signal that winding down time. But then there are moments where it seems like nothing on earth will help your little one sleep! It’s time to pull out a few new tricks.

baby sleep tips / photo of Ariah via Tamera Mowry

Try a lullaby app. Rockabyboo is a new lullaby app that utilizes UK artist Beulah’s soothing voice to help baby drift off to dreamland. There’s an enormous selection of music and stories updated constantly and they can even be personalized for some babies’ names. Find more info in this video clip.

Share your fave music with them. Yep, Rockabye Baby! features an entirely different set of lullabies. A company that sells soothing, lullaby versions of popular songs from countless artists and eras, you can put baby to sleep to The Elton John, Taylor Swift, or even Jay-Z. Don’t worry, all songs are baby-friendly, soothing, being the keyword here. The idea behind it is music that’s sweet and soft for babies, but just as entertaining for mom and dad. You might even enjoy having these tunes stuck in your head all night!

Get a vibrating mattress pad. Maybe it’s not the sounds that soothe her, but the motion. This Vibrating Mattress Pad Baby Soother gives off a gentle motion without you having to constantly rock her or take yet another drive around the block. It slides in under the crib’s mattress and can easily be shut off via the accessible power button on the handle.

Try a mix of both sound + motion. Of course, if neither of these are working quite right, maybe it’s that the baby needs to feel the motion as well as hear a soothing sound to feel secure enough to drift to sleep. There are products such as the Summer Soothe & Vibe that does the work of both the motion and the sound machine. And if it can safely soothe your little one to sleep in 20 minutes or less, it could be worth a try!

Get them a read-along buddy. You may remember that I mentioned the book + reading buddy Christopher Can’t Sleep as one of Aden’s fave bedtime stories. This is something to try with children of his age that know how to entertain themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong, Aden loves following along with the story… But it also happens to lull him right to sleep! One moment he’s engulfed in the pages of the book, and the next he’s snuggling up with his buddy.

If you’ve got ideas to add to this list, let me know – I’ll edit the post to feature your tips!

Xx,
Tamera