Nailing this “mama-thing” together.
The Mamahood is a free support group for Bay Area mothers focused on positivity, love and inclusion. Moderated from a place of social justice, we’ve created a safe space for mothers of all types to feel uplifted and connected through virtual and real-life community.
Mamahood members enjoy a directory of recommended resources called The M List, a full calendar of incredible events created by and for our members, and discounts and deals on 100s of services and products.
To learn more and join up, go here: www.themamahood.co
And log into our free resource center here:
The Club is a community for womxn entrepreneurs whose businesses serve The Mamahood’s 30,000+ Bay Area families.
We help passionate, driven womxn creators find more joy and success in life by providing:
Club membership currently includes a complimentary profile on The M List, a web platform for mom-recommended resources that serves our 30k moms.
Apply for the club here: THE CLUB
Visit THE CLUB Facebook Group
Some of the benefits of being a THE CLUB member are:
Girls Nights IRL
An entire year of sophisticated but laid back ‘girls nights’ planned for you! We host a super fun party each month on alternating sides of the Caldecott tunnel.
All you have to do is show up, relax, and make new friends.
Fabulous venues. Great company. Good laughs. Relaxed vibes. These are not your average ‘networking’ events. They are simply about having fun and letting loose with fellow womxn badasses.
Targeted Audience Exposure
As a CLUB member, you also get the exclusive right to promote your offerings to ‘built-for-you’ audiences in industry-specific chat groups that The Mamahood grows and moderates alongside you. This is an opportunity to position yourself as a community leader and provider or quality content in your niche. What this could be worth is totally up to you.
Discounted Marketing Services
In addition to all the DIY ways you can grow your audience through The M List platform and the targeted subgroups on Facebook, you can also work with me individually to boost exposure and take advantage of exclusive discounted services for Clubbers.
We can partner on:
Complimentary Profile on The M List
The M List (located here: www.themamahood.co/members/), is an interactive web directory of mom-recommended businesses created by and for The Mamahood, the Bay Area’s premier online mom community with 30,000 active members and growing.
The M List is marketed daily via special offerings, features, and giveaways in our main group: The Mamahood (SF East Bay).
The M List lets you easily:
* Create special ‘deals’ that are automatically featured on our site – and in our community;
* Add your own events to The Mamahood’s online member calendar;
* Include your URL, social media links, eye-catching 800 X 800 image, short and long descriptions to captivate your audience.
* Set up profiles for up to three businesses (if your side hustle has a side hustle).
What is gestational surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a baby for another person or couple. The woman who carries the baby is the gestational surrogate, or gestational carrier. The parents-to-be are known as the intended parents, and they are involved in the pregnancy, can be present at the birth, and become the child’s parents after the baby is born.
In gestational surrogacy, the baby isn’t genetically related to the gestational surrogate – the egg comes from the intended mother or an egg donor, and the sperm comes from the intended father or a sperm donor. Donor embryos may also be used.
Without a donor embryo, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is necessary because eggs from one woman are used to create embryos to be implanted in another woman’s uterus. In IVF, fertilization occurs after eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory. One or more of the resulting embryos are then transferred to the gestational surrogate’s uterus.
Only 1 percent of all assisted reproductive technology procedures involve gestational surrogacy. It’s likely that cost is a major factor preventing more people from using a gestational surrogate.
Is using a gestational surrogate for me?
Using a gestational surrogate may be a good option if:
- You don’t have a uterus.
- You have problems with your uterus.
- You can’t carry a pregnancy safely.
- Other fertility treatments have failed.
- You’re a single man or gay male couple.
What are the challenges of gestational surrogacy?
Whether you set up the arrangement through an agency or negotiate it privately, using a gestational surrogate is a legally complex and emotionally intense process. If you decide to go this route, be prepared to commit a lot of time, money, and patience.
Currently, a handful of states allow gestational surrogacy contracts, but they aren’t always enforceable, depending on what’s legal. Some states require couples to be married, and some don’t allow gestational surrogates to be compensated. Also, there may be requirements about sexual orientation.
Most states don’t have specific laws covering gestational surrogacy, so it’s important to work with a licensed attorney in your state who has expertise in third-party reproduction. An attorney can advise you on your options and draft a legally binding contract.
We’ve decided to try gestational surrogacy. How do we get started?
Get ready for a complex process that can be stressful. Although you won’t carry the baby, you’ll be very involved in the pregnancy. You’ll probably pay the gestational surrogate’s expenses, including medical appointments, health insurance bills, travel costs, legal bills, and agency fees (if you’re using one). Here’s how to get started:
1. Find a gestational surrogate. Decide whether to ask a relative or friend to be the gestational surrogate, or use an agency that can match you with someone. Most experts recommend choosing someone who:
- Is between 21 and 45 years old
- Previously gave birth without any complications
- Has a supportive family
- Is in good physical and emotional health
2. See a fertility counselor. Most doctors require that you and the gestational surrogate speak with a mental health professional (individually and together) to help you consider the pros and cons of the arrangement, process your emotions, and discuss the potential impact of a relationship with each other.
3. Schedule a medical exam for the genetic parents. If you’re using your own eggs or sperm, you’ll have a checkup and genetic evaluation to make sure you’re healthy enough for IVF. (If you’re using donated sperm, eggs, or a donor embryo, they’ll be screened during the donation process.)
4. Schedule exams for the gestational surrogate. She’ll need to have a medical exam and drug screen, and her partner or spouse will undergo psychological and medical screening as well.
5. Sign a legal agreement.You and the gestational surrogate should each hire separate attorneys experienced in gestational surrogacy to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Create a legal agreement that protects everyone and includes such important details as compensation, parental rights, legal custody, delivery location, future contact between the parties, insurance coverage, and control over medical decisions made during the pregnancy.
In some states, as long as one parent is genetically related to the baby, the gestational surrogate signs away parental rights before the baby’s birth, and the intended parents’ names are listed on the birth certificate. In other states, the gestational surrogate signs over parental rights after the baby is born.
How does gestational surrogacy work with fresh eggs?
Your doctor uses IVF to produce one or more embryos that will be transferred to the surrogate. Here’s how it works:
- Match menstrual cycles. If you’re using your own egg, you and the gestational surrogate take medication to synchronize your menstrual cycles. That way, the surrogate’s uterus will be ready to support an embryo by the time your eggs are retrieved and fertilized. (Similarly, an egg donor will need to sync her cycle with the surrogate.)
- Stimulate egg production. Once you (or the egg donor) are in sync with the surrogate, taking gonadotropins stimulates the ovaries to develop multiple eggs.
- Fertilize the eggs. When mature eggs are ready to be fertilized, the doctor retrieves them during a minor outpatient procedure. Unless you’re using donor sperm, the intended father may need to provide a sperm sample at this time. Then the eggs are fertilized in the laboratory.
- Transfer embryos. After fertilization, the embryos are transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.
The surrogate becomes pregnant when at least one embryo implants in her uterus. The chance of a successful pregnancy varies with the age of the woman who provided the egg.
How does gestational surrogacy work with frozen eggs?
Here’s how gestational surrogacy works when using frozen eggs:
- Take medication. The surrogate takes medication over several weeks to prepare her uterus for a possible pregnancy.
- Thaw and fertilize the eggs. Unless you’re using donor sperm, the intended father may need to provide a sperm sample, so the eggs can be fertilized in a laboratory.
- Transfer embryos. After fertilization, the embryos are transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.
The surrogate becomes pregnant when at least one embryo implants in her uterus. The chance of a successful pregnancy varies with the age of the woman who provided the egg.
How does gestational surrogacy work with frozen embryos?
Using frozen embryos is similar to the process for using frozen eggs. Menstrual cycles don’t need to be synced, and the surrogate only needs to take medication to prepare her uterus for a possible pregnancy before the embryos are thawed and transferred into her uterus.
How long does gestational surrogacy take?
Finding a healthy, willing gestational surrogate can take months or even years, whether you screen candidates through an agency, decide to ask a friend or relative, or search for someone online.
Once you’ve finalized the agreement and have begun treatment, it can take at least three or four IVF cycles to achieve a successful pregnancy. Each IVF cycle takes four to six weeks.
What’s the success rate for gestational surrogacy?
Using your own eggs, your chance of having a baby through gestational surrogacy is as good as or higher than that of a woman your age using traditional IVF.
Recent national data on gestational surrogate IVF cycles using the intended mother’s eggs show the following live birth rates per cycle (ages refer to the intended mothers’ age):
- 51 percent for women age 34 and younger
- 49 percent for women age 35 to 37
- 38 percent for women age 38 to 40
- 21 percent for women age 41 to 42
- 10 percent for women age 43 and older
With frozen embryos using the intended mother’s eggs, the birth rates per cycle were:
- 46 percent for women age 34 and younger
- 46 percent for women age 35 to 37
- 42 percent for women age 38 to 40
- 38 percent for women age 41 to 42
- 22 percent for women age 43 and older
The donor egg data in the national report wasn’t grouped by age, but it showed that the overall live birth rate was 64 percent when fresh donor eggs were used in gestational surrogacy. When frozen donor eggs were used, the birth rate was 42 percent. When frozen embryos created from donor eggs were used, the birth rate was 51 percent.
What are the pros of gestational surrogacy?
- If you and your partner are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term, using a gestational surrogate can give you the chance to parent your own biological child.
- You can be intimately involved in the details of your gestational surrogate’s pregnancy.
What are the cons of gestational surrogacy?
- In addition to the possible side effects from fertility medication, your gestational surrogate goes through the discomfort and usual risks of pregnancy.
- Using a gestational surrogate is expensive and legally complex. It involves intricate contracts and arrangements. In several states, using a gestational surrogate is illegal, which usually means that people must contract with a gestational surrogate who delivers in a surrogacy-friendly state.
- You not only experience the usual suspense and anxiety of waiting for a pregnancy to safely reach full term, you may also have to deal with friends and relatives who don’t understand why you chose gestational surrogacy.
- You might worry about legal snags and the possibility that your gestational surrogate could back out and not carry your baby. If she goes ahead with it, you might worry that she’ll have a hard time letting the baby go.
How much does gestational surrogacy cost?
The cost for gestational surrogacy depends on factors including your health insurance, the gestational surrogate’s expenses, and the cost of IVF where you live. Relatives or friends who serve as a gestational surrogate usually aren’t paid.
Most people find a gestational surrogate through an agency, and the cost can be almost $150,000. Here’s an estimated breakdown:
- Agency fee: $22,000
- Gestational surrogate fee: $25,000 to $35,000, though compensation is typically higher for a multiple pregnancy
- Health insurance: $15,000 to $30,000 for supplemental or special coverage for the gestational surrogate
- Gestational surrogate’s nonmedical expenses: $10,000 to $15,000
- Legal fees: $14,000
- Counseling services: $7,000
- IVF: Up to $20,000 (Gestational surrogacy IVF is generally more expensive than traditional IVF, which averages around $12,400.)
If you liked this article, you can find more interesting topics in our blog www.tip4mom.com
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The life of a two-year-old isn’t always easy.
One minute you might be happily coloring with your new markers, and the next your mom snatches them from your hand and scolds you for drawing on the wallpaper. At the moment, nothing can feel more devastating.
Anyone who’s parented a toddler knows what happens next. The young artist bursts into tears, possibly hits mom, throws the nearest object or runs away. Of course, as soon as she sees another cool, new toy, she’ll settle right down.
It’s perfectly normal to have a moody toddler, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Understanding what life is like in the world of a toddler can help you learn how to deal with terrible twos.
What is time?
Your toddler has a very limited concept of time. When he wants something, all he knows is that he wants it now. Not in five minutes, not in an hour (what’s an hour, anyway?). As such, when he doesn’t get his peanut butter and jelly exactly when he’s hungry, he may think he’ll never get his sandwich, even if you’re already in the process of spreading the jelly.
In some cases, the tears will stop as soon as you hand your toddler his lunch (or whatever it is he’s asking for). In many other situations, your toddler is making a request you can’t oblige. No, he can’t play with your kitchen knife. No, he can’t have candy before dinner.
Being told “no” isn’t fun, but luckily you can use that limited concept of time to your advantage, Parents explained. You can’t take him to the park right now, but he can play with his dinosaurs or his blocks. A new distraction becomes his new focus, and he’ll be happy once more.
Learning words takes time
Your toddler knows exactly what she wants. Unfortunately, she might not have the vocabulary to dictate that want. Even if she does, it might come out sounding like slurred and garbled nonsense. If parents had a nickel for every time they asked their child “what?,” they’d have very heavy pockets.
Not being able to clearly express their wants and needs is the source behind many toddler meltdowns. When your 18-month-old wants a cup of apple juice, but doesn’t know the word “apple” and can only ask for juice, she feels frustrated when she’s handed a cup of orange. She might yell, cry or throw the juice on the ground.
In time, she’ll learn the word “apple” and know how to ask for what she wants. Until then, be careful to communicate the names of her favorite items whenever possible to help her learn. When you pick up the apple juice, say “This apple juice is yummy” or “Do you want the apple juice?”
Additionally, teaching your child some simple baby signs can help alleviate language frustrations, LiveStrong explained. For example, to sign for “apple,” make your hand into a fist with your index knuckle extended. Touch the knuckle to your cheek and twist.
Emotional intelligence doesn’t come easily
When something has upset your toddler, all he knows is there’s a burning rage inside him. He might not know the words “mad,” “sad” or “frustrated.” He probably doesn’t know how to properly express those emotions, either; he’s only just developed them, after all.
Help your toddler learn about his emotions and how to display them. When his older brother knocks over his block tower, he feels mad. He might pick up his blocks and throw them at his brother. Tell your toddler, “That must have made you feel really mad.” Vocabulary will help your child understand that feeling mad is normal. Teach him that’s it’s OK to feel mad, but not OK to throw blocks.
Help your toddler learn about all his emotions, not just the negative ones. Help him identify when he’s happy, excited, sad, frustrated or mad. In time, he’ll not only learn how to determine his own emotions, but he’ll also start recognizing these in others – the first steps toward developing empathy, Parents noted.
Dealing with tantrums isn’t easy, especially when you’re in public or witnessing the third meltdown of a very tough day. It’s important to let your toddler know that throwing a fit isn’t the way to get what he wants.
Wait for him to calm down, then get to the bottom of the problem. In time, your toddler will develop a bigger vocabulary, a realistic concept of time and the emotional intelligence to stay calm, even when frustrated – it’s all a part of growing up.
Baby’s first steps mark an exciting time of transition to toddlerhood and a whole new world to explore! It also means your baby is ready for some proper footwear. We spoke to pediatric podiatrist Dr. Louis DeCaro, president of the American College of Foot & Ankle Pediatrics and a father of two toddlers, about what a mama needs to know when it comes to first shoes.
1. They’re for Protection
Unusually poor coordination, poor balance, and bad posture are some signs that a little one might have a developmental issue. Other signs are premature fatigue—if your child requests to be carried frequently—and exceptional clumsiness. If your child exhibits any of these behaviors, take him in for a screening. Pain is usually not the overriding symptom in pediatric podiatry cases.
2. Think Flexible
Above all, toddler’s first pair of shoes should be flexible, says Dr. DeCaro. It’s important to avoid shoes that are too stiff because they could impede foot development. Parents should also seek out shoes that are lightweight and made from breathable and natural materials.
3. You Don’t Have to Spend a Lot
It’s not necessary to buy very expensive shoes for toddlers, according to Dr. DeCaro. And while a recommendation from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) indicates that the shoes are of good quality and developmentally appropriate, parents shouldn’t feel it’s essential to seek out shoes bearing their Seal of Acceptance.
4. It’s Best to Get Professionally Fitted
In an ideal world, parents would have their child’s foot measured with every pair of new shoes. Children have flat feet until their arches develop at about age four, and that can affect the way shoes fit, says Dr. DeCaro. Try to have your child’s foot measured and shoes fitted by a professional whenever possible.
5. At Home, Use the Pinky
If you’re unable to get your child’s shoes professionally fitted, you can check for fit by using your pinky finger—not your thumb—to gauge how much space your child has in the toe box of the shoes, Dr. DeCaro suggested. The shoes are well-fitting in that area when there is a pinky’s width of room between the tips of the child’s toes and the toe of the shoe. After the first few times of wearing, check your child’s feet for red marks or indents; if there are any that don’t go away after 10 minutes, the shoes aren’t a good fit and are probably uncomfortable.
6. Transition Shoes When They’re Running
Keep little ones in very flexible shoes until they start running a lot or playing sports—usually around age four or five. That’s about the time a child’s arch begins forming.
7. Kids Grow Fast!
On average, children’s feet can grow three-quarters to a full size larger every three to four months, according to Dr. DeCaro. He recommends checking the fit of your child’s shoes quarterly, or when their shoes are worn out, whichever comes first.
8. Screen Early if There’s a History
Genetics are the best predictor of future foot problems, Dr. DeCaro points out, so it’s important to get your child screened early if there is any history of major foot problems in your family. Parents with flat feet or other issues should take their child to a pediatric podiatrist as soon as their little one is walking.
9. Watch for Signs of Trouble
You’ve been dealing with Braxton-Hicks or “practice” contractions for a while now, but one day things are going to ramp up. That first real contraction is typically unmistakable. Try to relax and go with the flow—no amount of planning is going to make this adventure go exactly the way you expect. The good news? Baby is almost here!
10. Secondhand Are OK
Although many experts discourage them, Dr. DeCaro doesn’t have any issues with used and hand-me-down shoes. Secondhand shoes that are in good shape and fit well are fine for toddlers to wear, he says.
You can find more interesting tips on our blog http://www.tip4mom.com
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Summer hasn’t even started and weather is getting very hot already. According to The Weather Channel, some areas of the U.S. have to wait until September to reach their highest temperatures. This means there’s plenty of time for fun left, but it’s also important to keep summer safety in mind. Here’s how to keep your child cool and cute:
Grab a light wardrobe
Kids’ fashion has come a long way, so you have the chance to get really creative. You can dress your toddler like a super-chic Anna Wintour in the making, or grab a sleeveless flannel shirt and some baby Doc Martens for a mini-punk look. Just make sure the clothes you choose are summer-appropriate. The right cuts and fabric keep your child cool and help prevent heat-related illnesses.
When shopping for a summer wardrobe, choose loose, breezy fabrics made from 100 percent cotton. Avoid dark colors like black and navy; such hues absorb heat, increasing your little one’s body temperature. Opt for sturdy footwear with thick soles, especially if your toddler likes to climb and explore.
Also, if you plan to stay home all day and aren’t expecting any visitors, feel free to let your child run around naked! Just make sure to lather your baby up with sunscreen before going into the backyard – clothes or no clothes. The Environmental Working Group has a list of 19 baby sunscreen products with top ratings, so your summer safety regimen won’t include any harsh chemicals.
Guard against bugs and poisonous plants
Bug bites and the itchy, inflamed skin they leave behind are probably the least-liked aspect of summer. What’s worse, the number of insects infected with diseases is on the rise. This past June, a press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an increased number of disease-carrying mosquitoes were seen across the southern U.S. this year. These insects are known for spreading Zika virus, West Nile virus, Dengue fever and many other illnesses.
If you live in a grassy or wooded area, you must also look out for ticks. These pesky bloodsuckers are notorious for spreading Lyme disease, which affects the joints, heart and nervous system if left untreated. Additionally, toddlers that are allergic to bee stings need to be exceptionally careful in spring and summer.
To keep your toddler safe from insects, coat your child with an insect repellant. The brand you choose doesn’t matter, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends repellant with at least 10 percent DEET, the active ingredient. A higher concentration doesn’t increase your child’s protection; the repellant just lasts longer. A product with 10 percent DEET lasts for about two hours, while one with 30 percent lasts around five hours.
Below are a few other bug safety tips:
- Ditch scented soaps and sprays, which might attract insects, for fragrance-free versions.
- Avoid areas where bugs tend to nest, including pools of water (mosquitos), summer-blooming flowers (bees) and wooded areas (ticks).
- Stay inside during mornings and evenings when gnats and mosquitos are most active.
Prevent heat-related illnesses
According to the CDC, children under 4 are most at risk for developing a heat-related illness. These ailments include heat rash, sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and symptoms range from small red blisters to nausea, headaches and possible loss of consciousness.
Of course, as with any medical condition, prevention is always best. Use the following tips to improve your toddler’s summer safety and avoid heat-related illnesses:
- Dress your toddler in breathable, lightweight clothing that’s light in color.
- Use cool, but not cold, water when bathing your child.
- Stay indoors when it’s overly sunny and warm. Sunlight is strongest at noon, but the temperature doesn’t reach its peak until about 3 p.m.
- Give your toddler plenty of access to cool (not cold) water.
- Never leave your child in a parked car, even if the window is open.
Enjoying the last bit of summer
Summer is officially over by the end of September. Choose the right clothes, grab a bottle of baby sunscreen, protect yourselves from bugs and heat, and you’re all set to enjoy the season safely.
If we had a genie’s lamp, “better sleep for everyone in the family” would definitely be at the top of our wish list.
But until that magical day arrives, we did the next best thing. We spoke to a real-life newborn sleep whisperer – Ingrid Prueher, a pediatric sleep consultant, lactation counselor and founder of BabySleepWhisperer.com. She’s a former Wall Street analyst who became a sleep aficionado after the birth of her second son. He kept waking up every few hours at night, so Prueher used her love of data and research to get him in a good bedtime routine. Now she’s on a mission to help families around the country get in tip-top sleep shape too.
Prueher uses a “five-layer cake” approach. That means laying a solid sleep foundation and then applying a training method, aka the icing. With a little groundwork, good sleep can become a reality.
“My youngest client has been a day old and my oldest client has been 71 years old,” Prueher says. “It’s never too late to get healthy sleep habits in your life and make sleep a priority.”
Here are some of her tips for cracking the code to a better night’s sleep for your newborn.
1. Go back to square one.
Baby’s cranky during the day, waking up multiple times during the night and can’t fall asleep without you. To get sleep back on track, Prueher says to start from scratch. Concentrate on sleep for a good two weeks like when baby first came home from the hospital. Use that time to get nap and feeding times running smoothly, perfect the nursery and eliminate negative sleep associations, like being rocked or fed in order to fall asleep.
“In their first three months of life, you want to help them transition from the womb into our world. After that point, if your child has never slept well, start with some basics,” Prueher says. “Treat it like you’re back to newborn days where you stayed home and focused on all of these things.”
That doesn’t mean never leaving the house or taking an extended staycation. But you might have to press pause on play dates and limit baby’s jam-packed schedule until they’re sleeping through the night. Because baby’s first and second naps are so mentally and physically restorative, Prueher suggests saving errands until second nap is over.
“Change your mindset and make sleep a priority, so you can find what the natural rhythm of the child is,” she says.
2. Know thy baby.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Prueher is a huge fan of analytics! She recommends taking note of everything surrounding sleep, from diet to mood, then looking for trends in the data. Knowledge is power when it comes to figuring out your baby’s best sleep. Be on the lookout for clues. For example, if baby’s really happy, then starts staring off into space, it may be a way of saying, “Hey guys, I wanna go to bed!” Watch for signs of sleepiness like heavy eyes, redness in the face and even hyperactivity.
“Things like tugging on their ear, yawning a lot and starting to get cranky means the child is starting to get in an overtired state,” Prueher says. “But parents aren’t necessarily going to know that right away, so I want them to start logging it because then they start learning.”
3. Designate a sleep zone.
Life is unpredictable, but baby’s sleep shouldn’t be. Until your child’s in a good place sleep-wise, limit zzz’s to one area of the house, like the nursery. No napping wherever baby’s heart pleases. No dozing off in Mom’s arms or the stroller.
“Just for reset purposes, I don’t recommend having the child sleep everywhere,” Prueher says. “Give them a place to rest. A true place to rest. They will become more flexible later on once you teach them to actually sleep.”
4. Make sleep a team sport.
Setting up a routine and establishing positive visual and verbal sleep cues (pulling down the shades, reading a book, coming up with a catchphrase like “It’s time to go to bed!”) are great. But none of it will matter if Mom follows one routine at night, the nanny follows a different one during the day and Grandma does her own thing on the weekends. Get everyone in on the sleep plan – yes, even Grandma! – so that baby’s not caught off guard.
“Anyone who takes care of the child at the parents’ home should be on the same page. You don’t want to do different things because you’re only confusing the child,” Prueher says. “It’s not about everything being exactly the same every single day all day long, but there’s got to be some predictability.”
5. Don’t underestimate the power of milk.
Milk matters. It really, really matters, even when baby starts eating solids around four to six months. They’ll need less milk as they get older. But if baby’s still waking up in the middle of the night to feed, it could mean they’re not getting enough milk during the day.
“A lot of what I see, especially after the doctor has given the okay for the child to start having solids, is that parents just jump into the solids way too fast,” Prueher says. “The child will get to the point where they just eat solids all day long, but then look for milk all night long.”
They might be looking for more than just milk, though. Multiple nighttime wakeups may also indicate a negative sleep association.
“If a child has 10 ounces typically and when they wake up at night they only have two or five ounces, you know they’re not waking up to feed, they’re waking up out of habit,” Prueher says. “And that’s because a sleep association is there – ‘feed to sleep.’”
Prueher advises taking note of how many ounces baby normally consumes or how long they breastfeed, then comparing that to their feeding rituals at night. That’ll help determine if the behavior is driven by a need for milk or a need for you.
6. Practice what you preach.
Infants are like small, very cute detectives. They can tell when parents are wishy-washy about sleep or don’t mean business. “Think about the people you trust in your life,” says Prueher. “They mean what they say and they follow through.”
As babies get older, they could even be affected by your own not-so-great sleep habits. If you don’t take sleep seriously, why should they? “Children learn visually, they will pick up on it,” Prueher says.
7. You do you.
Every baby is different with varying sleep needs, cues and habits. Prueher’s first son was a “stellar sleeper.” Her second son? Not so much. That’s why it’s important to figure out what’s best for baby and you. Even if that means ignoring tips from your well-meaning next-door neighbor.
“When you get advice, you have to take it with a grain of salt,” Prueher says. “It’s all about finding what works for your child.”
If you still need tips for getting your baby to sleep, the Nanit baby monitor offers customized sleep tips based on your child’s sleep patterns. It’s like having a sleep expert in your home.