Help for early risers

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Help for early risers

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Babies having early morning wakings is one of the most difficult sleep problems to resolve and yet, it is typically something we can resolve. Couple of things that are really important about early morning wakings to know: number one, light is not your friend when you have a baby. So when there is any exterior light coming in – even if the sun is just starting to rise outside – and the baby sees a light shift in their room, it signals their brain that they should wake up, even though their body is still telling them, “I desperately need another 45 minutes of sleep,” or whatever it is. The light tells them to wake up and activates their brain and causes early morning wakings. So if I had a baby – I have older kids now – but if I had a little baby today, I would black out the room. If you want a temporary solution, you can use lawn and leaf quality bags, like trash bags, and just tape them up all over your window and apologize to your neighbor. The other thing that is important to keep out of the room is any incoming bird chirping noise, trash truck noise, things that can wake them up, so we want to watch that environmental intrusion stuff. And the third thing is to make sure that they are not during the day either oversleeping their naps where they get – let’s say, their need for naps is 3 hours and their getting 4 or 5 hours during the day. Well, that’s naturally going to cause them to sleep a shorter night. And on the other hand, if they’re going down extraordinarily overtired at night where they didn’t get enough sleep during the day, we put them down too late, they tend to wake earlier in the morning than if we had put them down better rested.

See Jill Spivack, LCSW's video on Help for early risers...

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Jill Spivack, LCSW

Sleep Expert

Jill Spivack, LCSW, completed her graduate studies at the University of Southern California. She developed an expertise in parenting while working as a psychotherapist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Early Childhood Department. Jill, a mother of two children, went on to develop a sub-specialty in pediatric sleep disorders while working in New York City at a parenting center after experiencing sleep problems with her first child. In 1999, upon returning to Los Angeles, Jill co-founded the pediatric sleep firm Childsleep.

Recognizing that today's parents were lacking the essential support, education, and sense of community they sought to do their best, Jill was inspired to co-found Sleepy Planet.  Offering a wide variety of services, Sleepy Planet helps parents of babies, toddlers, and young children with behavioral sleep problems through private consultations, and provides parent education, psychotherapy, and professional presentations on a wide variety of topics, including the transition to parenthood, child development and behavior, sibling rivalry, marital issues, and how to balance work and family. In addition, Jill holds weekly groups for new and second-time mothers to allow parents to share experiences and emotions, ask questions, and support one another through the journey of parenthood. 

Jill is also the co-creator of The Sleepeasy Solution, a book and DVD that show parents how to break difficult sleep habits without breaking their hearts in the process.  She has been featured in a variety of media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Variety and has appeared numerous times on The Today Show. She is also a co-consultant for Pajanimals, a new television project with the Jim Henson Company airing on PBS Kids Sproutthat features four adorable puppets who model for preschoolers, the skills they need to manage the various emotions and issues that they confront in early childhood. 

Comforting to Sleep, Soothing, Loveys, Loveys
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