Toddler meltdownLet’s get something abundantly clear from the start. From the time we  start to think about having a kid to the moment it finally happens, the (ahem) magic of parenthood begins.  We quickly find out were lied to. 

Social media makes parent-hood look like hugs at sunset on a summer’s eve, warm meals around the table at 5pm every night and goodnight kisses after a good bedtime story. The realness of parenting and the challenges it brings is almost looked down upon in some groups, like you’re less of a perfect parent than your Instagram feed tells everyone you are. 

This isn’t that. 

pediactric milestonesA young family welcoming a newborn has a wonderful, (maybe trying) experience in-store. New parents want to know in the delivery room, “Is my baby OK? “Is he normal?” Thankfully, the vast majority of the time the answer is, “Yes,” though even as a newborn, what is defined as normal can be a fairly wide range.

shutterstock 699695935I can still remember the very first time I heard of “sleep training.” I was 7 months pregnant, having a girls' night out with some other mamas, and I remember thinking, “Really, you have to train a baby to sleep?” At the time, I brushed it off thinking the perfect human I was growing in my belly would never have sleep issues; I mean he was perfect, right? WRONG. Well, yes he is perfect, but sleep issues he did have. The idea of sleep training can be a bit overwhelming with so much information out there, but I will break it all down for you here, including when it’s the best time to start and what to expect at every age.

picture books bedtimeThere aren’t many events in a child’s life that are so packed full of emotions like the transition from summer to a new school year. Whether attending a new school or the same one, kids change over the summer. They grow up, little by little, and their friends from last year may act and look differently than they did in May. Reading about a character in a book that they relate to can help ease these feelings tremendously by instilling empathy, confidence, kindness, and bravery to do what is right in tough situations. 

Bedtime is a prime time for reading together. It provides the comfort needed to navigate through the tough emotions that come with life’s transitions. The following is a list of books to read together that will help make all of the new emotions that come along with starting school, growing up, and making new friends feel not so tough. 

transition toodler bedOne of the most common sleep questions parents ask me is, “How and when do we transition our baby to a big kid bed?” It always makes me laugh when the mother of a very young infant asks about it! I know what she’s that he’s predictably sleeping well, the thought of fixing something that isn’t broken sounds like a very bad idea. To many of us, making a change this monumental feels disruptive to the sleep patterns we’ve worked so hard to instill in our child. As a mom, I can relate, and as a sleep expert, I’m here to help!