How This Sleep Expert Got Help for Her Daughter's Sleep Issue

When a trip to an ENT and surgery may be the answer

How This Sleep Expert Got Help for Her Daughter's Sleep Issue

Sleep Help For Young Children | YummyMummyClub.ca

Over the summer we went on a road trip with the kids to Martha’s Vineyard. We had to stop overnight at a hotel where the five of us shared a room. I remember being woken up in the middle of the night by loud snoring and elbowing my husband to roll over and be quiet or he’ll wake the kids. I was shocked when he groggily told me that it wasn’t him snoring but our 4-year old daughter.

There she was in all her cuteness snoring away beside her big sister. I couldn’t believe how loud she was.

It was at that moment that the sleep consultant in me took over and I made an appointment at my doctors for when we returned home. The mom in me also took over and the guilt was riding high. How could I miss this with my own daughter? A question I always ask my parents before we start working together is if their baby or child snores or mouth breathes frequently. I mean how many parents have I referred out to their family doctors because their child frequently snores?

You may be asking why I ask this question to my parents and why my daughters snoring warranted a trip to the doctor. Is your child is showing these signs while they sleep?

  • Frequent snoring or mouth breathing (the most obvious sign.)
  • Constant sweatiness while sleeping.
  • Frequent restless sleep, from basic tossing and turning to as extreme as sleep walking.
  • Grogginess upon waking and throughout the day even after a full night of sleep.
  • Unexplained bedwetting.

It may be that their tonsils or adenoids may be the issue. If your child has enlarged tonsils and adenoids they may be unable to sleep restfully throughout the night because they are pausing in breath and consistently breaking up their natural sleep cycles throughout the night in order to catch their breath. Sleep Apnea does not discriminate and if your child does have larger tonsils and adenoids they are at a higher risk to develop Obstructive Sleep Apnea, one of the leading sleep-related disorders, affecting 2-3% of children according to the National Sleep Foundation. It’s important to know this information because while we can implement the perfect sleep plan for your child, if they have difficulty breathing at night, no matter what new sleep habits we try to create, your child could still have difficulty sleeping.

So how did I miss it? My daughter is an amazing sleeper. She has slept through the night since she was a baby. Restless sleep for her wasn’t an issue but once the possibility of her having Sleep Apnea came to light her other symptoms began to make sense. She was definitely snoring, and at 4-years of age she was still struggling with bedwetting, and even after having solid sleep throughout the night she would complain that she was tired and would even ask to go to bed at times. My Doctor took one look at her tonsils and adenoids and referred her to our local Ears, Nose, and Throat Doctor. Her son had just gone through the procedure himself.

When we met with our ENT she explained to us that our daughter should be scheduled to have an adenotonsillectomy, the surgical removal of both her adenoids and tonsils. Her tonsils alone where blocking over 85% of her airway and while there is the chance that as she grew her tonsils could shrink and her throat would get larger it was something that she still recommended to have done. Here is what she explained to me:

  • The myth is that an adenotonsillectomy should only be performed on children who are more prone to strep throat and ear infections. My daughter never had either so of course I was questioning that. She explained that the main reason to have this procedure done is due to the quality of sleep the child is getting. While my daughter was sleeping throughout the night the quality of sleep she was getting wasn’t ideal. She was struggling to breathe better and because of that she wasn’t getting the proper restorative sleep her little body needed to thrive. The sleep consultant in me understood and agreed with that logic. The mom in me still had questions.
  • But her kindergarten teachers never mentioned to me that she appeared drowsy or tired throughout the day. Our daughter wasn’t falling asleep in class. She explained that typically daytime sleepiness symptoms of pediatric Sleep Apnea are missed until the child enters grade school. During preschool and kindergarten many children are involved in play-based learning and the child is never sitting still long enough to begin to display tired signs. It’s not until the child enters grade 1, and is now sitting at a desk most of the day, where the daytime grogginess begins to show. Many of her patients are from the ages of 6 and up because of this.
  • The fact that unlike her twin brother my daughter is still struggling with bedwetting could be due to her sleep quality throughout the night. Her brain is working so hard to take in oxygen throughout the night it has a hard time controlling its other bodily functions like her bladder control. While bedwetting alone isn’t a reason for an adenotonsillectomy, often when one is performed it can help diminish bedwetting as well. My almost five year old was still in diapers throughout the night and not because we weren’t trying to remove them.

So her appointment is booked and in just a few weeks my 4-year old daughter is going to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. I’m looking forward to us being on the other side of the procedure and for my rock-star sleeper to finally be able to get the quality of sleep that I know her little body needs.

If your child is showing these symptoms it’s worth a trip to your Doctors office to see if they want to refer you to your local ENT. I always advise my clients to take a short video of your child sleeping to show your child snoring or mouth breathing. It will help your Doctor better understand the situation and to see if a referral to an ENT is necessary.

I provide free child and family sleep support on my Facebook page. I invite you to join our sleep community as I work towards Good Night Sleep Site's mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site and visit me on Instagram and Twitter. Join our movement and #BringBackBedtime.

 RELATED: Clean Up Your Sleep Routine!


Make Sleep Extra Sexy on Valentine's Day

Learn how you can turn bedroom romance into sweet dreams

Make Sleep Extra Sexy on Valentine's Day

Make Sleep Sexy | YummyMummyClub.ca

Valentine’s Day is a special night for you and your loved one. Ladies, we are gifted with heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, roses, and cards, but what about the gift of sleep? I don’t know about you, but as a parent, sometimes there is nothing sexier than being able to get a good night of sleep. I’m going to offer you some tips on how romance in the bedroom could lead to blissful sweet dreams.

Clear the Distractions 

Your bedroom should be a non-tech zone. Get rid of your televisions, computers, and phones. The blue led light from these screens prevents our natural sleep hormone, melatonin, to be released. It stimulates our brains and turns the sleep switch off. Distract yourself with your loved one. Not Facebook.

Establish a Regular Bedtime Routine 

Just like we implement a consistent calming routine for our little one, mom and dad should practice one, as well. On that special night, include a couple’s massage or relax in a warm bath surrounded by candles, and build an iPod playlist of calming romantic music. I have started an initiative called #BringBackBedtime where I provide free resources and ideas on bedtime activities that couples and parents and children can do together at bedtime, as a way to spend time together and connect.

The Power of the Big O 

An orgasm could be the best sleep aid. This night of love can produce some great sex and the endorphins released during sex can have a calming effect, which could equal a great night of sleep. Looking to sleep through the night? Hit the sheets with your loved one first.

Set the Mood

Turning off the lights or keeping the room dimly lit not only produces a romantic ambience, but also helps cue the brain to release melatonin. Darker is always better. Of course when we think sexy sleep, we may automatically think silk sheets, but that can get pricey.  We want to keep a cool environment, and natural fibers, like cotton, are affordable and the most breathable, keeping you both cool and dry. Finish off your love nest with a romantic white noise, like the ocean, that will whisk you into a restorative sleep. And adding the scent of lavender or chamomile can aid in that dreamy slumber.

Arrange an Overnight for the Kids

This is the night to plan a sleepover at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s or a close friend or relative for the kiddies. Parents need to reconnect and they need to make sure they have an uninterrupted night to do so. They also need to catch up on some of that sleep debt. You’ll have a sound sleep and your kids will have a fun getaway. This can only aid in helping your entire family become both a well-rested and happy one.

If you struggle with sleep issues, these sure-fire sleep tips can be used year round. Just because it’s not February 14th doesn’t mean you can’t set yourself up for the best sleep possible. Your partner will thank you for it, as well.

I provide free child and family sleep support on my Facebook page. I invite you to join our sleep community as I work towards Good Night Sleep Site's mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site and visit me on Instagram and Twitter. Join our movement and #BringBackBedtime.

 RELATED: Clean Up Your Sleep Routine 


Sleep Training Methods 101

A Better Rested Family

Sleep Training Methods 101

Sleep Training 101 | Babies and Children | YummyMummyClub.ca

You are ready to sleep train, but the information out there can be overwhelming and discouraging. Sleep training doesn’t need to be so hard!

Often when we think of sleep training we think we need to choose the method and that’s the only thing we tend to focus on within our sleep plan. I look at the steps of sleep training as sleep tools within your sleep tool kit, and the method you choose is only one of the tools.

A consistent and safe sleep environment, regular sleep schedule, and proper bedtime routine should also be included in your sleep tool box, and while choosing the method is a small part in the overall sleep training process, if you are focused on getting your baby to sleep through the night and take longer naps here are some methods you need to know:

Cry It Out (CIO) Extinction

The most controversial method, this method may produce more short term tears; it is the one to choose for quick results. After his soothing bedtime routine you would place your baby in his crib awake and you would not go back into the room until your scheduled feed or the morning. Provided you are also focusing on the other sleep tools, your baby may respond better than you would imagine and I promise he will still love you in the morning.

Gradual Checks 

Often confused with CIO this method is the middle of the road method. Following that same consistent bedtime routine, you would place your baby in his crib awake and leave the room. If baby starts crying you would enter the room through timed intervals to soothe and comfort. Each time the intervals get longer and every day the intervals get longer. The pro of this method, otherwise known as the Ferber Method, is that parents are able to reassure themselves by going in to check on their baby but they are also allowing him the opportunity to practice the skill of self-soothing on his own.

The Chair Method

This is a gradual method where once you have placed your child in his crib awake, you would sit in a chair next to his crib until he falls asleep. If he wakes throughout the night you would sit back in the chair. The more gradual the method the longer it takes and every few days you would move the chair further out of the room until you are out completely, gradually fading out your presence.

The Method of Nothing

If what you are doing with your family; co-sleeping, nursing to sleep, rocking to sleep, or bouncing on a ball to sleep, works for you then who am I to tell you to stop? It’s when you are doing these things and you and your family aren’t getting the sleep you need to function as a well-rested and happy unit, change needs to be made and you may need to switch to one of the above methods.

But how do I choose?

When trying to find the best method for your family you need to consider the following:

  • Age of Your Child: I see it happen time and time again. Parents start sleep training too early and get discouraged when they don’t see results. I wouldn’t start a formal sleep training plan until the child is at least 4-6 months of age.
  • Your Temperament: Because every family and situation is different, there isn’t one method or program to use. My goal is to educated parents on all methods, and that they choose the method they are most comfortable with. Consistency is key to success and if you're not comfortable with the method you use you won’t be consistent in the process. Make sure to choose a method that you and your partner will truly be able to follow through with.
  • Your Child's Temperament: While you need a method that matches your parenting philosophy, it’s also very important to choose one that matches your child’s temperament and personality. Unfortunately, it’s not always the same method. You will have more success and see faster results with a sleep training approach that your child will respond best to.

You Are a Team

You need to sit down with one another and choose a method that you both agree on. You will need the support of one another at certain times throughout the process. There is a better chance of success if you are on the same page.

Give It Time 

Patience everyone! Some kids can take longer than others. No plan is set in stone. It takes at least 18 days to change a habit so give yourself 3 weeks of working on things consistently before tweaking, if need be.

I provide free child and family sleep support on my Facebook page. I invite you to join our sleep community as I work towards Good Night Sleep Site's mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site and visit me on Instagram and Twitter. Join our movement and #BringBackBedtime.

 RELATED: Sleep Training Your Baby - How Soon is Too Soon?