Monday, February 18, 2013

Help Your Child Learn How to Sleep at Baby Sleep School

Dear Exhausted Parent,   

We have the deepest empathy for what it feels like to stand in your shoes.  You are so tired that you can't function or think straight - but you love your child and would do anything to make sure she knows it, including feeding or rocking her to sleep, lying down with her in bed, or rushing to her side whenever she cries at night.

And yet, your child's poor sleep is wreaking havoc on your whole family.  Desperate for answers, you've talked to anyone who will listen and scoured the Internet for solutions.  But there is so much conflicting information out there on sleep, and it can be incredibly overwhelming to decide on a method that's right for you.

At Sleepy Planet, our mission is to take the guesswork out of sleep for tired parents who know things need to change but feel uncertain about how to move forward.  We aim to make the road to peaceful sleep as smooth, simple and swift as possible, standing by your side every step of the way.

That's why we created Baby Sleep School! Baby Sleep School is a brand-new, personalized and affordable way to help your little one sleep through the night and take great naps! This class offers everything you would normally receive in a personalized consultation (value $395), for a fraction of the cost. Designed for parents of babies 4 to 18 months, this three-hour class with Jennifer and Jill will offer in-depth assistance to help your baby settle on her own, sleep through the night, and take predictable, good-quality naps. Each class will include:
  • A thorough assessment of your child's current sleep habits, and feeding, and developmental needs 
  • Detailed information about wind-down routines, scheduling, and the sleep environment appropriate for your child 
  • Guidance on creating a customized, step-by-step sleep plan for your child, taking into consideration your family's needs and preferences  
  • Plenty of Q&A about the sleep-learning process   
  • A companion workbook and audio CD  
  • Optional follow-up support to ensure that your plan goes smoothly (additional fees will apply) 
Saturday, February 23rd from 1-4pm in Santa Monica
Saturday, April 27th from 1-4pm in Santa Monica

We look forward to helping you restore balance and harmony to your lives, and to helping you finally get some much-deserved shut-eye!   

With love, 
Jill and Jennifer 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Babyproofing Your Marriage: The Mom’s Perspective

by Julia Kantor, LMFT

“Ever since we had our baby, we’ve been fighting so much more. Is there something wrong with us?”
Having a baby is joyous, yet research shows that 70% of couples experience increased conflict and marital dissatisfaction in the first 3 years post-baby, regardless of how well they were doing before children. This points to the fact that many of the sources of stress are often due to profound role changes rather than an indication that there’s something wrong with the relationship. When you combine hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, struggles over division of labor, strained finances, and almost no time to be alone together, you can see why having a baby puts such a strain on relationships.

However, here’s the good news! There are research-proven techniques that can help you maintain intimacy and connection and work through conflicts constructively. As a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Mommy and Me Leader at The Pump Station, I teach moms and couples these tools.

In my upcoming Hot Topics Lecture, you’ll learn about “soft start-up,” a way to bring up an issue to maximize your chance of actually being heard. Research shows that the way a conflict goes is determined by how it starts 96% of the time!

Also, we’ll explore the male/female differences at the heart of many post-baby conflicts and I’ll teach you how to set your partner up for success, which leads to more mutual understanding. You’ll learn how to fight constructively, when to take a break and how to make repair.

In addition to communication skills, babyproofing your marriage also requires making proactive, structural changes in your new post-baby life. These tools will include:
•    how to help your partner understand what it is you do all day
•    how to create a new division of labor that keeps you out of the role of boss or nag
•    how to make room for intimacy when you’re feeling touched out from constant care taking

Julia Kantor, LMFT, is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Beverly Hills.  She teaches  “Babyproofing Your Marriage-The Mom’s Perspective” hot topics at The Pump Station & Nurtury™ and leads Mommy and Me groups in Hollywood and Westlake.  Check out for more details.

And Baby Makes Four? Could it be More Different the Second Time Around?

Elyse Eberstein, CLE, MSW and her kids Lilly and Zach

It was truly like night and day. When our firstborn, Lilly, came along, we didn’t dream of venturing out of the nest for at least a month. We sequestered ourselves with our teeny, tiny little human and marveled at her.

Fast forward to nine days after number two, little brother Zach came into the world.  It was a cool January morning. While wearing Zach out at the beach playground, my husband and I chased after Lilly, who was running gleefully around. It simply wasn’t possible to keep this little bundle of toddler energy sequestered in the nest!

While walking at the playground, feeling dazed and tired, I ran into one of my mommy friends who had older children. She smiled warmly and asked how things were going. I chuckled, shook my head and confided, “I think I made a mistake...I think Lilly was meant to be an only child. She’s so used to having my undivided attention. We have such a special relationship and I just don't know how I'm going to make this work.” My friend put her hand on my shoulder and said, “It's going to be a hard year but you just gave your daughter the best gift ever.”

I held on to those words of advice during that challenging 1st year of Zach’s life.  Being a second time mom is so different from being a first time mom. You have a certain confidence that makes it all so much easier and then there is the GUILT.  What the guilt stems from is the simple fact that there is not enough of mom to go around.  Not only does it feel like there’s not enough time and attention for the new baby, but inevitably there’s not enough for her older child, husband or herself.  There’s always somebody crying, needing a nap, missing a class and it just feels endless.  It’s just different the second time around but it’s also wonderful and so amazing. 

Does any of this sound familiar? Well you’re not alone. The exciting news is that The Pump Station and Nurtury™ is now offering a Second Time Moms’ group based on the curriculum of our popular
The Wright Mommy & Me™ classes. Second time mothers will have an opportunity to ease their transition through honest sharing and exploration. The group gives second time mothers a chance to raise concerns and look at issues in a safe space. The group will approach each topic and developmental stage from a mindful parenting perspective, which is essentially a slowed-down, less reactive, more intentional and reflective process. Some of the topics addressed will be:

• Helping your first child adjust to the new sibling
• Sharing practical information to help families raising more than one child
• Find new ways to improve your time management skills
• Make time for yourself and your relationship/partner
• Develop practical strategies for balancing work and home life
• Learn to feel good about yourself and your body
• Meet other second time moms in neighborhood!
• Explore ways to nurture the relationship between your children
• Review what you may have forgotten about baby care, sleep, food etc.

As a mom of a 6 year old daughter and 4 year old son I know about the joy and guilt that come with having two children. Some days are amazing as you watch your two children together and other days you will find yourselves sitting on the floor all crying together. I look forward to a group where mommies can develop new friendships, support each other and learn as they maneuver the challenges and joys of parenting a second child.

My friend at the park 4 years ago was absolutely right. My kids have a very special relationship. They care deeply for each other, play well together and have a hard time being away from each other.  Despite the challenges, my husband and I did give Lilly the best gift ever – and it didn’t come from a store!

Mommy & Me Groups for 2nd (or 3rd+) Time Moms

Elyse is leading is leading a Wright Mommy & Me for 2nd Time Moms Group
8-Week session that meets Wednesdays from 9:30am-11:00am in our Santa Monica location. Please email to sign up or call 310-998-1981.