TODAY

TODAY   |  July 25, 2013

How to get a good night’s sleep as a parent

Millions of parents are struggling with the same issue: how to get some quality rest without being woken up dozens of times a night. Lifestyle expert Robyn Moreno and Dr. Carol Ash, director of sleep medicine for Meridian Health, share how you can help your kids sleep so you can catch some Zs, too.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the duke and duchess of cambridge probably will not be getting a whole lot of sleep now that prince george is here. if you're one of millions of parents who can relate, we've got strategies for you. lifestyle expert and mom of an 8 mi month old. dr. carol ash.

>> you have a 1 1/2-year-old.

>> four girls, they range from 14 to 1 1/2. i haven't slept for 14 years.

>> pretty much.

>> and i've got a 4-year-old, just turned 4. so we're kind of coming out of it now. no nap is the key, let him collapse at the end of the day . let's get right into some of these. going to start with the stack. going to bring out marilyn and archer, who's 5 1/2 months.

>> the sack.

>> as everyone knows, one of the tricks to getting your baby to sleep is a stroller. the motion is great. this is actually a fun sleep sack from a fn company called finn and emma. they insert in a cocoon. it's 100% cotton and breathable. they can use it year round. nice and cozy. don't have to worry about blankets. stroll them around, and it's going to be amazing.

>> the swaddling that makes them feel like the clothing.

>> when they're newborn, they want to be contained. anything that's womb-like is going to work.

>> this is cool.

>> isn't that cute?

>> let's move on now to wearing the baby. this is the one we see a lot. samantha and millie.

>> babies on the go. these slings, these really help your baby fall asleep. it keeps the baby close to your body. so the heartbeat really helps them fall asleep.

>> baby hiccup.

>> some people are kind of nervous to use slings because they can be crazy to use. this one is really amazing. it won an award. you can put it together in four steps. really easy to use.

>> and when the baby vomits, it goes right on you.

>> quick and easy cleanup.

>> there you go.

>> there are apps now, technology that can help your baby fall asleep.

>> white noise and sounds, things like that. there is actually an app debuteded today on itunes. it's designed by neuroscientists and music therapists. it's called sleep genius baby. it has a slow tempo. let's see. so it sounds just like a lullaby, but it's actually designed, because of the slow tempo, so it slows the baby's heart rate and has low frequency, so it helps them stay asleep. a lot of times babies will wake themselves up. this will help them stay asleep, which is really important.

>> the tranquil turtle. projects a pattern up on the ceiling and the wall.

>> this actually won an award from the toy industry association . this is great. this is a bit of a splurge. this is baby leopold . the luna leap. i don't know if you guys have seen it. this is like the seat that bounces and vibrates. this one doesn't. it works like a leaf.

>> does it work them?

>> it rocks them.

>> i had one of those.

>> oh, look. look at this baby. forget that, look at the baby.

>> when it stops moving, it's actually going to go again. it really works with the baby. no cords, no buzz. i like it because aesthetically he's very pretty.

>> how old is leopold ?

>> 7 weeks.

>> congratulations.

>> doesn't it make you want to have another one?

>> not in the least. leopold is a beautiful boy . carol, let's talk about what parents can do generally in terms of creating a rhythm for kids to get to bed at night.

>> what we need to understand is babies need structure and consistency. it's a learning process.

>> i'm all about regime.

>> and you've got to start when they're infants. when you start, you start with great gadgets. just simply warocking your baby to sleep or singing a song is good enough. the trick is doing that and getting the baby calm and getting them in the crib when they're drowsy. they need to learn how to self-soothe. that's the trick.

>> my 1 1/2-year-old has a blanket she taps on her nose, such an adorable thing.

>> and the routine is very, very important. at this time of their age, we tend to get up at night frequently with them and turn on the lights. what you don't want to do.

>> keep them in the dark.

>> and do you have a rule on letting them cry it out? a lot of parents say, do i leave them in there and let them scream? first of all, how long?

>> if you start right from the beginning, they'll learn to fall asleep on their own when they wake up. they're not going to cry.

>> just asking for a friend.

>> when they're really in need, they're going to cry out. you're going to hear it. you want to turn down the monitors because, when the volume is up too high, you hear every little sound. they make noise. you want to avoid that. as they get into the toddler stage, you want to continue the pattern of learning. keep the environment calm.

>> do you leave them to cry, yes or no?

>> you don't leave them to cry, come in and stroke them.

>> bad, bad.

>> if the crying is a legitimate crying you're concerned about, not the kooing and little noises . don't go in and disturb them. don't overstimulate them.

>> dr. ash, thank you very much. robin, thank you as well.