Baby Sleep Specialists... a parent's best friend

baby Cry

Baby Sleep Specialists… a parent’s best friend– Part 1

By: Haley Callicott, Contributor  

Every parent has experienced the frustration of putting a restless child to bed. After many failed attempts at getting their baby to bed or establishing a successful nighttime routine, some parents have turned to sleep consultants for assistance. In the first of a two part series, we will discuss who are sleep consultants and what they do.

Who are sleep consultants?

Sleep consulting is an increasingly popular industry for sleep deprived parents who need a little extra help with putting their baby or child to bed. Generally, sleep consultants are certified experts who work with infants and young children to identify and resolve behavioral sleeping troubles.

mom and baby
expert nurse

What do sleep consultants do?

“The first six months [of a newborn’s life] goes by in a blur,” said Sweet Dreams Infant Care sleep specialist, Pam Jones. “We want the parents to enjoy that time with their kids and actually remember it.”

Sleep consultants and sleep trainers work with parents to create a personalized plan to facilitate a better nap and bedtime routine or adjust the bedroom environment to guarantee that the child falls asleep faster and stays asleep for longer periods of time.

Many sleep consultants will offer initial consultations. Most consultants offer phone and/or in-home consultations or an overnight stay where they observe the child’s sleeping patterns. The consultants then offer individualized services, or even sleep plans, based on evaluations of the child’s sleep patterns. They will usually provide follow up appointments in order to monitor progress or make adjustments to the original sleep routine plan.

Sleep consultants usually work with families for two to six weeks. Some offer phone call consultations that may last from 30-90 minutes where they discuss techniques or adjustments to the child’s nap and bedtime schedule.

Initial Planning

For in-person consultation and overnight stays, the specialist will require the parents to provide them with a medical or behavior background of the baby via questionnaire or sleep log. Next, they will meet with the family for an initial consultation to talk about their current bedtime routine.

After an overnight observation, the consultant will give the family a plan to make behavioral or environmental changes to help the child’s sleeping problems. For example, they might teach the parents to put the child to bed at a certain time or provide techniques for making sure their child does not get overtired. Some may even suggest environmental changes such as making the room darker or incorporating noise machines into the child’s room.

“My job is to teach people and make sure they understand how sleep works and why it works,” said Jessica Dodson, sleep coach and founder of Starlight Sleep Coaching. “I aim to empower [my clients] with this knowledge.”



Sleeping Baby

Is My Toddler Ready for Potty Training

Is My Toddler Ready for Potty Training
By Elliot Totah, Contributor and co-founder of Tot on the Pot

There are two words that will send a chill down the spine of any parent who has a toddler: Potty Training. Almost immediately, the questions start pouring in: How should I do it? How long does it take? Is there a best method? What should I buy? Do I have to? Really though, do I have to?

All of these questions touch on relevant issues that every parent will have to consider (well, all except for the last two…). But before answering any of them, there’s one basic piece of information that all parents will need: When do I start potty training my child?

I wish I could tell you that there was a simple
answer to this one but the reality is that it differs for each child. Lots of different factors play in to the equation: your child’s gender, how quickly they develop, whether they have older siblings, etc. The good news is that there are several great tools out there to help gauge your child’s readiness. The first place you should turn is BabyCenter’s Potty Training Readiness Checklist. Answering the questions posed in this article will give you a good idea as to whether your child is ready to take the plunge into the wide world of the potty. Another good resource is the questionnaire provided by

Run through the links and if they both point you in the same direction, then start planning accordingly. Simultaneously, make sure you, as a parent, are ready. Potty training works best when parents/caregivers are positive and supportive throughout. Particularly since potty training can take months, make sure you have the patience and the peace of mind to be your toddler’s cheerleader and motivator through their highs and lows. Now, before you proceed any further, it’s very important that you understand the following: Potty Training your child earlier will not increase their chances of getting into Harvard, becoming a Hollywood star or winning the lottery. Too many parents err on the side of trying to potty train their children too early. More and more research suggests that even if kids are successfully potty trained before the age of 2, they face an increased chance of complications later on like UTIs, bedwetting and chronic constipation. The basic reason is that kids who learn how to hold their pee/poop will usually end up over-holding it. I mean, who wants to stop playing, watching TV, building a fort, being a princess or emptying out the kitchen cabinets for the 15th time in 3 hours when the alternative is pooping? When it comes to potty training—like so many other aspects of parenting—don’t be too quick to have your children grow up. Let them be little. Or as we say at Tot on the Pot, cherish every minute with your children…even the crappy ones.


About Tot on the Pot: Tot on the Pot is a new, Pediatrician-recommended potty training system that utilizes rhymes, activities and fun to inform, incentivize and reward your toddler out of a diaper and onto the toilet. Our system includes the Tot on the Pot Book, a Tot doll which comes in a variety of genders and skin colors, the Tot’s very own potty and the Activity Reward cards. Tot on the Pot is set for release in mid-2017. Sign up to receive product launch updates and early bird specials at today.

Kid Friendly Yoga Studios in the DC Metro Area!

Kid Friendly Yoga Studios in the DC Metro Area!

By, Charlene Chuquillanqui, Contributor

Yoga is one of the oldest forms ofYoga Family exercises in the world. Originating in India thousands of years of ago, yoga is currently practiced all around the world. This ancient Hindu practice is known to have tremendous physical, mental, and spiritual benefits, so it’s no wonder that many people are so hooked on it.

A few years ago, I decided to take a beginner’s yoga class through my university. Throughout the course of the semester, I really began to learn why yoga was so enjoyable. From stretching downward like a dog to standing still like a tree, doing yoga poses allowed me to unwind from the stress of college, improve my concentration and focus, and learn more about my body.

Ever since then, I’ve realized yoga is definitely a fun, easy activity to feel healthy and happy.

So, how well does yoga and kids mix?Yoga Kid 1 Well, yoga can certainly be a new and engaging activity for your little ones. Doing yoga can allow children to not only enhance their flexibility, strength, and body awareness, but it can also promote a sense of calmness and relaxation. It can be a terrific opportunity for children to ease their restless energy, while connecting to their inner selves and others around them.

If you are interested in finding more yoga studios that are a great fit for both you and your little one, look below to learn about some kid friendly yoga studios in the DC metro area. And if you know of any other kid friendly yoga studios in the area, be sure to let us know!


Washington DC

Circle Yoga

Since 2003, Circle Yoga has offered classes for both kids and families to enjoy. Their classes utilize age-appropriate yoga to strengthen, calm, and center the bodies and minds of children and adults. Currently for their summer schedule, they are offering the Movers and Twister (2-4 years old) class, where young children can experience a fun introduction to yoga with a parent or caregiver. The class incorporates yoga poses, music, and relaxation, with a focus on movement and play. Be sure to check out their upcoming fall schedule as well! Their past classes include Postnatal Yoga (babies 6 weeks old–almost crawling) and Kids Yoga and Mindfulness (ages 5-8 years old). They also offer half-day summer camp for younger kids (ages 4-7 years old), and fun yoga birthday parties for kids of any age!
Address: 3838 Northampton St, NW, Washington, DC 20015
Phone: (202) 686-1104

Yoga Heights
Yoga Heights offers an empowering, nurturing environment that encourages balance, confidence, jubilance, kindness, and gratitude. They have a variety of fun kid and family oriented classes. In Family Time Yoga, kids from 6 months to 4 years old play and practice yoga with family members by exploring songs, dances, and relaxation. Their Baby & Me Yoga class (6 weeks-crawling) uses a mix of yoga and strength training, where your baby is your weight, to allow you to bond and move with your baby. Babies also enjoy movement, music, and yoga poses within the class as well!
Address: 3506 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
Phone: (202) 596-9277

Tranquil Space
Tranquil Space has two locations, one in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of DC and one in Arlington, VA. Both locations strive to provide an enlightened experience to improve your mind, body, and spirit. They offer several specialty classes for all levels. In Baby and Me Yoga (pre-crawlers), babies 2 weeks to 6/7 months old are welcomed to enjoy baby yoga and massage with their mom, dad, relative, or caregiver. The class offers a great opportunity to connect with other parents and caregivers, strengthen muscles, and play with your baby.
Tots & Tykes Yoga (crawlers-4 years old) is designed around the growing mobility of young kids. The class incorporates rhymes, songs, and yoga poses to create a fun, exciting environment for kids to interact and play in.
Address: 1632 17th, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 328-9642

Breathing Space
Breathing Space strives to provide wellness services and education for children and families. They offer several classes for all ages from newborn to adult. Their Baby & Me Yoga includes a mix of activities for newborn, pre-crawling babies and gentle, calming yoga for parents. The class focuses on strength and flexibility building, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques for moms, with movement, rhyme, songs, and massages for babies. Postnatal Pilates and Postnatal Yoga are also offered for moms where babies from newborn to crawling are welcomed in the classroom! Tot Yoga: Crawlers and Early Walkers is a fun class that encourages babies to play and learn through their own expression of yoga poses, songs, and activities. Preschool Yoga: Confident Walkers and Runners (21 months-4 years old) helps preschoolers learn how to relive frustration, increase attention span, and work on motor skills. The class encourages playfulness and social interaction with imagination, stories, and music. Kids Yoga (4-9 years old) is also great for helping kids improve concentration, reduce stress, and connect to their bodies all while having fun!
Address: 1123 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202) 599-0434


Simon Says Yoga
Feel at home at Simon Says Yoga, a studio that allows people of the community to take time to breathe and rejuvenate. Along with their long list of adult yoga and Pilates classes, they offer several classes that are kid oriented. In their Yoga Sprouts Class (5-8 years old), kids have fun while acting like animals in nature, playing yoga freeze dance, learning to breathe, and enjoying moments of quiet. Once a month, they also offer Family Yoga, where families can enjoy practicing yoga with their kids, ages 5-11 years old. Families also have the option of scheduling yoga birthday parties, which include movement, music, games, decorating party bags, and relaxation for both children and adults!
Address: 4611 Sangamore Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816
Phone: (240) 535- 5526

Willow Street Yoga
Willow Street Yoga has two studios, one located in Takoma Park and another in Silver Spring. Both locations offer classes for all levels and ages. In particular, they offer several kid classes for babies all the way to teenagers. Seeds! Yoga for Crawlers to 2 year olds is their class for their youngest students. The class helps young children and caregivers explore yoga exercises through games, stories, songs, dances, and rhymes. Sprouts! Yoga for 2-4 year olds also allows kids and caregivers to take part in yoga practices with fun, engaging activities. And their Trees! (4-7 year olds) class also utilizes games, storytelling, drawing, singing, and dancing for children to learn more about yoga!
Addresses: 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 100, Takoma Park, MD 20912 and 8561 Fenton Street, 2nd Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301) 270-8038

The Happy Yogi
The Happy Yogi is a family studio that welcomes students from all walks of life to connect in a compassionate and supportive environment. At their Olney location, they offer several classes for parents and young children to enjoy. In Yogi Seeds & Mommy Too (pre-crawling babies- 6 weeks old minimum), parents and children can connect through gentle yoga poses and infant massages. The class includes supportive, guided group discussions about baby development and encourages moms to share and connect with each other. The studio also understands the need for soothing crying babies and feeding babies during class! They also have a private baby-changing center if needed. In their Sprouting Yogis & Mommy Too (crawler-36 months old), little ones can practice yoga poses that encourage and support their growing mobility. And their Yogi Saplings (3 to 5 years old) class uses stories, games, songs, and creative movement to help young children learn more about body awareness, breathing, and mindfulness.
Address: 16650 Georgia Ave, Olney, MD 20832
Phone: (301) 892-6353


Tranquil Space
As mentioned above, Tranquil Space also has a Virginia studio located in Arlington. If you are in the Virginia area and are interested in Tranquil Space, be sure to check out their schedule for their Baby and Me Yoga (pre-crawlers) class and Tots & Tykes Yoga (crawlers-4 years old) class!
Address: 3528 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: (703) 829-6428

 Dream Yoga Studio and Wellness Center
Dream Yoga Studio and Wellness Center is a full service yoga studio where anyone can come to relax, breathe, and renew. They welcome and invite all families to enjoy the many benefits of yoga. Their classes for young children include Infants & Toddlers (ages 6 months-24 months old), which incorporates music, movement, and massage to support strength, flexibility, balance, and social competence. In their Preschool and Yoga for Li’l Dream Kids classes for children ages 2-6 years old, children take part in the wonder of yoga through music, storytelling, games, and movement. Children engage in creativity and imagination as they play and relax. Family Yoga classes for Li’l Kids (ages 3-6 years old) provides the opportunity for kids to enjoy poses, stories, and games alongside their parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family members. Dream Yoga also offers private family yoga sessions and yoga parties for you and your child of any age.
Address: 1485 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101
Phone: (703) 448-9642

Beloved Yoga
With two studios located in Reston and Great Falls, Beloved Yoga provides the perfect welcoming place for students of all levels. They offer an array of classes for children, allowing parents and caregivers the chance to practice relaxation and exercise side by side with children. In the Parent & Baby (4 weeks to crawling) classes, mom or dad practice yoga on their own, and then move through some postures that incorporate their babies. These baby specific yoga postures help with digestion, sleep, and growth. In the Parent & Baby (6 weeks to 14 months old) classes, singing and dancing are interwoven with fun yoga poses for both parent and child. Children also have their own playtime, which allows parents to take some time to relax with their own yoga as well. Parent & Tot Yoga (1-3 years old) is also a fun, weekly themed class for parents and toddlers to enjoy yoga, music, and games. There are also several kid summer camps to choose from as well, like Cobra Yoga Camp for 3-7 year olds. Oh, and Beloved Yoga asks you not to worry if your baby gets unhappy, needs to be fed, or changed, there’s space available!
Addresses: 1137 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA 22066 and 12001 Sunrise Valley Road, Reston, VA 20191
Phone: Great Falls location: (703) 860-9642
Reston location: (703) 860-9642

Mind the Mat 
Mind the Mat offers excellent specialized yoga and Pilates classes. Specifically, at their Alexandria location, their Mommy & Me Core Yoga is perfect for moms wanting to get out of the house, meet other moms, get in shape, and bond with their newborns. The Mommy & Me class focuses on breathing, stretching, and movement. Poses can be done with baby in arms or right beside you, in a stroller, car seat, or on a comfy blanket. At the end of class, babies can even enjoy a relaxing infant massage! The studio welcomes any needed breast-feeding and/or diaper changing during or after class as well!
Address: 2214 Mt Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301
Phone: (703) 683-2228

 Yoga in Daily Life
Yoga in Daily Life in Alexandria provides people of all ages and fitness levels to enjoy the power of yoga and meditation. Their Yoga for Kids classes promotes healthy activity for your little ones by helping to improve posture, focus, balance, concentration, and ability to relieve stress. Your child will have fun with yoga games and movement designed specifically for kids!
Address: 2402 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301
Phone: (703) 299-8946

Ease Yoga & Café
A yoga studio and café mix, Ease Yoga & Café is an amazing place to relax. They have several interesting and exciting classes, from Candlelight Yin to Rope Wall Yoga. Currently for younger children, they offer an exciting Kids Yoga class for children ages 4 to 7 years old. Kids are able to explore yoga with a variety of games, stories, music, and breathing activities. During the kids’ class, parents can join in on the fun by taking a Vigorous Flow class offered next door, or just relax at the café!
Address:  3051 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
Phone: (703) 299-8946

 Sun & Moon Yoga Studio
Located in both Arlington and Fairfax, Sun & Moon Yoga provides two soothing and comfortable spaces for yoga practice. They have many specialized yoga classes geared towards parents and children. Their Moms & Babies class allows moms to bring their babies (infant-almost crawling) along as they strengthen, stretch, and tone their bodies, while also learning about baby massage, movement, and handling. And their Family Yoga (16 months-3 years old) is a fun experience for caregivers and toddlers as they participate in yoga poses, stories, and music together.
Addresses: 3811 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207 and 9998 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: Arlington location: (703) 525-9642 and Fairfax location: (703) 934-9480

 Good Vibes Yoga
Good Vibes Yoga offers fantastic postnatal and baby yoga for new moms and newborns, 6 weeks to crawlers. Get back in touch with your vital energy, your core strength and inner balance. Their postnatal classes guide students through gentle exercises to work toward strengthening deep abdominal muscles. Little ones can receive all of the same emotional, mental and physical benefits from yoga as adults do. Learn Baby Yoga exercises to strengthen growing muscles, aid digestion, promote better sleeping patterns, and help your infant towards their next stage of development. Prenatal Yoga experience is not a prerequisite. They also offer free and easy parking, and all yoga mats and props are provide.
Addresses: 3541 W.Braddock Road Suite #206 Alexandria, Va 22302