Congratulations, and welcome to motherhood for the first, second, or greater time. It is the hardest job you will ever have but it comes with the greatest benefits package. For me, the most difficult part of the newborn period is sleep deprivation. My daughter needed to nurse every 2-3 hours for one week, and every feeding felt like an eternity. My husband is very helpful, but he needed sleep once he went back to work. And even though there were very special bonding moments with my little girl during the night, it still felt very lonely being the only person up multiple times while extremely fatigued and hormonal. I know you have been there, too, my friend! So, what can we do to maximize sleep time and to make the most of the little sleep we can get? Here are my favorite tips for sleeping with a newborn baby, all of which I have been using since the birth of my second child just a few months ago.
Sleep When You Can
Everyone says it, and it sounds so easy to sleep while your baby sleeps. But it’s hard! You have bottles and/or burp cloths to wash, visitors to entertain, and a precious bundle to stare at for hours and hours. All of these threaten to rob the much-needed sleep of a new mom. First, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Have family or friends come to hold the baby, change diapers and/or do household chores while you take a nap. If you do not have people who will help in this way, and you can afford it, go ahead and hire someone. Many night nurses or postpartum doulas will come to your home to help during the newborn period. And it doesn’t have to be for a long time, either. We hired someone to help for several nights around week 6 when my exhaustion and my baby’s crying were at their peak. These people are angels in disguise. If you don’t feel comfortable with help overnight, hire someone to assist during the day so you can nap. Sleep is a necessity after having a baby, not an option. You’ll be better able to function after some rest.
Once you’re able to sneak away, make sure your sleeping environment is perfect. Hang blackout curtains, use a noise machine and wear comfortable pajamas. You can finally enjoy sleeping on your back again! If you had a c-section, keep an extra pillow in the bed so you can place it over your abdomen as a brace when you cough, laugh, or sneeze. An adjustable bed is amazing for post-C-section recovery because it raises you into a sitting position (for nursing or getting into and out of bed) preventing you from overworking your abdominal muscles until recovery is well underway. The adjustability of a bed is also helpful after a vaginal delivery, especially if you had tears since you can find the sitting angle at which there is minimal vaginal pain.
Another tip: set yourself up for success by having everything you need near your bed. On my bedside table, I had two pacifiers, two burp cloths, a nursing pillow with pocket that held gas drops and vitamin D (important to give babies that are exclusively breastfed). Other stuff on the table? My journal of my baby’s activity (I was so tired that I couldn’t remember which side I nursed on the last time), plus water and snacks for me. I also had a basket with all diaper changing supplies, because walking across the room to the changing pad was too much sometimes.
A sleeping baby is a thing of beauty. They need the same things we do to rest: a dark and quiet room at a comfortable temperature. Babies also need a bedtime routine, a nonverbal way of telling them that it’s time to settle down. Our routine was going into the bedroom, turning on the noise machine, swaddling, turning off the lights, and rocking for 5-10 minutes until she showed signs of sleepiness (yawning, closing her eyes, breathing slowing down a bit). Then I placed her in a co-sleeper and patted her leg until she was nearly asleep. There are plenty of variations on this theme; find what works for you and your baby, because you will be doing it multiple times a day for several months.
You get to decide where your baby sleeps. Recent recommendations say that sleeping in a separate area (bassinet, co-sleeper, crib) in the same room as parents is best. However, that must be balanced with your ability to rest. My babies were both very noisy sleepers. As long as they were in the room, I could not sleep, which was not safe for me or them. So, they slept in a co-sleeper in my attached bathroom. I was near enough to hear a cry or cough but far enough away to not hear every grunt and sigh. This is a very personal decision that you should make with input from your pediatrician.
A special word for all moms: let the mommy guilt go. Whether it be about breastfeeding,sleeping in the same room, asking someone else to care for your baby, or balancing this baby with other children–just do your best, then move on! This is a beautiful time but also a tough time, and it will pass quickly. Take a deep breath, get rest when you can, and try to savor the quiet moments with your newborn. If you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, seek help immediately; you can’t and shouldn’t deal with these emotions alone. As one of my favorite people used to say to me, and this is advice definitely worth taking: be kind to yourself.
Dr. Bailey is an ObGyn and a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. She treats patients who are having difficulty conceiving or who have complicated gynecologic conditions, following women throughout early pregnancy. Her expertise in sleep and women’s health, including pregnancy, stem from professional as well as personal interests. As a mother of both a newborn and a toddler, she knows how important it is to get a good night’s rest. She has used the Reverie Sleep System throughout both of her pregnancy and postpartum periods with excellent results.
There’s something special about reading a bedtime story with a child. Many kids are extra sweet at bedtime, so you get quality time and bonding to the max. You’ve likely already shared your favorite classic books with your kids or grandkids. Several times, right? Goodnight, Moon. The Hungry Caterpillar. The Velveteen Rabbit. The Missing Piece. Green Eggs and Ham. They’re all so wonderful, sigh. But eventually, you need some new material. So what can you read with them now?
Have no fear. We recently went to a good bookstore for kids in search of best new picture books that might wind up being classics.
We’ll start by sharing our own criteria for what makes a good picture book. It must have a good, engaging story. The writing has to sparkle. The pictures need to feel fresh, graphic or otherwise charming. It needs to be human. And the book needs to be original in some way, not the same old sappy stuff and clichéd stories. Lastly is the “it” factor: the book should evoke some kind of emotional response. Ultimately, we need to empathize. Or laugh. Or be delighted. Or enlightened. Truth be told, our standards are very high, and most books wind up in the rejected pile.
Looking for books that have won prestigious children’s literary awards like the Caldecott or Newbery medals can be helpful, but not always. They’re usually easy to spot, with large embossed gold or silver stickers at the top. We’ve found these awards generally guarantee a certain quality of writing and illustrations, but don’t necessarily mean you’ll get a good, engaging story. It also seems like books with a sense of humor are often overlooked by the judges. So don’t limit yourself to award-winners.
After weeding through books for several hours, we’re happy to report that the genre is alive and well. Here are some newer bedtime books on the shelves right now that are worth a look. The books don’t have an age range on them, so we guesstimated.
Unlike Other Monsters
Written by Audrey Vernick, Illustrated by Colin Jack
Zander is a monster. And monsters do not like or need friends. Until a little red bird hangs out with Zander and interrupts his world view. A humorous story with fun, active illustrations. More here.
Still a Gorilla
Written by Kim Norman, Illustrated by Chad Geran
Cute story about a young gorilla who longs to be someone else. Big, flat, almost Japanese-style illustrations. For the pictures, think Curious George meets Pokemon. More here.
Hello, My Name is Octicorn
Written by Kevin Diller, Illustrated by Justin Lowe
Half unicorn, half octopus, Octicorn feels insecure because he’s different. In the book, Octicorn works through all the reasons he’d be a good friend. Turns out, they’re excellent reasons. Expressive, earnest, mostly black and white illustrations with a splash of color. Nice story for a child who’s different or to teach kids about tolerance. More here.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems
Caldecott Honor Book
A mischievous pigeon tries every excuse and guilt trip in the book, all the ones that kids typically use to try to get their way. Simple, doodle-style illustrations that evoke an old-style cartoon. We think most kids will be able to see themselves in this book, a great quality for a book to have. More here.
The Day the Crayons Quit
Written by Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
EB White Read-Aloud Award
Duncan wants to color but his crayons are tired. So they all go on strike. Each crayon writes him a hilarious protest letter based on its typical duties by color. Red is mad that he has to work so hard year-round, especially Christmas. Beige is tired of being the poor man’s brown. Full disclosure: we are in love with this book. The “delight” factor is high. Just buy it! More here.
Written by Taye Diggs, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Written by actor Taye Diggs, this is about Mike, a mixed race boy with an awesome head of curly hair. In a rhyme, he proudly explains who he is to the world, with love and support from his parents. Colorful and modern illustrations. Exuberant and freeing text. More here.
On the Night You Were Born
Written and Illustrated by Nancy Tillman
New York Times Bestseller
Sweetest book since Goodnight Moon. A parent poetically recounts the events of a magical night. On the night her child was born, word rang out across the land. The polar bears danced and all of nature celebrated. A book that is validating, comforting and just all-around AWESOME. More here.
Quit Calling Me a Monster
Written by Jory John, Illustrated by Bob Shea
An engaging rant by a monster about being called names, even though he rather deserves them due to bad behavior. A witty romp with a protagonist who rather reminded us of Oscar the Grouch. Endearing, active illustrations. More here.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be
Written and Illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin
A lovely rhyme as a new parent speculates on all the possibilities life may hold for her child. Somehow this book perfectly walks the line between schmaltz and honest emotion. Charming illustrations. More here.
Voice of Freedom/The Fannie Lou Hamer Story
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
Caldecott Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Award/John Steptoe New Talent
This book is a serious work for children and somewhat hard to explain, because it deals with racism. The youngest of 20 children, Fannie Lou Hamer was born to sharecroppers and grew up to be a civil rights leader. Carole Boston Weatherford, a writer of many books about African American heroes, has taken the true elements of Hamer’s life and translated them into a compilation of different short stories and prose. The result is moving, sad, joyful, angry, inspiring and true. The fine art illustrations are incredibly beautiful and unique. This book would be best read a few pages at a time and discussed in detail between adult and child. More here.
If you want to look for picture books on your own, we’ll make a plea for going to a good local brick-and-mortar bookstore. It’s way, way easier to find good books in person than online, unless you already know exactly what you want. In a bookstore, you can always read the entire book, unlike online where you just get a preview. Plus bookstores are places full of knowledge and great vibes, the kind of business that’s great to have in your neighborhood.
Happy reading, and may your little one drift off to sleep easily, enriched by a great book and your loving, undivided attention.
You’ve been planning for this moment for months, maybe even years, and it is almost time to meet your new baby. Congratulations! For some of you, this will be your first overnight stay in a hospital. While I strongly believe the hospital is far and away the safest and best place to have your baby, it is not an environment that is conducive to a good night’s sleep. But, let’s be honest, neither is motherhood. Here are a few tips to help you get as much rest as possible so you can take excellent care of your little one.
#1 Your overnight support person is your ally
Your overnight support person may be the most important part of your sleep plan. He or she should be excited about being helpful and should be supportive of and respectful of your boundaries. Communicate very clearly with this person before, during, and after your hospital stay about how he or she can help you.
#2 Visitor control can be key
Let the front desk staff and your nurses know if you want to refuse visitors at any point to get rest. The staff can be your greatest advocate and may even pretend that it is their recommendation that you do not have visitors at that time.
#3 Think about your pajamas
Pack comfortable pajamas- both heavy pajamas and light ones since the room temperature can be unpredictable. Layering is helpful as is wearing very loose clothing, especially around your waistline if you have a c-section.
#4 Take advantage of the comforts of home
Bring your own pillow (or pillows) and maybe even your own blanket. This will increase your comfort level dramatically.
#5 Control those blaring hospital lights.
An eye mask will be your best friend if your room’s window faces the east or west and will allow you to try to rest anytime of the day.
#6 Mitigate the noise
A noise machine or speaker playing your own music can drown out noise in the hallway and relax you. Have your playlists ready before going to the hospital. Theft in some hospitals is an issue, so assign your overnight support person to hang onto any electronics.
#7 Lights out early
An early bedtime may be beneficial to maximize the number of hours you can attempt (interrupted) sleep as some doctors begin seeing hospital patients very early in the morning (think 5:30am in a busy hospital). You can always go to sleep again right after they leave.
#8 Skip the interruptions
Request that no vital signs be taken overnight. This should not be a problem as long as you are healthy and had an uncomplicated delivery.
#9 Minimize your baby’s crying if possible
If your baby is as content as can be while being held but wakes up and cries uncontrollably as soon as you lay him or her down, your baby may be experiencing reflux, which is milk and stomach fluid moving backwards into the throat instead of staying in the stomach. This is likely temporary, but temporary may mean days or may mean months. Initially, ask the nurse to help you prop the bassinet up in a safe way so that your baby’s head is higher than his or her stomach. This may decrease the reflux.
#10 Send the baby to the nursery if you need to
It is a very personal decision to either room-in with your newborn or to send them to the nursery. If you have had any complications and need more than routine recovery– or if you do not have a helpful support person – it may be in your best interest to send your baby to the nursery. As the mom, YOU get to decide. Do what’s right for you.
It is extremely important to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your newborn. Good luck, and welcome to the most difficult and rewarding experience of your life.
Dr. Amelia P. Bailey is a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility (REI) specialist in Memphis, Tennessee. She currently serves on Reverie’s Sleep Advisory Board.
As an Ob-Gyn in the third trimester of my second pregnancy, I am keenly aware of the many changes the female body undergoes while doing the very important work of growing a new life. Hormones surge, ligaments and skin stretch, and bones shift to accommodate your little one, who starts off as one cell and becomes trillions of cells by birth. Momentous, certainly. But it also sounds uncomfortable, right? It is. So what can we do to make sure these nine months are more joy than pain while nurturing our future astrophysicists? One of the most important steps is ensuring adequate nightly amounts of peaceful sleep in spite of our frequent bathroom visits.
Dr. Amelia Bailey, who is currently pregnant, came up with a DreamCell™ configuration for expectant mothers
On becoming a side sleeper
During your first trimester, you can sleep the same way you always have, even if you sleep on your stomach or back. Second trimester, though, we have to start making adjustments to improve comfort. I encourage side sleeping, a position that maximizes blood flow to the baby.
How Dr. Bailey rearranged her DreamCell™ springs
I bought my Reverie Dream Sleep System a couple years ago, and have had it for both pregnancies. It features a mattress that can be switched up to accommodate life changes.
This allowed me to develop my own personal DreamCell configuration that provides support for our beautifully enlarging bellies in a side-sleeping position (see image). Because the pink (softest) foam cells are in a line down the center, your body will more naturally stay on its side once you lie down in that position. You will notice that there are blue coils in the area where your tummy will rest to provide additional support there. To view a chart of the full configuration, click here.
Why a power adjustable bed can help
Because my Reverie bed has a power adjustable bed base, I can also adjust the head and foot heights to provide the support I need. The foot of my bed is completely flat, which keeps my back comfortable, while the head of my bed is almost 15 degrees (I go to the Anti-Snore position, then lower the head for 1-2 seconds). This just happens to be the arrangement that is most comfortable for me, but you should play around with the heights and find what works best for you. During your third trimester, you can use the same cell configuration and adjustment tricks but may need to reposition the head and foot heights to increase comfort levels. There are not a lot of studies that show a safe intensity of massage during pregnancy, so I play it safe and avoid use of the massage function on my bed until after baby is born.
Let’s talk pillows and linens
Many women feel warmer during pregnancy, so using bed sheets in natural, breathable fibers or sleeping with a fan may improve your sleep. I also use a large U-shaped body pillow that stretches to below my knees in front and back. This pillow provides support between my knees, under my tummy, and beneath my head while acting as a posterior barrier to prevent me from rolling onto my back. If you are a natural side sleeper, you may only need a one-sided pillow such as the Cool Down or Sweet Zone™ latex pillow under your head and the adjustable Sweet Slumber adjustable pillow between your knees. Look for pillows that meet your specific needs.
Rest, rest and more rest
Sleep is paramount during pregnancy to support maternal and fetal well-being and development. Getting comfortable may require trial and error as well as frequent changes while your body grows to house your little one, but it is worth the effort. A focus on resting while you are pregnant will pay great dividends during the upcoming nighttime feeding and snuggle sessions that you are about to have. Good luck; I will be in the same boat!
Dr. Amelia P. Bailey is a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility (REI) specialist in Memphis, Tennessee. She currently serves on Reverie’s Advisory Board.
My life is probably not much different than yours: many people vying for my time and attention, a to-do list that is never-ending, and too few hours in the day to get it all done. Saving time for myself is a luxury. I think it is called the daily grind because it cannot be done without coffee.
If you fall into the latter category, you aren’t alone. Everyone is there at some point; the smartest people find a way to manage work life balance gracefully. While my life is always a work in progress, I have recently spent a good bit of time rearranging the weekdays in order to feel more productive in all areas of my life: family, career, exercise, personal growth, and possibly most importantly sleep. That sounds great; but how to achieve work life balance? The following has worked for me: prioritize responsibilities and needs, set a schedule for the weekdays, and operate efficiently.
Prioritize your responsibility and needs
This is easier said than done but is a crucial first step. So, set aside some time to do this thoughtfully. Ask yourself what is pushed to the side when you have a looming deadline? Those things are closer to the bottom. What can you not ignore for too long? Those items are near the top. For me, sleep is very near the top of the list. Without rest, the body cannot keep moving, and the mind is unable to function at its highest capacity. While we all skimp on the number of zzz’s we get from time to time, it is essential to make up those missed hours of sleep in order to live a full, healthy life.
Set a schedule
First, write out the concrete portions of your schedule (work hours, recurring appointments, exercise classes); then fill in the remaining time with other activities based on their order of importance on your list of priorities. For example, here is my Monday plan:
5:30am Wake up
6am Exercise class
7am Get ready for work
7:30am Help daughter get up and out to breakfast
8:30am Work day
4:30pm Drive home and play with daughter
6:15pm Dinner with my husband and daughter
7:30pm Help toddler get ready for bed and off to sleep
8pm Read for work or fun
9pm Get ready for bed
9:30pm Lights off!
It may seem very planned, and it is. This is what works for me; you need to develop a weekday schedule that fits your life. Hopefully yours allows more time for leisure (if so, good for you!). I like to schedule weekdays so that I can relax on the weekends and enjoy that free time without guilt. I recommend including others in your planning process, especially people who live with you or are affected by your schedule. They can be great allies and encourage you to stick with it.
In order to do this, you must set time limits for focused attention spans during which you minimize outside distractions (phone, email, interruptions) but also factor in breaks. Experiment with the length of your attention blocks. For some, 50 minutes of focus with 10 minutes of rest works best while others need 25 minutes on and 5 minutes off. The important part is to have a break that relaxes you. Most of us are staring at a screen or written words while intently concentrating, so the computer or phone screen should not be part of your rest period. You can stretch, meditate, or even zone out. Whatever clears and rejuvenates your mind.
Change is hard, and old habits are tough to break. I understand, because I am currently in that process. Be sure to get buy-in and support from the people closest to you; they will want to see positive change in your life, and you may even motivate them to do the same. Also never underestimate the power of being rested in order to complete all of your other goals. Good luck; let’s do this together!
Dr. Amelia P. Bailey is a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility (REI) specialist in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery for her practice and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, where she served as Chief Resident, followed by a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. While in Boston, she was a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School and conducted joint research projects between Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As an REI, Dr. Bailey treats patients who are having difficulty conceiving or who have complicated gynecologic conditions and follows women throughout early pregnancy. Her expertise in sleep and women’s health, including pregnancy, stem from professional as well as personal interests. As the pregnant mother of a toddler, she knows how important it is to get a good night’s rest and has used the Reverie Sleep System throughout both of her pregnancy and postpartum periods with excellent results.
It’s that time of year again. Mothers Day. Haven’t thought of the perfect gift yet? No need to stress. Moms are all different (and special!) and each one deserves the perfect gift, so this year, we’ve put together two gift guides. Today’s installment: relaxing gifts for mom. And couldn’t she use a little more relaxation?
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. $10-$19, depending on which format.
Clutter can be emotionally and visually stressful, plus maintaining all that stuff can be a lot of work. This NYT #1 bestseller by Marie Kondo helps Mom let go and get organized. And just think, maybe you won’t have to clean out her hoarder’s basement someday.
Geranium Lavender “Seeking Balance” candle from Root. $16.95.
Lavender is known to have relaxing properties; perfect for aromatherapy destressing. This scented soy candle from Root is all natural; made with essential oils but without any harsh dyes.
Herbal-infused teas are warming, soothing and a healthful alternative to caffeine. Just what Mom needs on a stressful afternoon or before bed. The Citrus Lavender Sage tea in this set sounds amazing. This sampler of quality teas is loose leaves, so make sure Mom has an infuser.
Max Richter Sleep, available on iTunes. $34.99.
Is Mom having trouble falling asleep? Moms over 50 often have this complaint. This collection of original compositions by Max Richter is eight hours’ worth of music that is somehow both peaceful and compellingly beautiful. Be sure to listen to “Patterns” when you’re awake.
Sweet Slumber Pillow by Reverie. $99.99
Is it scary to think about how old Mom’s current pillow might be? Spoil her with a good one. This luxury pillow is designed to support Mom’s head and neck, regardless of her sleeping position. Airy hypoallergenic fill is shredded natural latex, which helps regulate temperature and allows better air circulation. Removable cover features moisture-wicking material and is plumped with microfibers to stay fluffy.
Tiering Pots Fountain by Alpine, $50
The sound of water flowing can be very soothing. This attractive tabletop fountain is a great value and has by far the best reviews of any tabletop fountain we looked at in this price range. Mom can add a few extra rocks of her own to customize the noise level to her liking. 9”x7”x17”.
Jersey Knit Robe by Nine Space. $76.
Mom will be chic and comfy in this jaunty robe. Roomy sleeves, a giant hood, big relaxed tie and lots of gorgeous colors to choose from. Not to mention the luxury of a soft, cool, organic combed cotton knit. Truly lounge-y and would make a great travel robe. Knee-length.
One-hour massage, around $60-$90 plus tip.
Find a masseuse close to mom and buy a gift certificate for a massage, making sure to include the tip (and to tell Mom it’s included). It pays to do a little homework and get some recommendations as the vibe of massage places can vary wildly. Pony up for at least an hour; a luxurious 90-minute full-body massage is best. Unless Mom is a go-with-the-flow type, think about requesting a female masseuse.
Organic Collection Bed Sheets by Reverie, $140-$240, depending on size.
73% of Americans say the quality of bed linens affects how well they sleep. Help Mom get her beauty rest with these ultra luxurious 300-threadcount, certified-organic combed cotton bed sheets. No toxins or dyes, so they’re a perfectly soft and natural warm beige. Made with BedTite™ fully elasticized ends to help sheets stay in place, handy for mattresses on power bases.
Neoprene yoga bag by The Transience. $220
Is Mom into yoga? It’s no stretch to say she’ll be the envy of the entire gym if she walks in wielding this amazing neoprene yoga bag. Unlike an ordinary cotton batik yoga bag, this one has a great shape, Italian lambskin details and two-way zip top. Yoga mat slips into straps underneath.
Not what you had in mind, check out our: Reverie’s Gift Guide for the Mom Who Has Everything
NOTE: We do not guarantee these items, their availability or their prices, which may fluctuate. Other than our own products, we have no affiliation with any of these companies.
Is Mom picky? Has she reached a point in her life where she doesn’t need anything? We get it, but it’s no excuse, because we’re here to help. For our Mother’s Day Gifts guide, we focused on things that were more unusual, luxurious and/or high on thoughtfulness (like Mom). Many ideas involve the gift she values most of all: your time.
High Tea for two, $130-$170, depending on the menu. Price typically includes tip.
Check to see if there’s a local tea room or a high-end hotel that offers high tea in your area. An elegant ritual, it’s all about fancy tablecloths, scones, dainty sweets, petit fours, superb tea and your company — Mom will be in heaven.
Mom engraved idiom bangle by Kate Spade, $58
All those little things Mom used to tell us for our own good are engraved in one little bracelet, along with this fitting phrase: say thank you. Perfect, because she’ll be reminded of your gratitude whenever she wears it. Gleaming, 12K gold-plated metal, and it comes in a cool Kate Spade box. Also available in silver. So cute, it will never last.
Painting and Wine night for two, around $70 (wine extra)
Does Mom like art and/or wine? Did we really need to ask that, lol? In many cities, venues have sprung up that host a night of painting with all the materials supplied, including Painting With a Twist and Paint Nite. No painting expertise needed; the canvases are pre-drawn and there’s an instructor to guide the class. Wine is BYOB or served for an extra charge. This gig is only fun with company, so go with mom and leave with some wall art.
Sweet Zone™ Latex Pillow by Reverie®, $140
Does Mom find it hard to sleep because she gets hot? Is she having any neck issues? Reverie brings the ultimate in science to a truly luxurious pillow. Firm support for her neck and a soft zone to cradle her head. Core is made of naturally derived Talalay latex with a cover made from moisture-wicking CoolPlus™ fiber.
Cooking class for two at Sur La Table, $140-$160
Being a foodie is all the rage, and many culinary schools and upscale cookware retailers offer classes. The schedule at Sur La Table is extensive, and some classes are listed as “hands-on,” meaning instead of just a demo, you and Mom get to cook. At Sur La Table, classes are available most nights and weekends. If you can wait to book until the date gets close, you may be able to fork over significantly less cash.
Sony Waterproof Walkman. Available at Best Buy or online. $99.99.
Does Mom like to swim, walk or work out? These user-friendly wireless MP3 player/headphones set her free from annoying cords and can even be worn in the pool. Eight long hours of battery life, 4GB capacity and several beautiful colors.
Dinner for two, $75-$150.
And only you. Trust us, there are few things mom values more than spending quality time with you. So leave your significant other and the kids at home for a change. Make a reservation at a nice restaurant that isn’t noisy, with comfortable seating and where the staff won’t rush you. At the end of the night, you’ll feel like it was a gift to yourself, too.
Elation™ bed speakers from Reverie, $399
High-performance speakers designed to provide a surround-sound experience from your bed. The speakers attach to the bed legs, so they’re out of sight while delivering better acoustics for movies, music or gaming, if Mom’s into that. The system is also Bluetooth®-enabled, so it can be programmed to turn on or off automatically. Four high-end speakers and one subwoofer.
One-hour professional photo session, about $350-$750. Amateur, about $150-$250.
Even if Mom doesn’t like having her photo taken, she’d probably make an exception for some great photos of her with your kids. Engage a professional photographer to take some. Prices vary wildly, but you want these to be special, so avoid the portrait studio at the mall. This would also be a great gig for an amateur shutterbug with a DSLR; ask for some reccos on Facebook.
3-day package with Premier Room at Lake Austin Spa Resort
Mom alone, $2250, including $350 spa allowance.
Mom and you, $3650, including $350 spa allowance each.
If money is no object, send Mom to Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas. Located on Lake Austin, it’s one of America’s finest resorts, with high-end spa services, a five-star restaurant and cozy rooms with porches and zen gardens. Most packages include exercise classes and activities throughout the day, endless kayaking, meals and a spa allowance. At night, guests wander up to the indoor pool in their bathrobes for a late-night swim or to the spa. Significantly less-expensive deals than what we’ve listed here are available with free extra nights, etc., for guests who visit during off-peak days.
Not sure the perfect Mother’s Day gift is here? Check out our other Mother’s Day gifts guide, Ten Zen Gifts for Mom.
NOTE: We do not guarantee these items, their availability or their prices, which may fluctuate. Other than our own products, we have no affiliation with any of these companies.
Getting kids out of bed in the morning is never easy, and with the recent transition from holiday vacation back to school—not to mention frosty mornings that make cozy blankets all the more tempting—it may be harder than ever this time of year. As lazy mornings eating pancakes in PJ’s are replaced by buzzing alarm clocks, blankets pulled tight over sleepy heads, and frantic searches misplaced homework assignments, parents across the nation are faced with the perennial question: how do I get my kid out of bed in the morning?
First, rest assured that you’re not alone. This is a nearly universal phenomenon, and has roots in biology. One cross-sectional study found that nearly 50% of 6th-8th graders have difficulty waking in the morning, and the National Sleep Foundation notes that though teens need around 9 hours of sleep each night, natural shifts in their circadian rhythms make it difficult for them to hit the hay before 11PM.
That means the odds are stacked against the poor parent tasked with the job of seeing their student out the door on time in the morning. The task is difficult, but not impossible—and the tips below should help make the process a bit easier.
Wake your child earlier than you need to.
Most of us need some time to transition from a sleeping state to a waking state, and this is even more true of kids and teens. Jumping suddenly from sleep to an up-and-at-‘em state isn’t natural, and, for lots of people, not even possible. So build in a 5-10 minute margin for glassy-eyed staring into space. You know what we’re talking about.
Find an alarm alternative.
Nobody likes an alarm clock. That’s partly because of its association with too-early wake-ups, but also because of the sound itself. Make the transition to the day more peaceful by rousing your child a different way. If part of their holiday bounty included a Reverie Sleep System, they have the option of waking up to a massage or by being slowly lifted to a sitting position; if not, simply go into their room 20 minutes before wake time and open the blinds. The natural light will help their bodies begin to realize that it’s morning.
Bacon….mmm…..bacon…Your kid’s mind may be too fuzzy to form coherent thoughts upon first waking, but his nose will still be working just fine. Appeal to the animal mind by cooking up a favorite breakfast treat, preferably one whose aroma fills the house, and let the bacon—or whatever your treat of choice may be—do the talking.
Get ready the night before.
About that fuzzy morning mind we just mentioned: picking out an outfit, packing a lunch, gathering books and homework, and any other thinking-intensive tasks may be too much to tackle in the morning. Set up a routine with your child in which you pick out an outfit and pack up everything needed for school the night before. The next morning, just grab and go!
Set an earlier bedtime.
This one may be a harder sell to some older kids, but it’s possible. Explain the importance of sleep for proper brain and body performance, and start incrementally moving bedtime earlier. If your child likes to look at a phone, tablet, or computer before bed—and let’s be honest, most do—help them download a program that eliminates the blue light that can disrupt circadian rhythms. Whatever nighttime ritual you and your child establish, make sure that it’s enjoyable and relaxing. Remind them that an earlier bedtime isn’t a punishment—after all, it means more time to sleep! And who doesn’t love that?
Of course kids and teens want to stay in bed. Bed is the best. But armed with bacon, bedtimes, and the other strategies above, you should be equipped to handle even the groggiest of mornings. Just as long as you can resist the temptation to stay curled up in bed yourself.