Archives for 2018

May 10, 2018



America has always been known for its great doctors and entrepreneurs. So what happens when you combine the two together?! You get Dr. Eduard Valenzuela aka “Dr. Eddie”! Dr.Eddie is a famed American children’s pediatrician who just became an entrepreneur with his first product, Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Shampoo, which he developed as a pediatric solution for children’s dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

Dr. Eddie studied his craft in Los Angeles before moving to practice in Houston. It’s A Glam Thing caught up with the Dr. to learn more about his journey, product and fashion sense…

NICK NORTHSTAR: How would you describe your own personal fashion style – both while at home and while working?

DR. EDDIE: Where a doctor does their training not only influences how they practice medicine, it also influences ones dress at work. I trained to be a pediatrician locally at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Many of my mentors there did not wear white coats (kids get intimidated) so I don’t wear one at my office now. At work, my style is relaxed yet professional. I wear elegant shoes( I prefer Allen Edmonds), wacky socks, dress slacks and a logo’d polo style shirt. On Fridays In the spring and summer I wear a Hawaiian shirt or a Guyabera. This tends to put people at ease. When not on the job, as I have aged a bit I have begun to embrace comfort. I skew towards golf like attire—breathable shorts and a golf shirt. If I go out with my wife I like to jazz it up with perhaps a polk-a-dot button up shirt that I got in Paris and well fitting jeans and those Allen Edmonds come right back out again.

NN: The word “Glamorous” can mean many different things… what is its definition to you?

DE: Recently the concept of “glamping” has emerged… I was a boy scout and did a lot of camping throughout my youth. The great outdoors is wonderful, fresh air, birds chirping, but then you get the poorly lit tent, the hard floor, the stiff back in the morning. But then someone decided I am going to take this experience, and make it amazing. We are gonna make it glamorous! We will put real beds in there, a coffee table, a lovely lighting situation to cast a beautiful glow on your loved ones face, a rug, etc. Glamorous takes what is already beautiful and makes it extraordinary. It is attention to detail that makes someone look twice and say wow.

NN: Your product Happy Cappy Shampoo is all about helping newborns and young kids with their flaking, redness, scaling, and irritation on their scalp. Pretty much, your product is helping kids to be glamorous in a healthy way right?!

DE: That is right! It ain’t easy making a baby, and when the newest addition arrives to your family you want the absolute best for them. We are not accustomed to looking at scale, flakes and redness on a persons face and head. And people love smelling their baby, and seborrheic dermatitis, commonly called cradle cap, can smell a little funky as well. Happy Cappy makes these undesirable symptoms go away. Thirty percent of kids continue to have scale from cradle cap up to age 5! Then as kids approach puberty, which can be very young these days, dandruff begins.

NN: Was it hard to come up with a product such as this?

DE: The majority of pediatricians recommend an adult dandruff shampoo to make this condition go away. Parents are not keen to apply an adult product on their baby. I learned this first hand, and I realized that I could make this issue go away. It took me 4 years from coming up with the concept to bringing it to fruition now Available on Amazon. It was a long road and presently we are educating families and doctors that there is a solution made specifically for children of all ages. Not only does Happy Cappy add to a persons glamour, I would like to say that everything about Happy Cappy is glamorous. From the exterior and it’s elegant modern bottle and artwork to the most important part —the actual lathering shampoo which is fragrance free, dye free, alcohol free, paraben free, and sulfate free in a BPA free bottle. Happy Cappy is made locally in Chatsworth.

NN: What is the #1 thing you feel sets it a part from others on the market?

DE: Nothing like it exists. Happy Cappy is a rich lathering, clinically tested shampoo that helps stop flaking and itching associated with dandruff. Happy Cappy does not contain pungent odors like other anti-dandruff shampoos available. Some “all-natural” shampoos claim to be the best remedy for dandruff, but they lack an FDA approved active ingredient. Happy Cappy is the first OTC (Over The Counter) shampoo made specifically for children of all ages with an FDA approved active ingredient. Pyrithione Zinc has been proven safe and effective for many decades and when used as directed actually helps prevent the recurrence of scalp flaking and itching associated with dandruff.
Besides the active ingredient it also has the natural ingredient Licorice Root Extract which help soothes redness. No company has combined the flake fighting and redness reducing ingredient in the past.

NN: What is your advice to anyone wanting to pursue their dreams and create their own product(s)?

DE: Go for it! I am in the medical field but knew very very little about manufacturing and many business concepts. I have enjoyed learning so much about a new field, and I thank the people that have stood by me and did a lot of hand holding. Find good people to hold your hand, have perseverance, and read widely.

NN: How has starting this shampoo company changed your life?

DE: There are many milestones we look forward to in life. Graduating, getting a first job, marriage, children…I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but didn’t how I would go about it. It has been exciting to be optimistic about something new.

NN: Any other products coming out from you in the future?

DE: Well, yes! Thank you for asking… We are very excited to launch Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo & Body Wash. This is a moisturizing cleanser meant for people with sensitive skin, like for kids with eczema or other dry skin conditions like keratosis pilaris (KP). KP is the extremely common condition that causes little flesh colored bumps on the backs of children and adults arms. Of course this product is also perfect for kids with normal skin. This high end daily cleanser has a luxurious lather and replenishes moisture by also incorporating Licorice Root Extract and we have added Oatmeal Extract, Aloe Vera, and Hyaluronate. The daily shampoo is also of course fragrance free, dye free, alcohol free, paraben free, and sulfate free in a BPA free bottle. Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash is made locally just outside of Los Angeles.

To learn more about Dr. Eddie and his incredible new product, head over to:

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May 9, 2018

Pretty and Powerful Innovations in SPF’s from Jane Iredale

From left to right:

Hand Moisturizer: HandDrink® Hand Cream ($29,

NEW antioxidant-rich Lemongrass HandDrink® provides broad spectrum SPF 15 while smoothing and protecting skin without feeling greasy. Lemongrass Oils refresh and revive skin, Liposomal encapsulated Apple Extract brightens and evens the appearance of skin tone and White and Green Tea Extracts provide nourishment and antioxidant protection.

Blurring Cream: jane iredale Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer ($41,

Dream Tint is a hydrating, lightweight, water-resistant tinted moisturizer with SPF 15 that gives a soft-focus effect that helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores. It’s formulated with lightweight minerals and is a tinted moisturizer that not only hydrates and provides sheer to medium coverage, but helps prevent trans-epidermal water loss.

Lip Tint: jane iredale LipDrink ($17,

LipDrink provides SPF 15 and powerful blend of antioxidants, green tea extracts and Vitamins C and E, to help protect against future damage. LipDrink is lemon scented and available in four shades including: Flirt a peachy pink, Crush a tinted sheer berry, Buff a sheer nude, and Sheer, the original translucent shade.  A fifth shade, Tease, a shimmery plum brown, will be launching July 2018.

4-in-1: jane iredale PurePressed™ Base Mineral Foundation ($42,

Semi-matte with a weightless feel, it provides broad spectrum SPF 20 that’s water resistant for up to 40 minutes while protecting the skin and minimizing pores and fine lines. Available in 24 shades and also has an eco-friendly refillable compact!


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May 9, 2018

Dona Bela SHREDS Created With Textile Remnants

Dona Bela Shreds!  I had to post the above photo before continuing because I love this design (ClassicLT CLT-8028). I wear scarves a lot.  Lately, throughout winter, the styles I have worn have been big and bulky, faux fur, infinity, snood, pocket scarves, shawls and chunky knits.  Everyone of them I love and choose with great thought and consideration of my moods, wardrobe, temperature variations and winter skin tone. I feel lost when I put them away until next season. I depend on scarves as a wardrobe staple.

This Spring season, I have packed away my wardrobe of cold weather scarves and replaced them with a few (at least for now) of Dona Bela Shreds. I have some scarves from years past and, of course, I will purchase  a few more for this Spring and Summer season. Bela Dona Shreds are so unique and are actually referred to as neck wear. I like that. The brand has a fabulous story behind it. The one of a kind designs are created with refurbished textile remnants. These designs provide a thoughtful & unique model for sustainability. You can read more about the mission of the Dona Bela Shreds site right HERE.

Dona Bela Shreds fit my lifestyle. For Spring and Summer, I am most comfortable in a fitted T, a Denim or Khaki Capri  and a “throw on and go” scarf. I wear some flats or a cute wedge sandal, my favorite Dynamikos sunglasses and a cross-body bag. I’ll bring along a cute stylist jacket for a chilly night.

Take a look at a few more Dona Bela Shreds Designs below and let me know what you think or better yet, check out the website, the sale items, take a peak at the brand’s Instagram page and order for yourself and, or a friend. You won’t be disappointed.

Dona Bela Shreds Neckwear

Dona Bela Shreds

dona bela shreds neckwear


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May 8, 2018

Kate Bosworth at The Met Gala Hair Styled By Celebrity Hairstylist, Michael Silva

Kate Bosworth at The Met Gala

Kate Bosworth at The Met Gala


At The Met Gala 2018 celebrity hairstylist, Michael Silva x Cricket Co. Tools styled Kate Bosworth’s hair for the red carpet by creating a sculpted rose chignon with a cross part. Michael’s clients also include Megan Markle, The Kardashians, and Ashley Graham. See below for step-by-step and details:

“I saw the dress and immediately thought of the iconic sculpted hair that you see within catholic sculptures and paintings” – Michael Silva, Celebrity Hairstylist

Look: Sculpted rose chignon with a cross part

Inspiration: Heavenly Bodies Met Gala theme and Kate’s Oscar de la Renta dress along with it’s veil.

Step By Step

  1. Wash and condition the hair, add setting gel along with a good serum and detangled the hair using the  Cricket Co. Ultra Smooth Coconut Detangler Comb 
  2. Using a paddle brush and  Cricket Co. Ultra Smooth Coconut Detangler Comb dry the hair section by section
  3. Create a center part, and part hair horizontally leaving out small section of hair in the front to create a cross shaped part using the Silkomb Pro-55 Wide Toothed Rattail 
  4. Secure hair tightly in a pony tail using elastic string, wrapping it around the pony tail and tying
  5. Split pony tail hair into 4 sections and use a high heat flat iron like Cricket Co. Centrix Ceramic Styling Iron
  6. Saturate the hair with gel and wrap each sectionaround the ponytail center to create a sculpted bun.
  7. Using a good high heat flatiron create an S wave/finger wave style with the small section of hair at the front, next saturate the hair with styling gel like R+Co strong hold gel and lay each section flat sculpting it toward the forehead, down and back towards the ear on each side with the Silkomb Pro-55 Wide Toothed Rattail 
  8. Last, use white setting paper to secure shape while drying and apply a heavy coat of hair spray to set the style

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May 8, 2018

Sol de Janeiro New Glow Oils On The Met Gala Red Carpet

Sol de Janeiro’s NEW Glow Oils debuted  at the Met Gala on celebs including Kate Upton, Lily Aldridge, Yara Shahidi, Tiffany Haddish, and Scarlett Johansson.

 Tracy Murphy for Kate Upton

o   Final Look:

o   “I used the Ipanema Sunset Glow Oil on Kate’s arms and legs, really blending it in for an even all over glow. I used a foundation brush and buffed it in around the collarbones, neck and décolletage. The result is stunning!!”

·         Quinn Murphy  for Lily Aldridge

o   Final Look:

o   “Before Lily was dressed I used the Copacabana Bronzing Glow Oil all over her body. Then I added the Ipanema Sunset Glow Oil to the places where the sun hits/highlight like the collar bone and center of the chest. The combination gave her that bronze glow that makes a red carpet!”

·         Emily Cheng for Yara Shahidi

o   Final Look:

o   “Once Yara was fully dressed I used a large fluffy eyeshadow brush and applied the Copacabana Bronzing Glow Oil on all the high points like her shoulder, collar bone and arms. Then I used my hands to spread and blend.”

·         Dionne Wynn for Tiffany Haddish

o   Final Look:

o   “I used the Copacabana Bronzing Glow Oil on Tiffany’s jawline, face and forehead for a super glowy look!”

·         Frankie Boyd for Scarlett Johansson

o   Final Look:

o   “Scarlett’s glow was achieved using the Ipanema Sunset Oil Glow applied with a buffer brush all over her body”



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May 8, 2018

NOTE Cosmetics, 2018 Met Gala Fashion, Beauty and the Catholic Imagination

Celebrity Attendees of the 2018 Met Gala

Celebrity Attendees of the 2018 Met Gala

NOTE Cosmetics, Get The Look. Attendees of the 2018 Met Gala brought the Fashion, Beauty and the Catholic Imagination theme to life. Bold red hued lipsticks were spotted all over the red carpet and NOTE Cosmetics’ Matte Moist and Ultra Rich Lipsticks are the perfect products to achieve this look.

Note Lipsticks

 Mattemoist Lipstick

This Macadamia Oil and Vitamin E rich formula goes on creamy and sets to a matte lip finish all while protecting and soothing lips.

 Ultra Rich Lipstick

Infused with botanicals, Argan Oil and Cocoa Butter, this lipstick reduces fine lines, revitalizes and nourishes lips and defends against free radicals and environmental factors.

 Mattemoist Lipstick and Ultra Rich Lipstick retail at Ulta for $9.99 each.

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May 8, 2018

The Met Gala, Celebrity Hairstylist Naivasha Johnson Styles Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi at The Met Gala

Yara Shahidi at The Met Gala


Yara’s hair made a classic but bold and voluminous statement for last night’s Met Gala.

Naivasha was inspired by “Whimsical Texture.” She wanted to celebrate texture in the most glamorous way with a 60-inch ponytail!

To Recreate the Look:



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May 8, 2018

Marie Osmond Facebook Live Session With Kelly Lang, Kim Goodwin,Donny Osmond, and T.G. Sheppard

Marie Osmond Facebook Live Session Features Appearances by Kelly Lang, Kim Goodwin, Donny Osmond, and T.G. Sheppard

marie osmond and kelly lang

Marie Osmond gave fans a backstage pass to her dressing room on Tuesday at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas where she revealed her makeup tips and tricks of the trade on model, fellow singer-songwriter and close friend, Kelly Lang.

The Facebook Live video of Osmond doing Lang’s makeup has already accumulated more than 95k views, 2.6k likes, 3.3k comments, and 240 shares.

The hour-long video follows Osmond taking Lang’s makeup from a simple, natural look to a night-time glam look, all while giving step-by-step details of the application process and taking fan questions.

“I was so thrilled when Marie asked if she could do my makeup. With her busy schedule, I didn’t think she’d ever have the time, especially one hour before she went on stage!” explains Lang. “She is such a sweet and fun friend to do this with and is so knowledgeable about makeup she could actually quit her day job and go into makeup full time.

Joining in on the fun was world-renowned makeup artist Kim Goodwin, Lang’s country music legend husband T.G. Sheppard, who has over 20 No. 1 hits, as well as Osmond’s superstar brother, Donny Osmond who popped in to give a few pointers.

Comments flooded in saying that Lang transformed into Elizabeth Taylor within the tutorial.

“My favorite part of her Las Vegas show is a number called ‘Showstopper,’ where her makeup artist Kim Goodwin takes her on a year-long journey and turns her into 20 iconic faces,” says Lang. “It’s amazing and truly shows off her creativity not only as an artist but as a makeup expert.”

Key takeaways include:

1. Covering age/dark spots

2. Outlining lips

3. Choosing fake eyelashes

4. Buying a white pencil

5. Feathering your eyebrows

Check out the tutorial here:

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May 8, 2018

Babies and Sleep, the Basics of What to Expect During the First Year

Mom and baby

New babies bring serious joy, but they can also bring serious sleep woes. Knowing what to expect when it comes to baby sleep, as well as a few strategies, can make the difference between ongoing sleep deprivation and sweet dreams for the whole family. From self-soothing to sleep training and how parents can get some rest too, here’s what you need to know.

By: Tema Flanagan

Nobody could have prepared me for the overwhelming love I felt for my son when he first entered the world nearly two years ago—or for the sleep deprivation I would experience during his first year of life.

Of course, we expected it at first. Everyone had warned us that the first couple of months might feel challenging. After all, babies typically don’t sort out the difference between night and day until they are around six weeks old, when their circadian rhythms finally start to develop. During the first few days at home, the whole not-sleeping thing still seemed almost fun—nighttime wakings were simply another opportunity to gaze in wonder at our precious infant. At the time, my husband and I jokingly referred to our sweet little babe as “the tyrant king,” who made us his adoring, round-the-clock subjects.

As a first-time mom committed to breastfeeding (and with an aversion to letting my baby cry, at all, let’s be honest), those first two months bled into many more of multiple, middle-of-the-night nursing sessions. To make matters worse, my little fella refused to nap for more than 30 minutes at a time unless I physically held him, in which case he would snooze away happily for two hours. Before long, I was completely exhausted and utterly desperate for solutions to our sleep woes.

During this phase, I unwittingly became an amateur baby sleep expert, immersing myself in baby sleep books and spending hours trolling the wild and wooly web for tips and information. With a little time, adjusted expectations, and some different strategies, my little one finally started sleeping through the night—and taking pretty solid midday naps, too—but my experience in “baby boot camp,” as a friend rightly calls it, has stuck with me. And now, with a second baby on the way, the subject of baby sleep is once again fresh on my mind.

By this point, I may have succeeded in terrifying the expectant first parents among you. So here’s the good news: not everyone has the same experience when it comes to sleep during the first year of a baby’s life. My sister-in-law, who had twins just a few months before we had our son, found herself with two sleep-through-the-nighters at only three months old, without any intervention on her part (divine intervention may be another story).

Individual babies are unique, as are parenting styles. You will experience some degree of sleep disruption after your baby is born but having an understanding of the science of baby sleep—as well as a few strategic tricks up your sleeve—can help make the difference between ongoing sleep deprivation and sweet dreams.

Why sleep is so important, for all of us

Lack of sleep makes it hard to function well in the short-term, and it can have a serious effect on health in the long-term.

It almost goes without saying that sleep is essential to good health—but the sleep habits of many Americans suggest that it’s probably worth reiterating. While sleep-deprived parents of infants may represent the group fighting most valiantly to get more sleep, studies have found that a third of all American adults, as well as many young kids and teens, regularly don’t catch enough ZZZs.

To get a better understanding of just how important good sleep is to the physical and mental health of people of all ages, we spoke with Dr. Sujay Kansagra, a pediatric neurologist and Director of the Duke Health Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine program.

The specific sleep needs of adults and babies differ, but “there are numerous consequences to both short-term and chronic sleep deprivation,” Dr. Kansagra says. As he explains (and as those of us who have experienced it can easily attest), short-term sleep deprivation is associated with multiple issues, including:

  • Decreased attention span
  • Increased irritability
  • Increased fatigue/sleepiness
  • Worsening of underlying depression/anxiety
  • Increase in risk-taking behavior

When short-term sleep deprivation becomes a long-term pattern, it can lead to issues like coronary artery disease, increased risk of obesity, and an impaired immune system. It can also increase the likelihood or severity of mental health issues.

With rapidly developing brains and bodies, babies and children require more sleep than adults—and their need for enough sleep may be even more crucial to good health than it is for adults. “Sleep is one of the essential pillars of wellness for young children,” says Dr. Kansagra. “Sleep is critical for learning, development, and overall growth. An infant and young child’s brain is developing quite rapidly and therefore requires adequate sleep to form new memories and support overall neurodevelopment.” When children are chronically under-rested, the results can be disastrous to their overall health, including behavioral issues similar to ADHD and an increased risk for becoming obese later in life.

The irony is that infants can (and typically do) get all of their sleep needs met while simultaneously totally disrupting that of their parents. That’s because a baby’s sleep needs and natural patterns are simply different than that of adults. The first few months are typically the hardest because even when a baby is getting plenty of sleep, much of that sleep will take place during the day, with nighttime sleep still very much broken up. The end result can often be a well-rested baby and exhausted, sleep-deprived parents.

“For new moms, there are a multitude of challenges during the day,” acknowledges Dr. Kansagra. “A new mother may be juggling the challenges of breastfeeding, other children, an active household, a regular job, and her own personal well-being in addition to many other things. This makes getting adequate sleep a particular challenge. Couple this with an infant that may be waking up multiple times each night and you have a setup for a very sleep-deprived individual.”

Thankfully, this stage can be relatively short-lived, and parents can make age-appropriate efforts to teach their babies the skills needed to sleep independently and consolidate sleep into longer and longer stretches at night.

The basics of baby sleep: what to expect in the first year

As you’ve probably gathered by now, babies have different sleep requirements and patterns than do older children and adults, and those needs and patterns change pretty rapidly during a baby’s first year of life.

Hopefully, by the time your child turns one, he or she will have gone from sleeping pretty much erratically—waking frequently at night and taking multiple naps throughout the day—to sleeping 10–12 hours in a row at night and taking just two naps comprising one to four hours of consolidated daytime sleep. That’s a lot of change in a relatively short period of time!

Here’s what to expect, in very broad strokes, over the course of the first year. Keep in mind that your baby is unique and may not follow this exact trajectory, and that’s OK.

What to expect: the first six weeks

Welcome to life as a new parent! As if you weren’t already turned inside-out emotionally (and hormonally, if you’ve just given birth), you can and should expect all of your usual sleep routines to come to a grinding halt for the next six to eight weeks. You’ve just entered the Wild West, sleep-wise, so buckle up and get ready to catch up on sleep in piecemeal fashion, whenever and wherever you safely can. Good thing your baby is so cute!

Your little one has just made her grand entrance into the world, and she’s still figuring things out—things like the difference between night and day. Indeed, until she’s around six weeks old (and possibly older), your little one will likely sleep—and have periods of wakefulness—around the clock, seemingly at random. “Basically, newborns are napping 24-hours a day. Great, right?” says Alexis Dubief, baby sleep consultant, blogger, and author of Precious Little Sleep: The Complete Baby Sleep Guide for Modern Parents.

In addition to having an undeveloped circadian rhythm, your baby needs to refuel throughout the night in order to receive enough calories and proper nutrition. At first, you will likely be advised by your delivering doctor or midwife to wake your baby every two to three hours over the course of the night to ensure she’s getting enough breast milk or formula. Nighttime feedings are entirely appropriate (and even necessary) for the first several months of a baby’s life, so be especially cautious of any sleep training guides that purport to get your little one sleeping through the night in the first weeks or months of life.

Sleep needs by age

During this time, strategic planning and catnapping superpowers are the best survival strategy. “Ideally, you want to plan for this if you have a partner or somebody who can help night-parent,” Alexis says. “Assume your newborn will be awake for one to two hours between ‘naps,’ even in the middle of the night.” If you do have a partner, plan to divide and conquer. Your baby “may go to bed at 10:00, then be awake and perfectly content from 2:00–4:00 a.m.,” says Alexis. “So maybe somebody goes to bed early and sleeps 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., then parent number two takes the 2:00–7:00 a.m. shift.” Of course, if you are exclusively breastfeeding, it may be a little harder to split up night duties. Pumping is work in and of itself, but it’s worth considering if it allows you to sleep through one or more night feedings.

If you are the sole nighttime caregiver or a single parent, plan to go to bed as early as you can to maximize the chance of sleep over the course of the night. “I encourage all new parents to plan for multiple nighttime awakenings and therefore get to bed much earlier than typical,” Dr. Kansagra says. “You may have to plan for 10 or 11 hours of sleep opportunity in order to get the seven to nine hours an adult would need.” And, of course, if your schedule allows for it, plan to nap when your baby naps whenever possible.

You can help guide your newborn toward more regular sleep patterns by exposing your little one to plenty of sunlight during daylight hours and keeping nighttime interactions quiet and soothing and keeping lights dim or dark.

What to expect: the first three to four months

Your baby’s sleep should have become much more predictable by the time she turns three or four months, with a regular bedtime and a relatively reliable schedule of night feedings and naps. This should happen pretty naturally, assuming you do a few things to help set the stage.

Make your baby’s bedroom a sleep oasis

When it comes to your baby’s sleep environment, think cool, dark, and quiet. Blackout curtains are a great investment, and so is a sound machine (I prefer the Dohm Classic).

Set a regular bedtime and stick to it

Earlier is better: somewhere in the 6:30–8:30 p.m. range, depending on your work schedule and other factors. You may notice that your baby “sets his own bedtime,” as the evening nap consistently turns into your little one’s longest chunk of sleep in a 24-hour period.

Create a short but reliable bedtime routine

This may include elements like a bath, book, song, nursing or a bottle, and rocking. Keep it simple enough that you can repeat the whole shebang each night without complicated props or special conditions that are hard to replicate when traveling, for example.

Create a short but consistent nap-time routine

Before each nap, do an abbreviated version of your bedtime routine—something that takes five to ten minutes but helps give your baby the signal that it’s time to sleep.

Offer naps based on sleepiness cues rather than rigid, by-the-clock schedules

Some baby sleep books recommend rigid scheduling of naps and feedings from a very early age. While this certainly caters to the parents’ desire for a more predictable schedule, it may not be the best thing for your baby.

As infants grow during the first year, they are capable of staying awake for progressively longer periods of time before getting tired and cranky—what baby sleep experts refer to as “the span of awake time.” Babies in the three to four month range tend to do well with awake times of 60–90 minutes between naps. Using the span of awake time as your general guide, start looking for your own baby’s cues that she’s getting sleepy, like yawning, rubbing her eyes, and spacing out. At this point, sticking with this scheme, your baby may take three to four naps a day, depending on the duration of naps over the course of the day.

Don’t worry too much yet about teaching baby to fall asleep independently

Many baby experts now refer to the first three months of an infant’s life as “the fourth trimester.” Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, likes to joke that “babies are born too soon.” By this he means that newborn babies aren’t quite ready for the big, bright world they have just entered and, for a short time, at least, prefer conditions that simulate life in the womb. Swaddling, rocking, nursing, pacifiers, baby carriers, swings, and shushing are all excellent ways to provide the sort of stimulus your infant craves in the first three months of life.

Using these techniques to help soothe your little one to sleep still makes sense at this point. Of course, you can always try putting your baby in the crib “drowsy but awake” and see what happens. A little fussing is fine, but it’s best to wait until baby is a little older to force the issue.

Don’t stick to rigid feeding schedules in an effort to improve sleep

Many people assume that improving sleep means sticking to a rigid feeding schedule or weaning feedings,” says Heather Turgeon, psychotherapist, baby sleep consultant, and co-author of The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep-Newborn to School Age. “If you do that early on (before the baby is, say, five months) it can interfere with breastfeeding success.”

What to expect: the first five to eight months

Babies in this age range often start consolidating their daytime sleep and begin dropping naps, going from three or four down to two or three naps per day. Many babies in this range also begin sleeping through the night—at least as defined by sleeping five hours or more in a row (I know, how thrilling!).

At this point, many experts recommend working with your baby to start teaching them self-soothing skills so she can learn to fall asleep independently (more on this later). Remember, though, to consult with your pediatrician before actively weaning your baby off any remaining night feedings. While your pediatrician may give you the OK, it’s best to check with them first to make sure they don’t have any concerns regarding your baby’s weight or other health factors.

As baby’s daytime sleep continues to consolidate, you should see a more predictable time-of-day schedule emerging for naps, though it’s still wise to heed the span-of-awake-time guidelines to avoid an overtired baby (ironically and unfortunately, overtired babies sleep less soundly and for shorter durations).

You may also start noticing that other developmental factors—things like teething and learning new skills—will occasionally interfere with sleep. Roll with the punches as best you can and keep in mind that all of baby’s stages—from the most adorable to the most frustrating—tend to be pretty short-lived.

What to expect: the first nine to twelve months

By the time your baby turns one, she will likely be down to two naps per day (and will typically drop down to just one midday nap by the time she’s 18 months old, if not sooner). Hopefully, your baby is also sleeping through the night in a more meaningful way—as in 10–12 blissful hours in a row. (If not, it’s never too late to start working toward that goal.) By now, you have probably also started to find your groove as a parent, with the confidence to more regularly discern and follow your instincts in caring for your little one. Books, articles, charts, graphs, and message boards—while still helpful—may seem like less of a necessity. You know your baby best, after all.

The scoop on sleep training

The primary goal of sleep training, regardless of the particular approach or technique, is to teach your baby self-soothing skills and help them realize their innate potential to fall asleep (and remain asleep) independently.

During the first few months of a baby’s life, it is entirely appropriate to respond to her every need. This early responsiveness on the part of parents helps forge parent-child bonds and gives babies a foundation of security and love on which to build. So early on, it makes complete sense to rock, nurse, and shush babies to sleep.

The trouble comes when the work of soothing a baby to sleep continues to rest with the parents and doesn’t eventually transfer to the baby. Typically, this transfer will require some degree of “training”—though there are many different approaches available to parents, from those that attempt to avoid crying altogether to those that use controlled periods of crying.

This is where people tend to get worked up: do a quick search of “cry it out” or even just “sleep training” and you’ll see that it’s an issue on which people are rarely neutral. It turns out, however, that the disputes around sleep training techniques are probably overrated. “Although many consider sleep training techniques controversial, when it comes to the science behind it and studies that have been published, there really is no controversy,” Dr. Kansagra says, pointing to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s sleep training parameters. “Sleep training is considered safe, effective, and felt to have a variety of benefits.” What this means is that there’s no one right way to instill healthy sleep habits in your baby.

Alexis adds that “cry it out” in and of itself isn’t a very meaningful term. “I don’t like the term ‘cry it out’ and prefer not to use it,” she says. “[Cry it out] doesn’t describe any clear approach to fostering independent sleep—what does it mean exactly? The answer depends entirely upon who you are talking to. It’s also a pejorative term. Babies cry in lots of circumstances. Most cry in the car seat, but we don’t call them ‘crying transportation chairs.’ They cry during diaper changes, but we don’t call changing pads the ‘crying poop removal place.’”

Some crying may be a natural part of teaching babies independent sleep skills, regardless of approach (though some do promise to deliver results with no tears). “When you change what happens at bedtime, there will likely be some degree of complaint and/or tears. Change is hard and tears mark the struggle,” Alexis notes. “Learning to do new things is rarely easy. But of all the great cool thing your kiddo is learning to do (crawl, swallow food, etc.), few of them will be as beneficial to their health and development as sleep.”

Heather, whose Sleep Wave technique (for babies five months and older), involves a system of responding to the baby in a reliable, predictable way, notes that working on sleep needn’t be harsh or unresponsive. “We hear people say that they got the recommendation to ‘shut the door and don’t go in until morning’ all the time. This is never necessary. It’s harsh, it disrupts natural feeding patterns, and we would never recommend it,” Heather says. “We like to think of handing over the role of self-soothing to a capable baby so they can do what their bodies are naturally programmed to do—sleep. This takes putting a thoughtful, consistent new sleep plan into place. It always involves responding to the baby. Parents are usually shocked by how well it works if they follow it consistently.”

The main thing to keep in mind is that your baby’s unique temperament, as well as your own parenting philosophies, can guide you to the right approach for your family. “Although many use the term ‘cry it out,’ sleep training can be done in a way that caters to parental preference,” Dr. Kansagra says. “If you do opt to sleep train your child, remember that there are a large number of scientific studies that support this decision. Conversely, if you opt not to sleep train, that is also fine, but the decision should be with the parents. As parents, it is vital that we support one another.”

However, you go about doing it, remember that the goal is a happier, better-rested family—so the end results should be a win-win all around. Keeping this goal in mind may help you to be more dedicated to the work of teaching your baby independent sleep skills. And it may also help you to remain flexible when things don’t go exactly as planned. Don’t expect perfection but do expect progress. And remember: “Parenting is not an event in the Hardship Olympics,” says Alexis. “Nobody gets a medal for being miserable for years. If something is not working, don’t keep doing it.”

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May 8, 2018

Nail Biting, Skin Picking, Hair Pulling: More Than Just Bad Habits

Sometimes it can be hard to explain why we do the things we do. It is common to experience stress, anxiety or frustration in our lifetime, but what we do to cope with these things matters the most. There are times where you may catch yourself biting your nails, picking at your skin, or even avoiding physical interactions due to germs. But how far is too far? Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC based neuropsychologist and Teaching Faculty Member at Columbia University Teacher’s College, gives insight on behaviors that are more dire than merely bad habits.   

Onychophagia (Nail Biting)

Nail biting is an oral compulsive habit and that can develop from stress, nervousness, or excitement. A study published this year in Scientific American puts nail biting in another realm of behavior: body-focused repetitive disorders, like scratching or patting your own hair. And it seems to tie into one particular personality type that has a higher potential for boredom, stress, and anxiety than many others: perfectionists. Excessive nail biting can lead to infections, inflammation, and even tooth problems. The usual method for beating this habit? Dr. Hafeez says, “Override your old habit with a new one by “tricking” your brain using rewards, awareness exercises, and other methods. A typical strategy is to get subjects to note whenever they feel the urge to bite their nails, a feeling called a “cue,” and reward them with something else whenever they feel it, like stroking one’s hands.”


President Trump is an admitted germaphobic and has confessed that he dreads shaking hands. Germaphobia, also known as Mysophobi , is a fear of contamination and germs. This is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. You may feel the need for excessive washing and cleaning, constantly focusing on a way to sanitize everything you come in contact with. Germaphobia can lead to irritated skin and discomfort over time. Dr. Sanam Hafeez suggests medication that moderates serotonin in the brain known as SSRIs or Cognitive Behavior Therapy. 

Excoriation (Skin Picking)  

Skin picking is a repetitive “Self-grooming” behavior. This disorder can develop in two ways, through stress and after some kind of rash or minor injury. Skin picking can lead to tissue damage, infection, and even scarring. Dr. Sanam Hafeez suggests exercising as a way to distract yourself and improve your mood. “Taking care of any scars you have already with essential oils will also lessen the urge.”

Trichomania (Hair Pulling)

Trichotillomania is a disorder that urges individuals to pull out body hair. This is usually triggered by anxiety and can provide a feeling of temporary satisfaction. “The exact cause of trichotillomania isn’t known. It may be related to abnormalities in brain pathways that link areas involved in emotional regulation, movement, habit formation, and impulse control,” says Dr. Hafeez.  Excessive hair pulling from the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes can lead to patches and bald spots. ”Distract yourself with sensory toys which allow your body to focus on other things.” Adding petroleum jelly to problem areas will allow you to be less likely to put the hair because it is slippery,” says Dr. Hafeez.  The main treatment for trichotillomania is a type of behavior therapy called habit reversal training. Basically, this means replacing a bad habit with something else that’s not harmful. 

About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or


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