My top tips on how I have raised four great sleepers

This post was created in partnership with hydraSense®. To make sure hydraSense® products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

Bedtime. Every parent wants to crack this one. Not only can sleep be hard to come by as a parent, but it’s your job to teach your kids healthy bedtime habits and how to sleep through the night. Not to mention that depending on the age and stage of your child, sleep is constantly morphing and it’s up to you to decode it and figure out how to tweak it to your child’s needs.

Twin nursery

Having four kids with good sleep habits hasn’t come without hard work and occasional hiccups. But for me, healthy sleep for our whole family is a priority and I have been fiercely protective of it from day one.

Here are some helpful trouble shooting tips I have picked up along the way that may just help your family too.

Have a plan. Before I get into the importance of having a plan, I think it is important to say that it’s okay to throw your plan, or someone else’s suggested plan out the window if it is just not working for you. I did. When I first became a mom I tried to fit our son Holden into this very strict sleeping schedule that I read in a parenting book. It drove me crazy when he just wouldn’t conform to this generic formula that had nothing to do with my baby. It felt so good to let other people’s rules go and just follow my gut, knowing that finding what works may take some trial and error.

new mom

When I found out I was having twins, I thought of everything, including how to create an optimal sleep environment in their nursery, to rehearsing (using dolls), our future night time routine. This might sound a little overboard, but after being through the baby stage twice I knew that a plan and having a goal made a big difference. For me it was having my twins sleep in their cribs, in their own room from day one and that I would be able to independently do night feedings from the beginning. This plan paid off and actually worked really well.

sleep training twins

Get creative when you hit a bump in the road. Just this past week, Mia (one of our three year old twins), started into some separation anxiety and a fear stage. This caused Mia to wake up nightly crying and screaming for hours on end. Despite what we would try, Mia’s hysterics would escalate keeping her twin sister, Everly awake in the bed beside her. Eventually, we began taking Mia into our bed, (something we try to avoid); just so that we could all just get some sleep.

After a few days of this I decided something had to be done. What could help Mia stay in bed all night and avoid the tears? That’s when I came up with the idea for a sticker chart. So that day I set out to buy special poster paper and stickers and created three charts, one for each of our girls (our son didn’t want one). This little reward in the morning has changed everything. Since implementing a sticker chart, we haven’t heard a peep from either Mia or Everly at night.

toddler sticker chart

Be consistent. This is probably one of the most common rules to babies and kids sleeping well. Have a schedule and stick to it. Our schedule was something that I was fiercely protective of which has created very predictable sleeping patterns and happy bedtimes. Anytime we’ve been forced out of routine because of special events, or trips we see the ripple effect. So, we make sure that whenever possible we can try to schedule life around our sleep routines.

Relax and be ready when your kids get sick. All of my tips above are great… when your kids are healthy, but every once and while an illness settles into our home and disrupts everyone’s sleep. Often, when our kids get colds, it hits Everly extra hard. She has always been more prone to congestion than our other kids and it’s our job to make sure I can reduce and relieve her nasal cold symptoms to help her breathe better.


I have always relied on hydraSense for all of our kids, especially Everly. hydraSense Baby Nasal Care can be used up to 4 to 6 times a day when your child’s nose is blocked due to colds, or allergies. This is especially helpful when your child is under age two, and is not able to blow their own nose effectively. For more information on hydraSense, including Ultra Gentle Mist, Easydose vials and Nasal Aspirator, head to .



hydraSense® is available at your local mass food and drug retailers or online at

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by hydraSense®. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of hydraSense®. To make sure hydraSense® products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

How I Found My Confidence As A First Time Mom

This post was created in partnership with hydraSense®. Always read and follow the label.

When I tell people that for me, four kids are easier than one, a look of utter confusion comes across their face. Recently I said this to a father of one, as he argued with his toddler, who refused to put on his hat and mittens on a very cold day. He watched as I herded my four kids into our toddlers’ daycare, each wearing their winter gear without complaining.

Four kids

I gestured to my litter of kids and said, “It’s a group mentality thing. They each see the others bundling up so they don’t resist.” Then I could hear the words coming out of my mouth before I could stop them… “Actually, I find four kids easier than when I just had one.”

“Yeah right!” He said with a look of disbelief on his face.

“It’s true,” I said. “I might be busier but I stress so much less.”

It is true. It took me a long time to find my confidence as a parent. In fact, my husband and I each completely broke down within the first three days of becoming parents, and it was my mom who finally pulled us out of the darkness and helped us find our first bit of confidence as parents.

When Holden, (our first child) was born, he had a bit of fluid left over in his lungs. Because of this, almost every time we laid him down for those first few days, he would gag and cough a little, which to brand new parents was absolutely terrifying.

Although the nurses kept reassuring us that this was normal and would pass, that all we had to do was put him up right and give him a little pat when he was coughing, we couldn’t get past the fear.

That first night in the hospital, while my husband Mike curled his very tall body into a foldout chair, trying to grab a little sleep, I laid awake, all night just staring at my baby.


I was in love. This was a brand new kind of love I had never felt before, one that was a mix of awe and absolute devotion. This new self-sacrificing love, mixed with fear started to fester into an unreasonable mindset for both Mike and I… we agreed we would just stop sleeping and hold our new baby upright at night as long as we needed to.

So, the second night was Mike’s turn. As I slept as much as I could between feedings, he sat on the couch and watched movies all night as our brand new son slept vertically.

father kissing baby

As the third night approached, we were unraveling. The adrenaline had worn off and the pain of breast-feeding had kicked in. Mike offered to take the night again.

My mother, who was staying with us, watched with worry, and finally, after observing our unrealistic devotion and subsequent demise, thankfully decided to take over. Her plan: we go sleep and she would put Holden down as she slept on the floor beside his crib.

This was the best gift we could have been given, a way to safely find our confidence as parents. The next morning we felt brand new. Holden had gagged a couple of times during the night, but worked it out himself as my mother looked-on trying not to interfere with him figuring it out himself.

newborn sleeping

From this point on we found our rhythm, but as all new parents experience, every bump in the road was brand new and scary for us, whether it was teething, or our son’s first cold.

But we found our way. We found parenting hacks, little tricks, learned his noises and products that we trusted and loved.

As a result of our initial scare as parents, we found that when our son got sick, we would get particularly worried. One product that we not only trusted, but has helped us gain even more confidence as parents is the line of hydraSense products that was our go-to, whenever any of our babies got a stuffy nose due to a cold.

twin girls

We have always found comfort knowing that hydraSense is a 100 percent natural source, simply being seawater. It’s free of any medications or preservatives and is the #1 nasal saline solution brand in Canada for children*.


hydaSense Easydose Vials

The Easydose® Vials are convenient when on the go with your little one. Just pop them into your diaper bag and pull out when your child is having trouble breathing because of dry or obstructed nasal passages due to a cold or allergies.

hydraSense Easydose Vials

But I think my personal favourite hydraSense product that we still use today with our twin toddlers is the hydraSense® Ultra-Gentle Mist.

hydraSense Ultra-Gentle Mist

Everly, one of our twins has always been prone to nasal congestion. She has found relief from nasal spray, such as hydraSense® Ultra-Gentle Mist.

congested toddler

Those first few days as parents spent without sleep and full of fear are now over seven years ago. Finding your confidence not only takes time, but it takes support from loved ones, trial and error and figuring out what works best for your family while pushing out all of the noise.

It gets easier, a lot easier.

You can learn more about hydraSense® at
hydraSense® is available at your local mass food and drug retailers or online at

*Nielsen, National. 52 weeks ending Aug 20th, 2016. Based on combined sales of hydraSense Ultra-Gentle Mist, Easydose and Congestion Relief Kids.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by hydraSense®. While compensation was provided, most of the opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of hydraSense®.