If you have spent any time analysing Sleep Trainers in the last few days, you’ve no doubt observed how hard to understand the concept can be.
Babies need help learning how to bridge their own sleep cycles. You can do this by rolling the baby onto their side and say shush loudly. Then pat their chest and back in a steady motion until they have fallen asleep. Sleep is important for cognitive development. Sleep is crucial for the development of your child’s brain It helps to improve concentration, learning and memory. Getting enough sleep can also have a good effect on behaviour, so getting enough toddler nap time during the day might even reduce the meltdowns and tantrums that all toddlers experience during the terrible twos. Regular dummy use is the best way to use a dummy. This means offering your baby a dummy each time you put them down for a sleep, day or night. You and your baby will also find it easier to have a regular sleep routine. If the dummy falls out of your baby’s mouth during sleep, you don’t need to put it back in. If you put your baby in a swing every single time she cries for the first six weeks, she will expect you to put her in the swing each and every time she cries after six weeks. The baby cries, you put her in the swing. The baby cries, you put her in the swing. Over and over again, you repeat the same pattern. Soon the baby cries and she needs the swing. If a baby is in pain, they might not be able to sleep. Sick babies, for example, may wake several times during the night. Even minor discomforts may affect sleep. Scratchy clothing tags, a room that is too hot or too cold, or a wet diaper can make sleep difficult. Remember that waking up during the night is completely normal for young babies, and you shouldn’t feel pressure to try and get your baby to sleep for longer. In order to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), safer sleep should be the priority instead of longer sleep. This may be difficult for exhausted parents, but it is vitally important that safer sleep is followed for all sleeps, day and night.
We appreciate how difficult it can be to keep your baby’s room between the ideal 16-20⁰C in the warmer months, knowing that overheating can pose a risk. If the room where the baby sleeps is difficult to cool, follow the ‘summer rules’ of lighter bedding and clothing and open the bedroom door and a window, if it is safe to do so. It is a massive misconception that formula-fed babies sleep better than breast-fed babies. Research shows that babies sleep the same whatever milk they’re given. Please don’t blame your breastmilk. Few babies sleep through the night. That might not be much comfort, but it lets you know you’re not alone! Once your wee one gets to 2-3 months old you can start to get them into a routine so they know it’s sleepy time. Some parents claim that a ride in the car is a sure-fire way to induce sleep. In desperate times it may be tempting to buckle baby in the car seat and drive around the block. A sleep expert will be with you every step of the way, guiding you on how best to find a solution to your sleep concerns, whether its 4 month sleep regression or one of an untold number of other things.
Get Realistic Expectations About Your Baby’s Sleep Habits
A baby with a cold or who’s congested will have huge trouble sleeping (don’t we all?) You could ask your pharmacist about saline nasal drops, but in the meantime try slightly raising the head end of their cot either by putting a couple of books under the legs or with a small rolled up towel under the mattress. Don’t raise it too high, though, or your baby could slip down. Babies vary a lot in how long it takes them to develop regular waking and sleeping times. But if you’re worried about your older baby's sleep, you could have a chat with your health visitor about it. It is important that your baby/child’s journey towards independent sleep is supported by secure attachment and responsive parenting as well as an environment conducive to sleep. There’s so much to think about when you take a trip with your little one. Whether it’s just an overnight stay or a longer holiday, you may be worried about disrupting their routine, especially when it comes to sleeping. Some parents choose to begin a bedtime routine during the evening, perhaps at a time when their baby seems sleepy. A regular series of events, for example a bath, story, then milk in a dark room, can help a baby to calm down ready for sleep. Once your baby recognises the routine, you could bring their bedtime forward to a time that suits you. Having a baby is a steep learning curve and aspects such as gentle sleep training come along and shake things up just when you're not expecting them.
All babies are different and the amount of sleep they need will vary. Newborn babies generally spend more time asleep than awake. Under the age of three months, babies can sleep for anything up to 18 hours a day, although unfortunately their sleep pattern is unlikely to fit in with yours and they rarely sleep for longer than four or five hours at a time. Try to bear in mind that this phase isn’t forever. It lasts for a relatively short time and things will usually get better. If your baby cries because she's hungry or wet, that's understandable, but waking up in the middle of the night because she can't find her pacifier is frustrating for all. You can teach her to find it on her own. If your baby's dependent on a bottle or breast to sleep, start scheduling the last feeding a good 30 minutes before her usual bedtime or nap. Then, when she's sleepy but not asleep, make your move and place her into her crib. Sure, she'll fuss at first, but give it a chance. Once she learns to soothe herself — perhaps by sucking on her thumb or a dummy (harmless, helpful habits for babies) — she won't need you at bedtime anymore. Babies rely on the security and comfort of being close to their parents and need this at night as well as during the day. Sleep regressions — where babies have a hard time falling or staying asleep — are normal throughout the first year and beyond. Having a bedtime routine in place offers comfort that can help your baby get through these phases. Sleep consultants support hundreds of families every year, assisting with things such as ferber method using gentle, tailored methods.
When coaching parents who are shifting from bed sharing to putting their baby in the crib at night, it’s important that they see the entire picture. Sometimes a parent needs to keep some sleep associations in the beginning of coaching (e.g., feeding to sleep), and then once baby is finally sleeping in the crib, they work on less night wakings. If you are worried about your baby getting cold, you can use infant sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket. In general, your baby should be dressed with only one layer more than you are wearing. Slings and baby-carriers are useful for holding a baby hands-free, however they are not always used safely. Although there is no reliable evidence that slings are directly associated with SIDS, there have been a number of deaths worldwide where infants have suffered a fatal accident from the use of a sling. These accidents are particularly due to suffocation, and particularly in young infants. A very common problem parents’ face, after all, what’s more natural than holding your baby tight and letting them fall to sleep. Yet it becomes a challenge when this is the only way your baby will sleep and the minute you lay them down they wake. Consider a pacifier. If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick. In fact, research suggests that using a pacifier during sleep helps reduce the risk of SIDS. If you're looking for a compassionate, effective and evidence-based approach to sleep or just advice on one thing like sleep training then a baby sleep specialist will be able to help you.
Avoid scheduling errands when it's baby's naptime. If your cutie does fall asleep in the stroller, car seat or swing, be sure to transfer him to the crib as soon as possible. If your baby has become used to napping in the car-seat or buggy during the day, this could be the reason why they find it hard to settle in their cot at night. Motion can have an irresistibly hypnotic effect, which can be useful but isn't the best way to get baby to sleep at night. It is important that you keep the same routine for your baby, as babies who are normally slept on their backs but sometimes slept on their fronts are at a great risk of sudden death. Many parents prefer a co-sleeper arrangement with baby. Realistically, most parents use various sleeping arrangements at various stages during the infant’s first two years. Be open to changing styles as baby’s developmental needs and your family situation changes. If you feel your eyelids getting heavy and your baby is asleep, turn off your mobile and shut your eyes and just see what happens. The washing and ironing can wait. You and your baby are your top priority and if you can’t function then it isn’t good for anyone. A sleep consultant will take a holistic approach to create a sleeping system that you can manage and one which takes into account sleep regression as well as the needs of the baby and considerations of each family member.
Sleep Begets Sleep
If your older baby or toddler is fighting sleep at night, perhaps they’re sleeping too much in the day (especially if they’re not yet mobile and therefore not using up loads of energy). Generally, by the time a baby reaches 9 months they will be down to two daytime sleeps totalling 2-3 hours. Many parents are surprised by their newborn’s sleep pattern. During the first day of life, most babies are alert for about an hour and then they can fall into deep sleep for twelve to eighteen hours. (Like most of us, they’re exhausted by the whole ordeal.) Persistent sleep problems that make it hard for your baby (and you!) to get the rest you both need could be a sign of a bigger issue. Find extra info on the topic of Sleep Trainers in this Wikipedia link.