PROTECT YOUR CHILD'S SLEEP BY AVOIDING FORUMS AND DR GOOGLE
It’s no secret that the topic of sleep, or lack of it, is probably one of the most popular talking points amongst our mummy groups. Whilst changing a diaper, feeding or entertaining your baby, you might be chatting away about why your baby might be waking up all night. Your friend in good faith might offer a few suggestions about what worked for her, however I would always stop and think before taking any action, especially if they advise something as significant as “drop the nap!” or “let them cry it out”. This drive to attempt any form of sleep training might be decided all within the space of a short bus journey, from a what’s app chat or worse still from a complete stranger on Facebook or Google.
Don’t get me wrong, all of these resources have their place in one way or another and I have definitely been on Google at 4 am in the past many a time, however, if you are really struggling, I would encourage you to opt for better alternatives for your child.
We need to know all the facts
As someone who literally lives and breathes child sleep, the first thing I always do when working with a client is take the time to understand the whole picture. I cannot possibly begin to suggest any solutions without knowing every single detail from the second they wake up to the second they fall asleep and everything in between. The factors affecting your child’s sleep are endless and more often than not, a lot of changes to their key foundations are required before looking at more significant changes. It is sadly often the case that you are advised to drop a nap, remove a feed, or teach your baby to self settle based on a tiny piece of the picture and it can often make matters worse.
So what can affect our child’s sleep?
This list is endless but here are some of the basics that I look at before considering any changes to anyone’s routine.
Incorrect scheduling of wake up time, bed time or nap time
Are they getting too much or too little sleep?
Their clothing (too hot, too cold?)
Sleep environment (too stimulating, too bright?)
Sleep history (have they co –slept or always slept independently)
Medical history or developmental needs
Exposure to artificial lighting
Emotional wellbeing – is the mother going through Post Partum Depression or did they experience birth trauma? Is your baby experiencing separation anxiety?
Sleep associations – what do they rely on in order to get to sleep?
No baby is the same
Remember that no baby is the same and as such no solution will be the same. Babies develop at different rates, they are exposed to different environments, they have different temperaments and are exposed to different parenting styles. With this in mind, we need to realise that no solution will be the same, as similar as the situation might seem - it really won’t be!
Sleep is so important
Your child’s sleep health deserves care and attention; after all, it significantly impacts their mental development, physical restoration, ability to focus as well as their immune system. It affects everyone in the whole family and whilst it’s more beneficial to resolve issues whilst your child is younger, I can help support you up until your child reaches the age of 5. Feel free to get in touch with me for a free 15 minute consult if you’re curious to learn more about how I can help.