Sleep experts

Just what is meaty about Baby Sleep Consultancies this week?

If for some reason your toddler has skipped their nap but come bedtime your little one doesn’t seem to be overly affected by the missed nap, this is an indication that daytime naps may be a thing of the past. Remember that tiredness and sleeplessness can make it easier for other anxieties to creep in, and may make minor problems feel bigger than they really are. Be kind to yourself when you’re living with a baby or small child, and remind yourself that a lack of sleep might be affecting how you feel. Your infant needs to have a small degree of emotional regulation that requires less co-regulation from you as their parent. This is often not possible until they are closer to 3-4 years old. Aim for a bedroom temperature that's ideal for a lightly clothed adult. Your baby will fall asleep easily when she’s cosy and comfortable. The key to getting through disrupted sleep when your little one is unwell is easier said than done but simply go with it! They are not themselves, just as we’re not when we’re ill so normal life doesn’t exist so be led by your baby, when they sleep, let them sleep, if they are unsettled in the night comfort them and help them resettle. You could swaddle your baby - your health visitor or midwife should be able to show you how or follow guidance for correct and safe swaddling. Swaddling makes your baby feel secure and cosy. They're less likely to wake themselves up with involuntary movements.

Baby Sleep Consultancies

Encourage use of a security object. Once your baby is old enough (by 12 months), introduce a transitional/love object, such as a stuffed animal, a blanket, or a t-shirt that was worn by you (tie in a knot). Include it as part of your bedtime routine and whenever you are cuddling or comforting your baby. Don’t force your baby to accept the object, and realize that some babies never develop an attachment to a single item. The important thing is to stay confident and consistent and gently help your baby to adjust to falling asleep on their own - and in their own time. If your baby is constantly waking up hungry during the night after 6 months, or waking very early in the morning ready for food, it’s a good idea to look at your daytime feeding patterns: are they getting enough? Perhaps introduce more solid food if they are 6-12 months old. At the end of your baby’s bedtime routine, put your sleepy little one down while he's drowsy but still awake. That way he’ll get used to falling asleep on his own, not in your arms. Whether its something specific like sleep regression or really anything baby sleep related, a baby sleep consultant can guide you to find a sleep solution as individual as your baby is.



There Is A Light On The Horizon

We teach our infants habits that make them dependent on us rather than ones that build confidence and self-calming ability. The most common habits that lead to poor sleep are bed-sharing and being put in bed asleep. Some babies, especially older ones, can have a hard time breaking sleep habits they’ve come to like and expect, like being rocked or fed to sleep at bedtime or when they wake up in the middle of the night. If you’re getting enough sleep, you’re going to be better able to fulfill your new responsibilities of taking care of the baby. You’ll be more patient and more likely to feel good about parenting. Starting baby’s bedtime routine with plenty of time before the desired bedtime will help ensure you don’t miss their sleep window. Sleepy cues - yawning, rubbing their eyes, fussing or having a dazed look - can offer some help in determining when baby is ready for bed, especially for infants who don’t yet have timed schedules. Around half of all parents in the UK sleep with their baby at some time in the first few months after birth. This is known as co-sleeping or bed sharing and it’s important to know how to do it safely as it carries risks. See our piece on co-sleeping for more information. If you need guidance on gentle sleep training then let a sleep consultant support you in unlocking your child's potential, with their gentle, empathetic approach to sleep.

For the first few weeks after birth, baby sleep may be all over the map. They may sleep so much you find yourself wondering why other new mommies seem so tired. Or they may never sleep for more than 45-minute windows leaving you wondering how you can possibly make it through one more night. Remember, getting your baby to sleep through the night isn't a measure of your parenting skills. Take time to understand your baby's habits and ways of communicating so that you can help him or her become a better sleeper. If you have concerns, talk to your baby's doctor. Sleep problems may happen with illness. Talk with your baby's healthcare provider if your baby begins having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, especially if this is a new pattern. If your baby has been awake for too long before going to sleep, a build up of cortisol, the stress hormone, can make them hard to settle or cause them to wake sooner. It is important to remember that whether you use a baby monitor or not, it is not a replacement for parental supervision of your baby and will not prevent or solve any sleep issues. It is simply a tool to help you monitor your baby without having to disturb them too often going to check on them in their room. Sleep consultants support hundreds of families every year, assisting with things such as sleep training using gentle, tailored methods.



A Baby Must Adapt To The Existing Family

Sleep regression isn’t something that you can necessarily prevent. All children are different – some babies are naturally great sleepers and stay that way. Others have unpredictable biological rhythms that may lead to more easily disrupted sleep patterns. There's nothing like climbing into bed after a long day, placing your head on a soft pillow, and drifting off to sleep—only to be abruptly awakened by your baby's cries. Try music to sleep by, such as tape recordings of waterfalls or ocean sounds, or a medley of easy-listening lullabies on a continuous-play tape recorder. These sleep-inducing sounds remind baby of the sounds she was used to hearing in the womb. Symptoms of some conditions like postnatal depression can feel similar to extreme tiredness, so if you’re really struggling, or think that your feelings could be down to more than just lack of sleep, it’s a good idea to talk things through with your GP or health visitor to work out a way forward. Many sleep researchers consider sleeping through the night to mean 5 hours in a row and not the 7 until 7 that the thousands of parenting books will have you believe! Having a baby is a steep learning curve and aspects such as ferber method come along and shake things up just when you're not expecting them.

Sleep is a developmental process, and our sleep needs change throughout our lifetimes. Babies’ sleep patterns mature over the first several years of life, and the sleep architecture of newborns is very different to that of adults. The safest place for your baby to sleep for the first six months is in a cot in the same room as you. Always put your baby down to sleep on their back with their feet at the bottom of their cot or Moses basket. Keep blankets and sheets away from their face. Tuck covers securely under their armpits or consider using a ‘baby sleeping bag’. If it’s possible, it might be a good idea to put baby's cot in your room so you can get them used to sleeping in the cot while still having the familiarity of your room it may help to get them used to the change more gradually. Most babies tend to be lulled to sleep when they travel in a car, train or plane. They may nod off regularly on a long journey and sleep more than usual. That might mean they’re not as sleepy at their usual bedtime and you may struggle to get them to sleep. A different environment from what they’re used to at home may also be unsettling. For most of human history, parents slept close to their babies for their safety and protection, as well as for parents’ own ease of breastfeeding and sleeping. The particular arrangements varied - some parents slept nestled with their babies on the same bed, mat, or rug; others placed their babies in a hammock or basket within arms’ reach; still others placed them in a “sidecar” arrangement next to the adult bed. But all of them slept within sensory range of their babies. 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.



Signs That Might Show Your Baby Is Tired

You may think your baby never sleeps, but in reality, most newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day, they just do it in two-to-four-hour bursts. After establishing a start time to each day and ensuring that baby does not nap longer than two hours for any single nap, the most important thing parents can focus on is making sure baby stays as awake as possible during feeding time. Use a firm sleep surface for baby. Cover the mattress with a sheet that fits snugly. Make sure your crib, bassinet, or play yard meets current safety standards. One can uncover further information regarding Baby Sleep Consultancies in this NHS link.



Related Articles:

Now Is The Time For You To Know The Truth About Baby Sleep Specialists
A Well Planned No-Nonsense Guide To Sleep Experts
Here's What Industry Insiders Say About Baby Sleep Trainers