The Nine Biggest Baby Sleep Specialists Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid
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If your baby hates being put down to sleep, you don't have to force her to do it. But you should try to transition to cot sleep - even if it's slowly. 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. You’ll still be feeding at night until at least 3-6 months old, so try to stay calm, accept the night wakings and respond to your baby’s demands for food quickly and quietly: that way she’ll hopefully drop off back to sleep quickly afterwards and so will you. A baby who knows he’ll be fed when he asks for it will feel secure and will be more likely to be able to soothe himself to sleep later on. This bit’s tough on parents, but it won’t last forever. A child who takes a long time to settle into sleep for naps or at night is usually just struggling with the method being used to “get them” to fall asleep in the first place. That is, the child naturally wants to lie down, close their eyes, and fall asleep, but they only know how to fall asleep with assistance, be it rocking, nursing, strolling, or sleeping next to someone else. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that as a new parent, you are going to lose a lot of sleep. Not only will you be navigating night feeds and dealing with a newborn adjusting to their environment, your new-parent worries will kick in and that can spell many a sleepless night. Thankfully, there are some nifty baby sleep essentials out there to help you and your little ones catch some much-needed Zs. Babies thrive on closeness and comfort. Many parents end up co-sleeping, whether they intended to or not, as it settles their baby and so enables everyone to sleep.
There’s no badge of honor for powering through sleeplessness on your own. Whenever possible, accept help — or go ahead and ask for assistance from family and friends. Babies typically sleep in short spurts over a 24-hour period, so allowing others to assist you with watching, feeding, or changing the baby is critical. Even if all you can manage is a quick afternoon nap while a friend cares for your baby, every little bit helps you catch up on nighttime losses. Your baby needs about eleven to twelve hours of nighttime sleep, so if they are consistently starting their day between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m., they need a bedtime about twelve hours before then. Look at tweaking your daytime schedule a bit: increase face to face playtimes with your baby, get outside a bit more, and perhaps cut out one of the naps - especially if they’re not yet mobile. Try to stop them napping after 4pm, or at least keep it really short. You could also try making their bedtime slightly later. Becoming a parent is a very special time. Getting to know your new baby and learning how to care for her needs can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, it can also be challenging, especially when you are tired and your baby is wakeful and wanting to feed frequently during the night. Having a baby is a steep learning curve and aspects such as Sleep Training
come along and shake things up just when you're not expecting them.
Baby Sleep Pattern Changes
There are a bunch of different methods of self soothing to choose from, but the common aim is to get baby to sleep through the night without help from you. A baby’s ability to sleep on their own without the help of a parent is a learned behavior. This is best learned through creating positive sleep habits. All babies should be slept on their backs unless there is medical advice saying something different. If your baby has reflux, or any other on-going health condition, speak to your doctor about the best care for them. You should not sleep your baby on their front unless you have been advised to do so by a medical professional. We think if they’re really, really tired, they’ll sleep better – and longer. But it’s the opposite with babies! If they’re too tired they get frantic, hyper and cranky. And because they seem even more awake, we delay bedtime even later and the problem gets worse. After 4 months, your baby is becoming very aware of their surroundings and this includes when you want them to go to sleep. To encourage the most healthiest, deepest and restorative sleep, most sleep should be now taken in their cot. Sofas and armchairs are dangerous places to fall asleep with your baby – move somewhere safer it you might fall asleep. Reason: the risk of SIDS is 50 times higher for babies when they sleep on a sofa or armchair with an adult. They are also at risk of accidental death as they can easily slip into a position where they are trapped and can’t breathe. A sleep consultant will take a holistic approach to create a sleeping system that you can manage and one which takes into account How To Become A Sleep Consultant
as well as the needs of the baby and considerations of each family member.
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. Using the same routine for all sleep (day and night) helps the child understand that the time for being awake is over, and it’s sleep time. Patterns help this but each little one is different and parents and caregivers come up with lots of unique ways to get their little ones off to the land of nod. Newborns should be placed skin-to-skin with their mother as soon after birth as possible, at least for the first hour. After that, or when the mother needs to sleep or cannot do skin-to-skin, babies should be placed on their backs in the cot. At around 6 months, babies may begin sleeping for a longer time at night. Caregivers and babies may start settling into a sleep routine, and babies typically take naps around the same time each day. Disruptions in this routine and similar environmental shifts may affect sleep. If your child is ill, stressed, or really hungry, it’s fine to give him some warm milk in the middle of the night (just a few ounces—or nurse on one breast so he doesn’t fill up so much that he has less appetite in the morning). There are multiple approaches to 4 Month Sleep Regression
and a sleep expert will help you choose one that is right for you and your family.
Please, ask for help if you need it, especially at night. It may seem obvious, but taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do to help your little one get the right amount of quality sleep. Your baby may go straight to sleep after a feed. When possible, put your baby down to sleep drowsy but awake. This might help them fall asleep where they will be waking up. Your baby will be awake for 1 to 2 hours between sleeps. For the first six months your baby needs you nearby – so put them down to sleep in the same room as you, both day and night, in a Moses basket or a cot. Resist the urge to change your baby every time they wake up – they don't always need it, and you'll just jostle them awake. Instead, put your baby in a high-quality nighttime nappy at bedtime, and apply nappy-rash cream as a preventative measure. The car seat is not a safe place for your baby to snooze in, except for little naps while you’re taking a short car trip. During the first six months of life, a baby’s heavy head can fall forward when she is seated, causing difficulty breathing and asphyxiation. Sleep consultants support hundreds of families every year, assisting with things such as Sleep Consultant Training Course
using gentle, tailored methods.
White noise, a dark room to make the most of your child’s melatonin release can all prove helpful. It’s a myth that it can be helpful to get your baby used to napping in a brightly lit room. At first your new baby *will* nap anywhere, but as she begins to produce her own melatonin, it will be important for her biological systems that she naps in a dark room. When you find out you’re going to be a parent, one of the first things people might say to you is ‘Goodbye to your lie-ins’. And, we're sorry to say this, they’re probably right. Let’s remember, newborns are busy learning how to keep their bodies at the right temperature and how to breathe. So give them, and yourself, a little break when it comes to expectations. Use rumbly white noise for all sleep. Consider starting the sound before the bedtime routine (to get her in the mood to sleep). You might even use white noise during meals, if your baby is so distracted that she just nibbles during the day and doesn’t eat enough to keep her satisfied at night. It's a common misconception that hanging mobiles featuring soothing colours, music and even lights can help a new baby nod off to sleep when placed above their cot. However, mobiles and night projectors can actually have the opposite effect of over stimulating your baby so that your baby is no longer sleepy enough to fall asleep on his own. For Ferber Method
guidance it may be useful to enlist the services of a sleep consultant.
Establish A Routine
From the start, take steps to help your baby learn to sleep alone. Don't rely on external aids. Give baby plenty of tummy time and room to practice moving her arms and legs. Whatever activity your baby likes is great for burning energy and prepping her for a solid night of snoozing later. Finally, don’t ditch naps. Napping enough during the day helps her sleep better and longer at night. When your little one is at least 4 to 6 months old, sleep training is an option. After all, everyone agrees that a key goal of new parenthood is a happy, well-rested baby. How you arrive at that goal is a bit more complicated. The startle, or Moro reflex is something that all newborns have, any noise, vivid dream or sudden movement can cause your baby’s limbs to jerk in reaction to it. This naturally disturbs your baby’s sleep and causes them to wake. Once they reach 4 months, this becomes less sensitive and can help your little one to start sleeping for longer at night. There is some research to suggest an increased chance of SIDS when using a second-hand mattress brought in from outside of the family home, although the link is not yet proven. To help reduce this risk, if parents/carers are using a second-hand mattress for their baby, make sure that the chosen mattress was previously completely protected by a waterproof cover, with no rips or tears and is in good condition. The mattress should also still be firm and flat to keep the baby sleeping safely. 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.
Teaching your baby that night-time is different from daytime can also help. During the day, open curtains, play games and don't worry too much about everyday noises when they sleep. At night-time, keep the lights low, talk in a quieter voice and place the baby back to sleep as soon as they're fed and changed. If your well-meaning neighbor says to keep your tired baby awake during the day to boost her sleep at night, don’t do it! This strategy may work for adults, but it usually backfires with babies, leading to bigger struggles falling into sleep … and staying there. Babies need to learn that daytime is for eating and nighttime is mostly for sleeping. Some older babies and toddlers are so busy playing during the day that they forget to eat and make up for it during the night by waking frequently to feed. To reverse this habit, feed your baby at least every three hours during the day to cluster the baby’s feedings during the waking hours. Discover extra intel relating to Baby Sleep Specialists at this NHS
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