BabySleep

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Sleep training involves helping your child learn to fall back to sleep on their own during the night if they happen to wake during the night (which all babies do naturally). Often times, once they learn to fall asleep on their own at the start of the night, that skill transfers to the rest of the night regardless of how many times they may wake during the night. Putting your baby or toddler into your bed to sleep isn’t safe or recommended, especially before age 1. Still, some families fall into co-sleeping — a term often used interchangeably with bed-sharing — if it seems like the only way that everyone can actually get some solid sleep. Every baby is different, but many babies start sleeping for longer from around six months. So there is a light on the horizon, but you won’t see much of it because you’ll be asleep. If your baby is already sleeping through, great, but not every parent is so lucky. Don't put any pressure on yourself to do things a particular way. People around you may have lots of theories about what you should be doing - but the main thing to do is get as much rest as you can, give your baby lots of cuddles, and do whatever your baby needs for now. My approach to naps is similar to that for sleeping at night. Babies up to 18-24 months of age need to sleep every morning and afternoon. For some of their naptime, they might chew on a soft book, look at a toy, or just have quiet time, but they need to stay in their cribs for the duration of their naps. Basically, babies need to slow down to catch up. Every baby has a different personality, and some develop greater attachments to their parent or caregiver than others. However, most babies will experience some degree of separation anxiety, which can make sleep more difficult.

With a baby on the way, or perhaps just arrived, you have probably been warned about the sleepless nights in your near future. Every parent knows that sleep deprivation is just part of the package – but don't worry, the priceless, magical moments you spend with your baby in their first few weeks make it all worth it. Speed bumps in the sleep department are a common, and even normal, part of babyhood. The good news is that they’re usually solvable. And even if you can’t do much to fix them (like a newborn mixing up her days and nights), take comfort in knowing that they’re temporary. As your baby grows and changes, so too will her sleep. Far from improving sleep, skipping naps and delaying bedtime are the quickest ways to push your baby into screaming meemies and poor sleep. This is especially the case for infants who are passionately curious. They blink, rub their ears, and fight to stay awake to watch you talking or their big brother clowning around. Babies will show signs when they are getting tired such as grimacing, yawning, grizzling, frowning, sucking, staring, snuggling in, jerky movements, becoming over active, clenching fists, rubbing eyes, fussiness or crying. Responding early to these tired signs prevents your baby becoming distressed and makes it easier for them to sleep. 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.
 

Ensuring A Safe Night’s Sleep For Your Baby

Use opaque shades to block out the light, which may get you an extra hour of sleep if you have one of those little roosters who awakens to the first ray of sunlight entering the bedroom. In its simplest form, sleep training is the process of your baby learning to fall asleep by themselves — whether that’s in the very beginning of the night when they are put into their crib or when they wake up in the middle of the night. 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. Breastfed babies will need to nurse every two to three hours in the beginning, and bottle-fed babies every three to four hours, so don't expect more than a few hours of sleep at a time. Would you go back to sleep if you found yourself on the floor instead of in your bed waking up in the middle of the night? Probably not. The same thing goes for a baby. 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 sleep training or one of an untold number of other things.

As soon as you understand roughly when your baby sleeps for his longest stretch at night, try to time a pre-sleep routine about 30 to 45 minutes in advance of his natural drop-off time. For example, if he tends to sleep his longest stretch from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., start a bedtime routine around 7:15 or 7:30 p.m. While adults can sleep straight through the night and usually don't notice when they wake up, a baby’s sleep cycle is shorter by design. Her frequent cycling between REM and non-REM sleep and her physical need for overnight feedings mean she’s likely to wake fully or partially several times a night. A sleep cycle is the term used to describe the natural internal process we all have, otherwise known as our circadian rhythm, that enables us to sleep and wake at routine intervals. Newborn babies spend approximately 50% of their time asleep in REM, and experience only two sleep stages: REM and non-rapid eye movement sleep. 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. Baby is pretty sensitive to their environment, so adjust your thermostat to a sleep-friendly temp—for baby, that’s 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.Also, beware of overheating them with a ton of layers. Baby doesn’t need more than pajamas and a swaddle or sleep sack. The gentle approach and caring manner of a baby sleep expert allows them to assist you in the most preferable way to deal with ferber method and to assist you and your family in any way possible.
 

Sleeping Is A Skill A Baby Will Never Forget

Changes in your child’s sleep routine are difficult to predict, and periods of sleep regression can strike at any age, be it 4 months, 10 months, 12 months old or beyond. Some babies sleep through the night early on, while others take much, much, longer. The good news is that most will be able to sleep through the night by around six months. You may feel ready to introduce a bedtime routine when your baby is around 3 months old. Getting them into a simple, soothing bedtime routine can be helpful for everyone and can help prevent sleeping problems later on. It's also great one-to-one time with your baby. A soft song or lullaby sets the stage for sleep. Save the tickle monster and other rougher games for earlier in the day. Babies typically wake about 2 to 6 times, but often do not know how to return to sleep without some help. Often, they need what they had at bedtime when they fell asleep initially. If you believe your little one is waking and crying excessively, be sure to check with your health care provider to make sure that there is nothing physically bothering him that might be disrupting his sleep. Whether its something specific like 4 month 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.

Once night falls, help your baby associate darkness with restful slumber by turning off lights where she sleeps and in the hallway outside. Also, check the room temperature. You feel restless at night when it's too cold or too warm in the room, and so will your baby, so make sure the room is between 68 and 72 degrees. Finally, don’t let sudden noises keep her up. A white noise machine can help block out intrusive sounds. It might be reassuring to know that it is both normal and essential for your baby to feed during the night. Babies grow quickly in the early weeks and months of their lives and have very small stomachs. Therefore, they need to feed around the clock to meet their needs. While it can be frustrating when your sleep is disturbed during the night, it can also be a lovely quiet time to be with your baby away from the bustle and distractions of daytime. For the first 6 months your baby should be in the same room as you when they're asleep, both day and night. This can reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Particularly in the early weeks, you may find your baby only falls asleep in your or your partner's arms, or when you're standing by the cot. You might not always be able to stick to exactly the same bedtime every night, but you should try not to deviate too much from it. Putting your baby to bed later in hope of a lie-in the following day rarely works out! If you are away, it’s advisable to follow the same pattern as home as far as you can. If your baby is mastering a new skill — rolling over, sitting up, crawling — he may have a hard time settling down or staying asleep at night. (Who wants to fall asleep when there’s so much to explore?) If you're looking for a compassionate, effective and evidence-based approach to sleep or just advice on one thing like gentle sleep training then a baby sleep specialist will be able to help you.
 

Keeping It In Perspective

The first few months can be unpredictable with newborns - they seem to sleep an awful lot but not always at night when you're needing your precious Zz’s. Night feeds can also be tiring and time consuming, particularly if it’s every couple of hours or so. Some parents swear that putting on the washing machine, tumbler drier or vacuum cleaner near where their baby’s sleeping will send them into the land of nod – probably because it mimics the constant swooshy sound of life in the womb. If it seems rather impractical to move the tumble drier outside their bedroom you can also buy CDs/apps of white noise. Since most babies can block out disturbing noise, you don’t have to create a noiseless sleeping environment, yet some babies startle and awaken easily with sudden noises. For these babies, oil the joints and springs of a squeaky crib, put out the dog before he barks and turn the ringer off on the phone. One can unearth extra insights regarding Baby Sleep Consultancies on this NHS web page.
 

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