What is striking about Sleep Specialists anymore?
Babies can sleep in the same room for as long as the parents want them to. Many parents worry that one baby will wake the other baby with crying or other noise. I have found that as long as the babies have always had to share the same nursery, most will learn to sleep through and filter out noises made by the other baby or babies. 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. The brain’s inner clock orchestrates the beautiful flow of our bodies through waking and sleep. And knowing a bit of the science behind this process will give you key insights to help your baby move smoothly through this daily dance. The connection between fussy, poorly sleeping babies and post natal depression is a strong one. Researchers at a colic clinic in Rhode Island reported that 45 percent of moms with very irritable young babies had moderate to severe depression. That’s a ten times higher incidence of serious post natal depression than is typical. When it comes to family sleeping arrangements, different cultures have different approaches. In the UK the Department of Health advises that for the first six months, the safest place for your baby at night is in a cot in your bedroom. This is because being close to you is thought to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS, also sometimes referred to as ‘cot death’). If you are not sure if your baby can last without any additional feeds during the night, you won't know till you try it. It is worth trying to settle your baby without a feed and see if she can go back to sleep with a some additional warm bedding, cuddle, patting, dummy or another settling technique.
Your baby might object to being on his back. If that’s the case, swaddle him before putting him down or let him get drowsy in your arms first before putting him in the crib. Avoid rocking or holding your baby until he’s completely asleep, though. This could make it harder for him to go back to sleep on his own if he wakes up during the night. Give your baby time to settle down. Your baby might fuss or cry before finding a comfortable position and falling asleep. If the crying doesn't stop, check on your baby, offer comforting words and leave the room. Your reassuring presence might be all your baby needs to fall asleep. Choosing where your baby sleeps is super-personal and might depend on your culture. You might also be absolutely sure that your baby will sleep in bed with you. On the other hand, you might feel like you’d never relax with them in the bed. At first, for a baby who is used to eating and sleeping simultaneously, try one feeding each day during which baby is fed immediately upon waking. Parents can help baby stay awake by undressing them, rubbing a cool washcloth over their forehead, or changing their diaper midway through feeding. If you need guidance on sleep training then let a sleep consultant support you in unlocking your child's potential, with their gentle, empathetic approach to sleep.
A bedtime routine is a series of activities that you do each evening to relax your baby and help him settle to sleep. Repeating the same activities at the same time each night has been proven to help children fall asleep quicker and sleep better overnight. As your baby grows, they may find it more difficult to settle as they learn to crawl, and develop an awareness of people and things that exist out of their sight. This is why they might begin crying out for you more often, or develop separation anxiety. This is all quite natural, as your baby is beginning to understand the world around them more. Although babies with changing sleep routines can be a little fussier, you've got to cut your baby some slack in the snoozing department during these transitions. Do what you can to comfort your little one through the disruptions to her schedule. When you get up for a nighttime feed, don’t turn on the bright lights. Buy an LED push night light that operates on batteries (so you can put it wherever you need it) and turns on with a quick touch. This also helps reduce the “wake-up” signals going to the parent and baby’s brains so it’s easier to fall back to sleep after feeding. 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. 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.
Sleeping in stillness is actually a form of sensory deprivation to a baby, like locking us in a dark closet. Of course, chaotic disturbances - like clanging pots - will disturb your baby’s sleep. But rhythmic jiggly motion and the right white noise sound (rumbling and low pitched) will be two of your top tools for boosting her naps and nights. Bottle-fed infants tend to wake up less often at night and sleep for longer periods than their breastfed cousins because formula takes more time to digest. But formula isn’t a magic sleep bullet, either, as both feeding methods still result in the same amount of total sleep. And by the time your baby is 9 months old, any difference between the two is usually no longer apparent. Give your baby the chance to self-soothe and get himself back to sleep before you go in to check on him. All babies wake up overnight (just like adults). Be sure that there are no blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, or bumper pads around your baby, so that your baby does not roll into any of those items, which could block airflow. Newborns sleep a total of 14 to 17 hours across a 24 hour period, on an irregular schedule with periods of one to three hours spent awake. The sleep period may last a few minutes to several hours. During sleep, they are often active, twitching their arms and legs, smiling, sucking and generally appearing restless. 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.
Don’t worry if you’re stuck on the phone when your baby launches into a tirade. A minute of crying doesn’t cause mental trauma. But studies show that repeatedly ignored cries are a real stress that can undermine an infant’s core confidence. This confidence—what child experts call attachment—is the glue that holds good families together. If you don’t normally co-sleep this is often the parental equivalent of pressing the nuclear button! Sleep experts will never advise it as your baby may come to expect to get into your bed every time they wake up – but don’t beat yourself up if you do it occasionally. Sometimes it’s a case of needs must if everyone in the house is going to get some rest on a really bad night. If you’ve tried all these techniques and your infant is still waking up frequently – and painfully – suspect there may be an underlying medical problem contributing to your baby’s night waking. If you are using a daycare center, you might need to be more flexible with your daytime routine. Try to have the center incorporate your schedule if possible, but oftentimes they have their own routines established in order to care for multiple babies simultaneously. One of the biggest disturbances at this age is hunger. Your little one may be so distracted during the day that she forgets to eat and only realizes she’s famished after the lights are out. Or she may eat all day and still be hungry at night because she’s in the middle of a growth spurt. Either way, there are a few ways to manage nighttime hunger so your little buddy is getting all the nourishment she needs - during the more agreeable daytime hours. For gentle sleep training guidance it may be useful to enlist the services of a sleep consultant.
Co-sleeping with baby is very much a personal choice so we would just advise you to read all the information on safer co-sleeping so you can make an informed decision. That way even if you decide not to co-sleep you can make your bed a safer place for your baby if you doze off accidentally. Don’t use sleep positioners, like nests or anti-roll pillows. They can cause your baby to stop breathing. You need to look at what you and your spouse like, because more often than not, what you like is what the baby will like. Although the baby is going to grow into his own self, you are your past and you are your family, genetically as well as environmentally. During the warm summer months, it’s important that you’re little one is well hydrated to help them sleep better and fall asleep faster, so make sure your baby has a good drink before bed to replenish all the fluids lost in the heat of the day. Learning your baby’s sleeping cues will help you to put them down at the best time for snoozing. Every baby is different, so learning their signs is helpful. Some may yawn, some may cry, some may feel needier for attention – it can take time to figure out what all your baby’s emotions mean, but they can go from tired to over-tired in a matter of minutes. If you're looking for a compassionate, effective and evidence-based approach to sleep or just advice on one thing like ferber method then a baby sleep specialist will be able to help you.
REM/NREM sleep in older babies, children, and adults, more minutes are spent in deep sleep stages early in the night, and more minutes are spent in very active/light sleep stages as night turns into morning. This is why so many families find that the first part of their child’s sleep is relatively uneventful, with few or no wakings, but over the course of the night, they seem to sleep less soundly and struggle to fall back asleep, even with assistance. Infants sleep between 9 and 12 hours during the night and nap between 2 and 5 hours during the day. At 2 months, infants take between two and four naps each day, and at 12 months, they take either one or two naps. You may be able to coax your baby to sleep a little longer by using blackout curtains to shut out the sun’s first rays. Also, white noise helps obscure the early morning sounds of birds, dogs, traffic, and the neighbors. And sometimes the sound even helps a baby successfully ignore the early morning light. Unearth further intel appertaining to Sleep Specialists in this NHS article.