When Oscar and Billie were new bubs, getting a good night’s sleep was so important to me as a working mum that I obsessed over it. I turned to Midwife Cath for help and also used an Infant Sleep Specialist to come over at night time and show me how to develop good overnight routines. Infant sleep specialists are like Sleep School’s who come to your home and tailor routines to you and your family. So many new parents out there don’t even know they exist so please, spread the word!
I was contacted by an Infant Sleep Specialist, Tara Mitchell, via Facebook who asked if she could share some of her tips with my RJL readers. As I’m a huge fan of this profession I jumped at the oppurtinity. Welcome Tara….
Hi all, Tara here from The Gentle Sleep Specialist. I’m here to help with one of the most talked about topics when it comes to babies…sleep! Great sleep really lays the foundation for a healthy baby – it promotes better feeding, focus, and the ability for your little one to cope with their day. During sleep, your baby’s brain is allowed the chance to process information and develop, as well as giving bub’s body time to rest and restore.
As a paediatric nurse, mother and qualified infant and toddler sleep consultant, here are some of my top tips to get your little ones on the right track to healthy sleep habits:
- Create predictability and consistency around sleep. Our little ones thrive off routine – it allows them to become familiar and in turn secure with their sleep experiences. Examples of consistency may include a bedtime routine, choosing a phrase for sleep, and allowing them to sleep in their sleep space as regularly as possible.
- Newborns need regular opportunities for sleep. Over-tired babies are sometimes hard to spot. They can present as wired or hyper, and commonly fight sleep.
- Think ahead and choose what role you wish to play in your baby’s sleep. No matter which settling style you wish to use (whether it be patting, feeding, rocking, independent sleep or using a dummy to get your little one to sleep), be mindful that after the newborn period, the role you choose or play often becomes what they associate with sleep.
- It doesn’t take much for your newborn to become over stimulated. Our days are often filled with activities, people and being out and about. If your baby has regular fussy periods, turns in to you or has trouble settling, it might be an idea to give your little one some down time.
- Keep bedtime positive. The more relaxed you can be at bedtime, the greater the chance of a positive experience for all!
Sleep plays a vital role in the physical and mental health of the entire family unit. If you are experiencing issues with your infant or toddler’s sleep, don’t just resign yourself to the belief that he or she may be ‘that type of baby’ or that it must be ongoing teething. I am still yet to work with a baby or toddler who hasn’t thrived off healthy sleep habits.
If you would like more guidance, education and support to get sleep sorted, like my page on Facebook – The Gentle Sleep Specialist, and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Always follow the SIDS safe guidelines.