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Sleep – what do you do if it feels like it’s not working?

by Sesame Lane Admin on 22/11/2018 3:06:00 PM
Find out what’s normal for your baby – when professionals talk about an average number of hours sleep a baby needs, they are taking a stab in the dark that your baby is “average”. There are going to be babies that have lots of sleep and fall asleep easily and there are babies who need little sleeps (often catnaps during the day) and need support to go to sleep. All of these babies are “normal”.
  1. Spend a few days at home and follow your babies lead for sleep and feeds, this will give you a rough pattern of when they are showing signs of tiredness and hunger. Not all babies are the same and this means that not all sleep information will suit your baby – they are writing the manual on a daily basis!
  2. Think about your family daily ritual – does naptime involve the house slowing down, turning off TV’s and phones, cuddles and singing to soothe your tired baby? Do you have a night-time routine? These help to give your baby cues as to what comes next and when followed regularly give the baby reassurance and will lead to calmer bedtimes when your baby becomes a toddler.
  3. It is a myth that babies will sleep longer when they are full! Do you go to bed straight after a large meal? Babies will become drowsy after feeds (particularly breastfeeds where they are getting a great hormone chill out factor) but as soon as you put them down, they will wake. If you baby does this try doing some gentle floor play after a feed to help them digest their food before settling them for a sleep.
  4. Not all babies self-settle – self settling comes when we are calm and relaxed, and some babies have this in their nature others are very alert and need lots of help to calm. Just like adults they will have things that help them to prepare for sleep – babies usually want you!
  5. Lastly think about what’s happening in your world. Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you constantly anxious and finding it difficult to get everything done? If this is how your world feels this is how your baby’s world feels – slow down, breathe and remind yourself that there is no rush – our babies are only small for such a short time so spend that time giving them a cuddle.
Being a parent can be a very daunting experience – find a professional who can help you sift through all the advice, that you trust and feel comfortable. At the end of the day you are in charge and your baby will love no matter what.
Where do I go to get help?
Embrace Life runs a free drop in Child Health Clinic Monday and Friday from 9.30am-11.30am or you can book a private consult with Sharon Armstrong by calling Embrace Life on 3491 6533.