Every week I speak to so many lovely parents about their little ones and I am sure they won won’t mind me saying that so many of them are utterly exhausted and desperate for some sleep and that’s just the little ones! The reason behind parents’ exhaustion is that they are living with a sleep stealer. Bedtime battlers, nap resisters, frequent wakers, will not go to sleepers; I have lots of first-hand experience with them all and have successfully helped to improve their sleep or even sleep through.
When it comes to sleep solutions some parents feel there are just two options available to them:
Option A: Sleep training such as controlled crying or crying it out
Option B: Waiting it out and see what happens
I am huge believer in that you need to do what feels right for you and your family, my very mantra is indeed:
“There are no right ways or rules to raising your family only ways that are right for you and your family”
For some these methods suit and work for their family however for some parents neither option is the right one for them. They can become even more tired, frustrated and desperate for some sleep.
There is another option to option A or B. There is a more gentle and middle of the road approach that you may not know about yet. There is an approach that is as individually unique as you and your baby are that actually does work, how amazing is that? I can advise, support and smooth out sleep issues so you and your baby get more sleep the way you want too. I do this by taking a detailed history of you and your little one from birth, pinpointing the cause at the very root of the sleep issue (there almost certainly is one!) and give you lots of options that really suit you and your baby.
Sadly I can’t give you a definitive guide to solving all your sleep issues simply because one doesn’t exist BUT I can give you top sleep smoothing tips.
Here are my top tips for smoothing sleep issues:
“Sometimes the smallest of tweaks make the biggest impact”
Having a consistent bedtime routine that is unhurried and relaxed is the key to a good night’s sleep. It is never too early to start one and it’s not the timings that are important but the rituals and the order that you do them in every night.
Top up Their Tank
Their emotional tank that is! Babies and young children need to feel close and connected to us to feel secure and safe, we anchor them. Lots of reassurance, hugs, touches and presence during the day goes a long way to help with a good night’s sleep.
Ensure that they are getting plenty of the four F’s every day: Fluids, food, fun and fresh air.
Encourage them to gently fall asleep independently
How a little one goes to sleep at night is what they will need every time they wake during the night so gently try to encourage your little one to fall asleep happily and independently at bedtime, this can take work but it can be done and doesn’t not mean you have to leave them to cry, in fact I always recommend the opposite. The first thing I look at when consulting is how they settle at sleep time, many sleep issues can be pinpointed back to this, it is that important!
Undertired V Overtired
An over tired baby produces adrenalin causing them to have difficultly settling to sleep, wake more frequently after nodding off as well as during the night and wake super early. Bringing their bedtime forward by even 5/10 minutes earlier can make a huge improvement to their and your sleep.
To see changes you got to make changes
Changes doesn’t just happen, you have to changes to you and your little one. This isn’t always easy!
Consistent plan for when they wake
When they wake at night I always advise leaving them for a minute or 2 or even longer if they aren’t crying, very often we go in to early and disturb them. If they are crying go to them, reassure and make eye contact. It is very common when you have a screaming baby at night to try lots of different ways to settle them: shushing,rocking, taking them out and putting them back in. What little ones respond to is one consistent settling method over a longer period of time.
Sometimes too much change all in one go can make their sleep worse. Breaking it down into easier, bite sized stages still can get you to where you want to go.
If you would like to have a chat with me or get more sleep the gentle way please get in touch at www.kerrycaresparenting.com