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Baby sleep consultancy

Posted by sansarag 
Baby sleep consultancy
September 30, 2022 11:02AM
On the lookout for the leading source of research about Baby Sleep Experts, but have no idea where to begin? We have done all the thinking for you with our round-up of Baby Sleep Experts essentials.

Lovely as it is for your baby to snuggle into you for a nap as a newborn, if you soon notice that it is the only place your baby will settle to nap this could have become a ‘nap habit’. It may make it difficult for them to settle at night too and it doesn’t give you any break while they nap to catch up on me time, get a few things done or nap yourself. If parents understand that babies come out of the womb with “a high need to be held”, this can make a huge difference, otherwise parents think if they hold them now, they will be holding them for 18 years. Rock them, roll them, swing them, sling them, there is no such thing as bad habits – it’s all about getting through these first few months and laying a foundation as you do. All parents go through sleepless nights with little ones. More often than not it is just a phase that’s over almost as quickly as it started. Sleepless nights really won’t last forever, and there is always a gentle solution to help you. If one solution doesn’t work - try another. Let your baby be your guide. Babies are born without a well-developed circadian rhythm— they’re awake in the middle of the night, and you can’t fix that, at least for the first few months. Plan for this by sleeping in shifts with your partner or support person. In some families, a later afternoon nap and a later bedtime is more practical. Familiar bedtime rituals set the baby up for sleep. The sequence of a warm bath, rocking, nursing, lullabies, etc. set the baby up to feel that sleep is expected to follow. Before you became a parent you'd be forgiven for assuming all babies sleep in cots, just like those cute and cosy images you see everywhere. In fact, we're so used to seeing images of cheerful, obedient babies who quickly doze off in their cots seconds after being set down on their backs, it's easy to fall into the trap of feeling like a failure when your baby simply refuses to sleep in his cot.



Some babies start sleeping on what’s called a day/night reversal schedule. Your baby sleeps well during the day, but is awake and busy at night. It’s frustrating and exhausting, but it’s temporary. Sometimes it can feel like the only thing predictable about newborns and young babies is their unpredictability, particularly when it comes to nap-times. Starting solids early won’t provide big babies or small babies with extra nutrition. Nor will it make your baby sleep through the night. Introduce solid foods when your baby is about 6 months old. A night-time dummy can help soothe your baby if they enjoy the comfort of sucking without actually being hungry. Be warned though, dummies regularly fall out of babies’ mouths, so you may be woken up just as much as before by playing ‘hunt the dummy’ in the dark. 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.

Encouraging Good Sleep Habits

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. Most people think a baby’s ready for slumber when her eyes get lidded and her head slumps against our shoulder. Actually, at that point she is overtired. Drowsy but awake means putting your baby down for a nap or at night before she’s sleeping soundly. The reason parents are urged to put their babies down this way is that it teaches infants a useful skill: how to fall asleep on their own. A baby's startle reflex, also known as the moro reflex, can cause babies to startle awake when they are placed in their cot or cause them to wake between sleep cycles if they are not swaddled. Consistency is key so try and keep to the same routine as much as possible, so your baby knows what to expect. Do the Bedtime feed at the beginning of the bedtime routine so you can put your baby down wide awake. Aim for two naps a day at approx 9am and 2pm with bedtime around 7pm. Whether its something specific like 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.

Babies who have consistent nap routines during the day are more likely to sleep longer stretches at night. A second-hand mattress could increase the risk of SIDS, so it’s usually safer to buy a new one. The Lullaby Trust advises that mattresses should be firm, flat and protected by a waterproof cover. You might also want to consider an organic cotton sheet, as it won’t have been treated with harmful chemicals that could irritate your little one’s skin. Don’t use longer-and-longer for naps. Naps are so short that irritated infants sometimes cry the whole time and end up miserable for the rest of the day. Fortunately, once night sleep is well established, naps automatically get better. So just continue your flexible nap schedule and use the cuddly toy and strong white noise. Follow a consistent, calming bedtime routine. Overstimulation in the evening can make it difficult for your baby to settle to sleep. Try bathing, cuddling, singing, playing quiet music or reading, with a clearly defined end point when you leave the room. Begin these activities before your baby is overtired in a quiet, softly lit room. Routines for older babies (four months onwards) can be helpful and let your bub know it’s sleep time. Starting with feed, quiet play nappy change, cuddle, then placing your child when drowsy in the cot is best. A sleep consultant will take a holistic approach to create a sleeping system that you can manage and one which takes into account gentle sleep training as well as the needs of the baby and considerations of each family member.

Watch Sleep Cues Carefully

If you feel like dummies are becoming a barrier to sleep and you are doing the ‘dummy run’ 10 times a night because your baby can’t get themselves back to sleep then it is obviously causing some sleep problems. This behaviour may start at around 12 weeks when you will see a change in how your baby sleeps. Babies actually feel more secure sleeping on their tummies, but that sleep position is linked to a much higher incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). So experts recommend always putting your baby on her back to sleep. It's easy for new parents to make the mistake of waking a sleeping infant — or intervene too fast with an infant experiencing momentary wakefulness. And that can interfere with the development of mature sleep patterns, hindering babies from learning to settle themselves. Where your baby sleeps is a matter of personal choice, and some parents prefer their baby to go into their own room from the start. There are many advantages to keeping the baby closer, though. It makes night feeds easier; babies cry less if they know you are close by; and the combined benefits of peace of mind and proximity can help you to get more sleep too. Keep baby away from smoke, before and after birth. If either you or your partner smokes, never share a bed with your 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 4 month sleep regression or one of an untold number of other things.

It’s recommended that baby sleeps in their own crib/Moses’ basket in the same room as you for the first six months. But once they are passed six months old, many parents choose to put baby in their own room and often in a cot for the first time. This helps your baby learn to fall to sleep without your help. It's best for your baby to be sleepy and relaxed when they are placed in the cot. You don't need to wait for your child to be asleep before putting him or her to bed. The amount of time it takes to successfully sleep train your baby will depend on what method you choose. But generally speaking, it should take about three to four nights. Some methods may take longer than others, but Dr. Schwartz says most of it comes down to parents having a plan and being consistent with their chosen sleep training method. Take lots of daytime walks to get extra sunlight exposure. (Indirect light is best in the summertime, to avoid sunburns.) If it’s too cold to go out, get lots of light exposure at home, especially during the early morning, to help set your baby’s circadian clock. Inevitably trips to the supermarket, the school run and the in-laws have to be taken and the soothing lull of the car engine is often enough to send even the most alert baby into dreamland. Many new parents worry about their little one nodding off. 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.

When Babies Don't Settle

Babies respond well when they know what to expect so getting used to a bath, book, snuggle, sleep in the same order can really help. They will get to know that bedtime is coming and will associate that with their cot. It's normal for babies — even those who are good sleepers — to wake up more often and have trouble falling back to sleep once they're 3 to 4 months old, and at other ages too. Blame sleep regressions — and know that those phases are only temporary. The amount of sleep needed can differ from baby to baby and from age to age, so letting your baby sleep according to his or her natural sleep rhythms is probably more important than targeting specific sleep amounts. You can check out further details relating to Baby Sleep Experts at this NHS link.

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