Motherhood Sleep

What happens at my house?

I’m a sleep coach so my kids must sleep perfectly, right?

Last night Holly (6 months) woke at 11 for a feed just as I had gone to bed. She then woke again at 1.45 am and I tried to settle without a feed but she drained another bottle at 2.15 am, it took until 3 am for her to go to sleep enough to be put down without crying. Just in time for Max (nearly 3) to start shouting for us, I sat with him from 3 am until 5.15 am as he wanted to get up and go downstairs. I said our sleep phrase “it’s sleepy time Max” and reassured him I would stay with him. He fell back to sleep at 5 am!? Holly then started crying and when I went to her was soaked right up her back with wee so needed a full change, which, of course, meant she was then completely awake ?????

The point of my post is to say I’m not perfect and my kids don’t always sleep all night long. I can’t force them to either, however having the knowledge I have really helps.

What I am able to do (most of the time) is rationalise?what’s going on with them which makes me feel a bit better mentally and also enables me to have an idea of what to do tomorrow to try and make tomorrow night better.

For both of my kiddies, they’re suffering from overtiredness at the moment.

It’s partly due to still catching up following Christmas where routine really went out of the window, and partly due to having 2 kids now and it being much more difficult to maintain a schedule that really suits them both.

I’m 6 months into being a Mum of 2 and I haven’t managed to get our evening routine quite right for Holly. She doesn’t get as calm and quiet a bedtime routine as she probably needs as I’m also entertaining a 3-year-old. This sometimes means I miss her ideal bedtime window (also the TV is on for Max).

For Max, he’s dropping his nap. Some days he has it others he doesn’t. On the days he has it, he often has too late a bedtime (9 pm or later) on the days he doesn’t it’s 7 pm.

The problem with having no nap is that he’s asleep before his story finishes and crashes into his first sleep cycle. This means he’s restless overnight and wakes really early in the morning.

The problem with the late bedtime is that he still needs to get up at the same time for us to go to work! This can just mean that the over-tiredness builds and builds and can really have a big impact a few days down the line.

My plan of action!

I will get them both up 7 am and start our day at the normal time as lying in can cause more issues, a regular wake up time helps maintain the circadian rhythm! Max will probably need a short nap around lunchtime but I will cap it at 30 minutes so he can still build up enough sleep pressure for bedtime at 7.30 or 8 pm.

sleeping baby blissed out babies

Holly’s naps are actually pretty good, they’re about the right length for her and spread evenly across the day. I just really need to focus on giving Holly a calm bedtime routine starting 45 mins before bed and keeping the lights really low. I know these little tweaks make all the difference, just need to practice what I preach!

Part of what I do with my sleep packages is give you a really good understanding of sleep, information, and tools to understand what’s going on so you can tweak your routines when needed to make things better now and with your little one’s changing needs. I support you for as long as you need to put the plan into practice.

If you would like to know more just drop me a line, happy to meet for much-needed coffee!? xx

Motherhood Sleep

When will my baby sleep through the night?

Being a parent is hard enough without adding sleep deprivation too. Nature is cruel to make us go through the process of pregnancy and birthing our babies (however they arrive into the world) then landing us with this little defenceless human who doesn’t let us have a good rest to get over it!

yawning baby

One of the main questions I am asked as a sleep coach, or in my baby massage classes is “When will my baby sleep through the night”?

It isn’t a question I can ever answer with any accuracy. What I can do though is offer up some facts which might help you understand why your little one isn’t sleeping through the night from 6 weeks old (although if yours is then that’s great :-))

The facts

Studies say that 85% of babies still wake at least once in the night until they are 18 months old. It really is ‘normal’ for your little one to wake in the night. Sometimes it feels like yours is the only child who doesn’t sleep through, hopefully knowing the real statistics you feel reassured that you’re not doing something wrong.

Babies don’t just wake because they’re hungry, it could be any number of reasons. Cold, noise, pain or just because! Babies are also programmed to wake to protect themselves from SIDS.

Babies are unable to self settle / self regulate as their brains aren’t developed enough until 4 or 5 YEARS of age. Knowing this, how can we truly expect our little ones to be able to get themselves back to sleep when they’re in a state of upset or stress? If your little one is crying they literally can’t calm down by themselves to be able to settle off to sleep. They need us to help, this might be by feeding, rocking, patting, singing whatever works.

What can I do?

Don’t expect too much too soon. Be responsive to their needs. You are not spoiling your child by being there when they need you. Studies tell us that a child who has been responded to consistently when they are younger is actually more independent when they are older and NOT the other way around!

Don’t compare your baby to others. They are all different, with different personalities and different needs. Trust me there’s always someone in the baby groups who is loud and proud about their baby’s ability to ‘sleep through’ and that’s great for them, I can assure you that the other 90% in the room is probably in the same boat as you.

Keep breastfeeding exclusively if you can, as these Mums report that they have better sleep than mixed feeding or formula feeding Mums. This is not a judgment (I’m a formula Mum), just what the evidence says.

Try and get at least 4-5 hours in one go, this is the amount of sleep that we feel makes a difference to us. Ask for some help if necessary.

Practical sleep tips

It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are lots of things you can do to make it better and give you THE BEST chance of getting a great night’s sleep. The below is just a start, head over here for more!

  • Make sure your little one is getting the right amount of sleep in the day for them, over tiredness REALLY affects nighttime sleep (and early rising!)!
  • Keep the lights low in the evenings
  • Have a calm and nurturing bedtime routine
  • Offer a sleep-inducing bedtime snack
  • If you use white noise play it ALL night long
  • Work with a sleep coach!

Above all remember this is a phase in your life that will pass, this isn’t forever. You can do it.

As normal as it is for them to wake in the night if your child is waking 4/5 times or even more, there is most likely a strategy we can find that will improve that.

If you feel like you’re at the end of your tether because your little one’s sleep is so disrupted and you need help, drop me a line, I offer free 15 minute consultations. My bespoke sleep packages are tailored to you and your family and give you the tools to be able to improve your little one’s sleep now and over the coming years. I am here to support you through the plan for as long as you need it.