The number one problem that we mamas face bar none is the sleep issue. From the crazy newborn days to older babies who wake on the hour for some comfort feeding to toddlers who just want to snuggle up to us (and take up the entire bed), it’s a total minefield and can drive us almost crazy with exhaustion. Today I’m handing Upfront Mama over to the brilliant Kerry from Kerry Cares. She is going to give us some tips for dealing with the lack of sleep situation. Look out for the competition at the end of the post
Over to you Kerry….
I speak to so many parents every day all week and the vast majority won’t mind me saying that they are absolutely frazzled and exhausted, some call me on their knees with frustration and desperation. The cause: they have a pint sized sleep stealer on their hands! Bedtime battles, duvet disco lovers and all night party animals, I have experienced and helped them all.
When it comes to sleep solutions some parents feel there are two options available to them:
Option A) Sleep training such as controlled crying or crying it out
Option B) Waiting it out
Now I am huge believer that you need to do what feels right for you and your family, my very mantra is in fact:
“There are no right ways or rules to raising your family only ways that are right for you and your family”
If these methods suit and work for you and your little one that’s great but for some parents neither option is the right one for them. They can become even more tired and frustrated whilst twitching from caffeine overload. However there is another option, somewhere lurking in the middle of option A and B is option me! I can give you an approach that is as individually unique as you and your baby 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, I have way more than option A or B in my Mary Poppins bag.
Sadly I can’t give you lovely Upfront Mama readers the definitive guide to solving all your sleep issues simply because one doesn’t exist BUT I can give you the chance to win a one on one sleep consultation with me AND an exclusive peak at all-time top tips to for smoother sleep.
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 you do every night with your little one.
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 helping 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 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 some serious hard 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 can 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.
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. 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.
Little ones need clear bedroom boundaries that are consistent. If you don’t want to take them into your bed they need to consistently get that memo.
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 shut eye please get in touch at www.kerrycaresparenting.com
To win a consultation with Kerry tell us about your little one’s sleep issues in the comments box below. We’ll pick a winner on 23rd December.