Do I really need help with my baby’s sleep?
Parenting is one of the best and yet can be one of the hardest jobs you will ever have. ALL babies are different, ALL parents are different and we need to support each other in whatever choices we make as parents.
No one should ever be judged on their parenting choices.
For some families cuddling, rocking and feeding their baby to sleep works and there is NOTHING wrong with that. If your current situation is working for you and your family – fantastic. At the end of the day if things are working well for you and your family – then let it be. If it is not broken then it doesn’t need to be fixed.
However, for other parents (who may be) cuddling, rocking and/or feeding their baby to sleep does NOT work for them and as a result they feel stressed, overwhelmed and subsequently not enjoying parenthood. It breaks my heart when I have a mum so tired and distressed they cannot stop crying.
SOME families therefore need assistance in finding an alternate method to settle their baby to sleep.
What works for one family may not work for another. It breaks my heart when I speak to mums struggling with settling their baby. For these parents let me reassure you – YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
And it is OK to ask for help!
Will you let my baby Cry It Out (CIO)?
It is very disheartening & extremely disappointing when people assume that the only way to help/assist a baby to go to sleep is to leave the baby in a room to cry it out! This belief could NOT be further from the truth!
When assisting babies to settle I have done it all: I have picked up baby’s, cuddled them, rocked them, patted them, given them comforters, given them a dummy. I work WITH the baby AND the family until we find a method that everyone is happy with and that they can work with.
I will be honest however and let you know from the onset – there will be some crying and/or fussing for short periods of time. We are changing your baby’s ‘normal’ and as a result we expect some protesting. Parents2b will work with you and together we will support your baby while they learn this new skill.
I agree … some techniques like CIO might gain quicker sleep ‘success’ (so to speak) than others BUT at the end of the day it won’t work unless it works for the family.
How old does my baby need to be to sleep train?
Parents2b looks after babies from newborn’s however it MUST BE NOTED that for babies under 4 months of age NO formal ‘sleep training’ will not entered into. The focus for babies under 4 months of age is establishing good sleep habits, understanding appropriate wakeful periods, routine and appropriate age related settling techniques.
I have read the books and it doesn’t work! Why is Parents2b any different?
I am sure all parents out there would agree with me about the large amount of differing and often confusing opinions, techniques and ideas when it comes to ‘advice’ on sleep & settling associated with babies. Google, Facebook, publications, friends, family, health professionals … the list is endless when it comes to this ‘advice’.
Unfortunately one size DOES NOT fit all when it comes to babies!
It is also a common scenario that parents have attempted multiple settling techniques from multiple sources …. but often out of exhaustion (and nights are generally the breaking point) they have been unable to follow through with the ‘advised’ settling techniques and subsequently resort back to their old ways – generally resorting back to rocking and/or feeding their baby back to sleep.
The points I am trying to make here is that
Parents need to understand that teaching their baby to self-settle will NOT happen overnight. This needs to be stressed. It takes commitment, consistency and support. Your baby has been assisted to sleep for 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, 12 months….. They will not learn to fall asleep on their own in one sleep cycle.
Imagine if I took your bed away tonight and made you sleep on the floor. You wouldn’t sleep well and you too would protest until I either gave you your bed back OR you learnt to sleep on the floor. Your baby is no different. It takes time to learn this new skill.
Parents2b works with you to decide on an individual strategy that you are all comfortable with and one that you can repeatedly follow through from beginning to end. You need to work within your comfort zone ….
There is no point engaging the services of someone to help you with your baby’s sleep unless you are comfortable with the method. If you can’t follow through with the techniques there is no point! Gentle methods tend to take longer so you need to be prepared for this.
Consistency & support is the key. Often failed attempts from sleep and settling consultations is caused from parent’s inconsistency. Parents2b offers 2 weeks of ongoing support to parents post online & in home consultations.
Regular updates are required to allow Parents2b to work with you to implement any changes that maybe needed, talk through scenarios that may expectantly occur during the initial implementation time, to troubleshoot, to support and to assist parents to learn about the techniques as they teach their babies.
What are the signs my baby isn’t getting enough sleep or is overtired?
(Ten overtired signs that are often overlooked and/or misinterpreted:)
1. Waking up after one sleep cycle (approx. 45 mins)
2. Multiple daytime napping, aka power-naps (approx. 20 mins)
3. Early morning wake ups (3/4/5 am)
4. Falling asleep when being held / on the bottle/ on the breast
5. Sleeping well until midnight then waking constantly until morning
6. Difficult to settle when put into the cot or falling sleep instantly
7. Difficult behaviours when initiating the bedtime routine (crying as soon as you enter the room)
8. Scratching their face/pulling at their ears
9. Sucking their fingers/fists
10. If held, arching their back or leaning backwards
Why does my baby only sleep for 20 minutes at a time?
The most common new-born scenario is that of the baby that can only manage to sleep for 20 minutes at any given time. In between each sleep cycle there is usually a brief ‘waking’ period. In order to sleep longer than 10 – 20 minutes your baby must transition into the next sleep cycle.
If your baby falls asleep in your arms and then wakes up in their cot 15 minutes later, they will become disorientated, distressed, and even startled. As a result, your baby, instead of resettling themselves, will wake completely looking for the sleeping aid that put them to sleep in the first place. They will then need assistance to transition into the next phase.
Understanding sleep cycles will help you better understand how baby’s sleep.
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) or Active sleep is a light sleep and takes up approximately 50% of a new-born baby’s sleep cycle, and is the first phase of the cycle they will enter when they fall asleep in the first 3 months after birth.
Your baby will be active during this phase. Their body may move or limbs twitch, their breathing will be irregular and shallow, many babies will grimace, or make funny faces – they may smile or frown, they will make some mimic chewing or sucking actions with their mouth, their eyes may move under their eyelids and your baby will be more easily disturbed by the outside world.
At the end of each REM phase there is usually a brief waking period. In order to sleep longer than this initial 10 – 20 minutes, your baby must transition to deep NREM sleep. What happens is parents hear their baby or see their baby’s eyes are open and they pick them up thinking they are awake. When in fact, they were just transitioning into their next sleep cycle.
Your baby needs to have the opportunity to transition into the next cycle being the NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) or Passive sleep. NREM sleep is quiet, deep and restful sleep: where eyes are firmly closed and they lie very still, their breathing is deep and regular and your baby will be less easily affected by the outside world (phone ringing, door banging etc).
Even before they can talk, babies have a way of letting you know what they want. Watching your baby closely you will soon pick up their cues. “Engagement” cues = I want to play. These are all the positive signs and body language, telling you that your baby is enjoying an experience. Engagement cues are designed to attract and hold your attention, so that you will continue to be involved with your baby. Your baby will gaze at you, smile and be generally relaxed and happy.
“Disengagement” cues = I am tired and need to go to sleep. These are the signs your baby gives you when they have had enough of a situation. They tell you that your baby needs a break from whatever is happening and it is time to withdraw the stimulation. Your baby will turn their head away from you, become grizzly or cry, clench their fists and become generally irritable.
It is important to understand that getting to know your baby is a gradual and ongoing learning process.
What happens if I still require support after my initial 2 weeks?
Parents2b is more than happy to continue to support you if your sleep issues have not been resolved in the initial 2 week’s post consultation. You have numerous options of continued support.
Ongoing online support $100 for 4 weeks
30 minute phone consultation $50
1 hour phone consultation $100
What are Parents 2 B terms and conditions?
There is a $50 non-refundable booking deposit (rebated given at consultation) on all sleep consultations. There is a 24 hour cancellation policy – if cancellation is less than 24 hours the full consultation rate is payable.
Post consultation support is via Facebook private message, text or email. Fair play policy applies. Parents2b will endeavour to respond within a reasonable period of time. This is usually within 3 hours – within business hours (these can be found in contact us). This time may be extended on Fridays and weekends. Parents2b will post notification of holiday’s / leave on their Facebook page.
There is a NO refund on services provided. Often a failed sleep consultation is the result of lack of consistency. Parents2b will support you for 2 weeks post consultation. During this time it is essential you stay in contact with Parents2b and communicate your progress, concerns and questions. If we do not hear from you – we cannot support you.
Parents2b reading material is copyrighted and therefore, in line with copyright standards they are not to be shared or distributed without written permission from Parents2b.
Parents2b gives preference to their current clients – enquires about services will be answered within a reasonable time frame – usually 48 hours.
Can I buy Gift Vouchers to give as a present?
Parents2b offers a gift voucher service. Please contact us for more information.
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