Sleep

Sleep

Why Newborns Babies Cry When They’re Not Being Held

The first three months of parenting are questionably the hardest. A quarter of all babies in this age group are diagnosed as suffering from colic, this despite the fact that there is actually no such medical disorder. Health professionals diagnose ‘colic’ when they don’t know why a baby is so unhappy and parents are unable to stop their tears. The term baby colic was first use by the paediatrician Morris Wessell in 1954 and is actually a catch all diagnosis used to describe a baby who cries a lot despite being otherwise healthy. Colic is often blamed on ‘trapped wind’ or ‘tummy cramps’, but in reality there is usually no underlying physical cause. Despite this, many desperate parents turn to medication to cope with their baby’s tears and restless nights, however several of the popular colic remedies on the market today have been proven to be no more effective than a placebo.

Night-time Parenting

Night time parenting requires the parent to be responsive to the child’s needs at night, not just during the daytime. Many parents find the easiest way to do this is by co-sleeping or bedsharing. Other parents will have different sleeping arrangements and strategies to do this, suiting their own unique family but the aim may be the same – the provision of a safe, non-stressful environment allowing the child to thrive at night as well as day. Babies and adults sleep very differently and a modern lifestyle may not support either in meeting their sleep needs. So what is different about babies’ sleep? How do we recognise tiredness? How do we create a safe sleep environment while responding with swift sensitivity and readiness when we are most fatigued?

The role of light and dark in promoting baby’s sleep.

One of the many first aims of new parents after establishing feeding is to get more sleep and to help their baby distinguish between night and day – sleep time and wake time. Key to achieving this aim is how the biological clock functions and the related role of light and dark.

Keeping Cool about Hot Weather Sleep!

Summer weather is great fun for babies and children – they love playing outside and the fresh air and physical activity prepares their bodies for sleep; however those hot, sweltering, sweaty nights can really upset baby and children’s sleep.

Managing children’s sleep and clock changes!

At the end of the month the clocks ‘spring forward’ an hour in keeping with British Summer Time. Adjusting to new times and losing an hour’s sleep can be very disruptive for children and may threaten your well planned schedules and routines. With a little forward planning though, the adjustment to BST can be made easier for all!

The Barrier to Calm Bedtimes: The Forbidden Hour of Sleep!

The typical bedtime advice is to calm children down after their tea, dim the lighting and engage in relaxing and calm activity – and then snuggle and connect as you read the bedtime stories.

You would think it was easy wouldn’t you? In theory it sounds easy enough! But if you struggle with the typical calm evening you are not alone. Many of the families I work with experience the same problems.

Evening and bedtimes can be quite problematic because the general calming and winding down advice doesn’t consider the flow of daily circadian rhythms and the little talked about forbidden sleep zone! However, when we start to work with our children’s energy rather than against it, bedtimes can improve.

The Dangers of Sleep Assumptions by Ann Caird

Resolving baby and child sleep problems is an emotive subject at the best of times! There are many different approaches, theories, strategies and so much debate. It can be very confusing trying to tease out which theory or approach is best for your family.

Rarely though, in mainstream sleep approaches is there deep consideration about how a baby or child actually feels in relation to sleep. There may be a passing thought that the baby may be upset or will protest when left to cry for 5 or 10 minutes alone on the first nights of sleep training. Often these considerations are offset by the ‘magic’ claims of sleep training that within 3-5 nights the baby or child will be settling and sleeping like a real pro!!

A Parent’s Christmas Toolkit for Children’s Sleep

The festive season is approaching and preparations are underway in many households! Excitement mounts as anticipation of the big day snowballs…
Nativity plays, parties, Christmas shopping, gifts to wrap, decorations and baking! With all the extra excitement toddlers and young children can easily become over tired, over stimulated and find falling asleep difficult. So here are some practical tips to help maintain balance and good sleep for young children during this busy time, and that will also help keep parents feel calmer over the holidays!