Are you wondering how you can get your baby to sleep through the night? Regardless of their age or your parenting philosophies, this is where you need to start!
When sleep isn't going well it can feel daunting, you can be searching for any reason to make your child sleep better. Are they hungry? Are they cold? are they hot? Are they overtired? Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do nothing gets better!
If this sounds like you and you're just looking for answers keep reading!!
The first step to helping your child better is to understand and listen to your child’s biology. This basically means that we're making sure that we're working with their body to promote sleep rather than working against it and trying to force sleep.
We all know what it's like laying there counting back the hours" if I only fell asleep right now, I wouldn't get 6 hours, now I would get 5 hours" trying to force even ourselves to sleep is a losing battle let alone trying to force our children to...
One of the scariest things about becoming a mom of two was figuring out how I was going to juggle a newborn and a toddler when it came to nap time. When my oldest was a newborn, naps were so difficult that I literally had to have family come over during their lunch breaks so I could take a shower or get ready for the day because Lily wouldn’t nap on her own for more than 5-10 minutes without level-5 screaming. It was exhausting and heartbreaking!
Fast forward a year and a half, I was in a much better position; confident in sleep and my abilities as a mom. This was partly thanks to it being my second child and partly due to the fact that I became a certified sleep consultant but still, those fears of an overtired and cranky baby still lingered under the surface. I was so anxious about naptime but as I continued on, nap after nap, putting my knowledge into practice, things got easier.
If you’re feeling anxious about sleep when you have...
Babies are completely reliant on us. They need their parents or caregivers to feed them, clean them, dress them and help regulate their emotions.
They look to us for how they should be feeling, if we're calm and relaxed, this tells them that they're safe and can calm as well.
If we're stressed, on edge, or upset, our little ones can sense that and will follow our lead. When they're in that state, it makes it really difficult for them to calm enough to fall asleep.
That's why they need us to take the lead and show them our calm.
But what if the very thing that we're stressing about won't happen unless we calm down?!
It's a vicious cycle right?
I fully understand this because it was me. I experienced those late-night intrusive thoughts filled with all of the negativity, anxiety, and hopelessness with both of my babies. Not only was being awake and bouncing my baby for hours exhausting but the emotional toll that I was putting on myself was almost...
When a family comes to me with their sleep issues, I ALWAYS start by asking this question “How dark is their sleep space?”. This is because the sleep environment and how dark it is plays a huge role in our body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
So why exactly does this matter? After 3-4 months, our bodies start consistently producing the hormone melatonin, the “sleepy hormone” that helps to regulate our circadian rhythms or our “body clock”. This helps us feel like it’s time to sleep at nighttime and time to be awake during the daytime. Little ones are so sensitive to light that even a tiny bit can make a big impact!
I started out thinking that I could get away with my kid’s rooms just being dark, that it was good enough but learned very quickly that PITCH black is ideal. I mean, can’t-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face type dark! I then moved on to all of the hacks, the tinfoil (way too loud), garbage bags (looks...