As a new parent, or any parent, you wonder whether the things you can buy to help your little one sleep better, really help them get to sleep. Lots of parents speak to me about something that their friend has tried example a special sleep suit or a rocking cot and hope that this magical contraption will help their little one sleep better.
It’s no surprise that parents are hopeful, but perhaps also a little confused, because there are so many things on the market which purport to help babies sleep better. The Lullaby Trust guidance can be found here but they confirm
“There are some items that we would not recommend
• pods or nests
• pillows, duvets or thick heavy bedding
• cot bumpers
• sleep positioners”
There are so many options of these on the market, some are incredibly popular, which of course should not be used for unsupervised sleep. This may help a newborn nap but it is not something that you can use in the night, unless you’re going to be looking at your baby the whole time! Longer term, after 12-16 weeks, it’s also something your little one will start to rely upon to sleep.
There are all sorts of things that you can buy for your baby; vibrating mattress pad, a hypnotising baby book, the list is endless. All of these actual products are available to buy for your little one. I’m certainly not saying that any of them wouldn’t help your baby to sleep, in fact I’m sure they do exactly what they say, but that is the issue.
If your little one is reliant upon something to fall asleep, like motion or vibration or being read a story each time they come to the edge of sleep they will then need to be assisted back to sleep again.
Sleep is a skill and I don’t say that lightly. It’s no different to swimming or riding a bike or walking or talking – all of the things we model to our children. We are born with some ability to fall asleep but we do need to refine this skill, especially once sleep cycles are developed (if you are not sure what they are, click here). if your little one needs to fall asleep with motion or vibration or feeding you then are constantly holding the seat of their bike or not allowing them to ride it independently.
We can help your little one master those sleep skills which means that; no matter where they’re sleeping, no one needs to do something to them so that they can get themselves back off to sleep when they come to the edge of their sleep.
Although this new skill comes with the obvious benefits of a well rested child, as well as well rested parents, together with the huge health and development benefits you will also find there is another huge plus! When your little one gets the hang of this skill, they will love to do it. It’s just the same as any other talent or skill, when we are really good at it we really enjoy it and it’s not frustrating. Our children, and the vast majority of little ones and we work with, absolutely love bedtime. There are no more bedtime tantrums and it means that, no matter where they’re sleeping, no one needs to do something to them so that they can get themselves off to sleep.
If you would like some help to guide your ittle one towards their independent sleep skills, do get in touch! We would love to help you guide your child towards skills which are vital to their health and learning for the rest of their lives!
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