Sleeeeep Success

I often get parents starting with me wanting to overhaul the sleep situation in their family’s life. Many already know a lot about creating a sleep conducive environment, but there are so many small things that are easily forgotten.

  1. Black out the room – ideally, if the door is shut and your eyes have adjusted, you should NOT be able to see your hand if you hold it in front of your face. This means your room is completely blacked out. Not all kids need this level of darkness but it can be surprising how many do. There are so many ways to black out a room so look around and try things out. What works for someone else may not be what works for you. Check out my “Black is a Happy Colour” blog article for more information on this.
  2. White noise – you can buy lots of white noise machines out there, portable, rechargeable, plug in. The options are endless. Choose a sound that is pleasant to you and what your child seems to enjoy. Some children like the “whoosh” sound while others like a vacuum, hair dryer or heavy rain. Turn up the volume to a level that won’t damage your child’s hearing but will mask any external sounds (you doing the dishes, the washing machine running, traffic outside, birds chirping, your next door neighbours unbelievably noisy motorbike that he leaves running at 6am every morning).
  3. Temperature – Check the room temperature is between 18 and 23 degree and that your child is dressed accordingly. Babies can be dressed in one extra layer than you but if you choose to bedshare or cosleep, you may not need to put as many layers on your child. Every baby has different preferences as to how warm/cool they like to be and you will work this out with experience. Generally the tog sleeping bag guides are a great place to start if you are unsure.
  4. NO TV or screen time at least 2-3 hours before bed (or a nap) – these emit a blue light which effects our ability to build enough sleep hormones for when it time to rest.
  5. Consistent times – try to put your child into bed at the same time every day. Their body clock adjusts and learns when it is time to sleep, so keeping a consistent time helps their body simply “fall” asleep.
  6. Have a consistent and calm routine before naps and bedtimes. Your nap routine can resemble your bedtime routine but does not need to be as elaborate. Check out my “Routines are Relaxing” blog article for more information on this.
  7. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) – are emitted by devices such as mobile phones, baby monitors and tablets. If you can, turn off these devices and do not put them in your baby’s room. If you need them on, try to put them at least 2-3m away from you and if you feel comfortable, you can cease using the baby monitor once the baby can call out to you.
  8. Food – Most people seem to know that there are foods (and drinks) out there that fight sleep including caffeine and complex carbohydrates. BUT, did you know that there are foods out there that support the sleep inducing neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin. Check out my “Eat Sleep Repeat” blog article for more information on this.
  9. Emotions – Try to pick a time to start sleep training when there is as little change going on as possible. Don’t start sleep training as soon as you move house, just before you are due to deliver another child, when you are toilet training, starting childcare (or a new centre) for example. Wait until you child is settled, calm and you have built a solid relationship together to ensure that emotionally your child has the best chance for success to learn how to sleep. Keep in mind, separation anxiety can hit between 6-18 months (yep, that’s a big window) so if you choose to sleep train during this time, allow you and your family extra time for the process. We will work with you to make sure the sleep method chosen is the best fit for all.

The moon – did you know a full moon effects sleep and can cause early rising? Yep, it’s a real thing! But – remember, when you’re sleep deprived, try to ignore moon activity and focus on the other factors that can promote sleep and set you up for success.

Check out our sleep consultancy packages available, or contact us to enquire about how we could help you and whether our service is suitable for you.