Given parents are said to lose an average of 350 hours of sleep in their baby’s first year, it’s no surprise that ‘how to get my baby to sleep’ is the number one question raised by parents, according to parenting expert Jen Hamilton. Just when parents do work it out, they find their young ones change their tune to these methods. Each developmental stage of the baby requires modified techniques to support their quality of sleep.
Sleep problems in infancy is the biggest challenge for new parents and can result in negative consequences for both parents and bub. Baby’s sleep problems are frequently associated with parental depression and anxiety, as well as poor parental physical health and reduced quality of life. Infant sleep intervention and establishing the right rythym early on improves emotional wellbeing in parents and the child’s quality of sleep. Furthermore it enhances the relationship between child and parent and stimulates positive cognitive and emotional development of the child.
With almost 30 years’ of practical experience working with parents, Jen Hamilton, founder of parenting app WOTBaby has seen it all – from parents rocking or patting for hours, to feeding to sleep and co-sleeping, all in an effort to put bub to sleep. Through her professional experiences, including having three kids of her own, Jen has established successful feeding, sleep and setlling techniques that she believes will ensure babies (and subsequently everyone else in the household) gets some rest. Jen’s methods centre around educating parents to build their confidence and establish consistency from the very beginning.
Jen says, “Babies are born with around 20% brain development, they are a blank canvas and it’s up to parents to provide them with the ongoing skills and support to learn to sleep as they grow.”
Below Jen shares her top settling and sleeping technqiues for newborns through to 6 months old:
Still not sleeping? Here’s a check list with some further tips:
1. Put baby in their own room – Consider putting baby in their own room if you and baby’s sleep is often disturbed for other reasons, besides feeding.
2. Noise is good – use background music as a tool for helping to put baby to sleep. Soft music is not only a good sleep cue, but it will serve as a distraction to the outside world and help put baby in a relaxed state conducive to sleep.
3. Crying is not necessarily a negative – Once you have ensured all bub’s needs are met, leave them to settle and go back in to reassure them only if necessary. Listen to their cry and learn to identify the ‘grizzle cry’ generally associated with them trying to put themselves to sleep. Also, if there are pauses between cries baby is just trying to self-settle.
4. Settle in a dark room – Be aware of stimulation and even in the day, draw the curtains and put baby to sleep in a darkened room.
5. Why isn’t rocking working anymore? – As baby grows and becomes more aware of their surroundings, rocking may only serve as a further distraction and prevent sleep.
Other tips, advice, flowcharts and instructional videos can be found online http://apple.co/2aYUlKi
Jen is a published author, mum of three and in her career as a parenting expert Jen has helped thousands of parents and caregivers adjust to their baby including Emma Isaacs, founder of Business Chicks. WOTBaby is an Australian first personalised app that supports the journey of raising babies from newborn to six months. Tailored to the child’s name and age, the app provides the caregiver or parent with week-by-week development milestones and tackles the myriad of challenges parents might be navigating through at that particular stage such as feeding and settling. What sets the technology apart from anything else on the market, is that it acknowledges that every baby and every parent is different, and so offers an instant step-by-step flow of tips and advice parents or carers can try as they find what works for them. The app is also full of instructional videos. This mid-wife-in-your-pocket app is available for $2.99 from the app store at: http://apple.co/2aYUlKi
MyDeal Editor Note *
Want to help your kids get to sleep? Try out one of our baby prams or create the perfect atmoshphere with kids furniture!