Get Your Glow Back – Episode 43 – Rosey Davidson
What Inspired Rosey’s Passion for Sleep?
After her first daughter was a really difficult sleeper Rosey sought help from her health visitor and a specialist nanny and then found herself passing the information on to those close to her experiencing the same issues. She wanted a career change and trained in baby massage and yoga but found the one thing that came up time and time again was sleep! On her dad’s advice she then trained to become an infant sleep consultant and began her own business and the rest is history.
Not everyone has access to an infant sleep consultant or a specialist so putting free information on her instagram platform is a fantastic resource for many parents struggling with sleep
When Should Parents Try and Introduce a Sleep Routine
Don’t try too soon – your baby is still getting used to the outside world.
Set a rhythm from early on, get them down early in the evening, yes they are going to wake up for feeds but make night time start earlier (not keeping them up with artificial light from TV, Lights on etc.)
Babies don’t produce melatonin which controls their circadian rhythm so help create the rhythm within the house by simulating night-time and turning lights off in the evening at a regular time.
Try and get the babies down before they get overtired and become hysterical, this lead to a raised cortisol level which contributes to restlessness and early waking
around 5-6 months you can begin a more structured regime for sleeping, eating and waking.
What Can We Do For Our Babies’ Environment To Help Them Sleep?
Darkness is key – use blackout blinds
Don’t have it too hot – for our ancestors things get cooler in the evening, ideal sleeping temperature is 16-19C.
No tech in the babies room, nightlight projectors, TVs, if you want a nightlight try and use an amber light because it doesn’t deserve sleep. MeeLight
Babies aren’t scared of the dark, they come from the womb which is a dark environment
Babies don’t need duvets, choose a firm mattress clear of any obstructions which can be dangerous, for guidelines look at the Lullaby Trust
What Can Parents Do Before
Hold off from visitor unless they are helpful
Prepare for the babies arrival, create the space for them, look after yourself by preparing and freezing meals.
No one is perfect or doing things perfectly
Get as much rest as possible – some parents can’t nap but definitely go to bed early with your baby, even if the night is disrupted you can get more sleep.
Open and close your day – just take a few deep breaths to think about what you are going to do that day (or have done), what you are grateful for to stop the days from just merging into one
if you are struggling with your mental health and lack of sleep do reach out there is lots of support out there
See safe co-sleeping guidelines here
Highest incidence of SIDS is on the sofa, if you are getting too tired during a feed it’s safer to get into bed.
If you are unable to co-sleep it’s important to prioritise getting your baby used to having their own sleep space which is the safest option.
There is no right or wrong as long as everyone is happy and safe.
What about Children who are struggling with sleep and waking up in the night
The only thing you can control is your reaction to them – if you don’t want to co-sleep with your child you have to be consistent with your response when they wake up whether that is you leaving and going back into your room or waiting in their room until they settle.
Investigate if there are any underlying health conditions that may be making them uncomfortable for example cows milk allergy
Make sure you have a good daytime routine, if they are napping for too long it’s no wonder they aren’t tired before nighttime, don’t give them meals too close to bed time.
Look at a settling method – sleep pressure needs to build for them to be able to sleep, it’s a parent’s job to support your child to sleep but only a anaesthetist can ‘make’ them sleep.
If you hear your baby at night and they are awake but not crying don’t feel that you need to rush in, if they aren’t asking for you leave them too it, we all have different sleep cycles and it’s very normal to stir in-between and that is okay.
All babies are different and have different needs so don’t compare yourself to others or think there is the perfect guide out there.
Big Changes can Impact Routine What Can We Do To Reduce Disruption to Sleep
Keep things as consistent as possible, what you can keep the same do – smell is important so keep slept in bedding if you are moving house, keep routine, don’t beat yourself up if circumstances change
If there is a new baby coming along prepare the elder babies and refer to them as ‘our’ baby and involve them in the process.
Things happen which are out of our control we can only do what we can
Transitional Objects – blankets, teddies, dummies
Our little ones can project some of their attachment to us onto an object which can be really soothing and a great source of comfort
Thumb sucking – can affect the way teeth are formed but it’s hard to control, for small babies it can be a big source of comfort because unlike a dummy they can always find it.
Dummies – can be really helpful for premature babies for lucking the sucking reflex, NHS recommend getting rid of dummies around 6-12 months. Dummies falling out can be a big interrupter to sleep.
Ideally just to be used at sleep time, if they are used during the day it can delay speech.
So important to keep them clean and sterilised, some studies suggest there may be a link to middle ear infections.
Dealing with Separation Anxiety
Tends to occur after 5-6 months old when babies understand object permeance, that objects can do and come back.
It often peaks around 10 months which is unfortunately when a lot of parents go back to work
Don’t necessarily change what you were doing before
Labelling can sometimes make things worse, try and stick with boundaries that were there before
What To Do If You Are Using a Baby Sitter
Based on your child as an individual, whether the person looking after them is familiar.
If you have a child who is highly dependent on you to go to sleep you need to be there when they go to sleep
Maybe see if the baby sitter to come in advance in the day to become more familiar so they aren’t getting a massive shock if they do wake up
Where To Find Rosey: