Bad habits. Rocking to sleep, feeding to sleep, cuddling to sleep, bedsharing…there are so many potholes and pitfalls to be avoided as a new parent. If you commit any of these heinous sins you are sure to end up with a child who is unable to sleep alone and you’ll still be rocking or breastfeedingContinue reading “Let’s Talk About Bad Habits (and Baby and Child Sleep)”
I thought I would run a little Q&A answering some of the most common sleep questions that have been posed to me over the last couple of weeks while the world is in lockdown, due to Covid-19.
We (‘we’ meaning society) seem to think that baby sleep is linear. By that I mean we seem to think that it gets better as babies grow older. Or at least we believe it is static, ie. it won’t get worse again. The thing is, it’s not linear (certainly not in an upwards trajectory) and it’s not static. It goes up and down (mostly down in the first year). This is entirely normal and very, very common…
There is no evidence that shows rocking, holding or feeding to sleep is damaging in any way whatsoever, whatever age the child is. There is no evidence that shows feeding at night (beyond an arbitrary age) causes long lasting sleep problems, or any others for that matter.
This talk of ‘sleeping through the night’ must end, it is factually inaccurate. This myth and misinformation pathologises normal infant sleep and turns it into something problematic that needs fixing. The fact is, the baby achieves nothing from being taught to be quiet while they transition between sleep cycles, the benefit here is solely for the parents.
There is one thing you may not have thought about though. I know this because I’ve worked with thousands of parents like you. I was you once. Please take my advice and spend some time in your pregnancy to read up on the norms of infant sleep.
Working with baby and child sleep is like doing a jigsaw puzzle that has some missing pieces, some placed in the wrong position and a handful of extra pieces from another puzzle that don’t belong thrown in for good measure. Some children need all seven steps to be implemented consistently for them to sleep as soundly as possible, whileContinue reading “When to Expect Positive Change when Working on your Child’s Sleep (or sleep training)”
Praising a child for eating can be incredibly counter-productive. While the child may initially try to eat the food on offer, in exchange for lots of praise from their parents, the effect is unlikely to be long-lasting. The most worrying outcome of praise however is not the temporary effect it has, but how it encourages children to override their innate satiety cues in favour of pleasing their parent. Research has shown that children who are regularly praised for eating are statistically more likely to grow to be overweight in later life.
When I meet a new mum, dad and baby for the first time at a consultation for colic and sleep I always start with the same question: “tell me about your birth” Mostly it’s met with confusion, wrinkled eyebrows and exchanged curious looks, very often they ask me “why?” straight back. After all they haven’t come to see me toContinue reading “5 Reasons Why Your Birth Can Affect Your Baby and Your Parenting”