Tips For Extending Your Baby’s Nap Time

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar…

Your baby wakes up in the morning after a solid night’s sleep. You feed her, change her, play with her for a little bit, take her for a little walk outside, then rock her to sleep and put her gently into her crib for her morning nap.

And then, 30 minutes later, she wakes up fussy and irritable and, despite your pleading, bargaining, and offers of riches, refuses to go back to sleep.

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Is This the Right Time to Sleep Train?

There are two things I can pretty much guarantee you when it comes to teaching your baby to sleep through the night.

  1. It’s going to be a challenge
  2. It’s going to be eminently worth it.

I’ve never worked with a family whose baby went right down on the first night and just magically slept through from then on. Some have slept through the night on night two, most of them start seeing results on night three or four, but I won’t kid you, night one can be a trial.

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Helping Overcome Children’s Fear of the Dark

It’s 2:00 AM, you’re sleeping peacefully in your bed, and you suddenly wake up, not entirely sure why, but as you start to gain awareness of your surroundings, you become aware, to your horror, that there’s someone in the room with you! You hear the sound of their voice, and they whisper those four words that chill every parent to the bone.

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Back to School Sleep Tips : Help Your Child be ready (2021)

Updated 1 March 2021 (originally published 16 September 2020)

Alright, let me just start off here by saying, no judgment for what might have gone down in the last couple of months.

I know… I’m a child sleep consultant and you may think that I’m going to tell you off for the late bedtimes, inconsistent schedules, or any of the many naughty things that may have taken place over your summer holidays and during lock down. Read more

All parents need to know how to prepare baby for clock change

Updated 22 February 2021 (originally published 14 March 2016)

On the 28th March 2021, clocks go forward an hour, which means the start of British Summer Time (BST) yipppee. Although that ultimately means one hour less sleep for you, parents (boo hoooo!). I think daylight savings wreaks havoc on our sleep schedules and can increase sleep debt in both kids and adults. There is actually an increase in traffic accidents the day after daylight savings, which just goes to show that it’s hard on people. We are already a sleep-deprived nation, so losing that extra hour only makes it worse (and more dangerous). Read more

YouTube Interview – Baby Winkz – Sleep is a Human Right

I had an interview with Tembo Sounds Show.

During these absurd times, sleep plays a critical role in our health.

Judy Clark of Kent, England, shares with us her insights and expertise.

Enjoy, Subscribe, and Share with your friends.

Switching From a Cot to a Bed

When it comes to making the transition from a cot to a big-kid bed, there are two questions that need to be answered. The first is when, and the second is how.

Now, if you’re reading this on my website, chances are that you came here looking for some advice about teaching your little one the skills they need to sleep through the night.

And if that’s the case, then the answer to the question of “When” is, quite simply, “Not now.” Read more

Quarantine Survival Guide for Parents Home Schooling

What can I say? These past few months have been…

WOW. Am I right?

Just wow.

If you’re in the same boat as most parents in the world, you’ve had to accommodate the fact that your kids were suddenly and unexpectedly given an extra four months of summer holiday.

And to top it all off, they’re unable to leave the house. Read more

That’s right, I said it. Your baby will never sleep straight through the night.

And neither will you, for that matter.

This isn’t due to stress, caffeine, lack of exercise, or any other factors that can contribute to a lousy night’s sleep. It’s a normal, natural part of the human sleep cycle.

Understanding the Adult Sleep Cycle

We’re all familiar with the various stages of sleep from our own experience. You might not be able to put a name to them, but you’ve certainly felt the difference between waking from a light sleep and a deep one.

To put it simply, when we fall asleep, we spend a little while in a light stage of sleep and gradually progress into a deeper one. We stay there for a little while and then gradually re-emerge into the lighter stage, and when we do, there’s a good chance that we’ll wake up.

For instance…

❶You fall asleep at eleven

❷ Hit that deep sleep by midnight

❸ Hang out there for roughly 6 hours

❹ Then start to come back to the surface around 6:00 or 7:00

❺ Gradually waking up refreshed and ready to face the day.

Except the whole process only takes about an hour and a half.That’s right. From start to finish, going from light sleep to deep sleep and back again takes between 90 – 110 minutes.

Luckily for us (and for those who have to interact with us) the process repeats itself pretty easily. Either we’ll wake up for a minute or two and fall right back to sleep, or we might not even wake up at all. Ideally, this happens five or six times in a row.

We get a restful, refreshing, restorative snooze in the night, and we reap the benefits of it throughout the day.

Understanding the Infant Sleep Cycle

But enough about us grown-ups. What about our little ones?

Infants, despite their increased need for sleep, have a much shorter sleep cycle than adults. On average, an infant goes from light sleep to deep sleep and back again in an astounding 50 minutes. So whoever coined the term, “Sleep like a baby” was clearly misinformed.

That’s right, I said it. Your baby will never sleep straight through the night.

Our Philosophy 

This is where the essential element of sleep training comes into play, the program doesn’t teach your child to stay asleep, or spend more time in any one stage of the sleep cycle.

What we do is teach your baby to fall asleep independently initially, and when they wake up.

That’s it! That really is the heart if what we’ll be doing together. We’ll be helping your baby to accept these wake-ups as a non-event.

Once they’ve learned the skills they need to fall back to sleep on their own, they’ll wake up after a sleep cycle, their brain will signal them to go back to sleep, and that’s exactly what they’ll do.

There are a few reasons why I feel it’s so important for parents to understand this. First of all, I want you to know that we’re not doing anything that actually influences or alters your baby’s natural sleep. We’re just giving them the skills to fall asleep independently after they wake up, which, as you probably know by now, they’re going to do multiple times a night.

Common Misconceptions

One of the biggest arguments you might hear from critics of sleep training is, “Babies are supposed to wake up at night!”

And that’s absolutely, 100 per cent correct. Babies, just like adults, are supposed to wake up at night.

All that we’ll be doing together is teaching your little one to stay calm and content when they do wake up, and giving them the ability to get back to sleep without any help from mom, a pacifier, or any other exterior source that might not be readily available in the middle of the night.

So if you’re wondering whether or not sleep training is going to put your child at an increased risk for SIDS, or if it will somehow alter their natural sleep patterns, or make them nocturnal, or damage them in any way, I can assure you with the full support of the American Academy of Pediatrics, that it will not.

What it will do is keep them calm and assured when they wake up in the night, and help to ensure that they get the sleep they need to be happy and healthy.

So although your little one is going to wake up numerous times a night, every night, they can quickly and easily learn the skills to get back to sleep on their own. It will only seem as though they’re sleeping straight through the night.

That, I would imagine, is something we call all get behind.

Look forward to conversing with you on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

[i] US National Library of Medicine – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072506/

[ii] US National Library of Medicine – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3439810/

[iii] American Academy of Pediatrics – https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/Infant-Sleep-Training-is-Effective-and-Safe-Study-Finds.aspx