Take baby sleep back to basics.
The way it should be.
I feel it is important to share with you my philosophies on baby sleep.
Many generations ago, having a baby and adapting to life with a newborn was relatively straightforward. Implementing structure and routine from early on was normal. Parents giving birth in the 1930’s and 1940’s for example, knew that their babies had basic needs that they had to meet, day in and day out. Not just with sleep, but with everything in their day to day – for example, their feeds, their bathing, their bedtime etc. Often the parenting skills and knowledge in how to care for the baby was passed on to the mother of the baby by her own mother (the baby’s grandmother). It wasn’t uncommon for many members of the extended family to be under the one roof (grandparents included). Because of this, babies slept very well – because all their basic needs were being met and they were in a consistent routine day in, day out.
So, SO much has changed in the way we live our lives, and society has certainly changed in many ways. However the one thing that HASN’T changed is the needs of our babies in regards to sleep and routine. The needs of babies born back in the 1930’s were basic, just as the needs of our babies born today are basic.
Sleep is now the number one issue challenging new parents.
The initial elation of a new baby’s arrival can quickly descend into a highly stressful and exhausting time for everyone involved.
There is a plethora of inconsistent approaches / methodologies / advice out there. There is no end of conflicting messages and instruction about baby sleep and routines – do this, don’t do that, try this, don’t worry about that. Every which way parents turn, they are being told something different. It is no wonder parents are overwhelmed and confused. And all of this has taken us completely off track and miles away from what is actually a very simple process for our babies if things are set up correctly for them – and that is sleep. If our babies could talk – they would be saying to us as a community “What are you doing? It’s all been over complicated. Please know that we love sleep and we want to sleep. We just need you to have a good understanding on our sleep, feed and wake cycles through consistent education around it all. You will soon see that it as actually all very simple”
If the overall structure and processes and routine are not set up correctly for a baby, then the baby won’t sleep well. In that sense, sleep is the “last” link in that chain.
If everything else is not set up right, then sleep won’t happen. It’s that simple.
Some of the common messages being given to parents of newborns is:
- Don’t worry about getting your baby into a routine until they are at least 4 to 6 months of age
- Your baby can’t and won’t sleep well until at least 6 months
- Feed your baby on demand around the clock
- Get used to being sleep deprived
It is precisely this sort of information being widely spruiked to parents that has contributed greatly to an entire generation of sleep deprived and utterly exhausted parents and babies. Not only that, sleep deprivation can be a real tipping point for post natal depression, anxiety and relationship tensions and breakdowns between couples. ♥
Parents are not equipped with consistent information, knowledge and understanding on how to manage their baby’s sleep and routine from Day One – i.e their sleep, feed and wake cycles. And this is where it all falls down. From very early on, poor habits and exhausting rituals and cycles are being undertaken as parents struggle through each day. This is not coming from a judgmental perspective, not at all and far from it. It is just the reality. I was one of those parents once. I COMPLETELY understand. I have been there – and it’s truly awful. How can parents be expected to have clear direction and confidence and knowledge around baby sleep when there is so much conflicting advice and opinions being thrown at them ?
Parents so often feel like they have a baby who hates sleep, or who is fighting sleep. However, the reality is their baby is just as sleep deprived as they are because they too are caught in the same exhausting and relentless cycle as their parents. And all because things overall were not set up right from Day One. The “foundations” are just not in place.
Sleep deprivation for parents and babies is, I believe, at crisis point, and has been for years. And nothing is being done about it. Parents are left to struggle on. And this is all because there is no consistent or reliable resource for parents on sleep and routines from Day One. And that is what I am here for, to change the way that parents “perceive” baby sleep.
When it is all stripped back, sleep is an inherently
basic, natural and primal human function.
Our babies NEED sleep, they WANT sleep and they CAN sleep. But before they can sleep well, everything else must be set up correctly for them in regards to their sleep, feed and wake cycles, their sleep environment their bedtime, their day and night (i.e their body clock) etc.
When I do private consultations with families, I am providing ALL of those families with the exact same information in relation to the setting up of foundations and meeting their baby’s basic needs around their sleep feed and wake cycles. It is not a case of providing one lot of information to this family and another lot of information to that family. The information and guidance I provide them is all the same as the foundational elements are the same for all babies. Yes, babies have different temperaments different personalities, different physical characteristics. Absolutely they do. They are all individuals in those regards. However in relation to sleep requirements, their needs are all the same relative to their age.
The perception that all babies have different needs and requirements in regards to sleep has evolved as a product of the overall bigger picture issues around baby sleep. It is a widely held assumption. But I am here to tell you it is just not the case. And that is a big part of the message I deliver to families everywhere.
My philosophies (from which I base all my teachings and education to families) are as follows:
- All babies LOVE sleep. They CAN sleep and they WANT to sleep. Provided everything is set up for them. There is NO baby on this earth who hates sleep. If all the foundations are set up correctly, your baby will sleep very well and very consistently. The foundations are key.
- Routine from Day One for all babies. Routine simply means structure and consistency around their sleep, feed and wake cycles. Babies THRIVE on and NEED consistency.
- Independent sleep for babies is what I advocate. Providing a safe sleep space for your baby. Whilst I respect and understand that some families choose to happily co-sleep with their babies, these are never the families I am coming into contact with. Thousands of families are co-sleeping out of desperation and exhaustion, because they see no other way. Babies sleep very happily and very well independently.
- Baby sleep has been overcomplicated by society, community and the advent of the technology age. There is so much conflicting information. I am all about going back to basics. Stripping it all back. Simplifying baby sleep. ♥