• Roxy

You know exactly how to get your little one to sleep, problem is its rocking like a gibbon on one leg over the cot. This just isn't sustainable so lets change it... without tears!

Firstly, congratulations on finding a way to get your baby off to sleep! Lets use that and introduce habit stacking. This strategy is from behaviour change psychology, it takes time but is gentle and attentive = no tears! I like to explain it like the game Jenga...

Our current foolproof method is the centre brick on the bottom row, either side we add noise and environment- our consistent base bricks (white noise and cot). We then stack on our soothing bricks, shushing, patting, stroking or comforter, whatever works for you and your baby.

Once this soothing routine is established we can then begin sliding blocks out, slowly and at your babies pace. The final phase usually leaves parents shushing sitting next to the cot. Day by day we then move further away from the cot (still shushing) until we are barely audible and the sound of a white noise machine takes over. Your baby has learnt the art of falling asleep and you have given them the love and comfort they need while doing so. This builds your relationship and fills your little one with confidence. Now, when they stir between sleep cycles throughout the night they are able to happily resettle. A sustainable sleep routine is the key to baby sleep as you are able to be consistent. If you need help with this or any other sleep issues book a support call with me and together we can reach your sleep goals.



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‘Why don’t you try The Ferber method?’ my health visitor said when she visited one day. I had been up for half an hour every two hours with my 9 month old baby girl and I was beyond exhausted. Anyone who knows me knows my love for sleeping. I love sleep. I love helping families get it because I means SO much to me. Did I say I really love sleep?

Anywhoooo... I wasn’t sleeping. This gorgeous tiny human being I had made was stealing my precious sleep. I was breastfeeding EVERY time she woke as it was the only way to resettle her and it had begun to feel like a form of torture. I would look at my husband and get so envious of him soundly sleeping and irritated that I was the one with the milk supply. I had begun to feel like a failure as a mum. How could I always settle babies at work in the nursery to sleep with a pat or soothing word but couldn’t my own!? It was effecting me so much that I would go to the shop to get milk, pick up bread and eggs and then cry when I got home and realised I had no milk for my tea. Milk hadn’t even rung bells as I stood in front of it in the shop. Total. Mum. Zombie.

The Ferber method was something I had read about and nursery mummies had shared their success stories with me, I had even chatted to my husband about it but he couldn’t stand to hear our daughter cry for more than a second so it had quickly been dismissed!

Today was different; a professional had suggested it and explained it and my husband jumped on board. We did our usual bedtime routine, I fed her and I lay her in her cot drowsy but not asleep. I left. The timer began. 3mins, back in, soothed, laid down, left. 5mins, soothed, laid down, left. 7mins. Silence. We followed this for several nights and soon she was settling herself to sleep, there were days where she would cry in protest but I knew that cry. That cry didn’t pluck at my heart strings or make me want to burst into tears myself. I’m pretty sure if she could talk it would have been something like ‘Hey. Mummy! I know you’re going to have a cup of tea and a chocolate hobnob! Are you sure I can’t have one yet??’ (cute smiles and angelic face) ‘Fine. Humph... Goodnight!’

In the same way at the toddler stage we would have nights where she would ask for fourteen more stories, nine cups of water and why only some of the moon was there that night???

She didn’t just cry it out alone in a dark room until she gave up. We went in at regular intervals to help calm and soothe her. There wasn’t a panic cry, a scared cry and I don’t believe she had heightened stress levels or that it changed her personality or messed her up for life. She is an incredible, loving, kind, confident, empathetic child who even at 10, still sleeps 7-7!

What I know now doesn’t make me feel guilty about how I taught her to settle, it was a method I was confident to consistently carry out and it was quickly successful which was exactly what I needed at the time. I didn’t have the energy to implement slow changes, I needed results fast and this method gave me them albeit with a few tears. I totally understand that there are parents out there who wouldn’t dream of implementing this method and that is ok too. A parents style of parenting is just a unique as their child and I respect that. We must all respect and nurture our different parenting styles!

This isn’t to say if I had been given different options at an earlier stage (when I wasn’t a Mum Zombie) the Ferber method would have been the one I chose or may have even needed. I had tried ‘pick up, put down’ and several others from the baby books and I just didn’t know any other methods, in my head it was a few tears from my baby and possible sleep success or a lot of tears from me, no sleep and feeding 50gazillion times a night until school age. (Maybe a little dramatic but that’s where my head had gone by this stage).

I do however wish I had been told about the importance of independent settling at around four months and its effects on night time sleep if the skill isn’t learnt. I would have understood why we were up so often at night and that if I had been consistent with how she fell asleep from that age onwards the night wakings would have been a lot less. I had tried everything, dummy, breast, singing, patting, toy comforter but that was my problem. I was doing it all. My consistency however, was that I would always default back to feeding and that is why it would always work. Consistency. If I had taught her to fall asleep at bedtime how I wanted her to move from one sleep cycle to the next at night and consistently stuck to it our story would have been very different.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have been writing and sharing this with you though and that is what I want and love to do... Share my knowledge to ensure you get the best nights sleep possible and feel confident in your choices. Not trying methods that leave you feeling filled with mum guilt just because Susan in the playground has five children who go to bed at 7pm and sleep in until 10am and her top tip is ‘at 8 months shut the door and don’t go back until morning’. But it’s only ten minutes in and you’re crying and your baby is looking up at you with bulging crying eyes wondering what on earth is going on. Let’s not. No Susan. That is not the way we’re doing it in this house!

Let me share my knowledge with you on various ways to help your child make good sleep habits and support you on your journey so you can confidently walk through parenthood.

Roxy x

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  • Roxy

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Only a few months ago you were laying in bed admiring your bump dreaming about what sort of parent you were going to be. You pictured sunny pushchair walks, a happy cooing baby, cups of tea on the sofa while you cosy up for a feed but today you aren't that parent. Today is hard. Today you are tired. Today all you can think of is how many naps you might be able to squeeze in to your day just to get you through. There's no sunshine and smiles today, today you need a dark room and sleep. Oh wonderful, beautiful, restoring SLEEP!

You've done it all, clean nappy, full tummy so why will your baby not sleep in stretches of more than an hour? The answer is not one factor but several which all have a direct impact on sleep. As an ethical holistic sleep consultant my approach is always just that!

Ethical- Ethical thinking means we never loose sight of our positive purpose. We choose to be the sum of our values, not our challenges.

Holistic- Dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part.

As your personal sleep consultant I have the experience and training to recognise which problems result in specific symptoms. I am here to work with you to develop a personalised plan for your child that addresses their individual issues as well as your own. My packages provide unlimited support to ensure that every step of the way you have an experienced professional by your side when things get difficult or to celebrate a triumph! I will give you the encouragement you need to follow through on your plan but it is never rigid and will be edited until both you and your child are feeling on the right path for improvement.

#surreysleepconsultant #holistic #ethical #babysleep #welovesleep

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