Biologically, sleep is a necessary requirement for all human beings and I believe that quality sleep is a fundamental element of living a full and healthy life. When we sleep our bodies undertake essential cellular rest and repair, priming us for optimal immune, cognitive and physical function. For babies and young children sleep is a biological and physical need, just like air, food, love and nurture. It provides the fundamental building block for healthy development through appetite regulation, cellular growth and repair, strengthening of immune system, consolidation of memories from short term to long term, emotional regulation and brain function.
We have all experienced the mental fog and physical lethargy that comes after just one sleepless night, so it’s of no surprise studies have shown that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a plethora of mental and physical impairments. For postpartum Mums, an adequate amount of quality sleep is even more important to help ward off the risk of postpartum depression. However, the majority of newborns will wake multiple times a night, very quickly leading to sleep deprivation for parents. In the first few months it is absolutely normal, and expected, that a baby will wake for a feed every 2 – 4 hours overnight and that they will most likely require assistance from a parent or caregiver to fall asleep – whether that be from feeding to sleep, being rocked to sleep, walked to sleep, shushed and patted to sleep. However, if you are not lucky enough to have an angel baby who sleeps through the night from 6 weeks old and miraculously doesn’t require any external assistance to settle to sleep and resettle then chances are, both you and your little one may end up overtired and sleep deprived.
For a happy, healthy and well balanced family, I believe that sleep should not be compromised but there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. As a holistic baby and child sleep consultant I consider all elements that can have an impact on sleep, including your child’s sleep environment, feeding and nutrition, sleep associations, nap schedules, bedtime routines, your child’s temperament, your philosophy as a parent and your family dynamic.
Through gaining an understanding of your child’s unique sleep situation, I will design a customised and comprehensive sleep plan, provide you with gentle coaching so that you have confidence to implement the plan, as well as provide you with ongoing support and encouragement as you and your little one establish positive associations and routines, while restoring optimal sleep for the whole family.