Need more sleep in your life? Are you a parent of a baby or child who
just does not like the "s" word?
My name is Chantal Cohen, I am a mum of three girls and a certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant, helping to bring back sleep andpeace to exhausted and struggling parents everywhere. I love what I do; giving mums, dads, carers and children the gift of sleep is such a rewarding vocation! You can contact me and find out more about the
sleep services I offer at Here are five common issues that I deal with on a regular basis in my business, and some fast and effective solutions that I suggest to achieve a full nights sleep
The first issue is sleep associations. A sleep association is anything that you do to actively put your baby to sleep, or re-settle once they are awake. They can include but are not limited to: feeding, rocking, holding, and co-sleeping. There are lots of other interesting and inventive ones that I have come across during my time as a sleep
consultant, but these are the main ones. Sleep associations are responsible for keeping your little one awake for longer at sleep time, creating short naps and also lots of waking overnight. Some solutions that I recommend include trying to get your bub almost fully asleep in their cot through offering reassurance and comfort from your hand, presence and voice. Patting next to them constantly on the cot next to them or on their body to start, and a slow shhh can be offered to help them fall asleep as comfortably as possible without their main sleep association. I suggest reducing this over time and beginning to move away from the cot side over a number of nights to ensure your little one does not form another sleep association of patting constantly or you being required to stay right next to them for every sleep.
EARLY MORNING WAKINGS
These are unfortunately an occupational hazard of being a parent to a baby or young child. Ensure your child is not too cool at this time of year. A 2.5 tog with a long sleeve bodysuit and a vest underneath on your little one, in a bedroom with a temperature around 20 degrees is perfect. It is important to note that
the temperature drops in the early hours of the morning, so try to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. For older children a Groclock can be useful to indicate when it is an appropriate time to get up for the day. Reward charts can also be really useful. I usually recommend that anything earlier than 5.30am should be a re-settle, after that then it's time for your first coffee of the morning!
These are another issue I deal with a lot; this is another sleep association however it can be useful and work well in promoting sleep when a baby or child is empowered and taught to replace it themselves throughout their nap or overnight. Many clients complain that they are replacing the dummy all night long. There are however some solutions to make it work for you if you choose to keep using one. During play time on the mat offer the dummy to your little one and encourage them to put it into their mouth. Do a 'dummy sprinkle' where you put lots of dummies in the cot for your baby to find and replace without your help. There are also some great glow in the dark dummy brands available. When they wake for the dummy during a sleep, place it in their hand so they start to become independent at replacing it in their mouth.
MOVING INTO THEIR OWN ROOM
Parents often want to know when is an appropriate time to put their baby in their own room; parents may wake their baby when they go to bed or through the night creating even more wakings! I recommend that babies stay in their parents room until at least 6 months of age. After this they are hopefully not waking so often overnight for feeds and so should benefit from a less disruptive environment and mum and dad get their room back! It can be useful to start your baby off in their room for day naps first and then move to overnight as well after a day or two.
CLIMBING OUT OF THEIR BIG BED
For older children a common issue is climbing repeatedly out of their 'big' bed. The novelty of this freedom unfortunately entices them to get in and out of their bed and move in and out of their rooms with new found independence. Adding a tall baby gate and child proofing the room means that they are safe, even if they are out of their bed. I recommend watching and replacing your child back in their bed each and every time they attempt to leave their bed. I usually would ask my clients to not engage or talk with their child, just replace straight back in bed. This needs to be continued until they learn to stay in their bed
My biggest piece of advice is that whatever you choose to do; beconsistent and don't send mixed messages to your baby or child. Hoping that these tips help you get some more sleep in your life!
All the best and be kind to yourselves.