We all know the cliche “You won’t get a lot of sleep when the baby arrives!”.
We hear it when we are expecting our babies A LOT. We see it on TV shows or movies. It is everywhere, the sad statement that we can kiss our sleep goodbye once our beautiful newborn would arrive.
Some parents feel blessed with a baby that seems to be having no issues when you put them in their crib to sleep, then there are the other parents that feel cursed because the only time their baby would sleep is in their arms.We also have the parents that are positive and believe with a little sleep training they will have their normal sleep patterns back and are disappointed when all those books that they read don’t work as to their expectations. Not a single one.
Parents start getting sleep deprived and need help! So who do we turn to?There are some miracle workers out there that are called Sleep Consultants!
And I was lucky enough to meet one of them! Because let’s be honest sleep training or getting sleep shouldn’t be THIS hard.
I had the honour of meeting Charlene, she is a certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant and she is pretty amazing! She is a mother herself and has been in the same boat as many of us parents, including myself – desperate for sleep and just absolutely tired. With the help of a Sleep Consultant she was able to teach her own daughter how to get a healthy sleep and was able to regain a healthy sleep cycle herself. Now she discovered a beautiful way in helping other mothers with the same journey she had herself – giving parents back their beloved sleep!
When I met with Charlene, she took the time in walking me through her process how she is helping clients with their babies and children: She offers a free 15 minutes phone call in which she can assess your needs and were you can see if the services she offers are something that you are looking for. If you decide to hire Charlene she will then come up with a plan costumed to you and your little one.
Once Charlene worked out a plan for you it is your turn on implementing it. Of course she is there for you for every step of the way, she supports you through this journey and reviews the progress, sometimes the plan needs readjusting just because not every baby or child learns the same and not every method works the same on everyone. Her plans are meant to be gentle techniques and for you to still be there supporting your baby/child while they are learning how to sleep.
I learned from Charlene how important sleep really is, here are a few side effects if you don’t get enough of it:
- Slow metabolism
- Difficulty in controlling emotions
- Slower reaction time
- Deterioration in memory and cognitive abilities and attention
These are only a few effects that I have listed, but they can have a great impact on your life, behaviour and even create a greater risk for postpartum depression! It is so important, especially as a new parent, to receive a decent sleep at night so that you can take proper care of yourself and your baby/children. It is also important for you to be able to regain a bit of freedom to maintain sanity and to devote time to your partner.
Sadly there seems to be a lot of misconception about what a Sleep Consultant does, so i’d like to take the time and tell you more about it. Many people believe that Sleep Consultants mainly use the “Cry-out Method” also known as CIO, which refers to a sleep approach that says it is okay to let a baby cry for a certain amount of time before (or even if) they are being offered comfort.But in fact this kind of method is the “last resort” a Sleep Consultant may use, for very few exceptions and before everything else fails! What i learned from Charlene is that there a many different comfort measures and techniques on how to teach a baby to sleep.
Something a Sleep Consultant is helping with is teaching a baby/child how to sleep and comfort themselves with you as a parent right by their side. You still show them how much you love them and you are still supporting them through the entire process.
As a newborn baby they need to be taught how to sleep by themselves as they are only used to the womb – where it is nice and cozy, are constantly held, where they are being fed 24/7 and have constant movement! With some help you get to teach your little ones how to sleep in a crib and comfort themselves while you keep giving them loving support. Of course once you have taught them how to sleep in their own space there are still a few road bumps along the way… like when the teething starts or they have a growth spurt or babies just started to crawl/run.
In which case you might have a setback in them not wanting to sleep or them just like to snuggle up with their parents etc. If this happens it is important to remember not to fall back into old habits (from before your training) and to keep a routine, because routines are very important for babies and children to get a sense of security and help them develop self-discipline. If routines are not implemented it can cause additional stress for infants and children, they handle change best if it is expected and occurs in context of routine.I hope that this blog may help many mothers of saving them the pain of sleep regression and that i can spread the awareness of the profession of Sleep Consultants.
Check out Charlene’s website or Facebook page:
Lots of love from your Doula, Denise