Maternal instinct, mothers intuition, gut feelings whatever you want to call it –listen to it!
Our female ancestors had to tune into their babies and environment quickly for their protection and survival, they were hard-wired with a peak awareness and were able to access their environments quickly. Nowadays woman still have that maternal awareness, which has been well documented by research. Whether it is waking up moments before your baby cries overnight or taking your child to the doctor when you know something is wrong. We as woman have the ability to read our children and understand them better than any experts in any field.
Recently a mother reached out to me about her 8 month old who was waking frequently overnight and ‘snacking’ on his bottles. She was exhausted. We did a full sleep assessment and found he was walking genuinely hungry but only needed one decent feed rather than 3-4 small feeds. Together we created a plan to consolidate his bottles into one while we upped his solid intake and added extra carbohydrates and protein into his meals. Once we did this we could start to wean him off the one feed and teach him to sleep through the night. After the week was up Mum emailed me and said “she (a health care professional) told me he shouldn’t be hungry…I knew he was”. This mum had known in her gut that he was hungry, she however followed the advice and tried to resettle without a feed, her boy cried endlessly and when she gave up and offered him a bottle she was made to feel like a failure “I felt comfortable working with you –easy, non threatening, complete opposite approach to her. When she asked how his sleeping was going I felt like I was being told off!”
Moral of the story is this. You are the expert on your own child.
This expertise comes with spending endless time with your little one and getting to know everything about them, you know every single one of their cues, their quirks, their habits. You know what is normal for them and what is not, you know when your child is feeling unwell or just moody, you know if they are hungry or tired or just needing some cuddles.
Trust yourself – you know more than you think you do.
Certified infant and child sleep consultant Rotorua
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