My Top Silly Season Sleep Tips – How to keep your sanity (and your sleep) this summer!
December is here, and that means a warmer weather, BBQs, and trips away for a lot of us.
For those of you with little ones, preserving their sleep during this time can be a really difficult thing to achieve – things fall out the window really quick and you can find yourself cosleeping with drunken octopusbaby or toddler while you’re supposed to be on holiday, and getting very little sleep at all.
Early wake ups with the sunshine and difficulty settling in the evening with the heat are super common. Here are my top tips to keep you all getting some better sleep this holiday season, whether you’re at home or away!
Use the light to your advantage!
Knowing when to use sunlight or darkness to help manipulate your child’s biological clock is a great way of looking after their sleep.
As we head into sunnier evenings and mornings, you can see real difficulty settling and morning wakings happening far more frequently than you’d like!
In the sunlight, we produce serotonin, which converts to melatonin (the sleep hormone) in darkness.
This means we can use the sunlight to help us in a number of ways. By exposing your baby or toddler to some evening sunlight after their dinner but before their bed time ritual, we can naturally help them to settle faster in the evening, and sleep later in the morning.
This is one of my favourite tricks for early morning wakings over summer.
But darkness is important too!
Sleeping your baby or child in a super dark environment will help tell their body its sleep time, and help them produce melatonin.
After using your sunshine in the evening ensure their room is as close to pitch black as possible (a dim red night light might be necessary for toddlers over 2), will help them settle faster, and sleep later in the morning.
But the HEEEEAAAAT!
We’re the worst aren’t we?
We whinge about the wet and cold in winter but we complain when it’s too hot in summer too – I know I do anyway!
If you don’t have access to a heat pump to keep your babies room cool (aim for 18-20 degrees), a top trick is to use a fan with a frozen drink bottle of water in front of it!
This will help to get some cooler air circulating to help your little one sleep better – just don’t point the fan directly at your wee one, remember our body temp drops when we sleep so we don’t want them to then get chilly!
Try to stick to schedule.
Probably my most boring sounding tip – but maintaining sleep at around the same time every day is really going to help your little one to consistently sleep better.
There’s a reason for the term Monday-itis – people who usually wake up at a set time throughout the week and go to work etc, and then mess this all up on the weekend with evenings out or big sleep ins tend to suffer much more come Monday than those who stuck with their usual wake up and sleep times.
It’s the same for your baby – keeping their rest times at roughly the same time each day helps their bodies get good restorative sleep.
Take their usual sleep things – sleeping bag (make sure its one designed for warm weather), cuddly toys or other sleep cues you usually use to also aid their sleep in unfamiliar environments.
What about when out and about?
If you’re travelling or heading to friends for dinner where your baby will sleep, take a roll of tin foil with you.
Ok I know this sounds weird, but this is a great way to quickly and easily make your baby’s room at your in laws super dark if you don’t want to invest in blackout travel blinds. Simply wipe the window with a damp cloth and the tin foil will stick. This is only a good short-term solution but it really works!
Talk to your neighbors though, so they don’t think you’ve got an illegal drug operation going on!
Something I would really suggest investing in is a Snooze Shade – they’re a blackout cover for your pram, and they do one for a cot too!
If you’re out for naps or going camping with your travel-cot these are an absolute godsend for saving sleep and avoiding those early starts!
If you’ve been busy doing things and you’re starting to see sleep go down hill – get in touch with us and we can help you plan around whatever you’ve got going on to ensure you don’t lose more sleep than you need to this holiday season!
And if you’re really suffering already, we’d love to help ensure you and your little one receive the gift of sleep this Christmas :)
Our Baby Sleep Program helps tired parents TO DEVELOP HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS BY FOCUSING ON NAPS, SETTLING AND NIGHT SLEEP.
- Empowered: Feel empowered as a Mum as you learn to understand your growing baby's needs and cues.
- Simple effective settling: Gentle, proven self settling, evidence based techniques.
- Content happy baby and parents: Better sleep creates content babies & happy parents.
- Freedom: Predictable routines and longer nights creates freedom. Solve your sleep problems for more freedom.
- Work with your babies circadian rhythm: Work with your babies biological clock for faster easier results.
- Awesome naps & nights: You'll create consistent naps and nights with our support.
Try our online sleep program, complete with FREE email support.
My baby has reflux can you help?
When your baby has reflux, feeds can be difficult and your baby can be in a lot of pain both during and after feeds. This pain can cause feeding aversions and failure to thrive. This is why true GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) needs to be treated by a doctor. Once your baby's doctor is satisfied your baby is feeding well, and you have the right medication or formula then we can start a sleep plan and you will be successful.
My baby has colic will this help?
Colic is defined as 3 or more hours of crying per day in infants. Crying subsides in the second second trimester. If you are still experiencing colic symptoms speak to your baby's doctor about whether this could be reflux, an allergy, or over tiredness. We can help you work on better sleep with this program at the same time as your doctor investigates the pain and crying.
What if the program isn't working?
We have a dedicated help line to ensure your success. Just email our team via the details in your program and a certified, experienced and friendly sleep consultant is ready to stare you in the right direction to ensure your success!
My baby was born early, can you help?
Sleep is neurological so we always work off your babies neurological age, that is their corrected age. When you look at our sleep programs purchase the program that your babies corrected age fits into.
What if I have questions or need more help?
Our sleep programs come with private email support. You don’t have to post in any public forums or groups, just email the exclusive helpline that our team of certified sleep consultants look after and we’ll answer all your questions and help you on your way.
Can this program help with my babies night sleep?
Yes, all our online sleep programs contain night sleep plans. We will teach you how to move from multiple night feeds to 2 or 1 or none (depending on what is age appropriate and appropriate for your baby.) Don’t worry we will show you to figure this out too. If your baby is unsettled at night but not feeding, our plans will help you with consolidate night sleep and self settling when age appropriate.
My baby is cat napping can you help?
Cat napping is a very normal physiological stage that your baby goes through. At this stage (3-8 months old), cat napping can start to be a long term issue and compound into over tiredness and affect night sleep and your babies happiness. Good news, this is a great age to work on re-settling, self settling and better longer naps!
I have 3 children, can this work with my family?
I totally understand how busy life is with 2, 3 or more children! Even if you need a flexible schedule we can still work on settling regular naps (some on the go!), and better evenings and night. Flick our consultants any specific questions about your family's schedule of activities and we can help you work out what is possible nap wise.
I don't want a fixed routine, can you still help?
Yes. A fixed routine is one option, regular naps and regular awake times is another. Both are valid and you are welcome to do what works for your family. We understand you are all different and what works best for one family won't be best for another.
I'm formula feeding, can you still help?
Yes we have specific advice for formula feeding parents, and we support your decision to feed any way you choose. We even have a special video series on formula feeding and everything you need to know. Just ask our consultants about this extra if you need it.
I'm exclusively breastfeeding, can I follow your plans?
Yes! While breastfeeding babies need to feed frequently they still need quality sleep day and night. We have specific advice for breastfeeding mums and an exclusive discount on Julia Daleys breastfeeding course if you need extra help.
I'm bed sharing, can your program help me stop?
Yes. We often fall into bed sharing, we call this reactive bed sharing. Or we have simply changed our mind, and moving on from bed sharing we need some support. Our programs and consults will guide you through gentle sleep methods, which are more appropriate for most bed sharing babies who are moving towards independent sleep in the cot.
I'm feeding to sleep, can you help me stop?
Yes. Feeding to sleep is a common sleep association and one that works well for lots of newborns. Often we need to move on from feeding to sleep when it starts to cause short naps, or prolonged settling or frequent night wake ups as baby looks for their association to go back to sleep over and over again at night. We can teach you how to teach your baby to self settle and move on from feeding to sleep when the time is right.
I'm rocking to sleep, is their a solution?
Yes. These are common sleep associations, we refer to this as assisting to sleep. Let us show you ways you can develop independent sleep and settling strategies with our online sleep program, or one on one consult.
Is this program based on Cry It Out?
No. Cry it out is the common name for a sleep training method where you put baby down and don’t respond or check until they are fast asleep. There is no CIO involved in this program as we feel this should be only done under proper supervision. Instead we have included all our very gentle approaches and more mainstream techniques for you to choose from.
Is this based on Science or Art?
Both! As a scientist I (Emma) have spent over 8 years researching the science of sleep. I have educated and certified over 500 consultants around the world as sleep consultants, and have worked with thousands of clients. I love the scientific explanations of why we see the sleep patterns we see, and this science helps us to shape plans and solutions that we know will work. But there's an element of art to getting a baby to sleep, understanding the right combination of things that will work best, and this is where your instinct comes in.
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