We often receive enquiries from desperate parents during the night. As we all know problems are amplified when the night is still. And it saddens us to think so many parents feel alone with their sleep deprivation. Inadequate sleep leads to a cranky, fussy baby and in older children behavioural difficulties such as defiance, crankiness, hyperactivity and clingy personality. Sleep deprived parents will often tell us their relationship is, “on the rocks”. They blame themselves and each other.
The whole family becomes entrenched in negative behaviours – a giant wheel that continues to turn until someone, somewhere puts a spoke in the wheel and says, “Hey – you don’t have to live like this”. (That someone, somewhere is Savvy Tot Sleep!)
True to say when you are living “in” something it’s hard to see the wood from the trees. Especially when you are sleep deprived and exhausted.
At Savvy Tot Sleep we often see frustrated parents who report they have tried “everything”. They can’t work out why all their friends LO’s sleep like angels. Parents will tell us that they have read all the books. “We followed Gina Ford for the first few months, then – we tried the Baby Whisperer. We thought she/he would learn to sleep through by 10 months but she/he still wakes 5 – 6 times a night”.
For most parents contacting a Baby/Child Sleep expert is the last port of call. We SO encourage parents to contact us sooner rather than later. An entrenched habit is far harder to break than “nipping it in the bud” so to speak.
Partly, the seed of sleep difficulties is sown in the first few months of life. Nine times out of ten older children with sleep difficulties have, “never slept well”. It’s almost as if parents resign themselves to having a troublesome sleeper. The concept of a troublesome sleeper is usually endorsed by granny or even the parent themselves. “Well, of course – you/I never
slept through until you/I was 5 years old”.
We always reply, “You are not your child – and times have moved on”. It is likely that in the past many non sleeping babies had reflux, food intolerance, feeding difficulties which would not have been diagnosed 20 years ago. And it is not unusual for us to see older children with a variety of undiagnosed problems from constipation to dairy intolerance which contribute to poor sleep.
At Savvy Tot Sleep we help you “suss” out the root of the problem. From our work and research we know that 4 out of 5 babies and children with sleep difficulties are due to the way parents intervene. Often, simply changing the way parents intervene with night waking or “changing tact” resolves the problem.
Recently a mum asked Deb, “But how will this work?”
The truth is we don’t know exactly how our strategies work – all we know is that they DO work. However, it is well researched that when parents change their response to their child’s behaviour – the child will respond differently. It’s a bit like if you walk down the street smiling at everyone – they will generally smile back at you. If you don’t smile – they won’t!
Simple psychology that works because human beings are creatures of habit.
Night waking in LO’s can certainly be just that – HABIT!
And as human beings we have the capacity to change our habits – with support (from those that love us) and a nudge in the right direction.
In summary, at Savvy Tot Sleep we guide rather than tell you what to do. That’s because we unequivocally believe that parents know their child best.
P.S Many, many thanks to all our past clients who are recommending us. Through word of mouth Savvy Tot Sleep now has a global following!