Help your baby learn to settle and self-soothe with a Sleep Fairy Consultation.
Believe it or not, the ability to sleep is something we are all born with, but calming or self-soothing isn’t. It is, however, something that we can all learn given the chance. This doesn’t mean that we have to leave our babies to cry-it-out in a dark room, but we should try to learn to understand why our baby is crying and how best to respond to them when they do.
Crying is totally natural but it has been given some really bad press recently. If crying is such a bad thing, why is it, along with breathing and blinking, one of the first things we do as we leave the womb? Our babies’ cries are designed as a homing device, so that we can find them when they are in need. But if every time your baby cries, you do everything you can to stop them, you are stopping them from learning a very valuable skill – calming. And if they can’t calm themselves down, it will be difficult for them to sleep. So it is essential to learn to understand your babies’ cries so that you can respond to them when they are crying because they need something, but respond differently if you know they don’t.
Stop night-time waking with a plan from the Sleep Fairy.
Routines are important as they help parents to satisfy their babies’ basic needs for food and sleep. If you have a routine, even if it is a flexible one, it is easier to identify what you need to do for your little one if they are crying or upset. Instead of having feeding as your default response to crying, you can look at when your baby last fed or slept, and when they are due to feed or sleep again, and decide if they are crying because they are hungry or tired. If they aren’t, you can then work out why they are crying. (If you were upset because you had a headache or toothache, a cup of tea or a slice of pizza wouldn’t necessarily make you feel better, would it? Cake on the other hand…)
12 months +
It is very common for toddlers and older children to wake frequently through the night, and before you know it, you haven’t had a full night’s sleep in months. As a parent, it can be really difficult to work out why your child is waking frequently, and what to do to stop them from waking as they can seem very unhappy or scared, or can simply kick off if you try make changes. It is often just a habit that has developed over time, but there is always a solution. The solution will depend on when your child wakes, how often, and how they behave when they are awake.
Excessive Night-time Waking
Sienna, 3 years old, woke repeatedly throughout the night and would only go to sleep whilst drinking milk.
Sienna was waking regularly throughout the night. She was potty trained but not dry at night. She was going to bed with two big beakers of milk, which she would drink throughout the night. She was often wet through by the early hours of the morning and would need a full change of clothes and bedding on a really bad night.
Sienna was bought some new “big girl pyjamas” and was given a special cup to have water in at bedtime. Some slight changes were also made to her bedtime routine to ensure she understood fully that she was expected to sleep all night in her own bed without disturbing her mum.
After their consultation Sienna’s mum had the confidence to put Sienna to bed without milk and Sienna quickly started sleeping through the night.
Sleep Fairy Consultations resolve feeding and eating issues as well as sleep!
At some point in their early years, many children put up some resistance against food whether they are being or have been puree weaned or baby lead weaned (believe it or not). Whenever it happens, it can be a very stressful time for parents and it can lead to long battles at mealtimes or the worry that your child won’t be fully nourished due to choosing a very restricted diet. Many parents also worry that if their children don’t eat a balanced diet now, they will have an unhealthy diet as they grow up.
In a Sleep Fairy and Parent Rescue Consultation, we will look at a food and behaviour diary and work out how to change your child’s eating habits so that mealtimes become fun and pleasurable again, for all the family.
Selective Eating and Napping Issues
Felix, 3 years old, would only eat pureed food. Didi, Felix’s little sister, 1 year old, ate anything that was put in front of her but would not nap in the day.
Felix had some issues with feeding when he was a baby, which led to him being weaned later than most babies. However, at the age of three he was still eating a diet mainly consisting of pureed food. His mother and nursery carers had tried numerous things to get him eating. Felix also had a dummy at night time, and frequent tantrums.
Following their Sleep Fairy and Parent Rescue Consultation, Felix’s mum made some gentle changes to Felix’s meal times, and put into place new ways of dealing with his tantrums. Felix gave his dummies to The Sleep Fairy “to give to the babies that needed them”.
Felix now eats anything and everything, he didn’t ask once for his dummy and has far less tantrums.
Didi having always slept really well in the day as well as at night, had started to fight her afternoon naps. She was clearly in need of the sleep in the day as she became more difficult as the day wore on.
We looked at Didi’s nap-time routine and made a few gentle changes to it. Mum was happy with the new routine and confidently implemented it.
Didi once again sleeps happily during the day.
Practical advice from the Sleep Fairy will put an end to tantrums and the terrible twos
Not all children go through “the terrible twos” or have tantrums, but if they do, it can turn your world, as a parent, upside down. Tantrums and misbehaving at home are exhausting, as it means that you are constantly giving in to your child’s demands, and trying to avoid the next melt down. When you are out and about, it can also be quite embarrassing for some people. But even the most tricky behaviour can be turned around, so that tantrums become a thing of the past, and you can look on with sympathy and understanding when you see somebody else’s child is kicking off at the supermarket.
It can take just a few days to stop your child from howling and wailing if they don’t get their own way, by creating suitable, clear boundaries, and changing the way you respond to them. Even the most wilful, stubborn children will respond to the techniques that you will learn from a Sleep Fairy and Parent Rescue Consultation, for changing difficult behaviour.
The Sleep Fairy can help you ditch the dummy in a day – call her for an appointment.
I see so many families where the babies and toddlers use a dummy or a comforter. Most parents don’t realise how dependent they are on them, but as we talk about the problems they are having with sleep and/or behaviour, it is clear that the dummy or comforter plays a major part in the issues. Most parents are scared of ditching the dummy but I try to make it as quick and painless as possible, and providing the child has the right daily routine and the parents learn to respond in the right way to them when they are crying, it is easy and most children never ask for it again!
Anna from Oxfordshire says
My partner and I were terrified to imagine life without the crutch of a dummy for our 3.5yr old. It was his go to at any moment of stress or upset and whilst we had banned its use outside of the home it was a constant friend and bedtime comforter (they even had names!) When Dee came to help us with our younger son and spotted the dummies it was she that encouraged my son to gather them all up and put them in the dummy bucket. I was secretly horrified. This was never going to work and there were going to be serious repercussions for many weeks to come! That night our son asked when the lady was bringing the bucket back with his dummies and there was 45mins of tears after we explained they weren’t coming back and some sobs into the pillow but day 2 …. He didn’t even mention them! We just couldn’t believe it. This vital companion that trumped chocolate, TV and every other treat going has not been mentioned or missed since. Truly unbelievable (in mine and my partners minds!)
My one-year-old always had a dummy for sleeping, and every time she had had a ‘melt down’ we would give it to her to calm her down. Dee helped me to understand that the dummy wasn’t really helping with her sleep or mood, and I agreed to stop using it immediately. I can honestly say I don’t think my daughter missed the dummy for a moment! I realised that I was the one that needed it to feel like I could do something to calm her – she didn’t really need it at all. Her sleep is so much better and she has fewer and shorter tantrums. Thanks Dee
Floor beds – a lovely alternative to cots. And great for gentle Sleep Fairy sleep training methods.
Sleep Training isn’t for everyone, particularly if you are following baby-wearing or attachment parenting styles. But if you are and your baby is waking during the night, and you are feeling exhausted, there is a gentle solution to help them wake less frequently, if at all. By using a floorbed, you can gradually and gently, help your baby to learn to self-sooth and settle to sleep happily and independently, without the need to leave them crying.
Floor beds don’t need to be used for sleep training, they can be used any time from birth, instead of using a moses basket or cot. They give an infant a comfortable space to sleep when they are tired, with access to the rest of their room when they have slept enough. By giving your child this choice, they will sleep when they need to and remain happy and awake when they don’t.