[Day 1] Sound Sleep Week | My Secret Weapon Against Sleep Struggles
My secret weapon against sleep struggle is JOURNALING!!! actually it's not its awareness but that's bloody hard to keep up with when your tired so journaling is the next best thing.
All little ones want to sleep. ( I know, hard to believe at 3am when they just wint go back to sleep)
we all need to!
it's a biological necessity.
It's just that at times, even for us adults; getting to sleep and even staying asleep can be tricky and the key to figuring out how to get past the struggle of it is to identify why it's happening in the first place.
Being aware of what's happening and when can help you find patterns in your Little ones behaviour and habits that can give us clues about why Sleep resistance is happening.
If your little one isn't sleeping there is always a cause or a reason.
Babies and toddlers can't tell us what's up and half the time I suspect they're not even sure themselves even if they were able to tell us. Keeping track of behaviour feeds, sleep durations and can help you pin point which sleep thief is robbing your baby of sleep.
What's a sleep thief? A sleep thief is a cause of sleep resistance. There are so many reasons why a baby can struggle with sleep but I find categorising the possible reason helps with problem solving and I'll be sharing with you more on sleep thievery this week.
So why keep a log? Well to identity patterns in your little ones behaviour that can give you clues about the reason. Sometimes the lack of pattern in behaviour is the issue.
When i was studying child development years ago we were taught the best way to help a child develop is to observe, record, analyse and plan.
Look at what they can do and what they struggle with and then plan a way of building on what they can do to get them to the point where they can conquer their struggle.
The record element of this process is extremely important esp when your sleep deprived. It's so hard to remember what happened and when. So many times I've “remembered” nights with a charge one way only to refer to my notes taken in the moment as being very different to what I actually recalled. Keeping a journal or record of
What is happening
And when it's happening
is really helpful. It's gives you an exact picture of what is actually happening.
So I have a little homework for you. (It's not compulsory but it will really help you if your little ones sleep is a little unpredictable)
Get a piece of paper and divide it into 2 columns
One for the time and one for notes.
For the next few days make notes on your little ones behaviour over a 24 hour day.
7am woke up fed on left breast for 20 mins
Changed nappy seems grouchy after feeding. 7.40am Couldn't figure out why she was so whinny but then she burped and calmed down
8.15 rubbing eyes and getting miserable again
8.30 I cuddled her in my arms and she falls asleep
8.45 I put her down in her cot but she wakes up after 10 mins
It's seems tedious at first but after a few days you can look back over your notes and analyses your records to help you name the sleep thief stealing yours and your babies sleep
If you're a smart phone addict like me you could always keep notes on your phone or use an app to. Record feeds (really useful for breastfeeding mums as it can time feeds for you and log them in charts etc)
I prefer old-fashioned pen to paper as even when tired you tend to have better recall when you write and reread the words however I'm all for making life as easy as possible so by all means use an app if it's easier.
The apps I have used and found useful are:
Baby Glo - my fav off all I've used
Baby Feed Timer - it's ok but not my favourite
Baby Connect - a lot of my night nanny & maternity nurse colleagues recommend this app I've never used it myself. ( all mentioned apps canbe download on IOS or Android)
If you're using pen and paper keep it simple. The main points is to note of
What you see in that moment
And when you see it
I went live on Facebook to elaborate a little on why keeping an accurate record of behaviour, feeds and sleep. You can watch the replay below
As the week unfolds I will be showing you how to interpret what you have logged. What to look for and how to make changes. And I will be introducing you to the Sleep Thieves too.
Charmaine Walters is a mum, night nanny, infant sleep coach and the creator of The Soundly Sleeping Club. Her online resource and members club for sleep deprived parents. To learn more about The Soundly Sleeping Club and how joining can help you not only get more sleep but help you better understand why your little one can struggle with sleep at times (and what you can do about it!) click here