How Hormones can help or Hinder Your Little One's Sleep
Overtiredness in your little one can turn bedtime, naps and getting them to sleep into a battle!
“ Surely if my baby or toddler is overtired falling asleep will be seamless and they’ll sleep really well, right? Wrong!”
Overtiredness does to your little one what coffee does for you when your tired! It keeps you going and awake but it doesn't stop the tiredness and if you have coffee too close to bedtime it makes it super hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Sound little sleepers rarely happen by accident and in my years as a mum and night nanny i have noticed that parents of little ones who sleep well and have predictable sleep habits seem to know these 3 things. Wether they realise it or not i have found parents of sound sleepers undertsand that
To understand that the ability to sleep through the night independently is a skill to be nurtured.
I often talk about knowing your little one's sleep cues especially the early ones so that you can avoid overtiredness. Overtiredness can make it realy difficult to settle our little ones to sleep. Crying, meltdowns and tantrums are later cues of tiredness your little one might display but by the time they are crying they may already be too tired.
So how can you recognise those early signals of tiredness? What do they look like?
Early signs of tiredness can vary from baby to baby. Your baby or toddlers signs may be completely different to another childs. Common early signs of tiredness can be sudden loss on interest in interacting with you, pulling their ears or rubbing their noses or faces.
A great way to familiarise yourself with your own baby or toddlers early sleep cues or signals is to look at the average time your baby can be awake before needing to rest and sleep, ( the table below displays the averages) then around the end of that time pay close attention to your little ones behaviour and see what you notice. Do this a few times a day over a couple of days? What do you notice? what actions or behaviours do they display repeatedly before you notice the more obvious signs of tiredness?
Those little things they do could be their unique early sleep cues.
Some early sleep cues your baby may display are:
Suddenly losing interest in an activity when moments ago they were totally engaged
suddenly avoiding eye contact
nuzzling into your shoulder or arms
many other cues so pay close attention for a few dyas and see what you notice
When you begin to recognise those early signals begin the wind down process. Get them prepared for a nap, in a nice dark and quiet room or place, usuing white noise if necessary. In a few days you will notice your baby falls asleep more quickly and easily and with a lot less resistance.
Watch a live stream i hosted on the topic over on Periscope Here
If you are reading this because you have a baby or toddler doesn't like sleeping as much as you do, I'd love to help you feel more confident, less overwhelmed and kick sleep deprivation to the curb... here are some ways ways i can be of help.
1. You can join my community over on Facebook for sleep deprived mums wanting more gentle and respectful soultions to their babies sleep problems. Connect with me there and other mums who share your mission for more sleep using more gentle and child focussed methods. I created it to be space for commeraderies, support, inspiration or even just a safe space to come and have a good old whinge when sleep deprivation is kicking your butt! To join us over on FB Click Here!
2. If your thinking about maybe sleep training your baby i have a free baby sleep class that can help you decide on how to sleep train your baby or toddler and 7 Key points to think about before you sleep train so that when you do start you see success quickly and with as little stress as possible. To access that free training Click Here....but hurry as i will be taking that free training down very soon
3. You can optimise your little ones daytime sleep to avoid overtiredness ( and undertiredness) by structuring naps throughout the day. I have created for you a daily routine that will ensure that your baby get plenty of sleep during the day and at the right time ( and duration) so that at night time they'll settle to sleep with ease and sleep through the night sooner rather than later. I've created routines for the first year of your baby's life and you can download your years worth of baby sleep routines here
4. You can work with me privately to help get you and your baby or toddler sleeping through the night. We can work together and plan a sleep solution speciifically for you and your family and have me hold your hand, offerif emotional support and accountability to help you confidently shape ho your baby or toddler sleeps To book a session with me click here to select a package that suits you and book our sessions together or email me for a free discovery call where we can chat and see if working together is a good fit for both of us!!