Healing The Inner Child

Healing The Inner Child

Reflecting on Childhood

Before you even think about having a baby you will start to reflect on your own childhood. You will find yourself examining the ways in which your parents raised you. There may have been ways you were were parented which are in direct conflict with your own desire to raise a child. Some of these thoughts and decisions are brought about by the concious mind. These are thoughts and experiences which we readily recall and sit not far from the surface.

The Subconcious

What is far more interesting and far more important is the experiences and emotions which you have buried deep within your subconcious. This is your inner child. Your inner child is the reservoir of all your childhood exerpriences, positive and negative. To become a ‘whole’ parent it is really important to focus on your inner child and give healing to her. Otherwise parenting has this nasty habit of unleashing the Jack in the Box to come and get you. The Jack in the Box is an analogy for all your hurts and disappointments as a child.

Emotional Memory

Our own babies and children can stimulate our own childhood memories extremely powerfully. Our closeness to them can trigger many of the experiences we felt as a child. What our children do is rekindle the dormant emotional memory we had in childhood. It can be triggered by any intense emotion that reminds us of that or similar event. They cause old emotions in our subconcious to waft up into our conciousness. Parents often make choices based on emotional memories. It is so important to be in touch with your emotions and to question where these thoughts and feelings are coming from.

Birth Trauma

At the birth of your own child a parent may feel the emotional memory of their own birth trauma. The emotional memories have been pushed towards the surface because of the heightened sensations. This can result in you reliving your own birth trauma. This is why dads can faint at delivery.

Labour and Delivery

During labour and delivery the Jack in the Box can come out as the mum experiences another level of pain and a feeling of being out of control. Her inner child is feeling another level of pain sending her to another plane of existence. In order to labour effectively she needs to control her thoughts and her mind. Once the mum starts to panic, feeling an overwhelming sense of loss of control she can hit trouble and an obstructed labour. As a midwife I can spot this happening a mile off. The mums who have been subjected to rape or childhood abuse, in particular childhood sexual abuse are more likely to struggle with their inner child and emotional memory. Any pain or trauma will bring those extremely raw emotions they’ve tried to bury rushing to the surface. It can feel raw, visceral and totally overwhelming.

Postnatal Distress

In my outreach days as a Maternal & Child Health Nurse I recall being called out to a mum who was 10 days postnatal. Dad was struggling to manage her and was extremely concerned for her welfare. On arriving at her inner city Melbourne home he led me to her bedroom. She lay on her bed curled up in a fetal position, whimpering and sobbing like a hurt little child. The birth and subsequent exhaustion of those early postnatal days had taken a very heavy toll. She couldn’t move off the bed, she was stuck and almost catatonic and felt suicidal. When I got to the crux of the problem she disclosed that she had been sexually abused by her brother. The pain of the delivery and the subsequent unsettled behaviour of a newborn had brought all these feelings back to the surface. This new baby was a girl and she said she felt out of control as she was frightened about how she was going to protect her little girl when her own mother had failed to protect her. She really was in total overwhelm and her inner child was like a raw scab that was getting picked and picked at till it was raw and bleeding. Fortunately her husband was totally amazing and knew that she needed professional help so had called me.

Mother and Baby Unit

Luckily in Victoria I had access to help and support from the mother and baby units that were located in and around Melbourne. These units allowed the mum to stay and bond with her baby whilst under the care of psychologists and psychiatrists. Every state and territory in Australia should have them but unfortunately this is not the case. The mum and her baby were admitted that very day and we managed to keep her safe and allow her a safe and supportive space to get herself better once again.

This is just an example of what can happen if a mother has a damaged inner child. This is why counselling pre pregnancy can make a huge difference to postnatal outcomes. I’d like to think antenatal care included this as a preventative and positive part of the service and then health care providers can support these mums so much better.

Healing the Inner Child is essential and needs raising as a priority otherwise we are potentially leaving the next generation to disadvantage and negative outcomes. We need to hold and support the mum so she can hold her child.

Motherhood and the loss of self

Adjustment to being a mum & parent

Are you looking for support as a new mum?

You can access my 3 decades of experience as a registered midwife and child and family health nurse via the Nurture Sleep Program. You can take your baby from sleepless to slumber in up to 7 easy lessons across 3 age groups once you join.

https://nurtureparenting.com.au/nurture-sleep-program

🍌 FOODS that promote baby sleep
ROUTINE: easy, flexible, sleep-ready
💡 ENVIRONMENT: getting it right
👶🏽 DEVELOPMENT: changes, how these affect sleep
😴 SLEEP METHODS: secret tips that will change your life

It will stop the guesswork and give you:
A tried and tested approach (20 years of helping families with baby & toddler sleep)
Evidence-based
Gentle baby sleep methods
Holistic assessment
Nurture & Nourish nutrition program – all recipes have sleep-inducing ingredients and a perfect balance for a good nights sleep
Access to a closed Facebook group for one on one support from Karen and 90+ timecoded Facebook Live videos
Prevention for under 4 months so no need to do sleep training ever
And all at a low $97 for a very limited time

Nurture Sleep Program

Total Sleep Needs of Babies & Toddlers

Total Sleep Needs of Babies & Toddlers

The Developing Brain

Sleep is important for the developing brain and body. By 3 years most children will have slept for more time than all the wakeful activities combined. Many parents worry their baby isn’t getting enough sleep. However, you need to know there is a large variation from baby to baby and toddler to toddler. Just like there is with developmental milestones.

Approximately 25% of children will experience a sleep problem of some kind.

Physiology of Sleep

The Circadian Process – an internal clock dictating periods of wakefulness and sleep based on a light-dark cycle. This is connected to the secretion of melatonin.

The Homeostatic Process – sleep pressure builds up during wakeful hours and is relieved by sleep.

Here are my TOP 5 Tips that you’re winning.

  1. Your baby is going down FULLY AWAKE (not drowsy – there is no drowsy but awake!) and putting themselves to sleep (no sleep crutches)
  2. Your baby can do one long sleep once a day (more than 40 minutes)
  3. Your baby wakes happy from naps
  4. Your baby can get to bedtime happy on the day naps they are getting
  5. You’re happy

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated the sleep needs of babies and children as a guideline. It’s really important to take note of the word GUIDELINE. It is exactly that, a guide, it is not set in stone.

Strong Personalities

Temperament is an important indicator of total sleep needs. The baby with a strong personality is often a resistant day napper and falls towards the lower end of the scale. Culture also plays a large part in how much sleep. Babies in New Zealand get the most sleep compared to babies in SE Asia. Sleep needs are trending lower across many cultures than they ever have. Are these babies getting enough sleep or has modern living compromised their sleep routines together with the adults?

Have a look at these bedtimes from around the world and their bedtimes!

sleep needs and bedtimes

https://www.parentingscience.com/baby-sleep-requirements.html

Sleep Charts

Sleep charts are definitely not the last word on baby sleep requirements. To estimate your baby’s own, individualized needs, you need to supplement information from sleep charts together with your own observations of your baby’s behaviour.

Mindell et al (2009) research 

  • 0-2 month old – Total sleep was 10-19 hours and the average was 13-14.5 hours
  • 2-12 month old – Total sleep was  9-10 hours at night and 3-4 hours in day naps, the average was 12-13 hours
  • 1-3 year old toddlers – Total sleep was 9.5-10.5 hours and 2-3 hours of day naps, the average was 11-13 hours
  • 3-5 year old children – Total sleep was 9-10 hours, the average was 9-10 hours

Longitudinal Swiss Study

Iglowstein et al (2003) tracked 493 Swiss children from birth to 16 years. Here are the sleep patterns they observed for children under the age of 2 years. They may serve as a rough guide to baby sleep requirements.

  • 1 month old – The average baby got a total of 14-15 hours of sleep, 50% of babies got between 13 and 16 hour, 96% of babies got between 9 and 19 hours
  • 3 months old – The average baby got a total of 14-15 hours of sleep, 50% of babies got between 13 and 16 hours, 96% of babies got between 10 and 19 hours
  • 6 months old – The average baby got about 14.2 hours of total sleep, 50% of babies got between 13 and 15.5 hours, 96% of babies got between 10.4 and 18.1 hours
  • 9 months old – The average baby got about 13.9 hours of total sleep, 50% of babies got between 12.8 and 15 hours, 96% of babies got between 10.5 and 17.4 hours
  • 1 year old – The average baby got about 13.9 hours of total sleep, 50% of babies got between 13 and 14.8 hours, 96% of babies got between 11.4 and 16.5 hours
  • 18 months old – The average baby got about 13.6 hours of total sleep, 50% of babies got between 12.7 and 14.5 hours, 96% of babies got between 11.1 and 16 hours
  • 2 years old – The average baby got about 13.2 hours of total sleep, 50% of babies got between 12.3 and 14 hours, 96% of babies got between 10.8 and 15.6 hours

So, as you can see there is a large variation from baby to baby. This blog made me recall a mum from the Inner West of Sydney whose 3 month old baby regularly did 20 hours every single day. Everyone in the mother’s group shot daggers her way! Her 2nd child was equally sleepy.

And just to add more to the mix…

Feeding, Co-sleeping and Sleep

Breastfed babies tend to sleep less.

Studies of 4 week-old infants found that breastfed babies got less sleep than did formula-fed babies (Quillin and Glenn 2004; Quillin 1997).

Cosleeping babies sleep less.

A Swiss study has reported that children over 9 months of age who shared their parents’ beds slept less than did children who slept alone (Jenni et al 2005).

Every baby is different. Try not to worry, most babies will regulate their own sleep needs. And if you need help please contact me. I’d love to help you with your baby’s sleep. 

This article was in response to a question from a mum in my Nurture Sleep Program. To learn more about this program and support group click this link.

Superfine merino sleepwear is better for baby than cotton

7 things you need to know about day naps and baby sleep

3 Reasons Your Baby Needs Good Day Naps

Learn about my new online Nurture Sleep Program. It will stop the guesswork and give you:
✅ A tried and tested approach (20 years of helping families with baby & toddler sleep)
✅ Evidence-based
✅ Gentle baby sleep methods
✅ Holistic assessment
✅ Nurture & Nourish nutrition program – all recipes have sleep-inducing ingredients and a perfect balance for a good nights sleep
✅ Access to a closed Facebook group for one on one support from Karen and 90+ timecoded Facebook Live videos
✅ Prevention for under 4 months so no need to do sleep training ever
✅ And all at a low $97 for a very limited time
Can you tell Karen is getting rather excited for all you parents who need a good nights sleep and one that happens EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and not just in a blue moon 🌑 .

CLICK on the link below to find out how my new online program can help you and your baby

Nurture Sleep Program

Kind & Gentle Sleep Training Is So Important

Kind & Gentle Sleep Training Is So Important

In exchange for a free phone consult, I asked Gina, my other half’s niece, to write me a blog about her experience. Here it is and I think it will help many other mums get help and know they are not alone.

Blog from Gina

I am lucky enough to know Karen and have been given some wonderful advice by her since our daughter (who just turned 1) joined our family. Karen is someone who I have full faith in because I know she is very qualified in this field, understands babies and most importantly she is KIND and loves babies!  To say Karen knows her stuff about baby development and sleep is an understatement.

Waking a lot at night

Last year we brought home a newborn who slept well and from early on was doing long stints of sleep. When our daughter started and kept waking up 4+ times per night at around 4.5 months old, Karen was the person I called as I thought it wasn’t the best idea to just keep feeding her all those times and hope for the best.
I did not want to be at either end of the spectrum – leaving my baby to cry or feeding to sleep every single time, which would not have been sustainable for anyone.
In that call Karen did me a big favour- she gave me permission to not feed my baby every single time she woke overnight (without making me feel like a horrible mother!). Some feeds were ok as she was still a young baby, but some feeds went.

Needs and Appetites of a 4 Month Baby

Karen explained the needs and appetite of babies and how too many overnight feeds can impact day time appetite and get us into a bit of a muddle (which we were in by that stage). With Karen’s tips, my husband and I were able to respond to nighttime wake-ups and be with our baby in a way that was gentle but also didn’t perpetuate a cycle of waking and feeding for months and months.

Introducing Solids

Karen also gave me tips on introducing solids and making the most of awake time – all extremely helpful and valuable information for new parents. The nighttime waking reduced and we now have a very happy one year old who sleeps brilliantly day and night.
Simply put, Karen is the best … she is knowledgeable, balanced and measured in her advice and most of all kind (to parents and babies) in her approach which is really what you want.
Thank you Karen for everything you do  x
Read more here about introducing solid food.
And my new online Nurture Sleep Program.

It will stop the guesswork and give you:
a tried and tested approach (20 years of helping families with baby & toddler sleep) ✅
Evidence based ✅
Gentle baby sleep methods ✅
Holistic assessment ✅
Nurture & Nourish nutrition program – all recipes have sleep inducing ingredients and a perfect balance for a good nights sleep ✅
Access to a closed Facebook group for one on one support from Karen and 90+ timecoded Facebook Live videos ✅
Prevention for under 4 months ✅ so no need to do sleep training ever ✅
And all at a low $97 for a very limited time ✅
Can you tell Karen is getting rather excited for all you parents who need a good nights sleep and one that happens EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and not just in a blue moon 🌑 .

CLICK on the link below to find out how my new online program can help you and your baby

Nurture Sleep Program

 

Not Once but Twice

Not Once but Twice

When you’ve helped a family not just once but twice now to get a good night’s sleep it definitely needs sharing.

“Hello lovely Karen,

I’ve been holding out emailing you a progress and finally I have great success I wanted to share.

I am not surprised that William has adjusted so quickly and he’s even more deliciously adorable than ever. I think he’s loving the tweaked routine as much as mum & dad are.

Since our call last Sunday will has now slept through the night 4 times, and requires less and less time from us to resettle himself if he does wake. The last 2 nights he had slept from 6.45pm – 6.45am (I literally have to wake him).

He even had a big upper tooth pop through in the last week and we didn’t even realise

I’ve also seen an improvement in his lunch sleep – with more 2hr sleeps from him.

I’ve definitely taken your advise on clothing and am rugging him up more overnight which I definitely think has helped as well as re-thinking his diet.

I feel really confident now that I’m doing the right thing and he certainly seems sprightlier and happier in himself.

You are amazing!

I’ll keep you updated once we make it through the 4 week stage.

Sam”

Facebook

This is mum’s testimonial on my Facebook Page.

We’ve first used Karen with our 1st baby when she was 8 months, and just recently I contacted her again for my 2nd bub who is now 8 months.

I am not surprised that we’ve seen immediate results and after 4 nights we are now getting continuous sleep through the entire night from our 8 month old! We are all much sprightlier and happier than ever before.

Karen has given me the confidence and tools to understand my children’s needs for sleep and nutrition. Both my kids are now amazing sleepers and I credit this to Karen.

What is involved in my sleep methods?

Superfine merino sleepwear is better for baby than cotton

Do Nightlights Help Baby & Toddler Sleep?

Do Nightlights Help Baby & Toddler Sleep?

Darkness is essential to sleep. Light in the day is responsible for setting the 24 hour circadian rhythm responsible for sleep and awake periods.

Melatonin

Light exposure at night also stimulates alertness— posing a serious problem for healthy, abundant and refreshing sleep. Light exposure during the late evening leading up to bedtime can make it harder for the baby and toddler to fall asleep. Insufficient darkness throughout the night can lead to frequent and prolonged awakenings. Melatonin, a hormone produced in the pineal gland is at it’s lowest at 5 am and any light that enters the bedroom will hit the brain low in melatonin leading to early morning waking. This will in turn lead to day nap problems and a poor appetite.

Melatonin influences sleep by sending a signal to the brain saying it is time for rest. This signal initiates the body’s physiological preparations for sleep—muscles begin to relax, feelings of drowsiness increase, body temperature drops. Melatonin levels naturally rise during the early evening as darkness falls. At night, particularly between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. melatonin is secreted. The problem is, even the slightest ray of artificial light can disrupt its release. It continues to climb throughout most of the night, before peaking at around 2-4 a.m. Levels of melatonin then fall during the early morning, Remaining low during much of the day. Continuous darkness at night leads to increased levels of circulating melatonin. Whereas continuous light including night lights leads to suppression of melatonin.

Evening light exposure inhibits the naturally timed rise of melatonin, which delays the onset of the body’s transition to sleep and sleep itself.

Nurture Parenting store image computer and baby

Electricity the modern sleep enemy

In the old days humans did not need to seek out darkness. The advent of electricity has created a modern problem. We need to recreate the darkness and dim lighting our ancestors enjoyed naturally pre bedtime. Blue light, is especially problematic, created by screens, tablets, smart phones and televisions interferes with and inhibits the natural production of melatonin.

Managing light exposure is essential for a healthy nights sleep for your baby and toddler. Any electrical night light left on during the night affects the appetite hormone ghrelin and can lead to insulin resistance, a risk factor for diabetes.

7 things you need to know about day naps and baby sleep

Heavy lined curtains & blinds

Your childs room should be pitch black for sleep. Using heavy lined curtains and block out blinds can make a big difference. Plantation shutters don’t provide a dark enough bedroom. Bedroom blackout blinds can make a huge difference and Nurture Parenting has a discount code NURTURE10 ONLY for parents living in Australia.

Superfine merino sleepwear is better for baby than cotton

Toddlers and Nightmares

Once your toddler starts reading and maybe waching TV their imagination starts. This can lead to nightmares and suddenly becoming scared of the dark. Rather than give in to them and leaving a bedroom light on try using a light on in the bathroom. If this starts causing early morning or frequent night waking then you need to know about Lou The Owl. This is a Dutch designed nightlight that turns on in response to your child crying out and turns off automatically within 5 minutes. A word of caution place this light out of reach for your toddler in case they start to play with it and over ride the automatic turn off mechanism.

http://www.zazu-kids.nl/product/lou/

Are you looking for more baby and toddler sleep support?

With my medical training, I’ve worked with many parents to resolve medical and behavioural sleep issues.

You can access my 3 decades of experience as a registered midwife and child and family health nurse via the Nurture Sleep Program. You can take your baby from sleepless to slumber in up to 7 easy lessons across 3 age groups once you join.

https://nurtureparenting.com.au/nurture-sleep-program

🍌 FOODS that promote baby sleep
⏰ ROUTINE: easy, flexible, sleep-ready
💡 ENVIRONMENT: getting it right
👶🏽 DEVELOPMENT: changes, how these affect sleep
😴 SLEEP METHODS: secret tips that will change your life

It will stop the guesswork and give you:
✅ A tried and tested approach (20 years of helping families with baby & toddler sleep)
✅ Evidence-based
✅ Gentle baby sleep methods
✅ Holistic assessment
✅ Nurture & Nourish nutrition program – all recipes have sleep-inducing ingredients and a perfect balance for a good nights sleep
✅ Access to a closed Facebook group for one on one support from Karen and 90+ timecoded Facebook Live videos
✅ Prevention for under 4 months so no need to do sleep training ever
✅ And all at a low $97 for a very limited time

CLICK on the link below to find out how my new online program can help you and your baby.

Nurture Sleep Program