Sleep training has changed this mums life!

Sleep training has changed this mums life!

Levi 8 months old

I have been meaning to write you to let you know the progress of Levi. I still recall that first meeting when you said to me that I will enjoy my baby so much more after sleep training and since seeing you and following the sleep training, it has changed our lives. He is so much happier, not as cranky, increased appetite and naps are improving.
The morning naps we can pretty much walk away and he self-settles immediately. It brings me so much joy seeing him eat, while we are still working on getting him to be more adventurous with food and lumpier food, he pretty much eats all 3 meals a day now! Oh, and dessert has been a huge hit. This is from a kid who hardly ate and always refused his bottle, it has been the biggest change for the better and certainly reduced our stress levels a lot. And not to mention, I am finally sleeping consecutive hours!!!!!!!
Karen, thank you so much for your help. I am so grateful we saw you and we will continue to work with Levi as he settles more. It really has changed our dynamics and I am enjoying him so much more. And more importantly, he seems to be much happier. I think the last thing for us is really the morning where he still wakes at 5 am demanding a bottle.
Wishing you all the best with your book release and your business. You are amazing Karen, I can only imagine how many families you help and change their lives too.
All the best
A very happy and sleeping mum X

And if you’re battling with getting your little one to sleep then… You need to know about my NEWLY launched online #nurturesleepprogram 💤😴
.
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

10 reasons sleep is important for babies

10 reasons sleep is important for babies

Getting enough sleep for mums and babies is my passion and I totally understand the desperation you feel when sleep is not going well. These 10 reasons are why baby and toddler sleep has me slightly obsessed.

Parents tell me, ‘My child is super alert, Karen!’ and ‘My child is very sensitive and they just don’t like to sleep much’. These are two of the many common threads of babies who fight their sleep. For these highly alert, intelligent and anxious children, their intelligence, health and wellbeing, and overall happiness depend on them getting enough sleep. In fact, they need more sleep than most to cope with their day. It’s the opposite to which their parents believe is the truth.

sleep training courageHow much sleep is enough?

After much debate, this is how much sleep the AAP decided babies and children need. However, there are variations at both ends of this spectrum.

  • 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/going-beyond-intelligence/201808/sleep-essential-intelligence-health-and-happiness

toddler sleep help

Why is sleep important?

  1. Babies move on developmentally quicker when well rested and they have a lot more energy
  2. They feed better and gain weight appropriately – sleep helps a normal weight gain by influencing the appetite hormone and insulin levels
  3. It improves mood, a rested baby is a happier baby
  4. Their immune system is stronger making them less susceptible to colds and illness
  5. It increases learning at a much deeper level, making sense of the day’s events and creating new connections in the brain
  6. Emotional and physical self-regulation. Babies who sleep well and are able to self-soothe manage their emotions better and are less stressed and anxious
  7. It clears out the nasty toxins which build up in the brain
  8. It improves impulse control and judgement – Insufficient sleep leads to distracted behaviour, impulsivity, and reduced ability to concentrate, sometimes to the point of looking like they have symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I’ve met many babies and children who were given this diagnosis who were in fact just tired.
  9. Behaviour – lack of sleep leads to poor behaviour and attention seeking behaviour. 
  10. Physical growth and repair. The pituitary gland releases growth hormone during sleep, which the body requires for growth, fat breakdown, and repair.

why sleep is important for babies

 

 

Separation anxiety and the toddler who clings to you like a koala

The impulsive toddler and crossing the road

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And if you’re battling with getting your little one to sleep then… You need to know about my NEWLY launched online #nurturesleepprogram 💤😴
.
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 this can help you and your baby.

Nurture Sleep Program

Toddler refuses to sleep at night

Toddler refuses to sleep at night

I often get mums messaging me via my online chat in the middle of the night from overseas. This desperate message came from a mum in the UK and she’d sent it at 4 pm Sydney Australia time which was 3 am UK time.

I get it. It’s lonely in those early hours of the morning. You think no one else is up except you and your baby and toddler who won’t go the f**k to sleep. You’ve had it. You’ve had no sleep at all. And you can’t see yourself getting any sleep from then till 7 am. You think I might as well just give up, it’s just not going to happen.

“Hi, I have a toddler who refuses to sleep the whole night. It has come to the point that I’m lucky if he falls asleep at 7 am! As sometimes it can be 11 am and he STILL hasn’t slept. He has just turned 2 and I also have a newborn so the lack of sleep is killing me. Please help if you can I’m desperate.”

I replied back and said please contact me I can help you. Really I can.

One day passed and still no reply.

Maybe she went to every website and posted the same thing? Maybe she got an instant reply from a chatbot? Who knows.

Then this message came through from Karina in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Hi, Karen. just wanna appreciate everything you put on your blog. now I know why my 9-month-old is catnapping, eats very little of solids, wakes at least 5 times during the night to FEED. You just opened my eyes! thank you so much! Can we just do an email consultation?”

Non-nutritive breast feeding and baby sleep regressions

Babies need a nourishing-fat diet for good sleep

When I first started Nurture Parenting 8 years ago next month I had no idea when I started blogging if anyone was actually listening to me and reading my blog. I started this blog as a way to help my sister with her first baby. And I just hoped I helped others along the way. Nowadays I have parents from over 90 countries read my blogs every single week!! It blows my mind and makes me so happy.

So, just know if you send me a message in the middle of the night I do read them and I do reply. If I’m on an overnight helping a family you may not get a reply until the following day but I will always reply. At the end of the message is Karen and not an automated chatbot. And I do care about you and your baby or toddler who isn’t sleeping tonight.

xoxo

.
And if you’re battling with getting your little one to sleep then… You need to know about my NEWLY launched online #nurturesleepprogram 💤😴
.
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 this new program can help you and your little one.

Nurture Sleep Program

Homemade Baby Porridge Oats

Homemade Baby Porridge Oats

Making your own baby porridge is super easy and it’s a much cheaper way to feed a baby than the packaged variety. 

Baby porridge is a favourite food parents are choosing to feed their baby. Soft and creamy with a very mild flavour it’s a great first food. Many baby food companies are manufacturing pre-packaged baby porridge oats. However with just a food processor you can make your own finely milled baby oats for a fraction of the price. Most baby porridge oats you can buy in the shops are iron enriched. Whilst this can be useful past 6 months of age it can lead to constipation in some babies.

Store Cupboard Staple

Porridge is one of those useful cupboard standby items and it can be added to both savoury as well as sweet purees. It’s low glycemic and a healthy breakfast option.

Oats are high in fibre, calcium, protein and even some B vitamins. Steel cut oats are slightly healthier and more nutritious than rolled, quick cook or instant oats. Steel cut oats retain the most nutrients because they are not highly processed. However they take approximately 10-20 minutes longer to cook than instant oats.  Steel cut oats are also referred to as pinhead oatmeal in the UK.
Read more at https://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/oatmealbabyfoodrecipes.htm#ajGpSoQR6DlUeBsJ.99

Puree some pear or blueberries and you’re onto a winner your little one will love.

Optional extras

  • Pureed pear
  • Pureed blueberries
  • Pureed strawberries with vanilla bean
  • Poached and pureed nectarines or peaches – poach with star anise and or cinnamon for added flavour
  • Pureed apple – use a red apple such as Pink Lady or Royal Gala as these are sweeter compared to a green Granny Smith

https://www.mummycooks.com/blogs/recipes/baby-quinoa-porridge

And if you’re battling with getting your little one to sleep then… You need to know about my NEWLY launched online #nurturesleepprogram 💤😴
.
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 🌑 .
 
Maternal Anxiety

Maternal Anxiety

Anxiety is a far more common issue with new mums than postnatal depression. For many women, anxiety, not sadness, is what they feel after having their baby.

It can start in pregnancy and once the baby is born grow to a whole new level. Up to one in five pregnant or new mums and one in ten dads will experience perinatal anxiety or depression. About 100,000 families across Australia will be affected by this serious and common illness. 

What does it look like?

Anxiety is complex and how one mum sees it can be very different to another. Though there are some shared similarities. Anxiety is more than being concerned or a little worried. As a midwife and nurse I can often spot an anxious mum once I’m talking to them or reading their email. But not every mum feels brave enough to open up on the thoughts which just keep on flooding their brain.

anxiety
Mother With Baby Suffering From Post Natal Depression

Anxiety and anxious thoughts are all consuming. Anxiety is affected by the fight or flight hormone, adrenaline so can have an impact on the whole physical body not just the mind. Adrenaline is also known as the hormone of fear. It takes over any other feelings such as happiness, pleasure, joy and just feeling comfortable in your own skin. 

https://www.panda.org.au

It’s not uncommon to feel anxious about getting anxious. In those brief windows of time when anxiety symptoms aren’t as bad, women can feel apprehensive about their anxiety building again. There can be an overwhelming sense of “what’s the point of feeling good” when I’m soon going to feel anxious again.

Symptoms

  • Feeling scared and alone
  • Overwhelmed
  • Unable to complete a task, flitting from thing to thing but no completion
  • Unable to prioritise a situation
  • Weight loss, feeling nauseous, anorexic, no appetite
  • Problems getting to sleep and waking in the middle of the night with racing thoughts
  • Fast shallow breathing and heart rate
  • Not enjoying the baby or life, a feeling of being disconnected
  • Thinking there’s a problem with the baby when all appears normal to others
  • Panic attacks
  • Fear of going out and socialising (agrophobia)
  • Feeling stressed and seeing everything as stressful
  • Disordered thought patterns, jumping from thought to thought
  • Negative self talk
  • Mind racing and cannot calm it down
  • Unable to relax and sit down even for a few moments
  • Feeling depressed – anxiety and depression can be interlinked
anxiety
Exhausted mother and baby on the couch

Help and Ways to Cope

When you’re feeling anxious you’re in such overwhelm it’s hard to access help and even describe to another person exactly how you’re feeling. This is one of the biggest problems and yet getting help would make such a difference to your mood and coping mechanisms. Just know you can get better from anxiety and there is no need to live with it. 

Unless you ask for help no one can help you. Taking the first step is vital. Try opening up to someone you trust, maybe another mum, your local GP, your Child & Family Health Nurse, a friend who is a good listener or a helpline such as PANDA (Postnatal Depression and Anxiety Helpline) who have trained counsellors. 

Things You Can Do To Improve Your Anxiety

  • Reduce your caffeine intake – coffee, energy drinks, tea all have caffeine in. Rather than help you they will make your heart rate go faster and anxiety worse.
  • Look at your diet does it need an overhaul? Refined foods and sugar can contribute to your overall mood. Replace refined carbohydrates with low glycaemic and wholegrain alternatives. Or maybe quit gluten? 
  • Help increase your serotonin and endorphins by increasing the tryptophan rich foods in your diet. It’s important you also eat a balance of healthy carbs at the same meal to make sure these tryptophan rich foods reach the brain. A diet with no carbs is a disaster for anxiety and sleep. 
  • Seratonin is the hormone/neuro-transmitter you need for both a stable mood and a good nights sleep. This is why a paleo or low carb diet can be a disaster for anxiety, sleep and overall mood. 
  • Tryptophan is present in many common foods including Turkey, Chicken, Chia seeds, Mushrooms, Wholemeal and Wholegrains, Banana’s and Organic Cacao, etc. Have a look at this list for more info.

Tryptophan rich foods per 100g include:

  • Turkey – 507 mg
  • Mushrooms – 494 mg
  • Chia seeds – 808 mg
  • Cooked spinach 594 mg
  • Pumpkin seeds – 578 mg
  • Tofu and soy products – 513 mg
  • Pumpkin – 400 mg
  • Canned Yellow fin Tuna – 472 mg
  • Tahini – 390 mg
  • Hummus – 60mg
  • Cheese – parmesan, cheddar, gruyere and Swiss cheese have particularly high amounts of tryptophan – 360 mg
  • Kidney beans – 303 mg
  • Sugar-free cacao – 283 mg
  • Chicken – 267 mg
  • Pork, lamb and beef – 220 mg
  • Salmon – 209 mg
  • Sardines (tinned) – 276mg
  • Snapper (fish) – 265mg
  • Tomatoes – 60mg
  • Weetbix and wholewheat foods e.g. wholewheat pasta – 108mg
  • Rye bread – 100mg
  • Pineapples – 10mg
  • Nuts and nut pastes such as almonds, cashews, peanuts and walnuts – 287 mg – 170 mg
  • Green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach and broccoli – lettuce 275 mg, kale 233 mg, broccoli 229 mg
  • Buckwheat – 109mg
  • Oats – 182 mg
  • Eggs – 167 mg
  • Brown rice – 130 mg
  • Avocado – 54 mg per 234 mg
  • Full cream Cows Milk – 46 mg
  • Banana’s (each) – 11 mg
  • Semolina – 90mg
  • Quinoa – 87mg

Low Glycaemic Index Carbohydrates

  • Sweet potato
  • Porridge Oats
  • Muesli and Granola
  • Quinoa
  • Corn
  • Barley
  • Pasta
  • Wholegrain Rice
  • Wholewheat Bread
  • Lentils, Pulses, Lima and Butter Beans, Kidney Beans, Peas

Medium Glycaemic Index

  • Quick oats
  • Rye bread
  • Pumpkin
  • Brown and Basmati Rice

It takes about an hour for tryptophan to reach the brain, so plan the timing of your meal for optimum performance. Include low GI Carbohydrates and you’ve got a perfect evening meal to induce a lovely long nights sleep.

Sleep

A good nights sleep will reduce anxiety whereas severely broken sleep will increase it. Make your bedroom dark and in fact so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face to help you get to sleep and stay asleep. Darkness is necessary to trigger melatonin.Even streetlights, LED lights on internet WiFi, TV’s, smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices can interfere with sleep. Stop using your smart phone or electronic screen devices at least 1-2 hours before bedtime.

Have a snack of cheese and biscuits, cup of hot chocolate or herbal tea to help you wind down. 

Melatonin is at it’s lowest at 5am so if your diet doesn’t have enough tryptophan, protein and carbohydrates of the right glycaemic index you may get pesky early morning waking.Increase those things and you may get a better night sleep.

meditation
meditation

Meditation & Mindfulness

Taking up meditation can help you learn to control your thoughts and your breathing. Meditation has been shown to reduce heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol the stress hormone. Just taking 10 minutes each day to meditate can be life changing. Meditation can be done on your own or in a group. There are many Apps and programs out there and it’s important you find the right meditation program for you. It’s not just for new age hippies, or yoga people, meditation can be for everyone. 

Yoga and Exercise

Expose your brain to daylight to help reset the circadian rhythm. Exercise helps increase endorphins and serotonin and is another good reason to do some regular exercise. Having a routine and ritual within your day decreases stress and anxiety. Think of ways you can manage your day and your week to benefit your mood. 

Gratitude

Practicing gratitude can help turn your thoughts and mood around. Too often we focus on what isn’t working vs. what is working rather than the other way around. At the end of each day think of 3 good things about your day you are grateful for. Tell yourself you are doing a great job at bringing your baby and children up. Repeat this mantra every single day. Little things such as this can often be the key to changing your mindset. When you’re doing the positives and gratitude do not allow any negative self-talk to enter your thoughts. Let them go.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & Counselling

If you’ve tried any or all of the above and you’re still struggling then counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy may be helpful. Counselling takes many forms and can be listening visits where you talk through how you’re feeling. Or it may take the form of CBT. Cognitive behavioural Therapy or CBT as it’s often called helps reframe your thoughts by challenging your current mindset. For example you’re thinking you’re a hot mess and disorganised. The CBT therapist may challenge this by asking you ‘why do you think this is true?’ “what does a hot mess look like?’ he may reply and challenge by saying ‘you turned up for this appointment, is this what a disorganised hot mess does?’ or ‘you got out of bed today’ etc. you get the idea. 

Medication

The last option, which may be used in combination with other therapies is medication. This may be just a temporary solution until you’re feeling more yourself or it may be a longer term one. Medications such as Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Xanax and Zoloft may be prescribed or beta-blockers such as propranolol. There are many medications which can be used. Do not give up hope if the one you are taking isn’t having the desired effect. Go back to your local Dr and let them know. Most medications are short term and are not habit forming. And there is no shame in needing to take them.

Remind yourself daily you will feel better soon, much better days are on their way. There is absolutely no need to live with anxiety and struggle by yourself. And there is no shame associated with feeling anxious, if just means you’re human.

Remember the wise age-old saying, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. 

And if you’re battling with getting your little one to sleep then… You need to know about my NEWLY launched online #nurturesleepprogram 💤😴
.
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 🌑 .

Nurture Sleep Program