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

.
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

Limit setting for your baby 0-12 months

Limit setting for your baby 0-12 months

Limit Setting

Toddlers are designed to push boundaries and it comes naturally to these cute little mini dictators. The danger as their parent is you forget to maintain your boundary or limit setting. Until the toddler’s boundary becomes the new status quo. Then you are in for a whole heap of trouble and pain. I liken the toddler to a mini dictator or CEO, they want to be an adult before they’re a child. And they will do everything in their power to get exactly what it is they think they need.

In order to follow rules and understand limits, children need to develop self-control.

Self-control and self-regulation are complex skills beginning to emerge in the early months. They become increasingly consistently apparent between four and five years old. Self-regulation takes many years to fully develop — and adults may struggle with this skill from time to time! Limit setting starts at 0-12 months not when you hit testing times with a 3 year old!

Baby Sleep

Developing Self-Control 0-12 months

Babies naturally act on their thoughts and feelings over which they have no conscious control. They are unable to reflect on or think about their behavior. And they can’t stop themselves from acting on their impulses.

The baby needs your help to develop some self-control and will gradually learn about and gain some self-control across the first year. One of the most important factors in developing self-control is the ability to soothe and calm when upset. Initially this skill is provided by their caregiver by cuddling, rocking, talking calmly, feeding and putting a dummy in their mouth. The parent attempts to understand the baby’s facial expressions, non-verbal body language communication and cries to help in meeting her daily needs. The sense of being loved and understood gives babies a foundation of safety and security and is essential for coping with feelings in a positive healthy way.

What You Can Do Now To Help Your Baby Gain Self-Control

  • Stay calm – demonstrating you can manage your emotions is essential in being able to teach your baby the same skills. This helps her feel safe and then she knows you are avaialble to help her (not dealing with your own emotions and calming down). Modelling self-control is an essential part of helping her work out how to calm herself.
  • Provide basic tools – teach your baby basic calm techniques, at 8 months plus help her find her comforter or pacifier to help calm herself. Once you give it to her you are creating learned helplessness and she will not attempt to help herself longterm.
  • Demonstrate self-help techniques – show your baby how to calm himself, provide a teething rusk or teething aid such as Sophie the Giraffe to help him whilst he is teething. Show him acceptable ways of helping himself rather than chastising him for ways you don’t want him to use e.g. biting your finger.

Daily Routines Help Develop Security and Self-Control

Routines are events which happen at the same time each day and usually in a particular order. They acat as a cue to help the baby know what is likely to happen next. They create security and decrease cortisol and help a baby navigate change and challenging situations.

How you can help

  • Determine if there are any particular times of day your baby has a meltdown. Is there a common denominator e.g. around mealtimes or nap times? Organise trips at the baby’s ‘best’ time of day.
  • Use baby massage, reading and soothing lullabies to help calm your baby from activity time to a restful nap.

http://www.njcite.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Linda-Gillespie-presentation.pdf

baby sleep

Get in tune with your baby

Does your baby have a very definite strong personality and temperament and are they resistant to change? Working out your baby’s ‘type’ can help you manage them much better.

A baby’s temperament can have an impact on a care- giver’s ability to meet the baby’s needs. Temperament refers to a person’s characteristics or traits that are biologically based and consistent over time. It influences how we respond to people and our surroundings.

Temperament characteristics shape how easily babies and toddlers are able to manage their feelings and impulses, especially traits e.g.

  • Mood
  • Intensity to particular situations
  • Adaptability

Children who have a more negative mood, are intense reactors and/or who are not very flexible or adaptable may have a more difficult time developing self-control.

They tend to get upset more easily and will probably need more help from you the parent to calm down. This doesn’t mean their temperament is somehow “wrong” or “bad.” But because their reactions are so strong, it may take more time to learn how to manage intense feelings and responses.

I kept telling myself that his sleep would improve

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1283-developing-self-control-from-0-12-months

How You Can Help Your Baby With Impulse Control

Help your baby learn to self-soothe and calm herself, the more in control she feels the happier she will be. This is a skill which has to be taught and it won’t just happen by chance. Allow your baby to have a voice, to be allowed to cry and express herself. The key thing is you help her with her emotions and avoid letting her cry alone. This is why teaching babies self-soothing skills early is the key to good emotional health as a child and an adult.

Observe your baby and try to understand her feeding and hunger cues. Study her verbal and non-verbal communication, what is she trying to tell you? Once babies feel heard and understood they become much calmer.

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

Attunement and getting your groove on with baby

I kept telling myself that his sleep would improve

I kept telling myself that his sleep would improve

Case study

I just had to share this amazing case study of a family with a 14 month old toddler, Christian who was waking many times at night. Mum was so exhausted she’d lost her confidence and was co-sleeping and breastfeeding to sleep. Mum kept telling herself that his sleep would improve. Unfortunately it rarely if ever does unless you do something about it. Here is their story.

Kirste, Alan & Christian

When we first welcomed our beautiful boy Christian into the world, we naively thought that when you put a baby down to sleep, they simply just slept.  We also thought that as he got older, his sleeps would become longer.  Although I had read a little bit about babies’ sleep cycles, as first-time parents, we were definitely in the dark in relation to sleep.

In the first 6 months of Christian’s life, I probably took the term “demand feeding” literally and this was impacted further as we were living in an apartment at the time, so whenever he woke at night, I would feed him back to sleep.

Short day naps

As the months rolled on, I kept telling myself that his sleep would improve when we moved him to solids or when we moved him into a cot or into his own room or out of the apartment and into our house.  However, with these transitions, the frequent night wakings and short naps throughout the day continued.

By the time Christian was 12 months old, we had been to a residential sleep program, had a sleep nurse visit our home, conducted an overnight sleep study in hospital and purchased countless toys, CD’s and booklets from the internet.

Waking 6-8 times at night

At 14 months of age, the night wakings had escalated and were as many as 6-8 times each night and I was so exhausted that I had started to bring him into our bed to co-sleep and breastfeed.

toddler sleepI had lost a lot of confidence in this aspect of my parenting and I really didn’t know how I was going to turn this around, but a chance catch-up with friends, resulted in a referral to Karen.  They had brought Karen into their home some years before when their son was 2 years old as they were experiencing similar problems.  Upon contacting Karen, the decision to bring her into our home was further reinforced by a recommendation from Lisa, Nurture Parenting’s Client Relationship Manager who had also utilised Karen’s expertise.  I was convinced even further when I sent through a list of questions and Karen took the time to phone me personally and to answer every question in detail.

 

Learning skills and self-soothing

Karen is an angel and we will be forever grateful to her for teaching all of us the skills to ensure Christian sleeps through the night and has longer day naps. This is a key point – you will learn skills and your child will learn how to settle. This is especially important because when your child is sick and you divert from the sleep training methods, then you need to be able to get things back on track when your child is well again.

Karen’s philosophy blended perfectly with ours in that we did not want any form of controlled crying and we wanted to maintain the bond and trust we had built with our Son and to improve his sleep in the kindest and most respectful way.  Karen did just that – she is firm but very kind.

Overnight stay

Karen stayed for one night at our house and our world changed on the second night when Christian slept for 10.5 hours straight, without waking.  Christian continued to sleep through every night.  Even when we came across fevers and ear infections, and I diverted slightly from the sleep training methods, I was able to get him back on track within a week of him being well again.

Karen has also provided advice to us on weaning from the breast and toddler behaviour when she didn’t have to, but she kindly took the time to do so.  She has an abundance of knowledge, insight and expertise in sleep but also in all areas that relate to babies and toddlers.  She is highly qualified and experienced and she is honestly the only person I would recommend.  If you are hesitating or thinking about using Karen, stop thinking and call her as it will be the best investment you will ever make and she will change your lives for the better.

We can’t thank you enough Karen!

Kirste, Alan and Christian xxx

baby sleeping

 

 

 

 

.
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 more about the online program and how it can help you and your baby.

Nurture Sleep Program

Non-nutritive breast feeding and baby sleep regressions

The sleep regression

I hear the phrase ‘my baby has a sleep regression’ mentioned a lot and I’m going to explore this little hot potato. Breastfeeding your baby to sleep after 4-months of age is the most likely culprit. As a midwife, I totally support breastfeeding. The thing I have a big issue with is when mums are told by other midwives and nurses, ‘Feed your baby to sleep, it won’t do any harm’. In the short term, under 4-months of age, this is true, it won’t. However, long-term past 4-months this is not the truth.

A typical scenario I get asked

“We have a nearly 6 months old who perfectly self-settles for her day naps, including the 7 pm one. Although she usually wakes at least twice before midnight. When for whatever reason she’s not able to resettle without the boob. And then again somewhere around 4ish. She’s on solids, three times a day. Lunch and dinner before her breast milk feed. She wakes in the morning at 630am. Day naps are from 9 to 10am and afternoon nap from 1 to 3pm. Do you have any tips?”

baby sleep

It’s only taken me 30 years of being a midwife to work out the culprit…and I’m taking a detailed look at breastfeeding and nutritive vs. non-nutritive sucking.

My baby could be hungry

Breasts don’t have a volume measure on the outside like a feeding bottle does. A mother’s natural instinct is to breastfeed her baby until  satiated and fill their baby full of as much milk as they can. It wouldn’t be natural to do half a breastfeed, would it? And once the little gremlin at the back of your brain starts saying, ‘but what if my baby is hungry?’ ‘have they had enough to drink?’ and ‘they could still be hungry’, your brain and logic start to doubt itself. And this is how the whole feeding to sleep thing starts. You think I’ll just top up my baby, maybe they need a little more…oh they’re still not looking sleepy…maybe they haven’t had enough? Then you read a parenting book or something online saying...feed your baby until they’re milk-drunk or drowsy. You also read…put your baby down to sleep drowsy but awake. So I can see how logic would lead you to feed your baby to sleep. As baby’s get older, usually past 6 weeks it’s really hard to feed till milk drunk or drowsy anyway, this is more of a newborn behaviour. After 6 weeks most babies are really wide awake after a feed. 

Put your baby to sleep FULLY-AWAKE

I’d like the books to say instead..put your baby to sleep fully AWAKE. There is no drowsy but awake. A baby is either drowsy or awake, they cannot be both.

Avoiding baby sleep regressions

Drowsy but awake means you are feeding your baby to sleep which is as far away from self-soothing as you can get. Then the 4-month sleep regression is literally tapping you on the shoulder. I’m here to prevent months of sleepless nights for you.

Newborn baby and breastfeeding

In those heady newborn days where you wander through in a haze of night and day and twilight sleep, you can feed to sleep to your heart’s content. Frequent breastfeeding increases supply, especially in those early weeks. The first 6 weeks of breastfeeding are governed by hormonal influences, then supply and demand take over.

Nutritive sucking

When your baby breastfeeds you will notice they do several long sucks that drain the breast and involve the jaw muscles at the side of their face near their ear. We know this sucking as nutritive sucking and active milk transfer occurs. A let-down reflex may or may not be felt after these active nutritive sucks whilst the baby takes a slight break. In this time they are waiting for the pituitary gland to use its feedback mechanism to produce more milk. There may be 10 or more active nutritive sucking episodes whilst the baby is draining the breast of its milk supply. Here is a lovely video demonstrating exactly this activity.

Non-nutritive sucking

Towards the end of a breastfeed, the baby starts to move to non-nutritive sucking. They have drained the breast of milk and start to comfort suck on the nipple and areola. Non-nutritive sucking doesn’t achieve milk transfer, it is purely a comfort suck and looks like soft fluttery movements of the lips. You will notice the suck is gentle and the jaw is hardly engaged at all. A baby has more touch receptors on their face and neck than anywhere else on their body so non-nutritive sucking is a pleasurable feeling for the baby. Non-nutritive sucking aids digestion and eliminates gas and discomfort. For young babies, under 3 months this can be a useful side-effect of this type of sucking. Once a baby gets to 3 months plus they develop hand awareness and are able to put their hand, fingers and thumb into their mouth. Once we prevent this natural reflex occurring by leaving the baby on the breast at the end of a nutritive feed and moving into non-nutritive; rather than allowing them to self-soothe in the cot, we interfere with the baby’s ability to calm themselves.

I’m not saying you should avoid non-nutritive sucking/nursing completely. It’s OK now and again as long as your baby is going down for a nap fully awake the majority of the time. This is allowing your baby to learn how to calm themselves. Extended breastfeeding with non-nutritive sucking can lead to overtired babies. Some babies would suckle at the breast forever if you let them!

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 online program can help you and your baby

Nurture Sleep Program

Baby falls asleep breastfeeding

The 4 month sleep regression is real