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How to prevent 4am wake ups over Christmas

How to prevent 4am wake ups over Christmas

December is a wonderful month filled with festive family fun and we want to squeeze every drop of joy out of it, don’t we? In our efforts to make memories with our Little Ones we can sometime get out of kilter with their usual daily patterns. Add in the building excitement of the Christmas countdown to the mix and you could be looking at way more time where being up with the birds is happening, and more besides (lengthy multiple night wakes and nightmare bedtimes, anyone?!)

With that in mind, here are my top tips for how to prevent 4am wakeups over Christmas: (more…)

7 ways to make sure your 2017 Christmas is as stressful as possible

7 ways to make sure your 2017 Christmas is as stressful as possible

Ah, Christmas! Here we are again! Hasn’t it rolled around fast?

That odd time of year where we decide to do all the things for all the people and wonder why we feel like we need another holiday to get over the holiday come New Year! Perhaps this is your first Christmas as a mum and you really want it to be special, or perhaps you’ve done this a few times now but your Little Ones have reached an age where they really “get it” and Christmas has a new excitement to it.

Either way, I’ve put together a list of 7 ways to make sure your 2017 Christmas is as stressful as possible (SPOILER ALERT: Don’t do these things!):  (more…)

This week I crashed…burnt out

This week I crashed…burnt out. I’ve taken a week off work, as my energy was so low I just didn’t have any more for anyone else. I’ve postponed all 1-2-1 sessions (thank you for being so lovely and understanding) and stepped out of my groups. The minute I’ve slowed down I’ve got a cold, so self care is on the menu…in fact it can’t come off the menu again!

A bit of background…

I’m an introvert…I love people, but too much busyness and too much noise is overwhelming for me

I’m really sensitive…with my own emotions and also picking up on other people’s

I need space to process…especially around the time of the new moon!

I haven’t suffered with anxiety for a very long time…until this week

So what happened… (more…)

Three things that make sleep harder

Lots of mums in my groups and on my Facebook page have been struggling with long bedtimes over the past week, with Little Ones really struggling to switch off. The Little Ones are then getting overtired, which in turn can cause more night wakes and earlier wake ups. With the clock change coming up at the end of the month, the last thing you need is an overtired Little One waking up at 5am!

Remember that there is always a reason why your Little One isn’t sleeping and there are things that can also make sleep harder. It’s so blooming hard to work it out when you’re exhausted…so here is a rundown of three of the things that make sleep even harder (and especially for busy little minds) (more…)

When there’s something deeper going on

It’s been a lovely day today for Violet’s birthday…it’s also been bumpy, there was something deeper going on

The first celebration for Dexter as a big brother where he didn’t get as many presents

We still bought him a little something, and we’ll do the same for Violet…but he still struggled

It would have been easy to just look at this on the surface, but I would have missed so much of what was going on underneath

I’m glad we chilled out at home, because it gave me the opportunity to see what was really going on (more…)

I didn’t think my child would be like this!

It’s funny isn’t it that before our Little Ones arrive, we have no idea who they will be. We don’t know what they will look like or what their personality will be like. I didn’t think my child would be like this!

I had no idea that my child would have curly red hair...I thought he would be blonde! Then when we’d had one child with curly red hair, we thought we’d have another…and she’s blonde!

I knew they’d both have a chance of being quite stubborn, as both me and Danny are. And that they’d be quite quick minded, as we are too…however, I never expected that having a bright and busy Little One would have such a massive impact on sleep! (more…)

This simple technique can cut long bedtimes in half!

Dexter’s now on school holiday and I’d worried a little about how it would be having him at home with me getting Violet to sleep three times with no one else there. Since we had that really hot weather a couple of weeks ago, it’s been taking longer and longer to get her down for her afternoon nap and for bedtimes…and now she’s hit Leap 8, it can be a real struggle. He’ll always occupy himself with lego or watching a bit of tv or listening to an audio book, but I don’t want to leave him for long.

I’d fallen into a trap with Violet and was making the same mistake that I’ve talked about time and time again…I had to change it! (more…)

You won’t find this in the Sleep books!

You won’t find this in the Sleep books!

You will know by now that the way I work is completely different to other Sleep coaches…I don’t work with behaviour, telling you what you do or where you’ve gone wrong. I help you understand WHY your Little One can’t sleep, and give you natural and gentle tools and techniques to support them, so they CAN SLEEP.

I have people question these natural techniques because it’s not what the Health Visitor would advise…and they’ve never read it in a book. But what have you got to lose? You’ve tried all of the traditional methods and your Little One still can’t sleep!

Our understanding of our Little Ones has developed…and we know that we don’t want to use the outdated extinction techniques spouted by the likes of Gina Ford and The Three Day Nanny…so what do we do?!

Sometimes we have to look at the more subtle signs for why our Little Ones are struggling, look at what’s going on for them emotionally, developmentally and what they’re picking up on around them…it can all affect their sleep. As these aspects take their toll, our Little Ones then become overtired…which is where sleep deprivation gets even worse.

To go with the subtle signs, there are subtle changes that you can make…gentle techniques that you can use to support your Little One and make a massive difference to their sleep. When you combine these with practical steps around your own routine, the effects are amazing.

It can be daunting to try something new, but what’s the alternative? To continue being sleep deprived? To continue fighting off the Cry it Out brigade as they tell you it’s the only way? As Henry Ford said, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”

Doing this alone will not help sleep

Doing this alone will not help sleep!

We’ve had a couple of dodgy nights where there could have been so many reasons for the waking…Leap 7, teething, the heat…but I’ve worked out it was something in the chicken casserole that Violet tried for the first time a couple of days ago. She won’t be having that again…and I know what I need to give her today that’s gentle enough not to upset her tummy, but will also clear whatever is affecting her, out of her system!

It’s very rare that there is just one reason for a Little One having a sleep issue, it is often more complex than that. If we take a development leap for example, the primary sleep resistance trigger is mental because they’re learning so much more and have a busy mind. You will also have big changes that affect them emotionally, and as they miss out on sleep, become overtired so they are then affected physically.

So you can see why, very often the blanket, one size fits all, let’s focus on the behaviour approach doesn’t work. You can read books, but they’re not written about your Little One are they! Your Little One laughs in the face of going down drowsy but awake and it’s hard to communicate as little as possible during night wakes when they’re climbing all over you or repeating your name over and over and over and over! (more…)

How Nap Dropping Can Wreck Sleep…and how to stop it!

One of the biggest causes of overtiredness in Little Ones is nap dropping or nap transitioning. There are three main nap transitions – 3 down to 2, 2 down to 1 and 1 to nothing…eeeek!  

Handled well these nap transitions can actually have a really positive effect on your Little One’s nighttime sleep, but if you’re not careful they can cause chronic overtiredness, meaning that you could be dealing with…

  • Nap resistance
  • Shorter naps
  • Bedtime battles
  • Frequent night wakes
  • Really early wake ups

All from dropping a nap?! Essentially yes but it’s important to remember that whilst your Little One is going through this stage, they will also be going through a whole load of other stuff…development leaps, big changes, growth spurts, teething, separation anxiety…which can also have an impact. (more…)