By Jo Ryan,
Baby Sleep Consultant for Johnson’s
According to the latest research from Johnson’s, lack of sleep is the number one challenge during early parenthood, which I’m sure anyone who has had a child and is reading this will agree with. Sleep deprivation is considered to be even greater a challenge than dealing with the financial strain that often comes with having to reduce to a single income.
When dealing with an unsettled baby, mothers can get up to them around five times per night, which results in a significant lack of sleep – in fact, some mothers are getting as little as three to four hours per night! This level of sleep deprivation can have significant consequences. Many mothers have reported that in their worn out state they are more emotional, more irritable and have feelings of being overwhelmed. Sleep deprivation can also lead to mothers doing things they would never normally do such as mixing up or forgetting important dates, lose keys or lock themselves out of the house. Some women even said they forgot a close friend’s name or even their partner’s name. They can also start to lack important social connections by having to pull out of social events just because they are too exhausted.
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Having a routine can really help mothers start to get some feeling of control back into their day. Routine and ritual helps the baby feel comforted and secure because they come to expect what happens before bedtime.
Babies need sleep. And, differently to adults, they don’t sleep well when they are overtired. If a baby is overtired they can take a long time to go off to sleep and often this is accompanied with stress and crying. Then when they finally do fall asleep, they may only sleep for a short period, meaning they will need assistance to help them get back to sleep again. This can spiral out of control if this pattern goes on and on. Putting a baby to bed when they are tired, but not overtired, really helps a baby fall off to sleep more easily and then stay asleep for much longer periods.
The Johnson’s 3-Step Routine is clinically proven to help a baby fall asleep faster & stay asleep longer, and can also help mothers and their baby sleep up to an extra hour at bedtime after the first seven days. The 3-Step Routine was developed after evaluating over 45,000 babies and 300,000 sleep sessions around the world. This research also found that a parent’s touch can turn this routine into a special daily ritual that nurtures baby’s ability to love and grow. It is also the only routine clinically proven to increase continuous sleep, reduce night wake ups and increase total sleep time.
The 3-Step Routine:
1. Warm bath: Bath time is the perfect way to start a baby’s pre-bed routine. The warm bath can help a baby relax and wind down.
2. Gentle massage: A soothing massage is a wonderful way to make a baby feel secure, loved and ready for sleep. Massage can help a mum recognize and respond to their baby’s body language and it’s a great way to make the baby feel safe and relaxed.
3. Quiet time: After giving the baby a warm bath and a relaxing massage, it’s time to send them off to sleep with a little quiet time together. This step of the routine can help the baby wind down further by reading or singing softly. Mothers can also use white noise or some lullabies to help.
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