If you follow me on twitter or Instagram you will know sleep is not something my children, but in particular my boys like to do, there are far more exciting things to be doing don’t you know.
So when the lovely people of Worlds Apart – a children’s lifestyle company contacted me with the promise of advice on helping to get the boys to sleep they didn’t have to ask twice.
Worlds Apart decided they wanted to find new ways to help parents (like themselves) to make the most of life as children grow up, they came up with the idea of Pow Wow’s where they would get groups of parent bloggers together to do just that, chat. They would also help it along with an expert from the field of the discussion, toys to keep the kids entertained and cake – what more could I ask for?
The first Powwow was on the subject of sleep and they brought in Mandy Gurney from the Millpond Sleep Clinic. I was instantly pleased to hear Mandy’s story and how she not only had medical training but most importantly had dealt with a child that was adverse to sleep first hand. Her son was very similar to Deacon and had severe allergies and breathing problems, like Deacon it turned him from a newborn who would sleep to a young baby who could not through no fault of his own.
Unfortunately once in a bad pattern of sleep a child learns that pattern, routine is crucial when it comes to anything to do with sleep in children.
I have to agree, I have spent many months getting my children into good bedtime routines, we have a very strict routine from 6.45pm till bedtime at 7.05pm, my children all go to sleep on their own in their rooms, I have this part conquered most nights, my problem is early rising and waking and when I say early rising most days in our house start from 3am.
Grayson having many medical sleep problems has meant we have seen some of the top sleep specialists in the country, I know most of the rules when it comes to sleep but that does not mean it has actually worked. I was hoping Mandy would be able to offer some new insights and I was not wrong, she had tips that I had not heard or thought of, especially when it comes to Deacon.
Sleep Tips and Advice
* Children aged 14 months – 2.5 years actually only usually need one nap of 45/90 minutes, the best time being after lunch. This obviously may alter if a child sleeps well and over 12/13 hours at night.
* Over the age of 3yrs most children shall not need a nap
* Playing white noise in a bedroom once a child is asleep can help with early rising and blocking out external sounds
* A friendly and familiar sleeping area can promote restful sleep
* Toddlers should not be allowed to nap after 3pm as it affects their night-time sleep
* Routine is crucial
* Never move a child from a cot until they are completely ready
* Whatever a child needs to fall asleep (teddy, dummy, you) must be there if they stir in the night to not wake them properly
* A warm 5 minute bath (not to play) and dim lights will help to produce Melatonin the natural sleep drug in your body
We shall certainly be stopping Deacon’s 2 naps a day and slowly making it into one after lunch, he is currently in the pattern where he falls asleep at 9am because of being up since dawn. I am also hoping the white noise may help with his disturbances, Deacon is a very light sleeper so the introduction of it may help him, (There are many FOC apps for white noise).
I have also learnt not to worry on days Addison does not nap, I now follow her cues, it does make her a little more moody in the afternoon but she has managed 12 hour nights this past few – win!
I loved how Mandy spent time afterwards talking to me about Deacon but also mainly Grayson and listening to his story, she advised that maybe for a while we should allow him to nap a little longer in the day as he is loosing so much sleep at night, I know Grayson is never going to be a good sleeper as he doesn’t produce Melatonin, but it was nice to have someone listen and offer some advice.
I think the partnership between Mandy and Worlds Apart is very clever. Worlds Apart with the help of Mandy ensure they offer everything you will need to help your child and you have a restful nights sleep, also having ideal sized toddler beds for the time it comes to transfer from cot.
We were lucky enough to be kindly gifted a Thomas Ready Bed and Go Glow Night Light – I think the Night light is going to be a great deal of fun at bedtime for reading our stories and then producing a dim light to go off to sleep with, Addison is that age where she is not to keen on the dark, as child terrified of the dark myself I am not one to feed the fear.
The ready beds are very clever indeed and Mandy suggests they are the perfect product for staying at the grandparents which for some children can be a daunting idea. They do many children’s characters from Peppa Pig, Spiderman, Hello Kitty and Addison’s all time favourite My Little Pony. I think we shall be buying the My Little Pony for Christmas for Addy as she does love to stay at the grandparents, but many a time she does she ends up in their beds.
I am excited to try out the tips Worlds Apart and Mandy gave us, I can’t thank them enough for treating us to a lovely morning, it was lovely to catch up with some great blogging friends, who I can be found talking to at 2am, so hopefully the advice Katy, Ruth and Natalie received shall be helpful too.
If you want to read more of Mandy’s sleep tips have a read here.