Sleep… very much needed and wanted by all kids and their mums!

On Friday the 7th of February, we gathered again for the month to learn tips and tricks of the sleep trade. We had Marnie from Whispers Cottage speak to our group about general sleep patterns, challenges, and helpful strategies.

We learnt about the different stages children go through in their first few years of life, starting off with the first six weeks being pretty chaotic. A baby’s main job during this time is to eat and put on weight, so we just need to support them through that. After this, 8-10 weeks sees the struggle of the cat naps emerge which may have parents at wits end, but don’t be disheartened… we have many years ahead to encourage good sleep patterns!

From about 12 weeks old is a good period to start thinking about forming a basic routine. Establish set nap times of the day to make sure your child doesn’t get over tired or sleep too late in the day that it affects their overnight sleep.

Children go through key cognitive changes and developmental periods, especially in the first year of life, which can affect their sleeping patterns and habits during those times – for example the 4 and 9 month sleep regressions. We can expect that they will be out of sorts and need to ride the wave with them.

The golden sleep rule is bedtime should be around 7:00-7.30pm each night. Putting them later than this actually back-fires. This can stretch to 8pm when kids are in high school. Depending on the age, nap times and frequencies will vary. Some general rules of thumb include: a dark room, little to no stimulation (eg no mobiles etc), basic bland music (if required), a little nightlight is fine, position the child to see the door for comfort, and sleeping them in a separate room after 6 months of age.

If your child does have difficulty sleeping and seems in pain or distress, it could possibly be other issues affecting them such as reflux or intolerances. Be sure to see your GP or seek help from a sleep professional.

If you would like any advice, feel free to contact Whispers Cottage via the contact options on their website:

Please join us on Friday 6 March for our next meeting to learn all about healthy eating for kids. Expectant mothers and kids are always welcome.