If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a mum its that positive sleep mindset is absolutely key when it comes to dealing with disturbed infant sleep, particularly in the middle of the night.
Positive sleep mindset for parents
Why? Ultimately, you are your baby’s mirror. How you feel and behave when trying to calm and resettle them is going to affect how they behave and feel. If you go into your baby at night in a state of high alert and anxiety then they will quickly pick up on your worry. That could be from the way you are breathing, to the way you feel when you hold them and it will take a lot longer for them to calm them down and eventually fall back to sleep.
Pause before responding
So what can you do? The most important lesson I learnt when I my son was tiny and one that I now share with all the families I work with is to learn to PAUSE. This is not the same as not responding when your baby cries out in the middle of the night, it simply means that you take a moment to gain composure and ground yourself before you go rushing in. It simply involves taking 4-5 deep breaths and thinking about what you are about to do in response to your baby’s cries and whether it is going to help or hinder sleep.
Remember too that often your baby may cry out in their sleep or as they transition from one sleep stage to the next. If you go to them too quickly you can sometimes unintentionally end up rousing your baby fully whereas if you had left them they might still be asleep.
Of course there are times when your baby wakes fully because they have needs be them physical or emotional that need fulfilling. In these instances, the PAUSE approach will help you to think about your next move. Remember, a confident parent leads to a happier and a more confident baby who will be easier to settle.
Be in the moment
It is also really important that when you are settling your baby in the middle of the night you only focus on the moment in hand and don’t worry about what is going to happen in the next 5, 10,15 or even 30 minutes. Simply focus on your breathing and seeing to your baby’s needs in the best way possible.
Personalised Sleep Consultations
Having the confidence to know what works and what doesn’t for you baby is crucial. This is also why a personalised sleep consultation can often be really beneficial. It takes into account you and your baby’s individual needs. When it comes to sleep solutions there is not one size fits all. To find out more about how I work to support parents and their children, visit my services pages