Having a baby can be one of the most exciting times. However, it can also be some of the hardest. You might have heard people say that once you have a baby, you will not get any sleep. That’s because it is not uncommon for infants to have interrupted, erratic and unpredictable sleeping patterns.
This will often affect the parents just as much as it does the baby. You may be spending half of the night trying to get your baby to fall asleep, and nothing seems to consistently work. You may have tried countless different methods, but still find that you are spending hours each night trying to calm them down or get them to stop crying.
On the other hand, your child may not have any trouble falling asleep, however they continually wake up and cry throughout the night until you soothe them. This may seem like a never-ending pattern that is starting to affect your energy levels and activities throughout the day.
As much as this can be normal for all parents to go through at some stage, there are also cases when the sleeping difficulties are caused by an underlying medical condition. This can include fevers, infections, snoring or breathing abnormalities, and allergies to foods. It is also very common for simple environmental influences to prevent your baby from getting an adequate night’s sleep. This can include incorrect soothing approaches, inconsistent bed times, irregular routines, and overstimulating day time activity.
So, if there can be so many different factors at play, how do you know what to do to ensure that your baby is healthy and in the best possible environment to get a full night’s rest? It can be difficult to do this without the support of a professional, particularly if you are lacking the energy from your own lack of sleep. If this has been an ongoing issue for you, it is particularly important to seek support to ensure that the sleep difficulties are not caused by something more serious.
There are a number of practitioners at VCPS who have specialised training in assisting parents and infants in improving sleep. They can work with you and your infant to assess the cause of the sleep difficulties, and find better ways to manage this and improve sleep quality for you both. Other ways that they can assist include:
- Assessing the severity of the sleep difficulties and identifying the factors that may be contributing to this
- Implementing evidence-based strategies to improve infant sleep, and tailoring these strategies to your own preferences to find what works best for you and your child
- Finding ways to better plan and manage your infant’s sleeping patterns
- Improving your own sleep quality, energy levels and daily functioning