Sleep advice from a Midwife

shutterstock_219227374Emirates Home Nursing shares their knowledge and insights in Childcare, New Born Care and Babysitting, together with their postnatal care offered to mothers.  We are pleased to have Francesca Norris  in collaboration with Joanne Cardy, UK trained Nurse and Midwife give us some advice on ‘Sleep’. This is what they had to say, 

We have all heard that saying ‘slept like a baby’…….most of the time said by somebody who doesn’t have one! All parents have been there desperately singing a lullaby whilst rocking back and forth, praying their child will fall asleep. As well as being essential to your sanity, plenty of sleep for your child is vital for their development.

Here are a few hints and tips from our babysitters in order to help your little ones on their journey to the land of nod.

Routine

A bedtime routine is key to getting your child into bed. Establishing a routine whilst still a baby, helps when those ‘terrible twos’ kick in as toddlers. With a routine, they know what is coming and it can really help with the night time tantrums. Something as simple as ‘bath, pyjamas and a story’ before putting them into the bed can make all the difference.

Bath Time

After a busy (and possibly messy day) a great start to a routine is a bath. Everyone loves going to bed clean, and that counts for your little ones too. As we get tired, our body temperature naturally decreases. Giving your baby a warm bath slightly raises their body temperature, creating a decrease once they are dry and squeaky clean, and initiating that tiredness bringing on those little yawns. This one works with adults too, so for all you tired mummies and daddies, it is not a bad idea!

Baby Massage

A baby massage using  baby lotion, helps your baby to relax. Other than being enjoyable, it also has many positive psychological effects. Touch is one of the first senses that our babies’ experience, and infants who have routine touch show 50% more eye contact and are less likely to show negative expressions, which could mean less tears at bedtime as they grow. Massages help strengthen the bond between parents and babies forming the foundations of their relationship making abilities, for later on in life.

Chill Out

Once your child is dressed and ready for bed, it’s time to wind down and relax. It’s important not to excite them with games (this time is a good excuse for cuddles). For new-born babies, the motion of a gentle rock can really help to relax your baby, as they associate that motion with being inside mummy’s tummy, this can be a comfort to them. For toddlers it’s important to choose calmer activities the closer you are to bedtime. Story-telling lets them use their imagination, to allow the story to come alive. A great way to let them settle and start their dreams. Just remember daddy, the aim of the game is to get them sleepy…so not too much animation on the character’s voices.

Tablets and SmartPhones

As much as we all know our tablets and smartphones can be our saviours in times of need, the use of these before bedtime can really disrupt our child’s sleep. Artificial light affects all of our sleeping patterns, particularly the blue spectrum light, which is found omitted in higher concentrations from the LCD screens of our beloved digital devices. Research shows that this blue light decreases our natural melatonin levels by 22%, keeping us more alert and increasing the time it takes for us to go to sleep. So, as tempting as it may be to let your little one watch an episode of Pepper Pig, it’s probably not wise.

Last piece of advice, remember all children are different. It can take time to realise what works for yours, to help get them to sleep. Stay patient, stay calm and you will succeed!

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More about the Contributor:

Joanne Cardy is a UK trained nurse with 10 years’ experience. She has been trained as well as practiced under NICE (National institute for health care and excellence) guidelines. She is registered by the NMC (Nursing & Midwifery Council) and Qualified in London South bank University, with a second degree in Palliative care.

Emirates Home Nursing offers solutions for Childcare, New Born Care and Babysitting, together with their postnatal care offered to mothers and so much more. For more information about the services offered, please click here.

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