Caro Graham https://carograham.sleepylambs.com Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:39:56 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/cropped-512-x-512-logo-32x32.png Caro Graham https://carograham.sleepylambs.com 32 32 Ways to Help Your Little One with Teething https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/help-your-baby-with-teething/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/help-your-baby-with-teething/#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:39:54 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36494 The post Ways to Help Your Little One with Teething appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Ways to Help Your Little One with Teething

what is colic

And hopefully get some more sleep!

 

Teething can cause real disruption to your little one, especially when it comes to their sleep.  Some babies seem to sail through getting their teeth with no problems at all whereas others seem to struggle much more.  Disturbed sleep is often put down to teething and in some cases it is but it can be difficult to know if it really is those pesky teeth coming through that is causing all the upset or something else. Feeling prepared for teething and any disruption it may cause can help you feel more confident at being able to deal with it and help your little one through it.

 

What are the signs of teething?

 

The most painful part of teething is usually the last 2 or 3 days before a tooth actually erupts and you can usually see or feel the tooth under the gum at this point. However, there are also lots of earlier signs that your little one may be getting a tooth.

Early signs, which can go on for a month or so, are:

  • Fists in mouth
  • Chewing on clothes
  • Red cheeks
  • Lots of dribbling

Common signs that a tooth is imminent are:

  • Swollen gums
  • Disrupted sleep, particularly at night time
  • Loose, acidic bowel movements which can often cause nappy rash
  • Grabbing ears, chewing on everything
  • Possibly a slight fever

When does teething usually happen?

 

Teething varies between each little one but usually starts around 6 months.  So that you can be prepared for each tooth, we’ve produced a Tooth Eruption Guide which lets you know when you can expect teeth through.

How can I help my little one if they’re distressed by teething?

 

Babies tend to feel pain more at night so they can seem more distressed by their teeth coming through at night time than during the day.  Making sure that they have lots of chewy toys can help them to feel more comfortable and there are lots of teething remedies for sale in chemists and pharmacies.  If your little one is really struggling, it’s a good idea to speak to a pharmacist or your GP about appropriate pain relief which should help your little one if they are struggling.

Sleep is often affected by teeth coming through so if you suspect a tooth is imminent, don’t be alarmed if your wee one’s sleep becomes more disturbed.  Once the tooth is through, you should see that their normal sleep pattern returns. It can be tempting to label all bad sleep as a consequence of teething so make sure that you’re being consistent and creating good sleep habits if you feel that the disrupted sleep has been going on for a long time.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

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The Dreaded 4 Month Sleep Regression https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/baby-4-month-sleep-regression/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/baby-4-month-sleep-regression/#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2020 15:06:47 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36486 The post The Dreaded 4 Month Sleep Regression appeared first on Caro Graham.

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The Dreaded 4 Month Sleep Regression

what is colic

And How To Deal With It!

 

When I first speak to parents about their little one’s sleep challenges, so many of them say that their baby slept relatively well and then it all went wrong once they hit 4 months. 

If that’s your baby, don’t worry, hopefully this blog will go some way into helping you navigate your way through it!

 

What Is The 4 Month Sleep Regression?

 

As a Sleep Consultant, I would say that it’s not a sleep regression but a progression but I know that is little consolation to an exhausted parent dealing with a more wakeful baby!

The reason that sleep so often goes astray at 4 months is all to do with your baby’s sleep cycles changing from the newborn phase into a more adult way of sleeping.

Until your baby is 4 months old, they sleep in very short cycles of around 30 minutes and sleep only in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.

Once they hit the 4 month stage, their sleep cycles change and become longer (around  60 – 90 minutes) and they have two separate stages of sleep – both REM sleep and non REM sleep. The latter means that they now have stages where they sleep more deeply.

This transition can cause some disruption to sleep however which usually lasts for around 2 – 4 weeks before your baby is back to sleeping well again.

 

Signs of a Sleep Regression

 

  • Your baby was sleeping well for their age and has now started waking more in the night
  • Naps are being resisted and are generally shorter.

 

Ways to Help Your Little One Through a Sleep Regression

 

  • First of all, don’t panic! It’s likely your baby will come out of this stage in a week or two and better sleep will be restored
  • Do what you need to do to comfort your baby and get more sleep from them 
  • If you have a routine, try to stick to it as much as possible
  • Try and read your baby’s sleep cues and make sure you’re getting them down for a sleep before they are getting overtired. This may mean you need to shorten the gaps between naps for now or bring bedtime forward 

It can seem like a long time but it won’t last forever!  Try to keep your baby as rested as possible and avoid them becoming overtired and soon it will be a distant memory.

Good luck!

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

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Early Waking https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/early-waking/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/early-waking/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2020 13:07:47 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36474 The post Early Waking appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Early Waking

what is colic

Ways to help if your baby wakes up at 5 am

 

Early waking is very common and something that clients ask me about all the time. It is one of the most difficult sleep challenges to work on –  sleep science is most definitely against you at that time of day!  By 5 am, your baby’s system isn’t producing so much of the lovely sleep hormone melatonin, plus the other hormone adenosine (or sleep pressure) has also pretty much depleted.  This can make early waking babies very difficult to get back to sleep.

 

Don’t worry though if your baby is one of them, there are ways that you can work on the early wakings.

 

Find out the cause

 

There will always be a reason that your baby is waking at this time and so you need to work out what that is.

Could it be light coming into the room or noise from outside that is causing the wake-up? Investing in good blackout blinds and playing white noise for the entire time your baby is sleeping could help.

Is it hunger?  Your baby may still be hungry at that time and this is what is waking them. Try feeding them when they wake and see if that helps them to settle back to sleep for a couple more hours. You could also try a dream feed when you go to bed which may be enough to see them through to a more reasonable time!

 

Are they getting the right amount of sleep for their age?

 

Keep an eye on how much sleep your little one is getting over a 24 hour period. Are they getting too little sleep overall or is the balance of sleep between day and night not quite right? Little changes to your baby’s overall sleep can all help to balance things out and mean for more rested nights.  If you’re unsure of how much sleep they need, you can also go back to my earlier blog about average sleep needs which gives you a guide depending on their age.

 

If it feels like a habit, there are ways you can help with this too

 

If you feel that it’s just become a habit that your baby wakes at the same early time each day, have a think about how you react when they do wake.  Make sure that you treat this wake up as you would any other night waking – keep the lights low and speak in calm, hushed voices. If you usually chat to them, move them out of their cot and maybe even take them downstairs, they may be waking at this time as it feels like this is when the fun starts!

Your baby can’t tell the time, so make sure that when you go in to get them at the time you’re happy for them to wake (I’d say anytime after 6 am is a fair time), that you make this seem very different to a night waking. Speak in a happy, chatty voice, open the curtains and be very enthusiastic about it being a good time to get up!

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

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Tummy Time https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/tummy-time/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/tummy-time/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2020 21:36:04 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36460 The post Tummy Time appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Tummy Time

Tummy Time Helps With Sleep

Why tummy time is important and how it can help with sleep!

I’ve had a couple of conversations this week about tummy time and how it can help with baby’s sleep so thought that I would write a quick blog post on it. 

The NHS Start4Life campaign suggests that you start tummy time with your little one from as early as possible, starting with them lying on their tummy on your chest and then when they’re ready moving them onto the floor to do it. You can gradually increase the length of time that you do it each day.  

Tummy time has lots of benefits:

  • It helps to strengthen your baby’s neck and back muscles
  • It helps to give them a different view of the world!
  • It reduces the risks of them developing a flat head
  • It helps with future fine motor skills as they use their hands to push up and get stronger
  • It helps with sleep! Tummy time really helps with baby’s learning to roll independently – once your baby is able to move around more independently, they are able to find a more comfortable sleeping position and then often sleep more soundly.

What if your baby hates tummy time?

A lot of my clients tell me that their baby hates tummy time but it’s definitely worth persevering with even if it’s just for 5 minutes or so each day. If your baby is grumpy when doing it there are a few ways you can try and make it a more fun experience!

 

  • Try it with your baby lying on your chest or lap rather than the floor
  • Put some toys within easy reach to give your baby something to focus on
  • Talking or singing to your baby can make it more fun
  • You can always prop your baby up a bit with a small, rolled-up towel if they’re really struggling.
Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

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Helping Your Baby with Summer Sleep! https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/baby-summer-sleep/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/baby-summer-sleep/#respond Mon, 18 May 2020 11:32:02 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36452 The post Helping Your Baby with Summer Sleep! appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Helping Your Baby with Summer Sleep!

what is colic

How to get good sleep during the hotter weather and lighter mornings

 

Hopefully, we should start to see some warmer weather across the UK over the next few weeks – although as I live in Scotland, this is by no means definite!

 

Most people look forward to warmer days and the chance to not have to wrap up in so many layers. However, hotter days and lighter mornings can cause havoc with your little one’s sleep – it can be harder to get your baby to sleep when they’re too hot. Throw in lighter mornings, along with tweeting birds outside your wee one’s window, and summer sleep can become tricky!

 

What should I dress my baby in when it starts to get hotter?

 

It’s good to have a  room thermometer in your baby’s room – keep an eye on that during the warmer months and dress your baby accordingly.  It can be difficult to know what you should be dressing your baby in to keep them at a comfortable temperature throughout the night.  Here’s a handy warm weather cheat sheet which gives you a rough guide as to what to dress your little one in for sleep at different temperatures. Obviously this is only a guide so be sure to keep an eye on your own child and make sure that they’re not too hot or cold during their sleep times.

 

What about the lighter mornings?

Lighter mornings can mean very early starts for you and your baby which makes for very long days! This is where blackout blinds come into their own! Ensure that there is as little light as possible coming into your child’s room from gaps in the blinds or light coming in from the hallway early in the morning.  

If you think your wee one is being woken by the dawn chorus way too early, try playing white or pink noise throughout the night to help block out any other noise from outside.

If your little one does wake up far too early, try and treat this as you would any other night waking – keep it dark and quiet and you should have more chance of getting some more sleep!

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

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What is Colic? https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/what-is-colic/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/what-is-colic/#respond Tue, 05 May 2020 10:58:00 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36437 The post What is Colic? appeared first on Caro Graham.

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What is Colic?

what is colic

Help, my baby cries a lot and won’t settle

 

The first few months of your baby’s life are often a rollercoaster with amazing highs but also awful lows. Often those lows are accompanied by long bouts of crying that whatever you do can’t be settled – it can be really hard as a first-time mum (or even second or third time as every baby is different) to know if your baby’s crying is just what newborns do or whether it is colic.

 

What is colic?

 

Colic is defined as a young baby crying for more than 3 hours a day, for 3 or more days a week, for at least one week, with no obvious reason.  Colic affects around 30% of babies.

The crying usually happens in the late afternoon or evening and your baby seems to be inconsolable. It can often seem that your baby is in pain with clenched fists, arched back and screwed up face. 

It’s such a difficult thing to go through as a parent as it feels that whatever you do you’re unable to stop your baby crying. 

 

What can I do to help my baby with colic?

 

  • There are various colic remedies available from chemists and pharmacies, although unfortunately nothing that is a magic cure.
  • Some parents recommend going to see a cranial osteopath who specialises in newborns. This can really help some babies, particularly if they have been through a long or traumatic labour.
  • Skin to skin contact can often be soothing for unhappy and fractious babies.  Carrying your baby in a sling can also be of real comfort to unsettled wee ones.
  • A warm bath can sometimes help to relax your little one.
  • A screaming baby will find it very difficult to settle to sleep so you are often also battling crying from overtiredness as well as colic. Try and keep an eye on your baby’s tired signs during the day to get as much sleep as possible to avoid overtiredness.

 

Could it be something other than colic?

 

If your young baby is crying often and you’re unable to settle them, it’s important to look out for other possibilities other than colic. The crying could be related to other medical issues such as reflux or allergies so it’s always a good idea to get along to your GP and seek medical advice.

 

Ask for help

 

There is no denying that having a baby with colic is really hard for parents. Try to take the pressure off yourself whenever possible and if you have someone that can take over from you for a while with the baby, try and get a break away from the crying.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it – be that from family, friends or your health visitor or GP. It’s absolutely no reflection on your ability as a parent – please do ask for help if you’re struggling.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

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Help – My newborn sleeps all day and is awake all night! https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/newborn-sleeps-all-day-and-is-awake-all-night/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/newborn-sleeps-all-day-and-is-awake-all-night/#respond Sun, 26 Apr 2020 21:55:05 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36427 The post Help – My newborn sleeps all day and is awake all night! appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Help – My newborn sleeps all day and is awake all night!

How to help your baby if they have their days and nights mixed up

If this applies to your baby, first of all, don’t panic! It’s pretty common for very little babies to snooze all day and want to be up and party all night!

Our babies are born without an internal body clock which can often mean that they have sleepy days and restless nights.  It takes months for your baby’s internal body clock to develop – they usually start to develop their circadian rhythm and produce melatonin, the hormone our bodies release to signal to us that it is time to go to sleep, around 9 – 12 weeks. This then starts to help your little one get into more of a “normal” sleep pattern – getting tired in the evenings and more sleepy during the night.  This can then be an ideal time to introduce a bedtime routine with your baby which you can then continue as they get older.

Lots you can do before this!

All is not lost before 12 weeks though! I know that the first few weeks of your baby’s life can seem to go on forever when you’re struggling with sleep deprivation and are up most of the night.

There is lots you can do in the first few weeks of your baby’s life that can gently encourage them to begin to differentiate between day and night:

  • Make sure that you act differently when your baby wakes up for the day. I know that when you’re up a lot in the night every wake up feels the same but set a time for yourselves when you’ll be “getting up” for the day and at the next wake up make sure you act differently when you go to your baby. Talk cheerfully, open the curtains and move your baby downstairs or into a different room so that it feels very different from a night waking
  • Ensure that your living space is bright and cheerful during the day – open the curtains and make it feel busy and active
  • Try and make sure that your baby is feeding enough in the day and not just sleeping a lot and them loading up on milk in the night! Wake your baby to feed if you need to at least every 3 hours during the day
  • Your baby should get some indirect sunlight every day – getting out and about in the fresh air each day is great for both you and your baby and exposing them to indirect sunlight can really help their bodies start to understand the difference between day and night time.  Even standing on your doorstep or by the window during the day if you’re not able to get out each day can help your baby get some sunlight.  Of course, ensure that you never expose your baby to direct sunlight.
  • Towards the end of the day, draw curtains, keep lighting low and make sure that the house feels calmer and quieter, even if your baby is still awake. Newborns can often be fussy and difficult to settle in the evenings but it’s good to keep the house feeling calm and lights dimmed even if your baby is very restless at this time.  Any places where they are to sleep should be extra calming and soothing to allow them to start to feel the difference between bright, lively “day time” and dark, calming “night time.”

Soon your baby’s own internal circadian rhythm will start to work its magic but all these things will help with getting your baby used to the difference between night and day.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

The post Help – My newborn sleeps all day and is awake all night! appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Average Sleep Needs https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/average-sleep-needs/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/average-sleep-needs/#respond Tue, 14 Apr 2020 04:45:57 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36405 The post Average Sleep Needs appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Average Sleep Needs

How much sleep should your little one be getting ideally?

It can be hard as a parent of a little one to know the amount of sleep that they should be getting each day, particularly if they’re not a real fan of sleep at the best of times!

It can seem that other people’s children get lots more, or seem to be fine on much less sleep than your little one gets in an average 24 hours.

Download Your Cheat Sheet

To make life a bit easier, here at Sleepy Lambs we have put together an Average Sleep Needs Cheat Sheet which gives you an idea, according to age, of how much sleep your child should be getting each day including the mix of day and night sleep if they’re still napping.

This, of course, is a rough guide and every child is different but at least 80% of children will fall into this range. I hope it’s useful to give you a rough guide to the amount of sleep your wee one needs.  

There will, no doubt, be times when they don’t get the right amount of sleep but don’t worry on the odd occasion this happens, they’ll soon catch up if they were well-rested beforehand. 

You may also find that an ill child will sleep more which is absolutely fine – they need sleep to help their bodies fight any infection so just let them sleep as much as they want whilst they recover.

Quite often when I show this Cheat Sheet to my clients, they say that there is no way that their little one is getting the right amount of age-appropriate sleep. This will likely result in an overtired baby or young child – unfortunately, the less sleep they get, the harder it will be to get them to go to sleep and stay asleep.

Often toddlers who are kept up too late appear to be wide awake and full of beans but this is usually an overtired and overstimulated toddler who will struggle to switch off and go to sleep, is more likely to wake in the night and may well wake earlier than usual in the morning. This is why it’s often not a good idea to keep a little one up late in the hope they’ll sleep in in the morning – it’s rare that this happens and it can often mean they wake up even earlier and so are even more tired, cranky and likely to resist sleep the next day!

I hope this Cheat Sheet is helpful and gives you a guide to refer to now and as your wee one gets older.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need some extra support around sleep.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

The post Average Sleep Needs appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Life under Lockdown https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/life-under-lockdown/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/life-under-lockdown/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2020 23:38:07 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36389 The post Life under Lockdown appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Life under Lockdown

Children’s Sleep in Isolation

We are living through very strange times at the moment and I know that many people, myself included, are feeling anxious and unsettled.  It’s no wonder then, that our little ones will also be feeling anxious – their routines and daily lives have all been altered and they will be picking up on the worries of those around them.  All of this can have an impact on their behaviour and also on their sleep which can make living under lockdown even harder.

 

Routines

 

I know I say it a lot but routine really is key when you’re dealing with babies and toddlers especially when it comes to sleep.  Normal life and the structure we have built into every day has changed drastically in such a short space of time so it’s understandable if routines and schedules have gone out of the window at the moment. 

Where possible though, I would try and continue, restart or even introduce some structure around sleep for your little one, particularly a pre-sleep routine at bedtime and for naps if your wee one still needs a sleep during the day.  These are really important to let your child know that it’s time for sleep – children thrive on routine and a good pre-sleep routine can really help them to start to sleep better.

It doesn’t have to be too elaborate, just ensure that you follow the same routine each bedtime (and a shortened version for naps) and you should find getting your little one to go to sleep is less of a struggle.

 

Exercise

 

Your child may well be getting less fresh air and exercise than they are used to and this again can have a negative effect on their sleep.  Whenever possible, it’s great if you can get your wee one outside in the fresh air at least once a day. I know our trampoline has been used more in the last week than the whole of last summer! 

Fresh air and exercise can really work wonders in promoting good and healthy sleep. If you’re not able to get outside each day during lockdown that’s fine – if you can encourage your little one to dance around inside or burn off some energy in a game that will be great as well.

There are loads of free classes and videos popping up all over social media at the moment so it should be easy to find something for you and your little one to enjoy inside.

 

Communication

 

It may be that some of your little ones are aware that something strange is going on in the world but aren’t really sure of what exactly is happening.  This can be scary and unsettling for wee ones – it’s good to talk to them about what is going on in an age appropriate way and encourage them to ask questions if they’re at an age where they may have heard things but not be able to understand them fully.  This can all help to reassure them and hopefully allay any fears that may be bottling up. 

Stay safe.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

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Breastfeeding and Sleep https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/breastfeeding-and-sleep/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/breastfeeding-and-sleep/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2020 13:29:15 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=36358 The post Breastfeeding and Sleep appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Breastfeeding and Sleep

How to Feed and Co-sleep Safely With Your Baby

Many parents who I speak to are under the impression that a breastfed baby will automatically sleep less than a formula-fed baby.  I truly think this is a myth – all babies are different and have their own unique temperament and the way they are fed does not necessarily have an impact on how well they sleep.

Breastfeeding mothers are, in fact, shown to get more sleep in the first few months than those who are formula feeding – breastfeeding releases a hormone called prolactin in the mother which aids falling to sleep more quickly once you’ve finished a feed. 

Having said that, let’s be honest – however, your baby is fed no mother of a newborn feels well rested!

Breastfeeding to Sleep

In the first few weeks, feeding and sleep are so often interlinked, with your little one feeding frequently and often dropping off to sleep on you mid-feed. 

Some parents that I speak to are worried about this and are concerned about “bad habits” forming. To them, I would always say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding your baby to sleep and cuddling them whilst they do it. You can do this for as long as you want to, don’t feel the pressure from anyone else to stop – it’s completely between you and your baby. 

Whenever you feel that you would like to help your baby to learn to fall asleep themselves, you can try to feed them until they are drowsy and awake and see if they are able to drift off to sleep themselves. However, there is definitely no timeline involved in this – each baby is different and there is no need to force this before your baby is ready.

Safe Co-Sleeping

According to safer sleep guidelines, the safest place for your baby to sleep is in the same room as you in their own cot, crib or Moses basket for the first six months. Often mums who are breastfeeding choose a bedside cot which has three sides to it – this can be placed right next to your bed and makes it easy to reach over and get your baby for a feed during the night and then pop them back over once the feed is done.

Many breastfeeding mums choose to co-sleep with their little ones as it often means that everyone gets more sleep. Something that is the main aim for most parents of wee ones! 

Co-sleeping is a great way of keeping your baby close to you and allowing them to feed in the night without either of you waking up too much. 

It is important to ensure that you are co-sleeping safely by keeping any blankets, pillows and duvets away from your baby and placing them to sleep on their back after they’ve fed.

Ensure that any adult in the bed hasn’t been drinking alcohol or is extremely tired. More information on Safer Sleep including safe co-sleeping can be accessed from The Lullaby Trust https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/

My most important bit of advice as a Mum of older kids is to enjoy the cuddles and closeness whilst you can – they grow up before you know it and you’ll miss those moments.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro supports families local to Edinburgh and around the world.
In addition to bespoke 1:1 consultants, Caro hosts sleep workshops and clinics. For details of upcoming workshops, click HERE.
Looking for sleep support?  Book a complimentary discovery call below.

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Moving Your Little One Into Their Own Room https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/moving-your-little-one-into-their-own-room/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/moving-your-little-one-into-their-own-room/#respond Wed, 04 Mar 2020 11:34:53 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=35736 The post Moving Your Little One Into Their Own Room appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Moving Your Little One Into Their Own Room

According to Safer Sleep Guidelines, for the first six months of your baby’s life it is safest that they sleep in a cot or crib in the same room as you every time they sleep.  After this period, it can be daunting to think about the best way of moving your little one into their own room.

Time to Move?

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of when it is best to move your baby into their own room after they have reached the six-month mark.  If you and your little one are happy sleeping in the same room, then there is absolutely no need to make the move just yet. However, if you would like to move your wee one, there are lots of ways that you can make the transition easier.

 

Cot and Room Play

It is a great idea to get your little one used to both being in their room and in their cot from very early on. You can start getting them accustomed to their room any time from birth onwards.  Taking them into their room and playing with them when they are alert and happy can really help them to start feeling comfortable and content in their own room and it will soon become a familiar and safe place for them. 

You can also get your baby used to their cot in the same way – for a couple of minutes each day, lie them in their cot and play with them. This should be well away from sleep time and make sure that the room is bright and curtains are open so that it feels very different from nap or bedtime.  Do anything that makes them laugh – sing songs, tickle their toes – anything that again creates a positive and happy feeling when they are in their cot. This will again help them to feel more comfortable when it becomes time for them to sleep in their cot.

 

Sleep Environment

I’m sure that you’ll have put lots of thought into your baby’s nursery and making it look as lovely as possible!  However, just a quick recap of the optimal environment for babies to sleep in to check they are as happy as possible when it is time to move them in there for sleep.

  • The ideal temperature is between 16 and 21°C
  • Check for any bright light coming in from hallways or the edge of curtains, the room should be on around on 8 on a scale of 1 –  10 with 10 being pitch black
  • Ensure that there is no loose bedding, soft toys or bumpers in the cot
  • Check that your baby can’t get hold of any cords from blinds, baby monitors etc
  • Have a quick check over of the decor  – is it “calming”? Nothing there that could be seen as scary by a little one

 

I hope that that has been helpful and you find your little one’s transition into their own room is a smooth one! Do drop me a message if you have any extra questions. Good luck!

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Click here to contact Caro

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The Importance of Communication https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/the-importance-of-communication/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/the-importance-of-communication/#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2020 00:33:52 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=35274 The post The Importance of Communication appeared first on Caro Graham.

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The Importance of Communication

Good communication is an essential tool when families are looking to improve their little one’s sleep. It is particularly important when dealing with toddlers and young children – communicating positively about sleep and any changes you’ll be making to things like bedtime routines can really help with your little one and how well they sleep.

Positive talking about sleep

If you have a toddler or young child who isn’t sleeping well, it can be really easy to slip into negative ways of talking about sleep to them.

When one of my children was smaller and sleeping badly, I know that we definitely fell into this trap – the more we talked about the fact she wasn’t sleeping, the more this increased her negative associations around sleep and the fact that she wasn’t sleeping well. 

So, if you have a little one with sleep challenges, make sure that any chat you do have with them about sleep is framed in a positive way. Ensure that you let them know that you know that they are able to sleep well and that you have every confidence in them to be able to do it. This will help to build their self-confidence and also their confidence that they are able to sleep well.

Communicate any changes

If you plan on making any changes to bedtime routines or ways of dealing with night wakings, make sure that you communicate these changes with your child well in advance of implementing them. No-one likes changes sprung on them by surprise, not least a determined toddler who likes to do things their own way! 

Communicate with your wee one about any changes a few days in advance of making them to make sure that they are aware of what is going to be happening and are feeling comfortable with it. If you’re able to get any input from your little one about these changes – steps in a bedtime routine for example – this will all help in getting your child to feel confident and accepting of the changes that are being made.

Parents should communicate too

Communication between parents around sleep issues is also really important when trying to make changes to sleep. If there are two parents involved with a little one’s sleep, it’s vital that they are both in agreement with any changes that are going to be made.  So, if you and your partner are looking to address your wee one’s sleep challenges, make sure that you talk to each other first about the ways in which you would like to tackle it. Once you’ve decided to make changes, it’s crucial that both parents are on the same page and are committed to the way in which you intend to change.  It’s very confusing for a child if each parent is dealing with things in a different way, so to help them become more confident it’s really important that you are both dealing with the challenges in the same way. 

Lots of luck to you if you are making changes to how you deal with your child’s sleep. I’m here for individual support if you feel your family could benefit from it.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Bonnie Bairn Fair https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/bonnie-bairn-fair/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/bonnie-bairn-fair/#respond Tue, 18 Feb 2020 20:59:36 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=35020 The post Bonnie Bairn Fair appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Bonnie Bairn Fair

Bonnie Bairn – Scotland’s largest baby and family fair

This week has been a busy one for me, not least because my two kids have been off school for their February break.  I took a few days off and the kids and I went down to Yorkshire to see my parents despite the storm which meant that our train down there was cancelled!

The rest of the week has been spent getting myself organised for the Bonnie Bairn Fair – I’m one of over 80 exhibitors this year which will be the biggest pregnancy and family fair in Scotland. It is to be held on 1st March from 10.00 – 15.00 at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange. I’ve been sourcing decorations this week to make my table look inviting and may even have bought my own cuddly Sleepy Lamb to be given away as a prize to someone on the day!

If you’re local to Edinburgh, I would really recommend coming along to the Fair.  Not only are there lots of businesses exhibiting on the day, but there are also loads of free taster sessions, activities and talks going on throughout the Fair. These will include everything from taster dance classes, talks on Safer Sleep and hypnobirthing, through to Spanish lessons for kids and a session on paediatric First Aid. 

There will also be loads of special offers from the exhibitors on the day and the first 250 families through the door in the morning will get a jam-packed goody bag.  You’ll need to be quick to get one of these though as they went really quickly last year! There will also be an epic Prize Draw taking place on the day with 3 different bundles to be won – Pregnancy, Baby and Family. The draw is free to enter – all you need to do is attend the Fair to be in with a chance of winning!

I’m really proud to be one of the exhibitors at Bonnie Bairn this year and am really looking forward to the day.  Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to see some of you there – if you do go, please pop by and say hello – you could even win your own Sleepy Lamb!

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Nightmares and Night Terrors https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/nightmares-and-night-terrors/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/nightmares-and-night-terrors/#respond Tue, 04 Feb 2020 13:00:25 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=34501 The post Nightmares and Night Terrors appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Nightmares and Night Terrors

How to tell the difference between nightmares and night terrors and what to do to help your child sleep better

Both nightmares and night terrors can be responsible for night wakings in toddlers and young children. Parents can often be unsure whether their toddler is waking from night terrors or if it is a bad dream that has caused the waking, both can be stressful and hard to deal with. There are ways to tell the difference between the two – I’ll set these out in this blog plus ways to deal with these wakings if your little one is experiencing either.

Nightmares

  • Typically occur in latter half of the night or towards the morning, during periods of REM sleep
  • Usually start around the age of 2 
  • Can often be sparked by something in particular e.g scary film or book, a change in routine, house move
  • Child is obviously awake and if old enough is able to articulate what they have dreamt about. They can usually be soothed and comforted by an adult during the night.

It’s important to try and find out the cause of the nightmare in order to be able to resolve the night wakings.

To help your child through periods of having nightmares ensure:

  • They are getting enough sleep for their age and aren’t overtired
  • That there is nothing in their room that could be causing them to feel afraid when they wake in the night – shadows, decor etc
  • That you acknowledge their fears and allow them to talk through them with you – offer plenty of reassurance, any time spent playing with you and spending time with you during the day will help them feel more confident during the night

Night Terrors

  • Typically occur in the first half of the night
  • Characterised by sudden, intense screaming, child’s eyes are often open but they won’t respond to you and any attempts to soothe them won’t work or even make them worse, the child can have increased heart rate and breathing and be sweating
  • Most likely the child will not remember that it happened in the morning

Night terrors can be particularly difficult for parents as they are unable to comfort the child or stop the night terror. The good news is that you’ll probably be more affected by them than your child as they’ll be blissfully unaware that anything even happened in the morning!

Prevention of night terrors is easier than trying to stop them once they’ve started:

  • Ensure that your child is getting enough sleep for their age
  • Stick with a consistent routine
  • Increase their consumption of vitamin D and B and give them plenty of magnesium-rich foods as these can all help aid restful sleep

Night terrors are often a phase that children do grow out of so stick with your usual routine and ensure your child doesn’t get overtired and hopefully they will pass soon.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Moving Your Toddler From a Cot to a Bed https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/cot-to-bed-transition/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/cot-to-bed-transition/#respond Wed, 29 Jan 2020 11:04:03 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=34269 The post Moving Your Toddler From a Cot to a Bed appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Moving Your Toddler From a Cot to a Bed

Moving Your Little One Into a Bed

When is the right time to move your little one out of their cot and into a bed? This is a common question from parents of toddlers and young children – often people ask if it will help with any sleep challenges that they are currently experiencing with their wee one.

The answer to this is: It might do but in the majority of cases I would advise holding off as long as possible before moving them out of a cot.  The exception to this is obviously if a little one has started climbing out of their cot – this can be dangerous as they could fall, so it’s best at this point to think about moving them into a bed and out of the cot.  If your toddler hasn’t mastered the art of climbing out yet, there’s no hurry to move them.

Get Your Little One Involved With the Change

When you do decide to change to a bed, it’s a good idea to get your little one involved in this as much as possible. Chat with them in advance about it so that they know it’s going to happen – it’s very difficult for a toddler if suddenly one day their cot has disappeared and they weren’t expecting it.  So, talk with your wee one first and let them know they’ll be getting a new bed – make it an exciting thing for them and talk in really positive language about it. If possible, it’s great if you can get them involved in choosing bedding or a new toy for their bed so they begin to feel excited about the move.

Room Play

Once the new bed is set up, make sure that you give your child lots of opportunity during the day to play in their room and get used to their new bed.  Take some time each day to play in their room with them – make sure that the lights are on or curtains are open so that it feels different from sleep time and allow them to lead the play and choose what they want to do. Let them play in their bed and start to feel comfortable in it away from sleep time – this should help them to create a positive association with both their room and their new bed and make it easier for them to settle there when it comes to sleep.

Check Their Room is Safe

As your little one is now able to get out of their bed and move around the room once you’ve left them, it’s really important that you check that the room is safe for them to be in on their own. Ensure that any heavy furniture is secured to the wall and that they can’t reach any cords from blinds, baby monitors etc.

I hope that the transition to a bed goes smoothly for your little one and that they sleep well in it when the time comes. Often it can take them some time to realise that they are able to get out of the bed themselves but once they realise that the challenges can start!

If you feel that you need some help with your toddler’s sleep I would be happy to help.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Safer Sleep https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/safer-sleep/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/safer-sleep/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2020 14:45:17 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=33945 The post Safer Sleep appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Safer Sleep

Parents of young babies often ask me advice about the guidelines for Safer Sleep – it can be daunting to try to remember all the advice when you’re so exhausted as a new mum or dad.

This week I thought that it would be useful to do a blog on Safer Sleep Guidelines to help new parents who may be worried about the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). 

Current UK Safer Sleep Guidelines recommend the following:

  • For the first 6 months of your baby’s life, the safest place for them to sleep is in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you, even for daytime sleep
  • Always put your baby on their back to sleep for both day naps and night sleep
  • Always place your baby with their feet at the bottom of the cot or crib they are sleeping in, ensure any blankets can’t go over their heads and keep their cot free of any items such as bedding, soft toys or cot bumpers. Make sure that the mattress they are sleeping on is firm, flat and in good condition.
  • Keep an eye on the temperature of the room that your baby is sleeping in as it’s important that they don’t overheat. The optimum temperature for your baby’s room should be 16 – 21C – once you know the temperature of the room, you can then dress your baby appropriately so that they don’t get too hot.
  • Don’t smoke, or allow anyone else to smoke, around your baby.
  • If you choose to co-sleep, ensure that you follow Safer Sleep Guidelines around co-sleeping – keep pillows, sheets and blankets away from your baby, don’t allow pets or other children in the bed and ensure any adult in the bed has not been drinking alcohol, smoking or is extremely tired.
  • The use of dummies has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.

The Lullaby Trust has lots of really useful articles and resources on their site if you want to read more about this. Safer Sleep Guidelines are updated frequently so it’s always good to have a check back to see if anything new has been added.

I hope this has been useful. Please do get in touch or comment below if you have any questions.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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The Challenges of Reflux https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/the-challenges-of-reflux/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/the-challenges-of-reflux/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2020 13:23:11 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=33694 The post The Challenges of Reflux appeared first on Caro Graham.

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The Challenges of Reflux

So many of the families that I speak to regarding sleep have little ones who have or have had reflux. It is the most common medical challenge in babies under 12 months.  Having a baby or toddler with reflux brings with it many challenges – they often have very poor sleep patterns which is why I come into contact with so many families who are struggling.  Reflux babies also tend to be very unsettled and cry for longer periods than other babies and this combined with lack of sleep can be extremely challenging for parents and carers.

What is reflux?

Reflux (or GERD) is a fairly common medical condition where the stomach contents come back up into the oesophagus.  Almost all babies experience some symptoms of reflux

from time to time due to the immaturity of the sphincter at the base of the oesophagus, which is why the majority of babies “spit up” regularly. However, for some babies it happens more frequently and causes discomfort and pain from the stomach acid rising up into the oesophagus and throat. Babies with reflux are often sick much more regularly than other babies and more copious amounts. 

However, babies and young children can still experience the pain and discomfort of reflux without any vomiting or spitting up which can make it much more difficult to spot and diagnose – this is known as silent reflux.

Reflux and discomfort after feeding can also be as a result of Allergic Gastroenteritis. This is an intolerance or allergy to something in food, breast milk or formula. It’s most often a protein in cow’s milk. Other common possibilities include soya, egg,  gluten and wheat.

If you suspect that your wee one has reflux or they seem to be in a lot of discomfort after feeds, please do seek medical advice.

Ways of soothing your reflux baby

Babies with reflux can often be more “high needs”  – they tend to cry more often and for longer periods and can be difficult to soothe.  There are a number of ways you can try to help:

  • Hold your baby upright for an extended period after feeding
  • Hold your baby with their left side down – their gastric inlet will be higher than the gastric outlet
  • A dream feed (when you feed your baby whilst they’re still asleep) can help as it reduces the amount of air swallowed by your baby
  • Using a dummy can help soothe their discomfort as it increases the production of saliva which can help to neutralise the stomach acid
  • Feeding smaller feeds more frequently can help as the stomach doesn’t become so full each feed

Support for parents

I really struggled with one of my children when she had reflux as a baby, particularly the impact that it had on her sleep.  She cried a lot which made me reticent to take her to many places which caused me to become really isolated as a new mum.

I wanted to help other mums and carers who feel in this position now so I’ve set up a Reflux Support Group at Nurture the Play in Edinburgh, every Friday morning from 10.00 – 11.00.

For those not local to me or who can’t attend on a Friday I’ve also set up a Facebook Group – I’m hopeful that this will be a place where we can share resources and advice for other mums struggling with their little one’s reflux 

I would love for you to join us either in person or online!

If you feel you need some more personalised support with your baby’s sleep, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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New Beginnings https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/new-beginnings/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/new-beginnings/#respond Tue, 07 Jan 2020 20:31:48 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=33451 The post New Beginnings appeared first on Caro Graham.

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New Beginnings

January is a great time to have a look at your little one’s sleep routine

January is often seen as a time of new beginnings and holds the promise of positive changes in our lives. I love Christmas and everything that comes with it but I’m always glad to pack all the decorations away and return to normal life. It feels like a chance to make changes or rejuvenate old patterns that may have been lost in all the craziness of the past few weeks.

Time for Sleep!

Please don’t worry too much if schedules and routines have gone a bit astray over December and you’re feeling that it will be difficult to get things back on track. It’s perfectly understandable that life has been busier and more chaotic over the festive period but January is a great time to have a look at your little one’s routines and check that they are working well for them and for your lifestyle. This is especially relevant when it comes to looking at their sleep and it’s important to make sure that you’re optimising their opportunities to get healthy, restful sleep.

Sleep Needs

Have a look at my cheat sheet here which gives you an idea of the average sleep needs for children from newborn to age 6. This will give you a guide to how much sleep your child should be getting in any 24 hour period – obviously, children vary in their sleep needs but the majority of children will fit into these patterns. Make a note of the hours that your child is sleeping and ensure that they are getting enough sleep for their age. If your little one becomes overtired, their body will produce cortisol which makes it much more difficult for them to get to sleep and will also make them much more restless and easily woken from sleep. It’s often said but sleep definitely begets sleep so the more you prioritise early bedtimes and good sleep habits the more sleep your child should start getting.

For babies who are still napping, it’s very important not to keep them up too long between naps as this can mean they will struggle to fall asleep. Keep a close eye on your little one’s tired signs during the day and make a note of these which then gives you a guide as to how long they can then stay awake for before needing to sleep again. Putting them down for a sleep before these signs appear can often result in an easier and longer nap.

Routine, routine, routine!

Babies and young children thrive on routine and so now that everything is getting back to normal try and get your little one back on a predictable schedule, particularly in regards to sleep. This should help with any sleep battles that you may be experiencing with your wee one.

If you feel like you could do with some individual support to help get things back on track, please do book in for a free, no-obligation call – I would love to help!

 

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Managing Expectations https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/managing-expectations/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/managing-expectations/#respond Sun, 22 Dec 2019 22:21:27 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=32860 The post Managing Expectations appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Managing Expectations

So, the big day is nearly here! I hope everyone is feeling festive and full of the joys of the season! I thought I’d end my Christmas blogs with a quick post around managing expectations over Christmas, particularly in regards to sleep.

I hope that you all have managed to get some sleep over the last few weeks and that things haven’t been too hectic. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are obviously not going to be days when we expect to get a lot of sleep, particularly when we have young children in the house. I still remember as a young child waking up around 4 am on Christmas morning and counting down the minutes until I was allowed to get up! Restless nights and early wakings are even more likely to be the case if you’re away and staying in an unfamiliar place for Christmas which can unsettle little one’s sleep even more so.

I think over the next few days it’s good to be a bit kinder to yourself around sleep routines and schedules and just accept that you may all be getting less sleep than usual. It’s also a good idea if you are spending large parts of your time with other people to have a think about when and where your little one will need to sleep and manage other people’s expectations around this. It’s much easier for you and your little one if a little bit of leeway can be given in the schedule for your wee one to have a nap or not have to stay up too late too many nights in a row. It may also take longer for your little one to wind down on very exciting days or in a strange house so make sure you start your pre-bed routine that little bit earlier to avoid them getting overtired and make falling asleep that bit easier for them.

I hope everyone has a magical time over Christmas and New Year and that your holidays are filled with Silent Nights! 

I will be back in January with lots more sleep tips and advice to make 2020 your most peaceful year yet!

Merry Christmas to Everyone xx

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Coping with Illness https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/coping-with-illness/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/coping-with-illness/#respond Tue, 17 Dec 2019 21:51:02 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=32659 The post Coping with Illness appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Coping with Illness

This week my Christmas Sleep Survival blog is around coping with illness and the disruption it can cause with your little one’s sleep. This is feeling particularly relevant to me today! I’m currently writing this from bed as I feel so terrible and both my kids have come down with a really nasty cold, only my husband to go and we’ve got a full house!

Accept the disruption!

It is more than likely that when your little one is sick, their sleep will be disturbed. Often, their sleep pattern going out of the window is the first sign that they’re coming down with something, particularly with babies who aren’t able to tell us when they’re starting to feel unwell.  So, if you notice a change in their sleep pattern, they’re waking up more or earlier or even sleeping longer, keep an eye on them. Often you’ll find in a couple of days their symptoms will start to appear and you’ll know the reason!

When your little one is ill, it’s really important that they get the sleep that they need to allow their bodies to fight off the infection. In reality, this  can be difficult to achieve with a cranky baby who can’t breathe properly when they’re lying in the cot. I think it’s best to just accept that sleep routines and schedules will go out of the window when your little one is unwell.  Just let them sleep as much as they want to, even if it means an extra nap or bringing forward their usual bedtime.  

If you’re in the middle of trying to make changes to their sleep, it’s best to just leave it until your little one is fully recovered and then you can pick it back up when they’ve recovered.

Keep them hydrated

It can be difficult to get your wee one to eat when they’re not feeling well. Often they lose their appetite when they’re ill. Try not to worry too much – offer plain foods such as toast and fruit. It’s important to ensure that your little one doesn’t get dehydrated when they’re unwell – if you’re breastfeeding you may find that your child wants to feed more often which is a great way of keeping their fluids up. If your little one is really off their food and drink and you’re worried about fluid intake, you could always try offering them ice lollies – these are great at soothing sore throats and also a good way of keeping their fluids up.

 

Make sure you rest too

Your child being unwell and suffering with disrupted sleep inevitably means that you won’t be getting as much sleep as you usually do either. So, make sure that you rest as much as you can whenever you get a chance, particularly if you’re having difficult nights. Your wee one being ill is a perfect excuse for cosying up with lots of cuddles so make the most of it while you can!

 

Routine

As soon as your child starts feeling better it’s important to try and get back into your normal routine as soon as possible. Try and get back on track with their sleep as soon as they recover and all the sleepless nights and missed naps will soon be a distant memory!

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Making Sleep a Priority https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/making-sleep-a-priority/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/making-sleep-a-priority/#respond Mon, 09 Dec 2019 12:27:47 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=32366 The post Making Sleep a Priority appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Making Sleep a Priority

This week in my Festive Sleep series I thought I would talk about the importance of making sleep a priority for your little one (and yourself, of course) in the run-up to Christmas and over the holiday season.

An Exciting Time of Year!

It’s such a busy time of the year with so many exciting things to do and lots of parties and events happening. I’m not going to be too much of a Scrooge and say that you shouldn’t be doing any of these things! But it is a good idea to keep an eye on how tired everyone is getting and make or change plans accordingly.  It’s perfectly fine for some routines to go a bit astray at this time of year and to have the odd late night but it’s good to also be mindful of your little one’s sleep needs and try to accommodate these as much as possible.  

Some babies and children can cope well with a change in routine and staying up later and naturally catch up on their sleep themselves by sleeping later on the next day or by having a longer nap. This is all down to temperament though and other children won’t be able to adjust so well to changes in routine and getting less sleep.

The Second Wind!

Many toddlers can seem to get a “second wind” and seem really alert and hyperactive, especially if you’ve kept them up later than usual which is actually a sign that they’re now overtired and their body will have released the stress hormone cortisol into their system. This makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep, they will have more restless sleep and are more likely to wake more frequently and wake for the day earlier than usual.  This effect of this can last up to 24 hours so can mean sleep becomes really disrupted.

Temperament Makes a Difference! 

So, be aware of your little one’s temperament and their ability to deal with change and plan your days around them.  If they struggle with sleep, it’s good to try and keep them in their sleep pattern for much of the time if possible and avoid too many late nights or missed naps. 

Often at this time of year, there’s so much going on in the run-up to Christmas that on the actual day, everyone is completely exhausted and frazzled from all that has been going on in the weeks before.  If you feel that there’s a possibility of this being true in your household, go easy on yourself – it’s fine to cancel a couple of events and just have an easier day or earlier night to let everyone recharge.

There’s a lot of pressure in December to do every activity and take the children to 101 events but give yourself permission to miss the odd one and just let you and the rest of your family have some quiet family time to recharge.

Make Sleep a Priority

By making sleep a priority in the lead up to Christmas, I hope your whole family will be well rested and able to enjoy the festivities all the more.  December can be such a hectic month so it’s especially important to keep an eye on your little one’s sleep needs and ensure that they are getting enough rest.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Travel Tips for Toddlers (and babies!) https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/travel-tips-for-toddlers-babies/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/travel-tips-for-toddlers-babies/#respond Tue, 03 Dec 2019 13:11:24 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=32124 The post Travel Tips for Toddlers (and babies!) appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Travel Tips for Toddlers (and babies!)

This may be the most magical time of the year but it can also often bring challenges with it in terms of your little one’s sleep!  I’m planning a series of blogs throughout December to give you some tips on how to get through it as unscathed and rested as possible. 

If you’re planning to travel to see friends and family this festive season, I understand if just the thought of it is making you feel anxious. It can be a stressful situation for those who have little children who don’t respond well to sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings.  So, I thought this week I would concentrate on giving some tips and advice on ways to minimise sleep disruption for those of you travelling with children over Christmas.

It’s a good idea to try and take as many things as possible with you that will make your little one feel secure and comfortable, even in an unfamiliar place.  So, take with you any sleeping bags/bedding that you would use at home and of course, any toy or comfort item that will help to relax your wee one.  If your little one will be sleeping in a travel cot, set it up in the room that they will be sleeping in well before it is time for them to go to bed.  Spend a bit of time with your child in the room that they’ll be sleeping in before bed time or nap time – read to them and let them have a play in the room. Let them play in their cot or bed for a while as well. Anything that makes them laugh and have fun will all help to make their surroundings more familiar and will make it easier to get them to settle when it is time for sleep. 

Routines can go out of the window very easily when you’re travelling and staying in other people’s houses. If at all possible, I would advise trying to stick with your little one’s sleep routines as much as you can

Keep an eye on their wake windows (the length of time your wee one can stay up before getting overtired) and try and get them down to sleep before they become too overtired and cranky.  This time of year can be over-stimulating for little ones at the best of times – lots of lights and excitement, loads of attention from family members, bucket loads of sugar! So, make sure you keep an eye out for any tired signs and try and catch them before they get overtired. If they stay up too long, they will find it much more difficult to fall asleep, so it’s good to try and stay on the ball with not keeping them up too long. I think many of us have had experience of trying to get a frazzled, overtired baby to sleep in someone else’s house, and failing miserably!

I think what is most important is to give yourself a break and don’t be too hard on yourself if things go wrong and routines come a bit unstuck. One late bedtime or missed nap can be rectified in the days following so don’t be too harsh on yourself if things go a bit wrong sleep-wise over the holidays.  January is just around the corner and can be a great month for getting things back on track.  

Happy Travels!

 

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Bedtime Battles https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/bedtime-battles/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/bedtime-battles/#respond Tue, 26 Nov 2019 20:36:23 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=31888 The post Bedtime Battles appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Bedtime Battles

I’m sure that many of you have been there – struggling to get your toddler or young child into bed at the right time.

Toddlers can be kings and queens of procrastination – one more story, they’re thirsty, they need the toilet, they’ve lost their favourite toy. So many reasons to delay going to bed! For some of us, the battles are harder than this even, with little ones getting upset at you leaving them or constantly getting out of bed to come and find you.  Hopefully, this blog will help and give you some tips to help with bedtime battles.

This can all be really tiring for exhausted parents who have had long and busy days and have been looking forward to a bit of child-free peace that evening

These kinds of battles can be really difficult and hard to manage when your patience may well be at its limit.

There are lots of ways, however, to make these kinds of situations easier for both you and your little one.  Making a few simple changes can often make a big difference to how happy your child is to go to bed and go to sleep easily and helps to make the evenings more enjoyable for you as an exasperated parent.

Make sure that your little one’s bedtime is at the right time for them to be sleepy but not overtired. Often little ones seem hyperactive and “wired” during the evening but this is actually a sign that they are overtired. Look out for this sort of behaviour from your toddler and try, if possible, to start the bedtime routine earlier and then get them into bed and asleep earlier.  

Often people will tell you that keeping a child up later will mean they’ll sleep later the next morning but in the vast majority of cases, this will actually have the opposite effect. If your child becomes overtired, their body will produce a stress hormone that will make both falling asleep and staying asleep more difficult.

Once you’ve decided what time you want your little one to fall asleep, make sure you start your bedtime routine early enough so that they have enough time to wind down from the day. Start by dimming lights and drawing curtains at least an hour before you aim to start trying to get your little one into bed.  Try and limit screen time in this hour before bedtime too as the blue light from screens can inhibit the production of melatonin which is the hormone that our bodies produce to help us fall asleep. 

Have a consistent routine. Toddlers and young children thrive on routine and bedtime should be easier if it follows the same sequence every day. This helps to signal to your little one that it is now time for bed and sleep. 

I know it can be very difficult to resist the pleading for just one more story when you’re shattered at the end of a long day!  Be firm if you can though and it should reap rewards! Chat with your little one during the day and explain that at bedtime they will get two stories and then it is time for sleep. If you’ve already spoken about it before it’s time for sleep it’s easier for your child to understand and easier for you as well hopefully! Let your little one choose two stories, preferably with the first being a fun, interactive one and the second being a more restful and relaxing story.

More than anything, be kind and patient – with yourself and your child!  It can be really difficult dealing with a fractious toddler when you yourself are feeling exhausted and worn out. 

I hope this blog gives some help with bedtime battles – I know how tough bedtimes can be if you have a little person resisting all your efforts to get them to sleep.  Please do give me a call or drop me a message if you need some extra help at bedtime.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Sleep Environment https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/sleep-environment/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/sleep-environment/#respond Wed, 06 Nov 2019 15:10:07 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=31352 The post Sleep Environment appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Sleep Environment

With the clocks going back last week, it is beginning to feel like Winter is definitely setting in. The darker evenings can be a real help in establishing a structured bedtime routine – it’s good to get the curtains drawn and lights dimmed nice and early in order to have the right amount of wind down time for your little ones before they go to sleep.

The environment in which your little one sleeps has a very important role to play in making sure that they get good and restful sleep.  At this time of year, many of us have the heating blasting out (I do, much to my husband’s horror!) As a result, it’s important to check the temperature in your baby or toddler’s room to make sure that it is optimum for them to sleep well. Often around this time we find that, although it’s getting colder outside, little ones’ rooms are too hot for them to get restful sleep. The ideal temperature for a child’s room during the night is 16C – 22C.  If you have a house that gets cold at night, don’t worry, you can add extra layers for your baby – just make sure there is no chance of them overheating. I have a handy guide for you here, which gives an illustration of what your baby should be dressed in depending on the temperature.  According to Safer Sleep Guidelines, it is important to make sure that your baby doesn’t get too hot so it’s a good idea to know the temperature of your baby’s room.

It’s also useful to check the light levels in your little one’s room. If you look at light on a scale of 1 – 10 (with 10 being pitch black), their room should be around an 8.  Check light levels from hallways or night lights to make sure the room isn’t too bright.

Using white or pink noise can also be a helpful way of ensuring that your child doesn’t get disturbed unnecessarily during the night or too early in the morning. Play it for the duration of your child’s sleep, not just as they fall asleep and it will help them not be disturbed by other noisy siblings or the early morning rubbish collection outside!

Check that the environment is safe for your little one – for a baby, make sure that there is nothing loose in their cot, whether that be bedding, bumpers or toys,  Also make sure that they can’t get hold of any cords from blinds, baby monitors etc. For older toddlers and children, that may get up and have a cheeky play in their room, check that all furniture is securely attached to the wall. 

Finally, if you have a toddler or older child who suddenly seems to be anxious about their room, have a quick look at the decor from the eyes of a child. Make sure the room is calming and restful to be in and that there is no decor that could be seen as “scary” from a little one’s point of view. If you think that shadows could be making your little one anxious, you can always spend some time during the day, making shadow puppets on the wall with your child, to show them that shadows are fun and nothing to be scared of.

Often looking at your little one’s sleep environment and making a few little changes can help with any sleep challenges that they are experiencing. I hope this is the case for you and this blog has been helpful in giving you some ideas on how to ensure that the environment in which your baby or child sleeps is helpful in aiding them get a good night’s rest. 

If you have any questions, please do get in touch, I would be happy to help.

 

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Fall Back – Don’t Dread the Clocks Changing https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/sleep-tips-for-fall-back/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/sleep-tips-for-fall-back/#respond Mon, 21 Oct 2019 23:38:19 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=30775 The post Fall Back – Don’t Dread the Clocks Changing appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Fall Back – Don’t Dread the Clocks Changing

Are you worried about Fall Back disrupting your sleep routine? We’ve got the answers for you here to keep your baby and toddler’s sleep on track

Autumn is my favourite time of year – I love the changing colours and the evenings getting darker.   The darker nights can help with your little one’s sleep – it’s much easier to get a good amount of wind down time and a peaceful bedtime when it’s dark outside.  So much more difficult in the summer when you’re trying to wrestle a toddler into bed whilst it’s still bright sunlight outside!

As always though, there is something that comes along to mess up your sleep routine! And in Autumn, that can often be the clocks changing. This can cause havoc with your little one’s sleep and mean that you end up getting up even earlier. And no-one wants that, particularly if you have an early riser already!

The clocks will change on the following dates:

27th October 2019 (Europe, including Ireland and UK) at 2am

3rd November 2019 (USA) at 2am

I know that many parents worry and struggle with knowing what is the best way to deal with time changes like this. When you’re sleep deprived and exhausted, the last thing that you need is something else to factor in when trying to deal with lack of sleep.It can be especially difficult if you feel you’ve only recently got into a good routine and are worried about it all going wrong again.  Or, if you are struggling with early mornings anyway and don’t want to have to deal with an even earlier start to your day.

If you’re already dreading the disruption, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together a handy cheat sheet that will help ease you and your wee one through the time change. It gives you a couple of options when dealing with the change and even some sample time schedules to keep you straight! 

I hope it’s helpful, good luck!

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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What is a Sleep Consultant? https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/what-is-a-sleep-consultant/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/what-is-a-sleep-consultant/#respond Wed, 02 Oct 2019 15:41:15 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=30081 The post What is a Sleep Consultant? appeared first on Caro Graham.

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What is a Sleep Consultant?

How could I help you get your baby or toddler to sleep better? 

As I’m relatively new as a Sleep Consultant, I’ve had a lot of questions from people and many seem curious as to what a sleep consultant does. Often I’ve had to explain what I do and in particular that I’m not an advocate of just shutting the door and leaving your little one to cry.

I work with parents of babies and children from newborn up to age 6 who are struggling with getting good, restful sleep for their little one and, as a result, for themselves. These challenges can come in a number of different forms –  a baby who is fighting daytime naps, a toddler who is battling going to bed or getting up far too early or maybe a young child who is still getting up multiple times in the night for reassurance.

Every case that I work with is unique and comes with its own different set of circumstances

I always take an individual approach when looking at each different child, taking into account the child’s age, medical history, family circumstances and parental preference. I also ensure an ongoing dialogue between myself and the parents throughout the time we work together, which offers the chance to make small changes along the way depending on how their little one is responding.

Being a parent can be overwhelming at the best of times and throw in a big dose of sleep deprivation and pretty much anyone would struggle! 

There is so much information out there around little one’s sleep so it can be very easy to struggle to know what is best for you and your child and the best way to approach their sleep challenge.

This is where a sleep consultant can come in to help – to offer support, guidance and reassurance to get everything back on track. There is always an underlying cause for the sleep issue, and I can help you get to the bottom of this issue and then give advice on ways to tackle it. I can offer gentle and effective ways of getting your child to sleep better and will always suggest a few different options to allow you to choose the one you feel most comfortable with. 

I’m passionate about helping little ones to get more sleep and excited to start working with more families. If you want to know more, please do book in for a free initial chat.  I’d love to help your family too!

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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Welcome to My Blog! https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/welcome-to-my-blog/ https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/welcome-to-my-blog/#respond Tue, 27 Aug 2019 21:30:28 +0000 https://carograham.sleepylambs.com/?p=532 The post Welcome to My Blog! appeared first on Caro Graham.

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Welcome to My Blog!

Thank you for joining me! 

My name is Caro Graham and I live in Edinburgh with my husband Paul and our two children.

We experienced real challenges with one of our little one’s sleep when they were small and it was this that motivated me to train and become a sleep consultant. 

I know how tough it can be for all the family when you’re not getting enough sleep and am thrilled to be able to offer gentle and effective solutions to help everyone get the restful sleep that they deserve.

I will be using this blog to give advice and tips on sleep but also other areas that I think might be useful and of interest, including nutrition and emotional wellness for both parents and children.

If there is anything you’d like to see on the blog, please do leave a message in the comments or email me at caro@sleepylambs.com

See you soon!

Caro

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!

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