BabyYumYum Expert and Baby Whisperer Meg Faure, is here to answer your baby and parenting related questions. She helps this tired mom get some sleep.
“My baby girl turned 1 in December and we’ve been so blessed with good health. The sleep department is a nightmare though! She’s been a restless sleeper since birth. I’ve tried the cot but settled with her co-sleeping with me in my bed, because if she slept in the cot I end up getting up more in the night than actually staying in bed, never mind sleep. I haven’t slept for more than 2 hours straight in the night since she was born. Sleep deprived in capitals! She tosses and turns, drinks between 2-4 200ml bottles through the night, and she suffers with a blocked nose sometimes. That messes with her sleep but even nights when her nose isn’t blocked she is still restless. She has 2 naps during the day, we have a bedtime routine I try to stick to, I really don’t know what more to do! Feeling so tired and helplessness clouds my mind even more and starting to doubt my mothering skills! I hope you can help.”
I haven’t slept for more than 2 hours straight in the night since she was born.
Meg Faure answers this mom’s sleep question:
Sleep deprivation is such a tough one. There are a few issues that are going on her and each is compounding the other.
Firstly you have to stop feeding her at night. The milk at night can make her congested and cause ear infections. In addition, night feeds at this age will disrupt her day appetite. At 1 year old, she needs one milk feed at bedtime and one slightly smaller bottle after 4am. That is all the milk she needs, otherwise her appetite for healthy solids will be disrupted.
In addition, milk feeds need to be separated from sleep so that she learns to sooth without food. Offer a dummy or her ‘doodoo’ at sleep time, not a bottle.
Day sleep must now drop to 1 day sleep from 11:30-1:30. She will be tired and ready to fall asleep without too much help.
It is fine to co-sleep, if that works for you. Just make sure that you are not disrupting her sleep and exacerbating the night wakings.
Give her loads of healthy fats and protein in her diet and take her to the park at 4pm so that she can get some nice sunshine and movement – both of which help with sleep.
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Meg Faure is an occupational therapist and expert in parenting advice. Meg founded Baby Sense, one of South Africa’s most recognizable baby brands and is the author of the Baby Sense range of books. Read are exclusive interview with this baby whisperer.