Routine & Sleep Training For Babies Designed For Happy Families. Lovingly guide your baby in the gentle art of unassisted sleep.

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The precious gift of sleep once baby is born OR Is sleep for a baby that important?

True or False?
My baby hasn't slept well during the day so he'll be exhausted by the end of the day and will sleep well at night. False! If a baby is awake for longer than his age appropriate awake time he will become overstimulated and then go into hyperalert.

Below is a table of a baby's age appropriate awake time - the length of time he can happily stay awake.

Age appropriate awake time
Newborn to 2 months 45 minutes to 1 hour
2 months - 4 months 1 hour to 1 hours
4 months - 6 months 1 hours up to 2 hours
6 months - 9 months 2 hours up to 2 hours
9 months - 12 months 2 hours up to 3 hours
12 months - 18 months 3 hours up to 3 hours
18 months - 24 months 3 hours up to 5 / 6 hours
Awake time includes feeding

Below are signs of overstimulation and hyperalert.

Initially your baby will be perfectly content, but in the blink of an eye he could become:
• fussy
• miserable
• pulls his ears
• rubs his eyes
• begins to squirm
• tenses up his body
• appears bored with his toy

If you don't react fast enough by putting him down to sleep, he will progress further into a state of hyperalert, where he will battle to fall asleep and battle to remain asleep, hence your baby will wake throughout the night.

• stiffens his body
• arches his back
• clenches his fists
• cries inconsolably
• behaves like the Duracell bunny on TV - hyper active and wired

Sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation is a form of torture and affects the entire family. Depending on the severity, it can have numerous side affects.

Some side affects of a sleep deprived baby are:
• a clingy baby
• a fussy feeder
• a whiny, niggly baby
• a baby who cries easily
• a baby who isn't meeting his milestones

Some side affects of sleep deprived parents are:
• Constant fighting between parents
• Your sex life and social life is non existent
• The urge to want to physically harm your baby
• Feeling completely overwhelmed and out of control
• Unable to function at work and make the simplest of decisions

When a baby sleeps their body produces serotonin, a hormone that makes them physically grow, therefore it is critical that a baby gets the right amount of sleep, during the day and at night, according to his age.

Sleep induces sleep, so the better your baby sleeps during the day, the better he will sleep at night.

To rock or not to rock?
It's a personal decision, however rocking a newborn weighing 3.2kg's isn't a problem, but rocking that same baby when he is 9 months old weighing 12kg's isn't cute any more!

It is important that your baby knows how to fall asleep unassisted and how to put himself back to sleep. This is a life skill he will take through to adult hood, therefore avoid the Sleep Prop's - rocking, patting, driving around the block or giving the bottle or breast in order to get him to sleep. After all, is it fair on your baby if he is reliant on you in order to fall asleep?

Some of Baby Love's philosophies
• Always assess the cry
• Be guided by your baby's needs and not wants
• Baby should be part of the family and not the family
• Baby will guide the parents as much as parents need to guide their baby

Credit: Survival Guide
Published: Spring 2009

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