18 Ways for mummies to cope with Sleep Deprivation.

taking a break from sleep for 18 years

Sleep deprivation in years gone by has been known as a form of “TORTURE” and we can all guess why.

Is flipping tough! Not only is it bad for our physical health but our emotional health too. It debilitates every part of our life…..

So I’ve put together a few ideas that you can ‘mull’over. You might decide there are some things you can adapt and put into place to suit you and your lifestyle until you get this “SLEEP THING” sorted 🙂

  1. Get a handle on your stress.
    Find ways to help you deal and cope with stress. Not only does stress cause difficulties with falling asleep but it disrupts the quality of your sleep. So if you’re only getting a few hours of poor quality sleep, no wonder you fell RUBBISH.
    Some ideas to try are: Meditation, yoga, Me-TIME, Date night, Visualization, breathing relaxation.
  2. Hand the children over to your partner. Take a candle lit bath. Make sure you treat yourself to some luxury bath soaks. Aromatherapy fragrances are fab and can lift your mood.
  3. Drink enough water. The answer to everything.
  4. Tempting as it may be to live off ready meals or even skipping lunch, eating high-nutrient foods that give you energy. Can you cook a bit of extra tea every night that you can microwave the next day?
  5. Take daily vitamins
  6. Don’t neglect yourself. Find time to take a morning shower and apply a bit of makeup if you used to do that. You will feel like yourself and not just a mummy.
  7. Have a PJ day one in a while. Why not? Everyone loves a ‘pj’ day.
  8. Invest in a slow cooker. Prepare tea in the morning when you have more energy. That way when you ‘flagging’ at tea time you will have a nutritious meal all ready to eat.
  9. Go to bed as early as you can. It won’t be forever and catching some shut-eye will make you feel so much better the next day.
  10. SERIOUSLY missing sleep has to be paid back. It’s like a financial debt. TRY to catch some sleep when your children do.
  11. If you have a toddler, snuggle up on the sofa together and watch one of their favorite movies. You can ‘nod off’ while they enjoy your company, closeness, and the film.
  12. Talk to someone who understands exactly how you feel.
  13. Forget the housework.
  14. Make sure you take advantage of online shopping.
  15. One day a week batch cook some meals you can pull out of the freezer for the days you really don’t have the energy.
  16.  Pop the children in a nice warm bath while you keep a watchful eye on them. Grab a cuppa and enjoy.
  17. Be kind to yourself, don’t expect too much. You don’t need to be superwoman.
  18. The sleep deprivation might seem relentless now but try to remain positive, one day your baby will sleep.

Are you a parent without a label? Do you need one?

parenting style

It was only when I went on to re-train as a Parenting Coach that I realised just how many different styles and approaches parenting actually has. Yet I would have great difficulty in labelling myself as one particular style. and really would I want to? Is it necessary?

There’s lots of research done about parenting styles and there’s some info here and to me most of that makes good sense, but what I’m talking about are the terms “attachment, positive, gentle, respectful, etc, etc terms that bombard us daily on social media, I like to call them ‘parenting buzz words.’

Buzz Words and Mish-Mash

Now,  this really isn’t about me but, I could fit into any of the above particular style, because I’m a mish-mash of parenting behaviours, I don’t really have a ‘style’ and do I want or need one? I mean if we don’t class ourselves as positive parents are we negative, worthless? If we don’t call ourselves ‘gentle’ are we harsh? If we aren’t respectful are we disrespectful, unkind parents? I think not.

What bothers me about these terms is that they really could encourage even more parental guilty than is already out there ready and waiting for us in abundance. We all try hard to parent with the best intentions, to make the best decisions for our children. There simple can’t be one correct, right or perfect answer, a bit like ‘religion’ right? 

Parenting isn’t about defending our choices

Now, don’t get me wrong here, I do LOVE what many of these parenting gurus share with us and I certainly do take lots of my inspiration from them but why does parenting need to have a ‘label?’

As parents, we are all trying to do our best. What works for one family does not always work for another. Circumstance, culture, personality, values, parental upbringing and much more come into play. . (If you’re interested in knowing a bit more about what things influence the way we behave take a look here.)  >>http://bit.ly/1j7EqXE<<

NO right, correct or perfect way.

There are so many different ways to parent. Yes, there might be research and studies to suggest that some approaches have better outcomes for children than others, I’m certainly not disputing that. My point is it doesn’t just ‘boil down’ to what we do as parents and the approaches we take that make the child who they are. What about other important variables that need to be considered? For example, a child’s temperament and how they react to situations, emotions, discipline, the world. This one thing alone can significantly influence how we behave and parent our children. It can greatly impact the choices we make. We might set out with clear intentions of how we would like to parent and the approaches and choices we would like to make. However, the reality is, for many reasons it might not go according to plan.

The point I am trying to make here is that there is no ‘universal or best’ way to parent. It’s not black and white, and never can be ‘black and white.’

For me, it’s about encouraging parents to trust their instincts and supporting them to find their way while sharing information that will help and support them in their parenting challenges and choices. It’s making information available and accessible to parents without piling on the guilt about the ‘said’ right or wrong way to parent. It’s about being realistic; it’s not about telling parents that the particular choices they make will have dire consequences for their children. Of course, it can be argued that the parenting choices we make may influence how our children turn out, but so can a host of other things. It’s a combination of events and circumstances, not just our parenting choices.

The thing is, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you ‘dress it up’, parents make those decisions with the best intentions. It doesn’t matter what research you read; there is no proven success formula for parenting.

Maybe it’s my NCT training that has helped me to take a more grounded approach and view of parenting. I’m not saying it’s always easy to do. I’m only human, my opinions, beliefs, values, and bias can often sway my judgement too. But to share those with you is something I try not to do because my way is not the only way. It would be extremely unprofessional of me. It has to be ‘your way and your journey’. So I will say …”Keep on doing what you’re doing. YOU are doing a GRAND job. You don’t need to label or indeed justify your parenting choices.

If this all resonates with you and you would love to join our lovely little community over on Facebook please join our group. YOu are more than welcome. >>>HERE<<<

Shellie x

The one Sleep Tool that has ALL the answers. NO BULL!

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The only Sleep Tool that has all the answers to your child’s sleep problems. No Bullshit!

First before I divulge the tool let me clear something up. I use the term “Sleep Training” quite loosely, because I don’t actually do sleep training. I go right back to basics and look at everything that can impact your child’s sleep.There is quite often no reason to do any sleep training at all if you get the foundations right. BUT you MUST be realistic.

Let me explain, your expectations must meet reality. It’s not about ‘waving a magic wand’ and expecting your child to sleep 12 hours a night every night till he leaves home. It’s about adjusting, tweaking, understanding, improving and making some changes that are realistic. Nobody, but nobody can promise that your child will never wake through the night again. It’s not gonna happen. Life get’s in the way, challenges happen, curved balls get thrown.

So what is this ‘Sleep Tool’ that has all the answers. Some call it a ‘Sleep Diary‘ some call it a ‘Sleep Log.” I always insist my clients fill in a sleep diary or log. (Yup, I heard you groan then, and I expected it). I know many of you can’t be bothered to do this, don’t see the point, don’t see what difference it makes logging how many times your child woke up.

But here’s the thing. How the hell do you know exactly what is going on if you don’t keep a log. How on earth do you remember how many times your child woke two days ago? Or what you did at 3am and 4.30am yesterday morning? Can you honestly remember? Nope, thought not, so how do you know if you are making any progress? How can you work out if your child is having enough sleep? How do you know if your child can get back to sleep by himself? How do you know when its time to drop the night feed? How do you know when it’s time to transition from 2 naps to one?

Not only does the sleep diary give you a good idea of the answer to all the above questions. It also works as a tool to keep you on track and motivated. There will be up’s and down’s, you will have good nights and bad nights, of course, you will. But digesting the sleep diary will help you pinpoint the areas that you need to work on and help you see that you are making progress. Taking steps to improve your child’s sleep.

You can also refer to the sleep diary when those challenging moments crop up again. When you feel like you’ve lost the plot or don’t quite know why your child seems to have fallen back into old habits. I like to compare the sleep diary to the ‘WeightWatchers’ or ‘Slimming World’ trackers. They give you a foundation to work on. Have you slackened off with the bedtime routine? Has the early rising suddenly become 4 am instead of 5 am because you relaxed your plan.

Seriously NO BULLSHIT the answers are all in the sleep diary! Can you afford not to fill one in?

It’s okay to use a dummy (Yes I said it)

Dummy Weaning
Ditching the dummy!

Whether you call it ‘dummy weaning’, ditching the dummy‘  or ‘Getting rid of the Pacifier’ many people have an opinion about dummy using. In fact, the negative opinions I find are generally from folks who haven’t dealt with a crying, overtired baby.

There is most definitely a place for dummies, and no mummy must feel guilty about using one. However, there are some things that would help and be useful to bear in mind before using one to help your child go to sleep. Because truthfully, they do at some point interfere with night-time wakeups.

So, if you’re a new mummy, toying with the idea of using one this is what I think you should bear in mind. It’s something I WISH I had known when I was ‘tearing my hair out’ dummy battling with my boys.
At nearly four years old (YEP ‘four’ years old.) it was a NIGHTMARE!

BE MINDFUL of how you use the dummy. So, what do I mean by that. Well quite simply, ALWAYS remove the dummy before your child falls asleep. That way you avoid the dummy becoming a ‘sleep prop.’ (Sleep prop, something a child relies on to fall asleep). AVOID your baby going to sleep with the dummy in their mouth. By all means use the dummy to comfort and calm baby in preparation for sleep, but remove before your baby enters dreamland. If you think this is going to be impossible, start by making small changes. Stop offering the dummy at every sleep time. Watch out for those sleep cues instead and get your child down to sleep before they need calming with the dummy. Start with nap time during the day and work at gradually reducing sucking time. Or get into the habit of removing it when they are asleep.

Ok, so what if you’ve already made that ‘cardinal’ sin of letting your child sleep with the dummy in? Don’t worry…. one of your options here is ‘Cold Turkey’. BUT be warned, you need great mental stamina here and to be prepared for a few days of, what seems like ‘HELL on EARTH’. However, once it’s done you won’t look back, and that will be another parenting challenge you can wave goodbye to 🙂 Also, it’s much easier to lose the dummy before your child becomes too attached to it.

Now if you’ve read to this point, you might be thinking “IS she FREAKING MAD?!” I know, I know, it won’t be easy, but really and truthfully it’s something you have to make up your mind to do because there is no easy way to ‘ditch the dummy’.  At some point, it has to be done and its easier sooner rather than later.

If you don’t fancy ‘Hell on Earth’ (and I’m with you on that one), then you can try this next tip, but be aware you could be prolonging the agony. If your child has developed what is known as the ‘pincer grip’ (ability to pick up small things in hand). You can teach your child to put their own dummy back in during the night. The easiest way to do this is for you to scatter lots of dummies around the cot. That way you increase the chances of your child finding one, popping it back in his/her mouth and going back to sleep.

To teach your child this skill, start by encouraging them to pop the dummy back into their mouth during the day. Pointing at the dummy and encouraging them to pick it up themselves is a good start.

Distraction – now this, of course, depends entirely on your child’s temperament as to how easy this will be. (With my ‘SPIRITED’ number one son, this wasn’t an option). It does require patience and perseverance, BUT you know your child and whether this will work for you. Good LUCK….

Of course, if you are now in the thick of the toddler years, that dummy will have become as important to your child as his favourite toy or teddy bear. So what can you do here?

Get creative! I won’t go into details here as I have a whole booklet of information and ideas about creatively loosing the dummy CLICK HERE, but one idea includes santa, the other some leaves!

The other thing to do is prepare your toddler for the ‘dummy ditching’ in advance by talking about it daily. Encourage him to think about giving the dummy up, set a date together, keep reminding him/her of the day the dummy will be going. Talk about how you are going to do this together. Involve him or her as much as you can in the decision making.

The main thing to think about is what is going to work best for you. Pick a time when there is going to be the least disruption. For example, ‘a new baby’ is likely to enhance the need for your child to want and need his dummy more. Or another big adjustment like starting nursery, childcare or moving house is probably not the optimal time to ‘ditch the dummy’.

Getting rid of the dummy
CLICK HERE TO BUY DUMMY FAIRY BUNDLE

Whatever you do, don’t stress about it. We all do what we need to do; the dummy is a life saver for some of us. If your child still has a dummy at four years old, SO WHAT! Just do your best, work on making some changes and move towards loosing the dummy. Ignore others who broadcast their opinions. Remember this, their opinions are exactly that, ‘THEIR’opinions, NOT yours, not everyone, ‘THEIRS’. Despite what you might be thinking or be feeling at this moment, your child WILL NOT still have his dummy at 18. I can promise you that…..

 

Bye for now
Shellie xx

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