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Want to ask a sleep expert a question about your baby/childs sleep? Tell us here!

Hi Everyone,

We know sleep can be a massive issue if you have a baby or child who struggles with it. (We've been there). 

We're going to be chatting to a sleep expert soon, and we were wondering, if you could ask a sleep expert any question, what would it be? 

Please post your question on this thread, and we'll do our best to get an answer. 

Replies

  • im  currently breastfeeding my 4 month old baby boy, he only sleeps for 2 hours max and he will only settle for my breast, we’ve tried leaving him and tried cuddling back to sleep but nothing seems to be Working! I’ve not slept more than 2 hours in these last 4 months! Please help! 

  • Harry keeps spitting his dummy out at night and wakes up crying for it, he’s not fussed by his dummy when he’s awake, he’s over 6 months now is it best to just take the dummy away or is there an easier way to get him to stay asleep without his dummy even though he’s fallen asleep with it? Thank you xx

  • My 20 month old used to sleep really well, but for the last 2  months or so has started waking up at least once, often twice, a night and will only go back to sleep if I give him a bottle.

    I'm not sure what has changed, but is there anything I can do to encourage our previous habits back?! 

  • My son is now 13 months and since he got put in his cot at about 7 months old he's gradually wormed his way in to our bed (our fault) before his cot he was in a next to me side sleeper... At the minuet he falls asleep in our bed then we put him in his cot when he's asleep he stays there 5 mins and then starts screaming and won't go back to sleep but the second he gets in our bed he goes right back to sleep.. He hates the cot he won't even sit in it in the day to play with toys...also probably unrelated but he crawls around when he's asleep like he will just all of the sudden get up and crawl while he's still got his eyes shut he sometimes stands up and starts jumping whilst holding on to the headboard while he's asleep.. He can wake up at the click of a finger just sits bolt up right in under a second and just acts like he hasn't been asleep for ages..  Don't know what's going on or what to do. 

  • Any help/advice on getting baby to sleep in his moses basket? He flings his arms against the sides to keep himself awake but will not be swaddled. Is it time to try his own bed? He is nearly three months 

  • Thanks so much for your questions everyone. We're going to lock this thread now as we're no longer looking for questions, but we will come back as soon as we can with your answers. 

  • Hi Mummytolilyandharry

    That’s a really tough question – we’ve got to figure out what the function of the dummy is. Does the dummy actually help the baby go to sleep? Is the dummy in the baby’s mouth for a sufficient length of time that it’s actually effective – is it doing it’s job?

    And the reason for that is because how we respond will be very different. If he’s putting it in his mouth, and spitting it out, just to get mum to come in… we need to figure out – only mum will know the answer to that. If it is the game element, then yes, she should get rid of it. What he’s doing is he’s effectively worked out that if my dummy comes out, mummy comes in to the room.

    If it actually is effective in getting him to sleep and its just the falling out, then the best thing to do is teach him to root for the dummy himself. Instead of going into the room, and picking the dummy up and putting it in the baby’s mouth, move his hands to where the dummy is, so he learns the natural rooting for it. Then help guide it and put it in his mouth. Teach him to self-soothe.

    If actually he just likes playing a game and mum coming in, it’s probably time to get rid of the dummy. 

  • Hi MrsMills,

    At 4 months of age the baby’s still very very young and if you're breastfeeding, you might be breastfeeding on demand. So, it might be really difficulty at this stage to separate the breast from the sleep.

    What you want to do, to try and encourage that, is not to worry about the fact your baby’s falling asleep – because it’s very new still – but to try to encourage that your baby doesn’t get too dependent on the breast as an association with sleep. Just taking the baby off slightly before he drifts off to sleep. After the feed, as soon as you’ve finished, put the baby down. Just make sure that you’re being very clear that when the baby’s sleeping, they’re down, not up there in your arms or on the breast.

    Don’t extend the breastfeeding too long. Just try and separate it. By time your baby is 6 to 9 months, the space between him falling asleep will increase, and you’ll start to see that they’re not using the breast as much as a sleeping aid. Don’t worry – the idea is not to panic.

  • Hi bubbamumma1,

    Most parents are not aware that are several reasons why children won’t sleep, and depending on the age of the child you’ll notice more instances of one rather than another. For example, when babies are smaller routine is key, it’s essential. As they get older, anxiety and how they feel within themselves becomes paramount.

    You see a lot of toddlers changing, even though they had good sleep routines, becoming more anxious and their sleep patterns changing, as they become more self-aware and aware of their surroundings.

    There are many reasons why sleep would be disturbed, but if a routine has been really good (and is suddenly broken), parents need to ask:

    -Has something happened in my child’s world?
    - Are they experiencing anxiety?
    - Are they going through a growth spurt?
    - Are they just scared of the dark and they need light?

    Parents should use what they know about their children to try and figure out what it could be, and adapt their environment, because it may not just be about the routine. It might be about you being able to use what you know. If they’re a bit anxious, reassure them.

  • Hi Rebecca1992 and Sky123, we're really sorry Chireal didn't have time to answer everyone's questions, but she did give us some tips which we hope could be useful. 

    Chireal's tips...
    'Make bedtime something they feel is inclusive and fun. It doesn't have to be high energy, but make them feel part of this process, not like it’s being done to them.

    'And you can do that with a bedtime box or bedtime backpack, putting in their milk, the book they’re going to read, things that they use to comfort them, and once they get into bed they can go through their bedtime box, read their story...  

    'Make sure you leave pieces of you in their room, too. Simple things like pictures of their parents or siblings. Say things like, ‘We’re watching over you’. Leave music on, or the radio, so they don’t feel alone. 

    'These are some key things: think about how you would feel. Most parents and families sleep together, the child’s the only one who sleeps on their own. So what would make you feel better? You might be cold, for example. Just think – they’re just little humans.'

    And finally, some suggested articles which we hope might help. 
    10 of the best sleep aids 
    If swaddling isn't you thing, maybe try a sleeping bag? We have some info on them here.  

  • Thankyou :) 

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