Help called for re­turn to work

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - JACKIE SINNERTON

ly half of new par­ents in 2017 are hav­ing prob­lems get­ting their child to en­joy good sleep, it’s no won­der sleep ser­vices are in­un­dated with calls,” Ms Bude said.

“I would imag­ine there are even more peo­ple who would love to ask for help but are weighed down by the 1950s idea that they should be able to cope by them­selves. “There are so many mixed mes­sages out there that par­ents are not only ex­hausted, they’re fright­ened and con­fused. Should they try con­trolled cry­ing? Should they breast­feed the baby to sleep? Does the child have to sleep in the cot? Is cat­nap­ping a bad thing?”

But not all sleep ex­perts are the same. Baby sleep train­ers are not the same as qual­i­fied sleep spe­cial­ists. Ms Bude is adamant there is no place for clos­ing a door and let­ting the child cry it out.

“Baby sleep train­ers may try and ‘fix’ a child with a one-siz­e­fits-all ap­proach like con­trolled cry­ing and re­spon­sive set­tling. A sleep spe­cial­ist will New­born: up­wards of spread through the day with each sleep last­ing 30 min­utes - 3 hours 1-3 months: with the amount slept dur­ing the day in a few naps (5-6 hours) de­creas­ing as night sleep in­creases 6-9 months: as they need fewer naps mostly at night 1 year: at night with a short nap or two dur­ing the day as­sess the en­vi­ron­men­tal, phys­i­cal, emo­tional, so­cial, de­vel­op­men­tal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and medical ar­eas of the fam­ily to see what might be un­der­ly­ing rea­sons for sleep and cir­ca­dian rhythm dis­tur­bances,” said Ms Bude, who is also a mid­wife. Par­ents need to do their due dili­gence for qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore let­ting any­one into their house. The av­er­age cost of a qual­i­fied spe­cial­ist is $300 and up­wards for a two-week sup­port pack­age. In-home sleep pack­ages will reach a cou­ple of thou­sand dol­lars. The sale of sleep-track­ing de­vices is also a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar in­dus­try, with smart pil­lows and cam­eras watch­ing baby’s ev­ery move. NEW mum Elna How is about to re­turn to work full­time.

But at 11 months, her son Liam has be­come hard to set­tle to sleep and mum and dad are ex­hausted.

“Aus­tralians out­source h help for so many ar­eas of their lives, it makes sense to bring in the ex­perts for some­thing as vi­tal as get­ting a good night’s sleep,” Ms How said.

“The phrase ‘it takes a vil­lage to raise a child’ is very true. Years ago, moth­ers were more likely to have ex­tended fam­ily to of­fer ad­vice and a help­ing hand.

“As a mi­grant, I have a much smaller sup­port net­work,” she said.

Ms How de­cided to call in qual­i­fied sleep pro­fes­sional Amanda Bude for one month to help Liam es­tab­lish a good sleep pat­tern be­fore she re­turns to work as an ex­ter­nal au­di­tor.

“Jobs today can be stress­ful and tir­ing in them­selves so this was the right time to try to work things out,” she said.

The par­ents were de­ter­mined not to fol­low any pro­gram that in­volved let­ting Liam cry it out.

“Amanda’s train­ing has a gen­tle ap­proach, she makes grad­ual changes.

“It might take a lit­tle longer to reach the goal, but for me, it’s im­por­tant to do things this way,” Ms How said.

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