The Com­plete Sleep Guide

Little Treasures - - SLEEP -

by Gina Ford

A baby who’s al­ways rocked, fed or given a dummy to get to sleep is more likely to wake dur­ing the night, long af­ter the age when they need a feed to get them through the night, says ma­ter­nity nurse Gina Ford in The Com­plete Sleep Guide. Ford’s sleep guide is based on de­vel­op­ing a struc­tured 7am to 7pm rou­tine over the first seven weeks. An­other pil­lar is to teach your baby to go to sleep in their own bed unas­sisted. A cud­dle, rock, feed and dummy rou­tine is fine for the first few weeks, she says, but if used af­ter 8-12 weeks, they will wake dur­ing the night. She sug­gests keep­ing a sleep­ing log, so as to al­low for a 10-15 minute wind-down pe­riod. If fall­ing asleep on the breast or bot­tle, rouse the child slightly be­fore putting in cot so they know they are go­ing to bed. If fed and winded – few ba­bies need burp­ing more than once dur­ing a feed and at the end, she says – and ready they should go off in 5-10 min­utes. Ford says ba­bies of six to seven weeks should be able to sleep for 7 hours af­ter their last feed, and warns that if baby gets used to wak­ing dur­ing night this habit won’t dis­ap­pear be­fore about three. Con­tented, grow­ing ba­bies over six weeks and 4.5kg+ feed­ing less at night can be en­cour­aged to re­duce the num­ber of night­time feeds or give up the 2am feed by pat­ting, a dummy or a sip of cool boiled wa­ter, quiet re­as­sur­ance. Make sure the last feed is sub­stan­tial and you don’t try to cut the mid­dle of the night feed in one go. If you feed dur­ing the night at 9 months, ac­cord­ing to Ford your child won’t eat dur­ing day. If your baby needs cry-it-out sleep train­ing, get a check-up with your doc­tor first and your health vis­i­tor. Com­mit to 2 weeks. Don’t do it if your baby is ill, not grow­ing well, or there are stresses in the house. Cry­ing it out for ba­bies up to six months should take 10-30 min­utes. Bath, feed well, ready, put down and set­tle. Al­low 10 min­utes be­fore go­ing back in if it’s hard to ig­nore cry­ing. Re­as­sure with a sooth­ing touch or quiet voice for a cou­ple of min­utes but don’t pick up. Then wait 10-15 min­utes be­fore re­turn­ing.

real par­ents say

“In the first six months af­ter my first child was born I strug­gled to set­tle her. She had a ten­dency to fight sleep and didn’t nat­u­rally fall into a rou­tine in the way that my sec­ond child did. Af­ter try­ing dif­fer­ent sleep strate­gies a friend rec­om­mended I read Gina Ford’s book as she had found the rou­tines good. I was then warned off Gina Ford by a nurse who felt her meth­ods were too rigid, but af­ter no suc­cess with any other strat­egy, I tried fol­low­ing a Gina Ford rou­tine. I found it help­ful as it gave me a guide­line of how much sleep my daugh­ter needed dur­ing the day and at night, and roughly when she should be sleep­ing and awake. The main thing about Gina Ford is that she has set times for sleeps and en­cour­ages you to wake your child af­ter they’ve had the amount set for each nap. This is so they stay on track through­out the day and don’t over­sleep, which could ul­ti­mately de­lay their bed­time. Not ev­ery­one thinks that wak­ing a child from their sleep is right thing to do, but it worked for my child af­ter noth­ing else did.” Tina, mum of two, Auck­land

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