Getting a good nights’ sleep is a vital part of our health and well-being. It’s important for everyone, but even more so for kids. Studies have shown that children who get enough sleep have improved learning, memory, attention, behaviour and mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a whole host of issues for the whole family, not just our children.
When you’re child is in a good bedtime routine you don’t want to rock the boat. Getting them settled and asleep at a time that means you can chill, take a breath and relax before you go to bed can feel like a huge achievement. The thought of changing anything is terrifying. Particularly if you’ve had a difficult journey to finding a routine that works.
But the reality is, life changes. And there are times when we need someone else to put our child to bed. As parents, we’re entitled to go out without being restricted to waiting until the kids are in bed. Or just have a bath and relax early enough in the evening so we can still watch trashy TV for a few hours before bed.
Our sleep experience
When we’ve changed from either myself or my husband putting the kids to bed, we’ve had varying levels of success. When we just had our eldest daughter it was easier. We tended to do bedtime together so it didn’t really matter who did the final part. Without wanting to rub it in too much, she’s been an absolute dream (pardon the pun!) when it comes to sleep.
We were utterly amazed when she went to sleep easily on the first night she was home. She was still having one bottle through the night. But other than that, she slept right through. We didn’t as we kept checking she was still breathing. And ever since then, she’s been a very good sleeper.
Our youngest, however, has been completely different. When she first came home, she would go to sleep ok, but then wake up several times unsettled. And that hasn’t really changed over the last four years.
Our biggest problem has always been getting to settle her when one of us is out, or when someone else is looking after her. So, my interest was piqued when I was asked to review a course from Fox and Moon which is designed to help you introduce another caregiver. The course is aimed at babies, but there’s some useful tips to help with toddlers too. I was kindly gifted access to the course.
Introducing another caregiver
The course is delivered via a video recording of a webinar Emily delivered. The first part is the training element and then she answers questions from parent participants about problems they’ve experienced. She gives advice as to how to manage the various situations which is really helpful – as much as I wouldn’t want anyone to have to experience broken or no sleep, it’s good to hear that we’re not alone in experiencing sleep issues. And that the issues we’ve had are common.
Emily is an advocate of holistic sleep support which means looking at the whole picture in terms of health and well-being, not just sleep. If there’s something else going on that’s causing a child to feel unsettled, that needs to be addressed so that their sleep can improve.
I found the course really useful and is something I wish I’d been aware of sooner. A lot of the night-time waking when she was younger probably related to feeling unsettled moving from her foster carers to us. I think if we’d used some of the techniques Emily talks about during introductions, they may have helped her to feel more settled which in turn would have helped her sleep.
We’ve modified some of the things Emily suggests to make them age-appropriate for our youngest and there has been an improvement. Flexibility and calmness has definitely helped. As has planning in advance for changes. And lots of reassurance that we’ll always come home if we aren’t there for bedtime.
Fox and the Moon resources
As well as the webinar that I watched, Emily has a lot of other resources and courses to help. They include frequent and early waking webinars, nap transition Q & A’s and sleep guides for various age groups. She also provides 1:1 sleep support.
So, if you’re struggling with sleep issues and want some easy tips to help get things back on track, I’d recommend having a look at Fox and Moon’s resources. Sleep is such an important part of our well-being. Getting it right in the early days makes it easier to keep things on the right track.
If you enjoyed reading this article, why not buy me a coffee to show your support for the magazine? If you’d like to read more articles about adoption, health and well-being, and parenting, head over to the home page and have a look at what’s new.