Getting little ones to go to sleep and stay asleep is a struggle most caregivers know all too well, and it is exhausting for everyone involved.
Whether you have a brand-new bundle or a two-year-old tornado, quality sleep is essential for the whole household.
Infant sleep changes
Waking regularly to feed is one of the completely natural needs of young babies. This frequency will vary and is an additional fourth-trimester adjustment for parents.
Another common struggle during this phase is colic.
Colic is described as repeated periods of crying, inability to settle, and discomfort for no known reason. Infants often draw their legs up to their stomach, may want to feed and then refuse, and are unable to be calmed as they usually would.
Up to 40% of infants worldwide will experience some form of colic.
Babies will often prefer to be upright to reduce pressure on the stomach. A pacifier, or something safe to suck on, may also help. Physical touch is beneficial to reducing infant stress, with gentle tummy rubs or a warm bath to ease discomfort.
Developing little minds
The skill set your child has learned from birth to toddler is staggering. With this comes new sleep challenges, like nightmares and waking to use the toilet.
Keeping the environment calm, dark, and quiet is essential in keeping that sleepy daze to help settle your child back to sleep.
Social developments and environmental change, such as starting daycare or kindergarten, are also big leaps for young children. Increased daily activity can stimulate emotional overwhelm or re-introduction of the afternoon nap, throwing out the evening sleep schedule.
Similarly, a parent returning to the workforce or a new addition to the family can rock a toddler’s world. It takes a lot of patience, but sleep patterns will settle again.
Herbs can be a gentle way to support the nervous system and the return to sleep.
Rolling with routine
Consistently having the same ‘wind down’ time can prompt sleepiness in children. This might be getting into pyjamas and brushing teeth, and then having a bedtime story
Like most things, sleepless nights aren’t destined to last forever - although it can feel that way at the time. Supporting your child with gentle herbs, routine, and regulated energy output can help everyone relax during nighttime.