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Last month I had the great pleasure to go live on Instagram with long-time advocate for our Duski night lights and friend, Katie Forsythe of The Baby Sleep Company. Our goal was to bring you weekly sleep advice and answer all your burning baby sleep questions. For your convenience I have put together a summary of some of the most asked questions and answers from our Baby Whisperer Sessions. But first, and for those who have not heard of Katie, let me introduce her.
Katie Forsythe - Australia's most trusted baby and child sleep consultant
Based in Brisbane but helping families worldwide, Katie Forsythe is Australia’s leading qualified baby sleep consultant. From newborn to five years of age, you can trust Katie and The Baby Sleep Company to help your baby sleep in a down to earth completely non-judgemental environment. As a professional baby sleep consultant, Katie cuts through the contradicting advice and misinformation and delivers clear realistic help that you can be put into action immediately.
Your questions and Katie’s answers
What is sleep training?
Sleep training is simply consciously doing less than what you ‘need’ to do now and then doing less again until you reach the point where your baby can settle themselves without intervention. It’s not about shutting the door and not going back.
Why Red light for sleep?
Because it INTERFERES with the secretion of Melatonin the LEAST. If you are going to have a night light, red light is the best. White or Blue are the worst. Red light does not help your body make melatonin. This is misinformation.
If your child is over 2 and has started being afraid of the dark. A red night light is the best.
If you have overnight feeds or want to check on your little one overnight, red light is the best. The hall light will just wake baby and you up.
How do I get through the 4-month sleep regression?
At 4 months, a baby’s senses are getting more dramatic so they are more aware of what is going on around them, they can hear more. Try not to stress or freak out. With all the knowledge I have now - I would still recommend that you try to ride it out/buckle in, do whatever you can to help - white noise, make sure they’re warm enough, darkened room. When you get to 5 months and you’re still having trouble, it could be time to contact me.
When should I drop the day nap?
That can be anywhere from 2 and a half to 5 years old. You can’t really put an age on it, every child is different. You can tell it’s time to drop the day nap when bedtime starts to get drawn out because they are simply not tired - like 2 hours.
How hard is it to stop bed sharing with an 18-month-old?
It can feel overwhelming and to be honest, it will be very difficult, and you will need a plan before you begin. We can easily fix it though with the right tools and strategy. It will all depend on your comfort levels and logistics. There is no one size fits all.
Is it a phase if my 15-month-old wakes in the night for cuddles and mummy time?
It’s only a problem if it’s a problem for you. If you like the cuddles in the night keep it, but if it’s affecting you or your family you may need help. It’s definitely behavioural but I cannot say that it is a phase, they could grow out of it, or it may become an issue.
How do I get my 16-month-old to sleep past 4.30am?
This is a hard one. Make sure the room is very dark, loud rainy white noise, make sure they are warm enough - arms covered, even in summer, remember at 4.30am it is colder than when they go to sleep, especially if the aircon is on. Make sure that their nap is not before 11.30-12pm, move bedtime 20 mins earlier. Early morning waking can be a sign of being over tired.
How many overnight feeds should I do?
Try for 2 overnight feeds. This is best until baby is at least 6 months old.
Tips for ditching the dummy
Either do it really early (4 or 5 months) or once they understand the concept of it (3 years old). A great idea is to link it to Santa or the Easter Bunny. There’s more accountability when you give it to Santa than a dummy fairy.
My child won’t settle at night, help!
Gradually do less and less consistently, until it gets to the point that you are not involved. Don’t stress the small stuff.
Top sleep tips
For full context of Katie’s answers and to learn more about who she is, head to our Instagram page and scroll through our feed for our live sessions. You can also head to her social pages. IG - @babysleepco FB- @thebabysleepcompany
If you don’t find the answer to your sleep question here, feel free to ask us in the comments section.