photo credit to flickr creative commons

Understanding + Implementing Effective Infant Sleep Behavior Part One

Continuing Education via Newborn Care Solutions

photo credit to flickr creative commons

 

Adventure Nannies sent one of our staffers to a sleep-training intensive in Texas that was run by Newborn Care Solutions. In the upcoming weeks, she will share her notes and takeaways from the class so that Adventure Nannies across the country can learn all about sleep training! For more information, or to register for Newborn Care Solutions’ next training, visit them at their website!

As a nanny or newborn care specialist you know that the first six months postpartum can be the most challenging for a family. Our job is to do everything in our power to anticipate their needs and support the family throughout the transition.  Understanding infant sleep patterns and behaviors is an essential aspect of supporting a family with a newborn, and we wanted to share some of the valuable insights we received from Newborn Care Solutions.

 

photo credit to flickr creative commons

 

What Is A Well-Rested Baby:

-wakes happy

wakes happy from naps

-may wake but doesn’t cry for extended periods

-sleeps through the night by 12-16 weeks

-can fall back asleep without adult assistance –teach families to give parents 2 minutes to self-soothe it’s a learned behavior. Not crying it out, just fussing. Putting them down when they’re drowsy but not yet asleep.

-consistently does all of the above

*other cultures know more about sleep variance, they’ll nap throughout the day and in some other older cultures, adults even sleep for a 4 hour period right after dinner, get up for 4 hours, meditate during that time, then fall back asleep. It’s not like we’ve ever been wired to sleep 9 hours straight, so of course babies don’t.

photo credit to flickr creative commons

 

What Is A Well-Rested Family:

-a family that sleeps through the night

-a family that regularly wakes happy

-a family where all members get adequate sleep

-if one member isn’t sleeping well, it’s likely impacting everyone (for example, a wild 3-year-old exhausts parents and nannies and slows sleep training for infant)

-a family where no one feels sleep-deprived

-a family where these attributes are consistent

 

photo credit @stubbornyeza

 

 

How the In-Home Postpartum Provider Helps:

-helps the family define their needs –some doulas are now taking NCS training and vice versa

-establishes a plan for family + provider to follow

-helps troubleshoot

-creates and maintains log of activity, food, naps, crying patterns, etc. for each day

-adjusts as needed to:

+ illness (the action plan go to the backburner and illness trumps sleep conditioning) 

+travel – separate baby from the fray, set up a solo sleeping environment, use their old sheets that smell like them.

+ growth – growing pains

+ other interruptions – new pets, new noises, etc.

-you may not be the right fit for every potential family, assess their needs and be willing to walk away if you’re not able to meet their needs

-if you’re the primary provider you should have a detailed plan of action of what your goals are with the family. Avoid being solely reactive, but plan for goals and set the family up for success.

-if family changes plans, says for example that they don’t want to let the baby even do 5 seconds of fussing, they’ve changed the action plan and you need to address that the original goals may not be achieved.

 

photo credit to flickr creative commons

 

 

 

We hope this gives you even more of an understanding of the vital importance of succesful sleep for all members of the family, and how you as the nanny or newborn care specialist can contribute.  For more information about Newborn Care Solutions check out their website, and for more information from us follow along on our job board, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the rest of our blog.