Your bundle of joy has arrived … and you’re in love like never before. You knew you’d be tired, but nothing could prepare you for how exhausted you’d be, all of the time. It would help if your baby would sleep.
You’re doing everything by the book – and there are countless books, blogs, apps and gadgets that promise to help you and your baby sleep. Motherhood is nothing new but the infodemic around motherhood is. There is a whole industry around this wonderful yet vulnerable time of your life. That’s not to say that it’s all bad – there’s some truly amazing help out there – but you can help yourself and your baby sleep when you relearn to trust your instinct and be more discerning of the answer being ‘out there’.
And it isn’t your fault. We’ve been led to believe that our bodies don’t know what to do and that the answer lays with an external expert. We’ve forgotten that when we cut ourselves, our body heals all by itself. The problem is, we have not been taught that our body has an inner intelligence, an innate life force of its own, that element within all of us that takes care of things for us 24/7, 365 days per year, without us even thinking about it. Well, the same applies to childbirth and motherhood (and just about any named condition you can think of).
For the moment, just imagine that it is our thinking about the problem that creates our worries, doubts, vulnerabilities, etc., that inner critic and doubter, all of which undermines any trust we have in ourselves. But what if that voice were wrong, or you chose not to listen to it. How different would you feel? I’ll leave you to ponder that one, and will return to it later in this series. What I do know is that you and your baby are unique, so what works for others may not work for you both.
Your baby needs you, so from today:
Drink 2 litres of filtered water per day – more if you’re breastfeeding
Just for 30 minutes. Your body needs the Vitamin D and so does your baby. Enjoy a change of scenery, fresh air and the sensory delight of being outside.
Pick up the phone and speak with (vs text) friends and family. Join a mother and baby group to find some support from others.
Lavender is the No.1 essential oil to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. A couple of sprays on your pillow and around baby’s crib (not directly on baby’s pillow) will work wonders to help sleep. I love and recommend the award winning Neal’s Yard Organic Lavender Pillow Spray. Order from my website here for home delivery and receive a free ‘thank you’ gift from me.
These amazing magnesium rich mineral salts promote relaxation at a cellular level. Add a handful of Epsom Salts to a warm (not hot) bath. Soak for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a bath, soak your feet for 20 minutes in a bowl of warm water with 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salts. Make this natural, cheap and effective Magnesium rich remedy is a therapeutic store cupboard essential.
How was baby’s entry into the world? Did it go as planned? More than likely it didn’t. And however perfect the birth was, it is still a shock to your baby. Imagine being thrust into a world after being in the womb for 9 months! Perhaps there were complications in labour. Or you were induced which will further traumatise your baby’s entry into the world.
Antibiotics are often prescribed routinely to mothers that choose natural childbirth to prevent infections occurring during labour and it is increasingly common for neonates to receive antibiotics within days of birth. Added to this are the drugs used in labour – many of which are opioids – and anaesthetics in epidurals. If you are breastfeeding baby, these drugs will be passed through your milk and will affect your baby’s sleep
Whether we like to admit it or not, we like habit, and so does your baby. Routine will bring a sense of security and comfort to your baby, and that sets the scene for good sleep. This means regular times for waking, feeding, nappy changes, wind down routines and bedtime.
One of the main things I’ve heard many Mums is they wished they’d swaddled (wrapped) baby from Day 1. Swaddling gives baby comfort and reassurance – they swaddled at night to signal sleep time; and unswaddled during the day so their hands and feet are free which signals awake/play time. Swaddling also prevents them being awakened by the Moro Reflex – a natural reflex which results in their arms suddenly jerking upwards
Get into the habit of giving your baby a full feed so that the rich milk is received, which helps your baby remain asleep for longer so you learn a hunger cry from other cries
Colic & Reflux
Colic is common in newborns and usually ends around 6 months. It is thought to be a digestion problem that involves gut spasm. Colic occurs in breastfed and bottle fed babies. Keynote: frequent crying (more than 3 hours pd, more than 3 days pw for a least a week). Colic tends to be more prominent in the afternoon and evening. Your baby will be hard to soothe and settle and has clear signs of pain (clenched fists, red face, knees to chest, arched back, windy)
Reflux is a condition where baby regurgitates milk, or is sick, during or after feeding. It is very common and usually resolves itself. I believe a key here is gut health and there is often a history of neonatal antibiotics or medication either in the mother or newborn. Symptoms always occur around feeding – coughing, hiccoughing, unsettled, gulping, burping after feeding, crying, not gaining weight.
Silent Reflux is very similar to the above, the only difference being baby does not actually vomit or regurgitate milk.
Babies can teethe as young as 4-6 months these days. The biggest keynote of teething is a change in nappy contents, red or pink cheeks, chewing fingers or anything they can get their hands on, and of course crying and screaming
The gut is the biggest producer of the sleep hormone, Melatonin. So, keeping your babies gut healthy is vital to help establish a healthy sleep cycle. Once again, breast is best for this as your colostrum will help lay the foundations for health gut flora. Medication – particularly antibiotics – either taken in late pregnancy and/or given to baby will disrupt gut flora. If you are pregnant or are breastfeeding, focus on your gut health now. You can read my gut health blog or check out my 15 minute video.
How does Sleepability help?
By combining the best of practical sleep tips and homeopathic remedies, I’ve helped hundreds of babies and parents with sleep and associated health problems over my 20 years in practice.
Expert case taking identifies any causative factors and your baby’s unique experience of insomnia and is how I arrive at a bespoke remedy. The use of safe, effective natural remedies proven to help symptoms that are similar to those experienced by your baby are prescribed along with nutritional advice for Mum. This is a completely different approach to the ‘one size fits all’ approach of conventional medicine.
Homeopathy: the ‘Roots & Branch’ approach to sleep problems
As a Homeopath, I have learned to view symptoms as messengers from the body that something is out of synch, versus being the sole problem. While the named condition is useful, the person experiencing the symptoms is most useful in arriving at a bespoke remedy for that person.
By gently resolving any causative factors, for example, birth complications, trauma and medication, your baby’s body can come off of ‘red alert’ meaning the stress hormones will reduce to restore harmony in your baby’s hormone system, to include the sleep hormone, Melatonin.
My ‘tools of the trade’ have remained unchanged to those used by Homeopaths for over 200 years: what worked then, works now. I love my Repertory (book of clinical symptoms) and Materia Medica (book of remedies) with which I match symptoms with the remedy proven to be of use in symptoms similar to those experienced by your baby.
Contact me today for expert guidance and treatment to help you and your baby to sleep again, naturally.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with sleep, why not check out my Top 7 Tips – the journey to natural sleep?
Make today the day you say goodnight to insomnia.
Invest in your rest. Because sleep matters.
Sleepability acknowledges the safety of your baby is paramount and recommends you update your GP and always seek medical help if you have any concerns. Homeopathic treatment does not replace emergency medical care.