We love it when industry experts and role players get together to share knowledge, tips and ideas. We teamed up with Johnson’s to offer midwife workshop sessions in Cape Town and Johannesburg on Sleep and the Science of the Senses. The morning was filled with great presentations and valuable information on the importance of sensory awareness and integration when it comes to looking after a baby.
Sr Ann Richardson, co-author of the Baby Sense book, also talked about the science of sleep in a sensory world. It’s always inspiring to listen to someone with so much passion, knowledge and experience. Her top 10 sleep tips are:
- Create a sleep zone and stick to it
- At sleep time, put your baby to bed. Try to avoid letting her fall asleep where ever you may be at sleep time such as on the couch, in your arms or in the car. Obviously there will be times where your baby will fall asleep out of her bed, but try not to make it the norm.
- Watch awake times. It is the time spent awake between sleeps that drives your babies sleep. Follow the guidelines of “awake times” and allow your baby to fall asleep then. Don’t wait until she shows signs of over tiredness before trying to put her to sleep.
- Put your baby to bed “happily awake”. Watch for her signals to indicate to you that she is getting tired (not is already tired!) These signals may be a simple sneeze or a hand on her face.
- Modulate the environment to promote sleep. Switch off loud, jarring music or sounds such as a lawnmower at sleep time. For day sleeps, cut out glare by closing curtains and dim lights at night. If you are out and about, cover the pram with a cotton blanket to block out sunlight and noise.
- Remove all stimulation from the immediate sleep zone – mobiles, toys, activity sets and stimulating bumpers
- Encourage a sleep comfort or doodoo blanket; it will comfort your baby at sleep time and act as a memory trigger to help induce sleep.
- Accept that babies don’t sleep like we do! This acceptance goes a long way towards helping you cope with sleep deprivation in the early days. Babies usually start to sleep for longer periods at night from the age of 12 weeks (even earlier if you are lucky!).
- Stay calm. Your baby will pick up any anxiety from you and will be even more unsettled.
- Have a sense of humour. If all else fails, laugh – after all, it is the best medicine around!
It’s always interesting to see how professionals in the industry interact with our products and these two sessions were no different with loads of questions and excitement about our new products. We know that moms across the country will now also be equipped with that information when the midwives take their newly found knowledge back to the clinics and other places of work.