Back in the summer holidays (I’ve unfortunately fallen very behind on my blogging efforts) I attended a sleep clinic with Worlds Apart and Mandy Gurney – founder of Millpond’s Children’s Sleep Clinic.
Mandy has written a Toddler Sleep Guide, in which she addresses common toddler sleep problems – she outlines her tried and tested sleep routines for children, she also offers advice to parents for changing their toddlers from the cot into beds, and suggests ways to make the first night away from home/parents easier. Mandy has also created a video with her helpful tips on moving children to a big bed which can be found on the World’s Apart website here and you can download a copy of Mandy’s sleep guide here.
Now this round table event was actually a toddler sleep clinic however I was keen to get some advice on Emmy’s sleeping mostly.
Emmy started sleeping through the night at 10 weeks, I know I can hear you screaming and cursing me through the screen, we were very lucky. What she has never been able to do though is fall asleep on her own.
In the early days I would have to breast feed her to sleep, this eventually progressed to cuddling her to sleep and moving into her cot.
When in a bed I had to get in and hold her hand/cuddle her and at 4 and a half I still have to do that. I’m at the stage where I need her to be able to fall asleep alone.
Talking to Mandy has helped to give me a few helpful tips which are slowly being implemented.
What I really liked was at no point was I told to stop co-sleeping. Emmy often comes into my bed if poorly or worried and I’m happy for her to do so. I wasn’t made to feel like a bad mum at all which I have done in the past usually by my health visitor – we do what suits us and I have never been one to follow a very strict routine as it just doesn’t work for us, so this was very refreshing.
We discussed a sleep pillow, this is a pillow to be used by me at night times, a visual clue to Emmy as to where in the room Mummy will be. It starts off on her bed and gradually moves to the floor, the slowly edges out the room a little at a time. This way Emmy knows I’m still there and can choose how far away I will be (as long as it moves away and not closer!).
Talking about the steps have helped. She knows what is happening and what to expect. I’m still at the foot of her bed currently but it is progress even if small and I’m pleased with that.
I did ask advice about a wriggly Harry…he is unable to stay still in bed. He starts on the pillow, then moves all around when asleep often waking himself up in the process. Not ideal now he is in a bed (Thanks to World’s Apart who have sent him the most adorable Thomas the Tank Engine bed – a review will follow shortly on that as will our video showing his transition from cot to bed for the World’s Apart website, I just need him to stay in it long enough to finish the video. He moves around in the night and either falls out or wakes himself by being cold and the wrong way around in bed).
While at the event the children had a chance how to play on the toddler bed, they were both very keen on the Peppa Pig bed and wanted to bring it home.
Children’s entertainment was laid on in a separate room which they both enjoyed, Harry more so than Emmy as always!
We were also told about after effects of sleep breeding sleep, the more sleep a toddler gets in the day the better they sleep at night time. I was told the optimum amount of sleep Harry should be getting is around 90 minutes in the daytime, which he usually does. You can always tell the days he hasn’t slept in the daytime as he is hard work to get to sleep at night. It was also suggested that children shouldn’t sleep after 3pm to allow for a good nights sleep.
We had a great time and after receiving a jam packed the bag full with bedtime accessories for the children we headed into the Museum of Childhood for some family time. The kids are both loving their gifts. Emmy received an adorable Disney Princess Safe n Sound Lumiglow nightlight – this is a night light which sticks onto the wall by firstly decorating the wall with vinyl stickers and then attaching the light.
Harry received a very cute Thomas the Tank Engine My 1st Ready Bed which he choose to sleep in that night and now prefers for his naps, and a Thomas the Tank Engine Go Glow Night Bright which is a child friendly torch as well as a night light. Harry goes to bed cuddling this currently instead of a teddy.
Thank you Worlds Apart for a lovely day out, and some child free time!