Mid Sussex Times, 2015
In this weeks article I would like to share with you a few of my thoughts and the most common reasons that the babies I see aren’t sleeping well. The age I’m speaking about is six month onwards where they really should be settling to go through the night. It’s very common for me to see babies this age and even into the 3’s and 4’s that have never slept the night through and are still waking every couple of hours. You can imagine how tired and stressed the parents are! Or maybe you don’t need to imagine as you are one of them.
Often these babies are waking quite distressed eve having night terrors if they are extreme. They usually wake and need to cuddle a parent and get into bed with them to get back to sleep. Then you as the parent have to suffer their arms and legs whacking you in the face all night. They might also need to be jiggled around and rocked to sleep before you can even attempt try and put them back to bed and even then this is often unsuccessful as they are such light sleepers.
I tell parents to imagine that its like their baby is constantly “switched on” or over stimulated, similar to an adult drinking too much coffee and not being able to sleep. Their nervous system is always ready to wake rather than going into a deep, relaxed sleep. Leaving a baby to “cry it out” really doesn’t work in these cases because the crying stimulates them more and they are already in an alert state, so the crying just wakes them up swell as being stressful for you.
The most common cause behind a baby who is in this constant state of over-stimulation that I see is something around delivery. This could be an extended birth where they have got stuck or require ventouse or forceps to help them into the world. This adds obvious tension into their heads which can be very successfully eased with cranial osteopathy.
Surprisingly, another group of babies that suffer a similar wired, not sleeping state have had a delivery at the other end of the spectrum; a planned C-section. These babies are nicely at home inside you, warm and cosy and then are brought into the bright world quite dramatically. This also sets some surprise into them which cranial osteopathy can relieve to help them sleep. Most of the older children that haven’t never slept the night through seem to be planned C-section babies.
Of course I recommend cranial osteopathy as a solution to helping these babies. But also they need to be calmed before bed so a good relaxing night time routine helps. They can be bathed, fed and put to sleep all in a dimmed room, a low level side light on the floor is better than the main ceiling light. You can play gentle music or white noise to help too. The opposite of this which is too stimulatory is to feed your baby in the front room with you with the lights on watching TV, this just adds to the over - stimulation that keeps them wake.
Good luck and as always you can contact me with any questions you may have. I hope your baby sleeps like a baby soon. For more information and a free help guide go to www.happybabyexpert.com
Christian has been an osteopath and naturopath for 19 years. He set up The Perrymount Clinic in 2009 and specialises in treating babies and children. The Perrymount has won numerous awards and Christian has won the prestigious Complementary and Alternative Medicine practitioner “Community” award for his work with babies. Christian’s mission is to educate parents so they understand there is help for them and their crying, upset, not sleeping baby. In 2014 Christian wrote the book Calming Colic - How To Help The 10 Causes of Colic & since has written numerous other e-books all focused on helping mother and baby. This book is available to purchase at www.calmingcolic.com and you will receive 6 other mother and baby help e-books completely free. Calming Colic takes you through all the reasons a baby can be upset and hoe to help them immediately and even with their future health because colic can be a predictor of future health issues.
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