by Catherine Bendeich from Dream Winks
So you have heard over and over again that crying is your baby’s only form of communication. I am here to talk about sleep as the other main form of communication. So much can be learned and communicated to you in your baby’s sleep patterns, what they do when they wake, when they wake and so on. Most just don’t know how to listen to it. I am here to tell you I talk sleep. Yes, it sounds a bit crazy but I do. It has been learned over nearly 10 years and fine-tuned a lot over that time but I can look at your babies sleep and understand what they are telling you they need. I may ask you a lot about their days and their environment as well — what you don’t realise is through these things your baby has communicated a lot to you as well. Through sleep your baby can tell me that they are hungry — even when you think they aren’t. That they have gas or are teething — even if they have an ear infection! When they are older they can tell me that they need more of a particular food or that we need to cut out a food because it is causing issues. Now, this is something that a lot of people won’t look at with sleep.
My experience in nutrition allows me to also listen to what your baby is telling me about their feeding as well which in my experience makes up a big part of the picture when it comes to sleep.
I have seen a lot of mums lately talking about their baby catnapping or night waking — now when I talk about night waking I am not talking about a little baby waking for feeds. I am talking about waking excessively past what is normal for their age. So an 8-month-old waking 5 times a night and taking an hour to get back to sleep or an 18-month-old waking repeatedly through the night. These are not normal wakings. Even a 6-month-old waking 3 times a night is something we should look at or a 16-week-old waking 5 times a night. When I read about these mums and their babies with their night waking or catnapping I read a lot of other mums telling them it is a phase, its normal, it’s hard but just deal with it or they get told it’s a Wonder Week or a Sleep Regression so wait it out. What I see even from a small amount of information they share is that baby is trying to communicate with you!! Those that are telling you to just deal with it or wait it out don’t talk sleep! We need to listen to this baby and work out what they are telling us. Then by working through it, we can fix it! You don’t need to just accept catnapping or getting up multiple times a night. You need someone who talks baby — who talks sleep.
Ok so your baby is catnapping
Yes it can be normal for an age — but only because that is the age it starts to appear. Your baby catnapping is it communicating things aren’t quite right. So we need to listen to them. Look at their big picture and when I do I see a baby shouting at us!! That baby is telling me — and you if you learn how to listen for it — things like they are hungry, they aren’t warm enough or their naps aren’t at the right times. Or they need your help to learn to pass into the next cycle. Sometimes a mum is trying to help her baby go back to sleep and the baby is not having a bar of it — the mum may think that they are telling them they just don’t need more sleep. But I can see by listening to the baby that they are saying you haven’t met my needs yet or leave me alone mum I want to do this myself!! You may not be able to tell the difference. Don’t worry — you don’t talk sleep yet — but I can help you learn!
A baby who is night waking is shouting at you too!!
So we need to listen!! Again they may be telling you are they not warm enough, that the light is waking them, that a certain food is not agreeing with them or that they aren’t warm enough. That they are hungry — but not how you think for a milk feed at night — they actually need more of something during the day — it may be milk feeds or solids or protein. I can see what it is because I talk sleep. They may be telling you that they just don’t know how to go back to sleep on their own overnight when they wake from a sleep cycle — yes those dreaded cycles that are part of catnapping also have a pattern overnight — because something is aiding them to sleep and they need that when they wake to get back to sleep.
There are so many things your baby could be telling you but they all can be identified and worked through to get the better sleep you just need to know what you are looking for and what they are telling you.
You need to talk sleep.
The good thing is I talk sleep. I also understand your baby’s cries so right there we have the 2 main forms of communication for a baby. So with these, I can see what is happening with your baby and get them sleeping better. Part of this will also mean you learn how to talk sleep and crying too! How cool is that?! While working with me mums learn how to listen and adapt so that they aren’t guessing again once our time together is finished. You will be better able to read what they are telling you if they start catnapping again or have trouble settling because I will teach you how to listen and start to talk sleep too
So please don’t listen to being told that broken nights or catnapping days are normal. Please listen to your baby they are shouting at you trying to communicate. What they need is someone to listen. Your baby waking up repeatedly overnight is not just saying they need you so just be there like many will tell you. They are telling you so much more. They are telling you they have more needs that need to be met. They are telling you they need someone to really listen to them. They need someone who talks baby — who talks sleep