Dr Daniel Golshevsky aka Dr Golly is a Melbourne based paediatrician who with a team of experts has developed the Dr Golly Sleep Program (an online sleep and settling course to help you get children – birth to five years – sleeping in a routine that works for your family. Content ranges from feeding, nutrition, winding, routines, settling techniques and more). He’s answered some of your burning questions:
What’s Normal / Abnormal When it Comes to a Baby’s Sleep Patterns and Needs?
As your child grows their sleep patterns and sleep requirements change dramatically. A newborn will have 3 – 5 daytime naps and sleep anywhere from 15 – 18 hours a day; by eight months most pre-toddlers will have dropped to two naps and be sleeping 14 – 14.5 hours a day; by three years old some children will have dropped day naps completely. In terms of overnight sleep by six weeks, most babies are capable of sleeping through the night, seven straight hours and by six months, most babies are capable of going the full 12 hours.
My sleep program will help you identify reasons why your baby may not be reaching these targets and the tweaks you need to make to get your baby, and you, sleeping through the night.
It’s close to impossible for a breastfeeding mother to not feed, when picking up an unsettled baby, because of the hormones circulating through her body. And if the baby is being held right next to a food source, knowing that it will be comforted by the closeness and the sucking reflex – then why wouldn’t they want to feed?
That is why fathers are more likely to be able to resettle a baby, if something wakes them before a scheduled feed. Fathers don’t have that same oxytocin surge that mothers get, we also don’t smell of breastmilk. So, when we hold a crying baby, we send them a very clear message – through our touch, through our hormones, through our energy, that they are not going to get fed. Babies – astute communicators – can sense this and are far more likely to settle down.
Every day, I have fathers lamenting to me that they feel helpless. They can see their wife struggling with sleep deprivation, feeding frequently, anxious, etc. They genuinely want to help, but feel that they have nothing to offer. It couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact – they are not in any way helpless, they’re in fact the secret weapon to helping that baby sleep through the night. Which protects the mum and allows EVERYONE in the house a full night’s sleep.
What are Some Techniques Parents Can Use to Help Their Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
We talk about a number of age-appropriate sleep and settling techniques in the program. Regardless of age – consistency of routine and alignment of approach from both parents / caregivers is key. Kids thrive on routine! Some of the basics include making sure their sleeping environment is correct with regard to temperature, white noise and lighting (or lack thereof). Daytime nutrition plays a phenomenal role in their ability to sleep through the night, particularly for babies under one year of age.
The Dr Golly Sleep Program is a series of self-paced online sleep and settling courses to help you get children 0 – 5 years sleeping in a routine that works for your family. Content varies by age category and ranges from feeding, nutrition, winding, routines, settling techniques and more. There are six core age-based courses and two supplements that make up the program:
- Newborn: 0 – 3 weeks
- Little Baby: 3 – 16 weeks
- Big Baby: 4 – 8 months
- Pre-Toddler: 8 – 12 months
- Toddler: 1 – 2 years
- Pre-School: 2 – 5 years
Find out more at www.drgolly.com