I am using this Sleep Week to call for Parents to Be to get better sleep advice before their little one arrives and in the first year of baby being with them. We need
New parents and parents to be are massively let down by the health professionals and organisations that are supposed to support them when it comes to sleep. Little Sleep Geek is two and a half and I was astounded at the lack of support and information we got around sleep before she came along.
Our NCT class (and from talking to people all classes seem to be different) rarely mentioned sleep, did not recognise sleep as important to the baby’s development and the only advice we got was a leaflet from ISIS (not that one, the Infant Sleep Information Service) which talked about bed sharing and seemed to be more concerned about feeding than sleep.
My experience was that there is very little advice beyond
“Oooo it is going to be hard for a bit”
It is difficult to fathom why.
Is it that the focus on breastfeeding means health professionals and organisations are scared to discuss sleep as it might put parents off breastfeeding?
Is it that there is no sleep knowledge dispensed when health professionals go through their training?
Maybe it is the fact that most baby and toddler sleep advice is dispensed not by sleep experts or health professionals, but by parenting “experts,” who are usually trying to push a prescriptive and dictatorial parenting style that isn’t about sleep but about getting more parent to do it their way?
Or is it that baby sleep is hard, there are so many factors, all babies develop in different ways and so many conflicting viewpoints that parents just end up dizzy?
These are all factors that have been suggested to me as I travel the country speaking to people about sleep.
Let me be clear this issue comes up time and time again with parents.Whether their child is 6 weeks old or now an adult they remember that time of fear, desperation and lack of support and feel more should be done to help parents.
Can you help?
I would love to hear your stories about the support you got around sleep and your thoughts on how we can help parents to be and new parents get better support and advice when it comes to sleep.