New baby? No sleep? – Diabetes Diet


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Adapted from BMJ 2 April 2022

New babies are not the most considerate of flatmates. They sleep up to 18 hours a day, but many of these are not when their exhausted parents either want to or are able to. Post natal depression in the parents can be the result.

Around a quarter to a third of new parents think that their child has a problem sleeping. In fact it is normal for babies not to sleep all night in the first year of life. More than a quarter of all babies are like this.

Two support packages have been developed to help new parents cope with the stress of sleepless babies in the UK and in Australia.

Sleep, Baby and You, has been developed by the Durham sleep centre and Possums Sleep Programme has been developed in Australia. These aim to repair the effects of unhelpful advice, give evidence based information and help parents best respond to their baby’s needs.

Most health care practitioners who assessed the advice said it was realistic, useful and simple. Even better, ten out of twelve parents said that the advice helped their night waking, helped them feel less stressed and made night times easier.

There is no magic bullet but some of the advice includes not putting the baby to bed until it is ready to sleep, getting the baby up at the same time in the morning, and getting them out in the daylight especially in the mornings.

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