Introducing Nurofen for Children’s Mum’s Club ambassador!

The Nurofen for Children Mum’s Club would like to welcome our first ambassador, The Australian Baby Whisperer, Sheyne Rowley.

Sheyne has been working with parents and their children for 16 years, specialising in positive routine and communications strategies. At a young age, Sheyne realised she had a natural talent in helping children to sleep peacefully when she began babysitting children in her local neighbourhood. She further developed her natural ability and confidence by helping her mum look after her baby sister when she was ten. It was then that she learnt the importance of communication as she encouraged her little sister through her daily routine.

For the past 10 years she has been providing individualised sleep solutions to get babies to sleep soundly through her tremendously successful business ‘Australian Baby Whisperer’.

As our first Nurofen for Children Mum’s Club ambassador, Sheyne shares her top tips with mums and dads to help settle their babies for a peaceful night’s sleep, all night, every night.

Sweet dreams for babies

It's 3am. You and your baby are wide awake. Your baby is fed and dry and there’s no other reason for baby to not go back to sleep, or so it seems. You know that if your baby does not have a good night’s sleep, you will both be unsettled for the day ahead. Does this sound familiar? What do you do?

Australian Baby Whisperer and Nurofen for Children Mum’s Club ambassador Sheyne Rowley believes a daily routine should be part of every baby’s life. Not only will it help your baby sleep better at night, it will also create a relaxed and flexible day for you and your baby as well as help enhance your baby’s learning and development capabilities during the day.

“A baby can easily get stuck in a very disruptive cycle and once a baby has become unsettled, every day and night becomes unpredictable. It increasingly becomes difficult for a baby to find their way out of an overtired cat napping pattern. So it’s important for a parent to take the initiative and find that important balance for their baby’s individual needs,” she says.

“In fact, I often find that if a parent doesn’t create a predictable flow for a baby at sleep time (a settling routine) or through the day (daily routine), the baby will create a routine of their own, and demand more of the parent’s time and energy. This is where research and education for parents to become confident with the choices they make for their littlest ones comes into its own,” she adds.

Sheyne says a baby or toddler’s sleep requirement, dietary intake, physical activity, nature and even TV consumption can all impact their sleep and daily routine.
For example, as a parent you need to be mindful mother and babyduring the day if your baby is receiving ‘adequate’ sleep rather than excessive sleep as a compensation for a poor night if you are to correct those disruptive night cycles. A baby’s cycle of poor sleep at night will only get worse and turn into a negative routine if you continue to allow your baby to catch up on sleep during the day.

The right amount of food intake is also important to ensure a baby (six months to five years) is not waking from hunger. A waking from hunger pattern is more evident when iron, vitamin and mineral levels are particularly low. Try and avoid too many servings of foods such as bread, cereal and pasta which are all high in calories and low in nutrients.

Physical activity, particularly in the first half of a baby’s waking day can also create a positive routine. After a full night of being relatively still followed by an active day (where they are not stationary in prams, car seats or supermarket trolleys) is a good way to meet your baby’s need for a good sleep the following night.

Sheyne recommends keeping a diary of your baby’s overall sleep intake over a two week period.

“During the two week period you track your baby’s sleeping pattern then divide the number of hours between the fourteen days. By tracking your baby’s sleep you will have a better understanding of their true sleep needs and target a more appropriate and positive daily sleep intake to encourage more settled days and nights,” she says.

Sheyne has listed below her steps for Positive Routine Management™ for babies and sleep time.

Positive Routine Management™

Routine: Each baby aged six months to five years has a unique sleep requirement based on their own individual needs. Children should also always have a settling, re-settling and waking routine that is predictable, safe and comforting.

Independence: This is where the skills required for going to sleep, and staying asleep peacefully are encouraged and developed. These include playing quietly in their cot so they become familiar with being awake in that particular environment, and learning to trust their parents and carers will always return when they leave their line of sight.

Communication: Developing a language that creates structure and enables your baby to predict their day.

Environment: Take into account the environmental factors that may be impacting your baby's capacity to sleep.

Managing the transition: From an old ineffective and disruptive pattern of going to sleep, into a new positive settling routine where your baby goes down happily and sleeps peacefully all night.

If your baby is already in a daily routine or just starting out, here are some starter tips for you and your family to create a more positive family environment at sleep time:

  • Always have the same settling routine for daytime and nighttime.
  • Have a fun play after dinner where any excessive fuel consumed at that final meal can be utilised, then enjoy a fun bath before slowing the house down once bath time is finished.
  • Dim the lights and give lots of cuddles while you feed and then settle your baby with your predictable bed time routine.
  • Read books with clear requests to sit on your lap and allow you to govern the story telling routine, which includes when to turn pages and how many books are permitted before bedtime.
  • Say goodnight to everyone quietly before going to their room, where the lights are off, and ask them to lie down in your arms and get used to the darker environment as you sing ‘’twinkle twinkle..’’.
  • Tuck them in the same way each sleep time, ensuring you have catered for your little one's environmental needs.
  • Say goodnight using the same language based cue each time and leave, even if your baby or toddler grizzles. Pop back every now and then and repeat your language based cues until he/she eventually drifts off to sleep.

Please note, if your baby is very unsettled at babiessleep times, please do not pursue any transitions beyond 24 hours until you have started to see significant changes. Some babies need very careful planning and gentle assistance that goes beyond a simple help sheet.

For more information, please visit Sheyne Rowley’s website: www.australianbabywhisperer.com.au