Most parents just hope that their new baby will go to sleep easily and sleep for longer than just a couple of hours at a time. You can have one child who quite literally "sleeps like a baby" and another who frets and cries their way through the night whilst you, the parent, drag yourself around in a ghost-like state of sleep deprivation for endless weeks and months. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason as to why one child is different from another in their sleep patterns; and the parent is subjected to the luck of the draw...But is this really the case? We know that children have their own individual emotional type, but even so, surely there is SOMETHING that you can do to at least make it more probable that your new baby will sleep well?
And the answer to this question is definitely YES; there is something that you can do which will ensure the best chance to get your baby sleeping well. Not only is there something that you can do, it’s something that is easy, doesn’t cost much money, and doesn’t take any time out of your day AND it is completely natural. Does that sound too good to be true? As a new mum, or dad, you not only need a good night’s sleep, you deserve it too!
Think for a moment about how a baby learns anything; they learn through watching, listening, feeling, miming and copying. I was interested to see some friends recently, who had taught their one year old son to indicate to them if he wanted to eat, or to get down from the table, or to have a cuddle; He used sign language which he had been taught by his mum and dad. Now, you don’t need to know “proper” sign language to do this, you can create your own signs, and by using them consistently when doing particular things, your child learns to associate that sign with that action and will use those signs to communicate what he or she needs or wants. That’s pretty useful to the parent and gives the child greater feelings of comfort and control.
The human mind learns patterns of “stuff” which fit together; it learns associations. And research has shown that this ability to make associations is evident even BEFORE your child is born. For example, studies show that babies can distinguish between their mothers voice and another voice from well before birth, and also babies will at birth show greater recognition to particular words and phrases which were used as early as 26 weeks from conception.
The question is what can you do to take advantage of this natural instinct and encourage your baby to be a good sleeper? Whilst pregnant your baby lives vicariously through you. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your baby is too. As you listen to a particular piece of music, so too does your baby. As you respond in a particular way to that music, so too does your baby. Certain types of music are designed to create a state of relaxation, and this can be shown scientifically by tracking your brain wave patterns. As you drift off to sleep your brain waves alter from the beta waves of normal waking consciousness to the alpha, theta and delta waves of deeper relaxation, dreaming (the REM state) and sleep. A simple step which you can take in order to create an instantaneous relaxation/get to sleep response in yourself, and therefore in the baby you are carrying, is to play this type of music each night as you go to bed and sleep. That’s pretty simple, don’t you think? And you get to learn to relax at will aswell as your baby!
This technique, however, hasn’t been shown to work for everyone. (Even so, it’s worth a try; what have you got to lose?) You can, however, do something else which practically doubles your chances of success (getting you much closer to 100% chance of success) and that is to combine speech with music in a particular way – using hypnosis.
Hypnosis is natural and normal and therefore perfectly safe. As you relax in hypnosis your brain waves once again make that shift to an alpha-theta pattern, paving a pathway to normal and natural sleep. As you practice self hypnosis you drift into this state more and more quickly and easily as a strong association is built within your psyche…and your baby is learning this association vicariously through you. And so by playing a self-hypnosis recording each night as you go to sleep you are training your baby to respond to that music and voice in exactly the same way. When your baby is born you can pop the recording on whenever you want your baby to sleep. Job done!
Oh, and if your baby has already been born so you haven’t the opportunity for such pre-birth training, you can still train your baby to sleep using hypnosis, just as you can train your baby to associate signs with hunger, getting down from the table, cuddles and so on. It works in the same way as you learn anything else.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis downloads for health and well-being.
Please grab yourself a free hypnosis download and please do tell your friends about it too!