Lauren Pope: 'Becoming a first time mum means I’m pretty much learning as I go"

Welcome back to The Mum Space, I can’t believe how quickly a week has passed (Anyone else finding time flies by during lockdown?) and we have another expert chat for you. This week was all about one of my favourite topics and past times…Sleep! We were joined by parenting author and baby and toddler sleep expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith who specialises in a gentle, no tears method. I had a sneaky feeling she would receive a lot of questions mainly because I already had a long list of my own questions to ask lol and then they came flooding in during the chat from you lovely ladies. Becoming a first time mum means I’m pretty much learning as I go and I’ve always been aware of how important it is to have a baby sleep routine but I never realised just how much goes into it and also how often a baby needs to be fed which then interrupts that sleep routine. I really needed to do so much more research into this so to be able to speak with Sarah on the live was absolutely priceless. Sarah explains the science behind sleep cycles which makes things so much clearer and easier to understand and then you can see why certain methods have a higher success rate than others. It all starts with bath time and how important it is from that point to create the best lighting and environment from then on. She highly recommends only using a red light for sleep time as any lighting with a blue tint creates the feeling of daytime…who knew! (This is the same lighting on your phone which now makes sense why were told so often to not check our phones before bed if we want a better sleep!) Sarah also explains Gaseous exchange which is when the baby picks up on our own breath and which then regulates their own breath (Sarah explains this so well and way better than I ever could at around 13 minutes). I loved hearing how naturally a mother’s body is the best tool for regulating your little one’s temperature just by holding them close to you. Our bodies really are amazing and do so much more than we ever even knew. By giving lots of cuddles we not only help them to be the exact temperature they need to be but also these cuddles help to produce extra oxytocin which then helps give them a better sleep and also grows their own ability to self sooth when they are older so never feel guilty for too many cuddles! One big important issue when it comes to sleep is safety and Sarah spoke to us about this in depth and gave amazing advise around how to protect baby during naps and co sleeping. Sarah was happy to talk through a couple of controversial topics that I know can divide opinion, which is dummies and Sleepyheads, so keep watching to get Sarah’s professional take on these. Enjoy Lauren x

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