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MUMS LIFE: Sleepless in Surrey

Influencer, Love Island @loveisland Star and Mum Tyla Carr gives us her tips for sleepless nights and how to tackle them, for you and your little one.

Well, I should actually just say sleepless if you’re a parent. Sleep deprivation is the biggest and hardest hurdle in one’s life when there are kids in the house. In fact, according to a survey, lack of sleep is a major factor in divorce and separation for a third of couples. Now I’m not shocked at that. I look like shit and can’t be bothered to make ANY effort whatsoever. Neither can I be bothered to get all dressed up and try to look pretty to go out and most likely lose out on those crucial few hours of sleep before midnight. I’m definitely short tempered, generally no fun when I’ve not had enough sleep and it can’t be any nice for anyone on the receiving end.

My little one Archie always slept really well as a baby, especially when I swapped from breast milk to a bottle at 4 months old (I just couldn’t produce the amount greedy guts wanted). Then he hit 8 months and it’s as if something possessed him or a ghost in his room wakes him up because I felt like I tried everything from making sure he had eaten enough to giving him just the right amount of nap time (too much is a nightmare and too little is hell, it’s a complete guessing game). Archie also has a bottle in the night still which is something I’m trying to cut out at the moment. Children between 6 months and 2 years normally sleep between 8 and 12 hours at night with 1 or 2 naps in the daytime.

Every child is different so my top tips will be generalisation and I feel it’s important to not concentrate on the child only. I feel like I want to share some tips I’ve used for myself dealing with no/less sleep. (I won’t put a limit on these as I would love to share as many things as possible, if they work for you, you can thank me later.

For baby:

1. Sleep therapist. Omg I haven’t tried this yet but it’s on my list. I have been talking to Sam Saunders “the baby guru” @thebabyguruofficial and I’m really keen to get some advice and put something more structured in place. I know with my severe ADHD, routine is key, the same rules with children apply. If there is anything I can do to improve his routine so that he can get a good, full nights sleep, then I’m down for giving it a go. After all, we’re both winners if we can BOTH get a good sleep.

2. Lavender spray. Lavender is a natural relaxant and I find it has great results when spraying a tiny amount on his pillow before bed.

3. Bedtime Routine: Bath, brush teeth (if they have any) and story time. Simple but always great for preparing them for bed and chilling them out.

4. White noise! I use an owl from The Gro Company and I find it amazing! It has music, white noise and a night light. It plays for 20 minutes or so and comes back on when it picks up any sound. Great buy! Also I got a Gro Clock that I haven’t used yet but heard great things about. It teaches your little one to not get up until the sun has risen on the clock.

5. Make sure you’ve worn those little bodies out. Even with some quiet puzzles or building blocks. Those little minds are super active and need wearing out. Even something that isn’t physical will 100% wear them out.

Tips for parents.

1. Caffeine Beware! I only have one coffee in the morning if I’m feeling super tired. Caffeine isn’t good for you and will only make you feel worse when you crash. After all, what goes up, must come down.

2. Making sure I don’t ALWAYS spend my free time doing things, organise your schedule so that you give yourself the morning or afternoon (when they are napping or being looked after) to spend for yourself, doing absolutely nothing. This includes, giving in, even if it is 7pm and just going to bed to have an early night. I’ve heard the most important part of your sleep is before midnight!

3. Getting outside. I know this sounds mad because I know when I’m tired, I couldn’t think of anything worse than going out in the freezing cold, but my god does it work, a natural wake- up call! I get all dressed up warm, sometimes in my p-jays under my coat, get Archie in his pram and walk around the block a few times. I get home feeling so awake and refreshed! This leads me on to my next point.

4. Exercise. Now I still haven’t mastered this. But I know it has many benefits for tired eyes. It releases endorphins that really wake you up and make you feel good.

5. Wim Hof (@iceman_hof ) ! I’ve been watching GOOP (@goop)with Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) and the second episode was all about the AMAZING effects of cold water and breathing. It’s a must watch. I have built myself up to 30 seconds in VERY cold shower water so far and my goodness does it help start my day feeling awake and fresh AF.

Like I said above, I am trying to drop the night feed. I’m doing this by using the same amount of water in the bottle but dropping a scoop every 2 nights, and so far we have gone from 7 scoops to 3 and he’s actually slept through the night a few times now which is amazing for him! Soon he won’t want to wake up for water and he will get out of the routine of needing a bottle to get back to sleep if he wakes. Fingers crossed.

I really hope some of these pointers work for you guys if you’re having trouble. It’s such a difficult hurdle and it’s so important you do something about it. Things can be super hard when trying to change routine, but I think without good sleep, our bodies and minds just don’t function the same. To give our bubbas the best start in life, we at least need to be able to think straight (half straight anyway). If you have any questions or want me to cover any topics in particular, then drop me a message. Tyla xxx

Artwork by Karis Simms