YOUR REASON TO COME TO
PREGNANT and POPPED
Title: "On the Go Nap's, Let's Do This"
Guest: Evelyn Bonney, Sleep Consultant, Paediatric Nurse and Mother of Twins
Host: Kathy, Empowa
Recording Date: 9th August 2023
Kathy I am super pleased to have Evie with us. I think she is an extra special Sleep Consultant. Because not only is she a sleep consultant, she is the mother of 3, she's also the mother of twins in that 3, and she's a paediatric nurse. So I feel absolutely privileged to have you here today Evie because I absolutely know that “naps on the go” is essential for your life. So without further ado, please introduce yourself and let us know all of your incredible tips and tricks. Evie Thanks ever so much for having me Kathy. It's lovely to be here. I am Evie. I have been a nurse for nearly 20 years. So that shows my age a little bit. And as Kathy said, I'm also a certified paediatric sleep consultant. And I do have 18 month old twins. So everything we're going to talk about today is a little bit of my medical background, a little bit of my sleep consultant background and a little bit of my mummy background. Because trust me, I have made mistakes. And I'm here to tell you how not to make them. And hopefully, things will go better for you than they had done for me on occasion. Evie So today we're going to talk about 3 main areas. We're going to talk about the planning, equipment, and the execution. And then towards the end, we'll have a little discussion about what to do when it doesn't go well, when it's all going sideways. And then to the people that submitted the questions, thank you very much. I will make sure I'll address them at the end. Evie So planning stage. So I'm going to talk to you as if you have newborns and I'll add a few examples for older children as well. It sounds very, very simple, but preparation will always be your best friend. Keep it simple. So if you have a newborn, don't plan to go out the entire day. Plan, right, this is my limitations. I've got a newborn, I'm new at this, is my first baby. We're going to go around the block. Okay, that is the most you should be planning and aiming towards with a newborn unless you've got doctor's appointments. So think, right tomorrow, I'm going to try in the morning when it's nice and cool. I'm just gonna go for a walk around the block; if baby's really upset for whatever reason, and there's so many reasons that newborns can be upset, you can go home to your safe space and retreat, and it'll get easier with time. Evie If you've got an older child or if you're getting used to it, the most important thing is to pack everything you can the night before, keep it really, really simple. If you've got a quiet 5 minutes, you know before you go to bed before you start cluster feeding if you're breastfeeding, just pack everything’ so you want your breastfeeding covers, you want bottles, you want the hot water canister if you're going to take milk powder, clothes, muslins, pacifiers if you're using them, snacks, if you've got older children, you name it, pack it. My 2 most favourite things to pack to go anywhere, even now, with older children, I've got an 8 year old and I still use these for him, a small muslin. Now, most of the time I use this when you're changing them to dry them, nappy rash, especially in Singapore, if you've got any moisture left, you're gonna get horrible nappy rash. And that's worse when you're outside, especially if you're going for a walk and it's humid and hot. So if you're changing them, and a good trick that I used to use when I was out and about, especially in a park, and I still do it now is to lay the stroller flat and change them in the stroller. The other one is a much bigger version of the same thing. Now they are brilliant for everything. If you forget to bring clothes or you have explosions at any time, milk, the other end, you've got no clothes that you can just wrap the baby in it until you get home. You can use it if you've got a very small baby and you might have been out and about somewhere and they're very upset. You can calm them by using it as a swaddle if you're out and about if you've not got a swaddle bag with you. So they're great for everything. And clearing up restaurants when you've left a trail of destruction, you name it, they're perfect for everything. Evie So the key for me to all of this is, and I'll say this, again, about a different topic, is to have a backup option. So if you're breastfeeding, it's slightly easier, especially in the early days, because if you're confident, then all you need is a breastfeeding cover. If you don't want to cover you don't need anything, you can just find a quiet spot to get comfortable. If you're mixed feeding or bottle feeding or doing a bit of expressing anything like that, take a backup option. So by this I mean if you're planning to go out for one feed or 2 feeds, take 3 or 4 bottles. Take 3 off 4 sets of milk powder. I say this as a mum that's dropped numerous sterilised bottles on the floor, when someone will be talking to you or trying to take an order in a restaurant, you drop it on the floor, it's not sterilised anymore. And the same with the milk powder. If you've got sectioned off milk powder, sometimes you drop them, sometimes a spill. The importance of this is that it really lessens the anxiety when you're out and about. So if all of a sudden you've got no milk powder, or you're, you know, that you've got to get back for a certain time of a feed, it makes the whole situation more stressful. Whereas if you've got that backup option, it just especially when you're starting out in your journey, as a mum, it makes things calmer. And anything that makes a situation calmer is a good idea. Evie I have been at the Botanical gardens at Gardens by the Bay with no milk powder. My babies were sleeping in the pushchair and had been like, I've got this, they were very small. And yeah, I hadn't packed the milk powder, because I hadn’t packed the night before and had to rush home and it was all fine in the end. But in that moment, I was super stressed, I was sweating. I was crying in the car. You know, it was just horrible, because you feel guilty, The babies were absolutely fine, but those are the things that if you just pack the night before, it makes it a little bit easier. And it builds in flexibility as well. Because you don't know what's going to happen. Your friend might say, oh, stay for a bit longer and you're feeling ok, might be a few more weeks Postpartum. And it just gives you that flexibility a bit longer. Evie The getting out the door. Once you've done all that prep is another difficult thing initially, it does get easier for all you new mums out there that are still struggling to get out the door, it does get easier. My 2 top tips for this is get yourself ready first. It's not always possible, but if you are trying to get your handbag, brush your hair, or just put on a clean t shirt, so you've not got vomit, and you've got a child that's ready to sleep or is getting a bit anxious, that in itself is stressful. So you're already a little bit anxious and a little bit more stressed before you get out the door. So try and get yourself ready first if you can. Evie If you have somebody to help you, a partner, or we're lucky to have help within Singapore, divide and conquer. So if you've got your partner with you, either they or you just concentrate on the baby, get them changed, make sure they're well fed, and somebody else pack the bag, somebody else get the pushchair out of the car, or somebody else get the pushchair ready, get everything you need. If you have got a second person and a second pair of hands, don't try and do it all yourself. Don't feel that pressure. And it's good to do a mixture of both things. If you have got your partner, swap it around, you get the bag ready one day, and they sort the baby out. And you need to be able to do both parts. And maybe if you've got grandparents or a helper, everyone needs to be able to do everything, it shouldn't be on one person. Ideally, if you're on your own, it's different. But share the load. And it makes it makes it much easier. Evie They're my top tips for actually leaving the house plan the night before, have a backup, divide and conquer. If you can, it might seem overwhelming, but I promise it will get easier. Evie Next stage is equipment. What are we going to use? How are we getting out? Where are we going? And what is the best thing to put your baby to sleep? And the answer is, there's only 3 options really, you've got a car seat, you've got a stroller slash pushchair, and you've got a baby carrier. With all of these options for me, as a nurse, as a sleep consultant, and as a mum, flexibility is absolutely key flexibility, and safety. Evie So these are the 2 things that I'm going to talk about flexibility because essentially, your baby needs to be able to sleep in all of these things. And you need them to be okay with all options. Because there may come a time when only one option is available. If you're going out in the car, they have to be okay with the car seat. If you're in an airport and you've forgotten your baby carrier, they have to be okay with the pushchair. If you've not got the pushchair, they need to be okay with the carrier and vice versa. The more flexibility you have, the easier your life will be. So flexibility is key. Evie Now, the biggest question I get asked by clients, and by mum friends is what and how do you do it? How do you make any 3 of those options feel like you're at home?. Do you get asked this a lot Kathy as well? Kathy Yeah, all the time. Evie So how do you make it feel like a bassinet, a cot, whatever you're using as your sleep environment at home now, I'm going to be a little bit controversial and I want you to change your perspective. It is not your job to make a pushchair, a car seat or a baby carrier feel like a cot, this is not our objective. Our objective is to practice with all 3 of these options enough so that your baby can sleep, probably only the one sleep cycle, which I'll talk about in more detail later, in all 3 of them, we don't have to make it dark, we don't have to make it really quiet. What we have to do is get your baby used to this situation. And this is really important. It may seem impossible now, but I'm here to tell you it's absolutely not impossible. It's going to be noisier, it's going to be lighter, they may not be flat, practice makes perfect. We're gonna practice all of these options as much as we can. A few useful tools are, your iPhone has a white noise built into it. So if you are using white noise at home, you can put your iPhone into the little pocket on the bathroom at the back of your pushchair and play white noise if you find it helpful. Kathy If I was to do that all the time Evie Really? That's brilliant. Life changing a lot of my time. I love it. And that can help if your child is old enough, some children won't be so use a teddy bear or a luvvy or whatever it is at home. Or if you choose to use a pacifier that can be useful. But honestly, in this situations on the go, movement is your friend, keep moving and practice. Evie And the other thing again, and I'll come back and have a backup option. So if you're going to the doctor's appointment, and you you're going in a cab, and you're taking the car seat only, you don't know what's going to happen when you get to that doctor appointment, you don't know if you're going to have to have bloods taken, if it's going to be a delay, if you're going to end up having a bit of a cluster feed while you're there, it can be useful to bring the pushchair so you can put the car seat on top of it. If you know your baby sleeps well, and you're confident with them sleeping in a baby carrier, but you're trying the pushchair and it's not working, make sure you've got the baby carrier with you, so you can go back to it if you need to, if you've got a really upset child, okay, Kathy I didn't go anywhere without my baby carrier. Really, it was always my backup. Yeah, always, always. Evie A really good backup to have because they're so small and lightw8. Now you can put them anywhere. Personally for me, I didn't use them, because I had 2. And I know you can get these double ones now. But for me a lot. Yeah, it was hardest. I just used to push them, but they work brilliantly well, for many, many people. A really, really good option. Evie In terms of safety, now I feel like I need to talk about this. The manufacturer's recommendations for most car seats now, that a small baby, under 6 months of age, should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours in Singapore. I understand the difficulties that that presents because most people don't have cars. So if you're going out, then you would put them in a car seat on top of the pushchair when they have those adapters. And that's absolutely fine. But I just want to highlight that that shouldn't be a 6 to 8 hour trip out with the car seat only. The reason for this is that you're in a semi upright position in a car seat, which with smaller babies particularly does put strain on the spine. And it's also not a recommended position for sleeping in, the recommendations, even at home is that there's no incline. But those are the reasons and you need to be mindful of them. If you're going on long car journeys, just stop regularly, get them out, and try to minimise it as much as you possibly can. In Singapore, I don't think we really face that problem very often. Kathy And like you say, the thing is, we're not talking about an entire 2 hour trip out that is ever really likely to be 2 hours, because in that it does count as a break if you're getting them out to feed them, if you're getting them out to lay them down and change their nappy. And I mean, you've already briefly mentioned the typical length of a nap, you know, especially if you're out and about if you've got a baby that is frequently napping for longer than 2 hours on the car in a car seat. Well, happy days. Evie The next thing I wanted to talk about was stroller or pushchair covers. There was a Swedish study, in this study, the people that conducted it put a pushchair in direct sunlight with a cover over it completely so there was no airflow and put a thermometer inside it. It does demonstrate a point; we should not be covering our children's strollers in Singapore. This is my professional advice. Other countries that have got safety tested devices it may be different. If you are in a pushchair or stroller specifically and you've got a large muslin, just like the one I had here, or you can get your UV covers, things like that, we don't want to be limiting air circulation or flow to your baby, when you cover them with anything. And there's some studies, tested different covers, tested pure cotton, have tested polyester, all of them do exactly the same thing. They prevent airflow and increase the heat inside that stroller slash pushchair. So we don't want to be doing it. And the other thing to think about is that most pushchairs are dark in colour, so they absorb heat, and especially in Singapore, is this something that you've seen a lot, Kathy? Kathy Very much so, and I'm quite passionate about this subject as well. Because you see, you can buy the special clips, you know, that people use to put the muslins on like the big like clothes hanger clips. Trying to educate people how to create a safe environment out and about that blocks out the direct sun, and maybe is more conducive to sleep. But helping them understand some of the physiology of the baby, the fact that their sweat glands, you know, aren't working. So they've got no way of regulating their temperature, which is fundamentally a really dangerous little place for them to be if you're not watching them. And even if you are watching them, you won't see beads of sweat on them, because they can't sweat in that way yet. Finding different ways of providing shade, I'm sure you've got some great advice, but I found I had 2 different shades, I would go with the one that came with the pushchair, but then I also got a mobile like umbrella that fitted on so I could fit it on 2 different places and move it around depending, so I could create as much shade as possible. Evie They're the best option if you're trying to get your child out of direct sunlight and you're walking outside, especially in Singapore, the umbrellas that attach to the pushchair, they are really good, they attach and you can move them around. They don't block the airflow, but they prevent direct sunlight from hitting your child. So that's the best option. The other option for it, for helping them to cool down as well, if you're walking outside is a mobile fan. Now a lot of people have seen the older child it gets a little bit more difficult because they tend to, like, to touch them and move them. So with older children, the best thing is to just try and get them to sleep first, and then you can put it on them. So that's a bit of a trick. These ones are good. I'll turn it around, can you see these legs on it? The legs, you can wrap them around anything. And like I said, it doesn't have to be dark. It doesn't have to be super quiet. Keep moving. Don't feel like you have to create that dark environment when you're outside because you don't think to remember about all of your options. And your backup is never leave your children and especially young babies, well, any babies, really, unsupervised in any of these options. We shouldn't be leaving them in the car, if they fall asleep. We shouldn't be leaving them, you know, in the pushchair. If they're falling asleep and you go in the house and do some jobs. And it is great to be able to get your children to nap on the go. But we have to think sensibly and practically, they are not for long periods of time, sleeping time. And don't leave them unsupervised in any of these options. Evie So yeah, what's next, execution. Now, everyone's like, this is the hardest but all you need to do is practice, I promise, I promise. Now the most important thing about execution is timing. This is age dependent, we've got to get timing right for babies. Timing will be the difference between a child that A is overtired, and we'll fight it, or B is completely not tired enough and will fight it. For most children going to sleep on the go, maybe not a baby carrier, but let's say you know, a car seat, especially a pushchair is harder than it's going to be for them at home, if they're used to napping regularly at home, until you get over that hurdle. Some children take to it like you know a duck to water and they're out and about and the sooner you put them in a pushchair, they're asleep. You're like, Yes, I'm gonna have a cup of coffee in peace and read my book for 20 minutes. But a lot of children will find it hard to fall asleep outside because it is louder, brighter, and there's loads more going on. So you've got to get the timing right now. I'll get to examples. But regardless of the age of your child, try to leave the house 10 minutes minimum before the end of an awake window, okay? We don't want to be taking an overtired, exhausted child out and trying to get them used to a new sleeping environment. You're giving yourself you know, doing yourself no favours from the start. So if poss suitable time it well. And this is where the planning stage comes in. Because if you are, you know, 8 weeks into your Postpartum journey, and you've got a bit of a rhythm going, and you know that if you do a breastfeed, you know, roughly, you've got at least an hour and a half, maybe even 2 hours before they need another feed, hopefully. And then, as soon as you've fed them, you've burped them, with newborns, go, leave the house. So newborns literally if you've got them awake, imagine, though, an awake window for a newborn is roughly about 45 minutes. So if they wake up and feed for half an hour, some babies take a bit less than babies will take a bit more depending on how you're feeding them. Make sure you burp them, well make sure they're nice and comfortable, you want to get out before the end of that 45 minute awake window. So with newborns, it's a feed and run situation. So get everything ready before you sit down to start feeding them. I keep touching my boobs, you know, I mean, if you're Kathy It’s an occupational hazard Evie or bottle feeding, and feed and run with a newborn with, let's go to the example of a 4 month old, a 4 month old has roughly got an awake window of 2 hours. Okay, so with a 4 month old, you probably want to feed them and then give them the adequate awake window, leaving that 10 to 15 minutes at the end. So try and stimulate them if you can, you know, I mean, adequate stimulation for a 4 month old is lying on the play map, looking at his things, looking at mummy for a bit and a little bit of tummy time. Nothing too exhausting. While they're on the play mat you can finish getting your bag ready. If you're on your own, get ready to go. And then you take them out, let's say a pushchair, you're going to take them out in the pushchair with 10 minutes to go before they do for the next nap. Okay. Kathy Can I be so rude as to jump in actually with a real life example there for you. Because what you just said, I didn't realise at the time that I was doing it o rsight. Because when my little one was born, 6 years ago, so that was before I knew you, before I was actually a certified Doula. But looking back around that same time, around the 4 month mark, my daughter's wake up time was 7am. Yeah. And around that time her first morning nap, which would be 9 o'clock. Yeah. And around 8.30 I was making choices, she would have been fed at around 8.30 I was putting on my you know, I was gonna say my, my decent shorts, my shorts with less, you know, breast milk over them and putting on my trainers. And by quarter to 9, she was in the baby carrier and we were out the door every single morning. And I mean, and that moved as her awake window moved. But the same process happens, you know, and it just made me realise that exactly what you said was what I was doing around that 4 month mark. Evie When you do have that, did that make you feel better to know that you are leaving the house in the moment? Kathy 100 percent it gave me so much confidence because she was so used to that, that, was you know that it was cement. It was gold, you know, as long as I timed it, right. And I knew when I didn’t, if I was late, I knew that I was late because it was harder. Well you know, I didn't have to work harder, walk faster. You know, all of those things to make it happen. But it was a lovely feeling. I got my favourite coffee, I got my favourite toasted sandwich. And yes, she got crumbs on her head every single morning. Evie Why it's so important to practise getting out and practise all of these different things. You know, the stronger the pull, the car seat and the baby carrier, it's so important to be able to have that freedom. Not just for the baby, but for you like that is sanity. And it still is my sanity. I mean, I think you saw Kathy today I was out this morning, I was out with the bike trailer. My eldest was on his bike and I had the bike trailer out and before that, you know, it took me it took me an hour to leave the house this morning, an hour. And you know, it's still difficult at times, but we got to the park. We were also alive. And we all felt better. And this is why I'm so passionate about getting out and getting your children used to these different environments because it's good for everybody. The other thing about timing and execution is as you do get into that routine, that routine and this is a really important thing that I always tell my clients that eat, play sleep routine, which I know you use as well Kathy is a form of communication with your baby from a very young age, if you've implemented that, and that's not, you know, it doesn't have been rigid, some days or wait, we know the longer some days, they need feeding sooner, but a very gentle eat play sleep routine, that form of communication enables your baby to know what's coming next, they feel safe, and they feel secure. So just because you're out and about it, you shouldn't stop that very important form of communication. So by feeding them, and allowing them to get to sleep at roughly around the same time that they normally would. At home, you continue in that form of communication with them, and that again, makes it much easier for them to nap on the go. Evie Okay, so it is really important. Now a lot of I get asked this question, again, a lot is, well, what happens if they only sleep for once the cycle? The answer is with younger children that are on to anywhere between 2 and 5 or 6 naps a day. It doesn't matter. All sleep is restorative. I'm sure this is what you tell your clients as well, Kathy, right. Let me give you an example, if you have a baby that's 4 to 6 months old, that's on a 3 lap schedule that day. If 2 of those naps are short naps, that's absolutely fine. If 3 are short, it's not ideal, you might have a grumpy a baby. And there's things you can probably do to improve that. But that's also okay. What I would always say is, the best time to go out is the first awake window just as you did with your daughter, Kathy, if you're really trying to get used to naps on the go, always try for the first awake window is the easiest one to get them to sleep. If you're on a 3 nap day, by the third nap, getting them to sleep can be really really difficult. Even if you're at home, and you've got the darkness and you've got the white noise and you might have a contact nap if your baby's younger, the last half of the day. So always try again, it's timing, timing is everything. It's not just when to go, you know timewise in terms of their awake window, but the time of day is also really important. And it makes it easier on everybody. So that first awake Windows is Kathy is the best. It's amazing for Singapore because of the heat actually, I find you know that is the the sun has been low. Obviously throughout the evening. Everything is cooler at that time of day even trying to go out just before bedtime, which I know a lot of people like to try and do in the Singapore we've had the whole day for everything to warm up. Evie It can be nice to get out in the evenings. And maybe if you've got, you know a newborn, that's perhaps not got that rigid fixed bedtime yet is feeding regularly until maybe 10. It can be nice to get out in the evening and just give yourself that break. And with newborns, it's easier to get them to sleep as well. Don't forget, and they'll sleep more frequently. So it depends on the age of your child, but do what works for you. But if you're really struggling with a child over 10/12 weeks old, the last nap of the day is going to be the hardest time to try. Evie The other thing I want to mention here as well is if you get appointments, so typically doctor's appointment, osteopathist you're going to see or a physio, things like this, they'll give you an appointment time. Don't be afraid to push back. If it doesn't suit you or you've got into a really good routine with your baby. Don't be afraid to say actually, no, I can't do that time. Oh, well, we've not got an appointment for the 4 days, well, is it an urgent appointment? Or is it just a checkup, if it's just a checkup, it can wait 4 days until you've got the right appointment time for me because that, again, lessens anxiety and gives you that flexibility. With my twp when they were on 2 naps a day or my doctor's appointments would be the middle of the day, because they'd nap in the morning, I'd get them to wherever we were going with a short nap in the morning. And then if I had doctor's appointments, they would be between 11 and 1 because they'd go back down to sleep roughly about 2 o'clock. So don't be afraid to say actually, that's a really bad time. And I think that comes into play more as your baby gets older. When they're under 8 weeks. As you know, Kathy you know, they will sleep every 45 minutes to an hour and now they're much easier to get to sleep. So don't be afraid to say actually, I definitely can't do that ridiculous time. And in that event, they don't know that you know, it's not a good time for you. So just let them know. Kathy I think people will be surprised at how many providers when they are reminded will actually aim to be as accommodating as possible. Often the person on the admin desk doesn't have an awareness of this, you know it's not their job necessarily to think that through, but certainly the Osteopath that you and I know just a little jog, actually guys that really doesn't work with you know my baby sleep rhythms. And the Osteopath would 100% understand that because everything they do is about maximising and empowering you through feeding and sleep obstacles. So, Evie and it's the same with the paediatricians as well, the person on reception might always not know, you know, understand what you're about to try and do get out of the house of the newborn, or even an older baby, but definitely the paediatrician will understand 100% And I mean, the latter part of my career in Singapore, I was a clinic manager at IMC and we always worked around naps and things and, and don't, just don't be afraid to and I know it's hard, and especially when you Postpartum and you feel quite vulnerable. You'll just agree to anything because you know, you're not feeling at your best and you find it harder to advocate for yourself. I found it from a personal point of view, harder to advocate for myself when I was Postpartum. But there are so many people out there that will understand and support you. So do what's right for you and your baby. All right. Kathy And I would add the same goes with playdates or mummy dates, that can actually be the hardest ones to, you know, feel empowered, and say that doesn't work for me because of my baby's, you know, nap or sleep rhythm. Because, you know, there's a lot of opinions. Evie I had a similar situation I finally decided right, I'm gonna leave the house with these 2, I can do it. I'm going to take the playgroup or the playgroups were at nap time, I was like, What is this, why, and I did manage to find a class that was at 11 o'clock. So what I would do is when this is when they're on a 2 nap a day schedule, when they're a bit older, get them in the car, they'd nap for half an hour in the car, on the way there and then I'd wake them up, give them a bottle of milk and then they'd do the playgroup from 11 to 12. So there are a lot of classes in Singapore as well that have different times. So absolutely, don't be afraid to say, a 9 to 10 o'clock playgroup is not going to work for me. Because ultimately, it's you that got the grumpy child sat in a playground that just wants to go to sleep, and it's miserable for everybody, right. Evie So now when should we not try out and about? Now, I think this is important as well. Because, again, societal pressure your friends are going out, or there's a new mums support group meet up, which are amazing, by the way, I go to that, and you want to be out. But the reality is like getting away sometimes. So if they're sick, I mean, after COVID It's most people won't expose their or the other people's children to sickness. And because we're never 100% sure whether it's COVID or not, but if they are sick, it will be much harder for them to get to sleep. So if you are struggling, and you're in that stage where you're still practising all of your options, I would just stay at home for a couple of days, just make it easy on yourself. Evie The last awake window of the day can be the absolute hardest. So if again, if you are still just in the practising stage, try to avoid the last awake window of the day. Now the other time that I tell my clients to avoid trying to nap on the go is a transition to 1 that I always advocate for getting out and about as much as possible. But this can be a really hard transition for a lot of children. If you've got children that are doing 2 naps a day and you've decided you've looked at all the key identifiers, which I won't go into. And yes, you've decided that they need to go to 1 nap, you've got to get potentially a nap that was at 10 o'clock to now 12 o'clock. So your baby will still be tired between 9 and 10. For weeks and weeks and weeks, okay, there'll be a bit more grumpy, there'll be a bit more hungry. And with my clients, I always make that transition very, very gradual over sometimes 6 to 8 weeks. That's how long some children need and that's fine. Some children can do it in 2 weeks, but some can't. So if you are out and about during this time, because you're consolidating 2 sleeps to 1 if that 1 nap is only 40 minutes, they will really really struggled to get to the end of the day. So it is a transition period. It is a little bit frustrating when it's only a few weeks and I think for the benefit of the whole family and your children now I had to. So for me, I did not want screaming children at 5 o'clock. And if they had only slept for 40 minutes during that transition, all hell would have broken loose, you know, I didn't want to deal with it either. And, and you've got to do what works for your family. If you don't have support, and you've got older children, this can be really, really difficult. It's hard. Sometimes in Singapore, we have the luxury of having support a lot of people do, o it's easier, if you don't, and you have to go and collect children from school, and things like that, don't worry too much, just really try to push your child to increase their awake window every few days. But I'm here to tell you, it does get better. And I think that will resonate with a lot of people that Kathy When they do have the shorter naps, if they're on the go, knowing what the fix is, you'll be able to catch up. There's other naps in the day, and maybe you'll get to this Evie, but my thing has always been, there is still always bed time to recover this, you can still always bring bedtime forwards. You know, tomorrow is another day Evie 100%. And I think there's a huge misconception around bringing bedtime forward, people think that if you bring bedtime forward, they will wake up super early in the morning. And that is not the case, that's not the case at all, if your baby has the capacity to sleep for 14 hours, by bringing bed in and if only set for an hour in the day is that of 2 hours by bringing bedtime forward, all you're doing is allowing them to catch up on that sleep debt, I think it's really important to let them recover. If they've had a rubbish nap day, put them to bed at half past 6, 100%. And I think that's why difficult with the transition from 2 to 1 nap because that 1 nap, you do want it to be a good nap. And during that transition, it might not always be good. And that's part of the course. And again, don't panic, just bring bedtime forward. But if you're on the go, it just adds an extra level of stress that you just don't need. So I would always try and get that nap at home. Evie In terms of long term for older children. I also wanted to touch on this a little bit. I had a friend visiting recently from the UK, her youngest of 3 children had just turned 2. And she was like, oh, let's go to bouncy paradise at 12 o'clock. I said, Of course me and my 8 year old will join you, but my 18 month old will not. I completely understand that she's on holiday, she doesn't want to stay at home for naps. And she's got 2 older children of 10 and 8. So she let him sleep in the car for the maximum he would, ever see from the car was about 50 minutes. And they were here for 2 weeks, and they were absolutely fine. You know, now it was my choice not to disrupt my routine because mine was sleeping 2 hours at lunchtime. And she was, you know, winding me up a little bit about it. But if you are on holiday and you've got a child that's over 2, don't feel like you have to go back to the hotel or stay at home for naps, children will recover. And you'll get home after your 2 week holiday. And they'll get back into that routine, just put them to bed earlier give them time to catch up. It's I mean, for us again, the other side of that coin is that when we're on holiday, we all go to sleep at lunchtime, because it's too hot to be outside by the beach. So there's 2 sides to it. And even my 8 year old loves it because you get to watch TV for an hour. So it depends what camp you're in. But I just want to stress it as a camp for everyone. It doesn't have to be 1 or the other. You know, if you've got 3 children, you want to be out and about doing things your entire holiday. It's fine. All sleep is restorative. So if they're not provided by being in the car and your holiday, it's fine. When it's not going well what can we do? Evie I'll do this after a bit and then we'll move to some questions. Evie The key thing and I'm sure you've all heard this before, but I do like to reiterate it. If you've got a really upset crying baby, especially when they're younger, there might not be any reason for it. Try and stay calm, they will pick up on your signals. So if you're anxious because people are looking at you, or if you're anxious because you're worried about your baby, try and move yourself to a quiet cool place. Now that might be in a shopping centre or shopping mall somewhere in the corner of a coffee shop. If you've got Drs office, go into the corner of the doctor's office, try and stay calm. It's important to know that if you have been out and about for a whole awake window and you've got younger children, that is quite a lot of stimulation for them. They may be hungrier and quicker than if you're at home. So if you're breastfeeding and you can calm your baby by breastfeeding them, that's always a great option. And even if you're bottle feeding them, they may think oh well, I only fed them an hour and a half or 2 hours ago, they still may be hungry. So you can try and get them a feed to calm them down is always an option. And then you can also use some of the methods that we talked about earlier. So if you're using pacifiers, they can help if you're using white noise that can help. And if all else fails, use your backup option. So if you know that your baby you know, will sleep in a baby carrier, try and get him to sleep in the baby carrier. If you've got your timing, right, the maximum they should protest for on the way to go into sleep is about 20 minutes. And eventually, most children will fall asleep, especially the younger ones. If you're at the other end of your window, and you've got stuck somewhere. I know how stressful that can be. But just try and stay calm. Try and feed them, use all the methods that you would at home, try to not be bothered by what's going on around you or who's looking at you. If you feel calmer and safer. Try and find the best breastfeeding room, we see a lot of shopping centres have them now. And if you're at the doctor's office, a lot of them will allow you to use an empty consultation room. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're really struggling, and you'd be surprised how many people are willing to help you. If it's a disaster, don't write it off, get home, get calm, get your baby calm, and try again tomorrow. It's horrible at the time and I'm sure you see this a lot, Kathy. But tomorrow's a new day. And just keep trying. Don't think we can emphasise that enough, really, that that gentle consistency. Kathy I mean, this counts probably for everything. Everything to do with parents, you know, gentle consistency will win through, you know, just doing the same things gently at the same time every day will ultimately win over you know, you will find the way that it will fall into place. Evie And it's very gentle. It's very much like sleep training. You push them gently in that direction. And eventually they catch on and they're not going to catch on every day. But that's okay. Just keep going. So I hope that was useful. If you do have any questions, and I haven't answered them, please do reach out anytime. But the people that pre submitted questions, thank you very much. I'll go through them now if that's okay with you, Kathy.
Title: "On the Go Nap's, Let's Do This"
Guest: Evelyn Bonney, Sleep Consultant, Paediatric Nurse and Mother of Twins
Host: Kathy, Empowa
Recording Date: 9th August 2023
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