Chris McFadden and his wife Danni the Daddy Sleep Consultant after they had a “life changing” experience with a sleep expert following the birth of their first child
Image: Estelle Thompson)
A dad-of-three crippled by a lack of sleep due to his newborn has shared his tip tops for getting forty winks as a parent.
When Chris McFadden and his wife Danni welcomed their first child Teddy, they found themselves unable to get any sleep.
Their son would endlessly wake during the night, leaving them exhausted and fraught, the Irish Mirror reported.
When searching for answers online didn’t work, the couple decided to contact a sleep consultant.
Chris said: “When he (Teddy) was six months, he was an awful sleeper. He was awful.
“He was awake several times a night we couldn’t get him to sleep and if when he did it was just ‘when is he going to next wake up’ and we were just broken, physically, mentally, emotionally and so we decided to hire a sleep coach, a sleep consultant because we just didn’t know what to do.”
Chris said hiring a sleep coach completely changed his and his wife’s lives as they were able to get better sleep themselves, meaning they were able to be better parents
He said: “We were in that situation where there’s lots of information online, and we were googling it. My wife would have one view.
“I would have a different view. We were bickering about it, and we realized we needed help.”
He added: “So we hired a sleep consultant, and it changed our lives, without sounding too dramatic… it changed our lives.
“We went from being up all night, sleep deprivation at its absolute worst, and in the space of a couple weeks, we had a baby that was sleeping pretty much all night.
“He was able to go down himself. He would settle himself in the cot. We were able to walk out of the room.
“He was sleeping pretty much all night, if not most nights, and we had a burst of energy. We were sleeping, we were patient, we were kind parents.
“When you’re not sleeping, and you’re tired, you don’t always have the best patience, and we were thriving as parents. We were having as much fun and enjoyment as we hoped and thought we would have.”
Chris and Danni decided to set up The Daddy Sleep Consultant to advise parents on implementing a healthy sleep routine.
Chris shared some of the top tips he now teaches and uncovered some of the myths many parents believe to be true.
He said: “For newborns, it’s about getting that day and night sleep rhythm in place.
“If the baby is constantly sleeping all day and then waking for periods of the night, then it’s probably suggesting they got it the wrong way around, and it’s worth trying to do using some gentle techniques like trying to wake them up more during the day .
“A lukewarm bath, for example, to get them a bit more stimulated and then if you do that consistently enough, they’ll start to wake more and more in the day and hopefully sleep longer or better at night.”
A day and night routine is essential to new babies as, in the womb, they are unaware of what time of day it is and so can struggle to adjust.
Chris said: “Get a bedtime routine in place for newborns. Show them each night that they went from daytime to night-time.
“It’s all about that day, night rhythm, so it’s very gentle strategies, but over the course of a week or two can make a really big difference in the amount of time they can sleep.
He added: “It’s important to get the sleep environment right…It’s important to have a really dark room for children.
“Older toddlers, it may be important to have a night light in case they need to go to the bathroom during the night, but for babies, then total darkness is the best you can do.
“It’s also important to try and get enough day sleep for babies. Lots of parents think that by having a baby that doesn’t get as much sleep during the day, that they’ll be tired enough for bedtime, which is the complete opposite .
“If they don’t have enough day sleep, they’ll end up overridden, which will create a really difficult bedtime and really difficult night because of the overriddenness.
“Babies aged five to six months can only sleep for about one and a half to two hours at a time, so it’s important to get a routine in place that reflects that.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.