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Getting Back to Normal After Lockdown

Our latest blog gives an invaluable insight into the work of one of our fantastic trainers, Katherine, who is an infant care specialist and sleep and behavior consultant.  We are sure a lot of you will find this useful.  Enjoy!

The Return to Work

It’s been nice to see pictures of friends on social media starting to meet up again after so long in isolation. While it will be lovely to start to get back to school and work for many, some people might not be feeling quite so enthusiastic. 
 
I recently answered a call for help from Eleanor, a mum of two who is dreading returning to work. The family welcomed their daughter, Louise, into their world just before the first lockdown.  Louise’s routine was fit around the family as it was easier to let her go to bed when they did and sleep in in the morning and have long naps so they could get some work done.
 
Their other daughter, Emily, has been home since her nursery closed and she has become more and more out of routine. Fortunately for Eleanor, she was on maternity leave during the lockdowns so was able to take care of the girls whilst her husband, Mick, was able to work upstairs without too much disturbance.
 
The problem is now, that both girls sleep in until about 10 o’clock, have a long nap in the afternoon and then bounce around all evening.  Whilst this suited Eleanor and Mick during the lockdown, there is now a growing concern of how they will be able to leave for work by 8 o’clock in the mornings.
 

So What Can Eleanor Do? 

I suggested that she starts by introducing a bedtime routine so that the girls receive cues that it’s time to sleep. The girls should be bathed at 9 pm, get dressed and have a short story read to them so they are in bed by 9.40 pm. As they’ve been falling asleep around 10 pm this should work well.
 
The next day the girls should be woken up twenty minutes earlier than usual in the morning, at 9.40 am. Then the whole day’s routine can be brought forward, breakfast, lunch, nap etc so that she can start the same bedtime routine at 8.40 pm. They should be in bed by 9.20 to (hopefully) fall asleep at 9.40 pm. 
 
If there is plenty of time before starting back at work then it can be more successful to do two or three days at the new time. Then start waking them twenty minutes earlier again to 9.20 and repeat the process, until the family has got back into a more manageable routine with a wake-up time that enables them to get out of the door in the morning on schedule.
 
Fortunately, Eleanor has a few more weeks before returning to work so she is able to approach things in gentle stages. 
 
Some families might have to rush the process. The key will be the day’s start time so even if bedtime is still quite late, waking the children earlier and shifting the day forwards to match will help them adjust.
 
 

Contact Katherine

If you have a particular issue that you would like to talk to Katherine about, please email her at katherinebabysleepcare@outlook.com

Please note: these blogs are intended to inform parents and childcarers. The advice is generalized and does replace a personal consultation with a practitioner of your choice who will look in detail at your child’s particular needs.

 

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If you would like to share your day with us and be part of our blog, please contact us at info@childcarestudies.co.uk