Dr Koa Whittingham (A collaborator on the Possums Sleep Intervention – www.possumsonline.com) shares some wonderful information about the Possums sleep intervention, and how it differs from typical behavioural approaches, and normalising approaches.
- Behavioural interventions in the first 6 months have very limited impact:
- e.g. Falling asleep in the cot (as opposed to in arms)
- 1 less episode of waking every two nights.
- No evidence of long term benefits.
- Can negatively impact breast-feeding.
- Behavioural psychology world view.
- Normalisation Approach.
- It is normal for babies to wake many times a night and need to feed multiple times per night.
- 4th trimester.
- Most children will be sleeping through by their second birthday – wait it out.
- Possum’s Sleep Intervention – Middle ground.
- Agree with the normalisation approach and
- Optimise sleep for mother and baby.
- Help parents to get through the early years.
- Incorporates behavioural psychology, biology of sleep, and lactation science.
- Biology of Sleep
- Circadian Rhythm/Clock
- Sleep doesn’t breed sleep – long naps during the day can confuse the circadian clock.
- Darkened or artificially quiet room during nap time can artificially lengthen daytime naps.
- Sleep consolidation at night can occur earlier than 3 months.
- Sleep Homeostat – Longer awake = higher need for sleep.
- Circadian Rhythm/Clock
- Anxiety and stress can interfere with ability to sleep.
- Possums Sleep Intervention: Possums Online, and Feed your baby to sleep – The possums sleep intervention new recommendations
- The Discontented Little Baby book by Dr Pamela Douglas
- First step in any good sleep intervention (understanding sleep biology): www.practicalresearchparenting.com/firststeps or sign up by clicking here.
- Parenting from the Heart: www.koawhittingham.com.
- Becoming Mum book by Dr Koa Whittingham
For more great resources on Mindfulness and ACT for parents, check out these links:
- Free Mindfulness Meditation App for pregnant couples: Mind the Bump .Org .Au
- 9 Tips for Mindful Mothering
- ACT: Taking Hurt to Hope – Struggling with attachment with Newborns
This is the 4th Episode in the series, here are links to the rest of the series:
- PRP014: Angry Parents Part 1 Acting inline with values despite anger
- PRP015: Angry Parents Part 2 Acting inline with values despite anger
- PRP016: Becoming a Mother
- PRP017: The Possums Sleep Intervention Part 1
- PRP018: The Possums Sleep Intervention Part 2
- PRP019: The Possums Sleep Intervention Part 3
- PRP020: The Possums Sleep Intervention Part 4
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Have you felt pressured by common advice around baby sleep? Have you attended Possums? Or Read Dr Pamela Douglas’ book? Please start a discussion below.