Show Notes: Possums Sleep Intervention Part 2

Dr Koa Whittingham (A collaborator on the Possums Sleep Intervention – and I discuss the goals of the Possums Sleep intervention. Koa shares some great tips on optimising sleep biology for parent and baby.Possums Sleep Intervention


  • Possums sleep intervention
    • 0-6 month olds – Sleep film, published work, consultations
    • 6 months to 6 years – Consultations
      • Additional tactics for children 6 months +
        • Teaching your baby a new way to fall asleep
      • Still start with sleep biology and optimising lifestyle
    • Goals of the Possums Sleep Intervention: Optimise healthy sleep of both the parent and the baby, and to support parental mental health.
      • Don’t accept the assumption that for the parents to sleep well, they need their child to settle and sleep independently
        • Breastfed infants wake more frequently, but breastfeeding mothers get longer sleep, report better quality of sleep, and feel better rested during the day compared to non-breastfeeding mothers.
        • Due to sleep efficiency – taking less time to fall back to sleep.
        • Reducing the number of night wakings isn’t necessarily the answer.
  • Sleep Biology
    • If babies are having long wakings at night, look at whether daytime naps are too lengthy.
      • Normal sunlight and daytime noises during nap-time helps to avoid over-sleeping during the day.
    • Until recently, especially in Europe, night sleeps were broken by a couple of hours of quiet awake time between about 12am to 2am. It can be really difficult to get back to sleep if you are woken during that period, or pushed through the tiredness to stay awake until 12.
    • Adjust your rhythm, or your child’s rhythm such that you are not getting woken in that wakeful time.
    • Understand the biology of sleep and then flexibly experiment with that.
    • Let go of the focus on sleep during the day. Get out and about and increase stimulation.
    • Wake up at about the same time each morning.
    • Trust the biology of sleep.
  • SIDS recommendation
    • For 0-6 month olds (at least), sleeping in the same room is recommended to prevent SIDS because your baby is protected from SIDS by being able to hear you. A baby monitor is not enough, keep baby within sensory distance.
  • If I baby-wear, co-sleep, and feed to sleep, how can I ever get time off? Not everyone else is willing or able to settle baby as I do.
    • Everyone who cares for baby does not have to do the same thing.
    • Each caregiver can find their own way to settle the child.
    • As the primary caregiver – do what is easiest and most relaxing (including feeding to sleep), and allow others to get baby to sleep too in their own way.
  • Tune in next time to hear a new take on Sleep Associations

Possums Sleep Intervention Links

For more great resources on Mindfulness and ACT for parents, check out these links:

This is the 5th Episode in the series, here are links to the rest of the series:

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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 under the previous show notes.