Dorothy Waide Tips On Baby Sleep

Dorothy Waide, is a Karitane Mothercraft nurse and one of New Zealand’s most sought-after baby sleep consultants.

Why did you choose to become a baby sleep consultant?

I am a Karitane Mothercraft nurse. Though now, the modern terminology is a baby sleep consultant. I’ve always had a passion for helping babies and parents, and it’s what I always wanted to do from a young age.

What do you love most about your job?

Supporting and encouraging parents to be parents and my biggest buzz is watching and supporting my families especially mums to get their confidence back and know that actually they have it.

What is the most difficult/frustrating part of your job?

Medical professionals who tell parents with babies that cry constantly and tell them they have ‘one of those babies.’ Babies communicate by crying so when a baby is inconsolable they are trying to tell us something.    

What is the most effective method to get a baby to sleep?

A newborn sleeps better in your arms. This is not always possible day-to-day, but it is always the best place to start. Use your body as the ‘mattress’ first. Then, while keeping the mattress still, transfer your baby to the cot.

 What is the best piece of advice you can offer to parents having difficulty settling their baby?

Look at their wake cycles – are they overtired? Listen to your baby – when were they last fed? I tend to adopt the wake cycle principle: wake, feed, play, feed, and then place them into swaddle or sleeping bag for a nap.   This isn’t snack feeding, it is ensuring your baby’s tummy is full before going for a nap.

What is the most common mistake that you see parents making when it comes to getting their baby to sleep?

Using large movements. My best bit of advice is try not to do anything out of the cot that you cant replicate in a cot. So instead of using large movements to calm your baby, try using a movement against yourself which can also be repeated in the cot.

Do you have any tips for parents trying to manage their own sleep?

Looking after yourself by eating well and taking supplements – magnesium is a good one just before going to bed. Be kind to yourself. Slow down, especially in those first six weeks, and take time out for yourself.

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