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Is My Child's Sleep Normal?

Updated: Apr 29

Have you ever been told that your child's sleep, feeding or awake time presentation is normal? Or that the concerns you have are irrational, or your child will 'outgrow' their presentation?

If you have heard these useless words, then you're not alone. Nearly every single client that I have worked with has mentioned that they have been told that their child's presentation is normal. And in 99% of cases that I work with, the child's presentation does NOT fall within the realm of normal.

A baby who is extremely unsettled and finding it hard to sleep

In all honesty, I have mixed feelings about this comment. Whilst many parents feel comforted by the fact that their child’s sleep habits may be ‘normal', in many cases this can actually be a very unhelpful comment. And many underlying issues can go undetected and cause ongoing issues.

If you feel like your child’s sleep habits are out of the realm of normal, you are probably right. And when you go to search for answers so you can understand and appropriately manage the issues, you are left with ‘oh, that’s normal’. This makes you feel confused, frustrated or even that you are imagining things!

I remember as a new first-time Mum, I was forever told that my son’s sleep and behaviour was ‘normal’.

"He’s crying for 5 hours straight a day?! Oh, that’s normal! It’s colic"

"He is losing weight?! Oh, that’s normal! Just switch to formula"

"He has reflux?! Oh, that’s normal! Here’s some medication"

"He doesn’t sleep?! Oh, that’s normal! Look up ‘the 4th trimester"

"He’s waking frequently at night?! That’s normal! Some babies just don't like to sleep"

"He’s catnapping?! Oh, that’s normal! He will outgrow it"

I have some big news…these things aren’t normal! Are they common? Perhaps, but common does not equal normal. You can probably understand that these people who say, ‘that’s normal’ are very well-meaning but it doesn’t make your situation any better. If anything, it can make it worse.

I mean, if sleep is THIS hard, why would anyone have more than one child?!?! And then you start thinking…’what am I doing wrong’!?!?!

But the answer is, you’re not doing anything wrong. This is not your fault. What you need is answers…REAL answers to understand why your child is having sleep challenges so you can truly resolve it with success and long term results.

So next time someone says, ‘that’s normal’ but you don’t think it is, please keep searching. And if no-one will listen, trust that I will. I will LISTEN to you, I will be your advocate and understand that your situation doesn’t always equal normal.

If you would like to further explore your child's sleep presentation to determine if it falls within the realm of normal, download my free Underlying Issues Check List to start your journey:

Of course, I am always available to chat with you to explore your concerns and provide insight into your situation. If you'd like to start with a free discovery call, book in for your chat today:

Shereen Nielsen xx

I'm Shereen Nielsen, a certified Sleep Consultant specialising in infants and children from birth to 15 years old. With over seven years of experience, I've assisted over 4000 families in achieving better sleep. Additionally, I serve as a lecturer and mentor, guiding aspiring sleep consultants on their path to certification through my internationally recognised online Sleep Consultant Course.

Phone: +61419820474

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