Wisdom from The Sleep Mama
Mum of twins, and author of online program, The Sleep Mama, Kylie Camps has helped countless parents with her wisdom on sleep routines and advice on getting our little ones to drift off to sleep. We spoke to Kylie about what it was like for her raising twins, how to transition toddlers to their own beds and her top tips for creating regular routines for sweet dreams all round. Read the interview below and see our Kids Stonewash Bath Robes on the boys and our Eucalyptus Sheets in their new rooms.
Tell us about 'THE Sleep Mama' and how it all began?
The Sleep Mama was a really organic progression for us, I had been operating as an 'in home sleep consultant' assisting families with practical techniques and support to enhance sleep for babies and toddlers. I really loved it but I was struggling to find the time to respond to everyone who enquired or wanted to book an appointment. I was working around my husbands roster, and a full-time mum to our twin boys and it was breaking my heart that I couldn't physically help all the families who reached out. We made the decision to move to an online platform in 2016 and haven't looked back.
What was it like in the early stages of mum life with twins?
It was overwhelming, hard and amazing all at once. We really didn't have any idea what we were in for or what the reality of having two newborns would be like, so it was definitely a shock to the system! For any new parent, there is so much to adjust to. I know for myself, and many mothers I have spoken with, it feels like your whole life changes and you need to give yourself time and kindness to take it all in! We struggled with a lack of sleep and resources that really aligned with our parenting values. It was a catalyst for us to create a resource that could prepare families and make a big difference to those also struggling.
Did you have other mums that you looked up to and sought advice from?
We were the first out of our friends to have babies so we did feel isolated at times and disconnected but I definitely relied on my own mum in the early weeks. Once you have your own babies it changes the level of appreciation you have for your own parents!
Your boys are now both in their own beds, what was it like transitioning them and what advice would you give for other parents in this season?
Our boys are five at the end of the year and they've been great sleepers from about 3 months old, except for the odd regression here and there along the way. As newborns we kept the boys in the same cot for a few months which was really special as they would snuggle up to one another. Around 3 months of age they started to sleep separately from one another but at opposite ends of the same cot. Around 6 months of age they moved into separate cots and continued to share a room until this year. They are really enjoying having their own rooms and space to express their individual personalities, for identical twins they have very different interests and personalities. The boys transitioned from cots to "big beds" when they were 2.5 years old. My top tips for making this transition from cot to bed are available here.
Bedtime can be a particularly hard mission for some parents, what’s your advice on winding kids down in the lead up to bedtime?
Creating a transition period for winding down can be a crucial step in minimising the bedtime battle. Babies, toddlers, children and especially us adults are go, go, go, all day. It's no wonder we struggle to fall asleep sometimes, with our mind still working quickly from the day. It's important to create some space to slow down physically and mentally.
Little ones feel safe when they can predict the outcome, routine can bring a sense of familiarity and comfort which in turn makes it easier to relax and settle off to sleep. A wind down routine can be as simple as a bath or shower around the same time most evenings, a short massage post bath, pyjamas and spending the time before bed, intentionally a little slower and quieter.
We suggest minimising or removing screen time (tv/ iPad/ phones) as the light emitted from these devices has been proven to result in a poorer quality of rest as well as lengthening the time it may take for little ones to fall asleep. Forming a bed time routine of reading a book or two is a nice way to spend some quality time with your child. Consistency is king when it comes to making good sleep a habit, babies and toddlers learn quickly through repetition.
If you could leave us with one hot tip for getting our kids to sleep, what would it be?
If your son or daughter is struggling with sleep, rather than throwing the towel in and labelling them a terrible sleeper, take some time to objectively assess what could be negatively impacting their sleep - which is easier said than done sometimes! Keeping a log can be really helpful to identify common problem areas and/ or triggers. My biggest piece of advice is to reach out for help, don't suffer in silence. You can get in touch with us easily via a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org