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The Sleep-Savvy Parent's Secret Weapon: The HipSurfer

As a sleep consultant, I've seen firsthand the struggles that parents face when it comes to getting their little ones to sleep, especially during nap time or when away from home/out and about. Parents are often battling catnapping and contact napping and feel they may be creating “bad habits” by contact napping with their baby. There are no bad habits! However, there's one tool in particular that often goes overlooked but can be a game-changer in the realm of baby sleep: the trusty baby carrier like the HipSurfer.

Blonde haired mum, wearing all black, cradling baby boy and patting to sleep. Baby is in a green romper with cartoon dalmation dogs. Baby is side lying, resting on a HipSurfer baby carrier.

Baby carriers offer a multitude of benefits beyond just convenience for parents on the go. When it comes to sleep, they can be a parent's secret weapon. Here's why:

Close Contact: Babies thrive on closeness and human touch, especially in the early months of life. Being held close  against a parent's chest in a carrier mimics the feeling of being in the womb, providing comfort and security that can help babies relax and fall asleep more easily.

Motion and Movement: Babies are often soothed by gentle, rhythmic motion, whether it's rocking, swaying, walking and patting. The HipSurfer allows parents to continue this movement with the ease, taking the weight of their baby and the pressure off their back. For older babies, that are getting heavier to hold, rock and cuddle to sleep, the HipSurfer is perfect to continue to comfort without the pressure and weight of the baby. 

Contact Naps: Cat napping can begin as early as 8 weeks of age and is biologically normal (yet frustrating) until 6 months of age. Contact napping is a great way to extend those short 30-45 minute cat naps but even relaxing in a chair or on the couch can be a little uncomfortable. Having your baby safely positioned on the HipSurfer either side lying or upright, will make contact napping a whole lot more comfortable. Plus their space to keep some snacks!

Regulated Sleep Environment: Another benefit of using a baby carrier for sleep is that it provides a regulated sleep environment, regardless of where you are. Whether you're at home, visiting friends, or running errands, your baby can nap in the same cozy, familiar space, minimising disruptions and helping them to maintain a consistent sleep routine.

Multiple Positions for Different Ages: Babies like to sleep in different positions at different ages. Young babies will often sleep side lying, cradled in your arms or upright on your chest, whereas older babies and toddlers will often sleep upright, on your chest. The HipSurfer allows for your baby to sleep in either of these positions comfortably and safely. 

6 Tips for Using The HipSurfer for Sleep

While all baby carriers can be a valuable tool for helping babies sleep, there are some important tips to keep in mind to ensure safety and maximise effectiveness:

Safe Sleep Positions: The HipSurfer ensures that your baby is positioned correctly to support their airway and prevent suffocation hazards. The "T.I.C.K.S." guidelines (Tight, In view at all times, Close enough to kiss, Keep chin off chest, Supported back) can help ensure safe positioning.

Practise, Practise, Practise: Like with anything when it comes to baby sleep, it can take time and practise for it to happen naturally for your baby. Sleeping in a carrier is no different. If you want the ease and flexibility of your baby sleeping out and about or need to ease contact naps at home, get your baby used to the HipSurfer, not just at sleep time. Spend some time using it during awake time. Get your bub comfortable before they’re overtired. Know your baby’s tired signs and start to get them comfortable and ready to settle to sleep on the HipSurfer then, whether you’re at home or out and about. 

Pay Attention to Signs of Overstimulation: While many babies find the motion and closeness of the HipSurfer soothing, some may become overstimulated if they're kept in the carrier for too long or in overly stimulating environments. Pay attention to your baby's cues and give them breaks as needed.

Establish a Routine: Incorporate the The HipSurfer into your baby's sleep routine to help cue them that it's time to relax and unwind. Whether it's a gentle walk around the house or neighbourhood or simply rocking them in the carrier at home, consistency is key for helping babies learn to associate The HipSurfer with sleep. If you’re wanting to transfer bub into their bed, once asleep on the HipSurfer, ensure the room is ready before sleep time - close the blinds, turn the pink noise on, have their bed set up and ready to go.

Feed to sleep: If you’re currently feeding to sleep the HipSurfer can support this comfort and settling both at home and out and about. In the early days, when establishing feeding with your baby, positioning is key for a good latch and a good feed. Noone wants to carry around their feeding pillow when they leave the house. The HipSurfer can support your feeding position anywhere, in turn helping your baby drift off to sleep. 

Nailing the transfer: When supporting your baby to sleep, on the HipSurfer, and wanting to transfer them to their sleep space it is important that your baby is always placed down to sleep on their back. If your baby is side lying on the HipSurfer, slide your arm under their side, transfer bub to their bed, placing them down on their side then slowly roll them onto their back. If your baby is upright on the HipSurfer, slide your hand/arm under their bottom, keep them as close to your chest as possible while you gently lay them down, on their back, in their bed. 

Staying Asleep: Getting your baby to fall asleep is half the battle. Getting them to stay asleep can be just as difficult. If your baby is going to sleep on the HipSurfer for their entire nap, keep an eye on the time. Around the 30 minute mark they may need a little motion and movement to help them transition into the next sleep cycle. If you’re planning on attempting to transfer to their bed, be aware that bub is warm and cozy against your body and the transition to bed may be cold. When you make the transfer place your hand on bub’s chest with some light pressure for a couple of moments before moving away. Leave the HipSurfer on until you’re out of the room. You don’t want the sound of the velcro waking bub up.

In the world of baby sleep, every parent is constantly on the lookout for tools and techniques to help their little ones get the rest they need. The HipSurfer offers a versatile and effective solution for soothing babies to sleep, whether it's for naps at home or on the go. By harnessing the power of closeness, motion, and comfort, parents can unlock the secret to better sleep for the whole family.

If you're struggling with your little one's sleep, book your Free Speedy Sleep Chat today and let's get you on your way to sleep success.

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