To celebrate the launch of our Easy Sleep Portable Bassinet, we sat down with our friend Dr Golly to chat about sleeping on the go. Dr Golly (Dr Daniel Golshevsky) is a Melbourne-based paediatrician and father of three. Specialising in unsettled babies and poor sleep, Dr Golly developed this program through his work with thousands of babies over a decade of practice. With a focus on empowering parents and protecting mothers, Dr Golly turns up the volume of that innate parental instinct to maximise parents' understanding of their baby's cues and bring everyone closer to a full night's sleep.
Thanks for joining us again, Dr Golly.
Let's talk sleep on the go…. not precisely easy, right?
Correct, babies love routine and consistency...but the Dr Golly Sleep Program - or any sleep program for that matter - needs flexibility for, well... life! Sometimes..
- You have a Paediatrician appointment;
- Swimming lessons are at an inconvenient time;
- You've got a picnic with your parents' group;
- Older children need to be picked up from school or daycare;
- You need to get out of the house for a while… the list goes on!
Sometimes routines are disrupted, and naps have to be 'on the run'.
What is a good balance for managing sleep on the go?
A good balance is the 80/20 rule. Most sleep (80%) occurs in a normal sleep environment (their nursery, daycare, grandparent's house, etc.), but on-the-go life (20%) is allowed to happen too! If a sleep is disturbed or missed, remember that every morning is a chance to reset and start fresh. Never be disheartened.
Can you offer a few tips for managing naps on the go?
Sure, the biggest tip is to recreate their sleep environment as much as possible! If outside, darken the pram or portable bassinet with a breathable blackout cover. Don't use a blanket, as this doesn't provide enough darkness, and the temperature can become dangerously high. Use the same white noise or nature sounds that you use at home. There are many portable white noise machines available that run on batteries. If your baby is still swaddled and you want to encourage them to nap in the pram or portable bassinet, use the same swaddle or sleeping bag you would use at home.
What are some other things parents should be aware of when managing sleep on the go?
The younger they are - the easier this is to manage sleep outside their normal environment. For babies still taking 3 naps, the late afternoon nap is the best one to do in the car, carrier, pram or, portable bassinet - this can often be the hardest nap to master but sleeping on the go is fine as it’s only one sleep cycle and they don’t need to link it.
From 12 weeks onwards, if you have to pick one nap at home, choose the lunchtime nap - this is the one we want to encourage to be the longest. From about 6 months onwards, getting them to sleep past one sleep cycle when they're out gets tricky, so don't be disheartened.
What about transferring them to their cot when you get home?
This is an almost impossible trick to master - bravo to you if you can! Don't always expect your baby to transfer from the car seat or pram to the cot and keep sleeping soundly. If your baby falls asleep in the car or pram, I recommend grabbing a coffee/tea and taking the long way home. If they fall asleep in the portable bassinet while you’re out, have a rest under the trees with a good book while baby soundly sleeps to try and sneak in the most extended nap possible!
What safe sleep tips do you recommend?
- Always follow safe-sleeping guidelines;
- Very few prams in Australia are aerated enough or recommended for sleep;
- Never leave unattended babies asleep in car seats; and
- Always make sure your baby is in TOG attire appropriate for the temperature.
Dr Golly recommended routines will guide you on how your day will look - see the course content for more information on how to manage each age group and adjust specific routines.
Thank you so much for your time, Dr Golly.