Waiting lists at some Melbourne sleep schools are reaching up to four months.
“Pregnant women are buying a cot, a bassinet, a car seat, a pram, a breast pump — and booking in for sleep school,” author, midwife and maternal and child health nurse Cath Curtin told The Herald Sun.
“Mothers are so fixated about the birth … and then they go home and it’s like ‘Now what do I do?’
“My concern is that we have lost touch in teaching parents how to parent. It starts in hospital, where mums only stay for four days which is not long enough to be really taught what to do,” she said.
Ms Curtin said babies commonly don’t settle because their bellies aren’t full.
“You can’t overfeed babies, because Mother Nature is too sensible,” Ms Curtin said.
“But there has to be a balance between food intake and energy expended, to help the baby sleep.”
The manager of Masada Private Hospital’s mother-baby unit, Patsy Thean, said her present waiting list was eight weeks.
Ms Thean said women try to book in before their baby is born, but she discourages it.
“Not every baby will have a problem, so you have to wait for a couple of months first,” Ms Thean said.
“It’s quite distressing if a new parent doesn’t know it’s normal for a baby to cry a total of three hours in a 24-hour time period. There are a lot of education classes out there for parents to prepare for the birth, but not much talk about what to do when the baby comes,” she said.
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