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Sleep is a precious commodity for new parents and according to new research, it seems 2020 has been robbing new mums and dads of it.
According to global search specialists SEMrush, there has been a 30% rise in parents looking online for support to settle their babies throughout this wild year.
Today Show co-host and mum-of-two, Allison Langdon knows all too well what it’s like for new parents who are struggling with sleep deprivation.
“Being a new parent is hard and you think you are the only parents in the world who has baby who doesn’t sleep and the only mum in the world who can’t settle a baby,” Allison tells Bounty Parents.
The mum-of-two who shares almost four-year-old son, Mack and 20-month-old daughter, Scout with husband, Michael Willesse Jr., knows this year has been tough for parents due to Covid-19.
“There’s so much about it which is isolating anyway and then you add a pandemic into the mix. I’ve had friends who have had their first baby during this time and they didn’t get to have a baby shower and most of them haven’t had mother’s groups during this time. It’s another layer of isolation,” says Ally.
Allison Langdon with her two children, Mack, three and one-year-old, Scout.
It’s for this very reason, Allison recently took part in a live webinar, Parenting After Dark hosted by Tresillian in partnership with Curash Babycare. For the former 60 Minutes reporter, teaming up with Tresillian was a natural fit.
“This is a way of reaching out and saying everything you’re going through is normal and you’re doing a really good job as a mum,” explains the 41-year-old.
“My firstborn Mack was not a sleeper, he never slept. Around the four month mark he was waking every 40 minutes and we could not settle him. My husband and I were back at work full-time and we don’t have any family nearby so we didn’t have any support around us. I remember nights where we would be laying there just willing the other person to get up,” Ally recalls.
“We were so sleep deprived and I remember Tresillian talking us through it and finding a solution. We had been trying things for a couple of nights and then we’d give up and we’d try something else. This poor little baby didn’t know what was happening. Sometimes he would get cuddled and sometimes he would be ignored.”
Allison says through Tresillian, her and Mike learnt consistency and they picked up he had some reflux issues.
“He vomited more than any other kid we knew but it never seemed to bother him. We had the video monitor on him at night, which they told us to do, and we realised lying flat was a problem for him.”
Ally believes sleep deprivation is one of the most challenging aspects of parenting.
“It’s really hard. I remember going to work one morning with Mack and I was trying to say to Mike, ‘Pass me the spoon’ but I couldn’t remember the word for spoon and I was getting really upset and crying, ‘My job is words and I’m about to do a 60 Minutes interview and I’m a terrible mum and I’m terrible at my job.’ It can get so overwhelming.”
Ally with her 20-month-old daughter, Scout.
Almost two years ago, Ally and her husband, Mike welcomed their daughter, Scout into the world and while she has been a great sleeper, the Today Show host is quick to admit that Scout’s knack for sleeping was down to luck.
“Then I had a second baby who is an amazing sleeper and I know I’m only allowed to say that because I had a child from hell,” she laughs.
“While I’m sure we were a lot more calm and relaxed, I just think some kids sleep and some kids don’t. Some know how to do it and some need to be taught how to do it.”