We have have teamed up with the inspiring Grace Victory, and her family, to celebrate the launch of our new Baby Sleep collection. Grace Victory is an award-winning digital-first creator, predominately known for her inspiring words, powerful vulnerability and refusal to diminish her self, values or voice, to suit societal expectations. In December 2020, Grace was placed in an induced coma after giving birth to a baby boy whilst fighting coronavirus. After 3 months, she was successfully brought out of the coma and reunited with her baby, Cyprus. We sat down with her and her partner, Lee, to talk about their sleep journey with a newborn.

How important is routine to you?
Routine is key. I’m a typical Virgo and have always loved routine. I used to work in Children’s Care Home and there I really learnt the importance of sleep. I’d always make sure there was a ‘chill time’ before bed, turn the lights down, have a hot chocolate. When Cyprus was born he didn’t have much of a routine. Since coming out of hospital I’ve always put Cyprus to bed and it’s really ‘mummy and Cyprus’ time. In terms of sleep, it’s not really consistent - sometimes he will wake 5 times a night, sometimes never. We’ve turned a corner in the last few weeks with his sleep, he no longer cries when he wakes up and he wakes up happy. You walk in his room and he's looking at you at the door, he knows you’re coming in. Putting him to bed is ‘my thing’ and I can get him to bed in literally 5 seconds... I don’t know whether that’s because he can hear my heart or my boob!
How do you get through difficult nights?
Cry! I find it really difficult without sleep. And end up just crying through it. I talk to Lee and my therapist, and it’s good to have a good moan. People get funny about cancelling events/plans but I will cancel if I can’t do it and move things around to make it easier for me if I’ve not slept well and not feeling up to it. Tea and toast always help and trying to nap when you can, and staying in your PJs. Me and Lee do night shifts so 2 nights on and 2 nights off to share the load. If I have a big shoot day, we’ll work it out between us and Lee will help with the night and morning feeds. Teamwork. Of course in the beginning it was all Lee, so as soon as I was able to put Cyprus to bed I would. I’ve also become so used to broken sleep – up at 4am.


How has the Baby Sleep range helped your bedtime routine?

This Works baby sleep range, helps to settle him, he knows when he smells those products, it’s time for bed. I give him a bath, and let him play, let him relax. The baby sleep gentle wash, it makes Cyprus’s skin really, really soft. I mist his pillow, with baby sleep pillow spray. Then massage him with baby sleep massage oil and then bottle, sometimes a book, and then put him to sleep. Having a routine for him and me, just helps us massively.
What advice would you give new parents struggling to establish a sleep ritual for their baby?
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Me and Lee were actually talking about this the other day that we put a lot of pressure on our babies/children to drink all their bottles, eat all their food, sleep well, you know, and some nights we can’t sleep properly even when the baby's asleep - so makes sense if they don’t either. You know I was under the sink cleaning in the middle of the night the other night, making our kitchen Pinterest worthy, jut not feeling tired. I would say make small changes to your routine, and progress can be slow. Be consistent with a simple routine, doesn’t have to be long-winded it can be short and simple but you know wholesome and cute. It can be hard – we’ve been to see a sleep specialist but it didn’t work for us. We intuitively felt like Cyprus needed to go to bed earlier and it was the best thing we did. So he has an early dinner around 4ish and we put him down for 6/6:30 and he has a really long sleep. Trust your instinct. Trial and error.
How important is sleep to your family?
So important...we can't function without it.
How has your sleep pattern changed since having a baby?
(Grace) I need less sleep. I could sleep a lot more before having a baby but now 8AM is a lie in – I think we just naturally wake up earlier and I have trained myself to survive on less sleep. I feel anxious about not hearing him cry if I’m on a night shift. (Lee) I struggle to get back to sleep after waking up and have insomnia.
What is your advice to parents struggling with their child’s sleep?
Trial and error. Consistency, make small changes. 
Why do you think a good sleep routine is so important for setting your baby up for the future?
Sleep now means more than just a future. Children aren’t taught self-care – teach your baby little acts of self-love. This is our time to relax. Listen to music in the morning and we are chilling. Teach them from a young age.