A collection of articles I've written on topics such as adjusting sleep patterns to the seasons, holiday and travelling tips, and much more...
When your baby is first born, he or she will not be able to communicate with you by responsively smiling or cooing, gurgling and so on. They will either be calm or crying and at first it can be difficult to interpret the meaning of the cry. It doesn’t help much when more experienced parents talk about a “hungry” cry or a “tired” cry, especially if you feel like you haven’t got a clue.
Allow your child to participate in setting up the new bed – including choosing new bed covers and so on. Set the bed up early in the day so that if your child is still having a daytime nap, they can take it in the new bed. If possible move the cot out of your […]
Despite our understanding the value of sleep and the importance of routines, more young children and babies than ever before are experiencing sleep difficulties. The reasons for this are endless, but one thing is clear; having a sleepless child can have a debilitating effect on not just the child but the whole family.
Babies’ day time naps can be a real source of stress for many parents. Typical worries are; how many sleeps should the baby have? For how long? Should naps be taken only in the cot? In the dark? Will not enough daytime sleep interfere with feeding or night time sleep? What if they nap too much? Each different sleep “guru” seems to have a different opinion on naps and what this should tell us is that every baby is different and there is no fully right or fully wrong answer. You need to find what suits both your baby and you best.
Do you have a baby that wakes up lots of times in the night when other babies of his or her age seem to sleep through the night with no trouble at all? If the answer is yes, then it might be because you are continuing night breast or bottle feeds when your baby no longer needs them. It might surprise you to know that most babies are able to sleep pretty much through the night by 3 months and virtually ALL babies of 6 months are technically capable of sleeping through. Wouldn’t it be lovely to see your baby enjoy the pleasure of a solid 10 – 12 hours of blissful, restorative sleep?
Most babies and young children are naturally early risers and to a large extent it is something that you have to accept and go along with. Early waking problems are notoriously difficult to tackle, as when they have had a long block of sleep [even if it is not technically enough] they will find it very difficult to re settle – especially as after 4am sleep is at its lightest phase.
You should only ever look towards helping your child to become dry at night when they are reliably out of nappies during the day. As a rule, most children are daytime toilet trained by the time they are 3 years but many are much older. Often there is a considerable period between them being dry during the day time and achieving dry nights.
For your growing child, the world is a constantly fascinating place, filled with exciting experiences. They are learning new skills daily, and their sense of their own own developing abilities is both wonderful and a bit unsettling. Add to this the fact that young children naturally have more nightmares than adults and also tend to be scared of the dark, and it is not surprising that lots of nursery and school aged children find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
In my opinion there is far too much emphasis placed on getting very young babies established onto excessively strict feeding and sleeping regimes. Whilst this advice is well meant and for some babies can be successful, there are many new parents who feel a sense of failure if their baby doesn’t feed and sleep “by the clock” even in the very early weeks. The fact is, that no outside advice could ever be better than a mother [or father’s] natural instinct to love and to nurture their new born baby.
Introduce a lovely consistent bedtime routine for your baby. This familiar series of steps leading up to bed time will help them to feel both sleepy and safe. Include a nice warm bath, a familiar book or song and lots of loving contact with you. It is a wonderful investment of your time and energy […]