Typical nighttime hiccups for every age group - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Typical nighttime hiccups for every age group

Just as you get it all right and think you are on the track to having a baby who sleeps through the night, you get one disturbed night of sleep and it sets you back big time! The question is: are there typical times that you should expect nighttime hiccups? Sleep and your newborn baby In the early days, most babies wake two to four hourly for feeds at night, especially breastfed babies. The night wakings gradually reduce and within a few weeks (usually at around 6 weeks of age) your newborn should start to stretch for one long stretch of five or more hours once at night. Usually the first stretch to develop will be from bedtime to around midnight, as your baby drops the late evening feed first. Don’t be tempted to wake your baby up earlier, to feed, in the hope that it will do away with the 2 am feed - they are usually too tired to feed efficiently and this can cause longer-term sleep problems! If you are having sleep problems at this age it is usually one of the following issues: Your newborn may have their day and night muddled up. Newborns can be too sleepy to feed well, fall asleep at the breast and therefore need to feed more frequently At 2-6 weeks, many newborns become more wakeful and hard to settle to sleep, especially during the afternoon and early evening. 4-6 months old From birth your baby will slowly and steadily begin to sleep for longer and longer stretches at night and you will have the satisfaction of the occasional longer period of sleep. But just as your baby pieces it together and is almost ‘sleeping through’, he will start to wake more frequently again. This happens as your little one begins to require extra nutrition at night, the milk feeds that used to sustain him are no longer doing so and you have three choices: Your baby needs nutritional support at night, so feed him when he cries if three or more hours have passed. Don’t be tempted to ‘dummy’ him because it will impact on sleep later if habits develop. In this way your little one will go back to sleep and wake again in 4 hours for another feed. This is a good idea if Your baby is less than 17 weeks You or your baby have confirmed allergies (in which case you should delay introducing a formula or solids) Offer a top up bottle at bedtime or if he wakes shortly after going down Introduce solids Give your baby a top up feed of formula or expressed breast milk in the evening. Treat this as a cluster feed just before bedtime Start looking at introducing solids – look at simple single grain and yellow veggies.8 months old At around 8 months old, your baby will start waking due to separation reasons or plain old habits. At this age your baby is working hard to establish object permanence – the awareness that you exist when he can’t see you. To decrease the effect of this milestone on sleep: Encourage a sleep soother such as the Baby Sense Taglet or dummy that can be used independently. Play separation games during the day – ‘peek a boo’ or hide and seek. Listen to your baby at night before going to him and see if he resettles on his own. If he cries, go to him, give him love and help him settle on his own with a doodoo blanky. Do not be tempted to feed him at night before 2am as this can lead to habits developing. Sleep and your baby 6m - 12m From 6 months, if your baby is on a full solids diet and has learnt to self-sooth, he can be expected to sleep through (10-12 hours without waking for a feed). After 6 months of age obstacles may presents themselves: If your baby is still waking is may be because he has developed a habit and expects to be resettled in the night in the same way as he falls asleep at bedtime. Alternately night wakings can be due to nutritional needs - your baby now needs specific essential fatty acids for brain development. These nutritional essentials are found in the fats in proteins. So now is the time to introduce protein in the form of dairy, meat, beans and chicken to your baby’s diet. At this age, teething can also disrupt sleep for a few nights. If your baby is definitely teething at night – and make this decision during day light hours when you can actually see the tooth. If there is evidence of teething, use teething powders or painkillers as necessary. Remember though that we tend to blame teething far too quickly and the reality is that it is rarely teething that is the problem and if so only for two to four nights as the tooth erupts. Separation anxiety also affects sleep especially around 8-10 months – as your baby develops object permanence, he may become insecure when you are not around. To decrease the effect of this milestone on sleep: Encourage a sleep soother such as the Baby Sense Taglet or dummy that can be used independently. Play separation games during the day – ‘peek a boo’ or hide and seek. Listen to your baby at night before going to him and see if he resettles on his own. If he cries, go to him, give him love and help him settle on his own with a doodoo blanky. Do not be tempted to feed him at night before 2am as this can lead to habits developing. Toddler years Toddlers are notorious poor sleepers. Your toddler will wander at night and come through to your room. In fact more toddlers co-sleep than newborns, according to recent research! Toddlers call for their parents at night due to night fears and boundary issues. To address this, leave a night light on and encourage your toddler to use a comfort object instead of coming to you. If your toddler repeatedly wanders into your bed at night you have three choices: Repeatedly walk him back to his bed – while this will be exhausting initially, your toddler will eventually learn that night wanders brings no joy. Let him climb into your bed and share a bed with him Find the sense-able middle ground – have a mattress under your bed that he can pull out and sleep on at night – this means your bed remains your own but your toddler has access to you at night. By Meg Faure
Wearing your baby in a sling increases his intelligence - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Wearing your baby in a sling increases his intelligence

Almost any mom will admit that she wants her baby to be one of the clever ones - a smart little chap. We know life is easier for bright and clever people. For this reason as parents we invest time and energy in ensuring that our baby develops optimally and is well stimulated. Research is constantly looking at the key influences on intelligence. Timothy Taylor, PhD, in his book The Artificial Ape, published in July 2010, looks at the inventions that changed the course of human development. As we know, human babies are born less mature than almost any other mammal on earth and their survival depends on the mother (or father) to care for the baby 24 hours a day. In prehistoric times, only the stronger and more mature babies would survive. The intelligent but physically weaker babies would simply not survive. The invention of the baby sling over 2 million years ago changed all this. By being carried by their mothers in an ‘artificially lengthened gestation’, human babies had a significantly greater chance of survival and became brighter with more well developed brains. There are good reasons for this: Slings mimic the womb world In the calm world of the womb, your baby is rocked and soothed with movement all day. It is not surprising that many newborn babies fuss when they are put down in the early days. Your baby is signalling that she wishes to be held and soothed by your body’s movements. However, holding a baby can over stimulate them if they are passed from person to person or fiddled with. A better way to hold your baby is with consistent touch, such as that provided by a baby carrier. By imitating the womb world, you can expect a calmer and happier baby. If your baby is calmer more of the time, she will be more available to stimulation and will learn readily from her world. Read more about the womb to world effect on infant calming Slings enhance social awareness Babies who are carried in slings see the world through their mom’s eyes and vice versa. The baby learns from mom’s face and her expressions and is more in touch with language – both verbal and non verbal. Likewise, by having your baby against your chest, you can read her signals and see what she is looking at. This enhances language development as well as social skills, which are a vital part of intelligence. Vestibular stimulation Not only does a content baby learn more from her world in the calm alert state, but in addition, the motion of your body stimulates your baby’s vestibular system, developing muscle tone and enhancing motor development. Sleep Our brains need a certain amount of movement to sleep well for long periods, just think how well you sleep after a good hike or exhilarating run. Babies are no different and it is known that babies who are ‘worn’ during the day sleep better and for longer stretches day and night. A well rested baby is more available to learn from stimulation and can concentrate on activities for longer. Of course there are numerous other tools and activities we do in the first three years of life that encourage our baby to reach her potential, but a sling is such an easy way to encourage your baby’s intelligence and development! So here is to slings. By Meg Faure
Top 10 Baby Sense sleep tips - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Top 10 Baby Sense sleep tips

Helping your baby to sleep through the night is a goal for most parents. Sleep disruption is so distressing for most mothers that the sooner your baby sleeps through the night, the better. The tips below are in no particular order but by implementing them all you should be in for a better night’s sleep soon. Safety Put your baby on his side or back to sleep on a firm mattress without any pillows or duvets to limit the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/ Cot death). Do not use duvets or blankets, rather keep your baby warm with a baby sleeping bag for safety and convenience. Sleep environment For good sleep habits try having your baby in his own room (if possible) by three months, as you will both have more rested sleep in your own rooms. Make sure the room can be darkened for day sleeps and morning lie-ins by putting block out lining on the curtains or blinds. Use soft linen in the cot and for cool nights, warm the room up a little, without over heating your baby. For the slightly older baby (after 4 months) use a sleeping bag to keep your baby warm to prevent the classic 4am night waking due to kicking all the blankets off. Under three months If your baby is very colicky in the evenings and you find bedtime is delayed to late due to fussing and crying, try to limit handling after 4 pm. Swaddle your baby in a 100% cotton, stretchy fabric such as the Baby Sense Cuddlewrap to help calm them and to limit night wakings due to uncontrolled body jerks. Bedtime routine Have a consistent time for bed with a predictable routine leading up to bedtime. Between six and seven in the evening is an appropriate time for babies and toddlers. Start the evening routine with a soothing warm bath followed by a calming massage (for babies not suffering from colic – colicky babies do better having the massage in the morning). After bath, don’t leave your baby’s dimmed room and keep all interactions in the room calming with less handling and stimulation. Evening feed Feed your baby as much as he will take before bedtime. If your breast milk supply seems low in the evenings, offer your baby a supplementary or top-up feed of expressed breast milk or formula milk before bed. Put your baby to bed awake Rouse your baby after the last feed so that he has to fall asleep without the aid of props such as bottle or breast. The way in which your baby falls asleep in the evening will be what he expects in the middle of the night, i.e. bottle, breast, dummy/pacifier, rocking, etc. Handling fussing at bedtime After three months, expect a little fussing as your baby settles himself to sleep. To manage this, without developing habits, leave your baby in his cot but sit with him, with your hand on him and encourage him to fall asleep after a little fussing. Night feeds Never wake your baby at night for a feed, unless your paediatrician has instructed you to do so because your baby is ill or very underweight. Wait for your baby to signal that he is hungry at night. Calm night feeds Keep the middle of the night feeds strictly business affairs – with no stimulation: keep the room dark, using a passage light to see for feeds. Don’t change your baby’s nappy or diaper at night feeds unless it is soiled or your baby has wet through the nappy. Limit the time for burping, your baby will settle best after a night feed if he is resettled quickly. Sleep coaching Sleep coaching starts from around 4 months of age when you can start encouraging your baby to self sooth instead of relying on you to put him all the way to sleep. This is not sleep training or letting your baby. It is gently encouraging him to find his hands, fuss a little while he settles himself or allowing him to access other strategies. Only sleep train your baby after six months and then only after ruling out all other causes for night wakings. To sleep train your baby – give him the opportunity to self-calm by not responding immediately when he cries at night respond once your baby is really crying or within 5 minutes do not lift your baby from the cot, rather sit with him and encourage him to self-calm as hard as it is, sit with your baby for as long as it take for him to resettle. In this way your baby does not feel abandoned but get the message that you are there but he must go to sleep. By Meg Faure
How to deal with a toddler roaming at night - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

How to deal with a toddler roaming at night

As soon as your toddler outgrows his cot, and makes the transition into a ‘big bed’, there may be some high jinks at bedtime. Most parents do want to foster night-time independence in their toddlers, and really do feel quite desperate at the thought of another night spent negotiating with a roaming toddler. Some children simply find that this new found freedom is a wonderful excuse for prolonged bedtimes, plus frequent visits to mom and dad’s bedroom throughout the night! If you have no issues with this, and love having your toddler sleep with you, read no further! Seriously though, before looking at bedtime and sleep itself you need to be sure your toddler is primed for good sleep habits. A clean bill of health is a good start, as is a sleep zone that supports sleep. Make sure his room is entirely safe so that he cannot harm himself. At this age, he already has deeply entrenched expectations and associations related to where and how he goes to sleep, and you can use them to your advantage Keep the light very dim and muted or use a night light, so that your toddler is never left alone in the dark. His imagination is developing at this age, which might make him fearful of dark shadows. By now you know the importance of a regular day sleep routine, but a regular bedtime routine is just as important. Bedtime is often the period of time when your little toddler is at his most unsettled. If there is no pattern to his bedtime rituals such as a quiet bath, followed by the last drink of the day (that’s milk, not wine!) in a calm sleep zone, your little toddler will not begin to recognize the necessary sensory cues that prompt sleep. Remember separation anxiety is real, and a normal phase of toddler development that may affect sleep. This phase will pass, but while it lasts, to avoid long term bad habits developing, be firm about not falling into the trap of feeding, rocking or co-sleeping if these are habits you do not wish to encourage. At this stage your toddler may become anxious at bedtime, and may call out to you frequently during the night, or come through to your room due to fears of being alone. This is typical at this age, as your toddler is developing imagination and may begin to suffer from nightmares and imagined ‘boogymen’. Use strategies to normalize separations for your toddler by playing games during the day such as peek a boo and hide and seek. Every toddler is different and the degree to which yours will be affected may vary substantially from other toddlers you know. When you are ready to tackle the situation, bear the following in mind: Boundaries need to be clearly set, and negotiations can happen within these predetermined boundaries. Your toddler needs to understand clearly the sleep boundaries you have for him. All the role players in the care of your toddler need to agree on sleep boundaries. Keep a night light on in his room or in the passage or bathroom, so that he is not in the dark should he wake. Limit television completely for at least two to three hours before bed as this has been linked to fears and increased nightmares. Encourage the use of a comfort object such as a blanket or a soft toy, and keep it in his bed so that bedtime holds that attraction of his special sensory comforter. It will also be available for comfort when he wakes in the night. Let’s do it At bedtime, if your toddler begins to negotiate or protest or jumps out of bed within minutes of you leaving the room, he needs to be taught how to put himself to sleep. This is what you must also do when he comes through to you at night. At some stage (yes, it will happen to you) many toddlers wake up and wander through to their parent’s bedroom. Begin by instilling a boundary and consistently lead your toddler back to his bed when this happens. The goal is to have your toddler sleep in his bed. Walk him back to back to bed, without admonishing him or raising your voice. Stay calm, confident and focused and encourage his comfort object. Respond by acknowledging his request: Say to him “I know you want me to stay with you Empathise so he feels understood by mirroring his request: Say to him “I would love to stay with you” Give a reason: Say to him “But I can’t because it is time to sleep” Offer an alternative solution. Say to him “ Why don’t you rather lie here with your special teddy, and I’ll sit on the bed next to you” Set a boundary: Say to him “If you lie down and go to sleep, I will sit with you until you fall asleep” Give a consequence: Say to him “If you get up again, I will have to leave”. For as long as your toddler stays in bed and makes an effort to be quiet and go to sleep, sit with him until he falls asleep (no matter how long it takes, so be prepared for this). You must stick to your end of the deal if he sticks to his. If he breaks his end of the deal, by getting up, you must remind him about the deal you made, offer him a chance to try again, but if he resists, then get up and leave the room and close the door so that he can’t follow. It is important that he remains in his room so if he is able to open the door himself install a latch. Don’t worry about leaving him behind a closed door. You are simply making sure that his room is containing him much the same as he was contained in his cot before. This is why it is important to have a night-light on and to make his room a safe environment for him. From outside the room, tell him you will return when he gets back into bed. As soon as you see/hear him get onto his bed, OR after one minute of crying (whatever happens first), go back in to his room quietly and calmly. Resist the temptation to raise your voice. If he is crying, calm him down with a hug, encourage his comfort object, wait until he has stopped crying, then re-negotiate with him. (Remember to acknowledge and empathise with his request, then give him a reason, a boundary and a consequence). Leave the room if he does not comply with the boundary you have offered him (which is to stay with him until he falls asleep provided he lies in his bed). Close the door. Return immediately to him if he does get back into bed, and praise him for listening to you. Reward him by staying with him until he falls asleep. If he cries and bangs on the door, wait for two minutes before you return to re-negotiate with him. Remember to stay calm and focused, never raise your voice and offer him lots of calming stimuli such as a hug and his comfort object. He needs to be calm again before you can re-negotiate with him. Be prepared for this to take some time. Keep going in this manner – return to him as soon as he is back in bed, OR if he will not stay in his bed and bangs on the door, increase the period of time before you respond to him by one minute each time until he eventually falls asleep. Repeat the procedure each time he wakes during the first night. If he complies with your boundary (by staying in his bed) always reward him by staying with him as you have promised (no matter how tedious you may find this in the middle of the night) until he falls asleep. If he will not comply (by jumping out of bed and running away), leave the room, close the door and leave him for one minute until you return quietly and calmly to re-negotiate! If you do have to leave the room, increase the period of time by one minute each time, until he eventually falls asleep. By the second or third night, your toddler has probably realised that if he does as you ask him (which is to stop the high jinks at sleep time), you will sit with him on the bed until he goes to sleep at bedtime, and if he wakes during the night. When this is consistently happening, it is time to move to the next step. Be patient, it may take time to get to this step. Begin bedtime in exactly the same way, but tell him (by acknowledging empathizing and reasoning with a boundary and a consequence) that you will no longer be sitting on the bed with him, but will rather be sitting in a chair alongside the bed. As before, complete your negotiation with him. If he complies with your boundary (which is to stay in his bed and go to sleep) you will stay in his room with him, but you will be in the chair. If he does not comply with your boundary, then follow the same procedure as before by going out of the room and closing the door. Continue with the programme as you did before, until he falls asleep. When he is happy to stay in his bed and go to sleep as long as you are sitting in the chair (at bedtime and when he wakes in the night), move to the next step. Bear in mind it may take you a few nights to achieve this – be patient, loving and consistent. Move the chair away from his bed to another part of the room as close to the door as possible. Repeat the sleep modification steps as above until he is happy to go to sleep in his bed with you sitting in the sleep zone apart from him. The next step is to move the chair out of the room (tell him that you have given it to the poor children). At bedtime, simply ‘linger’ in the room, maybe even stepping into the bathroom for a second or two (always reassure him that you will be back) before returning to ‘linger’ once more. Repeat the sleep modification steps as above until he is happy to go to sleep in his bed as long as you are ‘lingering’ around. The final step (this step may have taken you as little as a few days to reach, or it may be a week down the line by now), is to tell him you need to leave the room for a minute to perform a task. Reassure him that when you are finished your task you promise to return. Do as you have promised and return. Don’t forget to praise him each time you return if he has stayed in his bed. Keep popping in and out, but gradually increase the amount of time you spend out of his room. Repeat the sleep modification steps as above until he is happy to fall asleep in his bed as long as you continue to pop in and out. After a few nights of this you will return after your first absence to find him asleep. At last! Your toddler has learnt the new technique of falling asleep independently. Once your toddler is generally sleeping in his bed, you may still find he has the odd night when he is very distressed when he wakes. These are the times when he may be distraught due to a nightmare and imagination fears or separation anxiety. When this happens you may need to allow him to sleep next to your bed. By not allowing him into your bed and not making his makeshift bed too comfortable, you will not instil long lasting habits. Know that it will not last forever and is usually a passing stage. However, if it becomes a nightly occurrence and is a problem for you, start to make it less easy for him to do. Always take him back to his room first. If he insists on returning to your bedroom let him carry his own bedding and settle himself. Allowing your toddler to sleep on the floor next to you whilst you are undoing the unhealthy sleep habit of having him in your bed, may be a necessary process you will need to undertake whilst you foster confidence in him to become independent. However, if your toddler is persistently coming through to you a night, and insisting on getting into your bed, this again is a scenario that you could leave as it is if it is not an issue with you. When you are ready to reclaim your sleep space, allow him to sleep on a mattress or some continental pillows next to your bed to help him with the transition to his own room. Remember to always acknowledge his feeling: “I know you want to be in the bed with me.” Then mirror the feeling by saying “I love having you in the bed,” Then give a reason why he can’t be in the bed with you “This is my bed, and there is too little space now that you are bigger” Offer an alternative: “Why don’t you lie on the floor next to me and I’ll hold your hand” You will need to follow through on this boundary and be firm about him not getting back into your bed. If he will not lie on the floor next to you, take him back to his bed. At this point, you may have to start adopting some sleep training strategies as mentioned above. Useful tips: If your toddler voices a fear about ‘the bogeyman’, a very useful trick is to buy a plastic spray bottle from the supermarket. Fill it with coloured water, and label it ‘bogeyman spray’. As part of his bedtime ritual, allow him to spray his bed and around his sleep zone with this solution. This empowering gesture will help him to feel in control of his fears. Reassure him that he can use it again should he wake in the night. Teach your toddler these sleep rules early and repeat them often: At bedtime we stay in bed close our eyes stay very quiet and go to sleep By Meg Faure
The womb world holds the secret to a settled newborn - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

The womb world holds the secret to a settled newborn

In the last trimester of pregnancy, your little one’s sensory systems begin to make connections in the brain and learning starts. However, unlike other mammals, human babies are born relatively immature. Consider the newborn antelope, springing across the African veld, following the rest of the herd only hours after birth. Her ability to keep up with her mother as the herd moves on is essential for the survival of the species but it is also made possible because of her relative maturity at birth. The human babies are born way less mature, with limited ability to act on their world. The human baby can not only not fend for himself and survive without a parent, but cannot even sooth or settle himself, depending on his parents to settle him and sooth his cries. This is particularly so during the first three months of the newborn’s life (the fourth trimester). The easiest way to settle your baby at this time, is to mimic the womb world: Touch - For nine months the only form of touch your baby has experienced is skin to skin – his naked skin against the womb walls, the feel of the cord and the sensation of his own touch. In the labour ward place your newborn baby naked: skin-to-skin on your chest. Cover yourself with a blanket or towel to keep your baby warm. Miraculously, a mother’s chest can increase or decrease by 2 degrees to regulate her baby’s body temperature. This perfectly natural position is commonly called Kangaroo Mother Care and you can aim to ‘kangaroo’ your baby for as many hours as possible in the early days. It is important to know that if your baby is born healthy by caesarean section, he can be warmed up on your chest instead of being removed to a clinical incubator. Swaddling is very important in the early days, as it’s the best way to imitate the tight hug of the womb environment. Swaddling provides deep-touch pressure and also stops little limbs from shooting out when your baby is unsettled, which is a common cause of night wakings in the young baby. A swaddled newborn is a more settled baby and will sleep for longer stretches. For the first nine to twelve weeks, swaddle your baby for all sleeps and when unsettled or colicky. Ensure your baby has some time to kick free of the swaddle when awake. It is important to swaddle your baby’s hands near to his face so he can suck on them to self soothe and regulate his body temperature if becoming warm. Swaddling with the hands by the sides is not a good option as your baby will not be able to self soothe or to regulate his temperature. Smells – Your newborn’s sense of smell is finely tuned at birth. The smells he loves best are the familiar smell of the womb and the sweet smell of breast milk. Do not to wash your baby immediately after birth. Wipe him down if he is a little bloody but do not wash off the vernix. There is evidence that unwashed babies bring their hands to their mouths sooner after birth than washed babies. Sucking on his hands is one of the first, really clever and important strategies a baby will use to self-calm and is important in the development of self-regulation. Aside from vernix, the soothing smells of you is the best olfactory input at this stage. In the early days, keep your new baby’s space free from any scents, as his smell system is so sensitive. An item of clothing that smells of mum or dad in the cot is comforting. Sight - Create a visually soothing space by dimming the labour room’s lights and bringing your baby to your chest, 20-25cm /8 inches from your eyes, which is the perfect distance for him to focus on your eyes. Decorate your baby’s room in muted and clam colours and have a light dimmer switch or a nightlight so that the room can be dimmed when your little one is fractious. A calming sensory space is important, as the visual system is a very powerful system for your new baby. Do not place any toys or mobiles in the cot or crib. The cot must be a calm sleeping space only, not a stimulating play area. For encouraging eye-focus, a few contrasting colour toys or pictures (red, black and white) should be in the room, but keep them near the changing mat where it is appropriate for your baby to be awake and stimulated. Sounds - The newborn is familiar with and soothed by your voice. For a period of time, immediately after birth, your new baby will be calm and alert, listening and focusing well. Talk quietly to your baby to calm him after birth. White noise and womb sounds are calming in the early weeks. Buy or make a recording of white noise or play a CD with tracks of calming music ‘mixed’ with the steady beating of a heart. Movement – Babies are best soothed with movement and rocking. In the early days many babies do not settle unless held. Do not worry about ‘spoiling’ your baby or that your baby is ‘manipulating’ you. The reality is that in the fourth trimester, a baby does not have long-term memory that would create expectations for how he needs to be soothed. Rather, the newborn has a sensory need for the womb and the holding and rocking reenacts the womb space for the new born. A sling therefore is a wonderful tool for soothing fractious newborns and regulating state. The first three months are a period of enormous transition and adjustment for you and your baby. By mimicking the womb world, you can calm your baby effectively. Swaddling, white noise, and carrying baby are just three examples of strategies that imitate the womb world and calm babies in the fourth trimester. References Eliot L. Whats going on in there? How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of life Bantam Books 1999 Faure M The Baby Sense Secret Dorling Kindersley (to be released 2011) Faure M & Richardson A Baby Sense Metz Press 2010 Graven S & Browne J Auditory Development in the Fetus and Infant. Newborn & Infant Nursing Reveiws. Volume 8, Issue 4 2008 Hepper P. Unraveling Our Beginnings: On the Embryonic Science of Fetal Psychology. The Psychologist 18 (8) Aug 2005, published by the British Psychological Society. Hopson J. Fetal Psychology Psychology Today, October 1998 Meisami E. et al Human Olfactory Bulb: Aging of Glomeruli and Mitral Cells and a Search for the Accessory Olfactory Bulb Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1998 Trevathan W. Human birth: An evolutionary perspective. New York: Aldine de Gruyter 1987
The sensible art of swaddling - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

The sensible art of swaddling

It may well come as a big surprise to you how much newborns cry and the one skill you will need is how to prevent crying and calm your fussing baby. As D-Day approaches, you no doubt prepared yourself mentally for your baby’s birth. Like many women, you may have joined antenatal classes as the ultimate preparation for the big day. But few, if any of us, get to attend classes preparing us with what to expect or how to manage in the first few weeks. One sure way to calm your baby in the early days: Swaddling It may well come as a big surprise to you how much newborns cry and the one skill you will need is how to prevent crying and calm your fussing baby. Here are a few practical ideas to promote calm and help you survive the early days: Swaddling Baby Massage Baby Wearing – carrying your baby is a sling or pouch Getting your newborn to sleep regularly Soothing sounds, such as singing or white noise Sucking – a pacifier or a thumb work well for non-nutritive sucking Let’s look at one of the best methods of keeping your baby calm: swaddling “Swaddling is the best way to imitate the tight hug of the womb environment. It provides deep touch pressure and also prevents your baby’s little limbs from shooting out in a startle reflex – a common cause of night wakings in young babies” Baby Sense (Metz Press) The best way to contain your newborn’s early reflexes and startles is by swaddling your baby. Swaddling is an ancient method of baby wrapping. For some cultures, babies are wrapped for many months, rarely touching the ground as they are carried in these swaddled positions. Although this may be the extreme, it is important, if not vital that you swaddle your baby at least for sleep. Benefits of swaddling Sleep:The evidence is overwhelming that babies who are swaddled sleep longer and better. Swaddling inhibits the immature startle reflexes, which disrupts sleep. Calm:Deep pressure is calming which is why swaddled babies cry significantly less. Swaddling is thus an excellent solution for a colicky baby. Feeding:Difficult feeders, especially those who fight at the breast, tend to feed better with more coordinated sucks and swallows when they are swaddled. (Journal of Human Lactation, 2001) You need Use a 100% cotton blanket to prevent overheating and the associated risk of SIDS. Preferably use a blanket with some stretch, which will wrap snugly around your baby and allow for movement within the “wrap” If you are using a rectangular blanket, fold it into a triangle, alternately use a specially shaped swaddling blanket. How to swaddle with the Baby Sense Cuddlewrap Lie your baby with the neck on the long side of the triangle. Fold up the lower tip of the swaddling blanket. Wrap one corner of the triangle across your baby, securing her hand near her face so that she can self calm by sucking her hand if she needs to. Wrap the other arm in with the other corner of the triangle. Swaddle on the go The Baby Sense Cuddlegrow is a mixture of the perfect heart shape swaddle design of the Baby Sense Cuddlewrap and a conventional babygrow. This unique design allows for safe swaddling in a car seat and pram, providing a soothing cuddle while sleeping and traveling. Precautions Your baby can be swaddled for all day and night sleep. In the early days she will be sleeping most of the day and thus be swaddled a great deal of time. When your baby is awake and playing or being changed, unwrap her so that she gets to have a good kick and work her little hip joints. Do not use swaddling blankets that straight jacket your baby’s arms by her sides. Do not overheat your baby by using polyester or polar fleece swaddles. Do not wrap baby too tight - to check if you have got it right, you should be able to slide your hand down the front of the wrap when baby is completely swaddled. It is imperative that if the Cuddlegrow is used in an infant car seat it be used EXACTLY as recommended by the manufacturer - arms extending through the sides of the harness. Swaddling should happen over the harness i.e. after the baby has been buckled-up. Under no circumstances must the wrap cover baby’s mouth or face. The early days are as precious as they are difficult. Enjoy the highs and the precious moments of getting to know your baby and remember the tough time of the early days pass so quickly. By Meg Faure
The secret world of the unborn - how your baby’s senses develop in the womb - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

The secret world of the unborn - how your baby’s senses develop in the womb

The uterus is undisputedly the ultimate environment for the development and nurturing of a fetus. The sensory systems develop throughout pregnancy and affect the brain’s development. Fetal sensory development Your baby begins to develop on a sensory level from the moment of conception. The first sense to develop is the sense of touch, emerging at 3 weeks gestation – before you knew you were pregnant. By the twelfth week, your baby can feel and responds to touch on his entire body, with the exception of the top of his head, which remains insensitive until birth. The auditory system is completely intact by 20 weeks gestation but it is a few weeks before the nerves conducting sound are functional. At 23 weeks your baby can respond to loud noises and may jerk or even begin to hiccup after hearing a loud sound. Taste buds emerge at 8 weeks and by 13-15 weeks your baby has taste buds similar to adults’. Anything you eat can flavour the amniotic fluid. While we are not exactly sure when the baby starts to perceive taste, we do know that a baby born prematurely (33 weeks) sucks harder at sweetened nipples and when saccharine is injected into the amniotic fluid in the third trimester babies suck faster. Smell develops alongside the sense of taste. Since smells are essentially chemicals that are found to be present in amitotic fluid, it stands to reason that your baby can smell in utero as the chemicals pass from the amniotic fluid onto the smell receptors in the nasal cavity. The nasal cavity is protected by a plug of tissue until 28 weeks, but thereafter your baby will smell and respond to scents. Your baby’s tiny eyelids open at 26 weeks and at 6 months we know that babies can see light in utero. At 32 weeks gestation your baby can track a bright torchlight shone and moved across your pregnant belly. The sense of movement and gravity from the balance (vestibular) system in the ears develops very early and begins to function at five months gestation. Like the sense of hearing and touch, the sense of movement is relatively advanced at birth. The world of the womb Knowing that the sensory systems perceive the intrauterine world by the second and third trimesters, we may wonder what the womb world is like on a sensory level. The womb world is devoid of light touch - deep pressure touch and the sense of warmth are greatest inputs to the sense of touch. By the third trimester, the elastic uterus provides constant, deep pressure, like an all-day hug or massage. This tight hug keeps your baby curled up, with pressure on his back and his hands towards the midline. In this position, your baby can suck his hands and his immature reflexes, which are starting to emerge in utero are contained so that he feels secure. The temperature in the womb is always perfect, a temperature we call neutral warmth. Threatening touch, such as pain, high or low temperatures and tickle are completely absent during gestation. In the womb, the overwhelming sounds (about 85 decibels) are the background sounds of your body. Your baby hears the gushes of amniotic fluid and blood flowing in the veins and of course your heartbeat and digestion. These background noises contribute to the constant white noise he hears. The consistent sound of the heartbeat is a particularly soothing sound and babies who are played a beat at the pace of the average heartbeat (72 beats per minute) fall asleep easier and cry half a much after birth. Sounds from the outside world are subdued (55 decibels) but the clearest sound he hears is your voice as it is carried not only outside the body but also through your bones in the form of vibrations. Dad’s voice is the second most familiar sound to your baby and it is nice to know that within hours of birth your baby will recognize Dad by his voice. Because all tastes you experiences pass into the amniotic fluid, your baby is prepared for the flavours your family eats even while in utero. The preference for sweet tastes is hardwired and babies prefer sweet flavours, swallowing amniotic more vigorously after you eat something sweet. Even though your baby is interested in and tracks a bright light, the reality is that he is rarely exposed to bright lights and there is very little visual stimulation in utero. In general the womb world is visually muted and often it’s quite dark. There are no bright colours or contrasting shapes in utero on which your baby can hone his developing visual skills. For this reason the visual system is relatively immature at birth. In utero your baby is buoyed by amniotic fluid and whirls freely in a contained liquid bubble. Since water decreases the weight of an object by 50 times, your baby has the wonderful sensation of being 1/50th lighter than on earth. He is lulled by the constant rocking and swaying motion of this gravity-reduced world, gently rocked to sleep. When the lulling movement stops – such as when you rest or lie down, your little one may become wakeful and busy. During the third trimester, your baby’s vestibular system has matured sufficiently to sense gravity and to turn to the appropriate ‘head down’ position in preparation for birth. The fourth trimester By understanding the world of the womb, you can make your little one’s transition to the real world smoother. By Meg Faure References Eliot L. Whats going on in there? How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of life Bantam Books 1999 Faure M The Baby Sense Secret Dorling Kindersley (to be released 2011) Faure M & Richardson A Baby Sense Metz Press 2010 Graven S & Browne J Auditory Development in the Fetus and Infant. Newborn & Infant Nursing Reveiws. Volume 8, Issue 4 2008 Hepper P. Unraveling Our Beginnings: On the Embryonic Science of Fetal Psychology. The Psychologist 18 (8) Aug 2005, published by the British Psychological Society. Hopson J. Fetal Psychology Psychology Today, October 1998 Meisami E. et al Human Olfactory Bulb: Aging of Glomeruli and Mitral Cells and a Search for the Accessory Olfactory Bulb Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1998 Trevathan W. Human birth: An evolutionary perspective. New York: Aldine de Gruyter 1987
Why your baby wakes frequently at night - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Why your baby wakes frequently at night

The big question is why do babies wake frequently at night? Here are the top 5 reasons babies wake too often at night along with what to do for each reason: Your expectations are too high for your babySimply put, you need to examine what you expect from your baby. Newborns wake often at night. If your baby less than 6 weeks old is stretching for three hours or more, they are doing the right thing. Solution – adjust your expectations. If your young baby is waking more than two hourly or not settling at all after a feed, you are right to be concerned. Solution – swaddle your newborn tightly and play white noise; don’t change her nappy at night unless she has soiled it. Nappies are generally absorbent enough for urine not to disturb her and by changing her nappy you may wake her up to much during a night feed, which may make her unsettled thereafter. Your baby is hungryAt around 5 months babies start to wake more frequently again as they start to need a little extra nutrition at night. Solution – Either reintroduce a night feed such as the early morning (1am) one and feed when she wakes OR if she is over 4 ½ months and there is no history of allergies, you could introduce rice cereal. After 6 months some babies start to wake more often because they need certain Essential Fatty Acids that are found in proteins. Milk no longer supplies all the EFA’s your baby needs. Solution – If your baby is over 6 months old introduce proteins such as chicken, lamb, beans, legumes, cheese and yogurt. If your baby is older than 9 months add in fish, egg and nuts as well (if there are no allergies to these in your family). Your baby is not sleeping enough during the dayAs strange as it sounds, if your baby is over tired because she is not sleeping enough during the day, she will wake more often at night. Solution- Make sure she has enough day sleeps by watching her awake times (refer to Baby Sense). Once she has been awake for her age appropriate awake time, watch for her signals and put her down to sleep. Your baby is uncomfortableIf your baby has been a good sleeper or can effectively put herself to sleep in the evening and most nights and then suddenly wakes at night frequently, you can bet your bottom dollar she is uncomfortable. Solution – Make sure she is warm enough and not too hot. Invest in a room thermometer and maintain the room temperature at around 20 degrees Celcius. If it is cool in the early mornings, use a sleeping bag. Check that your baby is not teething – make this decision during daylight hours – if you can see or feel a tooth under the gums. If your baby has lost her appetite and feels like she has a fever take her to your doctor as she may be ill. Your baby has developed a bad habitFrequent night waking can be put down to habits if your baby is over five months old (particularly common from 7 months onwards) and need to be fed, rocked or patted to sleep in the evening and for day sleeps. Solution – You will need to help your baby relearn strategies to self sooth that she can use independently. Dummies must be put into her hand so she learns to do it herself. ‘Doodoo’ blankies such as the Baby Sense Taglet are great as they are easy to use. At the end of the day some sleep coaching may be necessary as you teach your baby to sooth herself. Frequent night wakings are the bane of a new parent’s life. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and most babies do sleep through consistently eventually. However along the way, all babies have period of disrupted nights until they are in pre-school. By Meg Faure
The impact of Day sleeps on Night Sleeps - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

The impact of Day sleeps on Night Sleeps

There is a true saying that sums up the relevance of day sleeps on nighttime sleep: Sleep Begets Sleep, which literally means the more your baby sleeps, the more he will sleep. A good day sleep routine, made up of regular age appropriate day sleeps enhances night sleep and helps your baby sleep better. The reason is that when babies are sleep deprived and overtired during the day, they become fractious and over stimulated and it is hard to fall asleep and sleep well through sleep cycles when one is overtired. The impact of exhaustion on sleep If you are experiencing any of the following sleep problems with your baby, you need to be sure he is having enough sleep during the day: Bedtime antics – Overtired toddlers and babies become difficult to put to sleep. Due to overtiredness, your baby may become busier and more animated in an attempt to stay awake. This hyperactive, alert state feeds on itself and makes falling asleep difficult. If you have difficulty settling your baby to sleep or if bedtime ends up being after 8pm due to challenging bedtime behaviour, the chances are your baby is not sleeping enough during the day or you are starting your bedtime routine too late. Night waking – When babies are overtired, they may fall asleep with ease and into a ‘dead’ sleep but 90 minutes later wake and then repeatedly wake at night. If you have ruled out other causes of night waking, have a look at your day sleep routine – maybe your toddler is overtired. Night terrors – Babies who scream and cry at night but appear to be asleep and are difficult to soothe whilst screaming are said to be having ‘night terrors’. These differ from night mares as your baby will appear to be fast asleep whilst crying. Night terrors are directly related to overtiredness and are usually seen in toddlers and babies who are not getting enough day sleep or are going to bed too late. Manage day sleep routines to enhance nighttime sleep To make sure overtiredness is not impacting negatively on night sleep, deal with the following day sleep issues: Midday sleep – A good solid stretch of sleep over midday enhances night sleep. A longer midday sleep emerges by 6 months old in most babies. Your baby may sleep for between an hour and three hours at midday, depending on his age and how many other sleeps he has during the day. To encourage a longer midday sleep, try the following: Have a consistent sleep space for midday sleep from a young age. Other day sleeps can be more flexible but the midday sleep should consistently be taken in the nursery. Darken the room with block out lining on the curtains or blinds Play white noise to keep your baby in a deeper sleep during this sleep Have a milk feed before the midday sleep if possible so his tummy is full of nice sweet milk Regular sleep – Clearly the message is not to keep your baby awake all day. Follow the Baby Sense guidelines for ‘Awake Times’ to gauge how long your baby can be happily awake before going back to sleep. Instead of a rigid routine, put your baby back to sleep during the day when his ‘Awake time’ is up and when he signals fatigue. Less than six months of age 3 – 4 sleeps are common. Between 6 and 12 months of age the number of day sleeps reduces to 2 – 3 sleeps and after 14 months most toddlers drop down to 1 day sleep. But this day sleep remains important until the preschool years. Early to bed – Even if you are a working mum or dad, do not be tempted to keep your baby up later than 7:30pm to interact with him. Young babies should be in bed by 6:30 or 7pm at the latest. By keeping your baby up, you will not shift the morning waking and are very likely to face bedtime battles as your overtired baby resists going down to sleep. Furthermore, bad habits like rocking to sleep or feeding to sleep may become entrenched as you have to resort to extensive calming measures at bedtime to settle an overtired baby. Wake from the afternoon nap – The only time when sleep during the day can have a negative effect on night sleep is when this sleep happens too late in the day. Read up on the ‘Awake time’ for your baby’s age in Baby Sense/ Sleep Sense then make sure your baby wakes from his last afternoon sleep that length of time before his bedtime. In other words, if your one year old can be happily awake for three hours before the next sleep and bedtime is at 7pm, you should not let him sleep after 4pm or he will resist going to bed. So if your toddler is asleep at 4pm, wake him up. In summary: Day sleeps are vital for good night sleep habits Watch your baby’s awake times and develop a day sleep routine Do not make bedtime too late Follow these guidelines and you will be that little bit closer to a good night’s sleep! By Meg Faure

Explore Our Products

90-Day Money Back

Keep in Touch

Be the first to get our specials and useful tips